Plus: Google's SCHAFT robot that can drive a Polaris ATV.
By Jason Imms on January 24, 2014 at 8:25 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 Nvidia’s upcoming GTX Titan Black Edition and GTX 790, Valve’s excitement for VR, and NZXT’s next mechanical keyboard designed in collaboration with Ducky.
Nvidia preps GTX Titan Black Edition and GTX 790
Nvidia’s GTX 780 Ti graphics card reclaimed the single-GPU performance crown from AMD two months ago, and it seems that the parallel processing giant is prepping to defend its title with the impending launch of the GeForce GTX Titan Black Edition, and dual-GPU GeForce GTX 790. According to a report over at VideoCardz, the updated Titan will contain the same GPU as found in the GTX 780, but sport more FP64 CUDA cores, double the GDDR5 memory to 6GB, 2,880 CUDA cores, 240 TMUs, and 48 ROPs. The Titan is expected to ship next month, and clock in at around USD$1,000. VideoCardz could only speculate [pun intended] at the specs for the GTX 790, but believes that the card will ship in March for USD$1,000.
Valve thinks that VR could “transform the entertainment industry”
Valve representative Michael Abrash spoke at the recent Steam Dev Days conference on the topic of virtual reality, and the effect the company believes VR will have on the games industry. Abrash is a programming veteran, credited with helping to create Windows NT and co-authoring Quake with John Carmack. His presentation spoke highly of VR, claiming that it could “transform the entertainment industry,” and notes that Valve has offered support to Oculus as the forerunner in “compeling, consumer-priced VR hardware.”
Sacramento Kings to bring Google Glass courtside
One of the common complaints levelled at Google Glass is a lack of practical applications. The Sacramento Kings have found a courtside use for the technology that simultaneously underutilises the tech’s potential, and uses it to great effect to facilitate a new perspective on NBA games. Jim Kovach, head of business development for electronics company CrowdOptic, says that the company’s tech can be used with Google Glass headsets worn by benched players, cheerleaders, and announcers to capture video and broadcast it live to the stadium Jumbotron, televisions, or mobile devices. Given that this application for Google Glass results in it being used for little more than its lacklustre camera, it seems that the bulk of the interesting tech included in the device will go unused for now. Commissioner of the NBA David Stern has spoken with CrowdOptic about increasing Glass licensing rights for the wider NBA, a move that Kovach believes will lead to greater uses for the technology over time. “Currently, it’s limited to the fringes of the game, but over time, I see it more incorporated.”
Google’s DARPA Robotics Challenge-winning SCHAFT robot opens doors
2013’s DARPA Robotics Challenge saw the latest output from Google’s secret robotics project take the prize, and carry it over rough terrain to victory. SCHAFT scored 27 out of a possible 30 points during the challenge, which included tasks such as opening an traversing a series of doors, clearing debris, cutting a hole in a wall, and deploying a fire hose. Watch snippets of SCHAFT’s performance in the video below.
NZXT partners with Ducky to produce the NZXT Shine 3 mechanical keyboard
The next mechanical keyboard from NZXT is, somewhat predictably, a collaboration with Ducky dubbed the NZXT Shine 3. The Shine 3 is supposedly an ‘extremely limited edition’ keyboard, which will feature Cherry MX Red switches, user-customisable and key-selectable LED backlighting, and a detachable braided cable. The NZXT Shine 3 will be made available only through the NZXT Armory Store, for USD$149.99 in both black and white.