CES Highlights – Sony Life, PlayStation Console Free & 3D Food Printers
Now into the third day of CES in Las Vegas, USA and we have had a wide range of different technologies showcased, from the well-known industry giants to smaller developers. So what highlights have the Tech Lounge team picked, which are their key ideas for the future?
Debuted on the first day, Sony showcased their “life logging” software which as you would guess logs and charts your activities in an interactive timeline. Creepy yes, helpful, yes. Their kit an app records when you speak to friends, receive emails, watch a movie and use other smartphone actions. You also wear some hardware (in wrist form) called the Core which is your activity tracer. With software determining if you are walking, resting or in a vehicle.
It might seem a bit 1984 for some especially those worried about current privacy issues with the internet and after technology companies had been forced by spy agencies into handing over users data and information. However according to Sony it isn’t as bad as dooms Sayers are making out.
Sony stated: “Sony treats the security and privacy of our users’ personal data with the utmost stringency and integrity, adhering to legalities and ensuring it remains protected under appropriate technological procedures. Upon first sign-in to Lifelog app, we make it clear absolutely clear what data users are submitting, how it is being used and provide them with option of opting in or out before proceeding.” Sony’s life logging is designed to help us understand and change behaviours by collecting the dater, which they termed, “the quantified self”. As humans we can sometimes over estimate or under estimate what we do from exercise to using social media. Jun Makino, a senior product manager at Sony said: “Today’s alternatives can log your sleep and steps. But there’s more to life. We want to help you rediscover the best memories from the past as well as make smarter decisions for the future.”
Only just recently releasing their latest games console the PlayStation 4, Sony we also debuting their Cloud Gaming Service, PlayStation Now allowing PlayStation subscribers so play some games without actually owning a console. Data for the games will be streamed from Sony PlayStation servers offering a rich back catalogue of games which the company have. Titles in the Cloud system will be the most up to date versions of titles, with the latest updates, so continuous bugs shouldn’t be a problem. Some of the titles on demo include: God of War: Ascension, Two Souls, and The Last of Us. PlayStation Now will of course suit some titles better than others, however it is a great technological step forwards and opens up gaming to those who cannot afford expensive consoles.
So far there are no details about which markets it will be open to, other than the US initially, however they said wider launches will happen in the summer. It is also unknown apps and facilities the service will be run on including smartphone and tablet platforms. However it does look like Sony are planning on dominating the game streaming service and taking on rivals. Also Sony stated that they would be allowing the new PlayStation 4 console to run titles from the PS3’s library. Currently due to the different processors in the consoles you are unable to run old titles on the new machine. Changes allowing this to happen will be welcome news for many PS4 owners.
3D Food Printers
3D printing has taken off in the last few years and advancements in the technology have seen the price of kit reduce and the ability to make different things increase (illegal stuff aside). We might still be years of creating food à la Star Trek, but 3D printing has now moved into food. Two food-creating 3D printers have been unveiled at CES and will be launched this year. The food created is made from chocolate and sugar-based confectionery, in intricate shapes which is hard to make via traditional methods. The versions; Chefjet and Chefjet Pro, will cost £3,000+ from basic to advance. The Chefjet can print monochrome foods and the Pro can create multi-coloured foods. These food-safe models can print items using chocolate, or sugar infused with vanilla, mint, sour apple, cherry and watermelon flavours. Larger machines also benefit from being able to create “photographic-quality” pictures by mixing together different ingredients that can then then be wrapped around cakes and other surfaces, which would revolutionise cake decorating. 3D food printing is an increasingly popular field to work in with a number of companies and designers, taking the challenge of recreating food with 3D printers. The Foodini by Spanish start-up Natural Machines has a prototype which can create chocolates and ravioli pasta among other choices. A Texas-headquartered engineering firm has been given funding by NASA to build a food printer that could be used by its astronauts. And Choc Edge a British start-up sells a printer that can create chocolate printed patterns.