Posts Tagged ‘upcoming’
A report yesterday caused Nintendo fans to sit at attention. According to the Nikkei, Nintendo was preparing an Android and iOS app to demo its games. While this app wouldn’t bring full versions of Mario to smartphones, it was widely viewed as a start of something big. Well, bad news. It’s not happening. Nintendo is apparently content living in the past.
The company released a statement to Engadget unequivocally denying the report.
“Nikkei’s article contains information previously stated by Mr Iwata during past press conferences, including statements which relate to Nintendo’s willingness to make use of smart devices to promote our products.
However during such past announcements Mr Iwata has also stated that Nintendo’s intention is not to make Nintendo software available on smart devices and as such, we can confirm that there are no plans to offer minigames on smartphone devices. “
Nintendo is quickly slipping. Just last week, the company confirmed that the Wii U was a flop and slashed its sales forecast by 70%. It said it’s expecting Wii U sales to number just 2.8 million units over that period. It also cut its sales forecast for its handheld 3DS console to 13.5 million units from 18 million.
Yet, apparently, Nintendo, for now, is willing to ignore the smartphone, the biggest shift in computing since the desktop computer. Protectionism is a quick way to fade into obscurity.
Amazon’s push into original content hasn’t been near as successful as Netflix, but the online retail giant appears to be working hard to change that. After starting out largely with kids shows and comedies, Amazon Studios recently revealed a new apocalyptic thriller from X-Files creator Chris Carter. Now, as Deadline reports, the company is starting development on a period drama dubbed Grand Ave. Written by Ian B. Goldberg, best known for his work on the ABC series Once Upon a Time, the show is set in Los Angeles in 1910, and will follow the city’s growth into a massive metropolis. Few other details are known at this time, but the series appears to indicate Amazon showing a similar level of ambition as Netflix when it comes to…
Amazon Listing Hints at Upcoming Apple TV Refresh
Amazon Germany and Amazon France are both listing the availability date for the Apple TV as October 23rd, just one day after Apple's special event, hinting that a hardware refresh could be coming. That would corroborate a report from MG Siegler, a …
Read more on iClarified
Amazon listings hint at imminent Apple TV refresh
On the verge of buying an Apple TV box? You may want to hold fire until after Apple's launch even on October 22. Amazon France and Amazon Germany both listed the Apple TV box as unavailable until October 23 – Amazon France has since changed its …
Read more on TechRadar UK
Amazon hinting at Apple TV refresh
One indicator on Amazon's Apple TV page for France and Germany showed up today that hints at a new set-top box being unveiled as well. It has been quite a while since the Cupertino company refreshed that particular device. There have been quite a few …
Read more on DigitalJournal.com
Earlier this week I traveled to Microsoft’s Mountain View campus to play with the company’s new Kinect sensor. While there I met with a few of the team’s engineers to discuss how they had built the new device.
Up front, two things: The new Kinect sensor is far cooler than I expected. Also, I touched an Xbox One.
The story of the Kinect device, both its first and second generations, has been a favorite Microsoft narrative for some time, as it fuses its product teams and basic research group in a way that demonstrates the potential synergy between the two.
The new Kinect sensor is a large improvement on its predecessor. Technically it has a larger field of vision, more total pixels, and a higher resolution that allows it to track the wrist of a child at 3.5 meters, Microsoft told me. I didn’t have a kid with me, so I couldn’t verify that directly.
It also contains a number of new vision modes that the end user won’t see, but are useful for developers who want to track the human body more precisely and with less interference. They include a depth mode, an infrared view, and new body modeling tools to track muscle use and body part orientation.
When in its depth image mode, acting as a radar of sorts, each of the 22,000 pixels that the Kinect sensor supports records data independently. The result is a surprisingly crisp mapping of the room you are in.
The new Kinect also contains a camera setting that is light invariant, in that it works the same whether there is light in the room or not. In practice this means you can Kinect in the dark, and that light pollution – say, aiming two floodlights directly at the sensor – doesn’t impact its performance. I did get to test that directly, and it worked as promised. No, I don’t know the candlepower of the light array we used, but it was enough to suck staring into directly.
So, developers can now accept motion data from the Kinect without needing to worry about the user being properly lit, or having their data go to hell if someone turns on the overhead light, or time sets the sun. The new Kinect also supports new joints in its skeletal tracking, in case you need to better watch a user’s hands move about.
The smallest object the first Kinect could detect was 7.5 centimeters. The new Kinect, while executing a 60 percent larger field of view, can see things as small as 2.5 centimeters. And it can track up to six people, from two before.
The first Kinect device became the fastest-selling consumer device in history. Its existence helped keep the Xbox 360 relevant, even as the console aged. Microsoft is releasing a new Kinect sensor with its upcoming Xbox One. Both go on sale November 22 and will compete with Sony’s soon-to-be-released PlayStation 4.
For a one-year generational update, I feel like the new Kinect is worthy progress on its predecessor. I sat down with Microsoft’s Sunil Acharya, Travis Perry, and Eyal Krupka to track the origins of how the new hardware was designed. It’s a short story of collaboration, akin to what came together for the original Kinect device.
Most basically, Microsoft wanted to place a “time-of-flight” camera into the new Kinect. Such a device works by measuring the time it takes for light that it emits to return. Given that speed is a bit quick, and the new Kinect wanted to absorb a massive field of data in real-time, challenges cropped up.
Two of our aforementioned Softies, Eyal from Microsoft Research’s Israel group, and Travis from the mother corporation’s Architecture and Silicon Management team, collaborated on turning time-of-flight from a more academic exercise into a commercial product. Input came from what Microsoft described to me as “multiple groups” to improve the camera.
Working as a cross-team group, the time-of-flight problem was essentially solved, but it led to another set of issues: data overload and blur.
In short, with 6.5 million pixels needing processing each second, and a requirement to keep processing loads low to ensure strong Xbox One performance, the Kinect group was pretty far from out of the soup. Algorithms were then developed to reduce processor hit, ‘clean up’ edge data to prevent objects in the distance from melting into each other, and to help cut down on motion blur.
According to Eyal, executing those software tasks was only made possible by having the camera “set” earlier in the process. If the hardware hadn’t been locked, the algorithms would have learned from imperfect or incorrect data sets. You want those algorithms to learn on the final data, and not on noisy data, or beta data, he explained.
That hardware is multi-component, including an aggregation piece (Microsoft was vague, but I think it is a separate chip) that collects the sensor data from the Kinect and pools it. Microsoft declined to elaborate on where the “cleaning” process takes place. I suspect that as the firm noted on its need to keep processing cycles low for the incoming data, it at least partially takes place on the console itself.
The end result of all of the above is a multi-format data feed for the developer to use in any way they wish. Microsoft spends heavily on the more than 1,000 developers and Ph.D.s that it employs at Microsoft Research who are free to pursue long-term research that isn’t connected to current products. But it does like to share when those lengthy investments lead to knowledge that it applies to commercial devices, such as the Kinect.
What to take from this? Essentially that even before the re-org, Microsoft had at least some functional intra-party collaboration in place. And, that a neat device came out of it.
The next challenge for the team? Make it smaller.
Honda’s got a lot of riding on the upcoming 2015 NSX hybrid (which will be sold in the US as an Acura). When it launched in 1990, the iconic first generation NSX took the sports car market by storm with an impressive (and affordable) combination of performance, comfort, design and build quality. Production ended in 2005 with the company shifting its focus towards hybrids and other green vehicles. As such, Honda enthusiasts have eagerly been awaiting the NSX replacement. While the new flagship is still being developed, the company just announced the NSX Concept-GT, a hybrid race car which is designed to compete in the Japanese SUPER GT series (GT500 class). Unlike the street version, which features a mid-mounted V6 and three electric motors, the Concept-GT boasts a 2.0L turbocharged direct-injection I4 paired with a “racing hybrid system“. When it launches next year, the technology-packed NSX will compete with vehicles like BMW’s i8 plug-in hybrid and Lexus’ LF-CC. %Gallery-slideshow72907%
Filed under: Transportation
Last week, we heard more details about the rumored BlackBerry A10 smartphone, and now we’re seeing the phone in action for the first time. Last wee, BGR released a photo of what’s rumored to be the A10, and now a short but revealing video has hit YouTube. It shows off BlackBerry 10′s now-familiar interface, but on a phone that looks unlike any we’ve seen from BlackBerry thus far. The video and image appear to be identical, and the phone itself looks like a cross between the HTC One and Samsung Galaxy S4 — though the bezel is much larger on the A10. There’s not much else to glean from this video, though it does support the rumored specs that say it has a 5-inch screen — the phone definitely looks larger in the hand than the BlackBerry…
Don Mattrick, the former Microsoft executive who oversaw the Xbox business, has taken over as Zynga CEO in a rapid move just weeks after the Xbox One unveiling and E3. His surprising and sudden exit may not have been a result of recent Xbox blunders, but more to do with Microsoft’s upcoming reorg. Fast Company has profiled Mattrick, and notes that his exit was reportedly spurred by a Microsoft reorg that would have seen him taking charge of a newly created hardware division. Mattrick is said to have wanted a bigger role within Microsoft, and his decision to look for a gaming CEO job would appear to back that up.
Fast Company depicts Mattrick as a visionary who was able to turn the Xbox business around. Described as an autocratic boss,…
Every year, Taiwan’s electronics companies gather in Taipei to show off their wares. This year, the big announcement is Intel’s new Haswell CPUs, whose improved power performance ought to enable a new generation of thinner, lighter, longer-lasting laptops. Check here to follow all the news from the show.
On this quiet Monday, Samsung decided to do a little teaser for its upcoming “Premiere 2013″ roadshow event in London on June 20th. The above poster only mentions “Galaxy & ATIV,” which suggest the event will mainly feature Android and Windows-based devices. The remaining tiles show partial shots of three mysterious devices — possibly a tablet or phone, a convertible laptop (like the Sony VAIO Duo 11) and a camera (maybe the rumored Galaxy S4 Zoom?). Obviously, we’ll be at the event to solve this mystery, so stay tuned for more.
Via: The Next Web
Windows 8 has had its share of detractors since its launch, and today Microsoft’s vice president of corporate communications responded to recent reports that paint the operating system as a failure. In a blog post Frank X. Shaw points to two pieces in particular — one by the Financial Times and the other by The Economist — that use the likely return of the Start button as evidence that the company is backtracking on its initial vision. Stating that the articles are examples of “sensationalism” and “hyperbole” intended to drive traffic rather than provide “nuanced analysis,” Shaw writes that Microsoft’s reaction to user complaints is actually a positive for the company.
“In the center, listening to feedback and improving a product…