To kick off this term’s weekly news round up, Alex Roberts gives us the top 5 stories from this week, including Google dumping Google Glass and shoes getting smarter.
1. Google stops selling google glasses
Google has officially stopped selling Google Glasses to the general public, despite the tech giant insisting they will make a comeback in the near future. Officially Google have pulled the product, along with its “explorer” software development program, in order to spend more time developing future versions of the product. However, many pundits have taken this as a sign that the ‘smart glass’ is essentially dead in its current form. The news has angered many investors who sank large sums into the current Google Glasses’ development, and now feel that they will not see a return on their investment.
2. Beagle Rover rediscovered on Mars
The ESA’s Beagle 2 Mars Rover, which was assumed lost after touching down on Mars in 2003, has been found eleven years later. Images taken by NASA’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter have shown the abandoned rover still intact on the planet’s surface. It was previously believed that the Beagle would be near impossible to find, given that it was only two metres across and its location was unknown, but its discovery has given another boost to the Mars exploration missions. Beagle was last heard from shortly after it reached the planet’s surface on Christmas 2003 and its ultimate fate was a matter of speculation until now.
3. Smart shoe power generator device developed
Developers in Germany have developed a device that can generate power through your shoe. The device uses electromagnetic coils to transform energy from the swing of the foot and the impact of the heel striking the ground to generate power. The developers say it can be used to power mobile devices, but there are also plans to use the energy to power various sensors to track motion and how far you have travelled, as well as potentially creating a self-tying shoe for the elderly.
4. Hotline Miami 2 banned in Australia over controversial simulated rape scene
*Warning – this trailer contains extreme violence*
The sequel to the ultra-violent Hotline Miami has been officially banned from sale in Australia, due to a particular scene that appears to depict a female character being assaulted and then raped by the protagonist. The developers of Hotline Miami, Dennaton Games, responded to the ban by pointing out that the scene was wholly optional and did not depict assault as it was meant to be a film scene. However, while they also pointed out discrepancies between what the board described and what takes place in the scene, they stated they would not challenge the decision. This is not the first time Australia has taken issue with instances of game violence; late last year GTA V was banned from numerous stores for its depiction of violence against sex workers and, until recently, many games rated 18 in other countries were banned outright.
5. Creative Assembly hints at a possible Total War: Warhammer release
Fans of Warhammer and Creative Assembly’s Total War series may be getting a very, very early Christmas present, after a leading developer hinted that a Total War: Warhammer game may be in development. The news first sprang up on a message board where a fan of the series posted screenshots from an unreleased “art of total war” book, in which CA’s creative Director Mike Simpson discussed how the previously PC and historic based franchise was moving into the mobile setting through Total War: Arena, and the fantasy setting through Total War: Warhammer. The news has been a long time coming, as Creative Assembly purchased the rights to make a Warhammer game back in 2012; while fans may be hopeful, CA has yet to make any official announcement on the matter. It is unlikely the game will be officially released for some time.
Games and Tech Columnist
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