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Topics: Apple invests in AR, Updated Playstation and XBox, Flyboard Air goes military, Solar Impulse 2 goes around the world.

The huge success of Pokémon Go appears to be kickstarting Apple's foray into Augmented Reality. With the new iPhone 7 coming out on September 12th and a billion devices already in possession of potential AR fans, the company is set to rake in huge profits. Tim Cook announced that a whole department of Apple will be opened up for just this segment alone. We discuss whether Apple will be the company to lead further development in AR technology for the masses.

With Apple's success in coming out with a new "must have" product every couple of years, we turn to an op-ed written for DT about the advancement of gaming consoles. It appears that Sony and Microsoft may be looking at that model for  Playstation and XBox. With adequate backward-compatibility we could see newer updated consoles hitting the shelves rapidly. Would you be willing to purchase a new system in that short of a time span, to keep up with the latest gaming technology?

Zapata Racing became a topic of hot debate a couple of months ago, when they released a video of their Flyboard Air hoverboard. They proved to be legitimate, by setting a Guinness World Record for longest distance traveled. Now, they have been acquired by a military technology company, called Implant Sciences. They claim they will be working on jetbikes, floating rescue stations, scaffolding and unmanned heavy payload drones. While at best this seems very ambitious, is this just another instance of a company blowing smoke? In reality, how possible is it to even create something of this magnitude?

Finally, a milestone was reached in solar-powered flight this week and it doesn't seem to be getting very much attention. The Solar Impulse 2 flew completely around the world (in segments) without the use of any fuel, other than what the sun provided. Conceptually this is a monumental accomplishment. However, with the rapid advancement of so much technology in the last couple of years, are we reaching a point where this just doesn't have a big enough "wow" factor to garner interest? Are we becoming tech-jaded?

Today's episode features Brad Bourque, Drew Prindle, Caleb Denison and Greg Nibler.

Please subscribe and share Trends with Benefits, visit digitaltrends.com and send in YOUR questions to podcast@digitaltrends.com. We also broadcast the show live on YouTube every Thursday at 2:30 pm PST.

Don't forget to check out our other live-streamed shows, Between the Streams and Close to the Metal.

Direct download: dtpodcast093.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:30pm PST

Topics: Pokémon Go is making billions, Sony Z series television, Cardinal Robotics security drone, Amazon Prime Air delivery strategy, the Modobag motorized luggage.

Our special guest on today's episode is comedian Nariko Ott. Nariko just won Helium Comedy Club's Portland's Funniest Person competition. He beat about 150 other comedians, to win the title! Check out his website, to find out where he'll be performing next.

We start off with, what else, Pokémon Go. The app is making billions of dollars for multiple companies, not just Nintendo. Apple takes a 30% cut of all apps downloaded in it's store and stands to make $3 billion alone, over the next 2 years. In addition, there are a myriad of other services being offered around the game, including a Pokémon Go dating app!

Caleb Denison recently went to Culver City at the behest of Sony, to take a look at their new television. The new Sony Z series uses Blacklight Master Drive to make their line of LED televisions approach OLED levels of blackness. He was truly impressed with this new line and it gives us all a glimpse of where televisions are heading, in the near future.

A company called Cardinal Robotics has come up with a unique way to improve home surveillance. They have a drone that is designed to patrol the perimeter of your house, from the air. It has a 14-megapixel camera, with near infrared capabilities. While a little stingy on the technical details, the company will allow you to pre-order one for $4000. Would you be willing to pay that much, for the added home security?

There was some background noise during our recording, due to someone bouncing a basketball, in the room next door to our studio. Caleb attempted to pound on the wall to "alert" the bouncer. The reaction was swift, as we found out the perpetrator was none other than Jeremy Kaplan, Editor in Chief of Digital Trends! He confronted Caleb over the issue and then joined us for the rest of the show.

Amazon was awarded a patent this month, for their potential Prime Air delivery service. The plan is to turn street lights and even church steeples, into drone docking stations. The stations would allow for neighborhood delivery and may even act as a drop-off point for packages. It's definitely forward thinking, but would you want a drone station across from your house?

Finally, we discuss the latest in luggage technology. The Modobag is part carry-on bag and part motorized vehicle. With a 200-watt electric motor, you can actually sit on the bag and tool around the airport, or your neighborhood at 8 mph. Would you be interested in purchasing one of these? Side note, Rick Stella would be very interested in testing out one of these, if Modobag happens to be reading this......

Today's episode features Nariko Ott, Caleb Denison, Rick Stella, Jeremy Kaplan and Greg Nibler.

Please subscribe and share Trends with Benefits, visit digitaltrends.com and send in YOUR questions to podcast@digitaltrends.com. We also broadcast the show live on YouTube every Thursday at 2:30 pm PST.

Don't forget to check out our other live-streamed shows, Between the Streams and Close to the Metal.

 

 

Direct download: dtpodcast092.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 6:30pm PST

Topics: Pokémon Go everywhere, Future of AR, HoloLens, New use for drones, AI Harry Potter, classic Nintendo comeback.

Pokémon Go is absolutely unavoidable, over this last week. Between people wandering into traffic, getting into accidents, getting robbed and even finding dead bodies, it seems the world has gone insane over the new mobile game. Some of the most interesting aspects are the conspiracy theorists proclaiming their thoughts. We have our own Conspiracy Dan triumphantly returning to the show, to give his ideas on what the app could "really" be doing.

Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella, weighed in on the phenomenon, in relation to the advancement of augmented reality (AR). In particular, he claims that the HoloLens stands to benefit from the the success of the Pokémon Go App. It is definitely introducing a very basic AR to a population that may have previously had a hard time understanding the concepts of the platform. Will Pokémon Go be the product that puts new AR development on the fast track for mass consumption?

Drones are an almost must mention on this show and the US Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) have found a new way to put them to use. There is currently a literal plague effecting prairie dogs, which are the food source for endangered black ferrets. In order to combat this, the FWS is using drones to drop peanut-smeared, vaccine-laced, M&Ms near prairie dog habitats. Truly a unique and efficient adaptation of drone technology!

A long short-term memory (LSTM) recurrent neural network was recently used to write a sci-fi movie called Sunspring, after studying hundreds of scripts. The results were then filmed and were quite....creepy. Now artificial intelligence has been used to write a new Harry Potter book, after studying the first four in the series. The results are equally unnerving, but we proceed to speculate on what this kind of technology could lead to.

Finally, Nintendo has continued their dominance of gaming news this week, by going retro. The NES Classic Edition plug-and-play system is launching in November and will retail for $60. The system is pre-loaded with classics such as the Super Mario Bros. 1 & 2, Metroid, Mega Man 2, Excitebike and many more! Which games would you like to revisit?

 

Today's episode features Dan Gaul, Nick Mokey, Brad Bourque and Greg Nibler.

Please subscribe and share Trends with Benefits, visit digitaltrends.com and send in YOUR questions to podcast@digitaltrends.com. We also broadcast the show live on YouTube every Thursday at 2:30 pm PST.

Don't forget to check out our other live-streamed shows, Between the Streams and Close to the Metal.

Direct download: dtpodcast091.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 6:30pm PST

Topics: Pokemon Go, Tesla Autopilot issues, digitally growing drones, VR porn festival, VR at the Olympics, K5 Security Robot.

We start the show off today, with Brad explaining his new fascination with new mobile game, Pokemon Go. While many of us have not actually played Pokemon before, he makes a good case for downloading the new game.

Tesla has been in the news a lot in the last couple of months, regarding the Autopilot feature on their vehicles. With accidents involving both their Model S and the Model X, there have been questions regarding the safety of the feature. An update is on the way for Model S. The bigger questions surrounding Autopilot, are how it is going to effect our driving habits and all around lifestyles as it becomes more ingrained in vehicles. Statistically it's safer, but do you trust it enough to use regularly? Also, how will it effect our economy? There is a great article on Digital Trends about just this and we dig into some of these questions.

Researchers at BAE Systems and the University of Glasgow are currently at work on a novel way to create and manipulate drones. While it sounds like something out of a Sci-Fi movie, they believe they'll some day be able to "grow" drones using digitally controlled chemistry and 3D printing. It sounds a little ridiculous, but the implications are pretty incredible. We highly suggest you check out their video here.

In what had to be inevitable, a VR porn festival popped up in Japan recently. The festival was shut down pretty quickly by authorities, for exceeding capacity! Obviously the porn industry will have a big presence in Virtual Reality going forward.  However, would you want to stand in a sweaty, crowded room, bumping into other people waiting for their turn to "try" it out?

VR is also going to be used in the upcoming Olympics in Brazil. While the country itself is appearing to be woefully unprepared for the start, the idea of VR in sports is rapidly advancing. NBC has announced it will have up to 85 hours of VR content available for the Samsung Gear VR. What kind of events would you be interested in watching, in VR?

Security Guards may soon be joined by robot assistants, if the company Knightscope has it's way. Their K5 security robot comes in at 300 pounds and they are currently patrolling the Stanford Shopping Center. It's equipped with thermal imaging; two way audio; license plate recognition and even people detection. Clearly, this is the start of the robot revolution. Don't trust Brad, when it happens.

 

Today's episode features Nick Mokey, Brad Bourque, Rick Stella and Greg Nibler.

Please subscribe and share Trends with Benefits, visit digitaltrends.com and send in YOUR questions to podcast@digitaltrends.com. We also broadcast the show live on YouTube every Thursday at 2:30 pm PST.

Don't forget to check out other livestreamed shows, Between the Streams and Close to the Metal.

Direct download: dtpodcast090.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 7:00pm PST

Topics: Laser Bazooka, iPhone 7 rumors, King of TV competition at CE Week, Smart Billboards, and an escaping Russian Robot.

Owning a laser gun is probably something we have all dreamed about as some point. YouTube personality Drake Anthony, known as Styropyro, is someone who has actually done it. He's posted several videos of homemade laser contraptions and his latest does not fail to impress. He created a laser bazooka, made from re-purposed blue laser diodes, among other parts from various components bought off of eBay. The video demonstrates his laser in action, as he tears through everything from a computer case, to a block of wood. We may be witnessing the origin story of a real-life Iron Man.

From lasers to phones, there is always speculation about what Apple is up to. The iPhone 7 is one of the most anticipated phones in years and we cover many of the rumors currently circulating about the new device. It's possible they drop the metal case, make the phone waterproof and get rid of the Touch ID button. One of the biggest rumors, is that they may be getting rid of the headphone jack altogether. While this would make the phone thinner, it would also force everyone to purchase new headphones. Is that something you'd be willing to do, in order to have the latest in phone technology?

Caleb Denison recently returned from Consumer Electronics Week in New York. CE Week is designed to be a bridge between the annual CES, in January. He participated in the "King of TV" competition, between the highest end televisions on the market. While the current models are impressive, he also let us know about what could be coming in the future. Tune in to find out about what "Q"LED technology is all about and why it may revolutionize the industry.

Personalized advertising is about to go to the next level in Japan, with plans to launch "smart" billboards on highways. They will have the ability to scan cars before they pass by a digital display, gathering information about their make, model, etc. Custom ads up to 5 seconds will then be broadcast to target the drivers as they pass by. This is surely only the start to a new form of marketing. How do you feel about advertisers gathering so much information about you?

Finally, we head back to Russia for it's now famous escaping Robot. The AI-enhanced droid, named the Promobot IR77 made the news a couple of weeks ago, by escaping it's lab and rolling into traffic on it's own. Apparently not learning from their mistakes, the robot was somehow allowed to escape again! This time it went on a 45 minute cruise through the city of Perm, before it's battery died, in the middle of the street. There are rumors that it will be "put down", which will clearly be a provocation to our future robot overlords. 

Today's episode features Caleb Denison, Drew Prindle, Rick Stella and Greg Nibler.

Please subscribe and share Trends with Benefits, visit digitaltrends.com and send in YOUR questions to podcast@digitaltrends.com. We also broadcast the show live on YouTube every Thursday at 2:30 pm PST.

Direct download: dtpodcast089.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 7:30pm PST

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