Valve Reveals Gaming Devices, Software to Rival Microsoft

Valve made several announcements last week regarding the release of new devices, an operating system and a game controller. One main target for their operating system, SteamOS and its Steam Machine hardware is Microsoft, its Xbox consoles and the Windows PC business. Gaming could be a Trojan horse that Valve uses to control the post-PC operating system. Yet, there are little details as to the type of hardware and who are its manufacturers. Continue reading Valve Reveals Gaming Devices, Software to Rival Microsoft

Microsoft Expands TV Efforts, Sees Xbox One as Media Portal

Microsoft is expanding its TV programming in order to market the Xbox One as a portal for games, music and video content. Microsoft hopes its new console will merge television viewing and video game playing. Additionally, the company is producing a live action “Halo” show that will involve director Steven Spielberg and a concept development team in the Los Angeles area. This show is just one of many ideas currently being developed by Microsoft. Continue reading Microsoft Expands TV Efforts, Sees Xbox One as Media Portal

Turn Your iPad into a 3D Scanner with New Structure Sensor

San Francisco-based startup Occipital, creator of the 360 Panorama app and RedLaser barcode-scanning app acquired by eBay, is developing a 3D scanning accessory for iPads called the Structure Sensor. Inspired by the sensor technology of Microsoft’s Kinect, CEO Jeff Powers decided to change the direction of Occipital to develop a new scanning tool. The result is the Structure Sensor, which earned the company more than $250,000 in a single day through its Kickstarter campaign. Continue reading Turn Your iPad into a 3D Scanner with New Structure Sensor

Intel Creates Ultrasmall Quark Chips for Wearable Computing

Chip manufacturer Intel is debuting very small processors that have a wide variety of uses from wearable devices to medical and industrial applications. Some have criticized the company for not entering the smartphone market fast enough, but with Quark, Intel plans to pursue embedded computing technologies emerging in wearable devices and the Internet of Things. Intel will have to address the expected low price of these chips, along with increased competition from other chip makers. Continue reading Intel Creates Ultrasmall Quark Chips for Wearable Computing

Apple Plans to Unveil Two New iPhones, Could Help Hollywood

At a planned event tomorrow from its Cupertino, California headquarters, Apple is expected to announce two new iPhone models — one with a faster processor and another to be offered at a lower cost. As Apple’s profit growth has been impacted by a saturated handset market in the U.S. and parts of Europe, a lower-cost smartphone could allow the company to expand into other markets such as China and India, which would also mean new potential customers for iTunes movies, TV and music. Continue reading Apple Plans to Unveil Two New iPhones, Could Help Hollywood

Intel Develops Depth Sensing 3D Cameras to Track Emotion

Intel is developing depth sensing 3D cameras and software that are able to detect an individual’s emotional state. While refined motion detection technologies are not entirely new, Intel’s product goes beyond tracking the physical movements of objects to determining what the movement actually means. Intel’s depth sensing technology will first be available in webcams and may eventually become available in laptops, smartphones and tablets. Continue reading Intel Develops Depth Sensing 3D Cameras to Track Emotion

Kinect for Windows Enables Touch Screens on Any Surface

Microsoft recently announced the release of its new touch screen technology that turns any ordinary surface, such as a table, a wall, or the floor, into an interactive touch screen. The technology was originally developed by Seattle startup Ubi Interactive using a Microsoft Kinect for Windows sensor. Now out of beta, the product is publicly available. The product has potential applications for classrooms, corporations, and business and personal use. Continue reading Kinect for Windows Enables Touch Screens on Any Surface

Point-and-Shoot Cameras Face Decline in the Smartphone Era

Sales for compact, point-and-shoot, digital cameras have declined 42 percent in the first five months of 2013, according to the Camera and Imaging Products Association. Most major manufacturers have been affected, such as Canon, Sony, Panasonic, Olympus and others. The declines are primarily due to smartphones that are replacing the need for stand-alone compact digital cameras, driving manufacturers to focus on premium digital camera lines. Continue reading Point-and-Shoot Cameras Face Decline in the Smartphone Era

Bell Labs: Lensless Camera Records Multiple View Images

Bell Labs is developing a new class of imaging device that does not require a lens, but instead uses a light sensitive sensor to create a high resolution image. A new technique known as compressive sensing minimizes redundancy to acquire data with carefully chosen measurements. The camera, which merely features an aperture assembly and a sensor, records images that are never out of focus. Additionally, when using two pixels instead of one, it can create two different images of the scene. Continue reading Bell Labs: Lensless Camera Records Multiple View Images

The Smartphone of the Near Future Will Focus on Sensors

What will the smartphone of the future look like? According to Mark Rolston, creative director for Frog Design, the smartphone may be reaching the end of its evolution. This doesn’t mean small steps forward won’t be taken with hardware, software and design, but it is unlikely we’ll see any more innovative leaps, he suggests. And this doesn’t mean the smartphone will die, but we should expect it to become part of a world of connected devices. Continue reading The Smartphone of the Near Future Will Focus on Sensors

Cicada Tracker is Latest Example of Sensor News Networks

In the latest example of the rise of sensor news networks, John Keefe, the editor of WNYC’s Data News Team, conducted a project in which WNYC members bought temperature sensor hardware and reported their findings in an effort to predict when cicadas were to start their annual ascension above ground. Vast amounts of public data were gathered through inexpensive sensor hardware — a trend that’s been gaining steam. Continue reading Cicada Tracker is Latest Example of Sensor News Networks

PrimeSense Takes Sensor and Gesture Control to New Level

PrimeSense, the company responsible for the 3D sensor inside the popular Microsoft Kinect gaming system, demonstrated new possibilities for its technology at CES. The company’s depth sensor Carmine is being put to use in a variety of applications outside of gaming, and a smaller version of the sensor may soon appear in smartphones and tablets. Continue reading PrimeSense Takes Sensor and Gesture Control to New Level

CES 2013: Emotion is the Future of Content Discovery

The future of content recommendation and even of editing movies could be at the tip of your finger. Technicolor is demonstrating an R&D project that detects a viewer’s emotional response to content by way of a small sensor worn against the skin of the hand. Biometric data, including heartbeat and temperature, helps measure viewer response. Continue reading CES 2013: Emotion is the Future of Content Discovery

Sony Alpha A77: A Glimpse at What May Make DSLRs Obsolete

  • Sony has announced two A-mount models for its Translucent Mirror line, the a77 and a65.
  • The a77 is the successor to Sony’s a700 DSLR. Sony has replaced the traditional mirror with a translucent technology that offers faster autofocus with less bulk.
  • The Sony press release claims: “The a77 boasts the world’s fastest continuous AF shooting performance” (among interchangeable-lens digital cameras with APS-C size sensors).
  • Digital Trends comments: “The a77 is exactly the kind of expensive ($2000 kit), hulking (weather-sealed magnesium body) piece of camera hardware with ridiculous specs (24.3 megapixel APS-C sensor, ISO 50-16,000) that photographers everywhere drool over.”
  • Eliminating the traditional mirror of a DSLR could potentially lead to serious changes in camera design and functionality. “It’s a huge breakthrough for DSLR videographers, who now have a viable option for seriously fast and accurate focusing (read: great for sports),” suggests Digital Trends. “It also allows the camera to have a crazy burst rate: 12 frames per second at 24.3-megapixels, far faster than any DSLR, even those that use lower resolutions.”

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