Batmobile Coming to Rocket League

Come March, you can be the hero that Rocket League deserves with the release of the new Batmobile DLC. The new vehicle is an official tie-in with the forthcoming DC sequel – and Justice League precursor – Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, which pits Ben Affleck’s Dark Knight against the Henry Cavill’s reprised Man of Steel, a battle that eventually unites them with Aquaman, Wonder Woman, Cyborg, and The Flash against emergent antagonists Lex Luthor and Doomsday.

“Fans of Rocket League will soon take control of the iconic Batmobile from the highly anticipated Warner Bros. film Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice!” the Rocket League blog reads. “Available Tuesday, March 8, the Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice Car Pack will put players behind the wheel of the world-famous crime-fighting vehicle, which has been faithfully re-created in Rocket League, to mirror Batman’s ride in the upcoming film.”

“In addition to the Batmobile itself, the Car Pack will also include three exclusive Antenna Flags enabling players to show their allegiance to World’s Finest Trinity: Batman, Superman and Wonder Woman,” it adds. “Priced at $1.99 USD (or regional equivalent), the Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice Car Pack is officially licensed by Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment and will release on the PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and Windows PC via Steam, on March 8!”

Cyborg Arm Created From Lego Will Amaze and Terrify Your Kids

This Lego Cyborg arm, dubbed Mark VI, may only be made out of plastic bricks, but it is incredibly advanced, especially compared to the rudimentary model spaceships I build out of my sons Lego.

The arm was built using the Lego Mindstarms EV3 kit and certainly looks like a powerful augmentation for the guy who built it. The only downside being that it is still just made of LEGO so it is not going to crush any enemy skulls any time soon and it also requires frequent battery changes.

It may be Lego, but this is a great way to get started in robotics and try out your ideas. I’d love to try create a mechanical Lego arm of my own, but given that EV3 kits cost north of £200, I think I’ll have to wait a little while longer.

[youtube width=”800″ height=”450″]http://youtu.be/m9aqGZuhl_s[/youtube]

Thank you PocketLint for providing us with this information.

Image courtesy of PocketLint.

Newly Developed “Robot Muscles” Said To Be 1,000 Times Stronger Than Humans

 

Researchers at UC Berkeley are working to make it a reality. They’ve created what is known as artificial muscles that could one day give robots 1000 times the strength of a human.

These robot muscles use special properties from a material known as vanadium dioxide which is a compound that can change from an insulator to a conductive metal at 67C. A side effect of the transformation, we’re told, is incredible strength – enough to move objects that are 50 times heavier than robotic muscles. What’s more, they can move objects up to five times further – all in the blink of an eye.

In laboratory testing, these muscles were able to survive repeated contractions (up to one million times) even when the speed of movements was driven up to 200,000 RPM. Scientists believe the breakthrough could lead to more powerful robots while the technology itself may be useful in creating more efficient electronics.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AOnY9mk7jGM[/youtube]

Thank you Tech Spot for providing us with this information

Image courtesy of NASA

Cicadia 1.0: One Mans Goal To Become Cyborg

Have you ever thought about death? What about Life? I know I have, but I have never thought about becoming a cyborg.

Motherboard recently reported about a man with a goal, a goal to become a cyborg. Tim Cannon, self proclaimed “Biohacker”. Cannon’s goal is to live for a thousand year, and with this goal he has designed a computer chip that he has had implanted under his skin. The chip transmits his biometric data so that he is able to track his health on an Android device. Will this chip help bring a better understanding of how our bodies work?

Cannon is unable to go to a doctor, a plastic surgeon to have the chip placed under his skin. Instead, he the sought help of body modification enthusiast Steve Haworth, who used his own tools to cut open an area on Cannon’s arm and separate the skin from the fatty tissue in order to place the device in his arm. Since Haworth is not a board-certified surgeon, he was unable to use anesthetics. Once the procedure was complete he reported that he was completely exhausted.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=clIiP1H3Opw[/youtube]

The implant is called Circadia 1.0 which has an open-source platform, allows users to have control over the data, how it is collected and used. This implantable device can read biomedical data and transmits via Bluetooth. Allowing users to gather weeks even months of medical data in which the user can store for personal viewing. This device is strictly designed as a body modification/art purposes and is not a medical device.

Cicadia is designed to give users a better quality of life. For example Cannon explains

“I think that our environment should listen more accurately and more intuitively to what’s happening in our body… So if, for example, I’ve had a stressful day, the Circadia will communicate that to my house and will prepare a nice relaxing atmosphere for when I get home: dim the lights, let in a hot bath.”

Though it seems that the chip is still in its developmental phase, it has been said that it should be accessible to enthusiasts of the body modification community. To have the chip implanted will cost someone around $200 while the chip will cost around $500.

Do you feel that this is a step in order to turn a man into a cyborg? Or is this just a better way to track the statistics of your health, let us know in the comments below.

Thank you Motherboard for providing us with this information.

Image courtesy of Motherboard.

Mad Catz, EA & Respawn Join Forces To Create Range Of “Titanfall” Peripherals

Mad Catz Interactive, Inc. have announced that it has joined forces with Electronic Arts to create a new range of Titanfall branded gaming products in time for the the games release later this year.

Expected to be in stores for the launch of Titanfall, the Titanfall branded product range includes TRITTON gaming headsets, R.A.T. mice, S.T.R.I.K.E. keyboards, F.R.E.Q. gaming headsets and G.L.I.D.E. gaming surfaces. All of which has walked away with a multitude of awards from us here at eTeknix, as well many other awards around the world.

“Titanfall has earned critical acclaim and won numerous awards, including Best of Show, Best Original Game, and Best Online Multiplayer at this year’s E3 conference. Mad Catz is excited to bring a range of cutting-edge, innovative, Titanfall-branded products to gamers in connection with one of the most anticipated game launches in recent history,” said Darren Richardson, the President and Chief Executive Officer of Mad Catz Interactive, Inc. “The Titanfall license builds on Mad Catz’ strategy to align our product portfolio with AAA content that appeals to passionate gamers.”

Unfortunately, MadCatz are being super sneaky, not releasing any images of the new designs or perhaps maybe even new features on these products. I’m sure details will come soon enough, but for now we can at least have a refresh of what the current product range looks like.

Stay tuned for more information as we approach the release of Titanfall.

Thank you MadCatz for providing us with this information.

Image courtesy of MadCatz.

Five Of The Best PC Headsets Available For Under £100 ($150)

When it comes to picking the right peripherals for your system, it is safe to say that you are going to be spoilt for choice and regardless of your budget it will be hard to narrow down your choices for each component. While the keyboard and mouse options out there may be seemingly limitless, so too are the choices for audio equipment.

Today we are taking a quick look at five of the best headsets on the market for £100 or less (for our American friends that’s approx $150 at time of writing), hopefully offering something to suit many different budgets and while we do know of a few great headsets well above £100, even well above £200! They’re not often the play thing of your average consumer or gamer.

Budget is important, but so is performance and while I can’t admit to having tried every PC headset on the market, I have certainly seen more than a fair share of them. All the headsets I list in this article are ones that I have personally owned, tested and have written full reviews of here on eTeknix, so full review links will be provided. I’m not going to tell you these are the five best headsets on the market, these are my personal choices, if you think you know of a better headset for the same price range, by all means post it as a comment below and help others by sharing your advice in a constructive manner.

Were going to be looking specifically at PC headsets today and it doesn’t matter if you just want to game, watch movies in peace or Skype call your friends, I’m sure we have something here that will suit you. All prices were taken as approximate from Google Shopping and were correct at time of writing.

Mad Catz Gamescom Launch Event Coverage

This weeks Gamescom event has been huge and one of the best things we have seen so far has to be the Mad Catz launch party, which played host to some great games, a chance to get hands on with the latest Mad Catz has to offer and some tasty local food too.

The biggest thing here of course is the Mad Catz STRIKE 3 keyboard which was revealed at the event as well as their latest Android console, next-gen compatibility and more.

The new wireless controller that can be paired via bluetooth was on show along side their new Android games console, the market is a little crowded with these kind of gaming systems in recent months so it will be interesting to see how it performs when we bring it in for review in the coming months.

There were plenty of things on offer, from prizes to gaming tournaments and even a world record holder for the speed run of Resident Evil 4 showing off his skills.

We don’t have many details on the keyboard and other peripherals right now, but enjoy the pictures and well be working hard to bring you more information from Mad Catz with reviews of their new products, as well as extra coverage from this weekends iSeries event in Telford.

Stay tuned for even more coverage of Gamescom over the next few days.

Mad Catz Cyborg F.R.E.Q.7 Headset Review

Mad Catz, Tritton, Saitek and Cyborg, you may know some of or all of these brand name, but one thing you may not know is that they’re all divisions of the same company. Mad Catz have been making quite a name for them selves recently and while they do have a strong history and some great products that span many years and several gaming generations, its their latest brands and products that have been taking the gaming world by storm.

Over the last year we’ve seen a few entries to the F.R.E.Q headset range, first up we had the F.R.E.Q.5 headset, the F.R.E.Q.5 Red and now the F.R.E.Q.7 which have come under the various brands such as Saitek, but are all fundamentally Mad Catz F.R.E.Q. Headsets. the F.R.E.Q.5 has long been my number 1 personal headset of choice, ever since I wrote the original review for the product it literally hasn’t gone a day without being used for my daily gaming, music and skype activities.

I was ecstatic to find out I would have the opportunity to review this headset, and there was only one question in my mind when I saw it “do I finally have a contender that could temp me away from the F.R.E.Q.5?” Well that is what I hope to find out today, but given the performance of the previous model, the F.R.E.Q.7 certainly has its work cut out.

Mad Catz have a very clear cut product naming strategy, one that is well demonstrated by their R.A.T. mouse range, the R.A.T3, R.A.T.5, .RA.T.7 and R.A.T9 rank in order of low to high in terms of features, performance and price. Starting with the 3, the most budget friendly and the 9 being the most feature-laden premium product. The same principle is applied to the F.R.E.Q.7 and while it looks almost exactly like the previous model it does have some upgraded hardware which we’ll be taking a closer look at in just a moment.

Even the packaging for the new headset bares a striking resemblance to the previous model, very little is different here, the only tell tale signs that we have a new product are the Dolby Digital Pro Logic II badge on the box and of course the new product name.

around the back of the box we have a quick run down of the major features of the set, the most notable being 7.1 surround sound and 50mm drivers. You can also see here the detachable microphone and a photograph of a headset stand that is now included with the device.

In the box I found a well written instruction booklet, detachable microphone, 3.5mm to USB braided cable, USB to USB braided cable and of course the headset its self.

The microphone feels very well made and features a highly adjustable boom, red LED mute indicator, and as you can see it’s also fully detachable from the headset.

The new headset features near identical construction to the F.R.E.Q.5 and this is no bad thing, the mixture of high quality metal and plastics still makes this one of the best made headsets on the market.

Each ear cup is finish a mixture of plastics, the softer looking main body and the glossy black which features the Mad Catz graphic. Here you can also see a small plastic circle on the ear cup, this is a removable cap to protect the microphone socket, Mad Catz have nicely included a little notch on the headset stand which will hold the plastic peg when you don’t require it.

The left ear cup features the Dolby and Microphone buttons, while the right holds a high quality, metal construction volume toggle wheel.

Exposed wire from the headband to the drivers has been lovingly covered with a black and red braiding that will help protect the cable, but also adds an extra styling touch.

Soft leather padding should provide extra comfort during long gaming sessions,and a hollow rubber strip on the headband is extra soft to touch, but still feel supportive when on your head. The headset is fully adjustable and features high quality sliders that shouldn’t wear out over time. The addition of having rotatable ear cups allow you to wear the headset around your neck, handy for when you need to take a few moments rest between games.

The plastic moulded base may not look much but its a perfect way of keeping your headset stored on your desk and a welcome addition to the bundle.

As you can see, the headset clips onto the base nicely, serving as much as a presentation display as it does a storage device. Here you can also see the detachable boom microphone.

Setup & Installation

For use on the PC Setup was as easy as plug-and-play as windows found the basic drivers with ease for the USB connection. Of course this can be even easier if you only wish to use the 3.5mm jack plug, which is even compatible with smartphones to allow for use as a mobile headset, MP3 players or just about any 3.5mm equipped audio device.

The official software can be download from the Mad Catz website and this allows you to control volume, EQ and dolby on/off settings. Dolby mode only works via the USB cable and is not a feature you can use via the 3.5mm jack plug on something like an MP3 player.

Music

When I reviewed the F.R.E.Q.5 I put the headset through its paces with a whole range of music and was amazed by the quality and also the performance of the various EQ settings. Judging from the specification on the box the F.R.E.Q.7 features identical drivers but after just a few songs I am certain they have made some tweaks and changes to the performance. Bass, mid tones and high frequencies are clearer than ever and I’ll be damned if I can think of a headset that sounds this good at playing back my music, excluding maybe a few pro audio focused sets that cost several hundred pounds more.

Movies

Movies was much the same as music, simply jaw dropping clarity for stereo drivers and the Dolby mode does an impressive job of giving you a wide audio field, bringing the sound away from your ears and filling the virtual room. I tend to find that virtual Dolby tech can be a little disappointing and that it tends to hollow out the sound, yet it looses none of its punch here.

Gaming

Gaming is the real winner for the F.R.E.Q.7 as this is fundamentally what it was designed to do and its definitely where it shines through the most. The high quality microphone is perfect for online gaming, the powerful drivers manage to keep the low rumbles of bass in Battlefield 3 free of distortion and the wind in Skyrim can be heard roaring behind you with the Dolby mode enabled.

General Performance

I use my personal F.R.E.Q.5 every day and I decided to put the F.R.E.Q.7 through all my daily tasks, long Skype calls, listening to music, gaming, wasting time on YouTube and most importantly to me playing my guitar, which I have loopped through my PC. I have to wear a headset for about 6 hours a day and its important that its comfortable and performs to an enjoyable standard on a daily basis and The F.R.E.Q.7 didn’t fail me once.

 

I think its pretty obvious at this point that I really like the F.R.E.Q.7, and I fear I may have come across somewhat smitten with the headset yet even though that may be the case, its for good reason.

The quality of the materials used in their construction and the overall build quality here is second to none, the overall finish is of a premium, high quality and highly durable product, add the general attention to detail that has gone into their design and overall style, which I admit may not be to everyone liking, but that much is true of any product and your already an long way to justifying the three digit price tag that goes with them.

While build quality and style alone can be enough to tempt some people to make the purchase, the thing that really matters to me is the audio performance and best in class sound quality is something that the F.R.E.Q.7 seems to do with ease, its virtually faultless in its execution of even the most demanding audio selections right across their full volume range and that is a rare thing in any headset. Not that you would want to take these to max volume of course as the drivers are likely to blow your ear drums before long.

Priced at around £130 / $200 US the F.R.E.Q.7 is far from cheap, but you do get a lot for your money in terms of quality and performance, so much so that I would still say the headset is excellent value for money. If you want to be amazed I can’t recommend the F.R.E.Q.5 headset enough, it’s about 30% cheaper, looks near identical and out performs just about anything on the market today, but if you want to be blown away then you need to be saving up for this model, plus you get a free plastic stand to display them on, and every extra feature counts when your spending over a £100.

I’ve already upgraded my headset to a F.R.E.Q.7, and that makes this a true editors choice product, the question for me now is, will it ever be topped, maybe Mad Catz will make a F.R.E.Q.9 and change the rule book once again, but only time will tell.