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SXSW: New user interface turns voice into 3D text

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Mitsubishi Electric Corporation has announced a new user interface (UI) called SwipeTalk Air, which it believes to be the world’s first UI to use augmented reality (AR) technology to render spoken words instantly as three-dimensional text during live video recordings. Text positioning is implemented by swiping a finger over the tablet or smartphone screen. 

The company also announced its development of a SwipeTalk Air app on iOS that integrates the UI, video recording and other functions for extra-expressive videos that are expected to enliven social media.

A prototype of SwipeTalk Air will be displayed at the SXSW (South by Southwest) digital technology exhibition in Austin, Texas, from March 8 to 17. Operability and functions will be further upgraded prior to launching the UI and application in commercial products and services.

Main Features

1. UI renders spoken words as text along a swiped path on the screen

The UI immediately renders spoken words as 3D text in a video as the cameraperson swipes a finger across the device screen. The device is pointed at the subject, a few words are spoken, a line is swiped on the screen and then the text instantly appears in the swiped area.

Video recording and editing are seamlessly integrated, so the experience of capturing the moment live is not interrupted and users can enjoy inputting text intuitively.

2. App incorporates various functions to create highly expressive videos

It helps users achieve a new video expression by placing letters in anywhere of virtual midair in the screen. As the arranged text will look fixed in place, even when changing the camera angle, taking videos that combine such text and recorded objects enables new ways of expressing oneself and new uses based on users’ ideas. Due to swift text positioning, the user can easily produce videos full of creativity.

3. Text display using AR markers

When the subject wears an AR marker (camera-recognizable images) on the subject’s finger, it will make text follow the path of the subject’s moving finger.

4. AR picture drawing

Lines can be drawn in the video by tracing them on-screen to supplement text with illustrations, such as arrows, pattern or cartoon-like decoration, to enhance the effect and clarity of the message.

5. Multilingual translation

The positioned text can be translated into a foreign language instantly. When the displayed text is changed to another language, it is read out loud in that language to enable communication and collaboration with people who speak other languages.

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Nintendo announces Stranger Things 3 game

The Netflix Original show is set to launch a retro-style game on the Nintendo Switch.

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In collaboration with Netflix, developer BonusXP has created Stranger Things 3: The Game. It is the official companion game to Season 3 of the hit original series. The game and latest season are expected to launch on US Independence Day, the 4th of July, a date that will, of course, stick in American gamers’ memories.

This adventure game blends a distinctively retro 16-bit art style, reminiscent of games from the time when the series was set. It is claimed to have modern gameplay mechanics to deliver nostalgic fun with a fresh new twist. Players will be able to experience their favourite show through a mix of exploration, puzzles, and combat.

Just ad in the show, teamwork is at the heart of Stranger Things 3: The Game. Players can team up in a two-player local co-operative, or in single player mode alongside an AI partner. Players can choose to play as one of twelve characters from the show, each with different abilities and attributes. Together, they’ll play through familiar events from the series, while also uncovering never-before-seen Stranger Things secrets, ensuring a fun experience for those new to the world of Stranger Things as well as for those familiar with the series.

Key Features:

  • Experience the show in a new way, exploring the eerie world of Hawkins to uncover new mysteries beyond what’s seen in Season 3.
  • Jump right into the action of this pick-up-and-play adventure: gameplay mechanics that allow players from beginner to advanced skill levels to get in on the fun.
  • Take your game to a higher level by trying out different character combinations and collecting all the secrets the expansive world of Hawkins has to offer.
  • Team up with a friend, leveraging drop-in/drop-out local co-op to take on the mysterious monsters of Hawkins together. While playing solo, use a collection of “buddy commands” to control both characters and still experience all the fun.
  • Choose from 12 playable characters, each with their own unique talents and stats.

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New AirPods and iMac in iStore this weekend

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iStore has announced availability of the new second generation AirPods and iMac, unveiled this week, in store this weekend.

The AirPods are priced from R2 899 and the new iMac from R23 499. Customers can also order these new products from iStore’s website.

“AirPods revolutionised the wireless audio experience with a breakthrough design and the new AirPods build on the magical experience customers love,” said iStore in its announcement. “The new Apple-designed H1 chip, developed specifically for headphones, delivers performance efficiencies, faster connect times, more talk time and the convenience of hands-free ‘Hey Siri’.”

AirPods come with either a standard charging case or a new wireless charging case that works with Qi standard chargers. The wireless charging case can be ordered for R3 699. The case can be used with the first or second generation AirPods.

The iMac line now has up to 8-core Intel 9th-generation processors and powerful Vega graphics options, delivering dramatic increases in both compute and graphics performance. The new iMac is faster for everyday tasks, up to demanding pro workloads. It includes retina display, all-in-one design, quiet operation, fast storage and memory, modern connectivity and macOS Mojave.

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