AR/VR Weekly: One mega-corp to rule them all

Amazon. Apple. Google. Microsoft. These four corporations, our Chris O’Brien writes, are fighting for one thing: Controlling how we interact with tech, in every single way. Google just gobbled up HTC’s phone division. Apple’s iOS 11 and ARKit have brought augmented reality to millions of phones, and an AR-enabled game has already hit the top spot in the free-to-play listings. Microsoft is working on combining AR and VR into mixed reality, and Amazon wants you to use its Echo devices to order it all with just the sound of your voice. Sounds a bit scary, eh? I worry where AR and VR are going to fit into this … and if Apple will come out the winner here. Apple’s release of High Sierra, its latest (and free) Mac OS software update, adds virtual reality apps to its ecosystem thanks to Metal 2. Now, remember, you need some GPU heft to run VR games and Read the full article…

How an Australian VR gaming studio scored a gig with Boeing to train astronauts

For Australian game studio Opaque Space, you could say life has been imitating art recently. The Melbourne-based studio is behind Earthlight, a virtual reality game that is possibly the closest you can get to walking in space without being there, which has gotten plenty of attention from NASA. SEE ALSO: Elon Musk will give a big SpaceX talk about Mars this week. Here’s what we know Now Boeing has hired Opaque Space to help with future capabilities on a VR training system the aerospace company has developed for its forthcoming CST-100 Starliner capsule.  The spacecraft’s primary function is to transport NASA astronauts and other crew members to and from the International Space Station. Read more… More about Tech, Gaming, Space, Australia, and Science Technorati Tags: immersive, mixed reality, mr, virtual reality, vr Read the full article…

How AR development skills transfer from entertainment to the enterprise

GUEST: Augmented reality technology has emerged as a valuable tool in the enterprise, delivering actionable instructions, data and other information directly to workers via wearables devices. In fact, some of today’s largest manufacturers, like Boeing and GE, are using AR on smart glasses to improve productivity, quality and safety as they build aircraft and wind turbines. Although the number of gaming industry jobs has declined over the last two years, software developer jobs are expected to grow 17 percent by 2024, faster than most other occupations. While a career in enterprise software development may not sound very sexy — especially to young job seekers — it can be just as exciting as the entertainment and consumer tech realms, especially in the field of AR technology. Fortunately, developing AR software for industrial applications requires many of the same skills and considerations as designing for the consumer electronics industries, allowing engineers to Read the full article…

Thrustmaster launches $80 flight stick for Xbox One and PC

You can’t have idle hands if you keep them on your throttle and stick, and Thrustmaster wants to keep the devil away from your mitts if you play games on PC or Xbox One. The peripheral maker is launching the T.Flight Hotas One on October 7 for $80, and it is the first HOTAS (hands on throttle and stick) controller that works with Microsoft’s home console. You can of course also use it with Windows 7, 8, or 10. That’s right, Vista — get the hell outta here! Not a ton of Xbox One games are compatible with the T.Flight, but Thrustmaster is promising full compatibility out of the box with the space sim Elite Dangerous. Developer Frontier worked with Thurstmaster to ensure the joystick will immediately function with Elite Dangerous as part of a patch that rolled out on Xbox One today. Thrustmaster also partnered with Microsoft to design Read the full article…

CAT 2017 registration mistakes you may correct in 4 days

CAT 2017 Registration: 5 mistakes you must correct by Sep 30; Limited edit option activated Offering the last opportunity to rectify your CAT application errors, the CAT 2017 registration mistakes correction process has been activated by IIM Lucknow, the CAT 2017 convening IIM. The limited time window during which can you modify very limited details of already submitted CAT 2017 application form begins today on September 27 and will close on September 30, 2017. Limited Edit option The CAT registration form details which can be edited are percentage of marks scored in class 10, class 12 and graduation; work experience?—?area and period; name of the IIM programmes and their respective interview city centers which you might have selected erroneously earlier. In case of any mistake made while filling in the CAT 2017 registration and application form, candidates have 4 days to rectify these errors. The activation of the error correction module Read the full article…

20+ Best Billboard Mockups

If you’re currently designing a billboard or a banner design, then you should also prepare for how to present it to your client. Because the way you’re going to showcase your design will influence the final decision of your clients. It’s one part of the project that you should invest in, without holding back. Luckily, you don’t have to spend days trying to find a way to showcase your billboard design. You can simply use a pre-designed billboard mockup template to get that job done. To help you find the perfect mockup for your project, we handpicked a few mockups that are perfect for showcasing billboard designs. Check them out and start downloading — some are free, and some are part of an Envato Elements subscription. Square Street Billboards Mockup File Type: PSD Dimension: 5845 x 3897 px A high-quality and free billboard mockup. This template can be used to showcase Read the full article…

‘Tetris’ Recreated In Conway’s ‘Game of Life’

In 1970 mathematician John Conway created rules for the “Game of Life,” a now famous “zero-player game” where a grid of cells evolves (following Conway’s rules) from an initial state proposed by the player. In 2013 someone challenged readers of StackExchange’s “Programming Puzzles & Code Golf” section to devise an initial state “that will allow for the playing of a game of Tetris.” An anonymous Slashdot reader reports that “This challenge sat around, gathering upvotes but no answer, for four years. Then, it was answered.” Citing the work of seven contributors, a massive six-part response says their solution took one and a half years to create, and “began as a quest but ended as an odyssey.” The team created their own assembly language, known as QFTASM (Quest for Tetris Assembly) for use within Conway’s mathematical universe, and then also designed their own processor architecture, and eventually even a higher-level language Read the full article…

This Guy Is Digitizing the VHS History of Video Games

An anonymous reader shares a report: UK-based gaming journalist and blogger Chris Scullion is on a mission to preserve his collection — and maybe your collection, too — of these old video game VHS tapes. In the 80s and 90s, video game companies and trade magazines made these tapes to accompany popular titles or new issues with bonus material or promotional footage, giving a glimpse into how marketing for games was done in the industry’s early days. Scullion has 18 tapes to upload so far, and plans to provide accompanying commentary as well as the raw video as they go up on his YouTube channel. Scullion’s first upload is a promotional tape for Super Mario All-Stars, given away by Nintendo UK in 1993. It’s hosted by Craig Charles, who played Lister in the British sci-fi sitcom Red Dwarf. Digitizing his collection keeps that sweet nostalgia content safe from degradation of Read the full article…

PC Gaming Is Back in Focus at Tokyo Game Show

After taking a back seat to consoles for the past few years, personal computers are enjoying a resurgence in gaming, thanks to the popularity of e-sports, customizable machines and faster software releases. From a report: This week’s Tokyo Game Show will feature a main-stage tournament for PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds, a hit online survival PC game that’s been downloaded more than 10 million times since March. Sony’s PlayStation 4 and Microsoft’s Xbox One consoles are heading into their fifth years, while Nintendo’s Switch is in a bit of a lull before new titles are released for the year-end holiday shopping season. Spending on gaming-ready PC rigs are on track to climb an average of 6.6 percent per year through 2020, while the market as a whole is projected to decline 3.8 percent annually, according to Gartner. Revenue from PC titles will grow by 3 to 4 percent over the coming years, while Read the full article…

Popular Steam Extension ‘Inventory Helper’ Spies On Users, Says Report

SmartAboutThings shares a report from Windows Report: If you installed the “Steam Inventory Helper” on your computer, you may want to uninstall it as soon as possible. Recent reports suggest that this extension used to buy and sell digital goods on Steam is spying on its users. Redditor Wartab made a thorough analysis of the tool and reached the following conclusions: The spyware code tracks your every move starting from the moment you visit a website until you leave. It also tracks where you are coming from on the site; Steam Inventory Helper tracks your clicks, including when you are moving your mouse and when you are having focus in an input; When you click a link, it sends the link URL to a background script; Fortunately, the code does not monitor what you type. Apparently, the purpose of this spyware is to collect data about gamers for promotional purposes. Read the full article…

Navy Plans To Use Xbox 360 Controllers For New Periscope Systems Aboard Its Submarines

According to ABC News, the U.S. Navy is planning to use Xbox 360 controllers to operate periscopes aboard its most advanced submarines. High-resolution cameras and large monitors are replacing the traditional rotating periscope in the Navy’s Virginia-class subs. While they can be controlled by a helicopter-style stick, the Navy plans to integrate an Xbox controller into the system because they’re more familiar to younger sailors and require less training. They are also considerably cheaper. The controller typically costs less than $30 compared to the $38,000 cost of a photonic mast handgrip and imaging control panel. The Xbox controller will be included as part of the integrated imaging system for Virginia-class subs beginning with the future USS Colorado. It is supposed to be commissioned by November. Read more of this story at Slashdot. Read the full article…

Ruiner review: Cyberpunk bloodbaths have never been prettier

Enlarge (credit: Reikon Games) I wish I could go back in time and experience the opening levels of Ruiner for the first time with a controller. The top-down cyberpunk shooter from Reikon Games pretty much demands the fluidity of twin-stick control, even at the cost of mouse-and-keyboard precision. And by “demands,” I mean the game kicked my head in six ways ’til Sunday before I realized the optimal way to play. The harshness of the action is telegraphed by the harshness of Ruiner‘s tone. The game’s world is as red as Carrie on prom night and puts about as much value on human life. An opening crawl of text warns you that this dystopian future is as much about malice as mega-corporate profit—that hacking into people’s brains and messing up their lives “has never been more fun.” That form actually gets in the way of function, at times. Mostly red Read the full article…

EU study finds piracy doesn’t hurt game sales, may actually help

(credit: Getty Images) For as long as video game piracy has existed, gamers and the industry have argued about whether the practice really hurts sales of legitimate games. In 2010, the Business Software Alliance estimated that generalized software piracy costs the world $51 billion annually and half a million jobs. Even most people who doubt every pirated download is equivalent to a lost sale will admit that illegal downloads have some negative effect on overall game sales. So it’s more than a bit surprising that an exhaustive study of piracy’s effects by the European Commission found that “illegal consumption [of games] leads to increased legal consumption.” To be more precise, the study estimates that for every 100 games that are downloaded illegally, players actually legally obtain 24 more games (including free games) than they would in a world in which piracy didn’t exist. The 306-page “Estimating Displacement Rates of Copyrighted Read the full article…

Ataribox aims high with $250-300 price point, Linux core, custom AMD chip

Enlarge / Say hello to an actual, honest to goodness Ataribox. Or, at least, a prototype. But, hey, at least it’s not just a 3D render. (credit: Atari) The trademark and license borg that currently calls itself Atari continues to push ahead with an “Ataribox” project, and, after being teased in July, the device has begun to take shape. Fans and press alike may have expected a low-priced, retro-gaming living room device—since they’re all the rage and since this thing looks like a tiny, restyled Atari 2600—but Tuesday’s news suggests something a little more ambitious. The spec sheet, as announced, is still pretty vague, but Atari has confirmed a few notable things, starting with a price point between $250 and $300. In exchange for costing roughly as much as a Nintendo Switch, Xbox One S, or PlayStation 4, the Ataribox will come packed with an “AMD customized processor with Radeon graphics technology.” Read the full article…

Star Trek: Discovery is getting pirated a lot

Enlarge / Sonequa Martin-Green plays protagonist Michael Burnham, first officer of the USS Shenzhou, on new CBS All Access series Star Trek: Discovery. (credit: CBS) Almost 10 million people tuned in to CBS on Sunday to watch the premiere of Star Trek: Discovery. And the premiere also drove record signups for CBS’ proprietary streaming service, which will be the exclusive source for later episodes of the new Star Trek series. But others have turned to good old-fashioned Internet piracy to get their Star Trek fix. The premiere of Star Trek: Discovery is the twelfth most actively pirated show among users of the Pirate Bay right now, according to the Pirate Bay’s list of most downloaded videos. Discovery‘s second episode isn’t far behind, at number 19. Read 3 remaining paragraphs | Comments Read the full article…

Everything you need to know about the Super NES Classic Edition

Enlarge / It’s amazing what a few decades of miniaturization (and yellowing) can do. Doing a full review of a piece of hardware like the Super NES Classic Edition is kind of an odd concept. The $80/£80 system itself is really just a vessel to transmit a handful of well-remembered classic games from Nintendo’s glorious 16-bit console past. To do that job adequately, all the system has to do is produce a more-or-less accurate emulation of the decades-old Super NES hardware (it does) with graphics that look properly scaled on an HDTV (they are) and two included controllers that have a responsive and authentic feel (they do). Beyond that, any review of the Super NES Classic is just re-evaluating a bunch of decades-old games to see if they stand the test of time (and the newly released Star Fox 2, which we’ll review in more detail later in the week). Read the full article…

The Ataribox will cost around $275 and launch in spring 2018

A few new details on Atari’s upcoming Ataribox console have leaked out today. The company has revealed that it’s planning on selling the Ataribox through an Indiegogo campaign this fall for a vague $250 to $300 price range ahead of a spring 2018 release date, according to a report by VentureBeat. The report also revealed some more information about what to expect from the hardware and software for the Ataribox, which will run a custom AMD processor with Radeon graphics. It will also run Linux as an operating system, with a custom UI on top that will presumably make things a little more user-friendly for a TV interface and controller. Atari also clarified what gamers will be able to play on the Ataribox. It plans on offering a mix of… Read the full article…

6 rock-solid ways to improve your graphic design portfolio

In January, we shared with you some quick tips to improve your portfolio. There are, though, more deep and fundamental ways to improve your portfolio over time. These may take a little longer, but get them right and the payoffs will be immense. So whether you’re seeking to get more freelance work or a better job, follow these six pieces of expert advice and it should significantly boost your chances. 01. Showcase your personality You get a clear sense of art director and designer Frank Li’s personality from his portfolio site So you’ve got a great collection of work. But stand back a second and ask yourself: beyond that, does my portfolio give a sense of who I am? You may think your work should just “speak for itself”. But in the real world, people hire people, and they’re interested to know the person behind the designs. Agencies are often Read the full article…

UX Case Study : CNN’s Mobile App

In a blogosphere full of articles honing in on single, often granular components of user experience design, Codal‘s UX Case Study aims to examine UX from a holistic perspective, panning the camera back to explore how an experience functions as a whole. So far we have conducted UX case studies about the Duolingo, Bumble and […] The post UX Case Study : CNN’s Mobile App appeared first on Usability Geek Read the full article…

Frugal UX: A Jugaad Approach to Research and Design

By Peter Hornsby In recent years, the Hindi word Jugaad has gained popularity as a synonym for frugal innovation—that is, the ability to do more with less. While the concept of Jugaad came out of developing nations such as India, the concept has garnered interest in the developed economies of the West. This trend has arguably occurred after a half century of relative wealth. Consider, for instance, the British wartime call to arms on the domestic front to “Make do and mend.” The idea of frugality is not simply about making things cheaply. Companies, particularly well-known Western brands, have hard-earned reputations they need to maintain. For these companies, frugality means staying true to their brand values while, at the same time, delivering additional value to the customer. They may accomplish this by reducing overconsumption and waste—Thus, a company can deliver environmental benefits as part of their corporate social responsibility. engaging Read the full article…