Sometimes at events like
ShowStoppers! at E3 2012 you are surprised by what products you find. Now, we all know about Augmented Reality (AR) - Sony even showed off their own implementation in the Wonderbook. So far, however, it has mostly been a toy and not really used for anything productive - until now.
Aurasma. Their goal is to bridge the physical and virtual worlds, all through your phone or tablet. This system allows you to take a physical image and turn it into an interactive element. For example, if you use their free software and aim it at the Mona Lisa, you will be treated to a moving version of the image, talking to you. It is done entirely without ugly QR codes, which have become like modern day modem noise, keeping an advertisement or brochure entirely clean and professional. Companies have already used their product for Despicable Me, soccer teams and even Marvel has recently gotten involved to bring your comic book characters to life.
This is one of the coolest technologies I have interacted with, and it is great to see someone trying to eliminate the scourge that are QR codes. We have a great hands-on demo of the product after the break, and you can get the free app in either the Android or iTunes marketplaces right now.
Kingston Technology, home of high-quality memory products, could show up at an E3 2012 ShowStoppers! party and bring with them an uber-powerful gaming computer. What do I mean when I say uber-powerful? How about 64GB of HyperX RAM, a $1,000 12-core processor and dual SSDs. One SSD is setup for the operating system and applications and one is setup for an Adobe scratch disk.
This computer is so powerful that rendering full HD video only takes about 7% of the processor. How do they do it? By loading all of the video into RAM, meaning no disk seek times, plus using an SSD as a scratch disk. With no seek time, the video is capable of rendering faster and smoother than the average editing rig. This simulates a lot of how videogames work. In general, the area you are in is loaded into memory and rendered on the fly. A rig like this could make any game run smoother, even at the highest video settings.
Check out the video after the break to see this beast in action.
For those of you who feel saddened because your glorious video game achievements and heroic epic fails seem doomed to live forever in the obscurity of your memory then you'll want to pay attention to Elgato's
Game Capture HD. I had the pleasure of speaking with Tim Böth, Elgato Systems brand manager, at ShowStoppers during E3 this year and we got live demo of the hardware and software in action.
The way that the Game Capture HD works is pretty simple. You have an Xbox 360 and/or a PS3,TV and a Mac or PC. The Game Capture HD hardware had an HDMI pass-through that catches the feed from your console and sends it to your computer via USB 2.0 in 480i/p, 756p, 720p and 1080i outputs without losing a single frame. So you've got a couple options even if somehow you don't have an HDTV to go with your HD game console. Elgato Systems also has their own software that makes it easy to work with your footage. Check out more after the break and get a first hand look.
What do Sony and books have to do with each other? No, they're not releasing another eReader. Instead, Sony brought to the stage of their press event something that felt a little rushed. The company has teamed up with J.K. Rowling to produce
Book of Spells, which is a game based on the Wonderbook platform that they also announced at the event.
What is Wonderbook? It's actually a great little augmented reality piece of hardware and software. Using your PlayStation Eye camera and a special book you must purchase, kind of like the AR Cards from the 3DS, will make several different games and images appear on the screen. When you place the waterproof book on your floor, the book then shows up on the TV, where it animates to life. The images that appear have that
Harry Potter feel to them and objects will randomly come out at you in 3D. You can also pick up the book, move it and do whatever you want, and then image on screen will follow suit. The good news is you'll only need one Wonderbook for all future titles so you won't have to buy any new "hardware."
However, while all seems well on the surface and the idea is great, there's a couple of problems that showed up when they presented us
Book of Spells, the launch title for the Wonderbook. What's the issue? We'll talk about it all after the break.
During Sony's E3 2012 Press Conference they decided to mention PlayStation Suite, seemingly because they felt like they had to. Over the 2 minutes and 32 seconds they dedicated to it there were two important announcements. The first was that PlayStation Suite has been renamed to PlayStation Mobile. For those of you who are unfamiliar, PlayStation Mobile is Sony reaching out to 3rd party game developers on any "open platform" in an attempt to bring the best of gaming to mobile phones and tablets.
The second important announcement is that HTC will be the first third party manufacturer to work with Sony in producing "PlayStation Certified" devices that will bring the best gaming experience to the masses. Now, if Sony is going to blow over a major topic and leave fans with more questions than answers, like they did, they at least know to take a subtle dig at Apple to help smooth things over. This is why they made it a point to emphasize that they are supporting an open platforms.
Check out the Sony press release after the break and watch the Sony E3 Press Conference segment about PlayStation Mobile as well.
Sony's press conference was a little bit mixed. While they showed off exclusive games, played catch-up with media partners and made it clear that they were still relevant at least for one more year, the company is putting a lot on their new Vita and the
Assassin's Creed upcoming titles.
Yes, I said titles because not only are the PS3 and Xbox 360 consoles getting some love with
Assassin's Creed III but the Vita is also getting Assassin's Creed III: Liberation. This Vita-only title hits stores in October and should really add some value to the mobile game system.