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.
Virtual reality is slowly pushing film into an evolutionary split. To one side are the traditional linear narrative techniques. To the other sits the multipath nature of interactivity. Interlude, a content producer and creative tools provider, is developing techniques to try to make the transition between the two worlds a little easier.
Since its debut in 2006, Lytro has produced devices that leverage light-field technology, which captures information about the direction and intensity of light rays. Today, the company is applying this technology to the world of virtual reality with the unveiling of the Lytro Immerge, a cinematic camera for professional videographers.
Will iPhone 7 Finally Capture 3D Vision? The trade media is abuzz with speculations that the iPhone 7 is going to incorporate 3D vision using dual rear-facing cameras and add depth-sensing capability for mapping out 3D environments and tracking body movements and facial expressions. The basis of these speculations are multiple 3D technology acquisitions that Apple has made during the past couple of years.
In April 2015, Apple snapped multi-sensor camera technology firm LinX Imaging for an estimated $20 million. LinX employed small cameras with multiple sensors to capture several images with the same push of the button and blended them into a single image. That allows the camera to capture the same image from slightly different angles which enables generating depth information. The end result for the user is the ability to focus the image on different areas or objects in the picture. This technology could even work well on video given enough processing power.
PrimeSense Chip Allowed Kinect to Perceive the World in Three Dimensions and Translate These Perceptions into a Synchronized Image
Earlier, in November 2013, Apple had announced the purchase of another Israel–based 3D imaging firm PrimeSense, which provided chips for 3D motion and gesture recognition in Microsoft’s original Kinect sensor system for Xbox 360 game console. PrimeSense had created a system-on-chip (SoC) solution for merging a standard color video camera with a depth image camera, which coded a 3D scene, objects within it and their movements using near-infrared light invisible to the human eye.
The Evolution of 3D Vision
The chipset from PrimeSense carried out sophisticated analysis of the camera data, enabling the sensor system to map out walls and furniture in a room, capture 3D object shapes, and sense bodies, their position, movements and gestures. However, when Apple acquired PrimeSense for $360 million, industry observers reckoned that the Cupertino firm was going to use the 3D motion sensing control technology in its much talked about iTV.
At that time, 3D sensing and machine vision inside smartphones and tablets seemed to be a far-fetched idea simply because of power it consumed, usually over 1 watt. Kinect and other early 3D vision use cases had one thing in common: a power consumption level that smartphones and tablets simply couldn’t afford. So 3D vision technology remained the staple of high-end imaging products for quite some time.
Matterport Also Used PrimeSense’s Carmine Sensor Chip in Its Immersive 3D Models
Take, for instance, upstart Matterport, which combined multiple sensors into a single camera unit to capture interiors in their entirety, mapping out objects and creating accurate representations quickly and cleanly.
Nevertheless, by the early 2010s, smartphones were starting to employ a bunch of sensors like accelerometer and gyroscope to facilitate contextual information inside the device. Next up, 3D vision promised to bring smartphones the ability to sense contextual signals to see the world outside the device. However, smartphones, unlike the above 3D use cases, required chips that would operate in the range of a couple of hundred milliwatts.
Smartphone Sensing Outside
Fast forward to 2015 and technology stalwarts like Amazon, Apple and Google are experimenting with the idea of using multiple cameras for facial tracking, gesture recognition and other 3D machine vision applications in smartphone, tablets and wearable devices. Computer vision technology using multi-camera 3D systems is promising to allow these portable devices to see around them more like a human does.
In hindsight, PrimeSense, which launched the Carmine camera sensor chip for Kinect motion-sensing camera, eventually set the trend line with the release of an embedded version “Capri” that came in a much smaller form factor. The Capri sensor chip was also cheaper, consumed far less power and was more viable for running alongside a mobile processor. PrimeSense’s design goals were a harbinger of phone makers’ dream of using computer vision technology for detecting and mapping 3D spaces in real-time.
Beyond 2015, 3D and Augmented Reality
The last and possibly most interesting acquisition of Apple was done in May 2015 of German technology company- Metaio– for an undisclosed amount. Metaio demonstration of combining depth information to improve augmentation of objects in the scene:
Metaio has been for years one of the leading software companies for augmented reality. However, looking closely at the technology, Metaio started showing usage of 3D data for improving quality of its technology just before the Apple acquisition. Although the technology has still a long way to go and probably won’t be ready for the iPhone7 launch, this is clearly the missing link with the previous Apple acquisitions.
Intelligent Vision Enables Smartphones and Tablets to Read and Interpret the Real World with Multiple Cameras
Presently, the existing hardware building blocks like CPU and GPU in mobile chipsets are not designed to handle 3D imaging tasks, which employ processing-intensive algorithms for image analytics and enhancement, computational photography, and computer machine vision. Here, companies like CEVA help offload the task of processing vision data from CPU and avoid the battery drain through specialized vision processing cores.
CEVA’s new XM4 intelligent image processor has been developed from the ground up to accelerate the most demanding computer vision and 3D image processing algorithms in a power-efficient manner. The CEVA-XM4—targeted to serve smartphones, tablets, wearables and other mobile embedded devices—is a DSP and IP memory subsystem core that connects to hardware accelerators via dedicated ports and comes with lots of software computer vision libraries to provide a jump-start for algorithms developers.
Find out more about the multiple facets of 3D vision technology and how intelligent vision processors can facilitate 3D vision in a white paper from CEVA Inc.
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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