Talks About Tech Weekly 075: Leap Motion

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On this episode we talk about Gamescom 2013, the leap motion and more.

Apple September Event Rumours
It’s that time of year again when Apple announces their latest iPhone. The rumour mill has been spinning up.

The first rumour is of course the iPhone 5S. It is said to have the same or similar design to the iPhone 5 with a faster A7 processor, better 10 or 13 megapixel camera with dual LED flash, NFC, maybe a retina+ 1080p display, a fingerprint scanner, better battery, wireless charging and a new gold coloured phone to be available.

Next is the iPhone 5C. Rumours about the 5C have been around since earlier on this year. This phone would replace the iPhone 5 when the 5S comes out. It will have a plastic back, will come in multiple colours just like the iPod touch, will have the same or similar specs to the iPhone 5 and will cost between $300-$400 unlocked in the US and probably the same here in Ireland.

iOS 7 will of course also come out. It is currently in beta 6 and is looking more and more like a finished product.

There have also been some rumours (I’m not sure how accurate) of a 17″ Retina display MacBook Pro. Apple discontinued the 17″ MacBook Pro a few ago now because it was just too big. I think that 15″ is the sweet spot.

It is likely we’ll see a new iPad Mini (possibly retina) and 9.7″ iPad as well as updated 13″ and 15″ MacBook Pro retina’s and iMacs.

Gamescom 2013
Gamescom is one of the biggest gaming trade shows in the world now. This years main event was the bitter war between the Xbox One and the Playstation 4. There were some interesting announcements on both sides.

Sony
Sony announced the release date for the Playstation 4. 15th November for US and 29th November for Europe at a price of $399 or €399.

Another interesting announcement is if you buy Battlefield 4, Assassins Creed Black Flag, Call of Duty Ghosts or Watchdogs on the Playstation 3 you will be able to get the Playstation 4 version for a ‘significantly discounted price’. There is no word on how much significantly is but I’m sure it will be significant :-).

The PS Vita price has been brought down to $199 and you will be able to use it as a secondary controller for the Playstation similar to the Nintendo Wii U. You will also need to pay a $5 per month PS plus subscription to play online on the Playstation 4.

Many popular PC indie game titles are coming to the Playstation 4 and PS Vita too including the extremely popular Minecraft.

Microsoft
There were not as many announcements from Microsoft. There is no release date for the Xbox One but rumours say it will be the 10th September.

Microsoft did announce their indie developer platform called Independent Developers @ Xbox. This will allow indie devs to submit their games to the Xbox store for free. Microsoft will also send approved developers free development kits.

Tech We’ve Been Using This Week
About a year ago on Talks About Tech Weekly we talked about a really cool product called the leap motion. The leap is a little device that allows you to use your hands to interact with a computer without a touch screen. The kickstarter project funded millions of dollars and now the leap motion is out. Kevin got one for his birthday.

leap2The leap is a really well designed product. The top is a sheet of tinted glass and the sides are very high quality aluminium. There is a rubberised bottom to grip the table and to prevent it from slipping. There is a power light and a proprietary connector on the side.

The leap comes with a short and long USB cable to plug it into a Mac or Windows computer. When we plugged it in we just followed the instructions and it installed very easily. The leap has an app store called airspace that has hundreds of apps on it including games and other applications. The touchless app allows you to interact with your Mac or Windows computer. You can control the cursor with your finger and two fingers are for scrolling web pages and the likes. There is also a version of the better touch tool for the leap that allows you to program any finger gesture to do a task on the computer.

All in all the leap motion is a very cool tool. It is currently very much a beta product but I can see some great uses for a tool such as this in the future. You can buy the leap now for about €90.

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