Tech Tonic

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As we try to keep pace with technology, VML’s Aden Hepburn shares his top tips on what to watch out for in the coming months.

Structure Sensor: 3D scanner for iPad

This Kickstarter project claims to be the world’s first 3D sensor for mobile devices, and has raised $800,000 in just a few days (it only asked for $100k) to develop the clip-on 3D scanning device build for iPads.

It uses dual infrared LEDs, along with your iPad’s camera, to capture everything it sees in 3D, meaning you’ll be able to scan your car and then use a 3D printer to make a miniature version of it. If you had a Ferrari, that might be cool.

Or, perhaps you’ll be able to play games utilising the ‘true’ 3D space around you.

Google’s ‘Hummingbird’ algorithm update

If your search results look a little out of place right now, that might be due to Google’s new search algorithm called ‘Hummingbird’, which has silently come into effect over the past few weeks.

It’s the first big algorithm update since the ‘Caffeine’ release in 2009.

It affects about 90% of all searches and primarily focuses on delivering a better search experience for ‘full question searches’ rather than just ‘keyword’ or ‘word by word’ searches that were historically popular.

Are we getting lazy, or smarter?

3D Robotics raises $30 million for drones

The aerial drone craze is slightly bigger in the US than it is here in Australia, but expect to see them en masse globally soon, with companies like 3D Robotics paving the way to legitimise and commercialise drones into our everyday lives.

3D Robotics has just raised a $30m series B funding round to not only improve its autonomous GPS drones (you know, those multi-rotor helicopter type things that you sometimes see delivering Domino’s pizzas in YouTube videos), but to bring them to
the masses.

Expect to see lots of noisy humming autobots carrying random objects coming your way.

The Steam machine for PCs

If you are a gamer you will have heard of Steam.

Steam is an online distribution platform for the world’s best PC games. It is now making a play to bring the high-end nature of PC gaming to your TV screen with a new console to rival the PS4 and Xbox One.

Interestingly, Valve (the company that runs the Steam platform) is not going to limit itself to one hardware partner, likely creating a whole new console war that the other big PC component players can jump into, whilst providing perhaps the easiest way to get the best games.

Watch this space for the launch in early 2014. 

Aden Hepburn is managing director of VML Australia. 

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