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Google unveils its Pixel smartphone and VR headset

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Looking to drum up consumer excitement, the tech company hosted an event in San Francisco on Tuesday to unveil a series of products, including two new phones, a virtual reality headset and the Chromecast Ultra. The flagship announcement was the introduction of Pixel, the first Google phone to carry exclusively Google branding. The company called it the "first phone made by Google inside and out." The device is poised to take on the iPhone with a built-in artificially intelligent assistant, 4K video and other bells and whistles. Here's a closer look at everything you need to know: Google (GOOG) announced a new Pixel line of phones -- the 5-inch Pixel ( 649) and 5.5-inch Pixel XL ( 769).


As Facebook plans for the future, VR looms large

Los Angeles Times

When Google wanted people to know it was serious about virtual reality two years ago, it sent software developers attending its I/O conference home with Google Cardboard -- a cheap, build-it-yourself VR headset that developers could use with Samsung Galaxy smartphones. When Facebook wanted people to know it was serious about VR on Tuesday, it sent software developers attending its F8 conference -- all 2,600 of them -- home with Gear VR headsets, which retail at 99.99, and Samsung Galaxy S6 smartphones, which cost 598 apiece. Facebook Chief Executive Mark Zuckerberg's announcement of the high-end swag was met with emphatic applause from the audience of developers, who packed an auditorium in San Francisco's Fort Mason Center to hear him detail the company's 10-year plan. The Gear VR may not rival the coveted, high-end virtual reality headset released last month by Oculus VR, which Facebook acquired in 2014 for 2 billion. But it was enough to drive the message home: VR will play a big role in Facebook's future -- and so will developers who embrace the medium.


Nvidia unifies a big list of developer tools in one package

PCWorld

Nvidia's varied range of GPU developer tools have been spread out into specialized kits, but that's not the case any more. The company has announced the Nvidia SDK unified toolkit, which brings together its game development, supercomputing, virtual reality, automotive and drone and robot development tools into one package. The toolkit brings together essential tools and libraries necessary for GPU development, Jen-Hsun Huang, CEO of Nvidia, said during a keynote at the company's GPU Technology Conference in San Jose, California. The toolkit is tuned for Nvidia's latest Pascal GPU architecture, which the company is expected to detail at the show. Pascal contains many technological improvements that could trigger changes in the way applications are written for GPUs.


Build 2016: Microsoft announces ambitious bot plans at developer conference

The Independent - Tech

Nasa has announced that it has found evidence of flowing water on Mars. Scientists have long speculated that Recurring Slope Lineae -- or dark patches -- on Mars were made up of briny water but the new findings prove that those patches are caused by liquid water, which it has established by finding hydrated salts. Several hundred camped outside the London store in Covent Garden. The 6s will have new features like a vastly improved camera and a pressure-sensitive "3D Touch" display


Ok, computer? Artificial intelligence robots set to become 'future of customer service', reveal Microsoft - Independent.ie

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Online artificial intelligence bots are set to dominate customer service in the near future, according to a new vision unveiled by Microsoft. At its Build developers' conference in San Francisco, the software giant showcased new tools to help companies build and customise artificial intelligence systems online to help with everything from ordering a pizza to booking a hotel room. MIcrosoft Skype executive Lilian Rincon demonstrated a booking made with a bot from the Westin Hotel in Dublin within Skype. She then showed how the bot could delve into her messages to organise a reunion with a Dublin-based friend. So-called chatbots are not new in customer service.