Bose’s $199 audio-based AR sunglasses are available for preorder – The Verge

Bose’s $199 audio-based AR sunglasses are available for preorder – The Verge

Bose has officially announced a consumer release of Frames, its augmented reality sunglasses that use sound instead of sight to relay information. At launch, the glasses will mainly be focussed on using a built-in microphone and open-ear headphones to interact with Siri and Google Assistant. Next year, however, Bose hopes to launch its own augmented reality platform for apps after shipping 10,000 pairs of the glasses to AR developers in 2018.

We had a chance to try out a couple of example apps earlier this year when Bose first announced the glasses. When paired to our phone, the glasses were able to understand our location using GPS and our direction using its own built-in nine-axis motion sensor. Using these data points in conjunction with voice commands and a single multifunction button, the glasses could then offer information about whatever we were looking at via the speakers in each of the sunglasses’ arms. It wasn’t as accurate as AR glasses that overlay a digital display onto the real world, but the audio approach was surprisingly effective.

With its open-ear design, privacy is going to be a key concern with the Frames. Interacting with a voice assistant using a pair of closed-back headphones like the Sony 1000X-M3 is one thing, but the Bose Frames are much closer in design to a pair of speakers that you wear on your face than traditional headphones. During our time with them in March, they did a decent job of isolating noise from the outside world, but we’d still think twice before asking for any especially private information.

Bose plans to ship two models of the sunglasses — one with round frames and one with square frames — and both will feature tinted UV-blocking glass. Importantly, considering the amount of tech that’s packed into these glasses, they weigh just 45 grams. That’s a little more than the 30 to 35 grams that a typical pair of Ray-Bans weighs, but that weight includes a battery that Bose promises will get you about three and a half hours of music playback and 12 hours of standby.

The glasses are available to preorder now for $199, with an expected ship date of January 2019. More information on Bose’s AR platform is expected to come at SXSW 2019, which is due to take place at the beginning of March.

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How to buy PlayStation Classic’s games separately – Polygon

How to buy PlayStation Classic’s games separately – Polygon

The PlayStation Classic is, by most accounts, a bust. But perhaps its 20-game lineup sparked something within you: the drive of a collector, someone who now needs to own each of the included games. It’s possible to grab all of them with varying amounts of legwork, if you’re so inclined. If the PlayStation Classic’s disappointing emulation and uninspired package isn’t doing it for you, then this is the best way to grab what’s in its library without picking up the system itself.

The easy grabs

Snake in Metal Gear Solid

Metal Gear Solid is one of the must-play games on the PlayStation Classic.
Konami Computer Entertainment Japan/Konami

The PlayStation Store has several of these PS1 games available to purchase under its, uh, PSone Classic brand. These games are available on PlayStation 3 and PlayStation Portable, neither of which are the most convenient platforms to play on these days. But true collectors can find the games below with ease; it’s especially nice for people looking to sample these games a la carte.

Most of these games cost $5.99, with a select few — Final Fantasy 7, Metal Gear Solid, Resident Evil Director’s Cut — available for $9.99.

The crapshoots

Intelligent Qube cover art

Intelligent Qube is the rarest offering on the PlayStation Classic.
G-Artists/Sony Computer Entertainment

The remaining seven games on the PlayStation Classic are harder to come by. These are the truly rare games, or at least the ones that Sony hasn’t given us an easier way to play in the decades since they first launched. We’ve grabbed recent, average-priced eBay listings of the complete, original, black-label editions of these games as examples here, because that’s likely the best place to hunt these games down: eBay. Which means that there’s no real guarantee that you’ll be able to find or snag a copy of Intelligent Qube or the original Persona whenever you want it.

So is the PlayStation Classic a good value?

Yes, but only if you desperately want all 20 of these games. That’s very unlikely, according to our review. And even the games you might want to play are probably not in their best playable state, thanks to some poor emulation choices with the PlayStation Classic hardware. If you’re a collector, you wouldn’t want the PlayStation Classic anyway; it’s not close to an authentic experience. And if you’re a casual PlayStation fan, you’re better off just picking and choosing the games you’d like to try out.

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Nvidia promises major RTX boost with Battlefield V update – The Tech Report

Nvidia promises major RTX boost with Battlefield V update – The Tech Report

Our early performance testing for DirectX Raytracing effects in Battlefield V suggested that the tradeoff between frame rates and image quality with Nvidia’s GeForce RTX cards was quite dear. We didn’t write off the tech at the time, though, because a subsequent interview with DICE by Eurogamer suggested there were plenty of bugs to squash and plenty of low-hanging fruit to pick for RTX performance. We’re glad we didn’t, because today, Nvidia previewed just how much of an RTX speed-up gamers can expect from the first major update to Battlefield V.

The company promises “up to 50%” boosts to the game’s performance from the Tides of War Chapter 1: Overture update that’s slated to go out to gamers tomorrow, December 4. The company claims GeForce RTX 2080 Ti owners can expect to run the game at 2560×1440 with DXR settings at Ultra and frame rates above 60 FPS. RTX 2080 owners might be able to enjoy over 60 FPS from the game at 2560×1440 with the medium DXR preset, while RTX 2070 owners can use the medium DXR preset at 1920×1080.

Nvidia didn’t note whether it observed those performance improvements in multiplayer maps or in the game’s single-player campaign, but in any case, they would represent major boosts over the performance we observed in our first round of testing. We should note that we tested RTX effects on a map that was apparently particularly troublesome for the first release of DICE’s DXR implementation. Even so, the RTX 2070 barely held on to playability at 1920×1080 with the medium DXR preset, and the RTX 2080 couldn’t clear that line at 2560×1440. The RTX 2080 Ti could only deliver 37 FPS, on average, at 2560×1440 with the DXR Ultra preset.

Presuming Nvidia’s claims hold, gamers with GeForce RTX cards should be a lot happier after this update. For folks who want to see Battlefield V‘s ray-traced reflections for themselves, Nvidia points out that it’s still throwing a copy of the game in with eligible RTX 2080 Ti, RTX 2080, and RTX 2070 cards, as well as systems with Turing inside. We’ll see just how much a performance boost this update delivers for ourselves as soon as it’s available.

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LG’s 17-inch Gram laptop shows up early on Best Buy’s website – The Verge

We thought LG’s 17-inch Gram laptop was on the way, and today, Best Buy listed the device online. The new LG Gram is intriguing not just because it ships with a 17-inch, 2560 x 1600 IPS display, but also because it weighs less than three pounds.

By comparison, a 17-inch Windows laptop from HP or Dell weighs almost double that. The Asus VivoBook Pro is on the lighter side at 4.6 pounds, but LG has done better. Usually, 17-inch laptops are thought of as desktop replacements, but the Gram is one you shouldn’t have much trouble carrying with you. Apple doesn’t make a 17-inch MacBook Pro anymore; it discontinued its last one in 2012. All of this is to say, a 17-inch display that weighs less than three pounds is incredible.

LG says the Gram should last 19.5 hours on a charge, although the company’s battery claims have been questionable before. According to Best Buy’s listing, the laptop features a 512GB SSD, 16GB RAM, and Intel 8th Gen Core i7 processor. Ports include a headphone jack, three USB-A 3.1 ports, one USB-C port, a microSD card reader, and one HDMI port.

Best Buy’s specs listing is incorrect, it seems, because the company lists the laptop as having three USB-C ports. But the FCC’s listing from earlier this month and Best Buy’s images show the device having three USB-A ports. We’ve reached out to LG for confirmation. The 17-inch Gram is priced at $1,699.99 in this configuration. Best Buy lists it as “sold out,” but it’s likely that the retailer hasn’t actually begun selling it yet.

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Scammy iOS apps used Touch ID to push users toward $99 payouts – The Verge

Scammy iOS apps used Touch ID to push users toward $99 payouts – The Verge

A few scammy iOS applications have been taking advantage of Apple’s Touch ID platform by trying to trick users into making payments with false promises of using the fingerprint scans for fitness data, according to ESET’s WeLiveSecurity blog.

The two apps — called “Fitness Balance” and “Calories Tracker” — were spotted by various Reddit users over the last week, and both employ similar tactics. As part of their so-called “fitness tracking,” the apps ask users to place their fingerprint on the Touch ID scanner for 10 seconds, to “create personalized diet and other stuff.” While a user’s finger is placed on the pad, the app pops up an in-app purchase payment request for sums of money like $99.99. Since the user’s finger is already on the Touch ID pad, the request can be approved almost immediately.

This hack works because Touch ID is such a seamless process. By trying to be as fast and unobtrusive as possible, the phone starts scanning the finger that’s already on the pad as soon as the payment request pops up. The speed at which Touch ID works means that by the time a user has processed what’s going on, the payment has already been approved.

Images via /u/Zackman and /u/JakeMini123 (Reddit)

There are legitimate technologies that can provide fitness information like this, like the Apple Watch Series 4’s upcoming EKG feature that has users place their finger on a side button to measure their heart data. And while those features have nothing to do with fingerprint scanning, it’s easy to see how some users made the mistake of thinking that an iPhone could do something similar.

Based on the similar UI, it seems likely that both apps were created by the same developer. Fortunately, both seem to have been removed from the App Store, and hopefully Apple will keep a closer eye on this kind of UI hacking in the future.

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