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.


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.


London hospital's new VR app helps young children undergo MRI scans without needing general anaesthetic

The Independent - Tech

King's College Hospital has created a free virtual reality app designed to ease patients' fears ahead of MRI machine scans. My MRI at King's, which has primarily been built for children, is essentially a simple audiovisual guide that walks patients through the events that will happen on the day. It can be used at home ahead of a scan, and is viewable on a virtual reality headset, such as Google Cardboard. However, users can also explore it on a phone or tablet. The giant human-like robot bears a striking resemblance to the military robots starring in the movie'Avatar' and is claimed as a world first by its creators from a South Korean robotic company Waseda University's saxophonist robot WAS-5, developed by professor Atsuo Takanishi and Kaptain Rock playing one string light saber guitar perform jam session A man looks at an exhibit entitled'Mimus' a giant industrial robot which has been reprogrammed to interact with humans during a photocall at the new Design Museum in South Kensington, London Electrification Guru Dr. Wolfgang Ziebart talks about the electric Jaguar I-PACE concept SUV before it was unveiled before the Los Angeles Auto Show in Los Angeles, California, U.S The Jaguar I-PACE Concept car is the start of a new era for Jaguar.