The future will be televised. And recorded. Our smartphones have already brought us half-way there; ‘Wearable’ technology such as Google Glass will take us the rest of the way, incorporating connectivity into inconspicuous items — in this case, a pair of spectacles.
But don’t hold your breath. You won’t be able to buy Glass in the shops for a year or more — and it could cost at least €1,000.
But Google clearly wants to build awareness/acceptance and invited a handful of Irish journalists last week to try a prototype at its new Foundry research building in Dublin’s Docklands.
Technically, Glass isn’t a pair of specs (though you could modify it to accommodate prescription or sun lenses), it’s just the traditional frame with an eyebrow-mounted block that includes a WiFi/
Bluetooth-connected tiny screen, camera, battery and touchpad.
Lightweight and unobtrusive to the user, you soon forget it’s there. Other people may not, however, given they know you could be videoing or snapping them.
So a perv’s dream?
Not quite, because most Glass commands are verbal. Its internet-powered voice recognition enables you to search Google
(naturally), watch YouTube, take a picture or video, send a text or jump into a video call.
It works too, though not flawlessly. There’s no denying it feels deliciously futuristic and even a bit subversive to have such cool tech inches from your eyeball.
Yet the novelty tends to wear off amid a feeling that the software needs to be more versatile.
Developers are brainstorming extra apps, but they have many months before Glass becomes more than an interesting experiment.
EVERYONE wants what they can’t have. In the case of handheld owners, many crave the full-fat console experience perfectly downsized to pocket proportions.
It’s an elusive, perhaps illusory beast because the enormous sensory impact and fine control can’t be replicated, especially in shooters. It hasn’t stopped Killzone: Mercenary from trying — and coming surprisingly close.
The Vita’s second stick makes a huge difference, creating camera control where previously there was chaos. It turns a competent, generic shooter — no cliché is left unturned — into a fast-paced romp elevated by its generous weapon options.
Still, though, the relatively small size of the Vita screen makes you squint at figures in the distance to see whether they’re random pixels or the actual enemies.
Madden NFL 25
WOAH, last year’s Madden 13 has become this year’s Madden 25? Is it twice as good? If only. This annual update marks the game’s 25th anniversary with a cursory lick of paint. Still a good game for newcomers but less compelling for long-time fans.
Lost Planet 3
THE off-kilter Japanese vibe of the first two LP outings has vanished to be replaced by a somewhat flavourless Alien pastiche. Even the brief thrills of piloting a giant robot can’t save LP3 from repetitive combat and linear level design.