Category: Play

Epson’s smart glasses are for tech-loving mechanics

For the mall-pounding public, smart glasses are a hard sell. The combo of dorky looks and, well, lack of actual need has strangled the few attempts to commercialize them. Epson (of printer fame) thinks trade and industry is where the market/money is, and is adding another smart headset to its professional-friendly range. The Moverio Pro BT-2000 (yah, really) is based on Epson’s existing BT-200 model, with a more rugged design and a juicier specification. This time around, Epson is tempting engineers with a 5-megapixel stereo/3D camera with depth sensing, head tracking and support for augmented reality, like if Dickies made HoloLens.
Factories and workplaces of the near future, at least those with the BT-2000, would have engineers sharing what they are doing, beaming images directly to other headsets for remote viewing — be it for training or remote support (thanks to WiFi and Bluetooth conenctivity). Or, working on a tricky motor, with the schematics or next step right there in your peripheral vision. The Android-based software also adds scope for custom applications, plus there’s support for voice control. There’s no word on price, so we can’t say if there’s scope for consumers to consider them as an industrial-strength alternative to Google Glass (stranger things have happened). We’ll also have to wait until the autumn release to see if the big world of business bites too.

Google’s Immersive 360 Action Flick

Google released a new 360-degree immersive video on its Spotlight Stories app yesterday—the first that features real human actors instead of animation. It’s an action-packed short directed by Fast & Furious director Justin Lin. I downloaded the 1GB 360 video and took it for a literal spin (I was sitting in a swivel chair). It’s so realistic it’s almost problematic.

The short is extremely impressive, and a good taste of what movies could become once VR becomes more ubiquitous. But it also shined new light on the rivers yet to be crossed. By inserting you into the movie, into the action, it actually breaks the fourth wall and makes it harder to suspend disbelief.

Video as part of the customer experience

ONLINE SHOPPERS RELY ON VIDEO TO INFORM PURCHASE DECISIONS: Online videos are proving to be a major motivating factor in consumers’ online shopping decisions, according to a report by Liveclicker. In fact, the popularity of product-related content on YouTube is what drove the platform to recently make videos “shoppable,” as we highlighted recently. There are unique benefits to using video for shopping-related content:

Video is helpful to shoppers who are researching a product. 58% of consumers find companies that provide product videos to be more trustworthy than those that don’t, according to Liveclicker. Seeing the seller or another customer talking about the product builds a sense of trust in the quality of the company’s work.
Video content also helps with branding. Online videos are one of the most-shared forms of digital content today. Posting to YouTube or hosting videos on their websites increases merchants’ traffic and generates more customers.
This is a clear example of the convergence between video content and online shopping. As more online users utilize video to make shopping decisions, it will become more important for video producers to become aware of what will influence their shoppers to hit the “buy” button.

Google puts Chrome OS on your TV with its own HDMI stick

Google has unveiled a whole new type of Chrome device, and it’s one that can fit in your pocket. It’s called the Chromebit, and it’s essentially a Chromebook crammed in a dongle. This tiny little package contains a Rockchip 3288 SoC, 2GB of RAM, 16GB of eMMC memory, a USB 2.0 port, WiFi 802.11 ac support, Bluetooth 4.0, a Smart Ready controller and an ARM Mali 760 quad-core GPU. Just like Intel’s Compute Stick, all you have to do to get the Chromebit working is to attach it to any display with a HDMI port, and voila, you’ve turned it into a computer. Unlike the Intel stick though, the Chromebit’s HDMI end actually swivels around so that the dongle doesn’t stick out in an unsightly way behind a monitor or TV. As for battery life, well, Google says it doesn’t really know that just yet as the product is still in testing. Google promises that the Chromebit — the first is made by ASUS — will retail for less than $100. It’ll be available in either silver, blue or orange and will be out later this summer.

Hang w/ Updates Facebook Live Streaming

streaming app Hang w/ has improved its integration with Facebook by adding new features and an in-line video player.

This isn’t surprising with the hype around streaming apps like Meerkat in recent times.

The new updates mean that you can stream videos live to viewers while they are being filmed and they will be available immediately for playback on Facebook when the stream has stopped. It’s not necessary for people to have the Hang w/ app to view the videos either.