Your tech news digest, by way of the DGiT Daily tech newsletter, for Friday, 16 October 2020.
1. Sony is trying to bring holograms to the world (again)
Not for the first time, a major industry player is working on making holograms happen.
Sony’s new idea is a $5,000 15.6-inch display, built on a metal wedge, with stereoscopic 3D.
- It’s called a Spatial Reality Display or ELF-SR1, and places like The Verge and Engadget had them arrive from Sony to test out.
- It’s not new, as such. The effect has been used in 3D TVs and so on, but generally always fallen short of being more like a fun feature rather than truly useful for most people, even professionals.
- But this is without glasses, which is a bonus.
- Looking Glass also sells one, for $3,000, though it’s a little bit different.
What it does:
- The Verge: “I plugged it into a powerful gaming computer, and fired up the first demo. A tiny, intricately detailed Volkswagen Atlas materialized in front of my face — and when I pressed a button, it floated right up out of the screen. A couple minutes later, I was watching a 4-inch tall anime girl dance her heart out inside Sony’s contraption, tapping her feet atop a floor of hexagonal mirrors. It’s the magic of stereoscopic 3D.”
- Sony’s camera tracks your face and eyes, making real-time adjustments as you look at models, pictures, and so on.
- It’s by no means perfect. It works for one viewer only, and it’s really an in-person effect only, not really demonstrable in our 2D world.
- The Verge suggests the 3D illusion can be broken as you lean in too far, or move sides.
- And people who witnessed it at the time, all the way back at CES, weren’t overly impressed, including my own colleagues here.
- But things have evolved! And while I doubt anyone interested purely in consumer technology is lining up to buy (me included, I’ll leave it well alone) it might be something for engineers, scientists, architects, animators, and content creators in Hollywood and so on.
- Sony has released an SDK for both Unreal and Unity.
- Somewhat enjoyably, Sony will show this off at a virtual demo sign up on October 22nd at 3pm ET, but the 3D effect can’t really be shown so… who knows what we’ll see?
2. Samsung mocks Apple’s lack of charger, but how long until it backpedals? (Android Authority).
3. Google is finally going to close out Hangouts sometime in 2021. Chat will become Hangouts. Chat is part of Gmail. Hangouts disappears. Got it? (Android Authority).
4. Google Search is getting new AI tools to decipher your terrible spelling (The Verge).
5. Early iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Pro AnTuTu benchmarks are at odds with Apple’s claims for the A14 Bionic. Better, yes, but not 50% better? Will wait for more official benchmarks (notebookcheck.net)
6. This is really interesting: Microsoft will give GameStop a share of Xbox’s digital revenues, which is, I think, unprecedented. And proves that physical retail is important enough that even Microsoft feels compelled to support it. We don’t know the magnitude of GameStop’s cut, either. (Ars Technica).
7. Sony gives in-depth look at PlayStation 5 UI in new video. 11 minutes of menus would normally not be interesting, but Sony’s new interface is much busier than the sparse PS4 (The Verge).
8. Twitter updates its ‘Hacked Materials’ policy after NY Post controversy (Engadget).
9. “I cannot in good faith recommend this Japanese desk tent”. The video is the kind of deadpan dry humor I needed (Gizmodo).
10. There’s “an email to a former board member” doing the rounds of VC Twitter and it is excruciating to read (Twitter).
11. The dire working conditions for Ring’s call center employees in the Philippines (NBC).
12. Old Faithful might not survive global warming (Earther).
13. “What’s older than we think?” (r/askreddit).
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