Categories
Game

Samsung’s new Odyssey monitors have its Gaming Hub and Smart Platform built in

We’re starting to see Samsung’s Gaming Hub pop up on more TVs and monitors after the company . Its new Odyssey gaming monitors are the latest models to include the feature, which allows for swift access to a host of cloud gaming services. In fact, the Odyssey G70B and G65B are the company’s first monitors with both Gaming Hub and Smart Platform baked in.

Samsung says the displays offer a way to set up a home office environment without necessarily having a PC on hand. They’re compatible with and . You can also mirror a smartphone to the displays and stream shows and movies from the likes of Netflix and Amazon Prime. Both monitors have a far field voice microphone and voice assistant functions.

The G70B will be available in 28- and 32-inch formats. It has a 144Hz refresh rate and 1ms response time, with a Ultra HD resolution and flat IPS display. It’s certified as and it supports . The G65B also has FreeSync Premium Pro to go along with its QHD curved display. It will have 27- and 32-inch options, a 240Hz refresh rate and 1ms response time. Both monitors include , which offers features such as a zoom-in mode and easy access to YouTube walkthroughs for part of a game you may be struggling with.

Samsung notes that the giant Odyssey Ark monitor also includes Gaming Hub. You’ll from the likes of , NVIDIA GeForce Now, Google Stadia, Utomik and Amazon Luna (the latter’s only available in the US) without any additional hardware other than a compatible controller. The rotatable, 55-inch curved display allows you to view three different apps and inputs simultaneously, so you can stream a game while watching YouTube at the same time.

The Odyssey Ark, which starts at $3,500, is available to pre-order now. Samsung will start offering the G70B and G65B later this year. If you happen to be at , you can check out the displays in person at Samsung’s booth.

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Categories
Game

Samsung Gaming Hub goes live today with Twitch, Xbox Game Pass and more

The Samsung Gaming Hub is live now on 2022 Samsung smart TVs and smart monitors, and it’s adding two services from Amazon to its game-streaming lineup: Twitch and Luna. Twitch is available today, while Luna is coming soon. Gamers will also be able to access Xbox Game Pass now, as well as apps for NVIDIA GeForce NOW, Google Stadia and Utomik in the same designated area on their TVs. The company plans to release details about the gaming hub’s rollout to earlier Samsung smart TV models at a later date, a Samsung spokesperson confirmed to Engadget. 

For those who are unfamiliar with the Samsung Gaming Hub, it essentially offers players a way to access major cloud gaming services on their smart TV using only their Bluetooth controller, . Apps for both Spotify and YouTube are also included in the gaming hub.

Samsung says it plans on delivering even more gaming-focused content in the future, including new partnerships. “With expanding partnerships across leading game streaming services and expert curated recommendations, players will be able to easily browse and discover games from the widest selection available, regardless of platform,” said Won-Jin Lee, president of Samsung’s Service Business Team.

Amazon’s Luna cloud gaming service has only been to the general public since March, and is already available on Fire TVs. Its partnership with Samsung could give the nascent gaming service an easy way to reach people who have never used it in their homes. Twitch (which is owned by Amazon) once had an app for Samsung smart TVs, but it was in 2019. The platform’s return to the newest Samsung smart TVs will be happy news for streamers and their fans.

It seems natural for Samsung to further embrace the gaming community, given that smart TVs have become close to a necessity in gaming. Last year Microsoft announced that it would begin working with global TV manufacturers to directly Xbox into smart TVs via an Xbox with Game Pass app. The idea of an “all-in-one” destination for all your cloud-based and console games is certainly convenient to some, and may help gamers avoid the time and hassle of switching between modes.

All products recommended by Engadget are selected by our editorial team, independent of our parent company. Some of our stories include affiliate links. If you buy something through one of these links, we may earn an affiliate commission.

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Categories
Game

Fortnite x Naruto crossover leaks reveal Creative Hub and free rewards

Last week, Epic Games dropped a teaser on its Fortnite Twitter account revealing a Naruto crossover that’ll arrive on Tuesday, November 16. The company pinned the teaser on the account, indicating this may be more than a simple Item Shop drop with a couple of skins. Here to reinforce that speculation are Fortnite data miners with some tantalizing leaks.

Crossovers have become a common activity in Fortnite, and though some of them have been huge multi-week events, many are more limited in nature. Some fans have been asking Epic for a Fortnite x Naruto crossover and that, the company revealed in its teaser image, is finally happening.

Epic doesn’t have much to say about the crossover aside from the November 16 release date. However, game data-miner and known reliable Fortnite leaker HYPEX has published some alleged details about the Naruto crossover, claiming it’ll be more than a skin in the battle royale game’s Item Shop.

According to the account, the crossover will include a Creative Hub featuring the Hidden Leaf Village. As well, HYPEX claims multiple cosmetics will be available in the Item Shop, noting that fans should “prepare” their wallets. Not everything will cost money, however, at least according to the leaks.

HYPEX goes on to claim that a couple of free Naruto-themed rewards will be made available as part of this collaboration, one featuring a Ninja Scroll and the other a bowl of ramen. Players will, the account claims, collect coins in Creative mode to unlock the rewards.

Assuming this is true, it would essentially be the same as the recent Balenciaga collaboration, which had players run around in a themed Creative Hub to find and claim a certain number of sneakers. Whether the Naruto crossover will also include new challenges related to the anime is unclear at this time.

The account also dropped an alleged promo image featuring artwork for the crossover. In it, we see Naruto eating pizza in front of the Fortnite POI Pizza Pit. The artwork has the same look and feel as loading screens offered for other characters — the same loading screens that are often given as rewards for completing challenges. We’ll have to wait until next week’s official crossover launch to see whether players will be able to unlock the artwork as a loading screen, however.



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Categories
AI

Byju’s debuts innovation hub for edtech ventures

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India’s Byju’s has created a new innovation hub, dubbed Byju’s lab, where it hopes to bringing together AI and machine-learning experts with educational technology researchers to create new edtech solutions.

The Bengaluru, India-based company has grown to more than 100 million students (and 6.5 million paid subscriptions) with its kids educational games platform, and it has been on a buying spree as it expands well beyond India’s borders.

Byjus’s bought U.S.-based AR game maker Osmo for $120 million in 2019. It also raised $150 million (following a $540 million round) for its global expansion that year. This year, Byju’s launched its Disney-based learning app for U.S. children, and it bought the kids online reading platform Epic for $500 million. And it bought Tynker’s for an estimated $200 million. The acquisitions map back to Byju’s goal of investing $1 billion in the U.S. edtech market over the next three years.

The new hub will redefine the role of tech in learning and transform powerful ideas into solutions. It will hire AI and ML specialists in the United Kingdom, the U.S., and India.

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With a vision to propel and shape the future of education, the new venture will incubate new ideas, provide cutting-edge technologies and deliver breakthrough solutions across Byju’s ecosystem of learning products.

The company said that technology in education is not just about automation, but also about harnessing it in the best way possible to empower students into becoming lifelong learners. It believes that by innovating for the future we will sustain the present, and Byju’s Lab stems out of this philosophy to aid in redefining the role of technology in learning and transforming powerful ideas into solutions.

Byju’s Lab is yet another step in the company’s efforts to continue innovating with the aim to transform learning experiences for children around the world. It is doing so by leveraging cutting edge technologies such as augmented reality, artificial intelligence (AI), computer vision capabilities, gamification and more.

Dev Roy, chief innovation and learning officer at Byju’s said in a statement, “The role of online learning is not just to replicate offline classes in digital space but to make it more interactive, engaging, and personalized. By combining the ability of computing, technology, and data, we at Byju’s Lab, want to explore the power of information and technology to create a more personalized, enhanced, and democratized learning. As a global company, we are looking to harness a global talent pool to build innovative tools and leverage new technologies to positively impact the learning experiences of children across the world. As we continue to grow and experiment, we will operate at the intersection of business and technology to make innovation real and relevant for our end customers. We are looking at strengthening our team and look forward to working with bright and curious minds to transform the way children learn.”

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Categories
Computing

Satechi USB-C Clamp Hub Solves M1 iMac’s Main Problem

Satechi debuted its most recent Apple accessory today, a small USB-C Clamp Hub that’s especially manufactured for the M1 24-inch Mac. The problem it’s attempting to solve is simple: The iMac’s severe lack of ports.

Satechi is a consumer electronics brand located in San Diego, California that makes USB-C products and modern tech accessories. Its latest accessory is a handy USB-C Clamp Hub, a sleek adapter that attaches to the bottom right of your M1 iMac.

It is specially designed for the new ultra-thin Apple machine, with the company even matching some of its colors, silver and blue, to those of the 2021 M1 Mac to make sure your setup looks color-coordinated. Since it’s specifically manufactured for the 2021 version, if you have a 2019 or earlier machine, you’ll want to look to Satechi’s other offerings as it has released different models for those PCs as well.

The USB-C Clamp Hub hosts a total of five ports on its front. It aims to provide you with easy access to the ports on the machine’s back. By making use of only one USB-C port on the back of your machine, it makes your setup look much cleaner and more organized. Satechi’s latest release sports a simple and minimal design and easily attaches the expanded I/O of your machine. Its ports include three USB-A ports, one USB-C port, and an SD and microSD card reader.

All three of the Clamp Hub’s USB-A ports provide speeds of up to 5Gbps and don’t require charging. The USB-C port also offers up to 5Gbps and doesn’t need to be charged. The SD and microSD card readers both belong to the UHS-I class and provide speeds of up to 104Mbps. There is also an adjustable knob for fast installation and a snug fit.

Satechi’s Clamp Hub is available at a starting price of $55 with the silver one launching in September and blue arriving in October. You can also pre-order it on the Satechi website anytime you want now.

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Categories
Game

Fortnite’s first big NBA crossover detailed: Skins, Team Battles, Creative hub

Battle royale game Fortnite has unveiled its first crossover with the NBA, giving basketball fans the opportunity to represent their favorite team in the game, get NBA-themed outfits, and participate in team battles. The new crossover arrives in time for the real-life NBA Playoffs.

Fortnite x NBA: The Crossover will include a five-day tournament in which all 30 NBA teams are represented. These Team Battles, as Epic calls them, kicked off today, May 19, and will run through May 23, with players having the opportunity to sign up on the event’s dedicated web page. The first 15,000 players to sign up for a team will be able to compete for V-Bucks and game rewards.

If you don’t manage to sign up for a spot on your favorite team, you’ll instead be able to register as a fan in the game, which will still include the chance to unlock rewards. The fan sign-ups will likewise be limited, but with a bigger cap at the first 550,000 players. You’ll need to sign up before the registration is closed.

The first three days of Fortnite x NBA: Team Battles will involve a series of challenges to complete. The last two days, however, which will take place on a weekend, will include leaderboards that track each team’s progress. Teams that rank the highest will get the NBA Championship Trophy back bling and a shot at V-Bucks. The full list of leaderboard rewards, including ranks to unlock them, can be found here.

Note that because there are a limited number of slots on each team, players who sign up but then are inactive during the Team Battles will be removed from the team and will lose the chance to participate in future NBA Team Battles. The empty slot will be given to the next person in line who registered as a fan.

Beyond the Team Battles, Epic teases that it will bring its NBA crossover into Creative. Though it doesn’t have any details on that yet, the company says that it will publish an NBA Welcome Hub on the Fortnite blog on May 25.

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Categories
Computing

50% off: This $20 Aukey 6-in-1 hub turns one USB-C into several ports

Anyone who owns a Macbook, laptop, or a smartphone rocking a USB-C port should head over to Amazon today. Third-party retailer Aukey is selling its 6-in-1 USB/SD card/HDMI hub for $20 with the checkout code MYLQGR2P. Without the secret code, the hub’ll set you back $40. 

This hub adds three USB 3.0 Type A ports to your device, as well as SD and microSD card readers. There’s also an HDMI port capable of 4K resolution output at 30Hz. The USB ports are capable of data transfer or charging, but Aukey recommends you don’t use it for charging anything larger than a smartphone.

That’s a pretty sweet little gadget to tote around, especially for anyone dealing with limited ports on their laptop. The bottom of the hub features a non-slip padding to keep it in place, and in the box you get the hub, a travel pouch, and the USB-C cord for connecting to the hub.

Aukey also provides a 45-day money-back guarantee, as well as a two-year replacement warranty. If you need an all-purpose hub for a device with a USB-C port, Aukey’s looks like a versatile, well-stocked option, and today it’s going for a great price—if you know the right code, that is.

[Today’s deal: Aukey USB-C 6-in-1 hub for $20 with checkout code MYLQGR2P at Amazon.]

Note: When you purchase something after clicking links in our articles, we may earn a small commission. Read our affiliate link policy for more details.

Ian is an independent writer based in Israel who has never met a tech subject he didn’t like. He primarily covers Windows, PC and gaming hardware, video and music streaming services, social networks, and browsers. When he’s not covering the news he’s working on how-to tips for PC users, or tuning his eGPU setup.

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Categories
Computing

Turn one USB port into four with this on-sale $5 USB hub

Some PC or home theater peripherals are necessary, but it’s annoying that they’re necessary, so you don’t want to pay much for them. Well, today’s the day to pick-up an Anker non-powered 4-port USB Hub for $5 with the code ANKERAHUB.

“Non-powered” means that the hub doesn’t draw power by plugging it into a standard wall outlet. Instead, it draws power from the USB port you plug it into on your computer. That means this hub won’t be able to power most external hard drives, though it should work well with flash drives and peripherals like keyboards and mice. Once it’s running, the hub supports data transfer up to 5 gigabits per second over USB 3.0.

Anker’s 4-port hub is very tiny and will stay out of your way, measuring just 0.4 of an inch high. It also comes with a two-foot cord for getting its power from a standard USB connector. The non-powered hub doesn’t support charging, of course. If you’re using this for a laptop with only one charging port, for example, you won’t be able to recharge your smartphone and run this hub at the same time.

Still, for $5, this is a great, affordable way to add some extra USB ports to your PC.

[Today’s deal: Anker 4-port USB 3.0 hub for $5 at Amazon.]

Note: When you purchase something after clicking links in our articles, we may earn a small commission. Read our affiliate link policy for more details.

Ian is an independent writer based in Israel who has never met a tech subject he didn’t like. He primarily covers Windows, PC and gaming hardware, video and music streaming services, social networks, and browsers. When he’s not covering the news he’s working on how-to tips for PC users, or tuning his eGPU setup.

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Categories
Tech News

Google’s new Nest Hub uses radar to ‘watch’ (and improve) your sleep

Google is updating its original smart display, the Nest Hub, with an all-new version today. Although it may not look all that different on the outside, it’s a significant update, with improvements to the software, speakers, and processor. But the biggest difference is an altogether new feature: the new Nest Hub can track your sleeping habits via radar.

Yes, you read that right: the Nest Hub is able to track restful sleep through its radar-based Soli technology. After wowing everyone with its initial potential, and then disappointing everyone with its implementation in the Pixel 4, Google hasn’t given up on the futuristic technology.

And if you can get past the idea of Google being able to monitor your movements in bed — a pretty big ‘if’ for some people — the idea is pretty neat.

Google said the idea of implementing sleep tracking came after it saw a huge chunk of users already placed their Nest Hub units next to their beds (as with the previous Nest Hub, this one has no camera). So it thought it could leverage its radar tech to improve sleep tracking without requiring users to wear something to bed.

After an initial calibration, which basically checks for your breathing patterns, the Soli sensor can track the quality of your sleep by analyzing your movements and breathing. Despite not having a camera (thank god), Google says Soli is as good as any commercially available sleep-tracking system out there.

It can also detect sleep disturbances like coughing or snoring, as well as give you advice about how light and temperature changes (there’s a new thermometer onboard) are affecting your sleep.

In the morning, you’ll then receive a sleep summary, which can also be tracked in the Google Fit app to help improve your sleeping habits over time.

Unfortunately, the technology only works for one person, so anyone you share your bed with would need another Nest Hub of their own. However, Google does say it can differentiate between people in the bed — it’ll simply check for whoever is closest.

Sleep tracking aside, there are a few more updates to go around. The Nest Hub now pumps out 50% more bass, and it now comes with a dedicated machine learning chip that allows for more on-device processing and faster responses.

The design has also been tweaked a little, offering a seamless display, removing the small lip that gunk sometimes gets stuck in on my older model. It’s available in Chalk, Charcoal, Sand, and a new Mist colorway, and its plastic mechanical parts are now made with 54% recycled plastic.

The Nest Hub is available starting today for $99.99 from the Google Store and other retailers.

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Published March 16, 2021 — 13:05 UTC



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Categories
Computing

Anker’s $18 USB-C hub turns a single port into five

Ports. It’s only a matter of time until your laptop needs more. Add an external mouse and headset and you’re already getting into trouble. Today, AnkerDirect via Amazon is letting you beef up your laptop’s connectivity at a great price. The Anker 5-in-1 USB-C Hub is $18 if you clip the coupon underneath the price and use the coupon code ANKERHUB34. It normally retails for $24.

Despite the name, this hub doesn’t add any USB-C ports to your laptop. Instead, it uses your laptop’s USB-C port to add two USB 3.0 Type-A ports, two SD card readers, and an HDMI port. If you haven’t guessed already, this hub is designed for port-starved MacBooks, but it’s also good for ultra-thin laptops such as the Pixelbook and Dell’s XPS lineup. 

The HDMI port supports 4K at 30Hz or 2K at 60Hz, though that depends on the capabilities of your laptop as well. The SD card readers support standard cards, as well as an additional slot for microSD.

In addition to the hub, Anker throws in the box a travel pouch, 18-month warranty, and a 0.5-foot cable. If you’re pining for more ports, this is a great deal from an established brand. But if you want to see even more options, be sure to check out our guide to the best USB-C hubs.

[Today’s deal: Anker 5-in-1 USB-C Hub for $18 at Amazon with code and coupon.]

Note: When you purchase something after clicking links in our articles, we may earn a small commission. Read our affiliate link policy for more details.

Ian is an independent writer based in Israel who has never met a tech subject he didn’t like. He primarily covers Windows, PC and gaming hardware, video and music streaming services, social networks, and browsers. When he’s not covering the news he’s working on how-to tips for PC users, or tuning his eGPU setup.

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