January 10th, 2017

CES 2017, Day Two

It’s day two of press conferences here at Ces2017. It’s been a heckuva day with Samsung, LG, Intel, Toyota and other presenters. The three of us can only fit so much in a day and cover so much but I think we did well.

So… amazingly beautiful huge televisions, appliances that talk to you and recognize you, and extremely good virtual reality goggles, and automated cars really fueled the day.

I think one of the partnerships that really opened my eyes today was that between Nvidia and Audi. Who would’ve thought all those years ago when Nvidia was formed in 1994 that they would be making the computers that will run the autonomous cars of the future? But video cards have to perform thousands or hundreds of thousands of functions in a very short period of time so they are experts at handling large amounts of data and responding very quickly when needed. In a way, it’s a natural combination of skill sets and manufacturing expertise.

I was privileged to be in a group of only 260 reporters that got to sit in on an Intel virtual reality demonstration that had never been done before. We went flying in squirrel flying suits, then sat on the side court at a live basketball game and watched it in virtual reality, totally feeling like we were right there, and then we were in a video game called “Arizona sunshine” in a very scary and precarious predicament.

We also had a unique demonstration that had never been attempted before on this scale.  All 260 of us could just stand or sit and watch a river flow by us, see animals and farmers in the distance and be able to look all around you like you were transported there magically. This was all real film not created artificial reality. It was like being in the middle of it in real life, not like watching a film, it was almost indescribable. The amount of data required? It takes 3 TB per frame of film to create this illusion. At 60 frames per second that means 180 TB of data per minute are required to create this illusion of being in the middle of a real film.

To top it all off we had another demonstration wearing our VR goggles that had us flying over a 250 acre solar power farm in India in real time…. it was actually happening as we were seeing it and we acted as inspectors for the solar panels. The applications for business are obvious and huge cost savings can be realized.  Very dangerous situations like search and rescue can absolutely benefit from this technology.

Tomorrow we will be taking a closer look at some of the autonomous vehicles.

Talk to you soon!

 

Ron Fraser
London Drugs Yates Street
Computer Manager
Victoria, BC

 

CFAX Tech Talk airs each Saturday on CFAX 1070 radio in Victoria from 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.



January 5th, 2017

CES 2017, Day One

As a computer manager at London Drugs I’ve always been fortunate to get a glimpse of new technology coming out. But there is no other experience for looking into the future of tech than the annual Consumer Electronics Show, or CES as you’ve most likely heard it referenced to.

Through my guest hosting on Victoria’s CFAX 1070 radio Tech Talk program I’ve been able to attend CES and report back what new tech gadgets and gear are coming to market. I’ve gotten to see some amazing products and many amazing innovations in technology, as well as products that have thankfully never come to fruition.

I want to start by giving you an idea of the scope of the show, the largest of its kind in the world, held each year in Las Vegas, Nevada.

  • There is 3,250,000 ft.² of dedicated display place for the show.
  • The show routinely attracts about 175,000 attendees.
  • There are almost 17,000 presidents, CEOs, and business owners here for the show including a team from London Drugs.
  • There are 6,000 members of the media here covering the show, that’s 1,000 more than covered the 2016 Olympics in Rio this past summer.
  • The show runs for four days, January 5th through the 8th.

For me, the two days before, January 3rd and 4th, are spent with CFAX radio interviewing vendors and looking at some of the innovations and previews we are invited to see ahead of the show for everyone else.

Over the next few days I will be sharing some very exciting and unique products from CES. Some may even change your life for the better in some way.

Talk to you soon!

 

Ron Fraser
London Drugs Yates Street
Computer Manager
Victoria, BC

 

CFAX Tech Talk airs each Saturday on CFAX 1070 radio in Victoria from 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.



January 21st, 2015

Microsoft HoloLens

ms_holograph

I’ve seen my fair share of science fiction movies which attempt to predict the future of virtual or augmented reality. Many showcase technology, imagined by writers and directors, that immerses the user within a virtual world – aptly described as Virtual Reality or VR for short. The problem for me personally is that this technology essentially replicates what you currently see on screen but in 360 degree perspective; there isn’t a real sense of self within that experience. Well today Microsoft announced a game-changer which they call Microsoft HoloLens.

What is HoloLens? Put simply it’s a computer built within a headset that projects holograms into your first person field of vision, essentially adding artificial objects into your reality. Picture looking at a car and trying to figure out instructions to change a tire. Now imagine each step projected on to your car showing you exactly how to do that? Now imagine sitting on your couch and tapping the air to enlarge a huge holographic TV to watch a game or movie? The applications of this are also huge for 3D modeling for 3D printing, which was demonstrated today by creating a quad copter using the software included with HoloLens.

The applications of this technology are mind boggling to say the least and will change what we view as being a computer, how we navigate through our day to day activities, and even what we perceive as being real or imagined. This is just the beginning.

Want to see more? Much has already been written following today’s announcement and rather than attempt to re-write that I’ve included the links to many of those articles below. I’d recommend first checking out the official HoloLens site at www.microsoft.com/microsoft-hololens/en-us

YOUTUBE

The Verge

Wired

Theo
@thereal_theo



January 8th, 2015

Day 2 – CES2015

ces1

Well, let’s start with what I thought was the sexiest tech item at the show I have seen so far: the new Sony XBR series with a screen so thin, it looks like it is floating 0n air. Yes, the on screen image is beautiful. Yes, the bezel is an example of minimalist design. Sony has done such a fine job over the years on producing great TV’s, such features are no longer surprising. However, when you check out how incredibly thin this TV is, you’d be amazed.
It’s art. It’s engineering. It’s both.

READ MORE



September 5th, 2013

Certified Data Computers—Would You Like Extra Awesome With That?

Most computers these days can easily handle what most users need them to do. But when you have specific, intensive tasks to run, many off-the-shelf computers need some extra oomph. Manufacturers have put together different products to try to address those different needs, but sometimes that’s still not good enough—especially when it comes to a gaming system.

Certified Data Is Canadian

image002

Before I get into why London Drug’s exclusive Certified Data line of computers is pretty cool, here are a few things I didn’t know:

• Certified Data is the third oldest computer manufacturer in Canada (1983), sold exclusively by London Drugs

• Certified Data is Canadian-owned and based in Richmond

• Certified Data systems meet CSA and UL certification standards, which some custom-built computer manufacturers outside of Canada (and within Canada) don’t always do

• Certified Data offers both off-the-shelf systems and custom-builds
READ MORE



August 29th, 2013

The Ultimate Gaming Computer

Only one cat poses. My other cat disdains

Only one cat poses. My other cat disdains

If you’re like me, your household is divided when it comes to computer usage. I use my computer for page layout, photo editing and light video production, which is what I do for a living. I use a MacBook Pro, and I love it like it was my third cat.

An actual kid winning $10k at the ASUS ROG Summer 2013 StarCraft II Tournament. Image from rog.asus.com

An actual kid winning $10k at the ASUS ROG Summer 2013 StarCraft II Tournament. Image from rog.asus.com

When my gaming daughter was shopping for a computer, she stopped me at “You should buy a Ma…” Apparently, my wonderful MacBook is not ideal (or in some cases, not capable) of running the games she plays. I can’t scoff at this, because kids these days are wining prizes in the neighbourhood of $10,000 at gaming tournaments, while I’m still working by the hour.

The Right Choice

Stickers on laptop = love

Stickers on laptop = love

Taylor did her homework and bought an ASUS (pronounced “ay-soos”) laptop. How do I know it was a right choice for her? One, I never hear her exaggerated sighs about lag time or delays; two, she lovingly tattooed her personality all over it with stickers.
READ MORE



October 4th, 2012

Video Demo Microsoft Wedge Keyboard and Mouse

Works with Android, iPad and Mac but works best with Windows 8.

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