MindMaze’s hand-tracking, mind-reading virtual reality headset is just as complicated as it sounds

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Swiss neurotechnology company MindMaze has conceived the ultimate — or at least somewhere around the penultimate — cyberpunk VR setup. Imagine a blocky virtual reality headset that looks like a bezeled Oculus Rift. Where a Rift developer might track your hands by mounting a Leap Motion to the front of the headset, MindMaze has integrated a Kinect-like combination of cameras and depth sensors, capable of finding your hands with some degree of accuracy. Instead of a strap, though, there’s a rope-and-plastic net that covers the crown of your head.

And, theoretically, reads your thoughts.

The platform, called MindLeap, fuses a series of technologies that are increasingly being used for gaming: VR, motion capture,…

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What is net neutrality? A primer from What’s Tech?

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There’s been a lot of talk this week about net neutrality, the FCC, and “common carriers.” We’ve been talking about these things for years, and while we all have a general idea of what it all means for the future of the internet, what exactly changed last week?

On this week’s episode of What’s Tech? Verge Editor-in-Chief Nilay Patel explains net neutrality. The recent historic vote by the FCC in favor of net neutrality will have a decisive impact on the future of the internet. But when did the pursuit of net neutrality begin? And what exactly is it?

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Portions of this episode are excerpted from the State of the Net conference.

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Up close with Aston Martin’s Vulcan supercar and electric DBX concept

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I’ve seen the future of Aston Martin, and it’s every bit as impractical as you might expect from a luxury car brand. The ultra-aggressive lines and massive rear wing of the all-new Vulcan make its purpose immediately obvious: this car has been designed for track use and track use only. In presenting it at the Geneva Motor Show this morning, Aston Martin CEO Andy Palmer described the Vulcan as the company’s most extreme supercar ever.

Powered by “the most potent iteration yet” of Aston Martin’s 7-liter V12 engine, the Vulcan can produce more than 800bhp. Full performance details will be disclosed when the new car makes its track debut later in the year, but we already know that its body is made primarily out of carbon fiber and that it…

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Pebble Reveals Pebble Time Steel And A Smartstrap System Open To Hardware Developers

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Time_Steel_3up Pebble announced Pebble Time last week, the next-generation version of its Pebble smartwatch, and today it’s revealing another new product: Pebble Time Steel. This is the stainless steel version of the Pebble Time, boasting the same interface and software, but in a machined metal case that comes in silver, gold and black finishes, and that also manages to add three days to maximum… Read More

Waze Becomes One Of Google’s Pre-Installation Options For Android Devices

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Waze Crowdsourced driving navigation app Waze is getting a boost from parent company Google at this year’s Mobile World Congress – the free app is now included in the section of apps that make up Google Mobile Services, or the pre-installation software bundle Google offers to smartphone and device OEMs building Android gadgets. The GMS designation means that Waze can join the likes… Read More

Pebble Time Steel is a dressed-up version of Pebble’s new watch

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It was just a week ago that Pebble launched the Time, it’s new smartwatch and software platform on Kickstarter. The company has raised over $12 million in funds and taken preorders for more than 65,000 watches. But as CEO Eric Migicovsky alluded when the campaign launched, the company isn’t quite done with new product announcements.

Today, Pebble is announcing the Pebble Time Steel, an upscale version of the Time. It’s all metal — stainless steel, to be specific — and is a little thicker and noticeably heavier than the mostly plastic Time. It’s available in three different colors: stainless steel, black, and gold. Each watch will come with a metal link bracelet and a complemenatary leather strap (the gold model will come with a red…

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Silent Circle Wants To Be The Modern Day Blackberry

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Lock against cyber background. Blackberry was once the big dawg in mobile phones. It was in the hands of practically every knowledge worker on the planet, but its days of dominance began a precipitous drop after Apple brought the iPhone to market in 2007 and Android followed in 2008, and today it’s a tiny blip on the smartphone marketshare radar. That’s why it’s interesting that new company, Silent… Read More

ToutApp Raises $15M To Build Email Tools For Salespeople

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toutapp Email-focused startup ToutApp has raised a $15 million Series B led by Andreessen Horowitz. The company started out as an email-tracking tool, but founder and CEO Taweed Kader told me that his team discovered that salespeople “used the product the most, complained the least, and stuck around the longest” — so ToutApp decided to do a “zoom in pivot” and focus on… Read More

My Friend Will Hate SeeYoo, An App To Say OMW

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SeeYoo No matter how far or close by, a good friend of mine always texts to say he’s “20 minutes away” when he’s running late. SeeYou, which calls itself a ‘pre-meeting app’, is almost certainly not for him. Available for iOS and Android, the app lets you alert friends that you are OMW (on my way), chat with them during your journey, and continually share your… Read More

Microsoft’s Internet Explorer successor demonstrated in leaked video

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Microsoft first revealed its Internet Explorer successor at the company’s Windows 10 event in January. While the software maker revealed features like Cortana integration, inking support, and a new rendering engine, we haven’t seen the browser in action outside of Redmond. WinBeta, a Microsoft enthusiast site, has obtained a copy of Project Spartan, the codename for the Windows 10 browser, and created a video demo of the Cortana features.

Most of the Cortana integration is similar to what Microsoft showed back in January. Cortana bounces rapidly in the address bar when it detects a site it has further information on, including an address and opening hours for retail sites. The video demonstration shows how Cortana will provide…

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Watch BMW pit man against self-driving machine in the ultimate drift challenge

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Despite what science fiction films may have taught you, the inevitable humans vs robots showdown doesn’t have to be fought with gun and rockets. Instead, the whole thing might be settled with a drift competition. BMW has apparently begun the preliminaries, with this short clip showing the car manufacturer’s self-drifting 2 Series squaring off against (or, rather, circling around) Japanese flesh-and-blood drift champion Dai Yoshihara.

performing Donut after donut, with clock-like accuracy

BMW first showed off this technology at CES last year, but they’ve apparently been finessing their technique, progressing from skidding round a track to performing donut after donut with unerring, clock-like accuracy. Although it has to be noted that…

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New Xbox 360 preview program lets owners test future updates

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Microsoft first launched its Xbox One preview program just over a year ago, allowing console owners to test upcoming dashboard updates on a monthly basis. It has been well received, and now the company is expanding the program to the Xbox 360. While it’s surprising that Microsoft is planning updates for what’s nearly a 10-year-old console, the company is promising just that. An initial update will add better network connectivity tests, and Microsoft says “there will be even more changes coming later this year.”

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Withings’ analog Activité smartwatches now work with Android

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Withings’ range of discrete and well-designed Activité smartwatches are finally compatible with Android. As of March 2nd, both the regular Activité and the cheaper Activité Pop (it’s pronounced Ac-ti-vi-TAY) work with Google’s mobile OS, feeding in data about sleep, steps, and distance travelled to Android’s health hub, Google Fit.

“The only people who notice it will tell you it’s a nice watch.”

When we reviewed the original Activité last year, we praised Withings for taking a measured approach to the idea of a smartwatch. Both the Activité and the plastic-strapped Activité Pop eschew the standard battery-guzzling screen for a simple analog watch face: one dial shows the time, another tracks the users’ daily activity. “The only people…

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