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    With CES 2017 wrapping up in Las Vegas, the event was full of a mix of a lot of interesting gadgets that will be making there way to us in the near future. Here a 10 top that i found interesting and that you should keep an eye out for, so in no real order let’s begin.

    Plume Pollution Tracker

    Now with our cities become more power hunger and our reliance on focal fuel, pollution can be a really problem to our health and overall wellness. The Plume is a wearable device that tracks pollution around you –similar to a Fitbit but for air quality if you will. It tracks particulate matter (part per million 2.5), nitrogen dioxide, ozone, volatile organic compounds (VOCs), temperature and humidity. So in theory you could attach it to you bag, had anaylsis your journey pollution level, which in turn can lead you to make informed decision on the route you may choose.

    The Milo Breathalyzer

    Now i’m not much of a drinker, so personally i won’t have much need for this, but anything that has the potential to save lives and improve a person’s health without them having to give up a something that they are passionate by helping the user make informed decision, knowledge is something i can get excited for. Milo Sensors is a company built around wearable sensors that detects various chemicals in your body based on perspiration from your skin with this wristband.

    Motiv’s fitness tracker ring

    With fitness tracker becoming all the crazy in recent years and now with Motiv’s fitness tracker it’s all been squeezed into a small titanium-encased  ring. It tracks sleep and fitness, including steps, calories and distance. It also manages to pack in an optical heart rate sensor, boasting a battery life of three to five days on one charge.

    Osterhout AR/VR glasses

    AR and VR is still in its early stages with Microsoft, Hive and Oculus being the front-runners. Osterhout Design Group (ODG) unveiled its first consumer combo AR/VR glasses, using Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 835 chip. The R-8 and R-9, two models of augmented/virtual reality smart glasses aimed at a wider range of consumers and light business users. Price wise it look like it’s not gonna be cheap around $1,799 and released Q2 this year.

    Razer’s Project Valerie

    Razor showed of something that i think looks cool, a laptop with not one but 3 screen! Razer’s Project Valerie concept adds two fold-able displays that expand out from the primary screen in the centre. Each display is 17 inches diagonally and supports 4K resolution, and Razer says they can be used independently or together as one giant display. But all that comes with a hefty weight, around 12 pounds.

    TPCAST ‘s 60Ghz Wireless Transmitter

    So this is what i have been waiting for, when it comes to VR, the ability to walk around with no cable, allowing for a truly immersive experience. The TPCast-designed add-on that makes your HTC Vive VR experience completely wireless. The company also launched a bunch of new software, most notably the world’s first VR subscription service, which it claims will be “Netflix for virtual reality.” HTC has confirmed that the TPCAST wireless VR solution for the Vive VR headset will be available worldwide in Q2 this year at $249. As predicted in our recent VR retrospective, there were a lot of companies showing solutions that promise to cut the cord on desktop headsets via wireless video streaming. The solution that HTC themselves have been promoting exclusively up to now however is the TPCAST ‘Wireless HD’ powered 60Ghz solution, developed inside company’s own ViveX incubator program.

    Cerevo shoe VR sensor

    How to move your feet in VR has been the prevailing question over the past year, and with the Cerevo VR shoes, that question may be answered. Interestingly, Cerevo isn’t initially targeting high-end headset owners with Oculus Rifts, HTC Vives, or PlayStation VRs, but instead Google DayDream owners. Considering the steep price starting at $1000, we’re not to sure how it’ll take to become more affordable for the general public.

    LG W-Series TV

    LG hopes to make large-screened TVs blend into the living room as naturally as wallpaper. The company’s new 77-inch TV is incredibly thin and light for its size, weighing just over 27 pounds, Similarly-sized smart TVs from Samsung and Sony weigh around 80 and 73 pounds respectively. That’s because LG’s new TV is designed differently; the screen itself is separated from the guts of the system, which are contained in a Dolby Atmos sound bar that also includes I/O ports for connectivity.

    Giant USB Flash Drive

    For sheer guts at CES 2017, you’ve got to admire Kingston, who, amidst the slew of snazzy new TVs, high-spec laptops, and shiny smartphones, announced a USB stick at CES. Except it’s not just any ol’ USB stick. It’s a big USB stick. A USB stick that, metaphorically speaking, is piled higher than Cartman’s plate would be at a Vegas buffet. Yes, we’re talking about Kingston’s new DataTraveler Ultimate GT, a monster 2TB USB flash drive that’s now the world’s largest device of its kind.

    Lego Boost

    Okay first of i’m a massive Lego fan, all the way back from my childhood. And now Lego new Boost set lets you build five different motorized creations and program their actions with the accompanying tablet app. It’s similar to Lego Mindstorms but much simpler — created with younger builders in mind. Naturally, too, you can augment your creations with any other Legos you have tucked away in the closet. While this kit seems great for kids, I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t interested in checking it out myself.


    How about a game of Dejarik? Star Wars fans everywhere can finally play the board game first seen in Star Wars: A New Hope with this new AR machine. No special glasses or smartphone is needed, and the lamp can even be controlled with a PlayStation 4 controller. The device will ship early this year with an animated chess game attached. this has great potential and i’ll be keeping an eye out for it. 

    So what do you guys think? has CES 2017 got you pumped for new upcoming gadgets? Leave your interesting comments below and lets have a discussion.

  • Can video games really create new knowledge?

    “In Knowledge Games Karen Schrier argues that games can tackle some of the thorniest problems, from global warming to lack of food and clean water”

    MUCH has been made of how video games aren’t just for fun. They can also be educational, hone reflexes and mental agility, and even treat PTSD and depression.

    But Karen Schrier has bigger ideas in mind. In Knowledge Games, she writes: “I focus on how we can use games to create knowledge about our universe or develop original insights into human interactions.”

    Schrier is an assistant professor at Marist College in Poughkeepsie, New York, where she directs a programme about games and emerging media – so she should be well placed to make a case. And her book is as dogged as a doctoral thesis in chasing down its key questions: can games be used to create new knowledge? If so, how?

    Schrier focuses on the potential of games to tackle intractable problems by mapping them onto something that can be played, thereby reconceptualising them in a way that makes them easier to solve. So far, we’ve seen just a handful that fit the bill. Take EteRNA and Foldit, where players solve puzzles to devise designs for synthetic RNA molecules or shapes for proteins, respectively. EteRNAhas 37,000 players who have synthesised hundreds of new RNA designs by solving the puzzles. Using EteRNABot software, human players are better able to devise RNA molecules than any current algorithm.

    Then there’s EyeWire, in which players help to map neurons in the human brain. In Monster Proof, they check software for bugs. And SchoolLife lets students try their hand at different roles to identify ways to handle bullying.

    Schrier thinks games can also tackle some of the thorniest problems, from global warming to providing clean water and food. Take the SUDAN Game, which simulates the steps needed to resolve conflict there. Each of the game’s thousands of players checks out a few of the 185,760 interventions possible to see if any lead to a peaceful outcome. That way, the makers hope to find the best algorithm – at least on the basis of the game’s assumptions.

    “Human players are better able to devise new RNA molecules than any current algorithm“

    The problems underlying the games come in many flavours. Ill-structured ones, for example, benefit from people trying many different solutions, as in Foldit or the SUDAN Game. Then there are dilemmas that may not have a single solution, or complex problems with multiple sub-problems. Perhaps the worst are “wicked problems”: ill-structured, complex dilemmas for which no single formulation is sufficient, people do not even agree on the problem, and there are no right or wrong answers – just better or worse ones, depending on skew.

    Indeed, most social and political problems are “wicked”: health issues that combine social and biological causes, such as heart disease; how to help children struggling at school; high rates of recidivism among prisoners. Can games help? Why not? Compared with other collective problem-solving activities, they unite people with different experiences in a uniquely structured and motivating way.

    Schrier makes no bones about the fact that knowledge games are much less fun than the ones they mimic – Tetris,Candy Crush, The Sims. That’s mostly because they tend to be made by small research groups with small budgets. It doesn’t have to stay that way, though. For now, there are plenty of people who like being part of a volunteer online community to make up for a lack of polish.

    In the end, Schrier does a great job of clearing a space where we can chat about games’ potential for giving us new perspectives on old problems. It’s exciting territory, but it remains underexplored. Ask me if a game was the right tool to crack a specific problem, and I’d have to change the subject.


    Thanks to Johns Hopkins University Press for this article

    So what do you think? Dose being a gamer make you better at learning? Should gaming be made a part of our school studies? Leave your thoughts and comments below and lets have a discussion.