Amazon's new Echo designs bring Alexa in all sizes

about X hours ago from
Amazon's new Echo designs bring Alexa in all sizes

Aside from the Echo Spot, Amazon also introduced two new versions of its speaker-only Echos. One is simply known as the Echo, while the more advanced version is called the Echo Plus. Both boast audio improvements with a new speaker architecture, a dedicated tweeter, a 2.5-inch down-firing woofer and Dolby sound. The two also boast better far field technology, which means you should now be able to shout "Alexa" at your Echo from across a crowded room and it'll still recognize you.

Wandercraft's exoskeleton was made to help paraplegics walk

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Wandercraft's exoskeleton was made to help paraplegics walk

There's a reason you've never seen fully autonomous exoskeletons that help the disabled walk without crutches: Building one is crazy hard. But the founders of a Paris-based startup called Wandercraft are uniquely qualified to do it. They're roboticists who happen to have loved ones in wheelchairs, giving them both the expertise and motivation to develop an exoskeleton that helps users walk again. After years of development, they're nearly ready to show it to the public, following a round of promising patient trials.

Google and Snapchat team up on geofilter coding contest for teens

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Google and Snapchat team up on geofilter coding contest for teens

Snapchat is teaming up with Google's Made With Code initiative to try and encourage teenagers to get into computer science. Teens aged 13 - 18 can build a Snapchat geofilter with Google's Blockly coding system for kids, then submit it to win a trip to the TEDWomen conference in New Orleans and mentoring sessions from Google and Snapchat engineers to create a Lens, an augmented reality filter for your photos. The five finalists' Lenses will be judged at the conference for a chance to go live in the Snapchat app, along with a trip to Los Angeles for a private tour of the Snap, Inc. and Google offices.

'Assassin's Creed Origins' adds history lessons in early 2018

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'Assassin's Creed Origins' adds history lessons in early 2018

The Assassin's Creed games have always had an element of historical realism to them, but it's hard to appreciate that cultural authenticity when you're five seconds away from being stabbed by a Templar. Thankfully, Ubisoft will take the pressure off for Assassin's Creed Origins players. It's adding a Discovery Tour mode devoted solely to giving you history lessons. There are "dozens" of guided tours led by Egyptologists and historians, focusing on subjects like the Great Pyramids (naturally), Cleopatra and mummification. And importantly, you're free to explore on your own terms without combat or plot getting in the way.

'Eve: Valkyrie' drops the VR requirement

about X hours ago from
'Eve: Valkyrie' drops the VR requirement

If what's been holding you back from playing Eve: Valkyrie has been the lack of a VR headset, that (very valid) reason has disappeared. In addition to the new subtitle, Warzone, there's a new capture the flag gametype, new ships, ultra abilities and customizations for said ships and a pair of new maps. And, of course, now you can play the game on PC or PlayStation 4 sans an expensive and bulky virtual reality display hanging from your face.

BMW will offer Alexa voice control in its cars next year

about X hours ago from
BMW will offer Alexa voice control in its cars next year

Amazon isn't content with Alexa pervading every corner of your home -- now, it's bringing that technology to your car. BMW has announced that it's making Alexa available in all its 2018 model year cars (including the Mini brand) starting in mid-2018 for the US, UK and Germany. You can use the voice assistant for typical Alexa tasks like the news or smart home control, as well as driving-oriented features like navigation or finding businesses. In many instances, voice responses will include relevant "visual cards" on your car's control display.

The evolution of video game cyberpunk: 'Ruiner' and 'Tacoma'

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The evolution of video game cyberpunk: 'Ruiner' and 'Tacoma'

The thing is, Tomkowicz and creative director Benedykt Szneider never intended to create a cyberpunk game. They're simply products of the 1980s, pulling inspiration from their favorite childhood stories -- Alien, Die Hard, Ghost in the Shell -- to create something of their own. Tomkowicz is also a former journalist covering emerging technology and consumer trends, and her professional curiosity informed Ruiner's aesthetic far more than any desire to re-create the world of, say, Blade Runner.

Hulu adds '30 Rock,' 'Parenthood' and other NBC shows

about X hours ago from
Hulu adds '30 Rock,' 'Parenthood' and other NBC shows

Last week, Hulu secured the 90s sitcom fave Will and Grace for its users to binge freely, but the streaming service isn't done scooping up older shows. Thanks to a deal with NBCUniversal, subscribers can watch full runs of a handful of additional shows including Parenthood early next year and 30 Rock on October 1st -- which is great timing, as the latter is just about to leave Netflix.