We just returned from the 2017 Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas and our overall impression from what we saw was, well, impressive. It was the CES 50th Anniversary, and with an overall attendance of 178,000 people in over 5 million square feet of display and conference space, was a massive force of technology on display. Since our focus was mostly on computer gear, we checked out what the show had to offer in that segment and were not disappointed. Up and coming new items included both virtual and augmented reality, more advanced wireless networking equipment, gaming gear, new processors from Intel and AMD, and more.
Virtuality and augment reality was well represented by more then 70 venders in that segment alone, with Samsung Gear VR and Intel/Qualcomm being well represented among many others. Companies like these which have considerable financial clout will be investing billions into VR/AR technologies and will be driving that market to comsumers, companies and government users for gaming, teaching and training. Expect to see VR/AR shape up quickly over the next year and be in the marketplace in a big way by then.
Wireless networking speeds and distances will be bumped up by new high-speed routers from companies like Linksys, IOGear and TP-Link. One of the most innovative wireless products we saw was TP-Link's new DECO Wi-Fi system, which allows multiple unit deployment across a home or office. The units operate on a single SSID and feature seamless handoff, enablign wider converage areas with none of that dreaded signal loss.
Other new computer gear that is available soon (if not already) are new 7th Generation Intel processors, AMD Ryzen Processors, new Z270 chipset motherboards form MSI and Gigabyte, and new gaming cases from InWin.
NVidias booth was in the automotive area so they could show off their new artifical intelligence technology for autonomous vehicles. They also demo'd HDR gaming.
Our overall takeaway was that things in the computer world are jumping higher, running faster, and getting more connected to everyday life than ever before. CES 2017 was an amazing experience.
Later this year, the Planet of the Apes franchise will return to the big screen with War for the Planet of the Apes, the latest film to follow the story of Andy Serkis’ apes leader, Caesar, and which is shaping up to be one of the most exciting blockbuster films in a year packed to the brim with them. Started in 2011 with Rise of the Planet of the Apes, the franchise has quickly become one of the most critically-acclaimed blockbuster franchises in the industry once again, which isn’t too bad for a franchise that originally began its cinematic journey back in 1968 and since then, has continued to put out new installments, all to varying degrees of success.
The hype and anticipation surrounding War has only continued to grow since the film’s first teaser trailer in the final month of 2016 as well. Similar to what the studio is doing for this year’s Alien franchise installment Alien: Covenant, it looks like 20th Century Fox will be incorporating a unique use of technology into their promotion of the Planet of the Apes franchise later this year.
According to Variety, the Planet of the Apes franchise is getting its own virtual reality experience, created by the Fox Innovation Lab. While details on the experience are still sparse, it will apparently let users “cross the species line, and band together with other apes in their fight against humans.” Co-produced by Andy Serkis’ Imaginati Studios, the experience will reportedly not be based around the story of War, with no release date officially announced yet either. However, it would make sense for the experience to be released at least around the same time as War this summer from a promotional standpoint alone, so that they can be marketed together.
Read more here: screenrant.com/planet-apes-vr-virtual-reality/
Engage – a virtual reality (VR) education platform capable of giving hands on lessons anywhere in the world – is set to be used to showcase the Life-Saving Instruction for Emergencies (LIFE) project by Oxford University academics at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) conference 2017.
Developed by Immersive Education Ltd, the Engage platform (stylised as “ENGAGE”) uses VR platforms, including the HTC Vive (stylised as “VIVE”), to create interactive virtual classrooms. Each classroom can instruct up to 30 individuals simultaneously and offers avatar interaction, allowing instructors to be able to observe and provide feedback on a student’s work in real-time.
The LIFE Engage demo showcased at CES will be healthcare-focused, showing how the platform can be used to educate healthcare workers in developing countries on infant resuscitation techniques. At present, levels of infant mortality in Africa are so great that 1 in 10 children do not live to see their fifth birthday. Building on a gamified mobile app developed by LIFE, which is receiving business development support from Oxford University Innovation, the LIFE demo on the Engage platform aims to show how the level of emergency care available for infants can be improved through virtual distance learning.
The potential for Engage extends beyond medical training. In conjunction with its virtual reality classroom engagement offering, the Engage team have also developed the Immersive FX presenter system. Immersive FX gives instructors the ability to give virtual, interactive presentations in almost any setting conceivable, such as planetary sciences lessons on the surface of Mars or the sinking of the Titanic from the very deck of the ship.
Dr Chris Paton, Group Head for Global Health Informatics at the Centre for Tropical Medicine and who is presenting the LIFE demo at CES, said:
“A VR version of LIFE has the potential to augment both face-to-face training and the mobile version of the LIFE game. VR allows students in remote areas to connect with trainers in a virtual hospital ward where they can access equipment and practice performing tasks with a virtual instructor.”
Dan O’Brien, Vice President of Virtual Reality at HTC Vive, added:
“Education experiences are a critical component to delivering an immersive VR experience and building out the ever-growing Vive ecosystem. We built Vive to deliver the most immersive, room-scale VR experience on the market today. Organisations like Oxford University and Immersive help us meet this vision and we’re excited to see what LIFE Engage offers to the VR experience.”
Read more here: oxlifeproject.org/2017/01/04/press-release-oxford-academics-engage-virtual-reality-distance-learning-at-ces/
ATLANTA — A Georgia company wants to use body cameras to help jurors experience a crime scene for themselves.
Utility Associates, of Decatur, Ga., is a software company that helps public safety, utilities and transit enterprises stay connected.
Simon Araya, Utility's vice president of technology, said the Smart Scene 360 allows police officers to capture a crime scene or evidence within minutes. It would be used with the company's BodyWorn police body camera.
The program, loaded onto the officer’s phone, guides them as they take a series of photos that will be stitched into a virtual image. With the help of special glasses, the picture becomes an immersive experience where the viewer can look up, down, behind them and side to side.
“If you wanted to see where things were in relation to other things, this is a good way of looking at it,” said Araya.
While the immediate benefit could be for investigators trying to review evidence or vet a witness statement weeks after the crime scene is gone, Araya believes someday the images will be used in court to give jurors better perspective on what happened.
“There’s going to come a day when it’s a necessity to have these types of things in evidence,” said Barry Morgan, Cobb County solicitor general.
Morgan said jurors are often surprised that courts are still so low tech — especially when they see devices of the future on store shelves now. Virtual reality headsets for games and movies are already in demand.
“Jurors do come in expecting that a murder case is going to be tried in 56 minutes, with DNA and everything else that was investigated a week and a half ago," he said. "Because that’s how it’s portrayed on television.”
Read more here: usat.ly/2iJnDKY
INL News Release
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Jan. 4, 2017
Idaho National Laboratory wins award for immersive 3D visualization capability
Idaho National Laboratory has been named a 2017 Digital Edge Award winner by IDG Enterprise in recognition of its High Performance Computing immersive 3D visualization capabilities.
Selected by a panel of industry experts and business and technology executives, the annual Digital Edge Awards recognize innovations in technology used to transform traditional methods of solving complex problems challenging the effectiveness of industries such as energy, health care and agriculture.
“From the creative minds of researchers, INL is taking scientific experimentation to the next level — virtual reality,” said INL Chief Information Officer Denise Stephens. ”The research possibilities are almost unlimited, including designing nuclear facilities capable of withstanding the impacts of earthquakes and other natural disasters, or developing new and secure energy technologies.”
A team composed of INL researchers, data scientists and technology specialists designed and developed the capability to fully immerse a scientist into a highly interactive virtual environment capable of generating complex scientific models and simulated scenarios. The team’s goals included delivering a visually immersive and robust virtual experience enabling scientists to interact with their environmental surroundings while experiencing and simulating events. The immersive experience improves access and mobility through the use of consumer technology, keeping costs at a minimum.
INL possesses a four-sided 3D Computer Assisted Virtual Environment (CAVE), which allows scientists and engineers to probe, analyze and predict trends while standing in the midst of computer-generated renderings of their designs. Scientists also desired access to 3D modeling and simulation capability within their unique research environments, including use in the field.
In order to develop a solution that researchers could adopt to perform modeling and simulation analysis outside of specialized facilities, such as the CAVE, they evaluated standard game engines, modeling applications and consumer technology.
As they selected technology, scientists and technology experts collaborated closely to model facilities and simulate events measuring outcomes with scientific precision. Once they cleansed and layered INL’s Big Data, it was transformed using gaming platforms and modeling software and ultimately delivered into the hands of scientists and staff through Samsung’s Gear VR® headsets using several platforms, including PCs, Macs and standard smartphone technologies.
“They are taking advantage of new capabilities to enhance their mobile and analytics practices worldwide,” said Digital Edge Program Chairwoman Anne McCrory, adding that innovations in technology produce dramatic results and allow quicker and more efficient customer service. “Completely reworked business processes show how even the most traditional businesses can go big with the right vision and leadership.”
Co-sponsored by CIO and Computerworld, the Digital Edge Awards recognize 50 organizations for digital transformation initiatives with significant, measurable business impact. Through digital technologies such as mobile, analytics, AI, the Internet of Things and cloud, award winners see business results that indicate a true “digital edge.” Winning entries span more than 15 industries and seven countries outside the U.S. — Australia, Belgium, China, France, India, Singapore and Switzerland.
Read more here: www.inl.gov/article/idaho-national-laboratory-wins-award-for-immersive-3d-visualization-capability/
With the same silicon and cutting-edge features as found on its Pascal desktop brethren, the fast, powerful GeForce® GTX 1050 delivers great gaming experiences to laptops a mere 17mm thick and supports the latest enhancements to NVIDIA BatteryBoost™, for even longer battery life while gaming unplugged.
With the new GeForce GTX 1050 and GeForce GTX 1050 Ti for laptops, you can experience fast, smooth gaming experiences and:
Read more here: www.geforce.com/whats-new/articles/nvidia-geforce-gtx-1050-laptops
Tohe Consumer Electronics Show runs from January 5-8 in Las Vegas, and here's what we are hearing about what will be either improved or emerging technologies.
1. Virtual Reality: After being touted as the tech product of the year for 2016, we expect to see a lot of VR vendors this year at CES. Reps from RJM Computers will be there to check out the latest news in the industry so we can add to our own upcoming Virtual Reality product line.
2. Robotics: This area of tech is becoming more mainstream and shoould have a strong presence this year in everything from toys to industrial robots.
3. Vehicle tech: Self-driving technology will have a large presence at CES this year with vendors from Autoliv, Clarion, Delphi, IAV, Navya, NVIDIA, NXP, Renesas Valeo and more.
4. New processors from Intel and AMD: WIth 7th generation Core i5 and i7's already being sold in mobile devices, and the recent Ryzen processor announcement from AMD, we expect these to be big news at CES.
5. Cloud computing: it or not, cloud use is growing exponentially and it one of the biggest emerging markets in decades. We expect a lot of cloud news from companies like Microsoft, Cisco and many others.
6. Ecommerce, Digital Money and CyberSecurity: These will be getting top billing at CES this year with several dozen vendors showing off the latest tech for businesses and consumers.
We'll be live tweeting from CES this coming weekend.
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