Welcome back. While our team out in Texas continues to struggle against wave upon wave of BBQ and beers at SXSW, they're also finding time to bring us all the cool stuff worth talking about. SXSW is a weird one, and we've already seen specialized VR chairs, sound-based motion capture and a Levi- and Google-made smart jacket. Meanwhile, on the other side of the world, Fukushima might be safe enough for people to return.
When it comes to tracking physical objects in virtual spaces, pretty much every company relies on light: Oculus and HTC have light mapping sensors, while Sony's PlayStation VR relies on infrared for its motion tracking camera. However, Hauoli, a young Austin-based startup demoing at SXSW, has something different in mind. It's developed a way to track virtual objects with sound. It's entirely software based and works with just about any speaker.
Fingerprints everywhere.AirBar adds a few more touchscreen tricks to the MacBook Air
Your MacBook Air needed pinch-to-zoom, right?
The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild isn't just the series' best game in years, it's also unlike any title in the series -- it's an open-world experience where you're free to find your own solutions to challenges. But just how did Nintendo manage to pull off such a radical change in direction? Don't worry -- it's happy to explain. The Game Developers Conference has posted a talk from the team behind it that describes how they broke from the highly linear experiences of past Zelda games.
Google's Project Jacquard, which can turn objects into interactive, gesture-controlled surfaces, has finally landed inside a Levi's Commuter jacket. The technology comes to life through conductive fabric and a Bluetooth device that attaches to the garment. The connected area consists of 15 threads on the left sleeve, just visible enough for you to know where to touch to trigger actions from a paired smartphone. To start, you can brush your fingers on the jacket to find out what time it is, or swipe to play, pause or skip a track while you're listening to music.