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Games Feature

Creative AI: Procedural generation takes game development to new worlds

Owing perhaps to the difficulty and extreme cost of building virtual worlds that can be seen, heard, explored, and interacted with in multitudes of other ways, video games have long made use of procedural content generation and computation creativity. Epic space-faring BBC Micro game Elite generated its own star systems on the fly way back in 1984, for instance, while the likes of Minecraft, Diablo, and the SimCity series all similarly sport environments sculpted by algorithms. But artificial intelligence research is opening new avenues in the ever-evolving dance between human game developers and their algorithmically-intelligent tools. AIs can now create entire 2D and 3D games from scratch, unassisted, and that could be just the tip of the iceberg.Read More

Computers Feature

Creative AI: Computer composers are changing how music is made

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

VR Feature

Haptic technology: The next frontier in video games, wearables, virtual reality, and mobile electronics

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

Space Feature

American independence in space: Ending reliance on the Soyuz spacecraft by 2017

The push to return manned launch capabilities to United States soil is bringing about an exciting period in the commercial space industry. September 2014 saw the awarding of the US Government's Commercial Crew Transportation Capability (CCtCap) contract, with both Boeing and SpaceX benefiting from a significant investment of US$6.8 billion. The contract has the ultimate goal of expediting the development and production of commercial spacecraft specializing in low-Earth orbit operations to the ISS. But what were the driving factors behind the change, and how do the planned replacements match up to the capabilities and conditions of the long standing Soyuz program? Read on as we delve deeper into NASA's mission to end the nation's reliance on Russia by 2017.Read More

VR Feature

One-on-one with Oculus VR and the "Crescent Bay" Oculus Rift

When you visit with enough companies at CES, you start to develop a sixth sense. All of them are ambitious, and some have promising – or even very good – products. But when something is really special, you can just tell. Oculus VR is one of those companies. We're hardly the first to say this, but the Oculus Rift is the future – and, with all due respect, none of the other companies trying to hop aboard the VR gravy train are anywhere close.Read More

Motorcycles Feature

New bikes: Highlights from the EICMA 2014 motorcycle show

It's silly season in Milan, with manufacturers jostling for the spotlight with a cavalcade of new bikes, model updates and wacky prototype concepts at the 2014 EICMA motorcycle expo. While the stars of the show were probably the Japanese, with the release of the new MotoGP-inspired Yamaha R1 and the supercharged Kawasaki H2 road bike, there's a bunch of other new bikes that deserve a look too. So here's our favorite highlights in our EICMA 2014 roundup!Read More

Children Feature

The best toys for a tech-filled Christmas 2014

With the big day creeping up all too quickly, Gizmag takes a look at, and plays with, our pick of the tech toys which are set to be big hits this Christmas. With toys like the self-balancing MiP Robot and the interactive My Friend Cayla doll, along with devices including the VTech Innotab Max tablet and LeapTV games console, it appears that Santa is going decidedly high-tech this year.Read More

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