Sweep Looks to Bring LiDAR Technology to Everyone

LiDAR is a technology normally reserved for those with a lot of money, but a group has taken to Kickstarter to give you access to the technology for a minimal price.

Sweep is an impressive device given its low spec stats and reduced price model. With a range of 40 metres, the device can be used both indoors and outdoor for everything from security sensors to detect when someone enters a room, to a drone detecting when someone enters your garden.

Featuring 360 scanning capabilities you can even use Sweep to map out a room, giving you the dimensions of a room with ease, something useful for people who want to remodel a room and don’t want to use a tape measure or laser distance finder to map out every single indent and outlet.

Given its low-end target the technology is going above and beyond, providing support and example projects for people looking to use the system on the Raspberry Pi, Arduino and other systems.

With an expected delivery date for the first products in the fourth quarter of this year, you could soon see the technology used in other projects with prices going as low as $249 for the device.

Offering something for almost a quarter of the market price for something is going to have a lot of interest and with the project already meeting half its Kickstarter target with 26 days to go, it could soon become a reality.

Legion Tower Defence 2 Now On Kickstarter

There is always that one game that you will remember, the first one to truly introduce you to online multiplayer, the one that introduced you to mods and their ability to turn a game from you enjoyed to what you loved. For me, that game was Warcraft 3, and with DOTA already a huge success, a new Kickstarter looks to bring another mod as a standalone game.

Legion Tower Defence was a fun game for many reasons, putting two teams of four against each other teamwork was essential. Coming at you wave after wave, you were in charge of defending your teams king, failure to do so lost you the game. With each wave becoming harder and harder, teamwork and planning were essential if you didn’t want your defences and your king to fall.

Unlike a tower defence, the game used fighters who would come to your defence, moving and attacking with everything they can muster to save your team from the inevitable defeat.Why not spend some of your secondary resources, then and hire a “mercenary” to attack the opposing team? Doing so not only put extra pressure on the energy team but also increased your income at the end of each round.

Currently, the new Kickstarter has four legions. The mechanical armies of Mech, the natural assault of Grove, the battle of the Forsaken and the fury of the Elements. While the game will be free to play (and not pay to win), backing the Kickstarter can get you everything from early access and special skins to unlocking all future legions.

I look forward to seeing how this progresses, with the games that used to be mods normally surprisingly success from both a business and enjoyment point of view.

Star Citizen Goes Live For Alpha Backers

Star Citizen was originally designed as a crowd-funded game. This means that after some initial work all the funds for the project are raised by people ‘pledging’ money in order to help Chris Roberts finish his dream video game which will see players flying around a universe with their friends in the same or in separate ships, boarding stations and engaging in dogfights that would make science fiction fans chuckle in joy. The game has now passed a whopping one million backers, making the project the most popular crowdfunded project of all time and as a result players are being rewarded.

Previously access was granted by pre-ordering ships and with them early access passes. Now if you’ve backed Star Citizen you have been granted full access to everything that has been released, from the Star Marine (the first person shooter element of the game) and even future releases such as the Alpha 2.0 build that they are currently working on that will not only contain playable missions and quadrillions of cubic kilometres for players to fly around in but also a taste of their persistent universe.

If you already owned an Alpha Access package you will gain 10,000 United Earth Credits to help fund your expeditions into space, and soon you could find yourselves flying amongst the stars of a £60-million crowd-funded game.

Thank you Ars Technica for the information.

Image courtesy of Roberts Space Industries.

Squadron 42 Reveals Voice Actors And Footage

Star Citizen is not only one of the most crowd funded games in history but is easily one of the most anticipated, with the ability to go from piloting a ship and ordering your friends to pilot the ships turrets to boarding and fighting your way through someone else’s ship as a group, eventually taking it over. Piloting, trading and boarding, Star Citizen looks to be an all-encompassing space game. While we await this game we shouldn’t forget the single player campaign, titled Squadron 42, and I doubt after the recent revelations regarding it, we will be able to forget it again.

Set for a release in 2016, Squadron 42 will see its players take the role of a UEE Navy combat pilot, letting you fight both in space and on land as you build everything from your character to the relationships you have with others characters aboard a large Capital Ship.

To bring life to the story, Star Citizen has hired none other than Gary Oldman, Mark Hamil, Gillian Anderso and Andy Serkis among some of many to bring life to the universe. If you were wondering just how awesome that would make the game, find Gary Oldman’s character, Admiral Bishop, explaining the world you are about to fly into.

Thank you DSOGaming for the information.

Image courtesy of Roberts Space Industries.

Gift Cards At Discounts? Maybe Not For Star Citizen

Star Citizen is a game we’ve reported on many times. The game started as an idea and took to the crowdfunding platform to support its big dreams of being a Space Fighter, First Person Shooter and Role Playing game all while allowing thousands of players to interact with one another. It can claim the title, and will be able to for a while I suspect, the title of most crowd funded game in history, with a total of $89,612,253 raised so far. This is set to continue to rise as players join the game through early entry bundles and purchase their ships ready for the big release in the future. One player has spent over $22,000 on the game, raising the question about how much are you willing to pay for those early bonuses to your games?

With the release of their latest ship (pictured above), the Endeavour is designed as a modular research vessel. From a research station to a portal hospital the Endeavour is set to be the first of a series of ships that can be customised and designed based on the user’s preference. Coming in at $420 though, some people may not feel comfortable shelling that out for an in-game item. So why not try to save some money by buying those gift cards that people can always get you for a tiny discount?

Sadly this isn’t the case of Star Citizen who are charging more than their value for the digital gift cards. The prices are listed below:

$10 gift card – $12
$25 gift card – $30
$50 gift card – $60
$100 gift card – $120

This works out at you only getting 80% of what you pay sent in the gift card, meaning that $420 Endeavour will set your friend back $504 in gift cards.

I am personally not a huge of buy before play DLC and being able to play Star Citizen (even in its incomplete form) means you can see the benefits of what you buy, but when you are spending hundreds of pounds, dollars or euros on something or want to gift your friend with something, gift cards are normally a good way to find a discount in exchange for the hassle of handling them.

Do you play Star Citizen? Have you brought a ship using real money? Are you as confused as to why the gift cards cost more than they are worth as we are?

Thank you PCGamesN for the information and the image.

Most Funded Kickstarter In Europe Yet To Ship Products – Two Months Behind

Kickstarters are great way of supporting and helping to realise your dreams with everything from building the mythical city of Minas Tirith, to creating new smart watches for your phones and even to buy a kickstarting website. So what happens when these go wrong?

Torquing Group, a start-up based in Wales, raised £2.3 million in under two months this year in order to fund a handheld drone, named Zano. The initial schedule for the Zano to be shipped was back in June 2015, however when this was missed Ivan Reedman, CEO of Torquing Group, stated that the Zano would be shipped in early July.

Come mid-August and the drones have yet to reach their backers, which leads many to question the benefits of crowd funding. With Reedman posting on their forum on the 10th and a picture being posted (shown above) of boxes and boxes, they may soon be ready to release.

It should be noted though that when Ars Technica visited the group, they were unable to fly the drone or even witness it aloft, which raises concerns given the limited footage of the Zano actually in flight.

In a trust driven environment such as those used for Kickstarters and other crowd-funded projects, how do we  guarantee that when people back and support a project done by a small team, they receive what was promised to them or get their money back? With disaster tales becoming all too frequent with kickstarted projects, could their time soon be ending?

Thank you Ars Technica for the information and the image.

Image Too Blurry to Identify Someone in a Security Footage? Fujitsu Has the Answer

A new image-processing technology has been developed by Fujitsu, who claims that it now can be used to track people even in heavily blurred footage from security cameras. The company states that this tech is the first of its kind that can detect people in low-resolution imagery where faces are indistinguishable.

The technology is said to use computer-vision algorithms in order to analyse the footage and recognize shapes such as head and torso, which remain even if the image is distorted or multiple people in a frame overlap. The algorithm is then compared with footage from different cameras and determines if an individual is the same person by focusing on distinctive colours of a person’s clothing.

Fujitsu said that an indoor test of the system has been performed, having been able to track the paths of 80% of the test subjects. The company also claimed that detecting people’s movement could be useful for retail design, reducing pedestrian congestion in crowded urban areas or improving evacuation routes for emergencies.

Thank you PC World for providing us with this information