發表於: 2010.12.24 11:35:15 AM 文章主題: Re: 沉浸多時的微軟，發表電視遊樂器的人體動作感應視訊遊戲系統Kinect
Windows 8 on ARM, but don't hold your breath
All signs point to the next version of Windows running on ARM, the emerging global silicon standard for smartphones and tablets. But don't get too excited--it won't happen until 2012 at the earliest and just as likely not until 2013.
Unless Windows 7 tablets like the Archos 9 take the world by storm--not likely--consumers will have to wait for Windows 8.
(Credit: CNET Reviews)
For now, let's call the next major release from Redmond Windows 8--though I'm hearing that Microsoft will call it something else. More importantly, I'm also hearing that Windows 8 isn't due until the fourth quarter of 2012, at the earliest.
So that means tablets running Windows 8 won't appear until 2013. Microsoft could do something in the interim with a technology such as a future version of Windows CE but that's not the Windows we all know and love.
A lot can happen in two years and a lot of that on tablets and smart devices running on Google's and Apple's operating systems--not Windows. "Time after time in the high tech industry you see these companies that are successful in one market can't make the leap into the next phase because they're so busy serving their installed base," said Linley Gwennap of the Linley Group, a chip consulting firm.
Granted, that installed base is still the envy of the tech world: both Microsoft and Intel have a plum position serving a global computer market measured in the hundreds of billions of dollars.
But that doesn't mean both of those companies are going to lead the next computing revolution, or even evolution. Many consumers look at the iPad and see a device that represents the future of personal computing. While they don't know--or care--that it runs on a power-frugal ARM processor and slimmed-down version of Apple's OS X, both of those technologies are the foundation for its appeal.
And that future began last April when the iPad was released. "Apple is one of those companies that is really good at bringing out the next product that obsoletes their previous products," Gwennap said. That is a crucial point. Apple is bold enough to entertain the possibility of ultimately cannibalizing its own MacBook product line (it's not hard to imagine next-generation iPads that increasingly impinge on the feature set of the MacBook Air) with the iPad because it knows it has to create new markets to be successful.
Not to rain too much on the Windows-on-ARM parade, but Windows on other platforms--such as outside of Intel's x86--has not fared well, either. Full-featured versions of Windows--what used to be called Windows NT--ran on PowerPC, MIPS, and Alpha processors. However, support for all three platforms was phased out. While certainly ARM holds more promise for Microsoft than DEC's Alpha technology ever did, it doesn't mean that Windows will necessarily be successful on ARM.
And that chance for success gets dimmer every month that Microsoft doesn't bring out a fully optimized version of Windows for tablets. So, the prospect of Windows 8 in 2012 will stick out as a symbol of WinTel's complacency. And how much bigger does Apple (which President Obama cited today in a news conference as an American success story) need to get before it begins to eclipse both of those companies, combined? We should know by 2012.
發表於: 2010.12.22 11:56:07 AM 文章主題: Re: 沉浸多時的微軟，發表電視遊樂器的人體動作感應視訊遊戲系統Kinect
Microsoft Opens HTML5 Proving Ground
By Richard Adhikari
Web developers will have a chance to explore and tweak emerging yet unstable standards in Microsoft's new HTML5 Labs site. "At this point, HTML5 standards are moving targets," Pund-IT's Charles King stated. "But it's better for developers to get involved early and tweak their offerings along the way than to start late and deliver half-baked offerings."
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Microsoft (Nasdaq: MSFT) launched an HTML5 laboratory for developers on Tuesday. The company intends the project to be a site where Redmond prototypes early and unstable Web standard specs from standards bodies such as the W3C and shares them with the developer community.
One reason for establishing the lab could be that Microsoft wants to leverage its strong relationship with developers for the Web.
Microsoft could also be playing catch-up with Google (Nasdaq: GOOG), which launched its HTML5-based Body Browser last week, and with Mozilla's Firefox browser.
發表於: 2010.12.14 10:36:32 AM 文章主題: Re: 沉浸多時的微軟，發表電視遊樂器的人體動作感應視訊遊戲系統Kinect
Kinect minority report hack: fingers detected!
Engineers from MIT CSAIL have figured out out how to get the Xbox 360 Kinect to not just sense larger body movements, but to actually detect individual fingertips in mid-air.
They used the data points to replicate a rudimentary version of the gesture interfaces seen in Minority Report – sans gloves, of course.The guys used something called the Point Cloud Library from Willow Garage’s open source robotic control package ROS.
Here’s a video of the hack in action:
One can only hope that some games start to surface that take advantage of individual finger movements. I could see this coming in handy for puzzle games, and maybe something like the part of Bioshock where you hack into the security system – this would be a much cooler way to test your dexterity. Also, for virtual porn.
If you’re interested in giving this a shot for yourself, you’ll need to grab the ROS Kinect code here, and MIT’s code here. I’m not sure exactly what else you need to do to make it all work though, so install at your own risk.
發表於: 2010.12.10 11:16:57 AM 文章主題: Re: 沉浸多時的微軟，發表電視遊樂器的人體動作感應視訊遊戲系統Kinect
發表於: 2010.12.01 11:02:30 AM 文章主題: Re: 沉浸多時的微軟，發表電視遊樂器的人體動作感應視訊遊戲系統Kinect
Microsoft Files for Patent on Touchy-Feely Screens
A recent Microsoft patent could add a new dimension to touchscreen technology. The concept uses light-induced shape-memory polymers that would allow the screen to actually change its topography with the image, providing the sensation of touching actual buttons. Don't expect to see it on the next Windows Phone, though -- practical uses for such an invention are still years away.
Microsoft (Nasdaq: MSFT) has filed a patent application for a display screen that would dynamically give users the feeling of pushing buttons when they touch it.
The patent's for a "light-induced shape-memory polymer display screen" that would give users the sensation of actually touching buttons as they're displayed on a touchscreen.
At least one other project that would give users tactile sensations when they put their fingers on a touchscreen is under way elsewhere.
Microsoft Explores Your Feelings
Microsoft's patent describes a device with a display screen that has a topography-changing layer. This layer would consist of a shape-memory polymer activated by light. It would have an imaging engine that would project visible light onto a display screen and a topography-changing engine projecting ultraviolet (UV) light onto the screen.
The UV light would, in essence, command the shape-memory layer to create buttons on the screen as required. This could provide a virtual keyboard users can interact with.
The screen would also have a reference engine that would project infrared (IR) light onto the screen and a touch-detection engine that would detect when the screen was touched. The lights would impact the polymer layer pixel by pixel.
Microsoft's patent proposes using cinnamic acid groups for light detection. The E-isomeric form of cinnamic acid can be converted to the Z-isomer through irradiation with UV light. The technology would apparently be used first in large devices.
"A simple application would be to use this technology to create a true tactile touch keyboard where you could actually feel the keys under your fingers," Carl Howe, director of anywhere consumer research at the Yankee Group, told TechNewsWorld.
Microsoft declined comment on the patent.
Other Efforts With Touchscreen Technology
Disney Research in Pittsburgh, Penn., is also working on a project to provide tactile feedback to touchscreens.
Its TeslaTouch project uses the electrovibration principle to provide tactile feedback to users of a touchscreen. Electrovibration, like mechanical vibration, it is a type of tactile sensation.
The prototype measures 35 by 4 by 40 mm and uses 8 volts of electricity to generate tactile feedback. An electrostatic force attracts the user's fingers to the interactive surface, so the user doesn't receive an electric charge. The input signal is spread uniformly across the touch surface.
TeslaTouch technology can be added to devices ranging from small handheld items to large multitouch collaborative surfaces. However, the user must be grounded for best results. For larger devices, this can be achieved by users wearing antistatic wristbands or sitting or standing on grounded pads. For mobile devices, the back of the device's case serves to ground it when the user holds the device.
Uses of Tactile Feedback
It's difficult right now to predict exactly where this type of tactile technology might be used on a large scale.
"Ideally, this would be for devices with screens which come closer to laptops and smartphones than they do to desktops," Rob Enderle, principal analyst at the Enderle Group, told TechNewsWorld.
"However, initially monitors for existing PCs and other devices are more likely to be easier to use with this technology because the initial cost of the panel will likely limit the market significantly," he added.
The design is part of the problem with the technology.
"The patent puts several constraints on the display and, as of now, I don't see such constrained displays -- ones where have multiple projectors behind them -- having a ton of utility," the Yankee Group's Howe pointed out.
However, there might be niche applications, such as in the command and control center of a battleship, where the tactile feedback would help users remain oriented while the vessel is pitching and yawing, Howe suggested.
However, practical use for the technology might be some ways off.
"It'll likely be seven to 10 years before the technology exists outside the lab in limited runs and over 10 years before it hits the broader market," Enderle opined.
發表於: 2010.11.05 11:52:38 AM 文章主題: Re: 沉浸多時的微軟，發表電視遊樂器的人體動作感應視訊遊戲系統Kinect
Microsoft kinect spills its guts for ifixit
The dudes over at iFixit just love to rip stuff apart. Now, on the launch day of Microsoft’s much anticipated Xbox 360 Kinect peripheral, they stripped one of these set-top gadgets down to its bare essence.
With the Kinect priced at $149 (USD), I figured there’d be a significant amount of complexity inside the device, and that’s exactly what the iFixit guys found. They had to remove no less than 4 different types of Torx security screws and a sticky rubber pad to crack it open.
Once inside, they found the following goodies: four microphones for speech recognition and directional detection, an infrared camera and accompanying IR projector for depth detection, and one standard (640×480) camera for visual recognition. The brains behind the operations are a PrimeSense PS1080-A2 image processor, a Marvell AP102 system-on-a-chip, along with 64MB of DDR2 SDRAM, among other things. There’s also a motor for moving the gadget, and a three-axis accelerometer, presumably used for improving the motor’s accuracy. And as we all know by now, all that gear requires more power than a standard USB connector can provide, using 12-watts of power. There’s even a tiny fan inside to keep things nice and cool.
We’ve only got a few of the photos here, but you can check out the entire teardown over at iFixit now. (Their site is getting inundated with traffic at the moment, so you might have to try again in a little bit.)
發表於: 2010.11.04 11:21:47 AM 文章主題: Re: 沉浸多時的微軟，發表電視遊樂器的人體動作感應視訊遊戲系統Kinect
The prototype for Microsoft's Kinect camera and microphone famously cost $30,000. At midnight Thursday morning, you'll be able to buy it for $150 as an Xbox 360 peripheral. Let's take some time to think about how it all works.
Kinect's camera is powered by both hardware and software. And it does two things: generate a three-dimensional (moving) image of the objects in its field of view, and recognize (moving) human beings among those objects.
Time-of-flight works like sonar: If you know how long the light takes to return, you know how far away an object is. Cast a big field, with lots of pings going back and forth at the speed of light, and you can know how far away a lot of objects are.
Using an infrared generator also partially solves the problem of ambient light. Since the sensor isn't designed to register visible light, it doesn't get quite as many false positives.
PrimeSense and Kinect go one step further and encode information in the near-IR light. As that information is returned, some of it is deformed - which in turn can help generate a finer image of those objects' 3-D texture, not just their depth.
Figure from PrimeSense Explaining the PrimeSensor Reference Design.
At this point, both the Kinect's hardware - its camera and IR-light projector - and its firmware (sometimes called "middleware") are operating. The Kinect has an on-board processor which is using algorithms to process the data to render the three-dimensional image.
The middleware also can recognize people: distinguishing human body parts, joints and movements, as well as distinguishing individual human faces from one another. When you step in front of it, the camera "knows" who you are.
Does it "know" you in the sense of embodied neurons firing, or the way your mother knows your personality or your confessor knows your soul? Of course not. It's a videogame.
But it's a pretty remarkable videogame. You can't quite get the fine detail of a table tennis slice, but the first iteration of the WiiMote couldn't get that either. And all the jury-rigged foot pads and nunchuks strapped to thighs can't capture whole-body running or dancing like Kinect can.
That's where the Xbox's processor comes in: translating the movements captured by the Kinect camera into meaningful on-screen events. These are context-specific. If a river-rafting game requires jumping and leaning, it's going to look for jumping and leaning. If navigating a Netflix "Watch Instantly" menu requires horizontal and vertical hand-waving, that's what will register on the screen.
It has an easier time recognizing some gestures and postures than others. As Kotaku noted this summer, recognizing human movement - at least, any movement more subtle than a hand-wave - is easier to do when someone is standing up (with all of their joints articulated) than sitting down.
So you can move your arms to navigate menus, watch TV and movies, or browse the internet. You can't sit on the couch wiggling your thumbs and pretending you're playing Street Fighter II. It's not a magic trick cooked up by MI-6. It's a camera that costs $150.
Kinect also has a stereo microphone to enable chat and voice commands. The tech on the audio capture is fairly well-known, but it's worth observing that unlike the noise-canceling microphone you might have on your smartphone or laptop's webcam, Kinect has a wide-field, conic audio capture.
This is because, unlike a smartphone, you wouldn't want the Kinect's microphone to capture only sounds close to it: It'd only pick up the sound of the television set. You want it to capture ambient speech throughout the room, such as that emitted by whole groups of people watching sports or playing games.
Screenshot from Kinect Sports Hurdles
A traditional videogame controller is individual and serial: It's me and whatever I'm controlling on the screen versus you and what you're controlling. We might play cooperatively, but we're basically discrete entities isolated from one another, manipulating objects in our hands.
A videogame controller is also a highly specialized device. It might do light work as a remote control, but the buttons, d-pads, joysticks, accelerometers, gyroscopes, haptic feedback mechanisms and interface with the console are all designed to communicate very specific kinds of information.
Kinect is something different. It's communal, continuous and general: a Natural User Interface (or NUI) for multimedia, rather than a GUI for gaming.
But it takes a lot of tech to make an interface like that come together seamlessly and "naturally."
發表於: 2010.11.02 10:19:12 AM 文章主題: Re: 沉浸多時的微軟，發表電視遊樂器的人體動作感應視訊遊戲系統Kinect
發表於: 2010.10.28 09:54:17 AM 文章主題: Re: 沉浸多時的微軟，發表電視遊樂器的人體動作感應視訊遊戲系統Kinect
Mac 版的 Office 2011 於蘋果官網開始販售
微軟的 Office Mac 2011 今天已經上線，Apple Store 上也已經看得到，價格部份分別是家用版 Familly Pack 的 NT 5,290/ 3人、NT 3,790 / 單機和家用中小企業版 Home & Business 的 NT 7,490 元/單機、 NT 10,890 / 2 人，差別在於有沒有 Outlook，軟體安裝的系統需求至少要 Mac OS X v10.5.8，其餘細節的硬體要求以及軟體界面截圖可以上蘋果台灣官網看。
發表於: 2010.10.26 10:41:37 AM 文章主題: Re: 沉浸多時的微軟，發表電視遊樂器的人體動作感應視訊遊戲系統Kinect
發表於: 2010.10.04 11:27:07 AM 文章主題: Re: 沉浸多時的微軟，發表電視遊樂器的人體動作感應視訊遊戲系統Kinect
Nintendo 3DS: Is it 3-D gaming's savior?
(CNN) -- Nintendo announced this week that its much-anticipated 3DS handheld will arrive in Japan on February 26, 2011, for around $300, with a U.S. debut to follow in March.
That's about three months too late for the holiday shopping season and later than some had predicted. But even more notable is the gadget's potential to actually make 3-D gaming a household staple.
Unlike 3-D games for the PlayStation 3 or those utilizing NVIDIA's 3-D Vision technology, which adds three-dimensional special effects to PC titles, software for the Nintendo 3DS doesn't require the use of cumbersome stereoscopic glasses.
Fans also don't have to pay for expensive hardware upgrades such as a 3-D TV or custom graphics cards. Both are major hurdles that have thus far kept players from hopping on the 3-D bandwagon en masse, and game makers from following in large numbers.
Original 3-D games also should be more readily available, at least in the near future, for the 3DS than those for desktop or living room units.
Popular franchises including "Resident Evil, "Metal Gear Solid" and "Sonic the Hedgehog" are all slated for upcoming 3-D appearances, with publishers such as Activision, Namco and UbiSoft committed to developing for the gadget.
The device is better suited to the briefer, more mobile gaming experiences that define current gaming trends and appears better poised to satisfy both casual and hardcore video game fans than its competitors.
Additional support for 3-D TV shows and films should further buoy the Nintendo 3DS' popularity as a portable entertainment device. The gadget also offers the benefit of on-demand game updates and downloads via Wi-Fi connection.
More extras, such as the option to use the device as a camera, convert friends' photos into personalized virtual avatars and wirelessly communicate with other Nintendo 3DS machines, should only add to its usefulness and versatility.
On the downside, the portable console's graphical enhancements, which resemble pop-up storybook cutouts, aren't as technically advanced as what you'll get from set-top systems. But they can be adjusted to suit individual preferences.
A broad selection of supporting titles ranging from "Nintendogs + Cats" to "Kid Icarus" and "Mario Kart" also promises to appeal to all ages more than rival units, which target diehard gaming fans and early adopters.
Everyday expectations also play to the 3DS' advantage, because players naturally anticipate smaller and/or less complex gaming experiences on handheld devices.
This makes supporting games easier and more affordable to build for the unit, giving designers a leg up on 3-D game development. Instead of forcing manufacturers to push the technical bar to justify pricey living room upgrades, the Nintendo 3DS offers creators a platform to experiment. In this way, it offers simpler, more natural transitions between 2-D and 3-D adventures.
Early feedback from gaming critics is promising. Nintendo's knack for making new technology engaging and user-friendly is evidenced by the success of systems like the motion-sensing Wii.
If the 3DS proves half as eye-catching and intuitive, and even a fraction of the promised games materialize, rivals should be worried. Rather than be televised, the 3-D revolution may quietly unfold in your pocket instead.
I'm not entirely certain what's going on in this commercial for the Playstation Move, but it appears that there are these freaky MoveMen who'll troll your Facebook page for mentions of parties, gatecrash, and force you to play a game.
And here I thought that the Nintendo guys who showed up unannounced and proclaimed "Wii would like to play!" were creepy. [MoveMen via GameSetWatch via Kotaku]
Microsoft has yet to reveal IE9's interface—not set to debut until next month. But ZDNet's Mary-Jo Foley says she caught a glimpse of IE9's new minimalist look via a slip-up on Microsoft's Russian press site.
Through a leaked screenshot and a bit of translating, Foley says the new layout consolidates existing functions to give you a larger, clearer view of the web. The URL bar and search box will be combined into one, and familiar menus like 'Favorites' and 'Suggested Sites' are nowhere to be seen, clearing up precious real estate. Internet Explorer has never exactly been part of the interface design vanguard, so it's interesting to see Microsoft taking some chances, however minor.
Foley also mentions a feature that will let users turn "recognized" and "protected" sites into web apps that can be launched directly from the taskbar, a la Fluid. What recognized and protected mean, or if they were even translated correctly from Russian, is anyone's guess. [ZDNet]
發表於: 2010.08.25 11:02:23 AM 文章主題: Re: 沉浸多時的微軟，發表電視遊樂器的人體動作感應視訊遊戲系統Kinect
You'll be forgiven if Windows 95 doesn't summon a burst of nostalgia. It was never pretty, often cantankerous, and, for the most part, our only option. But within two years of its release, 70% of the planet was using it.
Your own preferences and computing ideology aside, Windows 95 is an undeniable icon. For hundreds of millions of people, Windows 95 was personal computing, spanning the inscrutable crudeness of the Windows 3.1 era and the soothing balm of Windows 98. It was inescapable. It was, possibly, the first operating system you used at home. It might not have been your favorite—we'll stop there out of respect for our elders—but it helped an entire generation make sense of the PC's ascension.
It's worth considering how long ago 15 years was. By today's tech standards, the mid-90s might as well have been the Cretaceous Period. In his review of Windows 95 for the New York Times, Stephen Manes hyphenated "on-line." That long ago. Manes also recounts the frustrating experience of fine-tuning his AUTOEXEC.BAT file—a computing relic whose name is a shock to my eyes, softened by years of smooth animations, color gradients, and idyllic menus. Operating systems were gritty back then. But they worked—most of the time. "In many ways," Manes poetically sighed, "[Windows 95] is an edifice built of baling wire, chewing gum and prayer, but you will probably end up living there."
And we did. In the process, mainstream computer users didn't just struggle with inconsistent performance and obscure configuration files, but eased themselves into the warm waters of the Start Menu, task bars, plug-n-play (when it worked), and an overall graphical interface intelligible outside of comp sci classrooms. And at the blistering rate of technological change—they were hyphenating the word online back then!—Windows 95 is owed respect for popularizing these computing principles, many of which are still part of today's status quo. And how embarrassing would it have been if the Start Menu flopped?— Microsoft paid $2 million to license The Rolling Stones' "Start Me Up" for their Windows 95 advertising blitz (another $35,000 went to the legendary Brian Eno for a welcome sound we all took for granted).
But popularize might be putting too bright a gloss on the Windows explosion. It was popular, yes—immensely so—but the Department of Justice had another word for it: monopolistic. Windows 95 introduced the first iteration of Internet Explorer (although it shipped sans browser—again, this was fifteen years ago), the software at the heart of a federal antitrust grappling match that lasted years.
But despite all of this (or perhaps because of it), Windows 95 can't shake its place in the annals of tech history. She hasn't aged terribly well, but for better or for worse, Windows 95 was for a considerable time the OS that shaped our notion of software's place in daily life. Happy birthday kiddo.
發表於: 2010.08.17 11:37:37 AM 文章主題: Re: 沉浸多時的微軟，發表電視遊樂器的人體動作感應視訊遊戲系統Kinect
Linux Ubuntu OS將帶來多點觸控特性的支援
(From : weiphone)
開發方表示，下一版本的Ubuntu的將獲得多點觸控界面的能力，這使得Linux OS在這方面終於趕上了視窗和Mac OS X。開源的Linux系統的開發工作較為分散，而對於稍微複雜一些的，需要廠家支持的多點觸摸功能，Linux操作系統的支援度就顯得慢人一拍，不過基於GTK的GNOME和KDE的Qt界面元素可以給開發觸控手勢帶來不少方便，不過如何盡快開發出一個命令接口是一個重要的話題，此外，同一手勢在不同應用程式中有著不同的理解，這將讓用戶感到迷惑，Ubuntu希望能夠有特定的手勢來有效地劃分，他們預期在5年時間裡，讓手勢操作有著更為深思熟慮和可應用的標準。
發表於: 2010.08.11 09:45:42 AM 文章主題: Re: 沉浸多時的微軟，發表電視遊樂器的人體動作感應視訊遊戲系統Kinect
Wii 2 to get blu-ray and hd in 2011? [rumor]
While we’re probably still looking at a 2011 or later release for Nintendo’s next Wii console, the rumors have started to fly on exactly what sort of technology might live under the hood of the next-gen console from Nintendo.
Back at the end of 2009, a rumor surfaced about how the console might include Blu-ray and HD video capability. According to the guys at GirlGamersSuck (Don’t blame me for the name of the site), a “reliable source” inside Nintendo confirmed that the Wii2 (or is it Wii-Two or Wii 2?) would sport not only 1080P HD video, but a Blu-ray drive as its primary media. In addition they mentioned a “realistic timescale” would be a 2011 release date.
Now given the fact that the hardware costs for such tech continue to drop, and the market expectations for video quality continue to rise, I can’t see any reason the Nintendo won’t include the capability. That said, the Big N has been known to focus on gameplay and controller ingenuity over hardware specs, so you never know. Guess we’ll just have to wait a little longer to see what they come up with.
And yes, I know the picture above is Photoshopped – I did it myself.
This is both completely cool and totally useless: a group of engineers going by Waterloo Labs in Austin, Texas created a way of controlling an original NES by simply moving your eyes.
By using electrodes placed around the eyes to track the movement of a players eyeballs, they were able to jury rig a Nintendo to accept eye movement as controller input. And it works!
Of course, controlling a game with the direction you're looking makes it pretty tough to look straight at the screen, which is why no one makes it more than halfway through level 1-1 of Super Mario Bros. in this video. But still, impressive work! [Waterloo Labs via Gadget Lab]
發表於: 2010.07.29 10:58:47 AM 文章主題: Re: 沉浸多時的微軟，發表電視遊樂器的人體動作感應視訊遊戲系統Kinect
Why does the media still think video games are bad for kids?
By Scott Steinberg, Special to CNN
Editor's note: Scott Steinberg is the head of technology and video game consulting firm TechSavvy Global, as well as the founder of GameExec magazine and Game Industry TV. He frequently appears as an on-air technology analyst for ABC, CBS, NBC, FOX and CNN. His most recent book is "Get Rich Playing Games."
(CNN) -- History has a funny way of repeating itself, especially when it comes to concerns over the cultural and psychological impact of video games on children.
In 1993, the Senate's hearings on video game violence gave birth to the Entertainment Software Rating Board and the industry's current rating system: E for everyone, M for mature (17 and older) and so on. Later this year, the U.S. Supreme Court will test the constitutionality of a California law that would make it illegal to sell violent video games to minors.
But what gaming insiders find most surprising isn't that such arguments remain topical. It's that some 30 years after video games became a popular form of mainstream entertainment, we're still liable to hear less about games' positive impact on kids' lives than sensationalistic accounts of their hidden dangers.
"Games are an amazing invention that entertain and inform in ways different than traditional media," says Joseph Olin, president of the Academy of Interactive Arts & Sciences. "But many critics have little or any experience with them and therefore don't understand where there could be artistic or educational value. No different than with film and TV, media sensationalism and ignorance can contribute to the fear that games are harmful to children.
"There's absolutely no scientific evidence showing a positive correlation between violence in individuals and the games they play," continues Olin, who points to studies from the Harvard Medical School Center for Mental Health, The Journal of Adolescent Health and The British Medical Journal.
Also, Olin says, nearly two-thirds of all games sold are rated E or E+, meaning they're found to be appropriate for players of all ages or children over 10 years of age, respectively
Researchers like David Thomas, who teaches critical video game theory at the University of Colorado, say the most curious misconception about the field is that games are strictly for juveniles. Such arguments -- the impetus for countless political battles -- ignore the fact that the average player is 35 years old, and more adult women play than teenage boys, according to the Entertainment Software Association.
Furthermore, according to the software association, 63 percent of parents believe that games positively impact their children's lives.
Games are simply a tool, Thomas argues, which, like any other implement, can be used for good or ill, and require reasonable balance and oversight.
"We live in a media-rich world, and video games are part of that diet," he says. "Kids are incredibly savvy these days. But being children, they still need guidance. Games can be beneficial to children as a modern form of media, albeit one that they need to learn how to use, cope with, contextualize and manage."
All too often overlooked in debates are the sizable educational and social benefits that games offer kids, says Winda Benedetti, who writes the Citizen Gamer column for MSNBC.com.
"A lot of parents are unfamiliar with gaming and afraid of the unknown," she says. "But games can be a huge positive for children, as long as you set reasonable limits. When my 3-year-old watches TV, he just passively zones out.
"But when he plays games, he's actively engaged, thinks about what's happening, talks to me about what's happening on-screen and takes away so much more from the experience. Games offer parents enormous untapped potential."
Experts say that playing video games helps develop kids' lateral thinking and decision-making skills. Children are also encouraged to discover and experiment at their own pace, failing and trying new approaches to solving virtual problems, which helps build confidence and self-esteem.
"Games aren't solely an entertainment medium anymore. [Many] emphasize cooperation and sharing, and encourage kids to learn economic basics," says Olin, referring to such popular kids' titles as "Animal Crossing" and "Club Penguin."
"Other games like 'LittleBigPlanet' foster creativity, while online games such as 'Toontown' teach lessons on teamwork and community, and the Professor Layton series focuses on critical thinking and puzzle solving," Olin says. "Games illustrate the concept of risk and reward in a manner that's comprehensible and engaging."
Nevertheless, journalists focus mostly on violence in games, says Ariella Lehrer, CEO of software publisher Legacy Interactive.
"Some of the complaints that games destroy a child's ability to concentrate or do harm to the developing brain are silly. The research is not completely clear, but in general, the data paints a very different picture," she says.
Ultimately, gaming experts say, whether games are beneficial or detrimental to kids comes down to fundamental playing habits, exposure to age-appropriate content and, most vitally, active parental involvement.
"Games are a social currency that can enhance the relationship between parent and child -- no different than any other medium," says Olin. Most parents know their kids' friends, the shows they watch and some of the music they listen to. I always recommend that they take the same approach with the games that their children play."
Lehrer, whose titles include sophisticated animal doctoring simulations such as "Pet Pals" and "Zoo Vet," says games for kids can be challenging and don't have to dumb down the experience for them.
Maybe it's time that we held the debate over the impact of video games on children's lives to the same standards.
發表於: 2010.07.29 10:43:42 AM 文章主題: Re: 沉浸多時的微軟，發表電視遊樂器的人體動作感應視訊遊戲系統Kinect
hitachi gesture-based interface: why do we hate buttons so much?
Seriously, will the future be button-less? What’s up with this surge of motion- and gesture-based UIs? Aside from Microsoft and Sony working on motion-based gaming controllers, Hitachi is also currently working on a Minority Report-ish interface. The company plans on using the technology for digital signage, and – this I can understand – in the medical field, to enable doctors to manipulate data without actually touching the monitor.
Here’s the interface in action. It’s still in development, hence the delay in response, but it does work:
What I can’t understand is why Hitachi is planning on incorporating this on desktop PCs and even TVs by the middle of next year. No doubt, gesture-based technology is useful in some instances, but does it really have a place in everyday usage? Will our lives be more awesome if we could wave our hands in front of our PCs just to view pictures and zoom in on maps? Have I just become too old to appreciate new technology? What the hell is going on?!
發表於: 2010.07.23 11:42:06 AM 文章主題: Re: 沉浸多時的微軟，發表電視遊樂器的人體動作感應視訊遊戲系統Kinect
Sony Might Make Depth Slider for 3-D PS3 Games
One of the most underrated features in the Nintendo 3DS is the depth slider that can adjust the depth of 3-D images. Sony has recognized how important it is, though, and might be doing the same thing for PS3 games.
A Sony rep told gaming site Kotaku that the company might include a similar slider or switch in PS3 controllers so that users can adjust 3-D games to fit their needs.
The problem with 3-D games is that you need glasses to perceive 3-D content, and that's only if you can see 3-D in the first place. Many people can't. And even if you have the glasses, there are still sweet spots where the user must sit to get the best effect, and the images can still cause headaches.
All these problems mean that a slider to adjust 3-D depth would make 3-D games much more customizable for users. If someone wants to tone down the 3-D effect, they can adjust the depth of the image. And if glasses aren't available for all players, or a player gets frequent headaches from 3-D content, the slider can make the game revert to 2-D completely, making it operate like current games.
It sounds like a great idea, but for now it's only an option that Sony is aggressively studying. With the number of obstacles still to overcome for 3-D, an adjustable slider is the perfect way for Sony to keep betting heavily on 3-D without alienating some customers.
(From technewsdaily By Dan Hope)
發表於: 2010.07.22 10:56:36 AM 文章主題: Re: 沉浸多時的微軟，發表電視遊樂器的人體動作感應視訊遊戲系統Kinect
Microsoft defends Kinect pricing
Big M exec says Kinect's high price reflects its innovative tech.
Microsoft has sent out its big guns to defend the £129 price tag slapped on its Kinect motion-control system yesterday. The gaming giant’s Chris Lewis, who looks after its Interactive Entertainment Business group in Europe, said the add-on was, “good value,” claiming it was “innovative and not derivative,” in a swipe at Sony’s PS3 Move.
Speaking to Gamesindustry.biz, Lewis said, “"From our point of view, [Kinect Adventures] plus the technology and what that means to the consumer by way of experience - and the innovation it represents - we're confident that it's great value.”
發表於: 2010.07.05 10:55:28 AM 文章主題: Re: 沉浸多時的微軟，發表電視遊樂器的人體動作感應視訊遊戲系統Kinect
Microsoft gives up on Mobile---the Kin, Eyes Windows Phone 7 (CNN)
發表於: 2010.07.05 10:45:25 AM 文章主題: Re: 沉浸多時的微軟，發表電視遊樂器的人體動作感應視訊遊戲系統Kinect
Nintendo DS improved a boy’s eyesight?
You think playing video games is bad for your kid’s eyesight? Well, it worked differently with Ben Michaels who was about to lose his right eyesight. He simply played Mario Kart on his DS for two hours each with his bad eye and after a while his eyesight improved.
It wasn’t accidental as Great Ormond Street Children’s Hospital’s consultant Ken Nischal recommended such. Ben and his mom followed the strange advice and it did work.
Apparently, Nischal said that by ‘forcing a player’s eyes to engage in more rapid eye movement’ may improve eyesight. (techfever)
發表於: 2010.07.02 11:53:11 AM 文章主題: Re: 沉浸多時的微軟，發表電視遊樂器的人體動作感應視訊遊戲系統Kinect
發表於: 2010.07.02 11:48:26 AM 文章主題: Re: 沉浸多時的微軟，發表電視遊樂器的人體動作感應視訊遊戲系統Kinect
A research project from Intel can turn any surface into a touchscreen. Instead of propping up a tablet or putting a touchscreen computer in your kitchen, picture yourself tapping on the counter top to pull menus, look up recipes and add items to a shopping list.
"There's nothing absolutely special about the surface, and it doesn't matter if your hands are dirty," says Beverly Harrison, a senior research scientist at Intel. "Our algorithm and a camera set-up can create virtual islands everywhere"
Intel demoed the project during the company's annual research-day fest Wednesday to show touchscreens can go beyond computing and become a part of everyday life.
The project uses real-time 3-D object recognition to build a model of almost anything that's placed on the counter and offer a a virtual, touchscreen-based menu. For instance, when you put a slab of meat on the counter or a green pepper, they are identified, and a virtual menu that includes recipes for both are shown.
"The computer in real time builds a model of the color, shape, texture of the objects and runs it against a database to identify it," says Harrison. "And it requires nothing special to be attached on the steak or the pepper."
Smartphones have turned touch into a popular user interface. Many consumers are happy to give the BlackBerry thumb a pass and instead swipe and flick their finger to scroll. New tablets are also likely to make users want to move beyond a physical keyboard and mouse.
But so far, touchscreens have been limited to carefully calibrated pieces of glass encased in the shell of a phone or computer.
Intel researchers say that won't be the case in the future. An ordinary coffee table in the living room could morph into a touchscreen when you put a finger on it, and show a menu of music, video to choose from. Or a vanity table in the bathroom could recognize a bottle of pills placed on it and let you manage your medications from there.
Intel research labs try to do away with the extra layer. Instead, researchers there have created a rig with two cameras, one to capture the image of the objects and the other to capture depth. The depth cameras help recognize the objects and the difference between the hand touching the table or hovering over it. A pico-projector helps beam the virtual menus. The cameras and the pico-projector can be combined into devices just a little bigger than your cellphone, says Harrison. Sprinkle a few of these in different rooms and point them on tables, and the system is ready to go.
At that point, the software program that Harrison and her team have written kicks in. The program, which can run on any computer anywhere in the house, helps identify objects accurately and create the virtual menus. Just make a wide sweeping gesture to push the menu off the counter and it disappears. There's even a virtual drawer that users can pull up to store images and notes.
Harrison says all this will work on almost any surface, including glass, granite and wood.
"The key here is the idea requires no special instrumentation," she says.
Still it may be too early to make plans to remodel the kitchen to include this new system. The idea is still in the research phase, says Harrison, and it may be years before it makes it to the real world.
Photo: A counter top acts as a touchscreen display.
發表於: 2010.07.01 10:49:44 AM 文章主題: Re: 沉浸多時的微軟，發表電視遊樂器的人體動作感應視訊遊戲系統Kinect
The Microsoft Surface may have been the inspiration for the iPad and other tablet computers but we still can’t see it everywhere. We have just been teased by the software giant but it’s all good since other companies took advantage of the idea.
Microsoft won’t be last to utilize their big idea again as the company’s Applied Science group is working on a a touchless telepresence display. This comes with a sub 2-inch camera and a Samsung prototype transparent OLED panel for a 3D gesture-control interface.
This could be the next Surface but we’re really hoping Microsoft releases such in the near future.(techfever.Net)
發表於: 2010.06.30 10:01:38 AM 文章主題: Re: 沉浸多時的微軟，發表電視遊樂器的人體動作感應視訊遊戲系統Kinect
• Microsoft is in a full-on love-affair with Apple, and for good reason. Complexity is out, simplicity is in. Can Microsoft really follow through with making Windows 8 “just work” a la Apple? It certainly wants to, and thinks “this is something people will pay for!”
• Webcams will be a big focus for Windows 8, with the potential goal of letting Windows 8 log you in automatically via camera image. Some vendors have built this separately already for earlier versions of Windows, and users seem to like it.
• Windows 8 will embrace “the cloud” by letting you take your workspace from one PC to another via a single login that’s connected to the web. So now you can borrow my computer and I don’t have to worry about my precious documents getting disorganized.
• You’ll also be able to more easily combine your personal computing environment with your business workspace. It’s unclear exactly how, but presumably Microsoft’s cloud focus will play a part here. Yay, more time to work!
• Microsoft is focusing on three computing-form factors when Windows 8 is released: Slates (tablets), laptops, and all-in-one PCs. Traditional desktops may still be around, but this isn’t a major focus of the OS, and for good reason, since sales are falling off a cliff.
• Windows 8 will hopefully start up faster than ever before, thanks to a new and as-yet-undeveloped operating mode.
• More advanced help and support systems were meant to be part of Windows 7, but anyone who’s used the Windows 7 troubleshooters knows this didn’t happen. They’re back with Windows 8.
• One-button “Reset Windows” option will take your computer back to its original state while leaving your personal documents and settings intact. System Restore gets a big upgrade.
• There’s a Windows 8 App Store in the works, which will offer apps for any Microsoft/Windows device, from PC to phone to Zune. It even already has a URL: windowsstore.com.
發表於: 2010.06.25 11:28:38 AM 文章主題: Re: 沉浸多時的微軟，發表電視遊樂器的人體動作感應視訊遊戲系統Kinect
發表於: 2010.06.21 11:23:21 AM 文章主題: Re: 沉浸多時的微軟，發表電視遊樂器的人體動作感應視訊遊戲系統Kinect