Tag: category-/Computers & Electronics/Consumer Electronics

Verizon and Snap team up for Snapchat 5G augmented reality features

Over the past few years, Snapchat has become one of the world’s most popular soft augmented reality tools, adding photo and video filters that apply special effects to faces or buildings in real time. Today, parent company Snap and Verizon announced a partnership that will leverage the latter’s 5G cellular network for new augmented reality […]

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Snapchat’s Time Machine lens uses AI to age and de-age selfies

If you weren’t convinced yet that artificial intelligence will eventually be able to do pretty much anything, Snapchat is about to show you just how powerful machine learning can be — for free. Today, the popular social media app is adding a new lens called Time Machine that’s capable of aging and de-aging your face […]

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Google kicks off Assistant on the Web with movie ticket purchases

Earlier this year at its I/O 2019 developer conference, Google revealed that Google Duplex, its AI chat agent that can arrange appointments over the phone, would expand to the mobile web to handle things like car rentals and movie ticket bookings. Mum’s been the word since September, when select users reported seeing a Duplex-powered service […]

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Vive Cosmos VR headset has an inexcusable flaw — horrid tracking

Virtual reality isn’t the massive business that many of us thought it would turn into back in 2015 and 2016. But it’s still chugging along with new software and hardware like HTC’s Vive Cosmos. The $699 headset is available now and represents a series of upgrades over first-generation Vive systems. But in my testing, a […]

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Oculus Link beta hands-on: How Quest might kill Rift S for wired PC VR

It’s easy to see the almost limitless sales potential of a VR headset that can operate fully on its own or switch to become a viewer for a nearby computer. Assuming that it offers very good performance in both modes, such a device would be a much easier — and likely smarter — pick for users […]

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Facebook’s DeepFovea AI promises power-efficient VR foveated rendering

Foveated rendering addresses a growing challenge for VR headsets, rendering sharp details for your eye’s visual sweet spot — the fovea — and a simpler, blurrier version for your peripheral vision. Now engineers at Facebook Reality Labs have come up with DeepFovea, an AI-assisted alternative that creates “plausible peripheral video” rather than actually rendering accurate peripheral […]

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Oculus releases Link USB cable specs and PC VR beta software for Quest

Absent official sales numbers, there are still plenty of reasons to believe that the standalone Oculus Quest VR headset has been a qualified hit for Facebook — likely more so than the Rift S headset that was launched for PCs. Today, Facebook is giving Quest a major boost with the release of Oculus Link beta […]

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Google Stadia review — It works, but it doesn’t matter

Google Stadia is here, and it has worked almost flawlessly for me. But one of the many problems with Stadia is that you and I are not guaranteed to get the same experience. The other problem is everything else. Stadia is available now by ordering the $129 Premiere Edition. This gets you a Stadia controller, […]

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Logitech’s Adaptive Gaming Kit adds accessibility companion for Microsoft’s Xbox Adaptive Controller

Microsoft launched its Xbox Adaptive Controller last year to let people with limited mobility play games. And today, Logitech G is launching the Logitech G Adaptive Gaming Kit to make that controller more accessible and usable. Microsoft’s accessory for the Xbox One game console debuted in the fall of 2018. The controller enables people who […]

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A smartphone that knows you: How our devices will evolve 

Smartphone sales in 2019 will total 1.5 billion units — a 2.5% decline from 2018. In North America, sales are down 4.4 percent, overall. Does this mean we have fallen out of love with our smartphones? Not quite. In 2019, for the first time, we will spend more time on our phones than watching TV. […]

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Oculus and Unity offer new intermediate-level guide to making VR games

Facebook’s Oculus and Unity Technologies are offering a 20-hour intermediate guide to building a VR game. The new guide is designed to introduce people to VR development by teaching them how to use tools like Unity, VRTK and the Oculus software development kit together to build a simple puzzle in a simulated escape room. The project features […]

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Apple’s NFC problem is bigger than Germany, the EU, or Apple Pay

I’ve loved NFC technology for almost as long as I’ve known about it, and it’s been around for quite some time. Not only is the Near-Field Communications concept brilliant — tiny radio antennas transfer small quantities of data at sub-1.5-inch distances — but the execution has also been impressive: Today, NFC enables phones to make […]

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Lenovo plans sleek AR glasses that let PC users see multiple workspaces

Nreal captured plenty of attention with the January reveal of its smartphone-tethered Light AR glasses for consumers, and now Lenovo has revealed a similarly small alternative targeted at PC business users. While these glasses won’t be confused with sunglasses, the Lenovo AR Concept Glasses are small enough to carry anywhere and wear — a bit […]

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Motorola’s foldable Razr smartphone ships on January 9 for $1,500

The blockbuster phone of the early 2000s is back, but not in the way you remember it. During a flashy press event in Los Angeles this evening, Motorola unveiled what it’s simply calling the new Razr, an Android (specifically Android 9.0) smartphone with a clamshell-style form factor that folds a full 180 degrees. It’s something […]

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Fitbit OS 4.1 arrives in December, and it might be the last

Fitbit today announced Fitbit OS 4.1. The new version adds features to the Ionic, Versa, and Versa Lite. The Fitbit Versa 2 receives a better always-on display mode, expanded Alexa capabilities, and a new advanced heart rate algorithm. Fitbit OS 4.1 will begin rolling out to Fitbit smartwatch users the first week of December. But […]

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Apple delaying AR glasses until 2022 would be bad for XR, but no shock

Years ago, an Apple loyalist claimed the company was being unfairly criticized for delaying products that had been widely reported to be on the cusp of release, arguing that Apple couldn’t have pushed back products it hadn’t formally announced. The faulty premise was that an Apple product only exists after it debuts in a keynote or […]

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Boneworks’ anticipated interactive sandbox gets December 10 release date

The highly anticipated VR action-adventure game Boneworks from Stress Level Zero is scheduled for release on December 10. Boneworks has been in ongoing development this year with Q4 being the target until now. Back in October, the game reached a state that made it playable from start to finish. Boneworks will release on PC VR and […]

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Roku launches Apple Watch app with voice controls and a remote locator

It would have been fairly easy for Roku to bring basic remote control functionality from its iPhone app to the Apple Watch, much as Apple did with its own minimalist Remote app years ago. Instead, the media streaming device maker today announced a surprisingly robust new remote control alternative for Apple’s wearable, effectively redefining what […]

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Samsung and Mediatek emerge as Qualcomm’s top 5G chip rivals in 2020

Throughout 2019, the 5G chip business has effectively been Qualcomm’s to lose — between its Snapdragon 855-series processors and its X50/X55 modems, Qualcomm won the business of almost every company interested in producing a 5G consumer device. But with 2020 just around the corner, rivals Samsung and Mediatek have emerged as top 5G chip alternatives […]

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Investors are missing the point on Roku

On Wednesday Roku announced what by all accounts were positive results for the third quarter. Active accounts were up by nearly 2 million, cresting 32 million; the company beat revenue projections by more than $4 million, hauling in $261 million; and it delivered a loss of 22 cents per share, again beating analyst estimates of […]

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Google open-sources Cardboard to keep ‘no-frills’ VR widely available

Google may have canned Daydream VR and poured cold water on both its Cardboard viewers and VR SDK, but it doesn’t want to see the “no-frills, accessible-to-everyone” VR project go to waste. So the company today announced that it’s open-sourcing Cardboard’s software in hopes that third-party developers will continue to support the platform and its […]

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An Apple-Valve AR headset deal makes sense given iOS 13’s StarBoard

Apple rumors are perennially popular for two major reasons: First, the company’s actual announcements are so few and far between that only “what’s next?” speculation keeps its fans excited year-round. Second, the company is famously iterative, rarely entering a new product category without years of research and a multi-year “what’s next?” product pipeline in mind, constantly […]

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Apple releases iOS 13.3, iPadOS 13.3, tvOS 13.3, and watchOS 6.1.1 betas

Now that the nearly simultaneously releases of iOS 13.0 and 13.1 are fully in the rearview mirror, and the final version of iOS 13.2 has been making its way onto eligible devices, Apple is today releasing the first developer beta of iOS 13.3, alongside related betas for iPadOS, tvOS, and watchOS 6.1. The point releases […]

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