Monday, July 24, 2017

New Apple ad does some voice-first education with The Rock and Siri

How do you teach people how to use an interface that’s invisible? That’s been the marketing communications problem for Apple since the day Siri became the first big mass-market voice assistant.

They’ve taken stab after stab at it. The splash page that offers Siri suggestions if you activate it and don’t say anything. TV spots; tool tips; App Store promotions and interviews you may or may not have read about how much work they’re putting into Siri. They’re all an attempt to get you beyond the basic timer and weather queries.

Here's why Halo 5 isn't coming to PC

The franchise is picking its battles

After we got our hopes up with the announcement that its Forge mode would be coming to PC, it's now been confirmed that we won't be seeing a full Halo 5 release on PC.

The news comes courtesy of PC Gamer's interview with a Microsoft spokesperson, who confirmed that there were "no plans" to port the Xbox One exclusive to PC.

However, the news isn't exactly surprising when you consider the series' difficult relationship with the PC in the past.

Microsoft says it's still working on that Halo TV series

A long time coming

Speculation around a TV spin-off for Halo, one of the most iconic gaming franchises of our time, has been swirling for years, but we've not heard much about the project lately. Now Microsoft has told AR12Gaming that a show is indeed still in the works.

Sunday, July 16, 2017

Oculus Working With Qualcomm on Wireless Rift, Slashes Price in Half

A new report claims that Oculus is working with Qualcomm to design a headset that won’t require tethering to a PC or phone, and will sell for as little as $200. This standalone headset would be a huge step forward for the industry, and it couldn’t come at a better time for Oculus.

Oculus may have first demonstrated the VR’s ability to generate community excitement, thanks to its fabulous Kickstarter debut. But the company has struggled over the last 12 months. Hardware shipments were delayed due to component shortages. Palmer Luckey was accused of misrepresenting the price; after insisting for years it needed to be roughly $300-$350 to have a chance at gaining mass market share, the actual product launched at $600. Toss in a temporary attempt to implement DRM that was removed again after massive user outcry, and you’ve got a partial list of what’s been pissing off Oculus Rift buyers over the last 15 months.

Sunday, May 07, 2017

Alexa learns to talk like a human with whispers, pauses & emotion

And you tell me not be weary of the possibility of Skynet

Amazon’s Alexa is going to sound more human. The company announced this week the addition of a new set of speaking skills for the virtual assistant, which will allow her to do things like whisper, take a breath to pause for emphasis, adjust the rate, pitch and volume of her speech, and more. She’ll even be able to “bleep” out words – which may not be all that human, actually, but is certainly clever.