Plus: Another harbinger of the robot apocalypse, Boston Dynamics' WildCat.
By Jason Imms on October 11, 2013 at 3:15 pm
Welcome to the Friday Tech Roundup! Contained herein is your weekly dose of some of the best tech news from across the Internet, rounded up for your edification and entertainment. Read on for all the details of Xbox One’s automatic achievement video recording, PS4’s lack of USB and Bluetooth headset support at launch, and Iron Man-like armour being developed for US soldiers.
Xbox One automatically records the moment of achievement
Both the Xbox One and PS4 have touted a TV DVR-like system for automatically recording the previous few minutes of gameplay, allowing users to share interesting happenings in games on the fly. In an interview with YouTuber ChampChong at EB Expo 2013, Xbox Australia product manager Adam Pollington revealed that the Xbox One will also automatically record video that captures the moment that an achievement is unlocked. In the video, Pollington discusses the fact that developers could choose to use the Kinect camera to also record reaction footage of the player as well, if developers wish to implement such a feature on a game-by-game or app-by-app basis.
PlayStation 4 will not support USB or Bluetooth headsets at launch
According to a report over at Game Informer, those hoping for the PS4 to support wireless headsets at launch will be disappointed come November 29. A representative from Sony informed the publication that updates will eventually be released to provide support for Bluetooth and USB headsets, sometime after launch. The PS4 will instead ship with a mono earbud headset and microphone combination to be used for chat. Both Sony and Microsoft have previously confirmed that their next gen consoles will support last-generation and third party USB and wireless headsets, but it seems as though that confirmation didn’t come with a deadline.
US Army developing Iron Man-like suit of armour, allows soldiers to “walk through a hail of AK-47 fire”
Very few moviegoers left the cinema after watching Iron Man without fantasising about how an advanced exoskeleton would change their own lives. Well, the United States Army has the resources to bring such dreams closer to reality, and has commissioned a Tactical Assault Light Operator Suit (TALOS), which is designed to augment the wearer’s night vision, strength, and provide significant protection from light arms fire. The suit is controlled by an on-board computer, which provides enhanced situational awareness to the wearer, and automatically responds to a series of stimuli.
According to the army.mil press release, the suit’s protective capability is provided by “liquid body armor,” which utilises magnetorheological fluids, liquids that can turn to solids in a matter of milliseconds, “when a magnetic field or electrical current is applied.” It remains to be seen whether the theoretical armour can live up to the lofty standards outlined in a Foreign Policy article on the subject, “armor that allows them to literally walk through a hail of AK-47 fire,” but it sure does sound like an ideal end-goal for the soldiers on the ground.
Twitter and Facebook battle to be the first choice for TV-related social media bleating
The recent season finale of Breaking Bad aired to 10.3 million viewers, a significant proportion of which used social media giants Twitter and Facebook to share their thoughts with followers and friends. Both Twitter and Facebook released details to the media on social media engagement during the finale, hoping to latch onto a larger share of the TV advertising spending, which eMarketer estimates at US$171 billion across all types of media in the United States. Citing data calculated using the secretive formula of Nielsen’s SocialGuide, Twitter claim that around 600,000 people tweeted 1.2 million times (including retweets) about “Breaking Bad” over the 10-hour period surrounding the finale’s airing. Facebook’s number is slightly more impressive at three million people, but their numbers include original posts, comments on those posts, and even simple likes.
Whether or not Twitter or Facebook can cash-in on TV advertising based on these figures remains to be seen, but Jason Kint, a senior vice president of CBS Corporation’s interactive division voices his doubt in an interview with The New York Times, “There’s definitely a lot of hype, and maybe one day they’ll live up to it all,” he said. “But I certainly don’t see it taking away ad share from television.”
Boston Dynamics’ WildCat robot gallops without a tether
Boston Dynamics, our favourite proponents of existential risk, have recently demonstrated the WildCat, an untethered quadrupedal robot capable of running at a horrifying 25.7kph. WildCat is a derivation of the Cheetah project, a similar robot that was capable of reaching speeds of 45.5kph under lab conditions, outpacing Usain Bolt’s current world record of 44.72kph. WildCat is funded by the US Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), with military use in mind. Watch the video below, and imagine a more developed version of this robotic warbeast charging at you making that horrible, horrible sound.