Category Archives: SCI-TECH

The robot homecoming is upon us

Robots were everywhere at CES, as has been the case for at least a decade. But there’s a different tenor to the robots shown off at the recent annual consumer tech event: they’re designed for home use, and they’re shipping products, not just concepts intended strictly for trade show glam.

Home robots have already had a few false starts, including some high-profile flare-outs like Anki and previous CES darling Kuri (despite the backing of global technology giant Bosch) . But other robots, including autonomous vacuums, have already carved out niches for themselves within the domestic milieu. Between slow-burn but now mature categories and the sheer volume of newer products jumping in to establish new beachheads, it now seems certain we’re on a path at the end of which lie hybrid companion and functional robots that will become common household items.

Industrial to residential

One of the biggest signs that home robotics is gaining credibility as a market is the fact that companies which have found success in industrial technology are branching out. At CES, I spoke to Elephant Robotics founder and CEO Joey Song, who was at the show demonstrating MarsCat, a fully developed robotic cat designed to be a companion pet with full autonomous interactivity, similar to Sony’s Aibo.

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Sony Interactive will skip E3 again this year

Sony Interactive Entertainment will skip E3 again this year and participate instead in “hundreds of consumer events across the globe,” the company told GamesIndustry.biz today. The company, which is preparing to launch the PlayStation 5 before this holiday season, missed the show for the first time last year, after two decades of being one of its biggest exhibitors.

A Sony Interactive spokesperson told GamesIndustry.biz that the company has “great respect for the ESA as an organization, but we do not feel the vision of E3 2020 is the right venue for what we are focused on this year.” Instead, it will “build upon our global events strategy in 2020 by participating in hundreds of of consumer events across the globe.”

As TechCrunch’s Devin Coldewey noted last year, Nintendo hasn’t held a formal E3 press conference in years, but still has a booth where attendees can play their games and hosts a live stream. Before skipping the event last year, Sony used E3 to debut new consoles and flagship games, though focusing on other events gives it more flexibility for when it announces major news.

TechCrunch has contacted Sony Interactive and ESA, the organizers of E3, for comment.

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Toyota Plans to Build a Prototype Future City at the Foot of Mt. Fuji

Toyota, one of the world’s largest car manufacturers, announced this week that they are going to bring their vision of the future, to reality. The auto giant is teaming up with Danish architect Bjarke Ingels and his firm BIG to design and build a “prototype city of the future” on the site of a former car […]

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Google マップのシークレットモードとタイムラインをアップデートしました

Google は、2019 年を通して、ロケーション履歴の設定、管理、削除をより簡単にするために機能の開発に注力してきました。ロケーション履歴は、初期設定ではオフになっており、オンにした後にも、履歴のすべてまたは一部を自動的に削除できるオプションをご用意しています。また、Google マップの

タイムラインの一括削除

タイムラインは、ロケーション履歴を使用して、訪れた場所や経路を簡単に確認できる機能です。Android 向けのアプリでは、タイムラインを友だちと共有することもできます。タイムラインの一括削除機能を使えば、タイムラインとロケーション履歴から複数の場所を一目で確認し、素早く削除することができます。もちろん、ロケーション履歴の設定から期間ごとにタイムラインのすべてまたは一部を削除することも引き続き可能です。

Google マップの機能向上とロケーション履歴

Google は、ロケーション履歴を管理するためのシンプルで使いやすいツールを提供すると同時に、そうした情報をどのように製品の機能改善に活用しているかをわかりやすく説明することにも注力しています。ロケーション履歴を活用することで可能となる便利な Google マップの機能について、以下をご覧ください。

Google マップは、匿名化され、統計的に処理されたロケーション履歴情報を元に、レストランやお店の待ち時間や、最も混雑しやすい時間帯を表示しています。混雑を避けたり、予め待ち時間を想定して予定を立てるといったことに役立つ機能の一つです。

また、海外の都市においては駐車場の混雑状況を表示しています。これも、匿名化され統計的に処理した情報を元に機械学習を用いることで可能となる機能で、たとえば、駐車場探しの時間を考慮して出発時間を決めるといったことができるようになります。

出発時間の通知は、頻繁に訪れる場所に時間通りに到着するお手伝いをします。通勤経路上の交通情報を含む通知が届きます。公共交通機関の遅延や道路の混雑状況を把握することができます。

どのレストランに行くか迷ったら、保存または評価した場所、訪れた場所などに基づく「おすすめ」タブを試してみてください。

「スポット」タブは、行ってみたい場所として保存した場所や、過去に訪れた場所等に基づいて、現在地周辺のレストラン、カフェ、公園などのおすすめを表示します。

ロケーション履歴の設定を最新の状態に保つ

Google は、ユーザーがロケーション履歴を常に把握できるようにすることを目指しています。ロケーション履歴の設定を有効にした場合、保存しているデータとその管理方法をお知らせするメールを定期的にお送りします。ロケーション履歴の詳細については、ポリシーと規約ページをご覧ください。


Posted by: Google マップ プロダクトマネージャー Marlo McGriff

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Need more buttons for your PS4 controller? This gadget adds two on the caboose

When you play games on your PS4, it’s fair to say that your thumbs and index fingers are generally doing most of the work. Why not put the rest of your lazy digits to work with this accessory that puts two programmable buttons on the rear of the DualShock 4 controller?

Called, imaginatively, the Back Button Attachment, the gadget plugs into the PS4’s accessory port and adds three interactive items to the back end of the controller. There are two paddle-style buttons that seem suited for middle fingers to hit easily, each of which can be programmed to be any of the ordinary buttons.

There’s also a little OLED screen that provides “real-time” information on what the buttons are set to. It doesn’t seem like there’s ever much urgency to find that information out or show others, but hey. The screen also doubles as a button for switching between configurations or changing the settings on the fly.

Great idea from Sony, right? Wrong! The rear button thing has been done for some time by high-end third-party controller makers like Scuf and Astro, which with their customizable sticks and buttons have been adopted widely by pro gamers. (Microsoft, for its part, has a patent for a Braille display and input on the back.)

It doesn’t look good to have all the performance-oriented gamers using third party gear, but with the PS5 around the corner and a new controller coming with it, it doesn’t make much sense to put out a stopgap “DualShock 4.5” with extra buttons. So this accessory makes a lot of sense. (Don’t worry, it has a 3.5mm headphone jack pass-through, so you can still use a headset.)

And the price is reasonable, too: $30. That makes it a fairly easy impulse buy …continue reading