At SXSW last week, optimism abounded for the rise of autonomous vehicles. Tesla’s Elon Musk announced self-driving will encompass all modes of driving by the end of next year, saying it will make it 100-200% safer than a person driving. Waymo CEO John Krafcik added, “It’s here now. It’s on public roads now” and announced that eventhough we can’t yet buy true self-driving cars where the driver doesn’t have to pay attention, “we are deploying it as a ridesharing service.” Waymo was founded in 2009 as the Google Self-Driving Car Project and is currently a subsidiary of Google’s parent company, Alphabet. Krafcik defined Waymo as a technology company working on building the world’s most experienced driver, and installing that driver into cars and trucks to make the roads safer and save lives. “1.25 million people die every year in car accidents around the world. It’s like 140 people...
Once again, Sony Wow pop-up shop at SXSW gave us a look into the future of entertainment, functionality, and AI with some inventive products. I also got a chance to spend some time with Aibo – the robot dog – to see how it interacts.
Sony Xperia Hello Robot
Coming into the WoW Experience, I saw a fun little group of robots dancing to song. This is the Xperia Hello. It’s a smart speaker that can respond to your voice, gesture, and facial expressions. It’s more than just a speaker, as it can take photos or video, play photos or video, check weather and traffic, news, and many other functions through the add-on apps. The Hello is a little pricey at $1,300, and isn’t out in the U.S. right now.
Virtual Air Hockey
I am pretty good at air hockey. This table gave me a run for my money. The 3-player VR air hockey table had multiple virtual pucks flying around, along with an actual air hockey puck. While you might not be seeing this product in arcades any time soon, you can see where we can go in virtual game play. The sensors can track objects at 1,000 frames a second. With a little tweaking of the pucks, you can eventually make the player paddles vibrate like a puck has struck the edge.
The Digital Graffiti Wall
I never thought I would be writing a virtual message on a piece of plywood. Yet, with the sensor technology advances, Sony has made it very possible. One station I can draw or write my message. The virtual message gets sent to the overall Xperia projector, which then allows your work to be added to the wall.
I could see going to an event, signing the wall, and be able to get a picture of the final project the next day. Heck, to even see my creation on the wall within minutes of me drawing was pretty nice.
Lots more on Video including Aibo – the Robot Dog
I go through the whole experience and show you some items I reported about a couple years ago, and how they’ve grown. I also take some time with Aibo – the Robot dog – to see if it’s like a real dog. This is all part of the Future Labs program at Sony.