TECHNOLOGY & INNOVATION
If the Oculus Rift and HTC Vive are too expensive, there's good news on the horizon.
At Microsoft's Windows 10 event on Wednesday, the company announced a handful of new partners that will be producing VR headsets starting at $299.
Oh, great, now everyone's going be having "Jam" sessions, aren't they? Google is inviting companies to get on the waiting list for its latest in-office tool called the Jamboard. It's a digital whiteboard that could make workers long for the days when PowerPoint presentations were all they had to worry about. That means offices could start hearing, "Hey, let's Jam," or "Wanna Jam storm."
Funny name aside, Google's new tech toy does look slick. It has a 55-inch, 4K resolution screen that syncs with Google's G-Suite office products, and it connects to the internet to share with remote offices. Google said the Jamboard has only been available to select early partners like Spotify and Netflix. The board costs less than $6,000, which makes it cheaper than Microsoft's Surface Hub at $9,000. Still, Google does not have the best track record with quirky new gadgets -- think, Glass -- so Jamboards might not necessarily invade Madison Avenue. If it does, everyone could be in a Jam.
There's a model of an odd-looking boat on a tabletop in front of me, and a woman is capturing it with her phone's camera. Only she's not just snapping a photo of the thing — she's moving around it, shooting a full 360 of the object, scanning every detail from every angle.
She's using a Microsoft phone to do it. That would be extremely unusual except for the fact that I'm at Microsoft headquarters in Redmond, Washington, and the woman is Megan Saunders, the team leader behind a secretive new software initiative. She's showing me how easily someone can create a virtual 3D model of an object.
Holovect is a laser-based volumetric display system that draws objects in the air using light. The device is able to modify air within a box-shaped section of space, allowing laser beams to refract and reflect on it. That creates 3D projections which can be seen by multiple observers from different locations.
When surveillance cameras began popping up in the 1970s and ’80s, they were welcomed as a crime-fighting tool, then as a way to monitor traffic congestion, factory floors and even baby cribs. Later, they were adopted for darker purposes, as authoritarian governments like China’s used them to prevent challenges to power by keeping tabs on protesters and dissidents.
But now those cameras — and many other devices that today are connected to the internet — have been commandeered for an entirely different purpose: as a weapon of mass disruption. The internet slowdown that swept the East Coast on Friday, when many Americans were already jittery about the possibility that hackers could interfere with election systems, offered a glimpse of a new era of vulnerabilities confronting a highly connected society.
In a move that's guaranteed to inspire awe but is really just laying the foundation for the robot takeover Elon Musk has been warning us about, IBM's artificial intelligence program Watson has helped write some music.
Laptops and desktops may be the most common form of instructional tech in the classroom, but most faculty are dreaming about more cutting-edge gear. According to Campus Technology's 2016 Teaching with Technology survey, the top hardware on instructors' wish lists: user-engaging 3D and virtual reality gear, big displays and tech-enabled student furnishings. The survey polled faculty members across the country about their use of technology for teaching and learning, their wish lists and gripes, their view of what the future holds and more.
On the software front, animation software leads the faculty wish list, referenced by 17 percent of respondents; followed by adaptive learning (13 percent); games and e-portfolios (each with 12 percent); 3D modeling (11 percent); and collaboration/whiteboard software (10 percent). Everything else received single-digit mention.
At the University of Delaware, an ERP system upgrade led to the retirement of the university's legacy portal. The search was on for a portal replacement. Director of IT Web Development Joy Lynam explains how the university replaced the portal with a search-based solution called OneCampus — ultimately modernizing the experience of finding campus resources for users.