If like us you have made a bee-line to your local Apple Store to drool over a £1,149 iPhone X (No? Just us then), then you’ve probably boned up on the smartest of smartphones’ features. The depth perception capabilities of the front and back cameras coupled with some very smart software called the ARKit is transforming Augmented Reality to place objects precisely in digital landscapes with accurate scale and depth.
Last year’s hit app was, without doubt, the AR-based Pokémon Go, and while it has waned in popularity since its August 2016 peak, it remains a billion dollar business with an estimated 60 million monthly users.
The exciting news this week is that Warner Brothers has teamed up with the Pokémon Go creators, Niantic, to launch a not too dissimilar Harry Potter AR game called Harry Potter: Wizards Unite. Few details have been released, but we do know the aim is to explore the real world to collect artefacts, learn spells and encounter characters from the wizarding world.
We have visions of running around Covent Garden waving our phones and shouting “expeliarmus” to defeat mystical digital foes… the question is, are you going to be an iMuggle or not?
Facebook’s naked ambition
Australian Facebook users who are fearful that a naked image of them may be used in a revenge porn attack are being encouraged to share their explicit snaps with the social network. The initiative is in partnership with Australia’s electronic safety commissioner.
Users will be able to share their nude pictures through Facebook Messenger. Rather than storing the image, Facebook will make a digital fingerprint of the photo to help identify anyone else uploading a photo with the same unique identifier.
Whether users will be entirely comfortable sharing intimate pictures with Facebook to stave off the possibility of a vindictive ex-lover uploading them instead is a big question.
Our advice: don’t take naked photos if you don’t want anyone to see them!
A video game dream come true!
One of the great pleasures of adulthood is being able to do whatever you like, whenever you like… enter Xbox. This month Xbox launched their Play N’ Stay pop-up at Pirrama Park in Sydney, Australia, where guests were able to swing by, check into one of the rooms and play video games all night long with (or without) their friends online.
The rooms came fully equipped with a full selection of Xbox One X games, slick television sets and Dolby Atmos enabled headsets. What made this the ultimate gaming destination were the ever so comfortable looking beds (for those who planned on gaming all night with power naps scheduled in-between) and the Xbox onesie giveaways that would make the stay feel like you were in your own home, minus any disturbances.
Tickets immediately sold out as gamers dutifully packed up their snacks and refreshments, ready to get their game on, whilst Xbox, celebrated the success of promoting the upcoming release of the Xbox One X.
The doctor is ready to see you whenever
Getting to the doctors isn’t always easy, especially if you struggle to get an appointment, or can’t fit appointments around busy work and commuting schedules. To ease access to NHS services, a pilot scheme has been launched in London to speak to a GP over video using your phone at any time of day, every day of the week.
The free trial service, called GP at hand, is available to 3.5 million Londoners. Developed by the NHS with the online medical provider, Babylon, patients can check their symptoms through an app before being connected to a face to face call. It is the equivalent of transferring to a new surgery, so it’s not something that can be dipped in and out of at the drop of a hat and isn’t suitable for people with complicated conditions.
We can definitely see the benefit of having speedy access to a GP without having to book an in-person visit and can see it suiting those with busy lifestyles, who rarely visit the doctors, but some of us remain a bit sceptical about an app replacing a face-to-face consultation.