Technology to Look Forward to in 2016

 

Technology to Look Forward to in 2016

by Alyssa Newcomb

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The New Year is bringing plenty to look forward to in the world of technology.

From virtual reality to new products and the next planet that NASA plans to explore, here are some of the things we’re most looking forward to in 2016.

Oculus Rift

Will Facebook’s $2 billion bet on Oculus pay off? We’re about to find out with the release of the hotly anticipated Oculus Rift consumer headset.

The headset will ship with a wireless Xbox One controller and adapter to enhance the gaming experience, Brendan Iribe said earlier this year. It will work with Windows 10, making it easy for gamers to jump-start their experiences and stream their existing games to Oculus.

It’s expected the headset will ship in early 2016, but it’s unclear at what price point. For reference, Oculus has previously charged around $350 for its developer’s kit.

HoloLens

Ever since Microsoft’s HoloLens was first shown off last January, the mixed reality headset has generated buzz and ideas for how the technology can be used. Developers will be able to get their hands on the futuristic glasses early next year for around $3,000.

So far, the software company has showed off a variety of ways the technology can be used, including NASA exploring the surface of Mars, using the glasses to virtually design a new product and a holographic video game in a world you’re a part of, among others.

Next up, they’re ready for developers to create experiences for the holographic headset before Microsoft ultimately releases a consumer version.

New iPhones

Ever since the iPhone was released, Apple has rolled out a new model — or in the most recent cases — models of its flagship phone. While the team in Cupertino isn’t confirming anything, it’s a safe bet we’ll see a new iPhone next year.

The iPhone maker could be planning to nix the traditional 3.55 millimeter headphone jack on an upcoming iPhone model in favor of its lightning connector, according to the latest rumors on various technology blogs. Apple hasn’t commented on the speculation — so for now fans will have to let their imaginations run wild.

New Apple Watches

Apple released the Apple Watch, its first-ever wearable, in 2015. The company tends to follow a yearly cycle in releasing new its next generation of products, so it’s possible 2016 could include a new edition of the popular wearable.

Sensors

We’ve seen sensors in wearables and in our homes, but we’re only just beginning to harness the use of them. Dr. Michael Bjorn from Ericsson said in the company’s annual hot consumer trends report he expects sensors will be more integrated into homes in 2016. Imagine having tiny sensors in bricks that could monitor leaks, mold and other issues.

Connected Home

Speaking of sensors in the home, expect to see even more products equipped to work with the connected home and Apple’s HomeKit, which acts as a dashboard for many connected home products, making it easy to control everything in one place.

So far we’ve seen smart locks, lights, plugs and entertainment systems. It’s a safe bet we’ll see even more integration in 2016.

Juno

NASA’s Juno spacecraft is set to begin orbiting Jupiter next July, and the hope is that it will yield new insights about the largest planet in our solar system.

Tesla Model 3

The Tesla Model 3, a smaller version of the Model S without the sticker shock, could be unveiled as early as next March with production ramping up in late 2017.

While the date is tentative, it’s enough to get Tesla admirers dreaming up what to expect from the car, which analysts predict will be priced around $35,000.

 

Courtesy of ABC News

Your Mouse Knows When You’re Mad

Your Mouse Knows When You’re Mad

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Did you know that when you get frustrated with your computer you move your mouse more slowly? Your computer knows. In fact, researchers at BYU have figured out tell-tale signs of frustration, anger, and confusion in users just by looking at their mouse movements.

The team discovered that when users were “upset or confused” the mouse did not move in a curved path or straight across the screen and instead became “jagged and sudden.” Angry people moved their mouse more slowly.

“Using this technology, websites will no longer be dumb,” said BYU researcher Professor Jeffrey Jenkins. “Websites can go beyond just presenting information, but they can sense you. They can understand not just what you’re providing, but what you’re feeling.”

“It’s counterintuitive; people might think, ‘When I’m frustrated, I start moving the mouse faster,” Jenkins said. “Well, no, you actually start moving slower.”

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The system takes data points from your mouse movements in real time and can correlate these with mood. He expects that web designers will be able to use this tech to improve their sites, automatically sensing when a user becomes confused while clicking around the page.

Jenkins has started a small company that holds the license to the research and he will be working to make websites smarter. He can also assess a person’s anger using a mobile device based on the swipes and taps made on the screen.

“Traditionally it has been very difficult to pinpoint when a user becomes frustrated, leading them to not come back to a site,” he said. “Being able to sense a negative emotional response, we can adjust the website experience to eliminate stress or to offer help.”

 

Courtesy of TechCrunch