Not all of the big announcements coming out of the annual E3 video game conference in Los Angeles this week deal with flashy new virtual reality or augmented reality. In fact, one of Sony's bigger reveals centered around good old fashioned TV. Sony announced that its streaming TV service Playstation Vue will soon be available to all Playstation 3 and PS4 game console owners across America, allowing them to purchase up to 85 channels separately or in various different bundles (priced at different tiers). The move could entice more Playstation owners to ditch cable TV entirely, ironically by imitating some parts of cable's business model.
Using a pair of augmented reality glasses, a Marine signals intelligence (SIGINT) specialist monitors web traffic while he lies on the ground, his assault rifle trained on a nearby building. Amid the cacophony of cyber-noise in the city -- the thousands of simultaneous, harmless Skype sessions, movie streams, and Internet searches -- the Marine has zeroed in on a possible insurgent, who is currently flipping through financial data on a spreadsheet. Perhaps the suspect will make a mistake, and open up a mapping application that will show where he's planning to meet an arms dealer to buy plastique.
A little over two weeks from now, the Apple Watch will be on display at Apple Stores around the world, and much of the mystery over the product will have evaporated. But for now, if you're looking to see what Apple's smartwatch looks like on your own wrist, your only recourse is to turn to technology.
This morning, Mattel announced a partnership with Google to upgrade the classic toy View-Master, which was first introduced at the 1939 World's Fair in New York. The new and improved View-Master viewer will run on the Google Cardboard platform, with special virtual reality and augmented reality content created for kids and families. The team says it will work with any phone and on any operating system. The device was made to accommodate the larger devices currently on the market (like iPhone 6+ and Nexus 7), and adjustments will center and fit smaller smartphones.
NASA's Curiosity rover is landing on Mars next month. But it's already landed on iPhones. So have the twin GRAIL spacecraft currently orbiting the moon. A new iPhone/iPad app released by NASA delivers an augmented reality experience in 3-D that allows users to print off imagery of the moon or Mars and view that imagery through the cameras on their devices, which then overlay the image on the device screen with various animations, graphics, and information.