Apple’s Innovative Chips Ready to Lead in AR, AI, Wearables

The new iPhone X offers several new features, but none of them more innovative than the neural engine that is part of Apple’s new A11 Bionic SoC processor. Artificial neural networks, which excel at processing images and speech, are behind the phone’s ability to recognize the user’s face to unlock it, transfer facial expressions onto Animoji (animated emoji), and other, as-of-yet unspecified features. As Apple moves into augmented reality and image recognition, the neural engine will likely be central to these endeavors. Continue reading Apple’s Innovative Chips Ready to Lead in AR, AI, Wearables

Supreme Court Rules That Patent Laws Don’t Cover Resales

In a case involving Lexmark International, which makes ink cartridges for its printers, the U.S. Supreme Court has ruled that the company could not avail itself of patent law to prevent others from refilling and selling the cartridges. In doing so, the court made a decision that will positively impact consumers who will no longer be forced to buy products only from the original source. With the ruling, vendors of refurbished, repaired or resold products, will be protected from copyright infringement charges. Continue reading Supreme Court Rules That Patent Laws Don’t Cover Resales

Eonite Perception Debuts VR Headset with Inside-Out Tracking

Palo Alto-based startup Eonite Perception has developed its Vantage Head Tracker, next-generation VR headset software that uses “inside-out-tracking” technology to track the user’s position and movements without external sensors or cameras. Founded in 2015 by Youssri Helmy, currently the company’s chief executive, and Stanford University computer vision experts Anna Petrovskaya and Peter Varvak, Eonite’s technology is quite different from current VR headsets. Helmy notes that the startup’s tech mimics how human perception works. Continue reading Eonite Perception Debuts VR Headset with Inside-Out Tracking

Image Recognition Tech Paving the Way for Future Advances

Image recognition, or computer vision, is the foundation of new opportunities in everything from automotive to advertising. Its growing importance is such that the upcoming LDV Vision Summit, an annual conference on visual technology, is now in its third year. Computer vision has expanded through trends that have benefited other forms of AI, including open source, deep learning technology, easier programming tools and faster, cheaper computing, opening up opportunities for a wide range of businesses. Continue reading Image Recognition Tech Paving the Way for Future Advances

Verizon’s Zero-Rating for Go90 Likely to Spur FCC Response

Up until now, “zero rating” has been a gray area in net neutrality, but Verizon’s recent action might force the FCC to clarify its stance. Zero rating means that an Internet provider allows certain video and/or music streams to not count against a subscriber’s data cap. Verizon just confirmed that it has applied zero-rating to its new go90 service, thus giving itself preferential treatment and putting competitors such as Netflix, YouTube and other streaming services at a disadvantage. Continue reading Verizon’s Zero-Rating for Go90 Likely to Spur FCC Response

Manufacturers Committed to Developing Autonomous Vehicles

If CES is any indication, Google now has plenty of new competitors in the race to develop driverless cars. For example, Toyota is building an artificial intelligence company to work on the technology necessary for automated driving and Ford is increasing its testing of self-driving Ford Fusion sedans. Meanwhile, General Motors has partnered with Israeli company Mobileye NV to begin installing a camera on cars that will help collect data to create the detailed maps needed to make autonomous driving possible. Continue reading Manufacturers Committed to Developing Autonomous Vehicles

Toyota Invests $1 Billion in Planned Return to Traditional R&D

Facebook, Google and numerous startups are among those actively researching new possibilities with artificial intelligence technology. Japanese automaker Toyota is joining the crusade with a five-year, $1 billion R&D effort. The planned Silicon Valley facility will become one of the largest research labs in the area. Toyota Research Institute will initially open a lab next to Stanford and an additional facility near MIT in Cambridge. Toyota’s plans represent a shift in tech research — a return to a focus on science and engineering rather than a push for tech that would become a specific product or service. Continue reading Toyota Invests $1 Billion in Planned Return to Traditional R&D

Augmented Reality on Track to Transform Our Everyday Lives

Augmented reality systems with technology that overlays digital interfaces onto the physical world may eventually edge out virtual reality and significantly impact human perception. While VR products such as Oculus Rift, Gear VR and HTC’s Vive get closer to launch, timelines for augmented reality devices such as Microsoft’s HoloLens and Google-backed Magic Leap remain vague. However, some believe AR is more likely to become integrated into our everyday activities and subsequently affect the way we interact, work and communicate. Continue reading Augmented Reality on Track to Transform Our Everyday Lives

Economists Question Claims of Facebook Global Impact Study

A study commissioned by Facebook found that the social network currently accounts for $227 billion in global economic impact and has helped create 4.5 million jobs. The company claims that its social network drives smartphone purchases and creates job in both tech and non-tech industries. However, independent economists believe those numbers may be overstated because Facebook and Deloitte, the company that prepared the report, may have used incorrect assumptions. Continue reading Economists Question Claims of Facebook Global Impact Study

Engineers Developing Emotion-Based Video Game Controller

Stanford engineers have created the next step in interactive gaming — a video game controller that can sense a player’s emotions. The handheld game controller can monitor a player’s brain activity to decipher when a user is extremely engaged or bored, which could trigger zombies or another element of the game to be thrown at them to catch their attention. Gregory Kovacs, a professor of electrical engineering at Stanford, created a prototype controller in his lab in collaboration with Texas Instruments. Continue reading Engineers Developing Emotion-Based Video Game Controller

Google Glass Views Could Join Sports Broadcasting Efforts

The possibility of 360-degree sports coverage using Google Glass is expected to be a hot topic this week at the annual Consumer Electronics Show. As sales of wearable technology have skyrocketed in just the past couple of years — almost 300 percent in 2012 alone — such technology’s potential is being tapped by developers and sports fans alike. The latest idea is to be able to broadcast dozens of perspectives of Google Glass wearers during the same event. Continue reading Google Glass Views Could Join Sports Broadcasting Efforts

Wireless: Startup Envisions Doubling Use of Radio Spectrum

Kumu Networks hopes to provide a solution to the increase of smartphone users and data demands on wireless networks. Kumu claims that its technology can double the capacity of cellular and Wi-Fi communications by challenging the idea that mobile devices cannot transmit and receive data on one frequency at the same time. The Stanford University startup first emerged in 2011 when the team wrote a paper claiming two-way traffic could be carried simultaneously through a specific chunk of radio spectrum.

Continue reading Wireless: Startup Envisions Doubling Use of Radio Spectrum

Stanford Scientists Build Computer Using Carbon Nanotubes

A team of engineers at Stanford University has built the first functioning computer that uses carbon nanotubes rather than the standard silicon. The new material for building transistors could dramatically impact the way computers work in the future. While others have discussed the possibility of carbon nanotubes for years, Stanford’s team is the first to put them to practical use. The material could launch a new generation of devices that run faster and use less energy. Continue reading Stanford Scientists Build Computer Using Carbon Nanotubes

Twitter Hires Commerce Chief, Plans to Offer Shopping Tools

As part of its move into the online shopping space currently dominated by Amazon and eBay, Twitter has hired Nathan Hubbard as the company’s first head of commerce. Hubbard was president of Live Nation Entertainment’s Ticketmaster until earlier this month. Twitter plans to initially enter e-commerce by offering retailers tools for selling goods and services inside tweets. Forrester projects e-commerce will be a $370 billion market in the U.S. by 2017. Continue reading Twitter Hires Commerce Chief, Plans to Offer Shopping Tools

Instagram Acquires Video Sharing App and Stabilization Tech

Two months after Instagram introduced video to its popular app, the company has acquired video sharing app Luma (formerly Midnox), which provides users with a variety of filters and adjustment controls including brightness, contrast, saturation, exposure and more. Luma also has stabilization technology that could help Instagram with its Cinema stabilization feature. The Luma app is no longer available via iTunes, although the company will offer support through the end of the year. Continue reading Instagram Acquires Video Sharing App and Stabilization Tech