The Unspoken VR Tournament is coming soon to select Microsoft Stores in the U.S. and Canada.* Oculus Rift works natively with Windows 10, which makes it easy to set up, jump in and have an incredible VR gaming experience.
On May 13, you can slip into a hidden world of bare-handed spellcasting and magicians’ duels at your local Microsoft Store. Local winners will then return to the store to battle it out in a series of regional competitions on May 20. Finalists will be flown out to New York City for the national finals at the flagship Microsoft Store in New York on June 3 to compete for the grand prize: Rift and Touch, plus an Oculus Ready PC and $1,250 in cash!
Follow Microsoft Store on Facebook for more updates.
Today we are excited to be releasing Windows 10 Mobile Insider Preview Build 15207 to Insiders in the Fast ring. This build is exactly the same as Build 15205 released last week but with one additional fix we would like extra coverage on from Insiders:
We have added a privacy page to the Windows 10 Mobile OOBE and upgrade experiences that allows you to quickly and effectively make common privacy changes while setting up the device. However, Insiders have reported that their device would crash or reboot shortly after unlocking their device for the first time after the upgrade if their device did not have a password configured to unlock the device. After updating to Build 15207, you will see this privacy page one more time – but should no longer experience a crash or reboot.
Thanks to the Insiders who reported this issue and helping us fix issues quickly like this one!
The Google Play Awards are back! Today we’re announcing the 2017 nominees for outstanding app or game across 12 categories, including Best VR and AR Experiences, Best TV Experience, Best App for Kids, and Best Game. The winners of each category will be announced at Google I/O in May.
Nominees were selected by a set of specific criteria, including high star rating, technical performance, requiring a launch or major update since April 2016. Take a look at the full list of categories and nominees below or visit g.co/play/gpa2017 to see if any of your favorite apps or games made the cut.
Games from indie developers that focus on artistic design, gameplay mechanics and overall polish. And the nominees are…
Apps from new developers that offer a unique experience while achieving strong organic install growth. And the nominees are…
Best Android Wear Experience
New wear 2.0 apps offering great design, user delight and functionality. And the nominees are…
Best TV Experience
Apps or games using innovative features for the large-screen format to provide an immersive and intuitive experience. And the nominees are…
Best VR Experience
Highly engaging and immersive experience with optimal use of Daydream UI. And the nominees are…
Best AR Experience
Apps or games harnessing the creative and imaginative technology of AR. And the nominees are…
Best App for Kids
Apps or games with family friendly design that encourage creativity, exploration and education. And the nominees are…
Best Multiplayer Game
Games built to connect gamers in competitive and engaging multiplayer experiences. And the nominees are…
A true representation of beautiful design, intuitive UX and high user appeal. And the nominees are…
Games with strong mechanics, stellar graphics and strong engagement and retention tactics. And the nominees are…
Best Accessibility Experience
Apps or games enabling device interaction in an innovative way that serves people with disabilities or special needs. And the nominees are…
Best Social Impact
Apps that creates meaningful social impact for a broad spectrum of people around the world. And the nominees are…
Graduation is a milestone in one’s life. It signals the end of an era – and the beginning of something new. Starting April 24 through June 18, Microsoft Store is offering great savings on Surface devices, select Windows 10 PCs, VR headset, headphones and more to help the grad in your life celebrate with a gift that can help them tackle everything that lies ahead.
We’ve rounded up some of the top deals available today to prepare your graduate for next stage in life:
Save up to $150 on Surface Pro 4*: These well-crafted, beautiful devices empower the creator in all of us. Surface Pro 4 , a device that offers the balance of portability and performance of a laptop when you’re on the go, perfect for anyone taking a device to class.
Save up to $200 on the Dell Inspiron 13: Boasting an innovative 360-degree hinge, Dell Inspiron 13 comes with a 13.3-inch Full HD wide-angle display featuring more screen and less bezel, so you have plenty of room to spread out—be it work or entertainment or both.
Save up to $170 on theDell Inspiron 15: Be inspired with Dell Inspiron 15 with the power and speed to get the job done. With 12GB of memory, and huge 1TB hard drive, these are great for heavy-duty multitasking.
Save $200 on HTC Vivewith purchase of select VR-Ready PCs: The HTC Vive allows true-to-life immersion in the virtual world thanks to a high-resolution headset display, stunning graphics, two wireless controllers with haptic feedback and room-scale motion tracking. Want to test it before you buy? You can try HTC Vive for yourself at select Microsoft Store locations.
Don’t know what to gift? No problem, Microsoft Store’s knowledgeable and friendly associates are on hand to help, support, and make recommendations so your loved one can make the most of their technology. Happy shopping!
Deals begin from April 24 through June 18, and are available at local Microsoft Store and microsoftstore.com, while supplies last. Unit limit per customer will also vary.
*Surface Pro 4 offer runs April 23 through May 13.
**Discount for Hyper X Headphones with purchase of Xbox One console or PC purchase is currently running until September 3.
Virtual reality video lets you experience the world in amazing ways—it can put you in the front row for your favorite band, take you on the field during the championship game, or bring you under the sea to explore coral reefs. However, VR filmmakers still face challenges bringing their stories to the world—cameras are bulky, post-production is time-intensive, and each step can be difficult and expensive.
To enable more great VR films, today we’re introducing the next generation Jump camera— the YI HALO—and Jump Start, a program to get Jump cameras into the hands of more filmmakers than ever before.
We launched Jump in 2015 to simplify VR video production at every step from capture to playback. The Jump team partners with top camera manufacturers to build professional, high-quality VR cameras. Footage from those cameras runs through the Jump Assembler, which uses sophisticated computer vision algorithms and the computing power of Google’s data centers to create 3D 360 video. Amazing VR videos have been made with Jump, such as The New York Times’ Great Performers collection, Within’s “The Possible” series, the NFL Immersed series, and Wevr’s “Internet Surfer” video.
Introducing YI HALO – the next generation Jump camera
Built in partnership with YI Technology, the YI HALO is simple to use, gives creators the control and flexibility to explore, and works seamlessly with the Jump Assembler.
YI HALO makes production easier than ever for VR filmmakers. It has 17 4K unit cameras, including an optimally-placed Up camera, to capture immersive scenes that transport viewers. Derin Turner, Production Director at VR Playhouse, noted “This camera and Jump ranks as one of the best and easiest pieces of equipment and platform to use on the market.”
Creators also get more control and flexibility with the YI HALO. At less than 8 pounds, the YI HALO can be transported anywhere, and doesn’t limit them when they’re trying to capture a tricky shot. The internal battery lasts for 100 minutes of continuous shooting, so creators can get “one more take.” Filmmakers also love the YI HALO Android app that doubles as a remote control and live preview tool.
Filmmakers’ visions come together via the Jump Assembler, which ensures seamless, artifact-free stitches that are ready in a few short hours. The YI HALO camera has been built to natively work with the Assembler. “The camera combined with the stitching algorithm is the best 360 video solution in the industry,” said Jay Spangler, Executive VR Producer for Two Bit Circus.
YI HALO will go on sale this summer, with units available today to select creators. Interested creators can find more info on the YI HALO website. To see more of what the camera can do, check out this footage (best viewed in VR).
Jump Start – bringing Jump cameras to more creators
To get Jump cameras into the hands of more filmmakers than ever before, today we’re also announcing Jump Start. Jump Start gives selected filmmakers both free access to a Jump camera and free unlimited use of the Jump Assembler for their VR film. Over the next year, the program will give over 100 creators these tools and enable them to make their vision a reality. Applications to Jump Start open today, and filmmakers have until May 22nd to apply.
We’ve been wowed with VR filmmakers’ creations, which included treks up glaciers and mesmerizing music videos. We can’t wait to see more.
We’re excited to bring Jump to more creators with the YI HALO and Jump Start. If you’re at NAB in Las Vegas this week, come see the camera in person at the Google booth.
When you’re traveling somewhere new, two of your biggest challenges can be figuring out where to go and understanding the native language of wherever you are. The next time you’re in a foreign place and want to check out a restaurant or point of interest, Google will translate the review into the language you’ve set on your device.
The best part is that users don’t have to do a thing. Just open Google Maps or Search, search for what you’re interested in and the reviews are automatically translated. Most people will see the translated review in the language they prefer and then see the review in the native language below—eliminating the hassle of copying and pasting into a translation app or trying to decipher reviews using your pocket-sized translation book. Here’s what it looks like in action:
So next time you find yourself in a faraway land wondering which ramen shop is the best or which gelato place is most authentic—just sit back, relax and let Google Maps and Search bridge the language barrier.
Since the beginning of the industrial age, manufacturers have been updating and improving the products we use every day. As those product lifecycles get shorter, manufacturers rely on companies like Microsoft to keep pace. That’s why Microsoft is focused on providing the technology solutions and services, infrastructure and robust security offerings that allow manufacturers to keep up with their end customer needs.
I’m excited to be at Hannover Messe 2017 in Germany this week, showing partner and customer solutions which empower manufacturers to be more efficient, secure, and collaborative using new intelligent and IoT technologies.
Microsoft and its partners and customers will showcase four solutions including how humans and machines work together to help alleviate risks in potentially hazardous work environments. The four solutions use Microsoft technologies such as Windows 10, Azure, Microsoft HoloLens and Surface.
Refining manufacturing with Mixed Reality
Taqtile, a leading 3D app development firm and Microsoft partner, is building cutting edge mixed reality based solutions on Windows 10 and Microsoft HoloLens to improve productivity and security in the workplace. Today, many industries such as field service work, manufacturing, and warehousing are experiencing a plateau in productivity growth as the shortage of skilled manufacturing workers shrinks while manufacturing job openings rise. As a result, we’re seeing a widening gap between the current labor force and requirements to work in these fields, which mixed reality technology can help address.
Together with Microsoft, Taqtile has developed a new Field Inspection app which is delivered through the power of Windows 10, HoloLens and Microsoft Cloud to deliver integrated 3D modeling, predictive maintenance, and inspection for the manufacturing, utilities, transportation and oil and gas industries. These industries can now better train less experienced workers out in the field as a remote expert can visually communicate step-by-step instructions.
For instance, in the oil and gas industry, a worker can quickly put on a HoloLens and search through some of the steps to fix an issue while in the field as provided by their more experienced colleagues via the Field Inspection Windows 10 app. A manager can then get an up-to-date view of their rig environment on a Windows 10 dashboard.
Together with Microsoft, Taqtile has developed a new Field Inspection app which is delivered through the power of Windows 10, HoloLens and Microsoft Cloud.
In another innovative use of mixed reality, global electronics manufacturing services leader, Jabil, and its consulting arm, Radius Innovation & Development, are showing how Windows 10 is improving the health care industry. The interactive display will highlight how IoT-enabled product design is giving providers a better way to design infusion devices, which doctors rely on to administer dosages of vital fluids like nutrients and medications to patients.
Using design software on Microsoft Surface Studio and the visualization capabilities of Microsoft HoloLens, the companies are armed with tools that improve collaboration and innovation in the manufacturing process. Holograms and 3D capabilities allow for product manipulation and accelerate group collaboration and design refinement prior to a product’s introduction on the factory floor.
Using design software on Microsoft Surface Studio and the visualization capabilities of Microsoft HoloLens, companies are armed with tools that improve collaboration and innovation in the manufacturing process.
Intuitive and transparent communication for a more productive and hands-free work day
Trekstor, a leading OEM offering a wide range of products in the areas of electronic entertainment and information technology, is introducing a new Windows 10 IoT Core based B2B commercial-grade wearable for the Industry. The TrekStor IoT wearable is cloud connected, can run Universal Windows Applications. It is as secure and manageable like any other Windows device and leverages Microsoft Azure Cloud services like Microsoft Cognitive Services.
The compact and intuitive wearable can replace a larger hand-held device in multiple line-of-business scenarios including:
Inventory management in retail
Building automation for guest services in hospitality
Industrial automation in manufacturing
Patient care in healthcare
And several cross-industry scenarios like asset management, fleet management, and others.
The TrekStor IoT Wearable allows various functions to be reported to the right place without any communicative detours, and messages can be transmitted silently in real-time or verbally via voice messages.
The 1.54 inch TrekStor IoT wearable is both Wi-Fi and Bluetooth enabled, has plenty of storage space and has the processing power and battery life to perform its line-of-business functions. The wearable can also survive a hard day at work without scratches thanks to the soft casing and Gorilla Glass 3.
More information on this product will be available in the coming months.
The TrekStor IoT wearable is powerful and persistent with battery life that survives a long working day.
Robots helping make work safer
With more than 8 million people injured on the job each year in the U.S. alone, there is demand for robots that can carry out tasks that are too dangerous or difficult for humans. These robots are expected to make critical contributions in industries, including construction, manufacturing, oil and gas, mining, infrastructure inspection, logistics, public safety, and military.
Sarcos Robotics is a global leader in the development of dexterous industrial robots for use in unstructured and unpredictable environments that augment humans, not replace them. Its Guardian line of robots significantly reduces the risk of injury and the cost of performing many of the world’s most dangerous and difficult tasks. Sarcos is collaborating with Microsoft to provide customers a Robot-as-a-Service offering, using Microsoft Cognitive Services, Azure IoT Suite, and leverages Windows 10 for the tablet controller, to create a unique opportunity to fundamentally transform the safety and efficiency of many industrial tasks around the world.
For example, the Sarcos Guardian S robot is intuitive to use and can be tele-operated from miles away using a Windows 10 tablet to reliably traverse challenging terrain including passing through narrow culverts and pipes or scale the inside and outside of storage tanks, pipes, maritime vessels, vehicles and other vertical surfaces. The robot uses a full suite of sensors and facilitates two-way real-time video and voice communications with Azure ML and Windows 10 to detect anomalies within the tanks and learn from service technicians over time.
The Sarcos Guardian Scan be teleported from miles away from a Windows 10 tablet to reliably traverse challenging terrain.
Microsoft offers end-to-end secure IoT solutions from Windows 10 devices to Azure cloud. Companies like Trekstor are showcasing innovative potential with its Windows IoT Core based TrekStor wearable, while Sarcos takes advantage of Azure IoT to offer innovative solutions that solve manufacturing business challenges. Some examples include how to receive real-time KPI tracking while both hands are occupied in production work or how to execute dangerous tasks and keep employees safe.
Visit the Microsoft booth at Hannover Messe 2017 to check out these and other great customer and partner solutions which are revolutionizing the industry and enabling manufacturers to be more efficient, secure and collaborative. To learn more about all the customer and partner solutions being showcased at Hannover Messe 2017, check out the Official Microsoft Blog.
This week we’re giving you a taste of what you can find in Voyager, a showcase of interactive tours and stories from experts, nonprofits and more in the new Google Earth.
When you opened Google Earth for the very first time, where did you go? For most people there’s a common destination: We all want to see our home. The definition of “home” changes by country, culture and climate.
In the Voyager story This is Home, you can explore how humans have adapted to their own unique landscapes across our planet by looking at the most personal of places. Visit igloos inhabited by generations of Inuit people long ago; listen to stories in the colorful home of Kancha Sherpa; or head to the desert and learn how an extended drought has changed the lives of the Bedouin people. Visit a welcoming and tightknit community in Greenland with more sheep than people.
To tell these stories, we worked with partners and communities to digitally preserve homes of different cultures in Street View. The 360-degree imagery provides a snapshot in time of cultures facing economic, environmental and population pressures. For example, the Inuit people of Sanikiluaq have been building igloos for schoolchildren to learn in for decades, but in recent winters conditions haven’t been cold enough to create the right type of snow. It’s important to record this snapshot in time now, because some of these lifestyles may be disappearing.
Check back in the coming months as we take you to dozens more homes and cultures. And thank you to the families who invited us into their homes and the partners who made it possible!
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