Why smartphone cameras were the most important tech of 2017


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The future of getting dressed: AI, VR and smart fabrics


Cher Horowitz's closet from the film "Clueless" had a futuristic computer system that helped her put together outfits. Back in 1995, the concept teased what it might be like to get dressed in the future. Technology has evolved a lot since then, but closets have been largely untouched by innovation. Now, that's starting to change. "If algorithms do their job well, people will spend less time thinking about what to wear," said Ranjitha Kumar, an assistant professor in the Department of Computer Science at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

Reality shock: The #FakeWorld future of ubiquitous AR


Jack was always tense during eye exams, but Doctor Wasserman was friendly and reassuring. "So, do I need a new prescription, Doc?" "It's been three years, and you're in your forties. But the big question now is, do you want to try out the new Erika glasses? We just got them in." Jackson T. Reed considered himself a gadget guy. His house had an Erika smart assistant in every room, and he'd been reading about the new glasses for months. Unlike the Giggle Gazes from a decade ago, when the e-commerce giant Hudson developed the Erika glasses, Hudson's engineers recognized that prescription patients were the most likely consumers to be comfortable with wearing glasses, so they'd make the best early adopters. Jack smiled a big wide smile. I've already chosen my frames. Another big difference from the Giggle Gaze of years past was that Hudson waited until it could create augmented reality glasses that looked just like normal eyewear. While Giggle Gaze wearers looked strange, and were commonly referred to as "gazeholes," the Erika-based AR glasses looked good on people. The tech media immediately dubbed them "Gerikas," conflating the words glasses and Erika. An hour later, Jack's Gerikas were ready. Wasserman's assistant handed them to Jack.

Porgs make Magic Leap fun. The Internet of Things could make it useful.


The porg on the carpet looked up at me, its watery eyes pleading, tiny wings flapping uselessly. In the background, C-3P0 droned on, occasionally interrupted by a bleating Chewbacca. This was mixed reality experienced through the Magic Leap One, the long-long-long-awaited AR headset now available for the robust price of $2,295. Here's what you get for your money: a surprisingly comfortable headset, a controller, and a small computer called a Lightpack, which resembles a thick hockey puck you can clip into your pocket or wear on a strap. I was at the very first L.E.A.P Conference in Los Angeles on Tuesday, smiling my way through "Star Wars: Project Porg."

Flipboard on Flipboard


When Jérôme Blanquet set out to make his new virtual reality film, Alteration--which, among other things portrays an artificial intelligence diving into a man's dreams to steal them--he felt strongly that AI should play a big part in the project. "As a filmmaker, I would like to represent…using AI in the dreams of a human," Blanquet says. "For me, only AI can represent what AI can [represent] in the human brain." Alteration, which was launched yesterday for the Oculus Rift and Samsung's Oculus-powered Gear VR, centers on Alexandro, who volunteers to take part in a dream experiment, unaware that the researchers running it are going to inject, digitize, and take over his subconscious with an AI in the guise of a woman named Elsa. The story progresses through scenes representing Alexandro's memories, the AI always hovering nearby.