Posts Tagged ‘Video game’

WWDC 2015

So WWDC 2015 happened and what a show as these are starting to look like worldwide events rather than just a tech company keynote.

Quite a bit happened last night as we followed it on TheTechSpy’s Live Twitter account as literally every minute there was something new to announce.

So here it goes, all the best bits for iOS9 in bitesize chunks for you lovely people to digest;

iOS 9

1: With the new Proactive Assistant, Siri is starting to look a lot more like Google Now. As you speak to it, Siri will learn your habits, locations and when and where to open apps that you use. For example, if you pop your headphones in every day, it will just launch the music app or suggest directions when you jump in your car.
2: One of the interesting additions to iOS9 is the Caller ID suggestions for unknown calls. This is based in what it finds in your email, so I am not sure how much use this will actually be.

3: They are now bringing us Split displays, allowing you to have two apps open side by side and even adjust the sizing of the apps you are viewing and drag content either side. unfortunately this will only work on iPad Air 2 and of course anything coming out in the future.

4: The other cool new feature was the keyboard upgrades, allowing you to swipe on the keyboard acting like a trackpad. This feature is great for instantly highlighting words or moving the cursor to a new place.

5: Good old transit maps, or Tubes to us Londoners. This will overlay the tube map and stations into maps and will give you details of the stations and train/bus arrival times.

6: Passbook renamed Wallet – Our very own Mr Carroll got very excited at this addition as Apple Pay is finally being introduced to the UK. You will be able to have all of your credit cards and loyalty cards all in the same wallet making paying and earning seamless. The best part is from the start, London Tubes will be accepting Apple Pay as a way to pay your fare….Very nice indeed!

7: My personal favourite is News, it looks a lot like Flipboard and this is superb. This pulls in content from various publications and displays articles in a very smooth and cool way. It delivers newspaper and magazine type articles based on your habits and has beautiful hi-res galleries of photos and can even play video direct from the publication itself.

8: Along with this we particularly liked the idea of being able to have video content from an app while you are doing something else. Imagine writing an email while having YouTube up in a small screen in the top right of the screen.

Part two to follow

It is amazing the things you can do on a tablet nowadays. The games you can play and the uses are endless. From talking to your friend half way across the world for free to editing a hi-res photo with professional detail while on the sofa listening to music. It makes me think of what did we actually do when we were younger? How did we survive? How did our parents keep us entertained?!

As a parent myself, it worries me that my child uses the iPad far too much and sometimes we all rely on it far too often. I have even seen my son walk up to a digital photo frame and swipe to the right to see the next picture, but left feeling slightly confused as it doesn’t work.

The question is, are children nowadays too reliant on modern technology and is the imagination that I think we had, going to be lost to a processor? This question can only be answered as time goes by and we see what happens to the next generation.

All is not lost though…A company called Tangible Play (made up of old Google staff) have released Osmo, a new crowd funded app for kids that encourages ‘real world’ play. It allows the user to pick up things and build using their hands, thanks to a mirror attachment which turns the iPad’s camera to view the surface where your child is playing.

Recently I have looked around the App Store and failed to find anything that is different or breaks boundaries, but this app is very different and we should stand up and take notice.

All of the games to be used with this kit are optimised for ages 6-12 but each game has a varying range of difficulty. Take Newton, it’s a physics game, which uses the same concept as “Cut The Rope” where players can use any object, from lines on a piece of paper to a toy or even their own hands to control the stuff on screen. All you really need is a piece of paper and a pen to get started.

Tangram, is a game where puzzle pieces in the real world must be matched to the shapes on screen. The kit comes with an iPad stand and mirror connector and promotes your child’s creativity as suddenly the brain is thinking in many dimensions!

I do not only love this as a educational toy for my kids, but also as a concept in itself. It is not often you get something that comes along that breaks the mold and creates a whole new genre of games….this might just be that thing.

Available now on the Osmo Website for $49. This is a steal considering what you get and of course this will double once pre-orders have been fulfilled. The company is concentrating on developing the apps, but will eventually open this up to developers to create their own games….so watch this space.

Check out the Osmo video

 

 

While we were all preoccupied with waiting for Sony and Microsoft to come out with the next generation of consoles, some smaller more mobile firms were readying some serious tech to stir the gaming industry.

Firstly let’s look at Oculus Rift, the virtual reality headset for video games that we told you about back in March.  The Rift is a high-resolution display, with head tracking, that provides an immersive experience that allows you to get right inside the game. Full 360˚ vision allows the gamer to physically turn their head to be able to view things around them and in first person shooters, actually aim where they are looking.

The Rift is coming along nicely with some prototype models going out to developers looking very promising, but in my opinion, you still need other accessories to complete the package……(cue dramatic music) bring in Omni!

Omni

The Omni is one of the first virtual reality interfaces for moving within the virtual space. It allows you to freely walk, run, crouch and jump within the game so that it feels like you are really there. Of course the Omni will require that your purchase a virtual reality headset for the best experience, but it still comes in cheaper than a running machine and is double the amount of fun.

The Omni is compatible with the Oculus Rift and the Razer Hydra and is ready to play out of the box. It can be partially disassembled to store away and comes with support belt, tracking hardware and software.

Imagine the possibilities for something like this to help you lead a healthier lifestyle or even rehabilitating injured people.  Now, the stigma of just sitting down when gaming getting no physical exercise can be a thing of the past as you burn away calories running away from in-coming bullets and grenades. You can even see this being used in training the military or keeping people mobile letting them view parts of the world they never thought they would see without actually ever being there.

TheTechSpy is very excited by this as now the picture is being completed in the virtual reality field at a reasonable take home price. The Kickstarter project has already been immensely successful, nearly raising $500k with still 47 days left, but if you want to bag yourself a complete setup you will have to pledge around $479 now with stonky international shipping rates.

Here is the Kickstarter Video

This is a new games console, which underwent a massively successful funding campaign in 2012 and has just started shipping to eager pledgers.

The Ouya costs £99.99 and runs on the Google’s Android operating system allowing you to download games direct from Google Play to the console at a fraction of the cost of traditional console games.

The sleek console comes with a controller, which strangely gets its looks from the Xbox’s offering. Inside the cool little box it’s packing an NVIDIA Tegra 3 processor, 1GB of RAM and 8GB of internal storage, which is expandable via USB. You can choose from Ethernet or Wi-Fi for multiplayer options and it has a HDMI socket for full HD gaming at 1080p.

Now, don’t get me wrong, this is a superb piece of kit, but it will still only play games comparable to our mobile devices and tablets at the moment. But with games improving all the time for these devices and the big players in gaming joining the mobile parade, we may just see some serious titles on this console.

Ouya have partnered up with Twitch.tv, Crunchyroll, iheartradio, TuneIn, XBMC, Plex and Flixster so it will double up as a media centre also. Partners like these will allow you to stream shows, movies and music, which increases the appeal of this mini console.  The interesting thing is that Ouya promises that you will be able to download all games to test for free to see if you wish to purchase the full title.

Ouya will hit the stores here in the UK in the summer as Game have already started taking preorders. Extra controllers will set you back £40 each.

Ouya

Oculus have been quietly working on this Virtual Reality Headset concept since they launched the Kickstarter project back in August. The project wanted $250,000 to begin shipping developer kits out faster than they normally would be able to, but instead managed to raise just over $2.4m as excitement for this went viral.

Oculus Rift is a new virtual reality headset designed specifically for video games. With an incredibly wide field of view, high-resolution display, and ultra-low latency head tracking, the Rift provides an  immersive experience that allows you to get right inside the game like never before in the home. Full 360˚ vision allows the gamer to physically turn their head to be able to view things around them and in first person shooters, actually aim where they are looking.

Although the Rift is still in its development stages, it is a massive leap in progress for gaming, in a market where little has changed but speeds and movement tracking. The company have quite a few tweaks to make and are eager to work with developers to take the platform further. Unfortunately at the moment the only launch title is Team Fortress 2 as Doom 3 was removed from the developer kit, but expect many more to work with these guys as the platforms scope widens and the likes of Valve and EA work with them.

The Rift has made waves in the gaming world as one of the most innovative VR technologies to be developed in recent years. Named Best in Show
at CES 2013 by The Verge, the Oculus Rift takes gaming to an entirely new level and we can’t wait to see what comes of this awesome project.

Oculus Rift