Subscribe free to our newsletters via your
. 24/7 Space News .

Subscribe free to our newsletters via your

Consumer Electronics Show awash with altered realities
Las Vegas (AFP) Jan 8, 2016

Tech tethers dog lovers remotely to their pets
Las Vegas (AFP) Jan 8, 2016 - Gadgets galore are letting dog lovers stay connected to their pets even when they can't take canine companions with them on the go.

A sea of innovations on display at the famously people-centric Consumer Electronics Show on Friday included a wave of technology aimed at those who consider pets cherished family members.

"Everybody loves their pets," said Mike Jander of Trackimo, one of several companies showing off tracking devices that can be affixed to collars and reveal where animals run off to.

A Trackimo clip-on device, which was on display at CES, can send an alert to an owner's smartphone if a dog ventures past a geo-fence -- a designated virtual barrier -- and then track the pet's whereabouts by satellite, according to Jander.

- 'Fitbit for dogs' -

Wondermento, which has offices in the US and Britain, showed off a bow-tie-shaped plastic activity tracker -- the Wonderwoof -- that chief technology officer Joe Morsman described as "a Fitbit for dogs."

"There are other pet trackers out there, but this is purely about the health," Morsman said of Wonderwoof.

"This is a fun, social way to exercise your dog."

He recounted leaving his dog at a kennel that promised four long walks daily, only to be shown by the device that the pet got only two brief outings a day.

"We now do home stays with other dog owners," Morsman said.

Applications tailored for mobile devices powered by Apple or Android software come free with the $95 Wonderwoof bow tie.

The apps let users see if other Wonderwoof-wearing dogs are out and about. Wondermento plans to add features allowing those owners to connect with each other while out.

"We are trying to accentuate the social element of walking your dog," Morsman told AFP.

"Wonderwoof is also very much a talking point; people stop you to ask what it is."

Wondermento describes the doggy device as a "fashion-forward brand with a fun social element."

The company is working on an enhanced indoor version that will use location sensing to let people know if pets are pining at a door or making unusually frequent trips to water bowls.

The company is also developing an activity tracker for cats.

- 'Massive market' -

"There is a huge interest in pet wearables," Morsman told AFP.

"It is a massive market."

People don't want to feel they are abandoning their dogs while off at work, he said, and technology is letting them stay virtually tethered.

A Petcube camera that links to wireless internet in homes lets people not only look in on pets but play with them remotely. Owners can use a smartphone app to make a point of laser light appear and flit about in the house while a cat or dog pursues it.

Petcube also has a speaker and microphone so people can talk to pets, whether to comfort them or to stop them from nosing into trash or hopping onto counters.

Petnet was at CES with a SmartBowl that incorporates scales and nutritional information to make sure dogs get just the right amount of food.

"Most people just guess at how much to feed their dogs," said Petnet founder Carlos Herrera. "This lets them know."

The California company also has a SmartFeeder that lets people remotely monitor eating habits and dispense meals.

Altered realities abounded at the Consumer Electronics Show gadget-fest on Thursday, touching everything from sex and sports to sales and space exploration.

Virtual reality (VR) headsets immersed people in fictional worlds, while augmented reality (AR) eyewear overlaid digital data on the scenes around them.

"Virtual reality takes you to another place, while augmented reality brings another place to you," said Ari Grobman of Lumus, an Israeli company that specializes in optics technology for augmented reality.

"I don't see them as competing forces at all; they are very complementary."

Facebook-owned Oculus began taking pre-orders for its eagerly-anticipated Rift VR headsets at a price of $599 when the CES show floor opened on Wednesday. Rift was slated to begin shipping in March.

The Oculus booth at the CES trade-only event had a seemingly endless queue of people waiting to dive into Rift.

HTC used CES to announce enhancements to a Vive VR headset it is bringing to market.

"For too long, the promise of virtual reality has been little more than a promise," HTC chief executive Cher Wang said in a release.

"Today we stand on the precipice of a new era."

While video game players have been natural early targets for virtual reality, the technology is being put to use for education, medicine, sports, porn and more.

"Virtual reality is a big deal here," Gartner analyst Brian Blau said at CES.

"I was trying to count the number of booths that at least had a VR headset, and there were too many."

- VR for QBs -

Young startup STRIVR Labs mentally trains US pro football quarterbacks by virtually putting them into plays using Rift headsets.

"It takes you as close to the real life experience of a player that you can get," former quarterback Trent Dilfer said while taking part in a virtual reality panel at CES.

"I think coaches that don't implement this are really missing the boat."

Virtual reality is also being used for fan experiences, such as providing the illusion of being at a stadium or trying to block hocky pucks fired at a net by pro players.

California-based porn company Naughty America is using virtual reality to put viewers in the heart of the action in sex scenes, a demonstration showed.

"I think everyone has been looking for that in adult entertainment and it is here," Naughty America vice president Lauren S told AFP.

"Seeing is believing."

Naughty America has added VR videos to the online porn catalog that can be accessed by people with monthly subscriptions to the service.

US space agency NASA used Rift at CES to let people virtually fly around a towering rocket that it plans to launch in 2018.

The International Space Station is equipped with Microsoft's HoloLens augmented-reality headgear.

"I think it is going to increase the speed at which we can do our science," said Hugh "Trey" Cate of NASA.

- Information in the air -

San Francisco-firm Skully was at CES with its first augmented reality motorcycle helmet.

A tiny projector displayed driving directions, or showed what was going on behind a rider by tapping into a camera built into the rear of the $1,499 helmet.

"Motorcycle riders are fanatics, and they are really excited about this," Skully manager of special projects Clint Masterson told AFP.

Lumus AR technology has been used by US military jet pilots.

"It is battle-proven," Grobman told AFP. "It has been in combat almost daily in Iraq."

Silicon Valley-based Atheer Labs uses Lumus optics engines in a "smart glasses platform" aimed at businesses.

People wearing the glasses see information float in front of them, and can interact with it using gestures, head motion or voice commands, according to Ketan Joshi of Atheer.

"This is the evolution of computing," Joshi said.

"Information surrounds you and you can interact with it by literally reaching out and touching it or talking to it."

Industries in which AR is being put to work include manufacturing, health care, insurance, and oil-and-gas, according to Joshi.

Workers in the field are able to remotely tap into computer or brain power in the office for help with unfamiliar or puzzling scenarios.

Grobman envisioned a day when a car driver could slip on AR glasses to get help with a roadside repair or someone could use them to have a spouse guide them through cooking dinner.

Travelers might one day slip on AR glasses to get translations displayed as they explore places where they don't speak the language.

"We don't believe, in the end, people will be wearing these glasses day in and day out," Joshi said.

"It is more the genie who comes to my aid and we solve a problem together."


Related Links
Space Technology News - Applications and Research

Comment on this article via your Facebook, Yahoo, AOL, Hotmail login.

Share this article via these popular social media networks DiggDigg RedditReddit GoogleGoogle

Previous Report
Oculus to start taking virtual reality headset orders
Las Vegas (AFP) Jan 4, 2016
Facebook-owned Oculus VR will begin taking orders for its Rift virtual reality headsets on Wednesday, as the doors of Consumer Electronics Show gadget extravaganza officially open in Las Vegas. Oculus on Monday did not disclose pricing or when headsets would ship, but promised to share "everything you need to know to order your Rift" when pre-orders go live at 8:00 am (1600 GMT) in Californi ... read more

South Korea to launch lunar exploration in 2016, land by 2020

Death rumors of Russian lunar program 'greatly exaggerated' - Deputy PM

Russia Postpones Plans on Extensive Moon Exploration Until 2025

Rare full moon on Christmas Day

Boulders on a Martian Landslide

NASA suspends March launch of InSight mission to Mars

University researchers test prototype spacesuits at Kennedy

Marshall: Advancing the technology for NASA's Journey to Mars

Gadgets get smarter, friendlier at CES show

Congress to NASA: Hurry up on that 'habitation augmentation module'

NASA Reaches New Heights

Astronauts Tour Future White Room, Crew Access Tower

China launches HD earth observation satellite

Chinese rover analyzes moon rocks: First new 'ground truth' in 40 years

Agreement with Chinese Space Tech Lab Will Advance Exploration Goals

China launches new communication satellite

British astronaut's first spacewalk set for Jan 15

NASA Delivers New Video Experience On ISS

British astronaut dials wrong number on Xmas call from space

Space Station Receives New Space Tool to Help Locate Ammonia Leaks

Arianespace starts year with record order backlog

Russian Space Forces launched 21 spacecraft in 2015

Russian Proton-M Carrier Rocket With Express-AMU1 Satellite Launched

45th Space Wing launches ORBCOMM; historically lands first stage booster

Nearby star hosts closest alien planet in the 'habitable zone'

ALMA reveals planetary construction sites

Monster planet is 'dancing with the stars'

Exoplanets Water Mystery Solved

Thor's hammer to crush materials at 1 million atmospheres

Sugar-based carbon hollow spheres that mimic moth eyes

Chameleons deliver powerful tongue-lashing

Coulomb blockade in organic conductors found, a world first

Memory Foam Mattress Review
Newsletters :: SpaceDaily :: SpaceWar :: TerraDaily :: Energy Daily
XML Feeds :: Space News :: Earth News :: War News :: Solar Energy News

The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2016 - Space Media Network. All websites are published in Australia and are solely subject to Australian law and governed by Fair Use principals for news reporting and research purposes. AFP, UPI and IANS news wire stories are copyright Agence France-Presse, United Press International and Indo-Asia News Service. ESA news reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. Advertising does not imply endorsement, agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by Space Media Network on any Web page published or hosted by Space Media Network. Privacy Statement All images and articles appearing on Space Media Network have been edited or digitally altered in some way. Any requests to remove copyright material will be acted upon in a timely and appropriate manner. Any attempt to extort money from Space Media Network will be ignored and reported to Australian Law Enforcement Agencies as a potential case of financial fraud involving the use of a telephonic carriage device or postal service.