Google Employee Develops DIY Android-Powered First Prototype Bathroom Mirror

android mirror

A Googler has come up with an Android-powered bathroom mirror to offer data, time and weather along with some news headlines, to let others consider it an early prototype of a Google Now mirror.

It is a two-way mirror equipped with a controller board, a display panel components, arts and crafts supplies, a power button, a controller board and some more including Amazon Fire stick. It has clean, minimalist UI.

Creator Max Braun, an engineer at Google, is learned to spend spare time in productive ways instead of simply watching television on the couch. This time he spent the time building his own smart bathroom mirror, and the output looks real amazing.

His project is not yet complete. Braun is still adding more useful things to it such as traffic conditions and reminders. Moreover, the display is not interactive as of now to which the creator points idea of the mirror is to pull relevant data automatically similar to what Google Now does and for another things the voice search is always there.

Braun adds the setup of his creation is very simple and the fancy two-way mirror is just a regular display though it is the most expensive part of the whole thing. However, it also depends on how big the display one wants and from where to source. Some may end up spending a thousand dollars buying it and others may get it in just a few hundred bucks. Even the $50 Fire tablets can be sourced.

Apart from all these, it is worth here to know this is the first Do It Yourself (DIY) smartmirror that has come across. There are tons of information online how to build your own smartmirror. There are several guides, Reddit threads and dedicated apps too for developing one such at home without the need to hire any expert. Braun too has promised to post a how-to soon.

In a blog post the Googler said he wanted to have smart mirror for his bathroom but he couldn’t find anyone selling one such stuff. However, individual parts were easily available in the market and so he started placing orders for those and building it himself.

Braun writes further he initially tried to build the smart mirror with Chromecast and then with Nexus Player, but at last he was satisfied using Fire TV Stick. The prototype is still a work in progress.

Well, the creation is a real cool thing if you imagine a world where you get all the important updates and information while brushing your teeth. Several similar experiments are on-going and soon one may be available in the market for us for ready-to-use while believing something more can be done in bathroom.

Not to forget here, in 2014 two similar experiments had hit headlines on technology news websites. One was magic mirror powered by Raspberry Pi and the other was eBay’s magic mirror shopping technology.

You can now stream movies from The Pirate Bay & Popcorn Time

movie collage

Popcorn Time has made a comeback with the launch of its new Web version – Popcorn Time Online – that allows users to stream all of the movies and TV shows it offers (illegally) directly in their browser using a new browser plugin called Torrents Time.

The Pirate Bay is also getting into the streaming action – The plugin for Windows and Mac computers has also turned The Pirate Bay into the world’s biggest streaming site. Look for the ‘Stream it!” button next to the download option.

The Torrents Time plugin lets people stream torrents embedded in webpages without needing to use an external client or download the torrent itself. Developed by the team behind Popcorn-Time.se, a spin-off from the popular pirated streaming service, Torrents Time can be added to any torrenting site.

Tips for building an audience for a niche product online

Producing a successful niche product is all about getting the marketing right. With a more compact audience, it’s important that as many of your potential customers as possible are aware of your product and the benefits it could bring them. The Internet is the ideal medium for marketing niche products, as it offers a cost effective and instant way of advertising to your audience.

Niche marketing

Niche marketing is where you define the specific sector of the market that you want to aim your product at and then market directly to them. Some businesses see the concept of niche marketing as simply reducing their profits, as there are fewer people to buy.

However, if you have the right product, a well thought out market and an excellent marketing strategy, you can create a highly successful business. This is especially true if you’re targeting a market with a high demand and a large disposable income.

For example, Hampton Creek has created a successful niche food business. They manufacture a range of products, including Just Mayo and Just Cookie Dough, which use plants in innovative ways. Their products don’t contain eggs, making them healthier and suitable for allergy sufferers. Only a few years old, the company has successfully used its marketing strategy to target the niche audience.

Design and advertising

The use of design methods and advertising mediums is important when communicating with niche markets. Using the Internet to disseminate these messages works well with these types of audiences.

As a basis for a successful niche business, you need a clear and easily accessible website. This should be well designed and include accurate information on the company and the products you supply. The images and wording need to be bright, and should focus on the key benefits and unique selling points of the product.

Traditional forms of advertising are not suitable for niche products. They are extremely costly, particularly when you calculate the cost in relation to the percentage of potential customers you will actually reach this way. Mass-market advertising also makes it too hard to pin point the exact customers.

However, online advertising can be targeted to specific sites where a high percentage of your customers will be looking. For instance, this could be a health or allergy forum for a food product.

Even social media can be an advertising medium for niche products. You need to focus on the profile and cover images, to ensure they say something positive about the business. Then any images that are used on promotional updates need to be in line with the product branding and publicize the benefits of the product. Social media can also help to spread the message, by encouraging followers to share stories and recommend the products to their friends.

Grow your audience

Once a niche product has been launched onto the market, this is not the end of the marketing story. Design and advertising will still have a key role to play in building up this base audience and creating a highly successful company.

It’s important that you keep listening to your customers and see exactly what they want from your product. This can then influence the way in which you design your next advertising campaign or where you place the ads. The better targeted your marketing is, the more chance you have of building an audience.

The Internet has brought about numerous benefits for the design and marketing industry. It has provided an entry point for smaller businesses, with more concise audiences and provided them with a level playing field.

How to backup your hard drive with EaseUS backup software

geeknews-backups

There are a lot of reasons why you would want to backup your hard drive, whether it be for safety and security reasons in case of a computer crash, or if you got a new SSD and want to move your operating system onto it. It certainly a headache for most people and can take up to several hours if you are not completely sure what you are doing. Luckily, there exist software like the backup software from EaseUS which makes this process a breeze. In this article we will cover the necessary steps for some likely scenarios you would encounter.

Transfer Windows to SSD

If you want to greatly speed up your computer, it’s recommended to transfer your windows to an SSD. But normally this requires to reinstall your operating system on the SSD and removing it from your normal hard drive.

Luckily, this isn’t the case anymore and can easily be done by using EaseUS. All you have to do is backup all your personal files like music, movies and documents. This makes your Windows smaller and fits more easily on the SSD. All you do then is clone your Windows and move it to the SSD, and all your user documents will be stored on the HDD and you just restore all your backed up files.

Transfering windows with EaseUS is literally as simple as just clicking a few buttons

Windows 10 backup

Backing up your data is been proven to be the most important thing you should do often. Backing up your operating system, like Windows 10, are even more crucial. Sometimes operating systems fail without notice, and normally it’s too late then, and reinstalling your operating system is a tedious process and a lot of important data may go missing.

If you use backup software, you literally back up your whole hard drive, and when your computer decides to pack up, or your dell laptop decided to go rolling in the deep, and you have to get a new one, you can simply restore all of your data, including your windows with batting an eye.

EaseUS Todo backup software has easy to follow step by step wizards to achieve exactly this, making it extremely user friendly.

How to Clone a Hard Drive

There are number of reason you would want to clone or copy your Hard Drive, but the main reason most people use it for is when you upgrade to a larger hard drive. If you have tried this, you know you just can’t copy your windows files and paste it in the new hard drive, because this will result in an unbootable error. That is what makes backup software, like those on offer by EaseUS, such wonderful solutions. Exactly like the Windows 10 back up, all you have to do is simply follow the steps provided, and software does the rest, taking out all the stress for you.

Other benefits of todo Software from EaseUS

  • Cheap without compromising quality
  • Installation is easy and step by step wizards will guide you in whatever you want to do
  • Support Windows 10
  • Multiple languages available

Whether you want to clone, backup, or move your windows to a SSD, now you know how.

What is the best platform to enjoy slots on?

gn-slots

Slot machines have been popular for a long time, and are one of the oldest staples of any casino floor. In recent years, with the improvements in technology, the evolution of the slot machine has stepped up a few notches. Now there are limitless possibilities with the games, the machines, and where they can be played. Online casinos have sprouted up everywhere and slot machines have fit well into this format. Now players can even download some of the games to their smartphone. So what is the best platform to play on? Can playing on a smartphone compare to the buzz of playing on the casino floor?

Some gamblers would argue no. They would say that there is no way that the thrill of playing the slots in a real-life casino could be matched. It is true that some of the factors that make the slots so exciting in casinos can’t be replicated online. Some people certainly do get a real buzz from the atmosphere, the hustle and bustle all around them, and the other gamblers sharing the same range of emotions. But online casinos do have their advantages as well.

One of the main reasons that people play online casinos is that they are easily accessible to people with busy schedules. Some gamblers just don’t have the time to go to the casino to get their slot machine fix. Online casinos can also be a lot simpler to use for newcomers, with detailed instructions about how to play the games. Beginners can feel more comfortable playing games for the first time in their home environment. Another advantage is, with the emergence of bitcoin casinos like www.vegascasino.io, depositing funds has never been easier. These factors and many more have led to a massive rise in popularity for online casinos, and it was only a matter of time before the format was made available for smartphones and tablets.

With the wide variety of games that are already available for iPhone and android, the developers knew that people liked to play on the move. Slot games work well in this format, too, and it is ideal for busy people who don’t get chance to sit down and gamble at their computer.

All things considered, if you are someone who likes to play slot machines, you will enjoy them on any of the various platforms. With technology gamblers can find even more opportunities to enjoy their favorite games, wherever they are.

Venus flytraps can count, say scientists

venus flytrap

The Venus flytrap’s habit of chowing down on flies and other bugs may be centered around its ability to count — as in how many times it needs to be touched before clamping down on its prey, according to a new study.

While the carnivorous plant does not apply Common Core math solutions to know when it’s meal time, the Venus flytrap has the ability to keep track of the number of times it is touched, allowing it to react on a routine basis to bugs.

Head over to Newsmax for this interesting story.

Former NASA Engineer Explains the Fastest Way to De-Fog Your Windshield

Here’s the science around fogging windows and the optimal methods to defog them in a hurry. Check out Road & Track for the full story behind the investigation, and the video by engineer Mark Rober is entertaining (link to his Youtube channel)

The optimal settings are:

  • Defroster fan on highest setting
  • Temperature control on its hottest
  • A/C turned on
  • Recirculate turned off
  • Crack your windows

Data recovered from floppy disks owned by Gene Roddenberry

Gene-Roddenberry

When Gene Roddenberry passed away, one of the many things left to his estate to care for were 200 5.25″ floppy disks. These disks contain information on the Star Trek tv shows he was working on.

It seems that Gene was using custom built computers with unique word processing program that rendered the data not readable outside of this unique combination. So retrieving the information was going to be very difficult.

Roddenberry Entertainment retained the services of DriveSavers to reverse engineer the configuration and retrieve the data in a manner it could be usable again.

Yesterday they announced on their blog that they were successful and give a little bit of background to the complexity of the project.

I’m hoping some interesting stories or characters are discovered that help bring new life to Star Trek.

Stormfall: Age of War

Stormfall

Normally, I don’t play many mobile games, as I’m generally a PC gamer.  However, a newer game has come to my attention recently that has captured my interest and inspiration to play.  Stormfall: Age of War has hit the mobile market with a considerable impact that has quite a few people talking about the new generation of mobile games and the way Plarium Global Ltd has implemented their game in such an innovative way!

You can immerse yourself in the dark world of fantasy and myth!  Stormfall: Age of War delivers epic battles in one of the most challenging and popular MMO strategy games available to this day.

Your expansive and fierce empire of Stormfall has fallen, and your enemies have joined  the battle across a war-torn continent as an ancient evil rears its ugly head once again. Having been chosen to defend and protect your broken, but steadfast lands of Darkshine, you alone embrace the loyalty of your people and your army through these dark times and boldly lead them into the light to rebuild your proud kingdom into a shining example of justice.

There are some decent Stormfall Youtube videos demonstrating tactics and gameplay, here’s one that helped me defend against incoming raids:

For the first time, this popular free strategy game has been brought to mobile as a standalone, epic, multiplayer adventure, featuring groundbreaking graphics and genre-defining gameplay. Attack enemies, forge alliances and gather resources as you defend your castle from constant enemy attacks while simultaneously building and expanding your empire.  You can carefully plan your strategy, join clans and forge alliances in order to defeat your bitter rivals in this ultimate massively multiplayer online game!

FEATURES

– FREE TO PLAY
– Available in the following languages: English, French, Spanish, Italian, German, Portuguese and Russian
– Exceptional artwork, graphics and gameplay
– Recruit giant armies, raid endless castles and defend your empire
– Exciting PVP battles – pit your armies against other players from around the world, master strategy, diplomacy and join forces with great League to defeat your rivals.
– Popular MMORPG free to play with thousands of clans to join.
– Forge diplomatic and strategic alliances with millions of online players, from around the world, all in real time.
– Raid, attack and defend in order to defeat your enemies in ongoing battles and wars.
– Earn bonus rewards just for commanding your troops each day.
– Role playing game adventures and missions, deep level strategy

 

Can Gaming Actually Provide Positive Impacts?

gaming health

Progression of video games has come a long way, from simple plots and backgrounds to challenging, complex design and the level of development is certainly estimable. The evidence is escalating, that the advantages of playing video games go far beyond improving the hand-eye coordination and entertainment. Here I’m going to mention a few interesting ways through which playing games are possibly producing smarter, more versatile individuals.

Although sometimes very repetitive, a great deal of video games require the player to perform quick hand movements, along with being able to keep eye contact with objects on the screen; sometimes at a considerable rate of speed. These actions train your reflexes, and can provide a steadier hand when performing common or specialized work or tasks. The same can be said for a person’s visual acuity. Gamers are frequently required to memorize and keep track of several objects or pieces of information in quick succession in order to win.

Playing games can also possibly reduce pain and stress levels. Concentrating on a game for long periods of time can actually divert the mind from physical pain, while performing repetitive or casual tasks (i.e. golf, etc) may also be a de-stressor and calm the mind. Some games are even geared specifically towards these goals, such as Nintendo’s Color Zen game.

Personally, one game that I find fits all of these categories is playing online slots! In addition to all of the qualities I listed above, you can also win some real money! Try out vegas slots for size and perhaps you can increase your bankroll along with having a hopping good time. Recently I’ve discovered a new place to play that offers free slots no download no registration that has kept me entertained for good clean fun!

 

 

 

A Real Hoverboard – ArcaBoard

ARCA Space Corporation announced this week that it has created ArcaBoard. For the first time in history, every person will be able to fly whenever they want, wherever they want. ArcaBoard appears to be a revolutionary breakthrough in motion since the bicycle, automobile and airplane.

ArcaBoard, an electric powered flying machine with 272 horsepower and 203,000 watts of installed power is the most powerful and lightest personal vehicle ever created. ArcaBoard represents total freedom of movement, total freedom of travel. ArcaBoard is a personal vehicle that can move in every possible direction including upwards. The retail price is $19,900 and is available for order now. Shipments will start April 15, 2016.

ArcaBoard is built from composite materials, it has a length of 145x76x15 cm (57x30x6 inches) and a weight of 82 kg (180 lbs). This technology allows a person with a weight up to 110 kg (243 lbs) to be able to fly.

The vehicle is able to fly up to 30 cm (1 ft) and with speeds up to 20 km/h (12.5 mph) and the overall performance is limited by the onboard sensors. The maximum endurance is 6 minutes, but with the ArcaDock accessory the user can be back in action in 35 minutes.

Winning With Online Roulette:  Tips and tricks

roulette

So you’re interested in spinning the big wheel and make some of your hard earned cash grow into piles of loot?  Whip out that credit card, because the smoothest way to bump your cash flow through gambling is to hit some online roulette!  Not sure about your game?  Fear of losing all your greenbacks instead of gaining?  Shake no more, because I’m going to impart some quick and easy tips that you can follow that may ensure your success.  (Not a guarantee)

First off, don’t buy anything that calls itself a guaranteed roulette plan.  The fastest way you can be parted from your cash is to buy into someone else’s idea of a system that claims an assurance of winning at roulette.  Random is random, folks, there are no guarantees when it comes to roulette.  There are no guarantees!  Trust your own intuition and do what feels right.

Second is choosing your game.  There are so many variants to chose from, it’s impossible to say which might be your game until you try a few out.  A great deal of them are themed, so pick your poison that way.  Enjoy a variety of different games and don’t be overwhelmed by all the choices.

Your goal is to enjoy the games and to have as much fun as possible.  Don’t rush yourself and familiarize yourself with the rules of each game as you go along.  Play normally, but gain as much information as you can as you play so that you can make informed bets as you continue in each game.

Set a limit and stick with it.   There may be a big win over the horizon, but better to be safe than sorry.  Don’t go over your budget – know when to quit.

Finally, don’t be afraid to use the help facilities.  That’s exactly what they are there for.  You have questions?  There are answers!  And if your question isn’t answered through the site’s F.A.Q. (Frequently Answered Questions), then don’t hesitate to use any live chat options that are available.  These are knowledgeable people who know that site’s capabilities and can help you make any informed decisions.

So, to give you a kickstart into your virtual vacation into the land of roulette; let me recommend a site that I have had much fun through.  This UK online roulette site has a huge variety of games to try out.  Give it a shot; you never know, you might snag that huge cash flow you’re after!

FAA Has Authorized Terrafugia to Test Their Flying Cars

Terrafugia

The Federal Aviation Administration has authorized flying car company Terrafugia to start testing out prototypes of a flying car that could some day fit right into a one-car garage, wings and all. And the company says its flying car test flights could start whizzing around the USA Northeast in the coming months.

The TF-X is a 4-seater that will look like a large car with wings.

Anyone interested in owning one someday?

 

The Insider’s Guide to IOS Apps

 

ios apps

The great news for Android users is that Apple’s App Store for iOS, which currently ranks as the world’s second-largest app store, offers a jaw-dropping lineup of 1.6 million apps. According to December 2015 stats, the most popular categories are games at 22.49%, followed by business apps at 10.38%, and education at 9.44% (Dying to know the bottom 3 apps? Interestingly, social networking came in at 2.07%, medical at 2.02%, and education at 1.16%). More gobsmacking news is that as of summer 2015 more than 100 billion apps were downloaded from the Store. Not sure where to start? Well if you’re in the first, game-loving category, these 4 superb apps will certainly put a smile on your face.

  1. Online Roulette

Online Roulette

If Roulette is your game of choice, ITunes’ free Online Roulette app brings you your favorite game like you’ve never experienced it before. The app features stunning visuals and design and an excellent lineup of the best roulette platforms created with the best-known European Roulette as the table of choice. Add to that excellent features such as gaming rooms, options for different playing levels, a chat feature, bonuses, and easy registration. With the focus on UX and creating a superb gaming experience, spinning the wheel of fortune is easier or more accessible than ever before.

  1. Bingo Games

Bingo Games

If you thought bingo was a game for the aged in dimly-lit, drab bingo halls, shift delete that thought right now and make way for ITunes’ free Bingo Games app. With its top-notch graphics, interactive design, and loads of color, Bingo Games offers fantastic features from bingo rooms for different levels of expertise, the ability to play against people worldwide, a chat room, exciting tournaments, some fantastic offers and bonuses, and more. This Bingo is larger than life.

  1. Online Blackjack

Online Blackjack

There is a reason why Blackjack is the world’s most widely played casino banking game. Unlike some other card games, the rules are easy, yet the game is packed with action and excitement. ITunes’ free, Online Blackjack brings all that to the comfort of your handheld plus a wide variety of Blackjack variants to choose from. All variants offer superb design for iPhones, fast and smooth gameplay, and amazing promotions to give you a winning start.

  1. Sports Bet Reviews

Sports Bet Reviews

If you’d rather bet on sports than play them, Itunes’ Sports Bet Reviews is the perfect app for you. The app provides you with impartial reviews of the best sports bet platforms taking into account details such as a platform’s history, location and licence; betting interface and website layout; data on a wide range of sporting events and fields; detailed information and statistics; and many more criteria. With such reliable info and tools you can make truly informed betting decisions.

There is a world of iOS apps out there just waiting for you to hit download. Make sure you have the best ones at your fingertips and you’ll receive top-quality entertainment from your iPhone.

Astrobiologists Revise the Chances of Finding Advanced ET Civilizations

A rapid increase in our knowledge of alien worlds has dramatically changed the way scientists are interpreting the famous Drake equation. You can find the Cornell astrophysics paper describing this here: A New Empirical Constraint on the Prevalence of Technological Species in the Universe

MIT Technology review has a write up on what this means here.

In the Cornell paper they address the cosmic frequency of technological species. Recent advances in exoplanet studies provide strong constraints on all astrophysical terms in the Drake Equation. Using these and modifying the form and intent of the Drake equation they show that we can set a firm lower bound on the probability that one or more additional technological species have evolved anywhere and at any time in the history of the observable Universe.

The researchers find that as long as the probability that a habitable zone planet develops a technological species is larger than ~10?24, then humanity is not the only time technological intelligence has evolved. This constraint has important scientific and philosophical consequences.

Fermi redux

The Waiting is the Hardest Part…

online games

The Waiting is the Hardest Part…

Here’s the thing about games: you can never have enough. No matter how many incredible virtual worlds we’ve experienced, there’s always something new on the horizon to get us excited for the next big game all over again. Even though there are plenty of stellar games to enjoy in the here and now, it’s never too early to get excited for what’s coming, and what could be.

If you’re a PC gamer this December, you certainly have more to look forward to than your console counterparts, though a bunch of those games do seem to be re-releases or ports.

Let’s start off with that’s new shall we?

Just Cause 3 – December 1

If you play GTA games for the mayhem then the Just Cause series was probably made for you. Taking the open world formula and then adding in pure, unadulterated chaos is Just Cause’s specialty, and if you’re up for a healthy dose of mayhem, then Just Cause 3 will serve it up in spades.  This is personally one of my favorite games of all time, there is just literally nothing you cannot do in this extremely detailed open world environment. Once again, it’s up to Rico Rodriguez to set off to a fictional island, and put a stop to an evil dictator bent on world domination.  From grappling cows to wind turbines, to zipping between buildings at high speed in your wingsuit, to hijacking jets or helicopters while in flight!  Having played both the original Just Cause and Just Cause 2, I am extremely excited about this new release.

Online slots for when you just need some down time.

Dracula slot

We’ve all been there. You’ve played your games and you’re either bored, or just need something different for a while. Your mind is frazzled, hands are sore for the last few hours of button stabbing and your eyes a bit blurry from staring at your TV screen the whole time. Well, there’s an online slot game that will get your adrenaline going with the spooky tale of the most famous vampire of them all in Dracula online video game! Net Entertainment’s Dracula slot game is brilliantly designed and there’s loads of thrills and wins!

How could we not bring up online slots? You can play and practice Dracula slots for free so you can play with real money. With each spin, you can trigger loads of prizes, free spins, and bonuses–just watch out for the blood-sucking bats! Come down from your gaming high and enter a new high: playing Dracula slot! I personally find it rewarding and think you should give it a try and see how you fare. This game sends chills up and down my spine and definitely kept me engaged the entire time.

It’s a nice change of scenery from gaming and maybe if you get lucky and hit that mega win, you can save up to buy the next big gaming release you want for your PC!

Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six Siege – December 1

If you’re more of a team player and want to take part in some anti-terrorist action, then Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six Siege will be right up your alley. While it may not be the Rainbow Six: Patriots game I’ve wanted since it was announced, this might just be the next best thing.

Originally, this game had a very rocky start throughout the Beta earlier this year.  Bugs were aplenty, and the gameplay, while entertaining for it’s genre, fell far short of it’s promise to extreme tactical and close combat warfare.  It’s newest iteration, however, in the currently running open beta, has cleaned up a majority of the bugs, and spicing up the gameplay for the players with new player modes and added player types and specializations.

This is another game that I am really looking forward to, as I have played a majority of the previous Rainbow Six genre.  There’s nothing like the feeling of grabbing your favorite guns and tactical gear and tearing through your enemies in combat!

While the game may be multiplayer focused, it will also include a few solo variants such as Terrorist Hunt, which will have you fending off against waves of attackers.

Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon: Wildlands – TBA (2016)

Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon Wildlands is the first military shooter set in a massive and responsive open world, according to Ubisoft. It’s set in Bolivia, a few years from now where the country has become the largest cocaine producer in the world. It’s playable in 4 player co-op mode or solo.  This is a massive step for the previous “mostly” single player games; yes, it most of the previous titles had multiplayer, but not on a grand scale such as this.

“The Santa Blanca drug cartel has turned the country into a narco-state, leading to lawlessness, injustice, and violence. The Ghosts, an elite US Special Forces team, is sent behind enemy lines to wreak havoc and takedown the cartel,” said Ubisoft.

Do yourself a favor and search out one of the many gameplay videos on Youtube and feast your eyes on the splendor of this fantastic game.  No linear gameplay at all, you can come and go as you please, choosing to accept or deny any of the missions that happen to be near your location.  Learn to be a cohesive unit in multiplayer with your friends as you reign destruction on the various cartels gripping Bolivia in their iron fists.  I can’t wait to get my hands on this…one of the highest rated games to be released for 2016.

Rise of the Tomb Raider – TBA (2016)

The latest installment of the Tomb Raider franchise is easily the best one yet, with massive set pieces and gripping action.  Rise of the Tomb Raider tells the story of young Lara Croft, alone in a dangerous place, exploring ruins, solving puzzles, and shooting lots of guys with flaming arrows. It combines hunter/gatherer elements—where you need to scavenge for the stuff you need to survive or make weapons—with a mix of melee and ranged combat with pickaxes, guns or a bow and arrow.  This reboot of the previous 2013 game is a refreshing view of how things should have been.  More tombs, interactive gameplay, dramatic cinematics and a crap-load of hubs with multiple missions to complete.  The story is engaging from start to finish and even after the story is done, you unlock an expedition mode, where there a ton more challenges that you can attempt!  Chicken bombs, anyone?

In all, I will look forward to trying this game out after its upcoming release date.  I have always been a fan of Lara Croft, and it doesn’t look llike this game will disappoint.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Trends and observations in online gaming

king

I’ve noticed a few interesting things going on in the online gaming business. From mobile games, to games stimulating brain functions and online gaming.

Virtual Reality:

I learned recently that global game revenue is over US$70 billion, this is bigger than box office ticket sales (but smaller than total filmed entertainment revenue when home video is taken into account). This is huge, and I venture to guess that we’re far from peaking in gaming revenue especially when you take into account the advent of virtual reality technology that is about to explode into the causal gamer’s experience (see Oculus, Playstation VR and HaloLens). Virtual Reality is trying to push the boundaries of media consumption by creating an immersive experience unmatched by previous formats. Here’s an example of the VR games: Sail the seas as a peg-legged pirate in this immersive VR game Vroom:Galleon.

Using games to improve our mental health.

Using games to feel happy and engaged is common, but i’m talking about the trend in games to improve our brain functions. For example, to reduce or delay Alzheimer’s disease. Online brain training is said to improve daily lives of people over-60. Researchers discovered that cognitive training can help with tasks such as using public transport, shopping, cooking and managing finances.

And now the AARP is also promoting brain games to stimulate the brain health of their clients. This helps show that almost any type of game that stimulates the mind can be helpful, it doesn’t have to be Candy Crush, but it’s very helpful to play more with online bingo.

Are freemium games on the way out?

Last week Activision (owners of the World and Warcraft and Call of Duty Black Ops franchises) is taking over King digital, the software manufacturer of Candy Crush. Activision has historically been weak in mobile and this acquisition helps a lot, especially since they already have half a billion monthly active users in their other games, this will push them into a new realm of influence in the entertainment industry.

I suspect that bringing in the talent and experience from King Digital will also help Activision’s existing content to make the migration to mobile in a more impactful way than they’ve been able to do thus far.

I think a more interesting take on this acquisition is from Geektime: Freemium games like “Candy Crush” may be on their way out. The thought is that gamers over time expect more from the games, a narrative that keeps them engaged and interested over the long haul.

 

 

TonyBet to Offer Live eSports Betting as the Market Is Rapidly Expanding 

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eSports is currently one of the fastest growing markets in the world – according to SuperData brief released in May 2015, it already reaches more than 134 million viewers who tune in to the most popular gaming tournaments, with an abundance of people attending them live.

As the interest in eSports is rapidly growing, especially in North America and Europe, the UK-licensed bookie TonyBet already offers a selection of eSports betting on the biggest tournaments including Counter-Strike, League of Legends, StarCraft II, Dota 2, and others with live betting selection offered from October 30th.

“We believe that this market has a lot of potential,” a TonyBet spokesperson said in an interview. “It’s clear that the gaming culture is gaining popularity, becoming more mainstream and people are willing and interested to participate in or watch the tournaments, so naturally we want our customers to be able to actively take part and support their favourites.”

TonyBet kicked off the live eSports betting with the LOL World Championship grand finals when the users could place real-time bets on the participating teams and is currently offering to bet on the ongoing Game Show Dota League and SLTV StarSeries.

In the future, TonyBet is going to offer a selection of bets for the upcoming CEVO/MLG Pro League LAN Finals, as well as the Smite NA Pro League Finals, Smite World Championship, 2015 WCS Global Finals, DreamHack Winter 2015, SHOUTcraft Invitational II, The Summit 4, and Game Show Global eSports Cup to name a few.

“In a market that’s so heavily saturated we aim to provide our users with an exceptional experience,” a TonyBet spokesperson said. “TonyBet was always about being innovative and progressive, and in the rise of eSports, we aspire to respond immediately to the demand that it creates.”

It is estimated by SuperData that the eSports market in US alone is worth around $143 million while Europe is catching up with a $72 million market that is expected to continue growing. The current $374 million market in Asia is a hint of what could soon be reality in other regions.