Why Atari’s New Console Could Be Just What The Gaming Industry Needs

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Yesterday, I reported on the recent GamesBeat interview with Atari CEO Fred Chesnais, a chat that confirmed the existence of an upcoming Atari console. The news came as a bit of a surprise, and since that break, speculation has been running wild. Forbes’ own Paul Tassi posted an interesting take on the whole situation, and honestly, I think he makes a great point—the market is indeed full, and introducing a brand new platform, especially one potentially poised to take on those of industry giants like Sony and Microsoft, may be an exercise in overzealous futility. And yet I can’t sit still, so break out the one-button joysticks and dusty Combat cartridges—we’re going to play devil’s advocate.

Even with everything seemingly stacked against such a machine (and there’s a lot, believe me), I still can’t manage to shake my naive excitement. I’ve been gaming for a long time, since the late 80s if I’m counting right, so the prospect of a legitimate Atari revival has set my imagination on fire. I know they’re not even close to the same company that released the 2600 and the Jaguar (or the criminally underappreciated Lynx handheld), but I feel like the potential for something compelling lay not only within this recent hardware announcement, but also amongst the remnant echos of Atari’s yesteryear 8-bit greatness. Before the infamous video game market crash of 1983, they all but owned the digital entertainment market, so who’s to say that they can’t stage a screaming comeback?

The deck is, without a doubt, stacked against such an impromptu market breach. Why? Because as it stands, Sony and Microsoft are in a constant and incredibly expensive battle for console market dominance. And while Nintendo occupies some strange, PG-rated corner of said market, one filled with jovial plumbers, wacky hardware innovation and awful online implementation, they absolutely dominate that space with consistently good first-party titles and an insane degree of consumer loyalty. When paring out the market shares, precious space for an additional dedicated gaming hardware option shrinks to almost nothing. And for the most part, it’s been this way since Sega bowed out of the race back in 2001 with its legendary Dreamcast. So beyond mobile devices and PC, we have three major options for gaming platforms. But what if people want more? What if they’re eager to try something different but lack the opportunity to jump ship?

Believe it or not, there was a time in gaming history when we did have more options. Way more, in fact. Back in the 1990s, all over the span of roughly ten years, the gaming market saw the introduction of a crazy amount of original, completely unique home consoles. Some were weird. Others ludicrously bizarre. Many were quirky experiments that only lasted several months before disappearing forever. Huge mainstream successes like the SNES and N64 were simply the machines that bubbled to the top. For every PlayStation sold there was an Apple Pippin left to forlornly rot on a lonely Circuit City shelf, ignored and forgotten by the gaming masses.

There was Panasonic’s 3DO Interactive Multiplayer, which introduced Gex—and an insane MSRP—to the world. Sega released the Sega CD and 32X, the bulky combination of which made for quite the conversation piece (and a heavy means by which you could defend your house from lions and swooping pterodactyls). And oh God, the Virtual Boy, which didn’t even last a full year before Nintendo pulled the plug. Still, that’s just the tip of the hardware iceberg: CD-i, Amiga CD32, Saturn, and Neo Geo CD are all among the onslaught of consoles that ran the gamut from world-changing to painfully obscure. The failure rate was high, though through all the pricey risks, gamers had choices. Sure, many of them weren’t the best and absolutely didn’t pan out in the long-term, but we weren’t strictly relegated to two or three major sources for our gaming needs. There was a power in that pool of options, and if we wanted to game on a Pioneer LaserActive, we could (though we might cry about it during, after and later).

If Atari’s new product ends up being a proper console with properly powerful innards, it could bring back that sense of choice, something that’s sorely missing from today’s market. Just imagine if they were able to entice several AAA developers and secure a handful of compelling exclusives; Ataribox-only titles you couldn’t find on Xbox, PlayStation or Switch. At the very least, it would make for an interesting 2018 E3, or at least one more exciting than this year’s ho-hum showing.

Oftentimes I’m struck by how homogeneous the gaming industry has become, so I think a gutsy newcomer (in the form of a wise old-timer) would do well to stir up the pot. We need something less, shall we say, predictable. And if the product is solid enough, if it bucks enough trends and pushes the right boundaries, customers may shock analysts and wander outside the comfortable camps that Sony, Microsoft and Nintendo have set up.

It’s all just speculation at this stage, of course, but it’s fun to wonder. I just hope it’s nothing like the Ouya, bless its tiny Android heart.

[Source”GSmerena”]

Could this be the Surface Phone? Microsoft awarded patents for a range of foldable mobile devices

Microsoft has been awarded a patent for a foldable mobile devices and other components that could point to something beyond a mere prototype.

I should preface this by saying that patents don’t mean products. This could simply be Microsoft’s way of protecting future ideas or prototypes that are simply too costly or problematic to ever see production. Still, it offers a tantalizing glimpse of what could be on the horizon.

A new patent granted to Microsoft last week shows dual and triple-hinged devices that support multiple configurations. They can be folded into something small and phone-like, placed in a “tent” mode, and even folded out to create a larger tablet. If this is Microsoft’s vision for the Surface Phone, it will have very few comparable devices on the market, and certainly fits the Surface modus operandi of bringing something totally unique to existing form factors.

The patent’s various configurations reveal double, and even triple-screened phones, that the patent describes as both a mini-tablet and a phone. The devices, which also include slide-out models that appear to include different types of housings, are described as supporting several use cases given the varied configurations possible as a result of their hinges.

It’s particularly interesting, as Microsoft was also recently awarded a patent for an electrical hinge that would naturally be essential in any and, perhaps even all of these designs.

Patent filings don’t always translate into products for market, but these recent developments are especially intriguing. Microsoft has long been teasing spiritually Surface-like mobile devices, and those devices, hopefully, are just around the corner.

 

 

[Source:- Windowscentral]

 

This new Microsoft design patent is unlikely to be the Surface phone

Patently Apple goes a bit heavy with the speculation especially since their earlier find from February shared some resemblance of what was eventually Surface Studio. I call that luck as most patent filings rarely become actual products. Back to this patent, no information about the features, hardware, or materials used are mentioned making the filing pretty basic.

Oddly, the Patently Apple author goes on a tangent about pens, Apple, Samsung, and how Microsoft could be bringing inking to Mobile (a forgone conclusion already). They then cite FIG. 7 with the following conclusion labeled in their image:

However, what we can clearly see is that a Surface smartphone is likely to support their Surface Pen. Like the Samsung Note-styled embodiment, a slot has been designed into the body of the design at the top.

Of course, to our eyes, it only looks like a standard 3.5mm headphone jack like the kind you used to find on every smartphone in the world. I’m not sure when we started confusing headphone jacks with pen slots. 2016 is a weird year, and I suppose Apple fans have already moved on from ‘headphone-gate’ by forgetting it ever existed? I dunno.

The bottom of the phone has a single port, which again looks like an old micro USB slot and not quite the symmetrical USB Type C design we are accustomed too.

Frankly folks, I don’t see anything interesting here. This design patent is a generic filing on what could easily be the Lumia 640. In fact, the patent cites Micromax, Sony Xperia, LG Optimus, Lumia 830, and the Lumia 530 – all phones from 2012-2014 – under ‘other publications’ for the patent’s references.

Microsoft has some exciting stuff in the pipeline for sure, but please don’t go spreading this around as ‘proof’ of a ‘Surface Phone.’ Facts and data are still necessary, not a generic drawing based on yesteryear’s inspiration.

 

 

[Source:- windowscentral]

Good Plan for Windows phones will be going universal soon for Windows 10

Good Plan is an app for Windows phones that allows students to manage their educational timetable, save their grades and take control of the tasks they need to complete through a task manager. It is one of the top apps in the educational space on the Windows Store. According to the developer, it has over 1.4 million users.

The app, originally built for Windows Phone 8.1, is set to be upgraded to a Universal Windows App, being available across a range of Windows 10 devices including PC and mobile. The developer, Raximus, has also released a beta version of the app which can now be downloaded from the Windows Store. The beta is expected to be merged into the main app in around 10 days, with users receiving the upgrade without having to download another app.

Here is a look at the app:

Features that are new in the Universal version include:

  • Auto-sync
  • Grades
  • Notifications
  • Holidays
  • Support for more than 1 person

 

[Source: Winbeta]

Should you upgrade to Windows 10? How Microsoft’s OS could be good for you

Should you upgrade to Windows 10? How Microsoft's OS could be good for you

Is Windows 10 for you? Well, there’s a better chance that it brings something to your life than not, whether you use a computer for 10 hours or 10 minutes a day.

The thing is, time is running out to upgrade from Windows 7 or 8.1 to Windows 10 for free. Specifically, you have until the end of today. It’s not a decision that you should simply gloss over, as the current price is around $120 (£100 or AUS$160). That’s enough for 10,000 penny sweets, and we’re particularly fond of the chewy fried egg ones.

I don’t know about you, but when I think about the burning core of my being, it’s in terms of being a bunch of easily-categorisable stereotypes. Which is handy, as it means I can make a purchasing decision entirely on the basis of said arbitrary categorisation. Am I a frequent flier, a parent, a gamer, or a paranoid survivalist hermit living in wildest Orkney? There’s a reason to own Windows 10 for all of you.

(Well, apart from the hermit, but then I’m frankly amazed he’s reading TechRadar rather than a 19th century almanac, or scrawling on his bathroom wall with turnip juice.) To see how Windows 10 will probably fit into your life, click (or tap) on ahead.

This article is part of TechRadar’s Windows 10 week. Microsoft’s latest operating system turns from a free to a paid upgrade on July 29, and we’re looking to answer the question of whether it’s good for you.

 

[Source: Techrader]

Overwatch Free Trial Could Be Introduced

Overwatch Free Trial Could Be Introduced

Game developer Blizzard could potentially be considering the introduction of a free trial for its successful team-based first-person shooter Overwatch.

During ChinaJoy 2016, which is arguably the country’s largest gaming and digital entertainment exhibition, NetEase president Li Riqiang talked about Overwatch, and discussed his company’s partnership with the game’s developer Blizzard. Over the course of the conference, Li eventually brought up the studio’s plans to possibly introduce a trial for Overwatch sometime in the near future.

According to Li, the plans for a free Overwatch trial haven’t been completely solidified as of yet, but it is an option Blizzard is considering in order to expand the first-person shooter’s fan base. With the game already being extremely popular, as it garnered more than 7 million players in its first weekalone, should the developer decide to implement a demo, Overwatch could see its community grow exponentially.

For those unaware, NetEase is Blizzard’s Chinese partner and was the publisher of Overwatch in the country, so for Li to mention a free trial as being a potentiality, it’s foreseeable as coming to fruition soon, especially with the companies currently dedicating time to figure out how it could work. Unfortunately, though, no exact window was given as to when fans should expect a demo to make its way into the market.

Although Overwatch is a fan favorite and received plenty ofpositive reviews upon its release, one point of contention held among critics and regular players alike is that Blizzard set the game’s price upon launch far too high, as many considered its day one content to be too meager for an initial $60 purchase. However, the development team has managed to stay on top of a lot of the title’s persistent bugs by quickly releasing repair patches and improving ranked play, which would hopefully be reflected in the trial should it be released.

Not to mention, with Blizzard expanding Overwatch‘s roster by incorporating heroes like the support sniper Ana and pledging to add even more, now would be a great time for the studio to release a trial so as to let gamers see how far the release has come. Since the title is being updated on an almost constant basis, allowing fans who are unfamiliar with Overwatch‘s gameplay to take part in the action and get their bearings with a free demo would more than likely result in a sales spike for the game.

Even though it should speak for itself that Overwatch is considered by a lot of fans to be one of the top games of 2016 so far, giving gamers who haven’t experienced it the chance to play it for free is definitely a winning formula that will translate into sales. With that being the case, a lot of other companies would do well to at least implement demos for games at some point in their life cycle, especially since it was once considered to be standard practice for studios to put out free trials prior to release.

 
[Source: Gamerant]

 

Skyrim Remaster Aiming to Be ‘next-Gen’ experience

Skyrim Remaster Aiming to Be ‘Next-Gen’ Experience

Bethesda’s vp of advertising says the developer needs Skyrim: special edition to feel like an upgrade for PS4 and XBO in “all the approaches possible.”

Bethesda’s The Elder Scrolls: Skryim is one of the qualityselling RPGS of all-time and still has an lively userbase five years after release. So it’s no wonder that Bethesda saw healthy to announce a special edition model of the game at this yr’s E3 for ps 4 and Xbox One.

the game, out this October, will feature some of graphical upgrades and introduce support for Skyrim mods on consoles for the first time. however other than that, Bethesda hasn’t found out an excessive amount of additional data approximately the imminent remaster.

IGN attempted to get Pete Hines, Bethesda’s vp of PR and marketing, to spill the beans in an interview at E3 that changed into posted today. Hines didn’t cross into an excessive amount of element however he did say that the group is aiming to create a realnext-gen” revel in with Skyrim: special version.

“In all of the ways feasible, we’re trying to improve it and make it as subsequent gen and appropriate for those consoles,” Hines stated. “So performance or consequences or anything we can do to make the game appearance and experience higher, we’re gonna deliver it a move.”
The truth that Hines statedoverall performancemight also suggest that Skyrim should see better animations or a better framerate on ps four and Xbox One than on their predecessors. That’s now not extraordinarily sudden however given all of the graphical advancements which might be coming, it’s satisfactory to listen that the general overall performance and playability of the sport is still a concern.

it’ll be interesting to see wherein the very last Bethesda visuals on consoles emerge as when in comparison to some of the mods to be had on laptop. initiatives like beyond Skyrim furnished computer game enthusiasts with better pix than Bethesda’s a long time in the past and extra improvements are on the way. It’s additionally now not clean but what the choice of mods available for the sport on ps four and Xbox One may be, but it’s possibly there might be additional limitations while in comparison to computer.

even as the PS4 and XBO releases appear to be getting maximum of the eye, Bethesda is likewise throwing more than one bones to computer game enthusiasts to get them on board with the new identify. The publisher has showed that Skyrim: special edition will paintings with all present computer mods and delivered that old pc saves must be transferable. computer gamers who already very own Skyrim: legendary version or the main recreation and all of its DLC will get Skyrim special edition totally free.

iPad Pro 9.7in review: Apple’s slick, superfast tablet could be another nail in the coffin of laptop culture… but it’s not perfect

iPad Pro 9.7in review

Welcome to Macworld’s iPad Pro 9.7in review for the UK. If you’d prefer a larger screen, read our iPad Pro 12.9in review.

Apple unveiled a new mid-size iPad at its ‘Let us loop you in’ March press event, as was widely expected, but what we didn’t expect was for this to be an iPad Pro. Rather than calling this the iPad Air 3, which it logically and visually appears to be, Apple is presenting it as a shrunk-down version of the 12.9in iPad Pro – and thereby attempting to position the new 9.7-inch iPad Pro as a work device suitable for replacing a laptop, and targeted particularly at designers and illustrators on the go.

But does it succeed? In our iPad Pro 9.7in review, we evaluate the latest iPad’s design and build quality, weigh up the pros and cons of its new features, put the device through the Macworld labs’ most rigorous speed benchmark and battery tests, and compare the value for money that the iPad Pro 9.7in offers compared to the other tablets on the market.

iPad Pro 9.7in review

iPad Pro 9.7in review: Summary of review

Design: Physically the iPad Pro 9.7 is a close match to the iPad Air 2: weight and dimensions are identical, as is the general design (which remains sumptuous, of course). You now get four speakers – two at the top, two at the bottom – and the bottom speakers are spaced slightly further apart. This results in a much fuller, richer sound – not exactly surround sound, but a far more immersive audio experience than we’ve come to expect from a tablet.

Cameras: One other noticeable physical change is the rear-facing camera, which now sticks out and will scratch on the desk if you lay the iPad flat on its back. Slightly annoying, that, although any sort of case will remove this issue, and you do get the payoff of a heavily enhanced camera setup. The rear-facing camera now has a flash, and has been pushed from 8 megapixels (on the Air 2 and the Pro 12.9in) to 12Mp; there are also numerous smaller improvements to this component.

The front-facing camera is even more dramatically boosted, going from 1.2Mp to 5Mp and gaining the Retina flash feature. We look at all this in more detail, and present a selection of test shots and comparisons, in the camera testing section, but suffice it to say that in some conditions you won’t notice the difference from the Air 2’s cameras, in others you’ll notice small improvements, and in others it’s in a whole different class.

Screen: The 9.7-inch touchscreen Retina-class display is in most respects the same as that on the Air 2: same size, same resolution and pixel density, same sharply responsive multitouch functionality. But it adds a new (and optional) feature called True Tone, designed to subtly adjust the screen’s colour output to account for environmental light conditions. And we do mean subtly – it’s a similar kind of idea to Night Shift, producing a warmer, yellower colour palette under electric lighting, but to a much less noticeable degree. We imagine most users will only be dimly aware that the screen seems to have good colour output without being sure why; we saw a clear difference only by sitting it next to the (non-True Tone) iPad Air 2 in various conditions.

Speed: Thanks to its A9X processor chip, the Pro 9.7 is significantly faster – at least on paper – than the Air 2, and in most tests very nearly as quick as the iPad Pro 12.9 despite having half as much RAM. For the time being you won’t notice much difference between the Pros and Air 2, but the older device is sure to get left behind as more and more processor-intensive apps and games are released with the newest generation of hardware in mind. s

Battery: Early battery testing was also impressive, with the Pro 9.7 lasting, surprisingly, 11hrs 11m in GeekBench 3’s highly demanding benchmark despite having slightly lower battery capacity than the Air 2 (which managed just 7hrs 40m) – although stay tuned for repeat tests. Both devices should last longer than that in general use.

iPad Pro 9.7in review

Accessories: Crucially for its credibility as a laptop replacement, the Pro 9.7 has launched alongside a new keyboard case, a 9.7in version of the Smart Keyboard, and like the Pro 12.9 it features a port on its lefthand edge for connecting to and powering this accessory. It’s about as good as an ultraportable keyboard of its size could be, but nowhere near as accurate to type on as a conventional keyboard (and some way behind the larger 12.9 version of the Smart Keyboard, too). It does a job, but you’ll need to rely on either a solid autocorrect (like the one in Pages), frequent manual corrections, or just lots of practice.

You can also now use the Apple Pencil stylus, which is pretty wonderful, but expensive.

UK pricing: The Pro 9.7in starts at £499 in the UK, with prices rising to £839 for the 256GB cellular model. You’re paying a premium, then, and many Apple fans will baulk at the asking price. But we think there are enough enhancements here to justify it, and business users – if they can live with the smaller and harder-to-use keyboard attachment – will get a lot out of this device. It’s still a cool £180 cheaper than the Pro 12.9, remember, and that device doesn’t get the True Tone display or most of the camera upgrades.

That’s the summary of our iPad Pro 9.7 review, but let’s look again at each of those areas in more detail – before finally giving our definitive verdict.

iPad Pro 9.7in review
[Source:- Macworld]

In corporate design, humor can be your most powerful tool—or a total disaster

The first of April is a day for jokes.

Yesterday, brands including Google, Lexus, Adobe and Virgin America deployed their obligatory April Fools gags, to varying results. As the newly updated design classic, A Smile in the Mind: Witty Thinking in Graphic Design (released on Feb. 15 by Phaidon Press) argues, humor is big business and, when done right, it can help companies win favor and even forge an emotional bond with customers more effectively than hard sell tactics.

A compendium of design jokes, visual puzzles and optical gags first published in 1996, A Smile in the Mind offers hundreds of examples of graphic wit from the world of branding, packaging, publications, and advertising. Even for those who roll their eyes at such witticisms, there is still plenty of serious, practical wisdom packed in this excellent compendium, written by design and branding experts.

“Wit,” as authors Beryl McAlhone and David Stuart explained, is “of the frisky tendency in that it makes its impact through sudden jumps, skips and somersaults and reversals in the mind.” The book’s first edition featured that secret arrow cleverly embedded in the FedEx logo, irresistibly clever Japanese food packaging, and a black umbrella concealing a joyful patch of blue sky conjured by graphic design wit master Tibor Kalman. Page after page, its authors make a compelling case that humor is the “shortest distance between two people,” to paraphrase a famous quip by the piano-playing comedian Victor Borge. The book’s simple cover with the tipped red letter “D” fittingly demonstrates this approach.

(Phaidon)

A decade later, the 2016 edition teems with contemporary examples of graphic cleverness and outlines humor’s utility in the era of shorter attention spans and social media. “Wit makes memes, the currency of the sharing age,” write authors Nick Quinton and Greg Ashbury, who took on the challenge of updating the design classic.

With the daily cascade of images on Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, and myriad blogs, Quinton and Ashbury had a lot to choose from. “It was a joy to sift through so much wonderful work from around the world—we could easily have filled the book ten times over,” says Ashbury.

Ballet classes: tear off for details. Grupo Gallegos, USA, 2006. Creative directors Favio Ucedo/Juan Oubiña; art directors Curro Chozas/Paula Olios(Phaidon)

To whittle their selection to around 500 examples for the 270-page volume, the authors held two guiding principles: intention and variety. “We had in mind a definition of wit that is about generosity and openness—big ideas that create a smile in as many minds as possible,” explains Quinton to Quartz. “We also wanted to reflect the sheer variety of wit at work today, not only in the sense of laugh-out-loud humor, but also lateral thinking and playful interventions in everyday life.”

NYC Spaghetti: a mould at the base of the pack creates the spaghetti formation at the top. Alex Creamer, UK, 2000. Designer Alex Creamer; 3D modeller Ben Thorpe; tutors Billy Harkcom, Andrew Bainbridge, Jon Harker(Phaidon)

Humor as a business strategy

But wit can deliver more than personal amusement. Citing the management expert Jean-Louis Barsoux’s 1993 book, Funny Business: Humour Management and Business Culture, they explain that a well-executed visual joke can induce a relaxed and receptive frame of mind. For new or skeptical customers, “getting the joke,” incites a shared flash of insight that somehow forms a complicit bond. “This is like persuading the goalkeeper to stand aside before you shoot at the goal,” they wrote.

Polar ice: ice cubes with a message. Atsuhiro Hayashi, Japan, 2011(Phaidon)

Quinton, who also serves as executive creative director of the branding firm The Partners, suggests that wit can go beyond one-off product advertising campaigns. “Wit can be a structural idea that underpins a whole brand,” he says. “It works for global giants like Google, Amazon and Coca-Cola. And it works for grassroots ideas, as a tool of political protest or spreading environmental and health messages.

Humor can be also be an effective way to stand out in today’s “attention economy.” Because wit sparks curiosity, well-conceived concepts and mental puzzles can help brands “win time” with distracted consumers. “Why is witty work more memorable?” the authors ask. “We would argue that an idea that happens in the mind, stays in the mind.”

 The trick of the joke

As comedians know, many jokes fall flat. For companies, a misconceived joke can have more dire consequences.

Google learned this first-hand today when, within an hour of its launch, the company was forced to abort its cheeky “Gmail Drop Mic” gag after causing confusion and distress, and even allegedly costing one user a job. Virgin America, which unveiled a new fake logo—a pair ofpendulous boobs, referencing Airbnb’s accidental (and real) vagina-shaped brand mark—has also managed to offend many.

Sometimes creative teams can have too much fun coming up with these “intellect-flaunting” ideas. “A witty idea that baffles people is always worse than no idea at all,” Quinton and Ashbury explain. “The first danger for a designer is self-indulgence.”

As a guideline, they offer some no-nonsense advice from the poet Ogden Nash: “Here’s a rule of thumb. Too clever is dumb.”

[Source:- Webdesignernews]

Microsoft’s Bots could be its biggest contribution to computing since Windows

Microsoft's Bots could be its biggest contribution to computing since Windows

On stage at its annual Build conference keynote, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella painted a picture of our lives being made easier with bots, intelligent agents that live within apps and services. But, would that life be much better, or less connected than it already is – or both?

Nadella and team’s vision for conversational computing comes just a week after their first public experiment in the field, Tay, came crashing down in a spectacular display of human depravity. Not exactly the best argument for a world run by bots.

The newly-appointed executive addressed the Twitter chat bot experiment head on during the March 30 Build 2016 keynote with a three-fold plan for bots that he believes are the new apps.

bots

To Nadella, so long as bots and the digital assistants that use them are built with the intention to augment human ability and experience, with trustworthiness (privacy, transparency, security) and with inclusion and respectfulness in mind, we’ll be OK.

Or, at the very least, we’ll avoid another Tay scenario.

And, on paper, that generally checks out. Of course, the bots that Microsoft envisions aren’t necessarily accessible by the masses all at once, but individuals through specific communication programs or through assistants, like Cortana.

Still, Tay was demonstrative of the sheer power that such intelligent, semi-autonomous software can possess. But I’m worried about another facet of these bots’ power.

bots

Do we need another crutch to connect?

That’s my simple question to everyone: are the lay people of the world ready for such power, just as we’re learning empathy on the internet? But, I’ll follow that up with another one.

What will that power do to a society that’s more connected than ever yet whose people struggle to meaningfully connect with one another more than ever?

Take Microsoft’s demonstration of Cortana using bots to facilitate uniting with an old friend in Dublin, Ireland on an upcoming trip. Looking at it one way: Cortana and its squad of bots just helped someone connect with her old friend.

But, try and look at it this way: wouldn’t that person have remembered that old friend without Cortana’s help? Americans don’t visit Ireland every day, after all. Or, would she not have, for the effects of “connected” tech have already created a crutch for her to lean on to facilitate human interaction?

I like to call this “The Facebook Effect.” How many of your friends and family members’ birthdays do you actually remember now that Facebook reminds you? (I won’t even bother counting myself.)

What happens when we apply similar use cases to far more powerful pieces of technology? My guess is that it won’t be long before we rely on bots to remind us to connect with one another much less order a pizza.

At that point, I don’t know how much bots are helping so much as hindering our ability to meaningfully or earnestly connect with one another. In the above Dublin scenario, the woman didn’t even reach out to her friend on her own – Cortana did it for her.

bots

Bots for tedium, brains for relationships

Now, don’t mistake: I couldn’t be more excited for for bots to intelligently update my calendar and remind me that I’m on deadline for that laptop review. But, I’d rather handle communicating with other humans on my own, thanks.

Technology by its very definition makes life easier, we’d be nothing without it, but just how much do we want to lean on technology to foster human relationships?

As we enter this new phase of automation, we could do with asking ourselves that question more often.

 

[Source:- Techrader]