With its new Pixel 2 phones, Google introduced something called Fused Video Stabilization which fixes the so-called “terminator effect” the original Pixels suffered. It’s a proprietary combination of optical image stabilization, electronic image stabilization, and the company’s fancy machine learning tech. Its results are stellar, giving Google’s Pixel 2 phones one of the best, if not the best, video capturing results out there. Since we know that it works well, now the burning question is: how does it work?
The Essential Phone wasn’t at the top of our list when it came out, and while there were a lot of little reasons for that, the prime determiner of its value—and our disappointment—was the price. At $ 700 it wasn’t really worth it. But when the phone dropped down to $ 500 earlier this week our opinion changed drastically. And now it turns out there’s even a way to get one for just $ 300 plus taxes.
Carne y Arena (Virtually present, Physically invisible), the virtual reality installation from Birdman director Alejandro González Iñárritu and cinematographer Emmanuel Lubezki, is receiving a special award from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. According to Variety, the award is being presented “in recognition of a visionary and powerful experience in storytelling,” making Carne y Arena the first project to merit such an honor since Pixar’s Toy Story in 1996.
AMPAS president John Bailey says that Carne y Arena “opened for us new doors of cinematic perception,” and that “more than even a creative breakthrough in the still emerging form of virtual reality, it viscerally connects us to the hot-button political and social…
At this point, you’re probably familiar with, or have at least heard of, Ethereum. If you’re not, it is a quickly growing blockchain network. Many different things can be done using the Ethereum network, as it’s simply a platform for building any decentralized application (dApp), but it’s primarily being used to complete financial transactions of different kinds. However, it’s not just another way of sending money from one person to another person. It’s capable of far more than that.
As the New York Times explained in arecent article, Ethereum is gaining the interest of many top companies because of the more complex transactions that can be done on the network.
“Let’s say two companies want to conduct a complicated financial transaction, like settling a stock option. Neither company trusts the other company to conduct the transaction on its computers,” the Times wrote. “Both companies could hire a third party, like a stock exchange, to conduct the transaction, which is what they generally do today. But that forces them to trust that third company and to pay that company fees. With Ethereum, they can conduct the transaction on a shared computer that allows them both to check the records, ideally saving on fees.”
That’s just one of many complex transactions Etheruem can be useful for, which is why industry leaders are paying attention to it and trying to find ways to utilize it. There have been many intriguing headlines since Ethereum started becoming more popular this year. “Blockchain Used to Sell Real Estate For the First Time,” a recent Newsweek headline reads. “Ethereum First: Investment Product Opens for Trading on Nasdaq Exchange,” reads a CoinDesk headline. DJ Khaled is even on the Ethereum train
Discuss Ethereum at this upcoming event
With how quickly things are changing in the Ethereum world, it’s obviously difficult to keep up. One interesting event where people can learn about where Ethereum stands and where it’s heading is Ethereal SF. It’s a conference that will feature leading experts on Ethereum and also people like renowned futurist Peter Diamandis. It takes place October 27 at the Terra Gallery in San Francisco. Many are calling it the “SXSW of blockchain,” as it will also feature art installations, virtual reality experiences and more.
“Ethereal is a nexus for leaders in decentralizing technologies like Ethereum to come together with entrepreneurs, developers, and futurists to decide together how we want to build the next generation of the Internet – the next generation of our reality,” Amanda Gutterman, a co-creator of Ethereal and ConsenSys chief marketing officer, told Futurism. “We are on the verge of sweeping, global change, ushered in by the evolution of exponential technologies like blockchain. As one of the largest and fastest growing companies in the blockchain space, focused on building software on the Ethereum platform, ConsenSys is proud to play host to these important conversations at Ethereal and beyond.”
Leading up to this conference, there was a hackathon at UC Berkeley from October 21-22. The hackathon focused on “designing and building a blockchain-based governance system that takes advantage of Ethereum’s unique platform of identity, voting and asset transfer systems,” according to theEthereal website
Ethereal is being hosted by ConsenSys, which is a production studio that builds applications for blockchain networks. ConsenSys has been leading the way in the Ethereum world for nearly three years.
“At Ethereal we speak about building the Web 3.0, about harnessing blockchain technology to improve how our world works,” Gutterman said. “The Ethereal Hacakthon at UC Berekely was an opportunity to bring students and professionals together to design solutions in real life, today, on the powerful blockchain platform afforded by Ethereum.” She said she believes ConsenSys and its partners are “uniquely positioned” to guide those breaking into Ethereum.
If you’re interested in Ethereum or just like hearing the latest innovators talk about the future, come join us at Ethereal. There will be plenty there to keep you busy.
Disclosure: Futurism is an official media partner of Ethereal and is receiving press passes to the event.
While Apple’s event on Tuesday was primarily devoted to unveiling new products like the high-end iPhone 8 and 8 Plus, iPhone X, and Apple Watch Series 3, the company reserved plenty of stage time to showcase some of those device’s most promising new features. In showcasing the incredible new iPhone 8 flagships, for instance, Apple allowed some rising ARKit developers time to demo their new or updated creations for the world of Augmented Reality (AR) on iPhone.
Worth noting, first and foremost, is that even though the ultra high-end iPhone X is most synonymous with advanced AR capabilities, Apple explicitly stated that both the iPhone 8 and 8 Plus’ 12 MP camera sensors have been “individually calibrated to work as best as possible” in driving new ARKit applications.
The iPhone 8 and 8 Plus are able to partake of ARKit capabilities thanks in large part to Apple’s new A11 Bionic SoC, which in combination with its GPU, dedicated neural engine, and advanced image processing capabilities is able to push AR-based apps on those devices.
First up, the CEO of Directive Games gave us a sneak peek at his company’s upcoming AR-based competitive fighting game, The Machines, which will debut on the App Store later this month. The title, which according to its developers is powered by Epic’s Unreal Engine 4, offers players a true-to-life battling experience, allowing them to combat-style fight other players who’re standing on the field wherever they are while navigating their imminent environment. Check out the demo of the game above, but note that it’s still in the finishing stages of development. Nevertheless, the title should be a phenomenal entrant into the field of AR-based gaming on iPhone 8, and should serve as a promising indication of what’s to come.
MLB Advanced Media
Just in time for the home stretch of Baseball season, 2017, Apple showcased new ARKit-based advancements made to the MLB At Bat app for iPhone and iPad. When iPhone 8, 8 Plus, and iPhone X users go to use to MLB’s updated signature app, they’ll be able to view player stats delivered in real-time over their device’s camera viewfinder at live games.
The most intriguing aspect about the MLB At Bat app with ARKit is the ability for users to enjoy an enhanced experience while attending live baseball games across the entire league, allowing them to literally hover their device over a player on the field to reveal their name, stats, and additional information in real-time.
Warhammer 40K: Freeblade
Apple’s final ARKit launch partner was Pixel Toys, makers of the popular Warhammer 40,000: Freeblade combat-style fighting game for iOS. Notably, the app’s next update will include new features designed to make use of Apple’s ARKit. For example, during the demonstration, devs showcased how players could battle one another’s suited warriors on a real-world basketball court.
An update to the popular Sky Guide iOS app by Fifth Star Labs, which allows users to track and identify the stars in the sky on their iPhone or iPad, will soon bring a new AR-based map functionality to the experience. In essence, the update will overlay a constantly-changing map across the app’s UI, allowing users to more quickly identify stars and celestial bodies in the area their camera is directed.
The overall premise of the game seems somewhat similar to The Machines, in that players will be able to live-battle one another to an AR-enhanced backdrop of their imminent environment — however Warhammer 40,000 has been around for quite a while and may be more appealing to the earliest adopters of Apple’s new AR-capable iPhones.