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Avatar sets two Blu-ray records: most illegal downloads, most bought discs

It smashed Box Office records worldwide to become the highest grossing film in history, now James Cameron's Avatar is setting new benchmarks in the Blu-ray market. Around 1.5 million Blu-ray discs were snapped-up on the first day of release in the U.S. - more than previous record holder The Dark Knight - and that's just the 2D version, without special features. The Blu-ray release also triggered an avalanche of illegal downloads, with the sci-fi epic now well on its way to becoming the most pirated Blu-ray film ever.  Read More

Bruce Willis in the movie 'Surrogates'. Art imitating life, or vice versa?

Gizmag recently took part in a virtual round table with futurist Dr James Canton and prosthetics expert Randall Alley to look at the role robots - particularly surrogate robots - will play in mankind’s future. The fascinating discussion ranged from the technology itself through to security issues and ethics surrounding the implementation of surrogate robots in our future societies. So when will you be able to send your robotic surrogate-self to the shop for a loaf of bread while you relax in front of the TV?  Read More

Weopia virtual online world offers peer-to-peer privacy in a range of engaging locations

More and more people these days are turning to online dating to find the love of their life. Practically everyone knows a couple who met via online dating, but conversely everyone has heard a dating disaster tale, and for every happy couple there are lots of hilarious, embarrassing or expensive tales of dating hell. Weopia could be the answer to all that; a virtual dating experience that allows you to take a romantic boat ride, watch the sunset and talk in real time to a prospective date while you sit at home in your pyjamas...  Read More

Virtual cop Officer Garcia conducts blind photo-arrays to impartially guide eye-witnesses

DNA testing in recent years has resulted in many wrongly-accused citizens being exonerated of crimes they didn’t commit. For example, investigations conducted by the Innocence Project, an organization started in New York City, led to the exoneration of more than 220 citizens convicted of serious felonies. An analysis of the first 130 exonerated revealed that mistaken eyewitness identification was a contributing factor in 101 (77 percent) of those cases. It is believed that many cases of mistaken identity are caused by police inadvertently influencing eyewitnesses as they look through photo-arrays, searching for the perpetrators. Enter ‘Officer Garcia’ – an impartial virtual detective who guides witnesses through the identification process without the risk of imparting any influence.  Read More

Avatar characters can be scanned on a home computer's webcam to 'come to life'

Toy-maker Mattel is releasing a range of action figures that incorporate augmented reality technology, based on characters from the Avatar movie hitting our screens around Christmas. The toys, to be launched in October, ‘come alive’ on your home computer when scanned on a webcam. Each action figure in the range has a unique 3-D web tag (i-TAG) which, when scanned, reveals special content onscreen. The animated 3-D models will show off “engaging, evading or defending moves”, says Mattel. And when two i-TAGs from the same Battle Pack are scanned together, the 3-D characters will interact on-screen.  Read More

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