A lot can happen in a week when it comes to tech. The constant onslaught of news makes it nigh impossible for mere mortals with real lives to keep track of everything. That’s why we’ve compiled a quick and dirty list of this week’s top tech stories, from our 2017 Digital Trends Car Awards to the best Game of Thrones theories — it’s all here.
Each year, our editorial crew keeps busy by getting wheel time in as many vehicles as possible and sharing that experience with you. As the year wears on, clear favorites emerge, and our annual awards are a chance to celebrate those cars and see which are truly the best of the best.
We can’t gather every single car we’ve tested over the months, so we narrow the selection down to the best in specific categories. To us, these cars are already winners, which is why our selections are so diverse. From there, we spend some extra time reacquainting ourselves with just what we loved about each, and deliberate about which vehicles dominate their respective categories.
Microsoft is using artificial intelligence to tackle a huge problem: helping visually impaired users interact with the world around them. To that end, it has developed Seeing AI, an iPhone app that recognizes people, places, documents, currency, and more to narrate your surroundings.
Open the app and point your phone’s camera at a friend, and Seeing AI will tell you who you’re looking at as well as report the expression on their face. Point it at a can of soup in the grocery store, and it will read off the brand as well as the directions. The app can also translate printed text to speech, whether it’s on a paper or a label on a door. It can even tell denomination bills apart from one and another.
Over the past few years, as virtual and augmented reality platforms and software have blossomed into the growing industries that they are today, media properties have leveraged various technologies to augment shows and movies at various public events. Game of Thrones famously took fans atop the Wall in early versions of the Oculus Rift, and now the Hololens is going to give Legion fans a better look at the mind of its main character.
Fans of FX’s Legion TV series will get a feel of what it is like to not be able to trust reality itself at this year’s San Diego Comic-Con, where a mixed reality experience will be available to demo using Microsoft’s Hololens headset. The idea is to put fans in the shoes of protagonist David Haller, where they can play out various scenes from the first season of the show, as well as give them a sneak peek at season 2, RoadtoVR reports.
There may be those who continue to raise an eyebrow or two at the idea of the Hyperloop One becoming a reality, but at least one of the companies behind the super-fast transportation system is intent on seeing the project through to completion.
Hyperloop One announced this week that it has taken a major step forward after successfully testing a full-scale version of its technology in a vacuum environment for the very first time.
Conducted recently at the company’s DevLoop test track in Nevada, the trial run saw an “actual size” passenger pod coast above the track for just over five seconds using magnetic levitation technology — better known as maglev — while reaching nearly 2Gs of acceleration.
When Facebook acquired virtual reality headset maker Oculus and gained access to its main product, the Oculus Rift, the assumption was that VR experiences would increasingly make their way to the social media giant. So far, the VR headset has been successful in its own right, and the Oculus Spaces app has served as the main point of entry for using Facebook in a somewhat limited VR environment.
Now, Oculus Spaces is getting a brand-new feature that should significantly enhance the social sharing aspect of the experience. Spaces will now allow users to share Facebook Live video sessions that are generated from within the app, as Road to VR reports.
The new Live support means that users can now set up a virtual camera in Oculus Spaces that can be positioned anywhere in the VR environment and broadcast to other Facebook users — just as with a 2D Live session. This builds on Spaces‘ current ability to share selfies and add them to the Facebook Timeline, as well as the Facebook Messenger call feature that lets users engage in “VR-to-reality” video conferences.