While Oculus, Valve, Samsung and HTC are all looking to captialize on the resurgence of VR, their solutions all focus on what we can see and hear. That's more than enough to immerse you in a virtual world, but what if you want to interact with the objects within them? Some companies have already taken on the challenge, but researchers at RICE University have created a new haptic glove that uses air to inflate bladders underneath your fingers to offer a real sense of touch.
If you're into eSports, then it's highly likely that you would have heard of Hai Lam. He's best known as the Mid Laner and captain of Cloud9, which is regarded as the best US eSports team for the popular online multiplayer game League of Legends. Nonetheless, just less than a week after his team finished second in the North American Championship Series, Cloud9's shotcaller has announced he's getting out of the game. Like football players are forced to retire when their knees give out, a persistent wrist injury means Lam can no longer mix it with other A-list players on the big stage.
Google might have just hinted at the future of its Glass headsets. The company has sent a mystery "smart BLE" (Bluetooth Low Energy) device to the FCC for approval, the A4R-CAP1, and there are a few telltale signs that it's one of Mountain View's wearables. Most notably, the product's digital FCC label (shown below) not only looks a lot like a Glass interface card, but requires that you swipe to see it -- that suggests a touchstrip, as you'd use on Google's eyepiece. Mentions of an Android-like firmware revision and a battery help, too. There's the possibility that this is another gadget that simply happens to use Glass-style navigation, but that seems less than likely. Don't be surprised if you're eventually plunking CAP1 on your head.
Google, Apple, Microsoft, Facebook and Amazon: These juggernauts are at the forefront of the tech industry. And with that success comes an ever-expanding workforce, and the need for a place to put them. To keep pace with growth, these companies have been making the requisite real-estate deals in order to build physical spaces to match their forward-thinking business approach. Fortunately, their designs are also more environmentally conscious than ever before. With the eyes of the world upon them, they've taken the well-being of the Earth, as well as their employees, into account, building innovative work spaces in an attempt to harmonize with the world around them. Below, we take a look at some of the steps these giants of industry have made over the years as they've moved from garage operations to vast campuses.
We covered the League of Legends basics during our very first episode Training Day. Loc Tran, he of San Jose State University's rising League team, gave us the lowdown on just what multiplayer online battle arena (MOBA) games actually are, what it's like to play them and which ones are right for beginners. This week, we dive into matches against live players. What do you need to know the first time you play League of Legends? What class of character is good for you? We'll answer those questions and more on today's Training Day.
The rather unpopular, $45 billion merger attempt between Comcast and Time Warner Cable has been officially called off. In a very brief statement, Comcast CEO Brian L. Roberts said that he would have liked to pair the two companies together, but governmental pressure has killed the deal. The biggest objection to the deal was that the combination would control the majority of high-speed internet connections in the US, raising the ire of both the FCC and Justice Department. Unlike the failed AT&T - T-Mobile deal a few years back, it doesn't appear as if either party has to pay a severance fee to the other, which should make walking away a little easier.
Update: In a statement, Attorney General Eric Holder said the decision is a victory for "providers of content and streaming services who work to bring innovative products to consumers across America and around the world." Check after the break for other statements from around the industry, including Time Warner Cable and some of the consumer groups that opposed the deal.
[Image credit: Spencer Platt/Getty Images]
Valve's move to start selling community-created mods on its PC-game storefront looks like it could boost that $57 million user payout from earlier this year. And it's starting with The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim -- one of the most popular moddable games. The process sounds pretty easy as Valve tells it, too. Upload your tweak to the Skyrim Creation Kit, agree to the new Steam Workshop terms, enter payment info and set your creation free. Within the week, it'll go up for sale at a price of your choosing. You can even add revenue splitting if you're working with a team and generally control the whole process from start to finish.
The latest teaser trailer for Call of Duty Black Ops 3 -- this year's installment from Black Ops creator Treyarch -- depicts a future ruptured by the onset of technologically enhanced and weaponized humans. There are riots in the streets and ominous news reports on the screens, plus a whistleblower who claims that the government is turning humans into death machines. Black Ops generally deals with futuristic combat, but the new transhumanist angle is oddly reminiscent of another AAA franchise, Deus Ex. And that's not just us saying so: The official Deus Ex: Mankind Divided Twitter account responded to the Black Ops 3 trailer with a picture of a confused (and adorable) cat, and Deus Ex executive art director Jonathan Jacques-Belletete jokingly welcomed Treyarch to the bandwagon. "We lied guyz. Deus Ex: Mankind Divided actually takes place on the Eastern Front during World War 2. We felt inspired," he tweeted. Watch the teaser below and judge our technological future for yourself.
Been itching to prep for The X Files' return by binge-watching the series from the beginning? Given that Netflix has just flipped the switch on an HD upgrade of the first season, that's gotten a little easier on the eyes. As Bloody Disgusting reports, the first 13 episodes are streaming in high-res and widescreen and they look good. Whether or not the rest of the show's run will get a similar upgrade is anyone's guess at this point, but there are at least a few people who'd appreciate that sort of thing. It's worth noting that this isn't the first time the show's appeared in HD (Germany's had it for a bit), but nothing of the sort's hit stateside until now.
It looks like Cablevision is covering all of its bases. Today the company announced "Cord Cutter" packages that include a free digital antenna and access to its Optimum WiFi network. Additionally, Cablevision is offering the option of adding HBO Now to the service, making it the first ever cable provider to do so. With pay-TV losing customers to streaming services, it makes sense for these companies to offer broadband-only packages. In a statement, CEO Kristin Dolan, said: "Our new 'cord cutter' packages take a modern approach to traditional triple-product bundles and provide real alternatives that fit new consumer lifestyles."
The final round of the collegiate championship for Heroes of the Storm -- Blizzard's answer to hugely popular MOBA games League of Legends and Dota 2 -- will be broadcast live on ESPN2 on Sunday at 6:30PM PT. That's prime time, baby. This marks the first time that ESPN will air an eSports match on live TV; it hosted the League of Legends finals last year online only, and that stream brought in more viewers than the NBA Finals or the deciding game in the World Series. Also last year, ESPN2 aired a documentary about Dota 2 and ESPN3 hosted an online stream of that game's championships. Professional gaming is a booming business, with the top title, League of Legends, bringing in an estimated $1 billion in 2014 alone.
Telltale, the studio behind Game of Thrones and The Walking Dead adventure games, has partnered with Marvel for a game series due out in 2017. Telltale announced the collaboration in a brief blog post, and details from an event in San Francisco note that it's a PC and console game (via GameSpot). Other than that, we have the above image and our imaginations.
In the three months leading up to March 31, 2015, Microsoft reported a 24 percent drop in revenue from its Xbox division compared with last year, attributing much of the decline to sales of an "increased mix of lower price Xbox One" consoles. Microsoft cut the price of the Xbox One from $500 to $400 (and it ditched the Kinect) in June 2014, and it's knocked off another $50 since. The corporate Xbox arm includes both the Xbox One and Xbox 360, and Microsoft did not separate sales of each console in its Q3 2015 financial report. Hardware revenue overall was down just 4 percent, boosted by Surface tablet sales, which were up 44 percent over last year to $713 million.
Hulu is about to be your go-to destination to catch up on the adventures of the Venture Bros. and Aqua Teen Hunger Force. The streaming service announced a deal with Turner Broadcasting that adds Cartoon Network, Adult Swim, TBS and TNT titles to its library on May 1. The animation-heavy agreement brings Adventure Time, Dexter's Laboratory, Robot Chicken, Black Jesus, NTSF:SD:SUV and other shows from Cartoon Network. TNT dramas The Last Ship and Murder in the First will eventually be followed by additional shows from TNT and TBS. Kid-friendly Cartoon Network shows will be available ad-free in the Hulu Kids section. The service recently secured ratings juggernaut CSI and animated series South Park to help it compete against Netflix and Amazon Instant Video.