'Game of Thrones' and the Oculus Rift took me from Austin to Westeros
Last month in New York HBO launched the latest version of Game of Thrones: The Exhibition. It’s a museum-style tour that offers a glimpse at the props, costumes, and models used in the making of the show, and it featured the soft launch of an Oculus Rift-powered experience that takes viewers inside George R.R. Martin’s mythical land of Westeros. An expanded version of the showcase is here at South By Southwest, and the unmistakeable highlight is the fully-realized version of the Oculus experience. Now incorporating 4D elements such as wind blasts and vibration, it’s a reminder that while the Oculus Rift can be arresting unto itself, it’s when designers and developers begin toying with the rest of our senses that real magic can happen.
Designing a timeless smartwatch
Gábor Balogh is a freelance designer from Hungary who, like many of us, wants an attractive, watch-like watch that just happens to be smart. The difference between Balogh and the rest of us is he went ahead and designed an interface he believes could enable regular watch designs to include a full bevy of smart features.
Norway will cut through an island in tribute to massacre victims
How do you adequately craft a memorial for one of the worst days in a country’s modern history? That’s the question that was posed to architects and artists as part of a competition for a dual-site memorial commemorating the attacks in Norway on July 22nd, 2011. On that day, 77 people were killed, eight by an Oslo car bomb and 69 in a massacre at a youth event on the island of Utøya. After holding an open competition, Norway has decided to install a pair of memorials designed by Swedish artist Jonas Dahlberg to pay tribute to those who lost their lives in the attacks.
Up Coffee is Jawbone’s solution for America’s caffeine addiction
Americans don’t sleep enough: according to the CDC, 35 percent of adults report they get less than the recommended seven to eight hours of sleep each night. Jawbone today is launching an app that tries to tackle one of the biggest reasons we don’t sleep — caffeine. Up Coffee is an app that lets you track how much caffeine you consume in coffee, soda, and other foods, and shows you how it will affect your sleep.
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Increasingly powerful attacks have left companies vulnerable to extortion
Explore Jerry Seinfeld’s apartment on Oculus Rift
Seinfeld might not be on TV anymore, but it is on Oculus Rift. Jerry’s Place VR lets you use the virtual reality headset to explore the iconic apartment from the show and… well, that’s about it.
Sony RX10 review: the everything camera
It takes a lot to make me take off my headphones on the New York City subway. But one night, standing on the platform, I saw a crowd start to gather on the other side of the tracks. I pressed pause on my 945th listen of “Gust of Wind” and spent the next five minutes listening to a man in a winter coat sing Sam Cooke’s “A Change is Gonna Come” in the loudest, most soulful voice I can imagine. It was one of my all-time favorite New York City moments, a nice reminder during a horrible winter that I still love this place.
This is Cortana, Microsoft’s answer to Siri
Microsoft’s upcoming Windows Phone 8.1 update will include Cortana, a personal digital assistant designed to rival Siri and Google Now. Sources familiar with Microsoft’s plans have revealed to The Verge how Cortana looks and operates, replacing the built-in Bing search functionality on Windows Phone 8.1. While the feature is named after the Halo game series, Cortana will take the form of a circular animated icon instead of a female character. Cortana will animate when it’s speaking or thinking, forming a personality not dissimilar to Apple’s Siri.