If you are looking for a little light entertainment on the web this week I may have a couple of sites for you. Both are related to the way you look, and at how others look at you, and you can participate too.
The first site is called All Look Same. The site contains a type of quiz. You are shown photos of people, places, art etc and you have to decide whether they are from China, Japan of Korea. At the end of the test you are given your result with the appropriate advice regarding learning about other cultures.
The exam room contains 8 different categories, from food to architecture, urban scenery, traditional architecture and modern art, but the really fun one is faces. Can you tell the difference between a Japanese face and that of a person from Korea? Take the test to find out.
Korean, Japanese or Chinese?
There are also a couple of sections of holiday photos that really give a run out to your perception neurons.
The second website is somewhat related as it too deals with faces. The Facity site grew out of a project based in Berlin and Tel Aviv, and now covers a multitude of cities. The idea is simple, a series of photos of faces from an individual city, so why not play a game with your friends, show them a page of faces and try to guess the city.
First you can play with your friends, and then why not participate? There are specifications for the photos but the only rule about joining in is that you must live in the city in question, and there are already 100 cities involved.
The list of cities is interesting because it really shows how communication takes place. The faces tend to be clustered, as I presume groups of friends get together and take the photos and then upload them. Milan has hundreds, as do Berlin and Istanbul, but London only has one, miles behind the mighty city of Robbinsville in New Jersey and Targu Mures in Romania.
Average faces for women around the world
Check out the average face section too, as in the photo above of average women’s faces created through a process of comparing single points in many photos, an interesting project I would say.
So why not add your own? Tell them that Technology Bloggers sent you.
California-based tech giant Apple – a company renowned for their phenomenally successful consumer hardware – have confirmed that the number of applications downloaded from its App Store recently exceeded 25 billion worldwide.
The figures that make up this total include apps sold via the store for all of Apple’s iDevices – including the iPhone, it’s various iPods and the iPad. Apple’s iDevices are used by an estimated half a billion people world wide (500 million) a colossal amount!
A black iPhone 4S – one of the iDevices which Apple have sold half a billion of (globally)
The announcement by Apple follows news that the winner of the company’s App Store Countdown to 25 Billion Apps – Chunli Fu from China – will be given a gift card worth $10,000 in free gifts as a reward for being the person to download the 25 billionth app from the Apple Store.
The app that marked the 25 billion download point was the game Where’s My Water (the free version). The app is a puzzle game that tests the physics skills and knowledge of the user, and can be downloaded onto virtually all of the main Apple iDevices, including the iPhone and iPad.
The game is one of the biggest selling and most popular apps available via the Apple Store – an in-house option for downloading Apple products which has proven to be revolutionary since the company started it.
In the period since the Apple Store was launched it has grown to the point where it now has 600,000 apps available for download, to users of the iPhone, iPad and iPod. These apps are available in more that 100 countries world wide, with nearly 200,000 of the apps being created by Apple itself. The apps available cover a wide range of subject areas, such as sports, games, news, business, travel and health and fitness. Just look at the Technology Bloggers ‘apps‘ category, to see reviews of some of the great apps on offer.
Apple’s Internet Software and Services senior vice president of Internet Software and Services, Eddy Cue, said:
“We’d like to thank our customers and developers for helping us achieve this historic milestone of 25 billion apps downloaded. When we launched the App Store less than four years ago, we never imagined that mobile apps would become the phenomenon that they have, or that developers would create such an incredible selection of apps for iOS users.”
Thanks to this and other user-friendly promotions, Apple remains the company to beat in more than one field!
Critics believe that in the future, despite popular belief, gaming will not be more individual, each of us in separate rooms, but more communal, with entire families uniting, in order to play together.
This is mainly due to the rapid developments in home entertainment systems based on competition, and also movement. In 2006 we saw this trend start to develop with the launch of the Nintendo Wii. This immediately pulled people together to game, more so than ever before. Games like Wii Play, and Mario Kart have brought families (and friends) together to play across the world.
In 2010, Kinetic for the Xbox 360, adding further elements of full body participation to gaming. Later this year, Kinetic will be available for computers too. Also later this year, we are going to see the release of the Wii U, the next model of the Wii.
A preview at Nintendo’s new Wii: the Wii U
It is devices like the Kinetic and Wii that are making gaming more social, with even more exciting and innovative devices coming out soon, also aimed at bringing us together.
You read right, mind controlled games are much closer than you might think. Thanks to the developments of advanced brainwave sensors, it is now possible to control things using your mind. All you need is to wearing a simple headband and earpiece with the advanced sensors attached, as brainwaves can be captured and interpreted on your scalp.
In the near future, we could potentially have ditched the controller, and be doing battle with our minds. Games where the the more you concentrate, the better you do, are a leap forward that has been made, and will be released to the mass market very soon.
Mind control could work with all sorts of games, however currently the technology works best with simple ones, like a game of tug of war (the harder you think you pull, the harder you pull!) and archery – focus on the bullseye, and you are more likely to hit it.
Mind control can help to create a much more personal experience, when gaming. This technology can also be applied to movies. Multiple scenes can be shot, and depending upon your emotions and how you are reacting to events, you could see different things. Sound cool hu?
More Interactive Experiences
I have already talked about things like the Wii, and Kinetic, but other systems, like the the Trixter Xdream are going to revolutionise the way we play, and the way we keep fit. The Wii let us play golf and tennis in our living rooms, but it didn’t feel all that real, did it? The Xdream accurately simulates riding a bike outside, using a computer display and a modified exercise bike.
The Trixter Xdream exercise bike
This means that you can feel like you are going for an outdoor workout, on a real bike, but becoming totally immersed in the experience, in the comfort of your own home – you may need to open some windows to create the draft effect! The bike is currently on sale for around £6,000 GBP, however in the future more and more of these devices (which will get cheaper and cheaper) are going to make their way into gyms around the country, and also even our homes.
TVs are set to get smarter soon too, with firms like Samsung and Google revolutionising the way we use our televisions.
3D has been around for a while now, decades in fact, however there has always been the need to wear glasses. In the very near future, we could see glassesless 3D TV’s in our homes, providing us with 3D entertainment with no goofy glasses.
This technology will be able to offer gamers total 3D immersion, making the experience feel even more real. Match that with motion technology and the gap between fiction and reality narrows even further.
There are so many other revolutionary technologies and products that are set to change the way we have fun in the future. I have written about just a few to wet your appetite for what is going to be appearing on the high street within the next few years.
By all means research this further, and if you find anything interesting, let me know!
Gaming is set to change, quite radically and quite soon. The question is are we ready for it?