Teleoperating robots with virtual reality: Making it easier for factory workers to telecommute

Many manufacturing jobs require a physical presence to operate machinery. But what if such jobs could be done remotely? Researchers have now presented a virtual-reality (VR) system that lets you teleoperate a robot using an Oculus Rift headset. Technorati Tags: immersive, mixed reality, mr, virtual reality, vr Read the full article…

How to watch Google’s Pixel 2 hardware event

Google’s October 4 hardware event kicks off at 9 a.m. Pacific (12 p.m. Eastern / 4 p.m. UTC) at San Francisco’s SFJAZZ Center. The news bonanza comes exactly a year after the company’s first “Made by Google” hardware event. You can watch everything live right here on YouTube. As you might expect, the main stars of the event are expected to be Google’s HTC-manufactured Pixel 2 and LG-manufactured Pixel 2 XL, succeeding the Pixel and Pixel XL, respectively. Both have been leaked extensively, including by my colleague Evan Blass (in August and this week). We’re also expecting a mini Google Home, a new Chromebook Pixel (apparently called Pixelbook), a new Daydream View headset, and maybe even some Google-branded earbuds. Last year, Google detailed the Pixel, Pixel XL, Daydream VR headset, Google Wifi, Chromecast Ultra, and Google Home. Updates to the company’s Wifi and Chromecast products are therefore also possible. And, Read the full article…

Why Apple Pay isn’t taking off? A UX perspective.

The Drum asks Why isn’t Apple Pay taking off? in the UK and attempts to answer the question why only 1–2% of card payments are through Apple / Android Pay. The article quotes the following reason: As Scott Thompson, insights director at Publicis Media, says: “If you use a card (Oyster or credit/debit) and it doesn’t work, it looks like there is a problem with the card or the reader. Everyone has experienced it, so you get some degree of sympathy. >But if you use a phone (or worse, a watch) and it doesn’t work, you just look like an idiot playing with technology that doesn’t work and getting in everyone’s way.” Which is probably part of the reason, but not the full reason. When it comes to improving a user experience you find at the barriers and look at how to overcome them. If your product offsets the setup effort involved Read the full article…

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DPI vs. Pixels: What Do I Use?

You hear these phrases tossed around by everyone today – from amateur photographers, to the iPhone salesman, to some of the world’s most acknowledged visual creators and designers. But what do image size specs really mean? And what should you use? Simply, it all depends on your project. Knowing what medium you are creating for and how your images will be used is key to sizing and picking the right number of pixels or DPI. Before you begin your next project, though, make sure you are familiar with all the image-quality jargon. Pixels Picture elements, or pixels, in web design refer to the smallest units on a grid displaying an image. Pixels are measure by pixels per inch, or PPI. The more pixels per inch, the sharper an image will appear because of the size of each pixel. Pixelation occurs when the number of pixels per inch in an image Read the full article…

Another Windows VR headset enters the fray with Samsung Odyssey

Enlarge / Samsung Odyssey headset and motion controllers. (credit: Samsung) Microsoft announced Tuesday that yet another company is going to build a virtual reality headset for its Windows Mixed Reality platform: Samsung. The Odyssey headset looks to be a cut above the other headsets from Acer, Asus, Dell, HP, and Lenovo: its dual-AMOLED screens are slightly higher resolution, at 1400×1600 rather than 1400×1400, and the field of view is 110 degrees rather than 95. It’s also a little more adjustable, with a flexible interpupillary distance, to match the headset to your eyes. The device will go on sale on November 6 and cost $499 with a pair of motion controllers. Read 1 remaining paragraphs | Comments Read the full article…

Total War: Warhammer 2 Review: The weight of the New World

Enlarge / The Lizardmen’s “Geomantic Web” bonuses make them into fantasy landlords. (credit: Creative Assembly) At release, Total War: Warhammer seriously benefitted from untying the strategy series from its historical roots. The wildly varied Warhammer fantasy universe allowed each of the game’s factions to be unique—not just in terms of starting map location and slight differences to cavalry charge speed but also through wholly different mechanics and campaigns. That variation only grew (and grew more expensive) over time with a glut of DLC. The factions of Total War: Warhammer 2 aren’t quite so diverse. Moment-to-moment abilities and attributes set them apart, but an identical overarching objective ties them back together in largely identical quests to fill in progress bars. Said bars represent resources players accrue, earn, or otherwise cut out of their opponents. The goal is to be the first to fill up the bar and survive subsequent, ever-more-difficult waves Read the full article…

Original Star Fox staffer tells story of sequel’s shelving, surprise launch

Enlarge / Dylan Cuthbert, in a goofy photo sent to Ars by his current company Q Games. (credit: Q Games) There’s a chance—albeit a slim one, thanks to launch-week sellouts—that you’ve gotten your hands on Nintendo’s brand-new Super NES Classic Edition hardware. If you did get one, there’s a significant chance you made a beeline for its most interesting game: Star Fox 2, the company’s canceled 1996 space shooter. This game’s circumstances are incredibly rare for the game industry: a shelved, completely finished game resurfacing 21 years later as a surprise “from the vault” gem. If you think you were surprised by Star Fox 2‘s appearance after all this time, though, you have nothing on the sequel’s lead programmer, Dylan Cuthbert. The former Argonaut Software programmer and eventual founder of Q Games (makers of the delightful Pixeljunk series) says he learned about Star Fox 2‘s retail release the same way everyone else Read the full article…

Disney brings multiplayer back to classic Star Wars: Battlefront 2

Enlarge / Hey guys, long time no see! Here at Ars, we often have the sad duty report on online gameplay servers being shut down by publishers once the games themselves have become too old or unprofitable. So it’s nice to be able to write about a game seeing online support reinstated after years in the offline wilderness. Today, that game is Star Wars: Battlefront 2, the 2005 PC/console third-person shooter that should in no way be confused with Star Wars Battlefront II, the PC/console first/third-person shooter EA is releasing next month. In 2014, the older Battlefront 2‘s online gameplay was one of many victims of the Gamespy server shutdown, which affected dozens of PC titles as well as every game on Nintendo’s Wii and DS consoles. Battlefront 2 players could still connect for online matches through third-party services like GameRanger, but these lacked true integration with the game’s own online infrastructure. This Read the full article…

PlayStation chief Andrew House is leaving Sony after 27 years

Sony Interactive Entertainment has announced president and CEO Andrew House will be stepping down after helming the arm since 2011, with deputy president John Kodera taking his place. House, who is 52, will remain as chairman until the end of the year. Sony’s Playstation arm flourished under House, which saw the company come back on top in the gaming industry. House drove the strategy and launch of the PS4, which is set to touch cumulative sales of 78 million units this fiscal year. Under his tenure, the PS4 outsold Microsoft’s Xbox One by more than three to one. House has been with Sony for 27 years, first serving in corporate communications before helping to launch the original PlayStation console. Most recently, he worked on the s… Read the full article…

5 ways to improve your UX design

Digital innovation doesn’t have to mean ripping up the rule book – it can involve trusting your gut and paring things back to the essentials.  Get Adobe Creative Cloud Here, Halo‘s technical director Alex Martin and senior UX/UI designer Tim Banks reveal how the studio stays ahead of the curve when it comes to new technologies, and share some best-practice user experience design advice (scroll down to watch the video). 01. Focus on the big idea To help festival T in the Park stand out in a crowded market, Halo used vibrant colours and strong typography “Data can drive you in certain directions, but it won’t show you if there’s a big idea,” says Tim Banks. “If you want to change something radically, it’s hard to have data to hand beforehand. Sometimes you need to do more testing afterwards, to go, ‘You’ve had this hypothesis, let’s actually test it to Read the full article…

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How to Unlock Every Shortcut in Destiny 2’s Leviathan Raid

The Leviathan Raid in Destiny 2 is full of secrets, including a slew of hidden paths and passages that connect each challenge through the underbelly of the ship – here’s how to unlock every shortcut into the Leviathan Raid’s underbelly. This will not only help you get around easier, but also reach each of the raid checkpoints for each challenge you unlock. First we’ll go over how to access the Underbelly from the Embankment (the area you initially spawn in). This will let you bypass the combat encounter in The Castellum on your way to the first challenge of the week. The easiest way in is to activate the switches in a maintenance room beneath the platform you spawn on – this can be done on your own if you’re fast enough, but with as little as two Guardians if you’re not. Read the full article…

Should Video Games Be In The Olympics?

This is a question that keeps showing up in my circles as articles are continually being made about someone or group petitioning for eSports to be a thing in the Olympics. And while I support the growing movement and platform of eSports, I do not want the idea of video games being in the Olympics. The Olympic Games as we know it was inspired by the ancient games that were held in Greece back in the 8th Century BC to the 4th Century AD. It wasn’t until the mid 1890s when the IOC (International Olympic Committee) was founded and inevitably became what we know it today. But the Olympics as it was then has evolved since then. In the 20th Century ice and winter sports was added into the Winter Olympics, the Paralympic Games were added for those with disabilities, The Deaflympics and Special Olympics are also endorsed by the IOC Read the full article…

Lunch and Lipo: Perfect

Are you kidding me????? I’m trying to get my mojo back and then I see this!!! ?? Doctorfatoff !?? In the parking lot of McDonalds no less (I was NOT eating there)… ??? So folks can pig out on disgusting food and get lipo suction on their way home???? ???? Are you kidding me??? A perfect if you eat this, you may need this moment ? She’s even taking a selfie while she sucks fat! Only in America??? I think not but a sad comment on where humanity is headed. Wheeling ourselves around with virtual reality headsets like characters in Wall E doesn’t seem so far off. ? Read the full article…