Also, the world's first fully 3D printed metal handgun -- which can fire 500 rounds before breaking.
By Jason Imms on November 15, 2013 at 10:48 am
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 Target shipping early Xbox One consoles, MIT students intriguing Kinect project, and MakerBot’s attempt to get 3D printers into the hands of schoolchildren.
Xbox One consoles shipped early to small number of consumers
Kotaku reports that some lucky Xbox One preorder-holders have received their consoles early due to a “systems error.” In a statement from retailer Target (US), the error affected “a small number of video game consoles,” while the rest are still on track for delivery on November 22. According to an anonymous and uncorroborated source speaking with Kotaku, the error was likely due to the retailer neglecting to label the consoles with the correct release date, resulting in some 150 units being inadvertently shipped. According to a blog post from Xbox rep Major Nelson, “these units will be restricted from connecting to Xbox Live until closer to our launch date.”
MIT students use Kinect to make telepresence more physical
Microsoft’s Kinect is usually used to capture and interpret movement in the real world, for use in a digital environment – in videogames, or for fancy future UI manipulation. The inFORM project developed by a group of MIT students aims to take the process one step further, by using Kinect to give remote users a tangible presence in the real world. This early prototype uses a grid of pins to represent the user, which rise and fall as the user interacts with the space monitored by the Kinect sensor. MIT is exploring a number of potential applications for the technology, including architecture and urban planning, medical imaging, and oddball physical interfaces, all of which become quite exciting prospects when imagined in conjunction with a much higher resolution version of the system. Watch the video to see inFORM in action.
MakerBot wants 3D printers in every US school
Brooklyn-based 3D printer manufacturer MakerBot has announced a new plan to bring its 3D printers to every school across America. The initiative has been dubbed “MakerBot Academy,” and relies on the DonorsChoose crowdfunding system, which was designed specifically to allow teachers to gather funds for teaching equipment from philanthropic sorts. MakerBot is urging teachers to use DonorsChoose to gather pledges for a MakerBot Replicator 2, a supply of consumables, and an equipment maintenance cover. MakerBot has discounted the package to $98USD, subsidised by corporate sponsorship. While clearly an effort from MakerBot to raise brand awareness, founder Bre Pettis cites President Obama’s call earlier this year to revitalise American manufacturing as inspiration for the initiative.
3D printed metal handgun fires 500 rounds without breaking
In darker 3D printing news: The Liberator entered into the public consciousness on a wave of fear and apocalyptic predictions that the world would end at the muzzle of an unregulated 3D printed handgun. The plastic firearm was shown to be ineffective, dangerous to wielder and target alike, and ultimately reliant on a metal firing pin. Solid Concepts, a company that specialises in a rapid prototyping process called direct metal laser sintering (DMLS), has produced a successor to The Liberator that is made entirely from metal parts, and is capable of firing over 500 rounds without breaking. Solid Concepts’ VP of Marketing Scott McGowan is quick to tell The Verge that “there are barriers to entry that will keep the public away from this technology for years.” This is due to US gun manufacturing licencing regulations, and the fact that DMLS machines are incredibly expensive.
The Creationistas use digital media to highlight Australian copyright hypocrisy
Through a series of short videos, The Creationistas do an excellent job of educating viewers on the restrictive and outdated nature of Australian copyright law. The group is asking for submissions of transformative works—most of which would be considered illegal in Australia—to be submitted to their website, in a display of solidarity aimed squarely at the Australian government.