Also, the iPhone case that turns the space around it into a touch surface.
By Jason Imms on June 6, 2014 at 12:00 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 Valve’s latest HMD, quantum teleportation and its potential for a quantum internet, and offline filesharing with PirateBox.
Valve shows off latest HMD prototype at Boston VR game jam
New details have been released about Valve’s VR head mounted display prototype after it was shown off to developers at the Boston VR game jam. The company allowed visitors access to the hardware, who were shown a series of demos that show off its augmented reality technology. Reddit user jonomf was one of those lucky visitors, and has posted some photos and impressions. The same user also posted about an in-development demo showcasing Dota 2, though the post has since been deleted. “[Valve] mentioned offhandedly that they have a Dota 2 VR experience where you see the entire game arena sitting on a table in front of you and can bend down to inspect any piece of the action,” said Jonomf. “They also mentioned a life-size Dota 2 VR experience where you’re hanging out in a lane watching the heroes fight; they said it was very scary.”
Quantum teleportation could one day fuel a quantum internet
A team of scientists at the Kavli Institute of Nanoscience at the Delft University of Technology in the Netherland has published a paper in the journal Science on the subject of quantum teleportation. While the concept of quantum teleportation isn’t new — scientists have been successfully experimenting with it for years — the fact that these most recent experiments have been 100% reliable represents a significant leap forward for the technology, bringing us one step closer to disproving Einstein’s disbelief in quantum entanglement. The researchers trapped electrons within diamonds at extremely low temperatures, and then zapped them with lasers to produce quantum bits, or qubits.
The spin state of one qubit was then transmitted to another qubit through the phenomenon of entanglement, at a range of three meters with 100% accuracy. According to the lab’s press release, quantum teleportation could one day result in a quantum network, with data being transported at vast distances faster than the speed of light. “[It’s] an important step towards a quantum network for communication between future ultra-fast quantum computers — a quantum internet.”
Offline anonymous filesharing with PirateBox
Taking clear inspiration from pirate radio stations, PirateBox is an open-source software project that similarly focuses on making content freely available. Version 1.0 of PirateBox has been released which, once installed on a Raspberry Pi or one of a number of supported routers, allows users to create a local network for the sharing of files and other media. The idea is for PirateBox devices to be set up and to be hidden in public locations for passersby to discover. Upon connecting to a PirateBox, users will be presented with a landing page that explains the concept, and will then able to freely upload and download files for the consumption of others that connect to the same device.
Wearable submarine suit
Nuytco Research in Vancouver has unveiled a wearable submarine suit designed to allow divers to work with unparalleled fidelity in deep water, without the normal risks associated with pressure and decompression. The “Exosuit atmospheric diving system” (ADS) is made from hard metals, and has four 1.6 horsepower propulsion thrusters, fibre optic gigabit ethernet, and a range of telemetry devices. The ADS is still in testing, but diver Michael Lombardi is slated to be performing the first full exploration mission toward the end of 2014 at a location off the coast of Rhode Island.
Fuffr turns the space around your iPhone into a touchpad
The unfortunately-named Fuffr is an in-development iPhone case that is designed to turn the space around your phone into a useable touch surface. The idea is to offload touch interactions to the case, allowing valuable screen real-estate to be used for actually displaying information. At this stage the technology behind Fuffr is unclear – the company is being coy with the details, but what is clear is that an impressive tech demo isn’t going to be enough to turn a concept into a saleable product. Unless the case can be used to simply and effectively mimic standard touch inputs, finding developers willing to support the device instead of (or more likely as well as) standard touch inputs will be a tough row to hoe. Check out the demo reel below.