arging right now," Skaugen said. "We're about a year away from the reality of wireless charging."
Intel is working with other companies to build the charging systems. It expects vendors to ship five-watt charging mats for phones in the last quarter of 2015. Some are being tested in pilot programs at hotels such as Marriott and Hilton, the company said.
A TAD LATE
Overall, Skylake is impressive — but late, said Mark Hung, a senior analyst with the Gartner Group.
"What's been a negative is it's coming a little later than people expected," Hung said. "It probably should have been on the shelf already for back-to-school shopping."
Instead the first iterations for desktop machines are just appearing and the rest are promised for later in the year.
"If it comes out too late, it may miss the whole Christmas shopping season," Hung said.
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The Talon Is Like A Wii For Your Ring Finger CREATED BY TITANIUM FALCON, THIS SMART RING AIMS TO MAKE ANY HAND A MOTION CONTROLLER. 0 NOTES 12 PIN 3 PLUS 96 SHARE 164 TWEET 417 LIKE Almost a decade ago, Nintendo unveiled the next big thing in game controllers: the Wiimote, a gyroscopic Bluetooth wand about the size of a ruler that allowed you to control video games across the room, just by waving your arm. It seemed cutting edge at the time, but now, a new company called Titanium Falcon thinks it can make a Wii-like motion controller small enough to wear as a ring.
It's called the Talon. Created by Juan Gao, a former game designer who previously worked at Gameloft on mobile series like Asphalt and Dungeon Hunter, the Talon is a nine-axis motion sensor you wear on your ring finger. When paired over Bluetooth with a video game console, computer, or mobile device, the Talon would allow you to control games just by waving your arms.
You could steer in a racing game by twisting an invisible wheel in front of you, or return a serve in tennis by making an invisible backstroke. Two action buttons on the side of the ring can also be pressed, allowing you to do things like perform in-game jumps, fire weapons, and so on. But gaming is just the beginning. The Talon's SDK will be open source, and available for developers to integrate into their apps in any way they choose: to control a TV, skipping a track on a phone, or switching slides in a presentation, to name just a few possibilities.
This isn't the first smart ring we've seen, but Talon is the first smart ring we've seen aimed at a gaming audience. "Other smart rings have focused more on notifications or the Internet of things, but we're focusing on mobile gaming with the Talon," Gao tells me. "It's a mature market, and almost everybody plays games in real life." Titanium Falcon is betting that gamers will be quicker to adopt a smart ring than other consumers, because they've already been introduced to motion controls on consoles like the Wii, PlayStation 4, or Xbox One. Why wouldn't they want to be able to play those kinds of games on your iPhone or iPad as well?
Nevertheless, the previous smart rings that we've seen have all had difficulty reaching the market. The reason's obvious: it sounds great on paper, but it's hard cramming enough battery, Bluetooth, and circuitry into a chassis as small as a ring. But Gao says that the Talon is using newer technology than past smart rings, which allow it to fit into a smaller form factor. In fact, Gao claims that the Talon's technology is "future proof," at least as far as further miniaturization is concerned. "It may not be possible for the sensors that are used in the Talon to get any smaller," he says. And even if it is, Gao claims that Titanium Falcon can adopt such technology into the current design, or future iterations of the Talon. And battery life looks good too: Gao says the current prototype lasts around 12 hours of active use between charges.
Although the Talon is in active development, it is not yet available for preorder. Titanium Falcon hopes to raise $300,000 to fund manufacturing on Indiegogo, starting September 16. When the crowdfunding campaign launches, expect a Talon preorder to cost less than $100, although exact price is still to be determined.
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Oculus buys VR hand-tracking company Pebbles Interfaces
blogger-avatar by Jessica Conditt | @JessConditt | 42 mins ago
It's pretty easy to see why Oculus VR wanted to scoop up this company: Pebbles Interfaces specializes in technology that detects hand movement via "custom optics, sensor systems and algorithms," the Oculus blog explains. "Over time, technology breakthroughs in sensors will unlock new human interaction methods in VR and revolutionize the way people communicate in virtual worlds." We're talking about hands as controllers in virtual reality here. Pebbles joins the hardware engineering and computer vision teams at Oculus, where it hopes to make VR more immersive with improved human-computer interaction.
Oculus revealed its own brand of motion controllers, the Oculus Touch, back in June. The Touch is two separate handheld devices with two buttons and one analog stick each, and it's closer to a natural input system than using, say, an Xbox One controller. But it seems that Oculus has been interested in device-free movement for a while: In December, Oculus acquired Nimble VR, a company that transfers your real-life skeletal movement into virtual reality. Yep, hands in VR. In May, Oculus acquired Surreal Vision, a company that transforms physical spaces into VR worlds. Yep, hands and entire rooms in VR.
News Xbox One can now act like a classic bunny-ear TV
Xbox One can now act like a classic bunny-ear TV
By Michael Rougeau 2 hours agoTelevision …for $120
Most Xbox One owners who use the console to watch live TV pay for either a cable box or a Sling TV subscription, but there's another option on its way.
Microsoft today announced a new way to watch broadcast and local channels - CBS, FOX, NBC, etc. - on Xbox One for free.
Chromecast: smart TV in a stick
Well, it's free after the upfront cost of buying a digital TV tuner - the $80 Hauppauge WinTV-955Q - and an HD antenna, which can cost around $40.
Starting today these two accessories will together let Xbox One Preview Members pick up broadcast channels and integrate them into the console's TV-watching experience, including bells and whistles like OneGuide and voice controls.
It's the US and Canada's equivalent of Europe's Xbox One Digital TV Tuner, currently also in preview mode but rolling out to more and more regions.
Microsoft and Hauppauge will release a cheaper tuner, the $60 custom TV Tuner for Xbox One, to everyone in the US and Canada over the next few months.
Microsoft is rolling a new version of the Xbox One in time for Christmas 2015. Say hello to faster storage, a 1TB drive, and the new Elite wireless controller -- back at the original launch price of $499.
Oculus buys gesture-control company Pebbles Interfaces Facebook-owned Oculus VR has purchased Pebbles Interfaces, an Israeli company that develops gesture-control and motion-sensor technology.
By Fred O'Connor | 85 mins ago Share Share Share null
Facebook-owned Oculus VR has purchased Pebbles Interfaces, an Israeli company that develops gesture-control and motion-sensor technology.
Pebbles' technology is designed to create real-world objects in virtual reality environments. The company focuses on rendering virtual images of a person's actual body, especially the hands and fingers. However, Pebbles noted its technology can display any body part and show details like wrinkles and contours or items held in a user's hand.
This would allow people who are using the Oculus Rift to see an image of their own hands in the display of the virtual reality headset. Other headsets use generic images of person's body or don't allow users to view themselves.
Pebbles seems to have reduced or possibly eliminated latency between real and virtual worlds. When people move their hands in the real world, those gestures seem to appear instantly in the virtual environment, judging from a video from the company.
The sensors and algorithms Pebble has developed to track hand movement will improve how people interact with virtual environments, Oculus said Thursday, adding that Pebbles' employees will join Oculus' hardware engineering and computer vision teams.
On its website, Pebbles said it considers Oculus a leader in virtual reality and thinks the company can advance how people interact with machines. Founded in 2010, Pebbles is based in Kfar Saba, Israel. Terms of the deal weren't disclosed.
Oculus' consumer virtual reality headset is set to go on sale in the first quarter of 2016.
Fred O'Connor writes about IT careers and health IT for The IDG News Service. Follow Fred on Twitter at @fredjoconnor. Fred's e-mail address is email@example.com Tags:
Aaron Tilley Forbes Staff FOLLOW I cover hardware and chipmakers. full bio → Comment Now Follow Comments
Neal Stephenson Joins Magic Leap, The Secretive Google-Backed Augmented Reality Company
Ellen Huet Forbes Staff
Google Leads Monster $542 Million Funding For Magic Leap, A Mysterious 'Cinematic Reality' Company
Ellen Huet Forbes Staff
Magic Leap CEO: Augmented Reality Could Replace Smartphones
Ellen Huet Forbes Staff
TECH 6/02/2015 @ 8:47PM 2,165 views Magic Leap Announces Developer Kit For Making Augmented Reality Software Comment Now Follow Comments
Magic Leap, the mysterious Florida startup with $592 million from the likes of Google and Qualcomm, has kept details about its headworn device under lock and key — all we know is that the device realistically places digitally-created objects in the world around you, similar to augmented reality glasses. But it’s starting to open a bit.
At a San Francisco conference put on by MIT today, Magic Leap announced it would soon start making a software development kit (SDK) available to interested developers — and that means allowing developers to actually try on the device. The company said its SDK uses the Unity and Unreal game engines for creating content. Developers can go sign up on the Magic Leap website.
“We’re about having a wide open platform for every app and game developer, artist, filmmaker and writer,” said Magic Leap CEO, president and founder Rony Abovitz at the conference.
Still no word on when the device will be released — only that it will be ready “soon.” Abovitz, however, did say the company is currently building out manufacturing facilities to develop components for the device, including the main fabrication facilities in Florida. The company also does some computer science work in Mountain View and has teams in Los Angeles and Texas.
Abovitz said the company isn’t using off-the-shelf components — that’s part of the reason it’s had to raise such a massive war chest. “We’re fundamentally a new kind of lightfield chip to enable new experiences,” said Abovitz. “There’s no off-the-shelf stuff used. That’s the reason for the amount of capital we’ve raised — to go to the moon.”
There’s still some question as to how the device will be used. It’s clear that gaming (or some elements of gaming) will be the first major use case, but the company wants to go beyond gaming too. “We think it can be used throughout the day,” said Graeme Devine, the chief creative officer of Magic Leap. “Gaming is a great place to start. … Going forward in time, we can develop software that makes you better and smarter as a human.”
What that means is still not certain. At the conference, Devine brought up an odd example of using the device the previous night, where a ghost visited him to instruct him how to set a table in traditional English fashion. “Wouldn’t it be fun to have a ghost come to your house and haunt you?” asked Devine. “And to have it say, ‘Hey, can you go get a knife and fork, I’ll show you a trick.”
“Every established medium tends to settle on a killer app,” said author and Magic Leap’s chief futurist, Neal Stephenson. “I think that when a new technology comes online, people don’t know what do make of it. That’s where we are with this. Anyone who comes out and says they know what the killer app is has got to be wrong.”
Magic Leap works different than other augmented reality devices like Microsoft’s HoloLens, which uses stereoscopic techniques – showing an object with two slightly different angles in each eye — to create the illusion of 3D. Magic Leap actually projects light into the user’s eye to create the illusion that digital objects exist in the real world. It’s supposed to work remarkably well, according to this story in MIT Technology Review where the reporter got the chance to try on the device herself.
“We’re going to open up to developers for a new kind of interface, but it’s one that’s also really old,” said Abovitz in typical enigmatic fashion. “In a sense, it’s about erasing technology. We know how to live in the world. We’re making computer interfaces that are much more about how our biology works.”
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Microsoft’s been in the DVR business for eons… and in all sorts of forms, like this long-forgotten LG set-top. They’ve also excelled at ignoring and exiting the DVR business. Which is why it should come as no surprise that Windows 10 will not feature any sort of Media Center experience. In fact, I wouldn’t have …
Image Credit: Pakhnyushcha/Shutterstock April 17, 2015 2:48 PM Emil Protalinski 102
0 Want to master the CMO role? Join us for GrowthBeat Summit on June 1-2 in Boston, where we'll discuss how to merge creativity with technology to drive growth. Space is limited and we're limiting attendance to CMOs and top marketing execs. Request your personal invitation here! Thanks to the Kinect, Microsoft is well-known for its expertise in developing motion sensing systems. While the technology has improved over the years, tracking human hands still has a long way to go. Enter Microsoft Research’s Handpose.
In short, Handpose is a real-time articulated hand tracker. The system can accurately reconstruct complex hand poses using only a single depth camera (such as Xbox One’s Kinect).
As you might expect, Microsoft Research’s goal is to enable new human-computer interactions:
Notice that Handpose works with a variety of subjects and is capable of continually recovering from tracking failures. Microsoft emphasizes that the Handpose tracker is very flexible in terms of camera placement and operating range, meaning this technology has a lot promise for real-world application.
Tracking a hand, which is smaller and can make highly complex and very subtle movements, is much more difficult than recognizing a whole body’s movements. Not only are fingers and wrists smaller than the larger parts of a full human body, but they’re also quite flexible. Fingers can thus be difficult to differentiate from each other and their surroundings. Furthermore, they can also easily be hidden from the camera’s view.
That’s why machine learning, which works great for tracking the whole body, wasn’t enough. Microsoft researchers had to incorporate 3D hand modeling as well to achieve the level of quality you see in the video above.
Let your imagination do the rest: new forms of video games, sign language translation, directing robots and drones, or just more accurately manipulating objects on a screen. If computers begin to understand these more nuanced hand motions, it could also become easier for humans to teach robots how to do perform certain tasks.
The abstract for the project is as follows:
We present a new real-time hand tracking system based on a single depth camera. The system can accurately reconstruct complex hand poses across a variety of subjects. It also allows for robust tracking, rapidly recovering from any temporary failures.
Most uniquely, our tracker is highly flexible, dramatically improving upon previous approaches which have focused on front-facing close-range scenarios. This flexibility opens up new possibilities for human-computer interaction with examples including tracking at distances from tens of centimeters through to several meters (for controlling the TV at a distance), supporting tracking using a moving depth camera (for mobile scenarios), and arbitrary camera placements (for VR headsets).
These features are achieved through a new pipeline that combines a multi-layered discriminative reinitialization strategy for per-frame pose estimation, followed by a generative model-fitting stage. We provide extensive technical details and a detailed qualitative and quantitative analysis. You can read the full 10-page paper here: Accurate, Robust, and Flexible Real-time Hand Tracking (PDF).
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