Making The Unreal Feel Real

Technological advances are nothing out of the ordinary for today’s generation. Everyday, there is something new offered to the world, something more exciting and intriguing. However, Oculus Rift, the new Virtual Reality device developed by Facebook, is taking strides in technology and realistic illusions as we know it.

Oculus Rift is a headset, similar to many other Virtual Reality headsets we have seen before, but this time is excelling in interactivity. With high definition sceneries, sounds, motion capabilities, and visuals, you feel as though you have transformed into a different person or being when you put this device on. Your eyes are shielded from any sight of the outside world, and if you choose to put the earphones in, you are isolated to the sounds offered by the spatial audio. If you look down, you might notice a change in your anatomy to be an animal or different person if you choose, and you have the ability to move limbs and explore different views with connected controllers for both of your hands. The reviewers of this article discuss how they feel they have left their body and transported to a different, realistic world. They have a very attractive and desirable website to look at, and the writers of the review had a compelling style of writing as well to keep the reader hooked.

They mention that there is a feature you can utilize that allows you to tether yourself to an object in a room you are using Oculus Rift in. I think this alone goes to show how carried away with the Virtual Reality people can come to get to, when they forget about their real life surroundings and physical rooms they are in. There is an element of fear that I have from this, because like stated in the article, these devices can be used as an “escape” from real life and people have the option to live in another fake world that may be more desirable. Virtual Reality is an alluring field, which has the treacherous potential of becoming more detrimental to human beings’ mental health.

 

https://www.cnet.com/special-reports/oculus-rift-review/

 

Introducing 5G, The Networking Standard That Could Change Gaming Forever

The telecommunications standard we have come to know as 2G, 3G, and 4G (LTE) is finally reaching its next level of data networking, 5G. This new standard would allow users to use wireless networks that are theoretically 10 times faster than 4G, with a reduced latency for quicker response times and allow the connection of more devices together. Though these faster speeds could be extremely beneficial to cloud and streaming technologies. In fact, a 5G-powered cloud gaming service might just be the solution to making gaming into more of a mobile market, a market that has been growing with the likes of the recent success of the Nintendo Switch.

The shrinking console market will also lose out to mobile gaming even without 5G cloud. Gaming as it is already loses about half of its console user-base every console generation and soon enough console software will no longer exclusively remain on consoles. 5G may prove to be the killer tech that mobile gaming has been waiting for.

Source: https://www.cnbc.com/2018/04/27/5g-could-change-the-video-game-industry-forever.html

 

Global race to develop self-navigating ships

Norway, Finland, Singapore, and China may be on their way to developing independent shipping vessels, free from human navigators. By 2020, a 237-foot electric ship will set sail from a shipyard in Norway. However, the popularity of these marine technologies is spreading as Finland has plans for a automated ferry, China has defined a testing area for autonomous ships, and Japan has planned to create over 200 remote-controlled cargo ships. Sean T.Pribyl, a maritime attorney has described the global competition of creating unmanned ships, saying, “It’s kind of a space race.” The idea of instituting technology in the shipping industry has come by surprise because of the many obstacles of implementation, including the lack of sectioned ocean space to run tests, heavily-trafficked paths, and regulations. Google has recently paired with Rolls-Royce to help engineer the machine learning technology necessary to bring the designs to life. Some advantages to the ships would be safety, environmental sustainability, and lower shipping costs, since there would be no need to pay the costs associated with a crew.

I think the idea of ships sailing without a single person onboard is a really interesting technological development. These projects are so huge that I am curious to see how the ships will fare when sent out on their own. The concern that I have for the ships are the same concern I have for self-driving cars. What if they lose the connection to the ship? I am wonder if it would be easier for others to usurp control of the ship and steal the cargo.

https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/technology/global-race-to-develop-self-navigating-ships-leaves-us-behind/ar-AAwiiPj

Smart Homes and Easier Lives?

New technology continues to provide ways to make human’s lives easier. SmartHomes are especially a trending technology that were seeing more and more of, with about a third of all American households having Smart technology. These SmartHomes connect to your devices, and allow residents to control aspects of their house so that things may turn on at set times or be controlled when they’re not home . From a coffee machine to a thermometer, home owners can turn any device in their home into a Smart device, as long it connects to the internet.

SmartHomes pose many great benefits to homeowners. They could provide safety features, such as alerting your device when someone is trying to break into your house. If your not home and need to let somebody in to feed the pet, you could remotely unlock your front door or garage. A Smart thermostat could end up saving you tremendous money on energy bills. There are countless positives to incorporating Smart technology into homes, but there are some who question its reliability.

Some homes are so flooded with Internet of Things technology that a poor internet connection could lead to short-term chaos. Having that many devices running on the same wireless internet could also lead to some products working a lot more slowly or not at all. Along with reliability, another issue with Smart home technology is the fear of limited privacy. Many are concerned that the companies producing the devices in homes that use command-based technology are constantly listening and collecting consumer data unwillingly. People also fear that their homes could be easily hacked, with devices always running in the household. In fact, about 70% of consumers retain this fear. These are fair concerns for homeowners who may find themselves to be more reliable and protective of their house than a device.

Smart home technology is a continuing trend, with almost half of American households expected to be SmartHomes by the year 2022. The technology provides homeowners with numerous advantages and conveniences, potentially improving our daily lives tremendously. These benefits seem to outweigh the big fears homeowners have with these devices, such as their home being hacked, their private life being constantly monitored, or their data being used without consent. Would you convert your home into a SmartHome?

Snapchat rings back the spectacles

In 2016 Snapchat decided to expand from just an app and created their own spectacles. These are glasses with cameras and microphones in them allowing the user to capture point of view videos and picture. They were a huge financial failure. Snapchat lost over 40 million dollars on this. Despite this failed first try, Snapchat is trying again. They just announced that they are bring them back for Summer 2018. The new glasses will still shoot circular videos like the old ones, but will have many improvements. They will now record in HD and will upload to the Snapchat app 4x faster than before. These new glasses will also have a button on them to snap picture, dual microphones for better audio, and will be water resistant to an extent. They are also said to be lighter and more comfortable. Additionally, gone are the wacky and juvenile colors of the first generation. These new ones will come in three clean and sleek colors, including black. Finally, the new ones will allow for people to have the lenses made to their prescription. Snapchat made several changes when it decided to bring back their Spectacles, and hopefully for them it is a lot more successful than the first attempt.

https://www.cnet.com/videos/snap-refreshes-spectacles-adds-water-resistance/

Sprint and T-Mobile Set to Merger

Sprint and T-Mobile are set to settle on a $26.5 Billion merger. This will still leave Verizon (111 million) and AT&T (78 million) as the two largest US carriers but it will put them right behind at 70 million users. This will undoubtedly vamp up some of the competition between these companies and hopefully us users will get some nice deals out of this. While Sprint will host nine directors to T-Mobile’s four, according to the terms, the CEO of the new combined company will be T-Mobile’s CEO John Legere. The article also states that they expect $40 billion from synergies.

This article was an interesting read, not only in the aspect in which it may affect many of us who use either of these services, but also in that it gives incite into some of the more intricate details that are involved in mergers that I honestly had never thought about before. For instance, they had to come to an agreement on a value ratio of the shares between the two companies in which a Sprint share is worth 0.10256 of a T-Mobile share.

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2018-04-29/sprint-t-mobile-said-to-agree-to-combine-in-26-5-billion-deal

T-Mobile and Sprint finally merge

Today the third and fourth largest wireless carriers in the nation announced to merge as part of a 26 billion dollar deal. The goal behind this merger is to great a real true third player in the American wireless industry. These two companies combined should be able to leverage there new size to effectively compete with Verizon and AT&T. As a result of this merger the sprint brand will cease to exist. T-Mobile will be absorbing Sprint, and will remain a wholly owned Deutsche Telekom. Deutsche Telekom is the leading mobile carrier in Germany. The current owners of Sprint will be given seats on the new companies board along with the current CEO Marcelo Claure. The current owner of Sprint is SoftBank. This merger brings to an end years of flirting and hinting at a merger. This merger is said to “Supercharge” the existed network. The combined network would network would have around 128 millions connections. This places the network right in the middle between AT&T and Verizon. But while this deal is in place, it does have to go through approvals and anti-trust rulings so there is a chance this deal could still fall through. If it doesn’t though, it will sure shake up the American wireless industry and potentially actually increase competition for customers.

 

https://www.cnet.com/news/t-mobile-sprint-will-finally-get-hitched-in-26b-mega-mobile-deal/

Apple is working on a VR headset, and despite its delayed debut, it just might beat the competition

Along with the new IPhone X, Apple has explored the realm of augmented reality, praising the technology as new and as important as the new phone. However, it seems like CEO Tim Cook has other plans for Apple: a virtual reality headset. As of now, Apple is working on a headset that could run both augmented and virtual reality technology. The headset would feature two 8k displays, one for each eye; this is a resolution that is higher than most high definition televisions these days. The project’s name is T288 and is slated for release in 2020. Apple seems to always be lagging behind other tech giants in terms of new products. For instance, Samsung has the Samsung Vr that comes included with most phones. Apple headquarters in Cupertino, California has tried making smaller VR products. However, the headset is a huge project which allows users to explore new worlds. Over the past year, although VR technology has advanced, companies like Samsung and Oculus failed to grasp the attention of eager consumers.

Apple’s headset would connect to a box that would run Apple’s high powered processing system and would act as the main computer processing component for the headset. In addition, unlike other VR headsets, Apple’s will not contain any wires which is a hassle especially in high powered devices such as the HTC vive or the Oculus Rift. Apple has noted trends in VR headset sales; it is predicted that a whopping 120 million units would be sold in 2020 due to the increasing VR/AR trend.

All in all, I believe that the future for Apple’s headset is bright and there is potential for Apple to improve upon the already low turnout for virtual headsets.

https://www.cnet.com/news/apple-is-working-on-an-ar-augmented-reality-vr-virtual-reality-headset-powered-by-a-wireless-wigig-hub/

BASF & Essentium Develop Strongest 3D-Printed Prosthetic Leg

Very recently, BASF and Essentium together have developed the strongest 3D printed thermoplastic carbon fiber definitive prosthetic socket to enhance the comfortable fits for their patients. First of all, BASF is a German chemical company and Essentium is a team who are working on the bridge between 3D printing and machining. The purpose of this “New definitive sockets” is to increase patient satisfaction and comfort. Since the application of 3D print technology, the money and time would decrease eventually, at the same time, the accuracy can be increased too. They also can use better and more suitable materials on the definitive sockets so that the patient to be taken better care of and reduced their pain.

As 3D print are applying to a larger field, it can help solve more critical problems and make our lives easier. For example, this new definitive socket can help patients to get a better treatment with much lower costs and less time, which means more people who need it can get this treatment so that their living and health condition can change. 3D printing technology has already been applied to education, manufacturing, medicine and etc. I am hoping to see more change in the medical field due to the development of 3D print technology in the future.

Source: https://www.basf.com/us/en/company/news-and-media/news-releases/2018/04/P-US-18-047.html

Amazon Becoming A Home Security Provider

Amazon is one of the world’s most successful companies and has been growing exponentially since it’s creation. With thousands of products to choose from at the click of a button to cashier-less grocery stores, it seems like there’s almost nothing Amazon can’t offer. Not too long ago we encountered the launch of Amazon’s Alexa, the smart home in a speaker. Now they’re taking it up yet another step and introducing home security packages. According to an article on The Verge by Dani Deahl, there will be five different tiers of home security packages which range in service and price. To begin the process, Amazon will have an employee come to your home and assess your security needs and install the package. For only minor needs, there is a deal worth a mere $240 that includes motion-detecting lights and a wireless waterproof speaker. On the other hand, a package worth $840 includes a smart flood and leak sensor, entry sensors, and the well-known Ring doorbell. No matter what package the user chooses, an Amazon echo dot is automatically included. Personally, I think this is a great way to bring together the Ring doorbell system, recently purchased by Amazon, with its artificial intelligence products Alexa and the Echo Dot. This could be a huge bonus to smart homes across the country. Adjusting your heat and preheating the oven with the touch of a button is great, but having the ability to keep track of your home’s safety at all time’s would make life less stressful and vacations more enjoyable. With this addition to AI, there are definitely security risks. Like we went over in class, AI is “Any system that generates seemingly intelligent decisions or predictions.” Having AI devices now connected to a camera outside of your home and being able to gain information through sensors, there’s a possibility of hacking and having that data and video footage accessed by people with malintent. Do you think it’s worth having Amazon’s security packaged installed?

Source: https://www.theverge.com/2018/4/27/17291134/amazon-smart-security-packages-installation