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Bismillah writes "University of Bristol researchers have come up with a way to make touch screens more touchy-feely so to speak, using ultrasound waves to produce haptic feedback. You don't need to touch the screen even, as the UltraHaptics waves can be felt mid-air. Very Minority Report, but cooler."

The researchers built an ultrasonic transducer grid behind an acoustically transparent display. Using acoustic modeling of a volume above the screen, they can create multiple movable control points with varying properties. A Leap Motion controller was used to detect the hand movements.

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Resogun, the latest colorful shooter from Finnish indie developer Housemarque, is an extravagant, heavily detailed demonstration of the PlayStation 4's graphical horsepower. But look under the hood and you'll find an old shoot-'em-up that isn't shy of aping its inspirations.

If you remember losing quarters to the local arcade, you will recognize Resogun's Defender-like structure. As a spaceship, you protect humans from waves of enemies that encroach from both the left and right side of the screen. Resogun adds a twist: you must first "unlock" the humans by exterminating a special set of enemies before collecting the living cargo and delivering it to one of two goals.

It's just enough complexity to make the Defender homage feel new. In frantic moments, collecting humans off the ground and tossing them into their safety zone felt like delivering a slam dunk — not the first thing I associate with the retro shooter genre, but a welcome addition nonetheless.

The other inspiration is a lesser-known sub-genre called bullet hell, niche shooters in which hundreds, sometimes thousands of projectiles that inflict instant death gradually cover the screen. To survive, the player must memorize the intricate bullet patterns and carefully thread a craft through holes sometimes only a couple pixels wide.

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Original author: 
Unknown Lamer

ananyo writes "A toy quadcopter can be steered through an obstacle course by thought alone. The aircraft's pilot operates it remotely using a cap of electrodes to detect brainwaves that are translated into commands. Ultimately, the developers of the mind-controlled copter hope to adapt their technology for directing artificial robotic limbs and other medical devices." From the paper (PDF) abstract: "... we report a novel experiment of BCI controlling a robotic quadcopter in three-dimensional (3D) physical space using noninvasive scalp electroencephalogram (EEG) in human subjects. We then quantify the performance of this system using metrics suitable for asynchronous BCI. Lastly, we examine the impact that the operation of a real world device has on subjects’ control in comparison to a 2D virtual cursor task. Approach. ... Individual subjects were able to accurately acquire up to 90.5% of all valid targets presented while traveling at an average straight-line speed of 0.69 m s^(1)." This also appears to be the first time a Brain-Computer Interface was used to operate a flying device in 3D space. Also, there are several additional videos showing people operating the quadcopter.

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Soulskill

concealment sends this quote from the NY Times: "Today’s chips are made on large wafers that hold hundreds of fingernail-sized dies, each with the same electronic circuit. The wafers are cut into individual dies and packaged separately, only to be reassembled on printed circuit boards, which may each hold dozens or hundreds of chips. PARC researchers have a very different model in mind. ... they have designed a laser-printer-like machine that will precisely place tens or even hundreds of thousands of chiplets, each no larger than a grain of sand, on a surface in exactly the right location and in the right orientation. The chiplets can be both microprocessors and computer memory as well as the other circuits needed to create complete computers. They can also be analog devices known as microelectromechanical systems, or MEMS, that perform tasks like sensing heat, pressure or motion. The new manufacturing system the PARC researchers envision could be used to build custom computers one at a time, or as part of a 3-D printing system that makes smart objects with computing woven right into them."

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Original author: 
Jim Rossignol


Stood by the Oculus stand at GDC, I heard someone say “the thing about all this VR stuff is that it hasn’t moved on a great deal from the ’90s.” Can that be true? For a moment I assumed this gentleman in the crowd might know something I didn’t, but it turns out that there’s a good deal that VR and head/body-tracking can do in 2013 that it couldn’t do in the 1990s. For a taste of that, you’ll want to read this and watch the video below, which places the user in a Doom 3 level with a Portal gun, and shows off all manner of body tracking and movement cleverness.

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Carl Franzen

Quantum-key-distribution-airplane_large

In a boost to future secret agents and a blow to their would-be eavesdroppers, German researchers report sending the first successful quantum communications from a moving source — an airplane traveling 180 miles-per-hour — to a stationary receiver on the ground. The study was first performed in 2012 but the results were just made public over the weekend in the journal Nature Photonics.

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In Hackers, the 1995 cult teen cyber thriller, a young Angelina Jolie and an American-accented Jonny Lee Miller play WipEout in a club. Established hacker Angelina is pretty good at the game, and has the top score. But then upstart hacker genius Jonny smashes it to bits. They hate each other. They love each other.

At the end of the movie Angelina and Jonny fall into a swimming pool and, finally, kiss, as Squeeze's little-known love song Heaven Knows lifts the camera up into the air. A year later, in 1996, the pair married. By then, WipEout, the racer that evolved from that pre-rendered demo Angelina and Jonny pretended to play on the big screen, was the most exciting video game in the world.

Improbably, a dozen or so people from a north west England developer called Psygnosis had conspired to stomp on Mario's head and speed past silly Sonic onto the cover of style magazines. WipEout steered into the slipstream of a dance music-fuelled drug culture, leaving its racer rivals in its wake. Forget beeps and boops - WipEout on PlayStation had heavy beats. WipEout was for grown ups. WipEout was cool.

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Aurich Lawson

One of the great untold stories in science is the process of science itself. I don't mean stories about what scientists have discovered and what that discovery tells us; we (and many others) cover those every day. I also don't mean stories about the pure joy of discovery and the excitement of finding out that everything you thought you understood was total bollocks. We cover that here at Ars occasionally, and there are plenty of books on it if you're hungry for more.

What's missing is the background for these stories of discovery. How do you take an idea from its very beginning as a casual musing through to an actual research program? What's involved in that process? How do you sort out good ideas from bad and choose what to pursue and what to abandon? That is the story that I want to tell.

Since this is the story of science-as-a-process rather than science-as-a-result, I will be using myself as an example. I am, as some of you may know, a tenure track faculty member at a research institute in the Netherlands. Being a researcher in the Netherlands is not that different from being a researcher anywhere else, so a lot of what I discuss will be familiar to scientists everywhere. Since I recently hopped on the tenure track, I have the next few years to prove that I am able to not only carry out research, but to start and manage entire research programs. And, as yet, I have no research program to manage.

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