The future of gaming

March 8, 2009

This post is a bit tech-heavy, so bear with me! I’ve just got back from a meeting of the London Girl Geek Dinners, a networking society for women who work in technology. The evening was really interesting and lots of exciting new ideas were discussed. One of the coolest things I learnt about was the idea of creating  ‘MediaScapes‘. The official definition of a ‘MediaScape’ is a ‘location-based experience, game or tour’, and basically it’s a new way for people to interact with their surroundings.

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All you need is a device that has both wifi internet access and built-in GPS (Global Positioning System) such as an iPaq. You select an ‘MScape‘ from the MScapers website, then, as you move through a specific space – such as a city, a zoo or a park – your position is tracked by GPS. When you reach a specific location, it triggers a delivery of images, sounds, videos or text to your device,  to enrich your experience. For example, if you’re walking around a zoo, you might get extra information about the animals delivered straight to you as you reach specific enclosures, or when you’re sight-seeing, you might receive tourist tips and historical facts as you pass specific buildings.

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It’s not just your location that triggers digtial media deliveries – they can be triggered by  proximity to a specific place, a specific time or even a physical movement. This technology might be used in the future for GPS-based gaming. Click here to see an amazing video showing what gaming might be like soon. Surely gaming that gets the kids off the sofa and out into the real world is a good thing.

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A woman in a MediaScape on Salisbury Plain

But I can foresee problems too…will there be lots of accidents as people staring at their screens don’t pay attention to dangers in the real world? Will people get confused about where to draw the line between fantasy and reality with so much overlap? Also, MScapes are designed to ‘enrich’ our experience of reality, but does the real world need enriching? Will these MScapes end up distracting us from reality instead? Only time will tell…  – Ellie

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I’ve just got back from the Panasonic convention in Amsterdam where I was lucky enough to see the latest white goods and technology launches.

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Panasonic unveiled the world’s largest HD plasma TV display, which was an impressive 150 inches wide and had a crystal clear image. We were also shown the NR-B30FX1, an incredible new fridge-freezer with an LCD display on the door and loads of storage space inside. Traditional fridges have thick walls of insulating materials, which means reduced space for food inside, but the new NR-B30FX1 model has ultra-thin ‘U-Vacua’ panels. They’re just an inch deep but offer 20-times more insulation than traditional materials, meaning the walls are thinner and the space inside is bigger.

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Check out the smart blue LED lighting inside the top, too – very cool! This fridge will start at £699 and you’ll see it in John Lewis and Comet next month. Panasonic‘s new washing machines impressed me, too. They have a tilted drum, which makes it easy to load and unload, and saves water, too. I also liked the new ‘3D Sensor Wash’ technology in these machines, which detects the movement of the clothes in the drum and makes adjustments to enable the laundry to tumble from the optimal position, so it washes perfectly every time.

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These machines will retail from £449 in John Lewis and Comet next month. Panasonic also announced some stylish new Viera flat-panel TVs, but what got me really excited was the announcement of the world’s first portable Blu-ray Disc player.

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The DMP-B15 lets users view movies on the go, with stunning images on a high-quality 8.9-inch WSVGA LCD screen. I want one! – Ellie

 

 

I’ve just got back from Portugal, where Philips presented their latest collection of gadgets and appliances to the worldwide media…

Every year, Philips take over the Penhalonga golf resort, for 3 months at a time, kitting the rooms out with latest Philips products – TV, daylight alarm clock, music systems – and displaying their products in marquees around the golf resort, so us journalists can get to know their products in depth, see them in action and spread the word…

The hotel, which dates back to the 14th century, is a gorgeous contrast to the latest high-tech offerings from Philips…These include:

NET TV – launching this spring it’s a new feature on Philips‘ latest TV designs (such as the S8000 and S9000 series) that lets you access a range of entertainment and information websites, such as YouTube, TomTom, eBay, MeteoGroup, Funspot, MyAlbum and Netlog, direct from your TV.

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Also worth mentioning is the wide range of music streaming products that Philips has launched, such as the MC15ooH (pictured below), which lets you play music wirelessly in every room of the house.  With a ‘station’ in every room you can access your digital files on your PC or listen to internet radio or music services such as Last.fm. You can synchronize the music so the same tunes are played in every room, or for example, each family member can listen to a tune in their own room – so you can have Beyonce blairing out in the kitchen, Fleet Foxes in the study and a bit of relaxing chillout music in the bedroom.

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And if you’re looking for birthday ideas for him, then check out the new straightener for men (!)

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Yep, you heard it right – it’s smaller than your average straightener so gives ‘precision styling’ and, it seems, a bit of a ‘new romantic’ edge…whatever floats your boat – Emily

Can I just say….

February 12, 2009

WOW!

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I also might add: This contemporary 17″ mirrored HDMI cabinet TV (with freeview tuner, Wi-Fi link up, DIT and gaming compabilities) is new from Magnet. Prices as follows:

Wi-Fi Cabinet TV LH/RH (Door inc TV only) 500×720 – £1,499.00

Wi-Fi Cabinet TV (Door inc TV only) 600×300 – £1,499.00

I’ll have to get saving and in the meantime scuff up my kitchen units a bit – good excuse to get these new cabinets installed – Emily