2015 Detroit NAIAS Auto Show

Richard Moss

Richard Moss
Richard is a freelance writer and journalist based in Melbourne, Australia. He’s contributed to Ars Technica, Edge Magazine, Polygon, and many other publications. When not writing or trying to read the entire internet, you’ll likely find him dancing, playing games, dabbling in creative stuff, or learning about whatever catches his eye.
Top Articles by Richard Moss
Could artificial intelligence render composers obsolete, or will it usher in a new era of ...

You've probably heard music composed by a computer algorithm, though you may not realize it. Artificial intelligence researchers have made huge gains in computational – or algorithmic – creativity over the past decade or two, and in music especially these advances are now filtering through to the real world. AI programs have produced albums in multiple genres. They've scored films and advertisements. And they've also generated mood music in games and smartphone apps. But what does computer-authored music sound like? Why do it? And how is it changing music creation? Join us, in this first entry in a series of features on creative AI, as we find out.  Read More

The next frontier in human-computer interaction will be all about making you feel the virt...

Tactile feedback is nothing new. It's been used in telecommunications and in entertainment for decades, and it became a standard feature in the late 1990s in mobile phones and video games – where vibrations alert you to new messages or help you "feel" the forces exerted on your avatar. Haptic technology has been very much a bit player in the fields that it's infiltrated, though, and only now are we seeing it begin to take its place alongside visual and audio tech as a key element in human-computer interaction.  Read More

Imagine laser tag with a million players – with iTager, it's theoretically possible

Imagine laser tag with a million players all on the one battlefield. It's ridiculous to even think about, but the creators of iTager claim that their system makes it possible. It's a ground-up reimagining and re-engineering of laser tag replete with fully-wireless, remote-controllable systems that work in all weather conditions over a whopping 2,500 ft (760 m) and that can easily be mounted onto existing laser tag weapons (or even your hand or a bicycle) or purchased preinstalled on rifles the creators made themselves.  Read More

These self-folded origami structures created using a technique developed at UMass Amhurst ...

Scientists at the University of Massachusetts Amherst have appropriated a less-common technique of origami known as "collapse"-type, in which all folds are carried out more or less simultaneously, to create complex reversibly self-folded 3D structures around a millimeter in size. The new technique is expected to have applications in soft robotics, mechanical metamaterials, and biomimetic systems (synthetic systems that mimic systems from nature).  Read More

The US$250 Spur Atomic smartwatch puts a smartphone on your wrist (Photo: C.C. Weiss/Gizma...

Epitomical's Spur Atomic smartwatch takes a play out of the Neptune Pine's (or Dick Tracy's) book by squeezing a smartphone into something that'll fit comfortably on your wrist. Its sporty, curved look contrasts from the bulkier and rectangular Pine, yet the Atomic still manages to provide Android 4.2 alongside a solid set of specs that put it on par with low- to mid-range smartphones.  Read More

People with deuteranopia colorblindness struggle to see the green 74 in this image of oran...

It's hard to appreciate the feeling of living with a visual impairment if you haven't experienced it yourself. The edge blurring of glaucoma or the clouded, fogged-up vision of a cataract, or even the confusing hue-challenged sights of a colorblind person may register on an intellectual level with somebody who has normal vision, but few really "get it" because it's too alien to them. SIMVIZ aims to fix that by attaching a wide-angle camera to a virtual reality headset, to filter the world around you according to any of six visual impairments: colorblindness, glaucoma, cataracts, diabetic retinopathy, double vision, and macular degeneration.  Read More

Deep neural networks have studied millions of images and some can now recognize the object...

Computers aren't best suited to visual object recognition. Our brains are hardwired to quickly see and match patterns in everything, with great leaps of intuition, while the processing center of a computer is more akin to a very powerful calculator. But that hasn't stopped neuroscientists and computer scientists from trying over the past 40 years to design computer networks that mimic our visual skills. Recent advances in computing power and deep learning algorithms have accelerated that process to the point where a group of MIT neuroscientists has found a network design that compares favorably to the brain of our primate cousins.  Read More

Rocket Mobility's Tomahawk all-terrain wheelchair gives the mobility impaired a chance to ...

Whoever said that losing your mobility also meant giving up your independence? We've already seen that the adventurous wheelchair user or walking-impaired person can head off road with a six-wheeled electric all-terrain vehicle or a caterpillar-tracked micro EV drive train. Now there's another option: Rocket Mobility's Tomahawk all-terrain personal utility vehicle, which allows the wheelchair-bound to traverse up to 12 miles (19 km) cross country at a maximum speed of 6 mph (10 km/h).  Read More

Quadriplegic Jan Scheuermann gave the mind-controlled robotic arm a big thumbs up at the e...

In 2012, a quadriplegic woman managed to move a robotic arm, using only her thoughts, to a level of proficiency that allowed her to eat a chocolate bar using said arm. The University of Pittsburgh team behind the study didn't stop there, though. By improving the technology in the arm and working more closely with test subject Jan Scheuermann, they have since enabled her to replace the simple pincer grip of before with four new hand shapes – fingers spread, pinch, scoop, and thumb up – that allow for more complicated object manipulation.  Read More

A new Disney Research study brings us one step closer to answering the question: What will...

With all the stats and analysis getting batted around, you could be forgiven for thinking that modern sport is not about the grand battles between opposing players and teams but rather an elaborate exercise in data modelling. An entire industry is forming around predictions and tracking in sports, on the one hand to understand and on the other to compete better. Now Disney Research has released two new studies that help both of these along. One study analyzed soccer player and ball movement patterns to detect and visualize team formations, while the other built models that could accurately predict whether a basketball player will pass or shoot in a given game situation.  Read More

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