Video game devotees eager for more information on the upcoming PlayStation 5 – and the games coming for the next generation console – will soon have more details. Sony, which has said the PS5 will hit the market this holiday season, is planning a presentation for Thursday, June 4 at 4 p.m. ET/1 p.m. PT on the PlayStation YouTube and Twitch channels, according to Jim Ryan, President & CEO of Sony Interactive Entertainment. "I'm excited to share that we will soon give you a first look at the games you'll be playing after PlayStation 5 launches this holiday," he said in a blog post Friday. "The games coming to PS5 represent the best in the industry from innovative studios that span the globe. Studios, both larger and smaller, those newer and those more established, all have been hard at work developing games that will showcase the potential of the hardware."
To step onto city streets means taking your chances with cameras recording your every move. Over the years, surveillance tools such as face recognition and artificial intelligence have made it easier for states to capture and identify a person in schools, banks, stores or busy intersections. In some cases, our own phones serve as surveillance tools, with social media helping users spread their recordings. Most recently, a video taken by a bystander shows the death of 46-year-old George Floyd after a white police officer kneeled on the Floyd's neck, causing outrage and protests across the nation. Body-worn cameras are also used by police officers, making it a surveillance tool for both the law enforcement and members of the community.
Upgrading from a smart speaker (like the Echo Dot) to a smart display (like the Echo Show) can be a game-changer. With a display, you can have recipes at your fingertips in the kitchen, a multi-functional digital photo frame in your living room, and easily enjoy a hands-free video chat from anywhere in the house. You can also quickly see information like the outside temperature and control your smart light switches and door locks from the touch screen. But smart displays are also great for watching your favorite shows while you work, whether you're cooking in the kitchen or putting away laundry in the bedroom. There's just one caveat: Different devices support different streaming platforms.
Social distancing is still in full effect for most of us--and that means your steady stream of video calls with friends and family probably won't slow down anytime soon. It's easy to use your smartphone or laptop to see your friends and family, but Facebook Portal, a smart video display that features Amazon Alexa, makes quarantine video chat awesome with its augmented reality effects and other cool features. The Portal Plus has a respectable speaker and a display that swivels to change between portrait and landscape modes. Facebook Portal is a smart video display screen that closely resembles a picture frame. The device uses Facebook Messenger or WhatsApp to make video calls, but the person you're trying to call doesn't need a Portal to answer your call--just a Facebook Messenger or WhatsApp account.
Apple's latest iPhone software update, iOS 13.5, released Wednesday, is there for you. Your eyes, nose and mouth must be visible for Face ID, Apple's facial recognition software, to recognize you. But with the coronavirus, device owners may be wearing masks when out in public. So Apple is making it easier for you to unlock your phone when you have a mask on. Install the update and you will no longer have to wait for Face ID to fail several times before being prompted to enter your passcode.
Epic Games had an offer PC gamers couldn't refuse: The video game publisher's online store would give away free copies of "Grand Theft Auto V" beginning Thursday. But demand proved to be so high that it crashed the game downloading service. Epic Games, which also makes the hugely popular online game "Fortnite," has been releasing a free game weekly through its online store. It plans to continue giving "GTA V" away until May 21. But soon after the giveaway began Thursday, Epic Games tweeted "We are currently experiencing high traffic on the Epic Games Store. We'll provide an update as soon as we can."
Amazon studies user voice recordings to make improvements to Alexa, according to the company. Each time you say "Alexa" (or whatever your wake word of choice happens to be), Amazon might be listening. However, the company says the wake word and the command or question that follows is the only part that's being recorded. This is all to help Alexa get smarter, but this may leave some smart home users feeling a bit uneasy. While Amazon points out that an "extremely small fraction of voice recordings are manually reviewed," the recordings have been mismanaged in the past, including a few horror stories, so it doesn't hurt to take precautions. You can adjust Alexa's voice recording settings in the Amazon Alexa app, available for download on iOS and Android devices. There are other ways to manage your voice recordings in the Amazon Alexa app, like automatic deletion and turning off voice recordings altogether.
It's very rare to see any travel video or brochure these days that doesn't have an image shot from overhead, on a drone. Life seems more dramatic up from above, right? The units themselves have gotten way easier to use, more affordable and the camera quality is pretty amazing. Imagine being able to throw a high-quality camera in the air that can get stunning overhead shots, smooth video even in wind and always somehow return home to sender. It's one of the major tech advancements of our time, but it can be a little confusing.
Microsoft has already provided a look at its new Xbox Series X video game console, due this holiday season. Next week, the game maker and software giant will unveil some of the games coming to the much-anticipated gaming system. Microsoft has scheduled an online First Look at Xbox Series X Gameplay event for May 7. "You want to see games for the Xbox Series X? We want to show you games for the Xbox Series X," reads a post on the official Xbox Twitter feed. "Check out First Look next-gen gameplay from our global developers partners within #InsideXbox on Thursday, May 7 at 8am PT." Microsoft has already revealed that the console will launch with a new chapter in the "Halo" series, called "Halo Infinite." In an online post Thursday, Microsoft's Xbox head Phil Spencer described the Xbox Series X as "our fastest, most powerful console ever that will set a new bar for performance, feel, speed and compatibility when it releases this holiday."