LG Total Clothing Care solution covers all bases with washers, a dryer, more
Why it matters to you
Whether you need a new washer, dryer, or steamer, the LG Total Clothing Care solution has you covered.
Getting your clothes clean could get a bit easier. It’s all thanks to LG and its new Total Clothing Care solution, which is slated for its grand debut at IFA 2017 later this week. The company is set to unveil the latest TWINWash washing machines, which are now available in a range of sizes, including a large-capacity 27-inch option and a slightly smaller 24-inch version.
Whether you live in a closet — er, studio in Manhattan or a ranch in Texas, you’ll likely be able to find an LG washer that fits your needs. Upon their debut in 2015, the TWINWash machines were the first to boast twin-load capabilities — because sometimes, there’s just a lot of laundry to be done. These washers also boast TrueSteam and TurboWash features that together claim to eliminate most allergens, wrinkles, and odors.
Also part of the new product release is a new drying solution, rather predictably named the LG New Dryer. Promising to minimize fabric damage by way of a low drying temperature, this machine also claims to help you save time and the planet with its Turbo Mode and Eco Mode. As the names suggest, Turbo Mode is meant to provide users with a quicker drying experience, whereas Eco Mode aims to save energy and emit less noise.
Finally, to ensure that you’re truly taking care of your wardrobe, LG is releasing its Styler. By using TrueSteam technology, this steamer sanitizes your clothing while cutting down on wrinkles and odors. So even if you don’t have time to throw your favorite dress in the wash, at least you can make it seem like it did. The Styler also features a Moving Hanger, which shakes clothing during the steaming process to reduce wrinkles. And if you’re steaming pants in advance of a big event, the LG Easy Pants Crease promises to form a crisp line down each leg’s center.
“LG’s vision for total clothing care, with washing, drying, and styling solutions to meet laundry needs from start to finish, is exemplified by the company’s latest home appliances, which we’ll be showing at IFA,” said Song Dae-hyun, president of LG’s Home Appliance & Air Solution Company.
via Digital Trends http://ift.tt/2p4eJdC
August 29, 2017 at 03:58PM
Before and After Photos Capture Devastating Flooding in Houston
Every time a bad storm hits Houston, Aaron Cohan watches the waters of the Buffalo Bayou rise. He lives on the 25th floor of a high-rise in the Memorial Heights neighborhood just west of downtown, with a prime view of the river snaking through a park below. But nothing beat the flood he woke to Sunday morning after Hurricane Harvey dumped 20 inches of rain in just 48 hours. The entire area transformed into a lake with only the treetops peeking above.
“This is completely different,” Cohan says. “I’ve never seen anything like what’s happening right now.”
The Category Four storm rolled in on Friday, battering Corpus Christi before plowing towards Houston the following day. It dumped 12 trillion gallons of rain on south Texas, forcing some 30,000 people to flee their homes and leaving at least nine dead. With Harvey predicted to drop 20 more inches in the next few days, the hurricane could be the biggest rain-producing storm to pummel the US in more than a century.
Cohan was born and raised in Houston and has lived in Memorial Heights for four years. Like many locals, he hunkered down at home Saturday night when the bayou began to overflow. He watched as the water spilled over the sidewalks, flooded nearby housing developments, and threatened to overtake the streetlights shining in the dark. “As the water kept creeping up, you could see it getting closer and closer to the bulbs,” he says. When Cohen awoke early Sunday morning, the bayou had swelled nearly 15 feet.
He grabbed his smartphone, ran out onto the balcony and snapped a pic. Cohan uploaded it to Twitter alongside a photo he took at sunset a week before, which immediately spread across social media. The contrast is sobering—one photo depicts a verdant park typically crowded with joggers and cyclists, the other a gray, muddy mess. The memory will stick with Cohen, and Houston, long after the flooding recedes.Go Back to Top. Skip To: Start of Article.
via Feed: All Latest http://ift.tt/2uc60ci
August 29, 2017 at 03:57PM
Overwatch finally adds Deathmatch and it kind of sucks
I haven’t played another FPS besides Overwatch in months, which makes me qualified to state that Overwatch is the best FPS on the market. That said, until today, it was lacking a deathmatch mode. And players wanted deathmatch. Though after playing a few rounds, it’s clear why adding this mode was not a priority.
Before this update, the only way to play the game was through objective-based modes. Players capture a point or a flag or something. But you were always capturing, which lacked a certain, “I just want to kill something” quality.
I played the new deathmatch mode for a few rounds while writing this post. It’s obvious why Blizzard took long to add the mode: Only a few of the characters work in deathmatch.
The beauty of Overwatch is twofold. One, the maps are fantastic with open layouts and slightly interactive environments. But moreover, the characters are crafted in such a way that most have limited use outside their intended purpose. That’s fine. It works in Overwatch. Since the game was designed around capturing points, a chunk of the game’s character’s are designed for defending, holding or healing — all which are irrelevant in a free-for-all.
So far it looks like Hanzo, Roadhog, McCree and Soldier:76 are the most used characters in deathmatch. Others work, too. Mel can cause straight-up pandemonium by freezing everything that moves, but without the support of someone else to kill her prey, she’s not exactly right for deathmatch. Sombra plays well too though her hacking ability is downplayed without team members. Others like Genji can be devastating in the right hands.
Still, out of the 25 characters in the game, most are worthless in deathmatch.
The mode still has a few oddities to work through. Assists are displayed as kills except on the scoreboard and occasionally the spawn points are too close to the action. Those are things I would expect Blizzard would fix in an early update.
Overwatch players have been calling for this since the beginning for a good reason. Deathmatch has long been a staple in FPS and even if the mode doesn’t completely work, a game like Overwatch feels incomplete without it.
via TechCrunch https://techcrunch.com
August 29, 2017 at 03:44PM
Get a live, fly-on-the-wall view with the new 360Fly 4K Pro immersive camera
The stitch-free 360 camera is going live — on Monday, August 28, 360Fly announced the 4K Pro, an upgrade to the firm’s 4K that allows for expanded live-streaming options and even a dual camera set-up.
Unlike options from Samsung, Garmin and Nikon, 360Fly designs 360 cameras that only use one lens — which means there aren’t any funky stitch lines because there’s no stitching. The 360Fly 4K Pro expands on the earlier 4K version by adding live-streaming capabilities. USB and HDMI connectors allow the camera to stream live without any interruptions, while wireless live-streaming is available through equi-rectangular (or 360 by 180) format. The camera uses both Wi-Fi and Bluetooth for controlling the settings through an iOS or Android app.
Because the 360Fly 4K Pro uses only one lens, the camera doesn’t quite record 360 degrees in every direction — the true field of view is 240 degrees, which means you can’t see one section that also includes what’s underneath the camera mount, but you can look forward, backward, around the sides and up.
The company’s new flagship camera is also unique because, using two of the cameras mounted together, users can capture 3D stereoscopic footage and true 360-degree perspectives using the coupling mount. The camera’s design has been adjusted to accommodate the new feature, switching from a sphere to a spherical top and a rounded bottom. The camera’s body is weather resistant and constructed from metal.
Like the earlier version, the name is a bit misleading — the 360Fly 4K Pro uses the pixels in both directions, instead of just along the width, to come up with that 4K. The footage actually measures at 2,880 x 2,880, recording in 30 fps at 50 Mbps. The single lens design, however, is simple to use and the camera includes a built-in accelerometer, ecompass, non-assisted GPS, and gyroscope.
The 360Fly website indicates that the company is also working on a camera that’s more helmet and dash-cam friendly. The360Fly 4K H has a flatter design for easier mounts, but also lists an increased 60 fps frame rate. The website doesn’t indicate when the H — or the dual camera 4K Pro rig — will be available.
The camera is expected to launch this fall, but pre-orders have already began. The 360Fly 4K Pro is expected to retail for $799.
via Digital Trends http://ift.tt/2p4eJdC
August 29, 2017 at 03:36PM
Rest Easy, George R.R. Martin, a Computer Program Has Written The Winds of Winter For You
Looks like George R.R. Martin can take a breather. An engineer set up a neural network using all of the books in the A Song of Ice and Fire series to write part of the next installment, The Winds of Winter. It may not make a lot of sense—or any sense, really—but hell, neither did that whole Sansa and Arya murder fake-out.
Full-stack software engineer Zack Thoutt created a recurrent neural network to write The Winds of Winter, based on words, phrases, and characters from the rest of the series. Thoutt told Motherboard it’s a “long short-term memory” network, meaning it remembers information stored in the text, like character deaths. It’s not exactly accurate, though, as according to the new book Ned and Lord Mormont have returned from the grave.
In order to accomplish a feat that not even Martin himself has been able to dachieve yet, Thoutt uploaded the first five books in the series into the network (almost 5,400 pages worth) so it could spew out the latest twists, turns, and deaths in the iconic series. Here’s a small sample from Chapter One, narrated by Tyrion:
There are five chapters so far, and they’re all insane. According to the neural network, Varys is going to poison Daenerys, Asha will start hunting the Night’s Watch, and Arya’s latest weapon of choice is her boot. But hey, it actually predicts a couple of things that fans also expect to happen on the final season of Game of Thrones, mainly that Jon Snow will ride a dragon and Jaime Lannister will kill his twin sister Cersei. However, all of that pales in comparison to the best part: The Winds of Winter has a new character!
According to the neural network, the latest addition to Westeros will be a man called Greenbeard, and all I want is everything about this character’s epic backstory. I’d like to imagine he’s a greenseer sent by the Children of the Forest to help Jon Snow battle the Night’s King, and he colored his facial hair green because he takes his role way too seriously.
You can read the rest of the stories here, presumably while sitting around waiting for Martin to catch up. Ten bucks says we’ll all have green beards by then.
via Gizmodo http://gizmodo.com
August 29, 2017 at 03:33PM
How to Become a Full-Blown Privacy Fanatic With Purism's Librem Laptop
Concerns over online privacy and security are increasingly changing the way consumers spend their money and behave online. According to a Pew Research study conducted one year ago, 86 percent of internet users have now taken at least some steps to conceal their digital footprints, though many say they would like to do more, if only they knew how.
If you want to go beyond merely using browser extensions intended to block privacy-killing trackers and advertisements, a laptop manufacturer you’ve likely never heard of has created a business based on a full on defense of privacy. It employs its own custom operating system designed for one purpose: to prevent the laptop’s owners from inadvertently relinquishing control over their most sensitive and personal data.
The $1399 Librem 13-inch manufactured by California-based Purism is a surveillance paranoiac’s fantasy. While industry leaders—Dell, Lenovo, and HP, among others—construct their machines based on factors such as the price and availability of parts, with the software powering their operating systems geared toward usability, the Librem is instead built with the user’s security and privacy foremost in mind.
If you decide to use this computer, you’re basically saying that privacy is no longer an accessory, but rather a lifestyle that requires a prodigious shift in every facet of your online behavior. For most the concept of switching up your routine so dramatically will be far too intimidating. Buyer’s remorse will come for those who, having taken the leap, suddenly decide the evolution is too painful. They’ll gladly surrender their privacy once again.
For a select few, however, there’s no price too steep to pay in the quest for privacy. Again, security demands sacrifice, and so, with the Librem, the first thing you’ll be asked to forfeit is familiarity of your preferred operating system. In place of macOS or Windows, the Librem leverages a Debian GNU/Linux distribution to create PureOS, a simple and unique Linux-based system designed by Purism’s own team of specialized Debian developers.
Now, this is normally the part where tech reporters feel duty-bound to warn you about the what a god-awful “chore” it is to pick up Linux. I’m going to pass. If you have any useful skills whatsoever beyond tying your own shoes, then I promise you already possess the faculties required to conquer Linux. The biggest challenge will be taking an interest in mastering something new, maybe reading the first 25-30 pages of a For Dummies book, and avoiding the urge to crawl back into your boring comfort zone. You can learn Linux, it will not take forever, and when you do you will be grateful you did.
There are significant advantages to using a Linux-based operating system—in this case, Debian—the least of which is the enhanced privacy you’ll enjoy from a system devoid of rancid bloatware. Linux is infinitely more secure than Windows. Its codebase is maintained by the umpteen people who actually use it, and when a glitch does arise, it gets fixed fast. And while, yes, it’s not as snappy to configure as Mac OS, you’ll eventually come to enjoy not existing within the confines of Apple’s bullshit walled off garden.
Though with Purism there’s still a wall. To protect your privacy, it won’t let you install some of your favorite (data-stealing) apps from its app store, which is simply called “Software.” PureOS includes and only allows users to install and run software that meets strict requirements with regard to privacy protection. All of the software it makes available is both free and open source (FOSS), meaning it can be easily audited by anyone to weed out nefarious code.
But you bought the Librem! Therefor you are free to do with it as you wish. So if you dislike the draconian nature of the app store, there are plenty of workarounds for installing apps offered by companies that are more than eager to compromise your privacy. Purism simply isn’t in the business of participating in or making convenient your self-destructive behavior.
PureOS does, however, offer some significant privacy advantages if, say, you do decided to install Chrome instead of using Purebrowser, the Librem’s built-in Firefox-based browser that comes packed with privacy-based add-ons, such as HTTPS Everywhere and Ublock Origin, an anti-tracking extension.
Various app-isolating features (such as Flatpak) ensure that any insecure applications can’t read other areas of the system. For example, nothing that pops up in Chrome can access your password manager. Still, to get the most bang for your privacy-buck, you should endeavor to use only the free and open-source apps downloadable via the Software storefront.
My personal favorite feature of the Librem—which absolutely should, but does not, come standard in all new laptops—is a physical kill switch above the keyboard that deactivates the webcam and microphone. (Say goodbye to that grody piece of masking tape you’ve been using.) Purism claims this mechanism will make your webcam virtually “unhackable.” The killswitch, which I did not personally probe with a power supply tester, severs all power to both the webcam and the internal mic. In other words, there is no battery backup for malware to take advantage of to activate the cam or mic when the switch is disengaged. Flip it and people shouldn’t be able to see or hear you. Period.
A second and equally as useful kill switch deactivates both the Librem’s Bluetooth and wi-fi functions, though, I admit it would be more useful if these were separate switches. Both the webcam/mic switch and wi-fi/Bluetooth switch appeared to work as promised and their utility is easy to appreciate in an age of effortless wireless intrusion.
Another cool feature, frequently touted by Purism, is that the Librem’s firmware cannot “phone home.” This means, for example, that the Qualcomm Atheros chipset fabricated into the motherboard uses open-source wireless drivers so you can be sure it isn’t running some mystery code that’s slipping your wi-fi passwords or other sensitive data into RAM storage—or worse, transmitting it to some malicious third party.
The Librem also comes pre-loaded with the open-source Coreboot instead of proprietary closed-source BIOS firmware. This change comes about after a years-long controversy which led some critics to advise avoiding previous versions of the Librem altogether. Earlier models of the Librem shipped using an AMI UEFI BIOS, which relies on proprietary, closed-source code—a fact that seemed to fly in the face of Purism’s promise that all of its components would be “free according to the strictest of guidelines set forth by the Free Software Foundation’s Free Software definition.”
Guts wise the Librem 13 isn’t particularly special. It’s got a 6th generation Intel i5 processor that’s about a year too old, and comes standard with 4GB of RAM, and a 120GB SSD. The processor, RAM, and storage can all be upgraded, but the matte finish 1080p display cannot. The only real downside to the Librem, aside from the some outdated guts, is the usability of the hardware itself.
The trackpad sucks. By that I mean it’s fucking awful. I’d say I’m just spoiled because Apple’s Magic Trackpad 2, which I’ve been using for years, is too damn perfect, but the way the Elantech Trackpad the Librem sports handles is downright offensive.
The back-lit keyboard is also nothing to write home about, though I had no specific complaints save one: THERE’S NO GODDAMN INDICATOR LIGHT ON THE CAPS LOCK KEY.
With its high $1,400 price tag and privacy focus, the Librem is a device with a very thin market. If you’re not a security expert yourself and don’t feel confident about securing your own device from the hackers, spies, and shady corporations tracking your every online movement, then the Librem is an option—albeit a very extreme one—worth a second look.
13.3-inch 1920x1080p matte display • roughly 7-9 hours battery life • 2 Core i5 6200U Skylake CPU (4 threads) • 2.8 GHz CPU max frequency • Up to 2 TB storage • Intel HD Graphics 52 • 16GB max memory • DDR4 AT 2133 MHz • 720p 1.0 megapixel webcam • Atheros 802.11n w/ two antenna • two internal speakers • 1 audio jack, mic/line out • 1 HDMI port for external monitor (4k capable) • 2-in-1 SD/MMC card reader • 325 x 219 x 18mm • 1.4kg (3.3lbs)
via Gizmodo http://gizmodo.com
August 29, 2017 at 03:09PM
North Korea's Japan Missile Flyover Calls Donald Trump's Bluff
When North Korea launched a ballistic missile toward northern Japan's Hokkaido Island late Monday, its trajectory was initially unclear. Fearing the worst, the Japanese government interrupted television programming and issued digital alerts advising locals to find shelter. Though the missile ultimately flew over Japan and landed in the northern Pacific Ocean after a roughly 1,700-mile journey, the flyover was a powerful symbol of North Korea's resolute effort to develop its missile program in spite of longstanding international opposition.
North Korea has flown projectiles over Japan twice before. The first instance, in 1998, came with no warning; North Korea gave advance notice of the second, in 2009. The country couched both of those events as being part of satellite launches. Monday's surprise launch came with no such explanation. But it fits into the larger context of North Korea's rapidly escalating nuclear and missile ambitions—and, more alarmingly, it shows outright disdain for President Donald Trump's recent bluster.
It was just a few weeks ago, after all, that Trump declared that further threats from North Korea would prompt "fire, fury, and frankly power the likes of which this world has never seen before." While the rhetoric seemed intended to cow North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, repeated threats against US territory Guam and Monday's missile scare suggest that Trump’s words, along with recent military exercises conducted by the US and South Korea, had the exact opposite impact.
"It’s nothing out of the ordinary to do what North Korea did in terms of the frequency of the launches, but there may be an added motive in terms of responding to what they perceive as hostile actions, whether it’s US–South Korea military exercises this month or US–Japan exercises that are going on in the Hokkaido area as well," says Frank Aum, a former Department of Defense senior adviser on North Korea. "Or it just may be a message to President Trump and the international community that they are undeterred."
While the Japan flyover rightly garnered the most attention, other aspects of the launch seemed designed to provoke as well. For one, the missile did not have a so-called lofted trajectory, as many recent tests have. Instead of being aimed to reach a high altitude and cover less horizontal ground, the missile traveled on a trajectory more similar to what would actually be used in an attack. In the past North Korea has said it used lofted trajectories to keeps its tests from flying over neighboring countries.
The test also likely used a Hwasong-12 missile, a type of midrange rocket that North Korea would probably use in a launch targeted at or near Guam, a possibility the country has touted in recent weeks. South Korean officials also said after Monday's test that the North launched the missile from Sunan, a populated area where Pyongyang International Airport is located. Since most other missile tests have come from more remote parts of North Korea, Monday's test may indicate launch-system mobility, and faith that at least some missiles can be safely fired—as in, won't explode on the launch pad—near the nation's capital.
"This was the most provocative act possible that would get the least amount of direct responses back," says James McKeon, a policy analyst at the Center for Arms Control and Non-Proliferation. "I would be shocked if Japan or South Korea or the United States actually did anything substantive beyond talking about increasing missile defenses or other tough talk. It’s a provocative behavior, and they’re doing it on purpose to stretch the boundary as far as possible."
In the spirit of tough talk, Japan’s chief cabinet secretary, Yoshihide Suga, promised a swift and appropriate response. President Trump released a carefully worded statement that took several steps back from his previous fire and fury: "The world has received North Korea's latest message loud and clear: this regime has signaled its contempt for its neighbors, for all members of the United Nations, and for minimum standards of acceptable international behavior," the statement reads, adding, "All options are on the table."
As always, the region now hinges on how South Korea, Japan, and the US react. Reports on Tuesday indicated that South Korea was working on new plans to defend itself and invade Pyongyang in the event of a substantive North Korean strike on the country. Despite the Trump administration's recently ramped up sanctions, isolation tactics, and rhetoric against the country, it still seemed caught off guard by the test. Just last week, secretary of state Rex Tillerson remarked that Pyongyang had "demonstrated some level of restraint that we have not seen in the past," and Trump added that same day that he thought Kim Jong-un was beginning to respect the US.
This week's missile test rebuffs that interpretation. "I don’t think [Tillerson] understands North Korea’s thinking. North Korea is very adept at incrementally ratcheting up the pressure to see what the response is," Aum says. "They are going to continue with their tests and we can expect provocations for the rest of the year—it may ultimately get to a sixth North Korean nuclear test. So the real question is what President Trump’s response is going to be. If he doesn’t do anything, then that diminishes the credibility of our deterrence and makes him look weak. If he does do something along the lines of 'fire and fury' then we’re heading toward nuclear escalation, so either way it’s a bad situation."
A growing consensus views open talks with North Korean officials, without preconditions, as one of the few viable courses of action left. "Every time they do a launch, especially such a provocative launch like this one, it reinforces the fact that we need to be talking to the North Koreans," McKeon says.
"There is no military solution for a North Korea with nuclear weapons," said US senator Ed Markey (D-Massachusetts), who sits on the Foreign Relations Committee, in a statement. "So we must immediately and directly negotiate with Pyongyang for agreement to refrain from nuclear and ballistic missile testing in exchange for confidence building measures from the US to reassure the North Korean government that our military forces in the region are there only to deter and defend, not to attack North Korea."
With so few options available, it seems clear that Trump's scorched-earth bluster has not only failed to bring a tenuous situation any closer to a resolution but has actively made it worse. The question now is how much, if any, stable ground between the US and North Korea remains.
via Feed: All Latest http://ift.tt/2uc60ci
August 29, 2017 at 03:09PM
A preview of the first wave of AR apps coming to iPhones
Over the past few weeks I’ve been steeping myself in the developer and investor community that is quickly sprouting up around ARKit. There are a variety of reasons that people are excited about the possibilities but it’s safe to say that the number one positive that’s shared by everyone is the sheer scale of possible customers that will be able to experience augmented reality on day one of iOS 11. Hundreds of millions of potential users before the year is out is a potent pitch.
I’ve seen some very cool things from one and two person teams and I’ve seen big corporate developers flex their muscle and get pumped about how capable AR can be.
At a round robin demo event yesterday with a bunch of developers of AR apps and features, I got a nice cross-section of looks at possible AR applications. Though all of them were essentially consumer focused, there was an encouraging breadth to their approaches and some interesting overall learnings that will be useful for developers and entrepreneurs looking to leverage ARKit on iOS.
Let me blast through some impressions first and then I’ll note a few things.
What it does: Allows you to place actual size replicas of IKEA sofas and armchairs into your house. 2,000 items will be available at launch.
How it works: You tap on a catalog that lets you search and select items. You tap once to have it hover over your floor, rotate with a finger and tap again to place. The colors and textures are accurately represented and these are fully re-worked 3D models from IKEA’s 3D scans used for its catalogs. It looks and works great, just as you’d expect. IKEA Leader of Digital Transformation Michael Valdsgaard says that it took them about 7 weeks or so, beginning slightly before Apple’s announcement of ARKit, to implement the mode. It will be exclusive to iOS for now because it’s the largest single target of AR capable devices. I asked Valdsgaard how long it took to get a first version up and running and he said just a couple of weeks. This has been a holy grail for furniture and home goods manufacturers and sales apps for what seems like forever, and it’s here.
Food Network In The Kitchen
What it does: Lets you place and decorate virtual deserts like cupcakes. Allows you to access the recipe for the base desert.
How it works: You drop a desert onto a surface and are provided with a bunch of options that let you decorate a cupcake. A couple of things about this demo; First, it worked just fine and was very cute. A little animated whale and some googley eyes topping a cupcake which you can then share is fine. However, it also demonstrates how some apps will be treating AR as a ‘fun extra’ (the button is literally labeled Fun), rather than integral to the experience. This is to be expected in any first wave of a new technology, but examples out there like KabaQ show that there are other opportunities in food.
What it does: Allows you to place gifs in 3D space, share videos of them or even share the whole 3D scene in AR with friends who have the app. They can then add, remix and re-share new instances of the scene. As many people as you want can collaborate on the space.
How it works: You drop gifs into the world in the exact position you want them. A curated and trending mix of gifs that have transparency built into them is the default, but you can also flip it over to place any old Gif on the platform. Every scene gets a unique URL that can be remixed and added to by people that you share it with, effectively creating a shared gifspace that can be ping-pinged around. The placement of gifs felt very logical and straightforward but the ability to ‘paint’ with the gifs and then share the scenes whole in a collaborative fashion was a pleasant surprise. One example that was impressive was leaving a pathway to a ‘message’ that a friend could follow when you shared the scene to them. Ralph Bishop, GIPHY’s head of design, says that the app will be free as their other apps are, but will have branded partners providing some content. GIPHY has something interesting going on here with a social AR experience. It’s early days but this seems promising.
What it does: It’s a game from Climax Studios that places a (scalable) 3D world full of crumbling ruins onto your tabletop that you help your character navigate through without any traditional controls.
How it works: You look through your device like a viewport and align the perspective of the various pathways to allow your character to progress. There are no on-screen controls at all, which is a very interesting trend. Climax CEO Simon Gardner says that translating the game into AR was attractive to the studio (which has been around for 30 years) was the potentially huge install base of ARKit. They’re able to target hundreds of millions of potential customers by implementing a new technology, which is not the typical scenario where you start at effectively zero. The experience was also highly mobile, requiring that you move around the scenes to complete them. Some AR experiences may very well be limited in their use or adoption because many people use phones in places where they are required to be stationary.
The Very Hungry Caterpillar AR
What it does: Translates the incredibly popular children’s book into AR.
How it works: The story unfolds by launching the app and simply pointing at objects in the scene. We saw just a small portion of the app that had apples being coaxed from a tree and the caterpillar scooching its way through them to grow larger. This was my favorite demo of the day, largely because it was cute, clever and just interactive enough for the age level it is targeting. It’s also another ‘zero controls’ example, which is wonderful for small children. Touch Press CEO Barry O’Neill says that they’ve seen some very interesting behavior from kids using the app including getting right down at eye level with the tiny caterpillar — which meant that they really had to up-res the textures and models to keep them looking great. Now that ARKit enables capturing any plane and remembering where objects are (even if you move 30-50 feet away and come back), storytelling in AR is finally moving beyond marker-based book enhancements. Any surface is a book and can tell a story.
The Walking Dead: Our World
What it does: It’s a location-aware shooter that has you turning in place to mow down zombies with various weaponry.
How it works: The scene I saw looked pretty solid, with high resolution zombies coming at you from all angles, forcing you to move and rotate to dodge and fend them off. You progress by ‘rescuing’ survivors from the show which provide you with unique additional capabilities. Environmental enhancements like virtual ‘sewers’ which walkers can crawl up out of give each scene a unique feel. It looked fast and smooth on a demo iPad. AMC and Next Games collaborated on this title. There were some additional fun features like the ability to call up various poses on a survivor like Michonne and stand next to them to take a selfie — which felt super cool. The best kinds of IP-based games and apps will focus on unlocking these kinds of ‘bring that world into your world’ experiences, rather than cookie cutter gameplay.
Some interesting notes:
Scanning. Every app had its own unique take on the ‘scanning’ process that allows ARKit to perform plane detection before it can begin placing objects into the world. Basically a few seconds where you’re encouraged to move the phone around a bit to find flat surfaces and record enough points of data to place and track objects. It’s not onerous and never took more than a few seconds, but it is something that users will have to be educated on. Ikea’s conversational interface prompted people to ‘scan’ the room; The Walking Dead suggested that you ‘search for a survivor’ and Food Network’s app went with a ‘move around!’ badge. Everyone will have to think about how to prompt and encourage this behavior in a user to make ARKit work properly.
Controls. Aside from the apps that were about placing objects directly into the scene, there was a focus on little-to-no on-screen controls. For Arise, your perspective was the control, allowing you to get an alignment that worked to progress the character. There are no buttons or dials on the screen by design. The Very Hungry Caterpillar’s control methodology was based on focus. The act of pointing at an object and leaving your gaze on it caused the story to progress and actions to be taken (knocking fruit out of a tree for the caterpillar to munch on, or encouraging it to go to sleep on a stump). Most of the other apps relied on something as simple as a single tap for most actions. I think this ‘control free’ or ‘control light’ paradigm will be widespread. It will require some rethinking for many apps being translated.
Development time. Incredibly short, all things considered. Some of the apps I saw were created or translated into ARKit nearly whole sale within 7-10 weeks. For asset-heavy apps like games this will obviously be a tougher ramp, but not if you already have the assets. GIPHY World, for instance, places a bunch of curated gifs that look great floating in the world at your fingertips — but you can easily drop regular gifs in there too from their millions of options. Models that Touch Press used for its previous Caterpillar app had to be upscaled in terms of complexity and detail quite a bit because they fully expect children to experience them in distances as close as inches. IKEA also had to update its models and textures. But given that the onramp is measured in days or weeks instead of months, I’d expect to see a huge amount of apps supporting ARKit experiences at the launch of iOS 11 in September. And for a bunch to follow quickly.
via TechCrunch https://techcrunch.com
August 29, 2017 at 03:02PM
BMW i3s electric car will get more juice, more style, and more speed
It’s wafer thin
With the countdown now officially on to Apple’s big iPhone 8 reveal on September 12th, more unofficial rumors are popping up, this time around the size of the two other phones expected to debut alongside the iPhone 8, the 7S and 7S Plus. According to TechnoBuffalo, the reskinned sevens are going to be a touch bigger than the originals, and that’s bad news for case makers.
How much bigger? Well, we’re talking fractions of a millimeter here, so users aren’t going to think they’re any different, but if you’re making precision cases for the handsets, it means retooling your entire inventory for the phones. So why the difference? It’s all conjecture at this point, but it may be because Apple is squeezing wireless charging tech into the phones, which is making them larger in every dimension by what is essentially the thickness of a sheet of paper.
But, that’s enough to cause havoc for some companies that make tight-fitting non-flexible cases, so they have our sympathy.
What, no turbo?
Speaking of S models, BMW is prepping an S or performance version of a new car, which is not really surprising given their legacy of M-Series performance chariots, but this S version is a bit different: it’s an S version of the i3 electric car.
That’s right, BMW is going to make a high – or at least higher – performance variant of their more cute-than-intimidating base electric car, which has been selling well. Engadget says the i3S will get a bump in horsepower from 170 to 184, along with a 40 percent boost in torque. It’ll also get a “sport mode” to sharpen up acceleration and steering, with 0 to 60 coming in 6.8 seconds. The car’s charging system will also get an upgrade.
Top speed will rise to 100 miles an hour, which might be like driving a hockey puck in a windstorm, but the wheels will grow to 20-inchers, so that might help stability. The infotainment screen will also grow to 10.3 inches, and there will be some additional styling tweaks, although the car’s distinctive form factor will remain essentially unchanged. With a regular i3 selling for $43,000, we expect the S version to perhaps hit $50,000.
When hard work and planning pay off
It’s been just over a week since the big eclipse, and this photo has emerged as the most amazing shot of the event so far. Oh, that’s not real, you say? Well we talked to the guy who shot the shot and we’re here to tell you it’s as real as it gets. The photographer is Ted Hesser, and he snapped the photo at Smith Rock, an iconic climbing spot in our backyard here in Oregon.
Hesser is an ambassador for portable power and solar tech maker Goal Zero, and along with some support from Oregon-based outdoor gear maker Columbia Sportswear – and a lot of hours of planning – he and some friends put together an epic effort to get the shot. We’ve got the interview with Hesser and the video on how he got the shot, so check it out – it’s pretty amazing.
We’ve got more news on our Facebook page and YouTube channel, and be sure to tune in to this week’s DT podcasts: Close to the Metal (computers and such) on Tuesday, Trends with Benefits (general tech shenanigans) on Thursdays, and Between the Streams (movie and TV topics) every Friday.
via Digital Trends http://ift.tt/2p4eJdC
August 29, 2017 at 03:01PM
Add a Bit of Color and Magnetic Ferrofluid Becomes the Stuff of Nightmares
We haven’t found too many practical uses for ferrofluid—a mix of oil and iron particles that appears to morph and change shape when exposed to magnets—aside from fun desktop toys. So now that we’ve discovered it becomes a nightmarish-looking blob creature when you mix in a little color, maybe it’s time to just stop making this stuff?
I’m probably not going to sleep tonight after watching these unsettling ferrofluid experiments from YouTube’s Chemical bouillon, but at the same time I’m also oddly soothed by the seething, bubbling display of colors. It’s equal parts beautiful and unsettling, like a lava lamp that might be slowly giving birth to a monster.
via Gizmodo http://gizmodo.com
August 29, 2017 at 02:57PM