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Samsung Ventures Backs Fove Virtual Reality Headset

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fove devFove is on a mission to unlock the essence of Virtual Reality. The eye-tracking headset reached it’s Kickstarter goal 72 hours after its campaign was launched. Samsung Ventures Japan committed additional funding to add extra functionality to the product.

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Fove is equipped with infrared cameras that read subtle eye movements. The additional hardware reveals new ways to interact, as well as more precise control, in virtual realities.

Yuka Kojima, CEO and co-founder of FOVE, said: “With this new investment and from our Kickstarter community, we will work diligently in making FOVE development possible on a large scale. Our goal is to further advance the virtual reality market”

“Imagine being in a horror video game where shadows move out of the corner of your eye. You blink and suddenly are in a different part of the world” told Scott Harper, Fove Creative Director.

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Eye tracking adds surprisingly realistic human interactions to game developers’ toolkits. Fove could potentially solve the problem of feeling face-to-face with someone to the user experience. For the first time game environments can know where you are looking on the screen; giving in-game characters the ability to make eye contact with the player.

Foveated Rendering
The technology permits Foveated Rendering – focusing on a specific area where the eyes are looking. Only Fove is working on this technology in the Virtual Reality space.

Also read: Trans-Human Bodies and Post-Human Sex

Thanks to the Samsung Investment Fove makers announced the virtual reality headset would support Steam’s Lighthouse technology. Additionally, the device would support the OSVR standard. Support for Lighthouse will mean Fove will go beyond head and eye tracking and use base stations to track body position as well. Using the dual tower system in opposite ends of a room and Fove can track user’s interaction with their environment.

Images from Fove.

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Artificial Intelligence

Students Create Doom AI Which Learns Visually and Kills Humans in Deathmatch

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Two students from Carnegie Mellon University recently placed second in an artificial intelligence competition for their submission of a program that was able to learn the game Doom the same way humans do – by playing.

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Communication

Sony Introduces 2FA for PlayStation Users

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In a long-awaited and overdue move, Sony has finally introduced two-factor authentication to PlayStation users who can now enable the security feature on their PlayStation Network (PSN) accounts.

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Five years after suffering a devastating hack that compromised the user details of some 77 million PlayStation Network users, Sony has introduced two-factor authentication (2FA) on PSN accounts. Sony confirmed the news with a tweet last night, explaining how the feature works.

“By requiring two forms of identification for sign-in, your account and personal information will be better protected.” Sony wrote in its blog.

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Users will be asked to provide a verification code that will be texted to their mobile phones at the time of signing into their PSN account. While the feature isn’t hack-proof (nothing is, really), it provides a much-needed extra layer of protection that a large platform like the PlayStation Network, with over 100 million uses, deserves.

Sony PS 2FA

Sony added:

Passwords can be compromised if you use the same password for multiple accounts, click on malicious links, open phishing emails and other methods.

If your password is compromised and becomes known to someone other than yourself, your account will still require a verification code to gain access when you activate 2-Step Verification.

With the feature, Sony caught up with its console rival Microsoft. The Redmond-based software giant had introduced 2FA for Xbox back in 2013, during the days of Xbox 360. Other platforms which sees millions of users such as Google, Apple, Facebook, Twitter and others have been offering 2FA security for years.

It is perhaps baffling that Sony took as long as it did to introduce 2FA security, after the 2011 breach. At the time, the hack had Sony admitting that names, email addresses, billing addresses, account passwords and some credit card numbers were all exposed. The fallout saw Sony fined by the UK government. Furthermore, Sony also agreed to a settlement in a class action lawsuit, worth millions, granting PSN users in the United States the means to claim damages if they suffered identity theft as a result of the data breach.

Featured image from Shutterstock.

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Fun Hacks

British Whizz Kid Hacks Pokemon Go; Catches Monsters Without Breaking a Sweat

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Pokemon Go

A 25-year-old British former computer science student has discovered a loophole in the popular Pokemon Go allowing him to catch Pokemon without leaving the comfort of his home.

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According to reports, players of the game have resorted to donating thousands of pounds to keep Mark Gore’s ‘bot’ running. Five lawyers are alleged to have urged him to remove the programme.

Mr Gore has stated that his loophole wasn’t designed to take the fun out of the game, which is reported to have seen users harassed by police for walking into restricted areas, according to the British tabloid newspaper, the Sun.

He stated that it was easy exploiting the game, which was created by Niantic. Gore said that over 24,000 people worldwide had been using his site to take advantage of his ‘bot’.

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He said:

I don’t think I’m spoiling people’s fun. If you look at the age bracket of people playing this game, it’s not all teenagers playing. There are a lot of people who work all day and don’t have the time to spend hours each day going out and catching Pokemon.

He added that those who want to can run the program in the comfort of their own home for two hours a day and still maintain the same level of fun to those who walk around collecting Pokemon.

While it certainly adds a level of safety to the game, does it not take away the authentic feel of it too?

Featured image from Matthew Corley via Shutterstock.

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