Best of TechRadar: this week's best words and star features
1st Feb 2014 | 10:00
All the hottest hits and techiest toys from the past 7 days
Why driverless technology will be the best thing that ever happened to cars
Fifty years from now, nobody will believe we were ever allowed to drive around killing each other in our cars. I'm absolutely convinced of that. It's a bit like people puffing away on planes or bunging a baby in a wicker basket and then lobbing the ensemble on the bench seat in the back of a car. Seems bonkers today, was once the norm. So it will be for human-controlled cars. The very idea and the carnage that ensues – current global road deaths run at around a million souls annually – will appear utterly insane. Children in classrooms will one day marvel at the gothic horror of it all. Continue reading...
Smart devices? Most manufacturers can barely make simple ones
If you've ever wondered who'd be daft enough to drop £30 on an internet-connected plug socket, I'm the one in the corner stabbing my smartphone and bellowing "JUST BLOODY TURN ON, DAMMIT! TURN ON!" at my WeMo switch. So spammy fridges aside, I'm quite excited about the internet of things - and, in particular, the effect it will have on our homes. Sentient smoothie makers! Trustworthy toasters! Companionable cookers! Fun fridges! Then I look at the appliances I've already got, and my heart sinks. Smart devices? Most manufacturers can barely make simple ones. Continue reading...
Want 4K content? Don't bother looking to the PlayStation 4 or Xbox One
May on 4k
4K gaming and movie streaming via next gen games consoles is rapidly shaping up to be a pipe dream. When the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One first broke cover there was a roiling cauldron of speculation that the new consoles might (at some point) usher in a new era of Ultra HD game graphics or at the very least act as a conduit for 4K movies. Executives from rival camps didn't exactly go out of their way to downplay their potential. Months later, official references to 4K remain cautiously worded. The cauldron has cooled. Continue reading...
Plastic fantastic: why 3D printing is heading to a home near you
Taking printing to another dimension
3D printing technology, which lets you conjure three-dimensional objects out of thin air like a Star Trek replicator, has existed for decades but in recent years has rocketed in popularity thanks to the introduction of low-cost 3D printers that cost as little as a high-end washing machine. Continue reading...
Google's master plan should be less 'I, Robot' and more Jetsons
Google and robots could transform home life
In just over a month, Google has successfully made massive offers to purchase Boston Dynamics, Nest and DeepMind. (Not to mention seven more robotics firms in the past seven months.) Google's recent spate of major acquisitions in the robotics, home automation and artificial intelligence sectors, respectively, has people buzzing about just what the search giant is up to. Find out what that might be
Will the PS Vita Slim be Sony's final handheld games console?
Even for January, it's been a slow month for the games industry. Sony teased PlayStation Now, Nintendo admitted the Wii U console is still performing terribly, and a fleet of YouTube personalities were caught endorsing Xbox One for cash. That's about it, really. But the New Year hangover has now officially cleared - as far as those in the blue corner are concerned, anyway. Yep, Sony has announced the launch of the PlayStation Vita Slim handheld console, the first major gaming hardware of the year. But is there room in this mobile world for handheld consoles? Read all about it
Has Gears of War killed off Microsoft's hot new Xbox One game?
Ladies and gents, gather, for I have a confession to make. I, an Xbox gamer, have never played a Gears of War game. Phew - well now I feel better. That little fact has been weighing on my chest all week, ever since Microsoft announced its acquisition of the Gears of War franchise from creator Epic Games. I'll be interested to see what new direction Gears of Wartakes with its new curator on board, but as someone unfamiliar with the franchise, there's been something else on my mind: Just what does this news mean for the "all-original new IP" Black Tusk has supposedly been creating for the Xbox One since November 2012? Read all about it
What Lenovo buying Motorola means for your next smartphone
Say bye-bye to ultra low cost smartphones for now
Go you might have heard - Google has sold Motorola to Lenovo. Once you've got your head around the fact Google is dropping something it paid £8 billion ($12.5bn) for in 2012, there's a bigger issue here: your next phone is probably going to be more expensive. But the better news? Android is going to evolve into something a lot more useful.
Google dumping Motorola isn't a disaster: it's a reboot
If you play chess, you'll know that it isn't always obvious what your opponent's up to from a single move. What looks like a minor play or even a rookie mistake often turns out to be a significant part of a strategy that ends with them shouting "checkmate!" and you throwing the board in their stupid gloating face. Or maybe that's just my house - but anyway, I think Google's offloading of Motorola Mobility is something similar.
5 incredible ways Oculus Rift will go beyond gaming
From medicine to military applications
When you think of virtual reality, you think of games. You imagine yourself running around a Tron-like rendition of the real world, participating in a massive game of laser tag, shooting your friends in the face without any consequences. Of course, that's precisely what the Oculus Rift was designed for, with its note-perfect balance of affordable hardware and the cutting edge. And yet, the most exciting innovations going on aren't anything to do with kill/death ratios, gruff dudes shooting aliens or Tron. Continue reading...