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Nov 12, 2015

Asus says it’s building an augmented reality headset to release in 2016

Posted by in categories: augmented reality, mobile phones, virtual reality

Taiwanese PC manufacturer Asus says it’s building an augmented reality device and aims to release it next year. According to a report from CNET, Asus CEO Jerry Shen confirmed the plans during an earnings call on Wednesday, arguing that augmented reality or AR will be more useful than virtual reality. “You can make a real setting meld together with yourself and the AR portion,” said Shen. “Internally, we are talking about how to prepare.”

Unlike VR, augmented reality doesn’t show you a completely fabricated view, but instead overlays digital elements onto the real world. The current frontrunner in this nascent field is Microsoft’s HoloLens, which the company has shown off in a range of impressive demos. However, the HoloLens is hampered by a number of problems, including bulkiness, constrained viewing angles, and a high price tag, with Microsoft releasing a $3,000 HoloLens developer kit in the first quarter of 2016. (By comparison, Samsung’s Gear VR, a virtual reality headset powered by the company’s smartphones, became available for preorder this week for just $99.) Asus has previously hinted that it might build its own version of the HoloLens, but as a company best known for its budget laptops, tablets, and smartphones, we wouldn’t expect it to match Microsoft’s price.

Despite the lack of unknowns surrounding Asus’s announcement, it’s still interesting to see a company align itself with augmented, rather than virtual, reality. The Verge’s Adi Robertson has argued that the complete immersion of VR makes it difficult for multitasking, and that augmented reality, by comparison, is more practical. Asus apparently agrees. “We think AR will be very important for people’s lives,” said Shen according to CNET. “It should be next year when we come out with a product.”

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Nov 11, 2015

Meet Tally, a robot that endlessly roams around and scans retail store aisles

Posted by in category: robotics/AI

It might not be too long before a trip to the grocery store involves dodging Tally, a new robot designed to tootle from aisle to aisle while taking note of stock levels.

Tally’s Silicon Valley creators, Simbe Robotics, point out that most retailers currently rely on IT systems and manual labor to manage inventory, but call this method “costly and inaccurate.” Tally can apparently do full-store audits in a fraction of the usual time, keeping staff up to date on what items are running low so that shelves can be quickly refilled.

Simbie says Tally’s ability to carry out such “repetitive and laborious” auditing tasks means human staff can get on with serving customers directly.

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Nov 11, 2015

These flying pods could make driving in the city history

Posted by in category: transportation

Where we’re going, we don’t need roads.

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Nov 11, 2015

First ‘porous liquid’ invented

Posted by in category: innovation

Scientists at Queen’s University Belfast have made a major breakthrough by making a porous liquid — with the potential for a massive range of new technologies including ‘carbon capture’.

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Nov 11, 2015

Elon Musk and Sam Altman on Thinking for the Future

Posted by in category: futurism

Nov 11, 2015

Here’s why aliens might actually exist

Posted by in category: alien life

VIDEO: Not a question of if, but where?

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Nov 11, 2015

Mysterious grooves on this tiny moon point to almost certain death

Posted by in category: space

We’ve said it before: Mars’ moon Phobos is doomed. But a new study indicates it might be worse than we thought.

One of the most striking features we see on images of Phobos is the parallel sets of grooves on the moon’s surface.

They were originally thought to be fractures caused by an impact long ago. But scientists now say the grooves are early signs of the structural failure that will ultimately destroy this moon.

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Nov 11, 2015

David Eagleman: Can a Computer Simulate Consciousness?

Posted by in categories: computing, information science, neuroscience, space travel

Yes, conceivably. And if/when we achieve the levels of technology necessary for simulation, the universe will become our playground. Eagleman’s latest book is “The Brain: The Story of You” (http://goo.gl/2IgDRb).

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Nov 11, 2015

Billions in Change Official Film

Posted by in categories: education, food

The world is facing some huge problems. There’s a lot of talk about how to solve them. But talk doesn’t reduce pollution, or grow food, or heal the sick. That takes doing. This film is the story about a group of doers, the elegantly simple inventions they have made to change the lives of billions of people, and the unconventional billionaire spearheading the project.

Join us at:
www.BillionsInChange.com
https://www.facebook.com/billionsinchange
https://twitter.com/billionsnchange
https://instagram.com/billionsinchange

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Nov 11, 2015

Our Milky Way Galaxy Has a Mysterious ‘Great Dark Lane’

Posted by in category: space

Called the “Great Dark Lane” by the astronomers who announced it, the dusty road twists in front of the bulge of the galaxy. “For the first time, we could map this dust lane at large scales, because our new infrared maps cover the whole central region of the Milky Way,” Dante Minniti, a researcher at Universidad Andres Bello in Chile and lead author of a study describing the findings, told Space.com by email. “It is very difficult to mapthe structure of our galaxy because we are inside, and it is very large and covered with dust clouds that are opaque in the optical,” Minniti said.

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