Tag Archives: Gadget Reviews

Duolingo releases a Japanese language course for iOS

This won’t be some dumbed-down anglicized lesson plan either. Rather than using romaji, which are Japanese words spelled out with Roman letters (ie, “kawaii” or “Hi de koroshimasu”), this language course will teach you to understand 100 Kanji and all the Hiragana characters.

And unlike some of Duolingo’s other language courses, whose exercises sometimes more closely resembled MadLibs entries than anything you’d ever expect to hear someone actually say, the Japanese course features a strong focus on real-world interactions like ordering food and asking directions.

The iOS version is available now though there is no word yet on when exactly the Android version will be released. Either way, you’ve got precious little time to study before the 2020 Tokyo Olympics roll around.

Article source: https://www.engadget.com/2017/05/18/duolingo-releases-a-japanese-language-course-for-ios/

Soft-legged robot is designed for rescue missions

The robot moves by pumping air into its legs, which are inflatable chambers that are hollow on the inside. When one leg is inflated and the others aren’t, for instance, the inflated leg bends. The machine can also easily transition from a crawling to a walking position, and vice versa. At this point in time, the current model still has to be tethered to an open source board and an air pump, but the team is working on making a smaller version that can move freely.

You can check out the robot walk on sand and rockets in the video below:

Article source: https://www.engadget.com/2017/05/18/soft-robot-rescue-missions/

Watch Google’s I/O 2017 keynote in under 16 minutes

If you missed out on Google’s I/O 2017 keynote earlier today, don’t fret. We’ve cut down all of the noteworthy news on Google Lens, AI, Google Assistant, Google Home, Daydream, Android O and more into a quick TK-minute clip. Just sit back, relax and catch up on all of the news in way less time than we spend taking in the 2-hour presentation this afternoon.

For all the latest news and updates from Google I/O 2017, follow along here.

Article source: https://www.engadget.com/2017/05/17/google-io-2017-keynote-in-under-16-minutes/

Comcast’s smart home app controls your Philips Hue lights

You’ll also see Hue integration coming to X1 if you’re a TV customer. You can use the set-top’s voice remote to control the lights “in the near future,” Comcast says.

This probably won’t get you to sign up for Xfinity Home if you weren’t already inclined. However, there’s no question that Hue support eliminates a serious barrier to adoption. If you were thinking of trying the service but were waiting until it worked with more of the most popular home automation products, this might be the excuse you needed to dive in.

Article source: https://www.engadget.com/2017/05/17/comcast-xfinity-home-hue-support/

OpenAI’s new system lets you train robots entirely in VR

The system is powered by two neural networks. The first takes a camera image and determines objects’ spatial position in relation to the robot — but it was trained only with a host of simulated images, meaning it was taught how to interact with the real world before it ever actually saw the real world. The second imitates tasks shown by the demonstrator by scanning through recorded action and paying attention to frames that tell it what to do next.

This training model is only a prototype, but teaching robots entirely in simulation could allow researchers to train them for complex tasks without needing physical elements at all. That would let humans safely and easily approximate extreme environments like arctic waters or areas soaked in nuclear radiation — or even other planets.

Article source: https://www.engadget.com/2017/05/16/openai-s-new-system-lets-you-train-robots-entirely-in-vr/

Google Assistant might come to your iPhone this week

Reportedly, Photos will use Assistant to help you create coffee table books from your image library. This will seem familiar to the Mac crowd (Apple offered iPhoto books for years), but the AI would help out by automatically including relevant images. You wouldn’t have to hand-pick snapshots if you didn’t want to. At least one book option would cost $10.

There’s also talk of Assistant reaching GE’s home appliances. You could ask your oven to heat up, for example, or check on the laundry. Details of the integration aren’t clear (can you talk directly to a device, or do you need your phone?), but it’s likely that you’ll only see this in new or very recent equipment. The one certainty: just like Amazon and Samsung, Google is determined to give its AI helper a foothold in your smart home.

Article source: https://www.engadget.com/2017/05/16/google-assistant-might-come-to-your-iphone-this-week/