Apple is going big into AR technology after acquiring Dream Works’ former project spaces

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 KEY POINTS

  • Apple is serious in its push for augmented reality technologies
  • The company recently bought a small VR startup
  • The results and benefits of the acquisition remain unknown at the moment

Apple recently acquired a virtual reality experience company, signaling its intention to further its push for augmented reality.

Apple has long been rumored to be working on some head-mounted display devices for AR use, such as the so-called “Apple Glass.” Various patents and the advancements seen via ARKit, as well as other technologies present on the iPhone and iPad Pro, show that the company is serious in its AR push.

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VRgineers new pro headset XTAL features Auto eye IPD and leap motion

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The new design features a raft of professional features.

Czech-based virtual reality (VR) startup VRgineers specialises in producing high-end head-mounted displays (HMDs) for enterprise, having started with the VRHero 5K Plus. Now the company has unveiled a successor, XTAL, a pro headset with unique features.

VRFocus first reported on the new enterprise-grade headset a few months ago, with VRgineers revealing little in the way of specifications, just that the company was working on a new project.

The XTAL headset has been built around the needs of professional designers and engineers – so don’t expect to see on in Best Buy or PC World – boasting a 5K resolution, 170º field-of-view (FoV), and patented non-Fresnel lenses.

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Indie game publishers are the new indie rock labels

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A new wave of boutique publishers is helping indies create better games.

In 2008, Vivendi, the parent company of Sierra Entertainment, merged with game publisher Activision. The result was a new, monolithic corporation called Activision Blizzard, that was now home to some of the biggest games in the world, like Call of Duty and World of Warcraft. At the time, Sierra had a number of upcoming games on its slate, including an exciting heavy-metal adventure from Double Fine, the studio of game design legend Tim Schafer. The game was called Brutal Legend, and it starred Jack Black in the lead role. It was also one of many games to be canceled following the merger. What followed was a protracted process in which EA signed on to publish the game instead, only for Activision to sue Double Fine, followed by Double Fine filing a countersuit. During the toughest moments of game development, those last desperate months when the small details finally come together, Schafer and his team were distracted by legal matters.

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Baidu’s new A.I. can mimic your voice after listening to it for just one minute

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We’re not in the business of writing regularly about “fake” news, but it’s hard not to be concerned about the kind of mimicry technology is making possible. First, researchers developed deep learning-based artificial intelligence (A.I.) that can superimpose one person’s face onto another person’s body. Now, researchers at Chinese search giant Baidu have created an A.I. they claim can learn to accurately mimic your voice — based on less than a minute’s worth of listening to it.

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Disney Researchers Catch a Real Ball in Virtual Reality

The resurgence of virtual reality is still in its infancy, and while we do have very good VR headsets such as the Oculus Rift and PlayStation VR, in other areas the tech is still severely lacking. Take interaction, for example, it’s very difficult to convey touching something in the virtual world with physical feedback. But what if you could interact with real world objects that appear in the virtual world?

Disney Research decided to carry out just such an experiment by asking the question: can you catch a real ball in virtual reality? The good news is, yes you can, but there’s a number of prerequisites to achieving such a simple task.

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AI is crushing humanity at poker

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The first day of the Brains vs. AI poker tournament is in the books, and the Libratus bot from Carnegie Mellon University emerged as the clear winner, collecting $81,716 to the humans $7,228. Both the players and Libratus’ creators cautioned that it was still too early to make a judgement call about who might win the 20-day tournament. But it’s clear that this year’s AI has made some major improvements on the 2015 system, Claudico, which ended up losing to humanity.

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The top five battlegrounds for tech platforms in 2017

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Large platform companies like Amazon, Apple, Google, Samsung, and Microsoft want to provide the operating system for our lives, and they will fight hard in 2017 to establish their foothold in the emerging technologies we will likely come to rely on in the future. Who will succeed?

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Sports make a virtual reality revolution

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Most evenings after work Dundee-based computer-software designer Aaron Puzey can be found in his living room, cycling the gruelling 1,500-kilometre route from Land’s End to John O’Groats, using a virtual reality programme he created for himself.

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AxonVR Haptic Exoskeleton Suit is now in development

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AxonVR co-founders Jake Rubin and Dr. Bob Crockett have this week revealed more details about the Haptic Exoskeleton Suit which is currently under development and being created to provide virtual reality users with a completely immersive experience.

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10 Most significant tech innovations of 2016

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Every end of the year, Yahoo India releases “The Year in Review lists”.  This review list reveals the people, events, and stories that captured the attention of Indians in the last 12 months. Here are the list of most significant technology products in the year 2016.

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