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Niantic teams up with Hasbro to develop a Transformers AR game
by Chandrakant Isi
Niantic, the developer behind the smash-hit Augmented Reality (AR) game Pokemon GO is prepping to launch another high-profile title. Its latest project turns Hasbro's iconic Transformers franchise into a mobile AR experience.
For the upcoming AR game dubbed Transformers: Heavy Metal, Niantic has handed off development duties to a Seattle-based studio Very Very Spaceship. Niantic's Executive Producer, Phil Hong, revealed that the Transformers game will be based on the company's Lightship platform. He further stated that the game will allow you to "team up with the likes of Bumblebee and the Autobots in the real world".
As per the company, Lightship supports real-time mapping by combining neural networks with cell phone cameras. The platform can detect and interact with various objects, buildings, ground, and sky to deliver a convincing AR experience.
If we can erase five Michael Bay movies from our memory, Transformers is one of the most beloved franchises from the 80s. According to Niantic, fans won't have to wait for too long as the game is set for a soft launch in select countries soon. It will be followed by a global rollout later this year. Fans can head over to TransformersHeavyMetal.com and pre-register for the game.
Launched in 2016, Niantic's Pokemon GO was such a rage that robbers started using it to mug unsuspecting players. Many distracted people even got into serious accidents while catching virtual monsters. It will be interesting to see how the reception for Transformers: Heavy Metal will be.
By Steven P.
Day 3 of Amazon's 12 Days of Deals focuses on Toys
by Steven Parker
Amazon kicked off its 12 Days of Deals on Sunday, 2 December which saw deals on mainly Home Improvement and Tools; yesterday you could get a great deal on some gaming hardware which we highlighted in our TechBargains article, and although those deals have now expired, other vendors covered in the article are still live.
Today Amazon is showcasing deals on toys, but luckily for us, the deals aren't limited to kids toys, you'll find other great deals such as a 3rd gen Amazon Echo Dot smart speaker for $29.99 (40% off) plus lots of other Amazon devices such as the Echo Look at 75% off for just $49.99 (list price $199.99).
Below is the full 12 Days of Deals at Amazon:
Sun, Dec 2 - Home Improvement and Tools Mon, Dec 3 - Gaming Tues, Dec 4 - Toys Wed, Dec 5 - PC Thurs, Dec 6 - Home Fri, Dec 7 - Fashion Sat, Dec 8 - Baby, Pets, and Camera Sun, Dec 9 - Beauty and Personal Care Mon, Dec 10 - Electronics Tues, Dec 11 - Kitchen Wed, Dec 12 - Furniture, Lawn, and Garden Thurs, Dec 13 - Sports and Outdoors The deals last until the end of the day today PST which is when the next batch of deals will go live, focusing on the PC. We'll be sure to keep an eye on those and post a few of the good ones here for you tomorrow.
Source: Amazon's 12 Days of Deals
By Oscar S
Teddy bear doctors finally have the AR tools they need with Parker the Bear
by Richard Tyr Blewitt
Parker the Bear is a new teddy bear from a company called Seedling. It can be paired up with an iOS device, allowing it to simulate various functions using augmented reality (AR).
The bear itself has no batteries, no connectivity, and no cameras, so the AR is essentially run from the iOS device through the app. The bear does come with things like a miniature stethoscope and feeding spoon, the idea being that children will be able to scan Parker and examine its bones and body for ailments, for which they will be able to do various things to help with, like check its temperature, give it medicine, or feed it. The objective is for the child to be Parker's doctor and caretaker, while also learning by completing problems presented by the app.
The teddy bear has a 'Happiness Factor' which goes up when the bear is cured but also when the child does things like take pictures of the bear to hang up in the bear's AR world. The progress made through these actions and the raising of the Happiness Factor will result in new objects and activities being unlocked for the child to enjoy with Parker.
Parker is designed to teach basic biology, digital literacy, and critical thinking through some of the in-app problems but it also aims to nurture creativity by, for example, making the child design a bandage or create AR scenery for Parker's pictures.
AR and VR systems are already being used quite extensively in design, as well as for mature games like Fallout 4, but here Seedling has managed to very neatly pair up a Victorian-era children's toy with one of the most recent technological innovations. The product is listed at $59.95 on the Apple Store; it will be interesting to see if Parker makes a significant impact on the age-old children's past time of playing doctor as well as on the life expectancy of teddy bears in general.
By Rich Woods
CES 2017: Need some smart sex toys to track your orgasms? OhMiBod has you covered
by Rich Woods
We've all had that moment. You're walking through your local sex toy shop and you see something that piques your interest, only to learn that it doesn't have any kind of CPU or Bluetooth radio inside of it, immediately moving it from the 'that looks fantastic' category to the 'only a savage would use that' category.
Ladies and gentlemen, introducing OhMiBod, which was showing off its line of smart sex toys and introducing a new SDK at CES 2017.
One of the items is the Lovelife Krush. Kegel exercises are something that women can do to work on their PC muscle, which can become stretched after giving birth. According to OhMiBod, many women do these exercises improperly, so there's clearly room for technology here.
Lovelife Krush The Lovelife Krush costs $149 and like all of the company's other products, you can purchase it from its website.
Another one that OhMiBod was showing off was the Lovelife Please. Basically, it's a wearable vibrator that can be controlled by your - or your partner's - smartphone. The app even includes a dashboard to track your orgasms. After all, it's so 2016 to use a power button on your vibrator, and besides, sex toys are pretty much useless if you don't have a historical record of your orgasms.
Lovelife Please But those are just two of a whole suite of sex toys that the company offers. Check out the gallery below for more of what OhMiBod had on display, or if you're interested, check out its website.
Neowin is at CES to bring you all the coverage from the show floor, click here for other articles.