Tech Today w/ Ken May

Archive for September 27th, 2017

AMC will install room-scale VR in theaters by 2019

Posted by kenmay on September - 27 - 2017

Movie theater chain AMC is committing to virtual reality in a big way. The company has announced a $10 million investment (as part of a $20 million investment round) in Dreamscape Immersive, a VR storytelling studio with a focus on room-scale installations and real-time motion tracking. AMC plans to put six VR stations in its multiplexes in North America and the UK over the next year and a half, according to a press release. That number is key: Unlike things like the John Wick VR experience, or the ones made for Interstellar or Alien: Covenant , Dreamscape’s are social in nature, supporting up to six “players” at a time. The Verge reports that the installation spaces will be 16′ x 16′ walkable spaces with a railing around the perimeter. Haptic floors, fans and scents can be implemented if the experience calls for them. Users will wear a VR headset, a backpack computer and a few sensors for motion tracking. The result is life-size avatars that act and react in real-time with your body’s movements. Info about what those experiences could be isn’t available, but half of AMC’s investment is earmarked specifically for making them. And, with the likes of directors Gore Verbinski and Steven Spielberg, composer Hans Zimmer and former Disney Imagineering chief Bruce Vaughn calling the shots, maybe they’ll be a bit more memorable than crappy tie-ins we’ve seen before. Source: PR Newswire

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Atlus has been infamously protective of Persona 5 even before it came out, and it looks like that hasn’t changed a bit. The game developer has submitted a DMCA takedown notice against the creators of the PS3 emulator RPCS3 and their Patreon crowdfunding page . Emulators typically fall within the legal gray area of copyright law — they don’t infringe on anybody’s intellectual property, but they can run illegal ROMs that do. However, as Kotaku noted, RPCS3’s Patreon included updates about how far they are on getting Persona 5 to run on the emulator. A company that tried putting streaming restrictions on a much-awaited game would definitely not be happy that an emulator maker is getting donations in part due to its property. As of this writing, the RPCS3 Patreon page has removed all references to Persona upon the crowdfunding website’s request. Patreon advised RPCS3 to get rid of the references after refusing to comply with Atlus’ demands to kill the emulator’s page entirely. According to the emulator maker’s report on Reddit , that seems to have resolved the situation. Atlus has confirmed that it issued a DMCA takedown notice in an announcement, where it explained its reasons for doing so. The company said it didn’t want people’s first experience with an Atlus game to come riddled with framerate drops, crashes and other issues. It explained that the company thinks a format it didn’t personally oversee won’t deliver the experience and quality it intended. The gamemaker admits that it’s aware of how a lot of fans would like to see Persona titles for the PC, and while it’s not making any promises, it says it’s listening to people’s wishes. Those who’d like to see PC ports of Atlus’ most beloved games might want to cross their fingers and hope for the best. Here’s Atlus’ statement in full: “You might have heard earlier today that we issued a DMCA takedown notice involving emulation developer group RPCS3 and their Patreon page. Yes, it’s true. We settled upon this action for two reasons: 1. We believe that our fans best experience our titles (like Persona 5) on the actual platforms for which they are developed. We don’t want their first experiences to be framerate drops, or crashes, or other issues that can crop up in emulation that we have not personally overseen. We understand that many Persona fans would love to see a PC version. And while we don’t have anything to announce today, we are listening! For now, the best way to experience Persona 5 is on PlayStation 4 and PlayStation 3. 2. We appreciate the awareness generated by the emulation community for Persona 5 and know that it is a fantastic example of how much people are loving our game. We want to keep bringing you titles like Persona 5. Unfortunately, when our content is illegally circumvented and potentially made available for free, in a format we do not think delivers the experience and quality we intend, it undermines our ability to do so by diverting potential support from new audiences.” Via: Kotaku Source: Atlus

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John Kobuki demonstrates the remarkable patience, dexterity, and craftsmanship required to spend 40 minutes shaping a clear glass sphere with a flower inside. (more…)

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Dyson says it will spend $2.7 billion developing an electric car

Posted by kenmay on September - 27 - 2017

Enlarge / James Dyson at the “James Dyson Award 2007” ceremony in Berlin. (Photo by Franziska Krug/Getty Images) (credit: Franziska Krug | Getty Images) To most people, the name Dyson conjures up images of vacuum cleaners and those powerful air dryers in public restrooms. Soon, you might be able to add “electric cars” to that list. In an e-mail to his staff, James Dyson revealed that the company has started work on a battery electric vehicle. According to the message , the project is expected to cost at least $2.7 billion (£2 billion), and, if all goes to plan, the EV should be launched in 2020. James Dyson just announced to @Dyson employees that we’ve begun work on a battery electric vehicle, due to launch in 2020. pic.twitter.com/yUZNvIsYIi — Dyson (@Dyson) September 26, 2017 The EV project is already 400-strong—that number includes some veterans of Aston Martin, Tesla, and BMW —and is “recruiting aggressively.” As Autocar notes, last year Dyson received a $21.4 million (£16 million) grant from the UK government. That is part of an ongoing strategy to provide funding to many of the country’s small-volume manufacturers and suppliers. Morgan, that most traditional of car makers, is one such recipient, as is another sports car outfit, Ariel . The BBC reports that half of the $2.7 billion investment will go toward developing the batteries for the EV, with the rest spent on the vehicle itself. Nor should we expect something cheap and cheerful, as Dyson is targeting the “tech end” of the market. According to Bloomberg, the car will use solid-state batteries , not lithium-ion. Recently, VW Group also committed to developing solid-state batteries for EVs. Read 1 remaining paragraphs | Comments

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