Categories
Game

‘Horizon Forbidden West’ is reportedly delayed to 2022

PlayStation fans will have to wait until 2022 to play Horizon Forbidden West, according to Bloomberg. The outlet reports the company has delayed its next big PS5 and PS4 exclusive to next year, pushing it back from its current 2021 holiday season release timeframe.

Ahead of today’s news, Sony hinted at a potential delay last month when the company published an interview with PlayStation Studios head Hermen Hulst. “For Horizon, we think we are on track to release this holiday season,” Hulst said at the time. “But that isn’t quite certain yet, and we’re working as hard as we can to confirm that to you as soon as we can.” At the moment, it’s not clear what’s behind the delay.

If Sony does in fact delay Forbidden West, it won’t be the only first-party exclusive to miss its previously announced 2021 release date. Earlier in the year, the company delayed both Gran Turismo 7 and the next God of War entry to 2022. Just last week, Bethesda also delayed Ghostwire: Tokyo, its upcoming PlayStation 5 and PC horror game from Tango Gameworks, to early 2022.    

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Game

Gaming Laptops, Gaming Desktops Are Cheap at Dell Today

Gamers who are in a search for a new computer shouldn’t settle for anything less than what they can find through gaming laptop deals and gaming PC deals, so that they won’t be disappointed with their purchase. If you’re planning to buy a new gaming machine, you’ll have to make sure that you’re getting the best specifications and features that your budget allows.

Fortunately, with deals such as Dell’s discounts for Alienware products, you’ll be able to stretch your budget to purchase high-quality gaming laptops and gaming PCs. Dell is currently selling the Alienware m15 R3 gaming laptop at $580 off, bringing its price down to $1,700 from its original price of $2,280, while the Alienware Aurora R12 gaming desktop is available at $200 off, lowering its price to $1,730 from its original price of $1,930.

Alienware m15 R3 gaming laptop – $1,700, was $2,280

Alienware Aurora R12 gaming desktop – $1,730, was $1,930

Alienware m15 R3 gaming laptop – $1,700, was $2,280

The Alienware m15 R3 promises an immersive gaming experience even when you’re on the go, as it’s powered by the 10th-generation Intel Core i7 processor, 16GB of RAM, and the Nvidia GeForce RTX 2070 graphics card. The gaming laptop is capable of running the latest games on high settings, and it will display them properly on its 15.6-inch OLED screen with 3840 x 2160 resolution for vivid colors and bright images, and a 60 Hz refresh rate for smooth visuals.

The gaming laptop features a 512GB hard drive to install several games, improved surface coating to minimize the risk of stains, and reduced blue light emissions to prevent eye fatigue. The Alienware m15 R3 stays cool with the brand’s latest thermal technology, which includes a dedicated vapor chamber and load-balancing heat pipes, and it allows overclocking and auto-tuned game profiles through the Alienware Command Center.

If you’re planning to buy a gaming laptop, the Alienware m15 R3 is a solid choice. With Dell’s $580 discount, which brings its price down to just $1,700 from its original price of $2,280, the gaming laptop should be at the top of your list. Its availability is limited though, so if you want to take advantage of this special offer for the Alienware m15 R3, you should click that Buy Now button without hesitation.

Alienware Aurora R12 gaming desktop – $1,730, was $1,930

Alienware Aurora R12 Gaming PC

If portability isn’t important to you, or if you’ve already invested in a high-resolution monitor and gaming accessories, you should go for the Alienware Aurora R12. The gaming desktop packs a powerful punch with the 11th-generation Intel Core i7 processor, 16GB of RAM, and the Nvidia GeForce RTX 3060 Ti graphics card, with a 512GB SSD for storage.

The Alienware Aurora R12 is designed with an extensive cooling system that includes copper heat pipes and integrated vapor chambers, so you won’t have to worry about overheating even if you play throughout the day. It also comes with the Alienware Command Center, and a PSU swing-arm that allows graphics and expansion bay upgrades without the need for tools.

The Alienware Aurora R12 is a gaming desktop that won’t disappoint you, and it’s even more attractive because Dell is selling it at $200 off, lowering its price to $1,730 from its original price of $1,930. However, the limited availability of the gaming desktop means that you shouldn’t be wasting time. If you’re already looking forward to playing your favorite games with the Alienware Aurora R12, you should click that Buy Now button as soon as you can.

More gaming laptop deals

Dell’s Alienware is a trusted brand among gamers, but if these offers for the Alienware m15 R3 and Alienware Aurora R12 aren’t good enough for you, there are many more options for you to choose from. To help you out, we’ve gathered some of the best gaming laptop deals that are available right now, so you’ll have an idea of what else is out there.

We strive to help our readers find the best deals on quality products and services, and we choose what we cover carefully and independently. The prices, details, and availability of the products and deals in this post may be subject to change at anytime. Be sure to check that they are still in effect before making a purchase.

Digital Trends may earn commission on products purchased through our links, which supports the work we do for our readers.

Editors’ Choice




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Categories
AI

Invisibly wants to pay you for your data

All the sessions from Transform 2021 are available on-demand now. Watch now.


Can the tech world put food on the table? Not just for the programmers, but for the users too? That’s the question that a startup called Invisibly is asking. They’re developing a way for users — that is, all of us on the internet — to earn a paycheck for sharing data. Instead of trading their personal information for services like Facebook or Google, Invisibly is proposing a more explicit contract that rewards the people with cash for parting with the information about what they like to read on the internet.

The trade-offs of the traditional data-driven business model are always cloudy. The users get free access to, say, discussion boards for talking with their friends, search engines, or maybe some basic office apps. In return, the services track everything we do and sell ads targeting them. It started as a pretty straightforward trade, but as stock valuations grow, some are wondering if there’s a better balance.

Invisibly’s plan is to explicitly share the returns with the user. The sales literature proclaims, “We don’t own your data. You do.” The current version is called a “data dividend,” which lets users collect points by giving Invisibly access to their web usage. One hundred points can be converted into one dollar. The company compares the idea to Universal Basic Income, the plan to provide everyone with a regular check just for being part of society.

The company is making plans to expand beyond their data dividend. We sat down for a video call with Don Vaughn, head of product, to understand how they plan to create a steady stream of income for the users.

VentureBeat: Where do you begin trying to pay people for their data?

Don Vaughn: The real fundamental thing that needs to happen is that people need control of their data. It’s a real thing. If businesses have all your data, then they can figure you out and do as they wish with your attention. If you have your data, then you start to get a modicum of power. The problem with that is most people just don’t care. The first thing we’ve got to do is you have to get people paid for their data or nobody cares.

VentureBeat: But it’s more than just the money, right?

Vaughn: We’re starting with money very intentionally, but it’s more than that. It’s our vision that people’s data improves their quality of life. We are using that data as a business insights platform which lets people know what’s going on. What’s coming out in our next release in a few weeks is where we’re gonna get more than just get people paid for their data. We’re gonna let them choose what they want to see and filter on the internet from that data. So they’re gonna basically let them control their reality and what type of stuff they see. They won’t be filtered. Not by Google or Facebook or TikTok or Instagram. They’ll choose. That’s where we’re headed.

VentureBeat: I haven’t watched any broadcast Olympics, but my friends tell me it’s insufferable. It’s all ads and teasers for events that might be coming up later.

Vaughn: That’s all part of the same problem. Tech companies or TV companies or somebody else is telling us what we should be watching, but they don’t know me that well. They should stop that. I need to have a way to pull in what I want.

So I can’t tell you exactly what we’re doing because it’s not released for six weeks, but the data dividend is the very first product. It is the first way to get people interested. And now our next product is going to be absolutely explosive. In my view, it’ll change the world over the next couple years because it’s gonna give people the ability to not just make money out of that data — it will give them control.

We’re gonna get you part of the economic model. We’re gonna split that with you. So you can imagine it’s a brand new business model that’s going to come out where, rather than taking the profits on the backs of all the data from people, you’re going to create a new business model.

VentureBeat: In the press release, you talked about a target of a thousand dollars per year.

Vaughn: Right now people generally think that their data is worth a lot, and I wish it were. But data is actually pretty cheap. It is worth pennies, if not less. Even though it feels like it should be more, an ad unit is about a tenth of a penny.

What’s really more valuable than that is attention. Data is for herding sheep. Attention is valuable. So we think that if we can give you what’s worth your attention — if we can find what you would actually want to see rather than just what Facebook thinks you want to see — then that’s much closer to a thousand dollars of revenue a year.

VentureBeat: So, now I’ve seen a couple different systems over the years that try to pay people. Bing has some way of giving me points, which I never seem to be able to use. And I think Brave the browser has some reward system available.

Vaughn: Generally, those products are about getting paid for watching ads. I wouldn’t call them much of a data empowerment. Invisibly is trying to own the segment that we’re calling data empowerment. We think there is tremendous value in you driving and you actually using your data for your own income, like we’re doing now with the day to dividend or to facilitate your attention, getting the content, and the world that you want. The other approaches are getting you paid for watching ads. Invisibly is creating what I think is the first instance of AI for people. AI right now is a business tool. Every business uses it. It’s being used to manipulate. What’s your defense against that? Your human brain is supposed to figure that out and deploy all the attention to deal with that? It’s a losing battle.

So the only future that I see is AI for people, and that’s the big goal for Invisibly is that a protective layer that advocates on your behalf. It’s to defend you against everybody else trying to mess with you. It’s also acting when you have to find everything that’s worth your time and attention to negotiate prices for you in the future. How come no one’s doing that for me? All that should be AI for people, and that’s where Invisibly is really going. It’s a much bigger vision than ads for dollars.

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Categories
Computing

Intel Road Map Explained: Going Beyond 2025

Intel introduced a new road map at its Intel Accelerated event, laying the path forward for the next few years. Now that we know what Intel is working on, we have a much clearer picture of how the chipmaker is operating under new leadership, as well as how it will climb back to the top after some big losses to rival AMD.

Starting in the coming months, Intel will push the envelope in how it creates, packages, and sells processors. Although the road map is subject to change — it wouldn’t be the first time for Intel — the path forward looks exciting for Team Blue.

2021: Intel 7, Alder Lake

Intel’s road map kicks off later this year with the introduction of Intel 7 and the launch of Alder Lake processors. Intel 7 was previously known as 10nm Enhanced SuperFin, building off of the 10nm process showcased in Tiger Lake processors. It’s the same node, but thanks to various optimizations, it offers up to a 15% improvement in performance per watt.

Although Intel 7 implies a 7nm process, Intel is sticking with 10nm through 2021. Instead, the change in naming helps Intel reflect its improvements in transistor density and performance per watt compared to other chipmakers like TSMC and Samsung.

Alder Lake processors will be the first to feature Intel 7, and they’re set to launch in late 2021. The processors will use a hybrid design — dubbed “big.LITTLE” by chip designer ARM — that utilizes high-performance cores and high-efficiency cores on the same processor. By delegating work to an appropriate core, the high-performance cores have more headroom, and Intel is able to pack more cores into the processor to improve multi-core performance.

The big Golden Cove cores handle the bulk of the work, and they’re similar to what you’d find in a standard Intel processor. Like previous core designs, Golden Cove cores support hyperthreading, giving you access to double the number of threads based on how many cores the processor has.

A diagram of intel Alder Lake processors.

The little Gracemont cores don’t support hyperthreading, but that’s not really their purpose. The cores are based on an Intel Atom design, which shows up in low-power, high-efficiency devices. The flagship Intel Core i9-12900K is rumored to feature eight Golden Cove and eight Gracemont cores, offering a total of 16 cores and 24 threads.

Although Intel isn’t moving to 7nm with Alder Lake, the changes in core design should bring a significant performance improvement. Early benchmarks show it beating AMD’s flagship Ryzen 9 5950X, and a leaked slide from Intel claimed up to a 20% increase in single-core performance.

Another advantage of this architecture is how it scales. Based on what we know, Intel can design an Alder Lake processor that requires as little as 5W of power. Intel is expected to release Alder Lake-P processors to replace Tiger Lake processors on mobile, though we don’t have a specific timeframe on when that’s happening right now.

2022: Raptor Lake

In 2022, Intel is rumored to follow up Alder Lake with Raptor Lake. These processors will also use the Intel 7 manufacturing process, serving as the “tock” in Intel’s traditional tick-tock release cadence. As such, Raptor Lake processors will be an improvement of Alder Lake, not an entirely new manufacturing process.

Intel CEO Pat Gelsinger holding a chip.
Walden Kirsch/Intel Corporation

We don’t know as much about Raptor Lake right now, as Intel likes to play its releases close to the chest. As an improvement of Alder Lake, however, the processors should feature a similar hybrid architecture. Rumors suggest that Intel will stick with Gracemont for the high-efficiency cores but introduce improved Raptor Lake high-performance cores.

In addition to the core improvements, Intel is rumored to include more Gracemont cores in the design. The flagship chip is said to come with 24 cores — eight Raptor Lake and 16 Gracemont — for a total of 32 threads. The range should also introduce DLVR power delivery, allowing the processor to reduce its clock speed to very low speeds when not in use.

DLVR will also show up on Raptor Lake mobile processors. For the next couple of years, at least, it seems Intel is aligning its desktop and mobile releases. The introduction of DLVR should significantly improve the battery life of laptops. The mobile range will also introduce LPDDR5X memory, according to leaks.

Intel was rumored to transition over to its ATX12V0 power standard by the launch of Raptor Lake, building on the standard after it was announced in early 2020. However, recent rumors suggest that motherboard makers have pushed back on the standard, so Intel may backpedal.

2023: Intel 4 and Meteor Lake

In 2023, Intel will move on from 10nm to a 7nm process. Known now at Intel 4, the process will debut with the launch of Meteor Lake processors in 2023. Behind the scenes, Intel validated the Meteor Lake design earlier in 2021, suggesting that the range is on track for a 2023 launch.

The new process is said to bring a 20% gain in performance per watt thanks to the smaller size and use of EUV lithography, allowing Intel to create denser, more complex circuits. Until built on 7nm, Intel 4 will surpass TSMC and Samsung with their comparable 5nm nodes, with a transistor density of up to 250 million transistors per square millimeter.

Intel's process roadmap through 2025.

Intel infamously delayed the move to 7nm as it experienced manufacturing issues. Originally, speculation suggested that Meteor Lake would immediately follow Alder Lake, but the delay seems to have pushed Intel to develop Raptor Lake to fill the gap.

Although we don’t have any specs or products right now, there’s a lot to be excited about with Meteor Lake. It’s also rumored to use a hybrid design, using Redwood Cove high-performance cores with next-generation Gracemont cores. Redwood Cove is said to be an agnostic node, allowing Intel to create them in different fabs and stack them together.

This is where Intel will realize its 3D Foveros packaging technology. Foveros made its debut in 2020 with the launch of Lakefield processors, but Intel said it’s working on improvements to the packaging in the form of Foveros Omni and Forveros Direct. Meteor Lake is when we should see these packaging technologies come to fruition.

Redwood Cove will also help Intel avoid supply constraints and chip shortages, as the company (and the industry) was hit with in 2020. Intel CEO Pat Gelsinger referenced other fabs during the Intel Accelerated event in July 2021, suggesting this is a key part of Intel’s strategy moving forward.

2024: Intel 3, Intel 20A

Beyond 2023, things get a little vague. This far out, it really isn’t worth speculating on specific products as they’re likely in active development at Intel. At this point, we’re dealing in technologies and manufacturing advancements, not product ranges or specific processors.

Intel says the next step in its roadmap, Intel 3, will start production in the second half of 2023, so we should see the first products featuring it in early 2024. Like Intel 7, this is the “tock” in Intel’s development cadence. Instead of an entirely new node, Intel 3 will feature improvements to Intel’s 7nm manufacturing process.

Intel CEO presenting at the Intel Accelerated event.

Current testing shows an 18% improvement in performance per watt compared to Intel 4, thanks to the expanded use of EUV lithography and other improvements. This node will continue using the FinFET transistor design Intel introduced in 2011, serving as the last generation to feature it.

Later in 2024, Intel will begin ramping Intel 20A, which is the most exciting advancement the company has coming up. This would have otherwise been known as Intel 1, but the company changed the name to usher in the new “angstrom era” of semiconductors.

In addition to a new manufacturing process, Intel 20A will utilize two new architecture technologies. The first is PowerVia, which allows Intel to route power through the back of the wafer, not through the front as it has traditionally done. Intel says this delivery method is more efficient, which should translate into real-world performance gains.

Intel will ditch the FinFET transistor design with Intel 20A, as well. This generation will bring the new RibbonFET design, which is Intel’s name for its gates-all-around (GAA) transistor. Instead of using a single gate, a GAA transistor uses multiple gates on the transistor delivered through ribbons. This allows the transistor to open and close faster, vastly improving speed.

We don’t know of any products utilizing Intel 20A right now, but the company has already announced a partnership with rival Qualcomm. In the future, Qualcomm will use Intel fabs to build some of its chips utilizing Intel 20A.

2025: Intel 18A

A historic road map of Intel advancements.

The roadmap leads to 2025, where Intel will introduce Intel 18A and re-establish itself as a leader in the industry — at least based on current estimates. If Intel sticks with its launch cadence, Intel 18A will be another “tock” in the cycle, building on RibbonFET and PowerVia on a 5nm manufacturing process.

We don’t know anything about Intel 18A right now outside of the fact that it exists. However, Intel CEO Pat Gelsinger says the company has clear plans even beyond this point. “Moore’s Law is alive and well. We have a clear path for the next decade of innovation to go to ‘1’ and well beyond. I like to say that, until the periodic table is exhausted, Moore’s Law isn’t over, and we will be relentless in our path to innovate with the magic of silicon,” he said.

With further partnerships with company’s like IBM, Intel could continue to push the boundaries of transistor density. Earlier this year, IBM unveiled the world’s first 2nm chip, providing a glimpse at what could be in store years down the line.

Editors’ Choice




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Categories
Game

Shiny Pokemon GO Eevee Community Day: Are you ready for these?

Today we’re taking a peek at Eevee Community Day in Pokemon GO, complete with an early peek at code that’ll go live on the first big day. Eevee Community Day in Pokemon GO is your next best bet for finding a Shiny Eevee and whichever Eevee evolution Pokemon you’ve not yet collected. The latest update to this event (before it happens) has to do with the ticket you can attain for the event to make the event more valuable to you on August 14.

The latest update to the text for the ticket reads as follows: “A ticket to access the What You Choose to Be Special Research on August 14 and 15, 2021, from 11:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. local time each day, wherever you are. Details can be found in the in-game News.” This ticket will be available before the start of the event in the in-game shop in Pokemon GO.

The resouce text for the ticket also include a change for the key quest title in this most recent update to the game file for Pokemon GO. The Eevee Community Day ticket used to be called “Who You Choose to Be Ticket” and is now called “What You Choose To Be Ticket.” The quest used to be “Who You Choose to Be” and is now called “What You Choose to Be.”

During the event, you’ll find a photobomb opportunity that’ll work five times. Each of the first five times you take a snapshot with your in-game camera, you’ll find an Eevee appear in the shot. After the shot is taken, you’ll find an Eevee spawn near your current location.

If you’re here just looking for the name trick names for Eevee evolving into any of the 8 potential Eevee evolutions, take a peek at the full Eevee evolution names list. That’ll work for Vaporeon, Umbreon, Jolteon, Flareon, Sylveon, Glaceon, Leafeon, and Espeon.

Whether or not you buy the special ticket for this event, you’ll find a variety of bonuses and perks for the event on both days it’ll take place. There’ll be Eevee Community Day action on Saturday the 14th of August, 2021 and Sunday the 15th of August, 2021.

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Categories
Game

Arcadia.tv Fuses Sports and Esports To Create Real-Life Tron

Despite how rapidly technology progresses nowadays, sometimes it feels like we’re never really catching up to the lofty sci-fi ambitions of old Hollywood films. The 1982 film Tron, for instance, presented us with a neon-tinted vision of the future where players could compete in full-on digital sports. Despite all our advancements in virtual reality (VR) tech over recent years, something like The Grid still feels foreign.

But that might be about to change. Arcadia.tv is a first-of-its-kind idea that promises to be the future of sports. It combines sports and esports to create digital experiences that still require athleticism. Participants gather in a physical arena, strap on an Oculus Quest, and compete in games that combine the basics of sports and classic arcade hits. Games will be broadcast on Arcadia’s social media channels for anyone to watch. After operating in secret for three years, Arcadia.tv is ready to unleash its modern take on sports to the world.

I sat down with Arcadia.tv CEO Chris Olimpo to learn more about how it all works. According to Olimpo, Arcadia is the “missing link between esports and traditional sports” that aims to fix a huge problem with the impending metaverse.

More Tron, less Wall-E

Arcadia.tv has quietly been in development for three years. The spark for the idea came when Olimpo was working in the VR industry, creating VR experiences for big clients like Universal (Olimpo previously produced and directed a Tom Cruise VR film). While he was enamored by the tech, Olimpo became worried about the direction he saw it taking us in.

“We did this super cool thing at South by Southwest where we had people sitting in these big red chairs,” Olimpo tells Digital Trends. “I immediately thought of Wall-E and thought, ‘Oh no, this is not the future we’re supposed to build.’ And then I looked at Tron and said, ‘That’s the future we’re supposed to build. How do we build that?’”

To counteract his fears of a dystopian future, Olimpo founded Arcadia.tv. The unique blend of video games and sports puts physicality at the forefront of VR. Players compete in a digital space, but it’s more active than your standard video game. Competitors use their body as a controller, dashing around an actual arena in real time alongside their opponents.

It looks a lot like something you’d see in Ready Player One, which calls the concept of the metaverse to mind. Companies like Epic and Facebook have spent the past few years pushing to bring the metaverse concept to life by deepening our digital experiences. Arcadia very much fits into that grand future, with Olimpo calling it “the sport of the metaverse.” But as companies like Epic make content for players to sit at a computer and play, Arcadia wants to make sure we’re staying healthy in an increasingly digital future.

“To be honest, it’s our push to keep humanity in the metaverse,” says Olimpo. “I think technology does its best service when it accelerates the human experience … Arcadia is something that’s trying to remind the world that this body we have is very important. Your brain doesn’t work well without a healthy body. If you’re going to experience something in the metaverse, you might want to run around and play rather than lie down and jack in.”

Gamers versus athletes

Arcadia.tv features a number of custom-designed games that players can compete in. They tend to combine the basics of a real sport with ideas from classic games. For instance, one game has players running in-between moving digital barriers. It’s essentially Frogger meets real-life track and field.

The arcade influence isn’t an accident. Olimpo recalls an anecdote that guides the philosophy for how Arcadia’s games are built with an audience in mind.

“We were at a trade show a few years ago, and nobody was waiting in line for virtual reality,” says Olimpo. “There was this small Galaga machine, and I started playing. I was breaking 50,000, and a small little crowd started forming around me. My coworker asked, ‘What happened there?’ and I said, ‘I broke 100,000 on Galaga.’ There’s an audience experience built into this; VR doesn’t have that.”

Arcadia.tv competitors play a game on a real basketball court while wearing VR headsets.

While Arcadia.tv has yet to broadcast to viewers, the team itself is its current audience. They’ve been watching as competitors playtest the program and have found themselves surprised at the results. Olimpo is especially puzzled that gamers tend to fare better than athletes in tests, despite the latter having some physical advantage.

“With someone who’s very athletic versus someone who’s a super gamer, you really don’t know who’s going to win,” says Olimpo. “Some very athletic people just go and aren’t necessarily familiar with patterns in video games, while gamers really do get that. Gamers learn really fast, and they learn through iteration. In the first five levels, you’re pretty sure an athlete is going to win, and then there’s a tipping point where the gamer just overtakes them.”

That highlights the unique skills required for both sports and esports. The latter may not require physical strength, but quick reaction time and the ability to adapt are crucial skills for pro gamers to have. Arcadia creates a level playing field between those two disparate worlds.

The future of sports

The idea is already paying off for Arcadia. The company recently partnered with Warner Bros. to create an official Space Jam experience. The basketball game has players running around a court, picking up digital balls, and shooting them into hoops. Olimpo compares it to Pac-Man, with players chasing down pellets but mashed up with the core idea of basketball.

That’s a high-profile partnership for a start-up that’s yet to really begin. Arcadia is holding tryouts across the country to find competitors. It’ll eventually follow that up with live game broadcasts on its social media channels. For the team, the sky’s the limit. What Arcadia is doing has never really been attempted in this capacity, and Olimpo has high hopes for where it could go.

“We’re looking to level the playing field and bring respect to esports. In the same way the Olympics used to have chess and used to really respect the cognitive ability of chess, I think esports have a place at the Olympics. But with something like Arcadia, I think it makes it more palatable to the masses. There’s something about combining that cognitive and physical competition in a new way, and the truth is, we’re going to do it with or without the Olympics.”

A player in VR competition in a Space Jam basketball game via Arcadia.tv.

The only potential hurdle for Arcadia is that it’s entirely reliant on external technology. The team is at the mercy of hardware manufacturers, using Oculus Rift headsets to run games. Just an hour before our chat, Oculus recalled the foam padding in the Quest 2 due to reports of skin irritation. Any little issue with the tech presents a logistical challenge for Arcadia. Though, funny enough, the company had already created custom sweat-resistant padding to use in the Oculus, putting them one step ahead of the actual manufacturers. Olimpo doesn’t rule out a future where Arcadia simply creates its own VR headset and cuts out the middleman altogether.

Everything about Arcadia.tv is forward-thinking. It’s not a quick cash grab that’s trying to capitalize on esports or VR. It’s a carefully considered project that doesn’t just want to be a part of the move toward the metaverse; it wants to redefine it. Olimpo is already envisioning a future where the way we think about video games is entirely different than the way we see them today.

“I see a future where parents are going to tell their kids, ‘Why don’t you go outside and play video games already?’” he says.

Editors’ Choice




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Categories
AI

AI vendors must offer more solutions for niche use cases

All the sessions from Transform 2021 are available on-demand now. Watch now.


Most AI vendors develop solutions that target broad use cases with large markets. This is because investors have shown they are only interested in a target market if it is worth several billion dollars. Therefore smaller markets have been excluded, and AI solution ideas designed for niche markets often die out and the companies behind them come to a standstill before they have the chance to see the light of day.

Another side effect of the limited capital to build niche models is that AI vendors tend to build one model and market it to a large set of disparate users. For example, a company selling a vehicle detection system would normally build a single model to detect all types of vehicles across multiple use cases and geographies. An animal detection model typically would detect many different animals and have lower accuracy than a model designed to detect a single animal. These broad-reach products result in lower model accuracy and erode public trust in AI’s capabilities. They also require that humans remain in the loop for verification, consuming more human resources and increasing the overall cost of the solution for customers.

The reason investors focus on broad-reach solutions is that niche solutions are very costly to produce. In order to make a model for a niche use case, you need data that is very specific to it. And collecting data while addressing all of the relevant regulations and security concerns is a big challenge.

And even if a vendor is able to develop a model for a niche use case, the challenge isn’t over, because an AI model is rarely a standalone solution — it often relies on a number of external components. And the more niche your model, the more niche the components of the solution will be. For example, in the case of computer vision or vision AI, some critical components include:

  1. Camera setup and management
  2. AI Model management and updates
  3. Dealing with video storage and data retention policies
  4. Alerts and notification rules
  5. Role based access control for users

Running the AI model at one of the steps in the software stack is a very small piece of the puzzle. The bulk of an AI vendor’s time goes to building the rest of the software stack to handle the devices and other services that make a complete solution.

And then there are compliance and security issues to consider. Any AI solution a vendor sells has to be comply with different regulations in different geographies and must be secure. Handling those requirements is a big task for any company. This gets even more difficult if the company or developers have to deal with uncharted waters with no prior solution existing in their space. In such cases they may have to go to the local, state, or central government to navigate laws about deploying AI solutions.

Given that most lawmakers are not technology experts, it takes time to get regulations passed and adopted. This can be a slow process, risking the viability or success of such projects if the company does not have deep pockets to wait it out.

Making AI available for niche use cases

So how can the AI vendor community overcome these challenges to bring solutions to the many niches where broad-reach products don’t apply?

1. Build a customer council with friendly customers. In order to handle the data-collection challenge I outlined above, AI vendors should aim to find friendly customers who can help. Such customers can not only provide some of the necessary data; they can also help vendors put the right structure in place for data collection and management. In return, vendors should offer the solution to them at a very low cost. As the initial customer council, they can take pride in building a useful solution for others.

2. Avoid building from scratch. Some vendors decide to build everything themselves using existing software libraries and core infrastructure services from a cloud vendor. This approach provides complete control over the design but can take almost a year to build. The initial goal should be to build a solution quickly and take it to market for testing. The solution can always be improved or optimized later, after initial customers and early adopters have been established. Some solutions have emerged to increase go-to-market time. For example, AWS Panorama and Microsoft Percept have launched various solutions for edge deployments to help build AI solutions using existing or smart cameras. These devices especially help with deployment of AI models on the edge closer to the devices. In general, look for platforms that enable quick transition from AI model to full solution.

3. Build an AI/ML pipeline. AI vendors can build pipelines that allow them to quickly train models on specific data sets. They should design a pipeline so that the data used to build specific models can be easily tracked in order to make it easier to add new data from customers as it is available. There are several solutions in this space already like Kubeflow, AWS Sagemaker, GCP AI pipelines that mean you can avoid building a pipeline from scratch.

The bottom line

There’s a lot of talk about democratizing artificial intelligence to make it more available to more user organizations. Currently we have many broad-reach AI models on the market for things like human detection and voice recognition. But the models are so generic that they run the risk of being inaccurate. To increase precision and accuracy of AI, and to make it usable to a wider range of organizations, we must enable a long tail of AI models that are designed for niche use cases. Although the current cost of developing such niche models and taking them to market is currently too high, we must find ways to break that barrier.

 Ajay Gulati is CTO of vision AI company Kami Vision.

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Categories
Computing

What Does GPU Stand For? A Look at a Vital Piece of Hardware

When you’re shopping around for a new laptop or desktop, it can be helpful to know a little about the important internal components that help such devices perform as well they do. This way, you can figure out if the computer you’re considering purchasing has the right specs for how you intend to use the machine once you take it home.

In this guide, we’ll be taking a quick look at one of these internal computing components: GPUs. We’ll go over what its abbreviation means, how they can (in some cases) be different from graphics cards, and a few other details you’ll want to keep in mind while shopping for your next computer.

What does GPU stand for?

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GPU stands for “graphics processing unit.” Generally speaking, it’s a type of processor that handles and speeds up graphics rendering (the generation of the images you’ll see on computer screens). This is especially important for computing tasks such as 3D rendering and gaming. So if you’re buying a PC or laptop for gaming or content creation projects, you’ll need to pay attention to the kinds of GPUs such devices have to offer because it can affect the quality of what you see on screen and how fast certain operations are completed.

Are GPUs and graphics cards the same thing?

Colloquially, GPU is often used interchangeably with “graphics card,” but it can also mean the actual GPU at the heart of the graphics card, alongside the memory and other components — in the same way that CPU refers to the central processor, not the entire PC around it. Technically, a GPU is part of a graphics card. The GPU does the graphics rendering, while the graphics card provides the power and access to high-speed memory it requires. It also connects it to the other parts of the computer it needs access to, like the CPU, system memory, and storage, to complete its tasks.

What does iGPU mean?

An iGPU is an integrated graphics processing unit. It’s a type of GPU that’s found on the same chip as a CPU. Almost all Intel processors (save its F-series models) include integrated or onboard graphics, so they have an iGPU. AMD only includes iGPUs on its APU model processors, typically found in laptops.

With iGPU’s, the main processor shares memory with the GPU, which results in benefits such as a cooler machine and less power consumption. iGPUs are great for normal everyday computing tasks like surfing the web and productivity tasks, but if you need a powerhouse machine for serious gaming or video editing, you may want to look at a graphics card, or dGPU, instead.

What does dGPU stand for?

A dGPU is a “discrete GPU.” A dGPU is not merged with the main processor and doesn’t share memory with the main processor either. It has its own memory, so it can be a full-size graphics card in a desktop or a discrete graphics chip within a laptop. Typically, dGPUs offer better performance and can handle more intensive tasks. But this also means they consume more power, and machines with dGPUs will produce more heat. Laptops can have dGPUs, but you’ll mostly see them in desktop computers.

How do I know if I have an iGPU or dedicated graphics card?

Generally speaking, you can search for your machine’s GPU information via its device settings. For example, on Windows 10, you can do so by navigating to Device Manager and then selecting Display Adapters, which should expand to show you a list of GPUs that your device has. You can Google the name of the GPUs to find out if they’re graphics cards or iGPUs.

You can also find your PC’s GPU info and other specs in several other ways, including third-party programs. Check out our guide to how to check your PC’s specifications on Windows 10 for more info.

Now that you’ve learned a little more about GPUs, you may want to continue doing a little more research before you commit to buying your next PC. If you need more information, you should peruse our best laptops guide.

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Categories
Game

Louis Vuitton is making a mobile game with embedded NFTs

The worlds of fashion and gaming are cozying up to one another. From Gucci selling digital items in Roblox to Vogue‘s virtual fashion spread starring Gigi Hadid, the two industries are increasingly overlapping to capture a young, tech-savvy audience. Now, Louis Vuitton is jumping on the bandwagon by releasing a mobile video game to celebrate its founder’s 200th birthday. Louis: The Game stars the fashion house’s mascot Vivienne, a wooden doll embellished with the company’s flower insignia, on a journey through the brand’s history, reports Austrian newspaper Kurier.

The iOS and Android game reportedly tasks players with exploring a colorful world by completing various quests — all pretty generic so far. Whether it turns out to be more than just an unashamed bit of promotional fluff remains to be seen. The game drops on August 4th. If LV goes all-out psychedelic like it did with its recent UFO-style speaker, then it could be worth a look.

According to WWD, the game will also feature “embedded NFTs.” Though, that hardly sounds promising. The one-of-a-kind digital collectibles have gone from multi-million dollar auctions to freebies designed to promote throwaway pop culture, like Warner Bros. recent Space Jam reboot.

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Categories
Game

Don’t rush to add an M.2 SSD to your PS5

Yesterday, Sony launched its very first PS5 system software beta. It’s a big one, too, as it enables the PS5’s M.2 expansion slot that has sat dormant since the console released late last year. For now, M.2 support for the PlayStation 5 is only in beta, and while anyone with a PS5 can register to receive beta software, it’s probably best to hold off on adding an M.2 SSD to your console.

For starters, Sony’s guide on how to add an M.2 SSD to a PS5 mostly puts the onus on users when it comes to finding compatible drives. Instead of giving us a list of tested and certified M.2 SSDs, Sony simply says that the PS5 needs a PCIe Gen4 x4 M.2 NVMe SSD with a sequential read speed of at least 5,500MB/s or better. There’s also a lot of recommended specifications related to size and the heatsink on the drive, but then later on in that same section, Sony says this (emphasis theirs):

You should carefully review drive specifications prior to purchase and contact the vendor or manufacturer if you need further information. SIE cannot guarantee that all M.2 SSD devices meeting the described specifications will work with your console and assumes no responsibility for the selection, performance or use of third-party products.

That doesn’t inspire a lot of confidence when it comes to selecting a drive based on the specifications Sony has provided. It would have been far better for Sony to work with manufacturers to test and certify M.2 SSDs and give us a list of specific drives that will work well with the PS5. Instead, we’ll have to wait for manufacturers to confirm which of their drives work with the console (something that’s already happening), or – even better – for users to test drives on their own and report back to the community on which ones work and which ones don’t.

That’s bound to happen eventually, but it’s a process that takes time. So unless you’re really hurting for space on your PS5 at the moment, it’s probably best to wait for the PS5 community to figure out which are the best M.2 SSDs for the console and use that advice to make a more informed purchasing decision.

Then there’s also the fact that M.2 SSDs that can reach or exceed the sequential read speeds Sony recommends haven’t been around that long. As a result, they can be pretty expensive. You can find a 1TB M.2 SSD that meets Sony’s specifications for around $200, which isn’t terrible, but given the size of modern games, I would much rather wait as long as I could to see if the price of 2TB M.2 SSDs comes down in the future.

As it stands, 2TB SSDs that meet Sony’s recommended specifications will cost around $400 in most cases, which is as much as the PS5 Digital Edition itself costs. Of course, that price is likely to go down in the future because that’s just the nature of storage in general, but right now, it’s a very tough (and expensive) pill to swallow.

Unfortunately, time is not exactly on the side of the PS5 user here. The SSD that ships with the console has just 667GB of free storage space, which can fill up quickly depending on the games you play. Managing your library by constantly deleting and re-downloading games can be a pain too, so some users may just be tempted to go with what they can afford as soon as possible. However, if you can wait, I think you should because the high-speed M.2 SSD landscape will only improve as time goes on, and patient gamers may reap the benefits of that.

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