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Tech round-up: 'Iron Man' military suits & Apple's new HQ
IN this week’s round up we reveal the exciting proposals for real-life Iron Man armour, space age Apple offices and see what’s new in the world of Android.
CUTTING EDGE: Military Seeks Creation of Real-life Iron Man Armour
The US military is working on an advanced exoskeleton called the Tactical Assault Light Operator Suit (TALOS), which could help soldiers see in the dark, lift objects with near superhuman strength and hopefully even protect them from bullets. The project is still very much at the conceptual stage with the US Special Operations Command reaching out to scientists and academics for ideas. Researchers at MIT are working on a type of liquid armour that could keep the weight of such a device down, allowing it to be more practical. TALOS would likely include a powered exoskeleton similar to the HULC device already in use allowing the user to lift heavy loads. It could even feature internal sensors to track biometric data such as heart rate and body temperature with additional systems used to regulate them. Almost sounds very Halo now doesn’t it? Special Forces aim to have a working prototype within a year with a more advanced model for 2016 but can they make it all work?
APPLE: New ‘Spaceship Campus’ Approved by Cupertino City Council
The Cupertino City Council of California has just given unanimous approval to Apple’s new ‘Spaceship’ campus at the site of an old HP facility. Both inside and outside of the company there has been a great deal of support for the project but things could still change as concerned parties have ten days to submit any objections. Failing that however, Apple need only attend one further Council meeting on November 19th before the development can forge ahead. What a development it is too, the main circular building will occupy 2.8 million square feet, plus the 120,000 square foot auditorium, 100,000 square foot fitness centre and underground parking facility with space for 2,400 cars! Now believe it or not that’s actually just the beginning, with another 600,000 square foot of land earmarked for research and development buildings. Apple, you have outdone yourselves.
ANDROID: Google Play Music Introduces ‘I’m Feeling Lucky’ Feature
You all use Google Play Music right? Well you should do! The search giant has just released an update comprising mostly of bug fixes but also the new ‘I’m Feeling Lucky’ radio feature. Similar to its Google Search counterpart, this will give you a randomly selected song based on your listening preferences. This brings it more in line with US services such as ‘Pandora’, which intelligently sorts your music based on your preferences but alas we can’t get it here in the UK. You know what we can get though? Google Play Music! So if they continue to build on this feature we could begin to enjoy the same music offering as our friends across the ocean. In typical Google fashion, the update is rolling out in stages so you may not see it just yet and remember you do need to be an ‘All-Access’ subscriber to utilise the radio service. They do offer a 30-day free trial though!
GADGETS: The Nexus 5 Rears its Head on Google Play Store
After its somewhat brief appearance on the Google Play Store recently with a price of $349, new reports have suggested that the Nexus 5 could be available as early as this month! It’s likely we will see a 16GB and 32GB model on offer, both sporting a 2300mAh battery but there will be no SD card storage. There have been a number of conflicting rumours about the Nexus 5 and whilst this latest report doesn’t come from Google or manufacturer LG directly, it’s believed to be quite accurate. Google has been teasing us for some time about the Nexus 5, what with it randomly appearing in public photos at events and tradeshows. After the new device’s short stint on the Google Play store, it was noticed that the Nexus 4 had also been removed so we could very well have an imminent announcement on our hands. The Nexus 5 will run on the new Android 4.4 KitKat operating system so there’s plenty to look forward to!
GAMING: Ubisoft’s ‘Watch Dogs’ game delayed until spring 2014
The ever popular game developer Ubisoft have had to push back the release of their open world hacking game ‘Watch Dogs’ from this November to Spring 2014. This comes as a huge blow to gamers and of course Sony and Microsoft too as the title was set to be released on their new consoles. Ubisoft state they do not wish to rush the release and compromise on quality, wanting to make sure it embodies their vision for next-generation gaming. On their site they say this extra time will be used for fine polishing and refinement, so we should expect something rather special here. Having been lucky enough to sit in on a Ubisoft demo of the game, I must say that it’s really quite an incredible experience and very different from other titles out there. The open world aspect of the game is a nod to GTA 5 but the central ‘hacking’ element just transforms it into something completely new. This one will be worth the wait.
James is a freelance technology and science writer from Bucks.
His interests range from gadgets and apps to movies and gaming, really anything geeky!
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