Klingon is Covered by Copyright Claims Paramount

Star Trek is a series loved and followed by millions, with everyone and their parents having grown up with the adventures of the starship Enterprise. Sadly a short film made by fans to cover a gap in the universe could be stopped as it would appear that Klingon is covered by copyright.

Klingons are one of, if not the most, well-known races in the star Trek universe. Being a warrior race by nature, it was always referenced (and was a key part of James T Kirks character) that the Federation and the Klingons had gone to war. A fan film created by Alec Peters looked to explore this war but seems like it may never see the light of day due to a copyright claim made by Paramount and CBS, the holders of Star Treks intellectual property.

After being told it wasn’t detailed enough the claim has now been updated to cite several instances where the fan film presses on Star Trek’s copyright. This includes the gold command shirts and even the pointed Vulcan ears, but the claim also goes on to state that the entire Klingon language is covered under copyright.

Is it possible to copyright an entire language (fictional or real world)? Should the fan made the film, which has been funded by a Kickstarter project none the less, be stopped by the copyright claim or should they come to a deal to create the film with the full support of the company?

You can read the full document listing every single copyright infringement in the film here.

J.J. Abrams Wife Told Him To Stop Using Lens Flare

J.J. Abrams is known for a wide range of movies, from the latest Star Trek films to Cloverfield. Out of all of his films though there is one thing that is constantly missing, and that is special effects. To be more precise I don’t think I’ve seen a single one of Abrams films which feature Lens Flare, that could be because I’m blinded by its overuse in his films, though. Seems I’m not the only one with everyone including his wife telling him to stop using lens flare.

In the below video Abrams explains how it was during a scene from Star Trek Into Darkness that his wife demanded he stopped using the effect in his films.

If you disagree with her point there might be something you should watch, two and a half minutes of lens flares courtesy of Star Trek Into Darkness.

If that wasn’t enough you could just watch some of his other films, with the effect seeming to be synonymous with his name in the credits. While he’s not the only one who uses the effect, sadly you will often find it in a lot of video games as well, he is definitely known for it but even with all of these facts we just can’t seem to figure out why his wife would tell him to stop using the effect.

Create Your Own LCARS System Using A Raspberry Pi

Star Trek has had a lasting impact on everything from science fiction to people’s everyday lives. Everybody who has watched the series has their own generation, and for myself it was the Next Generation. I remember watching the first episode when it aired and gazing at the screens as they pressed buttons without having to type long commands into a keyboard. This was all done thanks to a system known as LCARS and thanks to some clever coder you can now create your LCARS system.

With nothing more than a Raspberry Pi and his wits, Toby Kurien created a home automation system based on the classic science fiction interface. If that wasn’t cool enough, Kurien has also released the code for the interface system on GitHub, meaning you can not only download and tinker to your heart’s content if you prefer something a little different you can change out the assets, giving your system a whole new look.

Created using Python, the software supports touchscreen and means that when combined with the latest Raspberry Pi, you can create your own little LCARS tablet or wall panel to help control your home, car or even just to play games on. How long before someone modifies it to control the starship Enterprise drone we wonder.

Fulfil Your Starfleet Dreams With This USS Enterprise Drone

Space, the final frontier. Sadly, very few are currently able to go explore space, even with the internal space station or even NASA’s plans to inhabit mars. We can still see the stars, in the night sky and in the movies, with J.J. Abrams directing the next Star Wars film and the Star Trek films never ending. Sometimes though you want to feel closer to the action and with a little help from Spin Master you may be able to with your very own Enterprise drone.

By using their quadcopter as a base, Spin Master was able to place all four of the rotors blades into the saucer section leaving the main body and nacelles of the famous interstellar vessel to include lights and even ten “authentic” sound effects. Aside from the see-through cage of the saucer section that holds the rotors the vessel does look remarkably similar to the initial design of Kirk’s vessel.

Costing around $120 (around £83), the NCC-1701-A drone will come with an all too familiar controller for those who grew up with remote controlled cars, meaning that you won’t be seeing a Star Trek app for this creation. With warp speed sounds and nostalgia included, I know plenty of people who will be buying this, both for themselves and far too many Trekkies to count. So when can we order our Klingon War Birds?

Smithsonian Museum Restoring Original 1967 USS Enterprise

2016 marks the 50th anniversary of the debut of Star Trek and it’s sure to be celebrated by the millions of fans of the series worldwide. With the next movie, Star Trek Beyond, on the way and rumours of a new TV series abound, it’ll definitely be an anniversary for Trekkies to remember. Not to be left out, the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum have set about restoring the original 1967 USS Enterprise model that was used in the filming of all 79 episodes of the original series.

The model had been on display in the Smithsonian since it was donated back in 1974, but in September 2015, was taken off public showing due to the time taking its toll on the model leaving it in need of conservation. The team plan to have the model back on display later this year in the Boeing Milestones of Flight Hall, to mark the museum’s 40th anniversary in July and Star Trek’s 50th in September. The aim of the conservation is to restore the model to its appearance in the Trouble With Tribbles episode from August 1967, which featured the last modification made to the ship during the show’s production. Trekkie’s can rest easy knowing the iconic model is in good hands, with the conservation team having collective experience spanning over 100 movies, including 8 Star Trek flicks (and four episodes of Star Wars).

The Smithsonian have shared a number of images of the work in progress on their blog, showing off more of the ins-and-outs of the model than any episode of the series would show. It’s definitely good that great effort is being made to maintain this iconic piece of sci-fi history, instead of simply remaining on display until it falls apart.

Kojima Meets Abrams To Discuss New Studio

Movies and Games go hand in hand like chocolate coated marshmallows. If you have a good movie, there will be a game and recently if you make an amazing game, you sometimes even get a movie. Some of the biggest names in each industry recently met, raising to speculation that we could soon see them working on something.

Some of the biggest names in their respective industries Hideo and JJ Abrams recently met to discuss Kojima’s new studio. Abrams is known for his quick action and lens flares was the producer for the recent Star Wars film, the Force Awakens. Amongst his credentials come producers for movies such as Star Trek (and the next trek film, Star Trek Beyond) and even some video game based movies such as the highly anticipated Half-Life film.

Kojima comes from the gaming world, having created the hugely popular video game series Metal Gear Solid. After being honoured at the DICE Hall of Fame Awards and leaving Konami, the studio behind the Metal Gear Solid franchise, Kojima has created a new studio. As if that wasn’t enough to get fans excited Kojima tweeted a picture saying he had just met Abrams to discuss his new studio.

Movie or Game? What would you like to see out of this combination? A movie based on a new franchise or maybe a game based on some of Abrams cinematic work?

Scottish MP Give Vulcan Salute in Support of Europe’s First Spaceport

Scottish National Party Member of Parliament gave a Vulcan salute to support the building of Europe’s first spaceport in Scotland, an idea which has gained the endorsement of Star Trek’s Kirk and Sulu, The Guardian reports. The SNP’s Phillippa Whitford made the hand signal during a debate in the House of Commons, before which she made the case for establishing the spaceport in her constituency of Central Ayrshire. A statement from Star Trek veteran William Shatner, supporting the initiative, was read out in Parliament by Whitford. A tweet from George Takei also lent support to the endeavour, prior to the debate.

“During the election, whenever I talked to anyone about this they would always just laugh because to us in this country we think space is for other people, it’s for the big boys: north America, Russia, maybe even China – but not us,” Whitford said. “That is something we have to change. We need to believe what we can do. I think Major Tim Peake’s mission will achieve that. This is a real industry, not the ‘beam me up Scotty’ or fretting about the dilithium crystals that we see on the telly, but a multibillion-pound industry.”

“So I’d call on the minister to be imaginative and to be brave and to be boldly going where no minister has gone before. I call on the minister to please be imaginative, enable this industry across the entire UK so it can live long and prosper,” she added.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vcfGXRjylq8

Whitford then read out the statement from Shatner:

“Space is one of the last known frontiers mostly untouched by mankind and his politics. In opening a debate on this subject, my hope is you take the tenets of Star Trek’s prime directive to universally and peacefully share in the exploration of it. I wish you all a wonderful debate. My best, Bill.”

Before the debate, Takei made his approval of the idea known on Twitter:

The Department of Transport will be tendering bids for the spaceport following its appraisal of the technical specifications required to support any potential spaceport.

Star Trek Anniversary Stamps Available In the US

Whenever a big event comes out, it is normal for us to celebrate. More and more we find ways of celebrating different events in different ways, but there are some ways which you have to keep using because they are, for lack of a better term, classic. One of these ways is to release limited edition stamps, a collection that Star trek fans will be able to enjoy in 2016.

In 1966, Star Trek premiered on people’s televisions and it’s been hard to miss its impact and references in everyday life and science fiction since. As a result, the US Postal service will be releasing not one but four different forever stamps, each with both a unique colour and image.

Featuring a yellow (or gold to some) background with a ship travelling at speed and a star fleet emblem in the background the first catches your eye, the second is a green stamp with our planet in the circle of a starey outline of the Enterprise. The third features a red planet and the Vulcan greeting, symbolising life long and prosper, with a blue background.

I’ve left my favourite to last, a starey outline of a figure on a red background. Those familiar with the old series will recognise the tribute to all those brave red shirts, who forever unnamed, led the dangerous expeditions only to never come back.

The four new forever stamps come in at 49 cents, converting to around 33p in the UK, a price that collectors and Star Trek fans will be rushing at warp speed to collect.

New Star Trek Series Coming in 2017

I’ve watched every series of Star Trek barring Enterprise numerous times and feel it’s an integral part of my childhood. The engaging stories, wonderful characters and morality provides an insight into what the world could be like if humans worked together in harmony. In 2015, clearly that’s an idealistic sentiment. Whatever the case, I can easily re-watch Star Trek The Next Generation, Deep Space Nine, The Original Series and Voyager without ever getting bored with the stories. To be honest, I’ve probably done an entire run through of TNG at least 8 times.

You might describe me as a Star Trek addict, and that is certainly true. From nowhere, CBS have announced a brand new series which premiers in January 2017! I am trying to keep calm, but this is incredibly exciting. However, the big caveat is US residents can only access the series through a subscription:

“The new series will blast off with a special preview broadcast on the CBS Television Network. The premiere episode and all subsequent first-run episodes will then be available exclusively in the United States on CBS All Access, the Network’s digital subscription video on demand and live streaming service.”

https://twitter.com/StarTrek/status/661211904405147653/photo/1

It’s an interesting move to broadcast the episodes on a streaming service but restricting its availability to US citizens is appalling. Why not offer Europeans the same subscription service too? CBS need to wake up and realize that Star Trek fans come from all over the world. Additionally, region locking broadcasts only encourages piracy and the new series will be littered all over torrent sites for people to access in and out of the USA. As a result, they should allow everyone to access it and the older Star Trek catalog for a flat fee.

David Stapf, President at CBS Television Studios described the announcement and said:

“There is no better time to give Star Trek fans a new series than on the heels of the original show’s 50th anniversary celebration,”  

“Everyone here has great respect for this storied franchise, and we’re excited to launch its next television chapter in the creative mind and skilled hands of Alex Kurtzman, someone who knows this world and its audience intimately.”

I’m really torn on the new Star Trek series because I’m desperate to watch it but fairly shocked that CBS continue to lock their streaming service on a geographical basis. Don’t get me wrong, it’s going to be broadcast throughout the world, but I’d love the option to access a dedicated Star Trek streaming service instead.

Wandering Around a Rendered USS Enterprise In Unreal Engine 4

Technology has provided a platform for many fan made creations which have risen to prominence over the years, from intricately detailed worlds in Minecraft to imaginative landscapes which have garnered a huge following. Star Trek is one such Sci Fi phenomenon which has certainly given rise to its fair share of individually constructed projects, well, a talented individual has taken his obsession for the famous Enterprise to a whole new creative level.

The project in question is by the name of “The Enterprise Construction Project” and is the brain child of an extremely creative 3D artist by the name of “Jason”. His target goal is to construct all 42 decks of the USS Enterprise NCC-1701-D in the Unreal Game Engine 4”  Below is the video which, as you can see is both lovingly and exquisitely rendered, so much so that the artist states the following,

Creating all of them will be a daunting task. I have compiled a large archive of reference from production drawings, set blueprints, official blueprints, and of course meticulous screen captures of the HD Blu-ray versions of the episodes.”

It’s astonishing to imagine the lengths which have been planned to obtain such an extensive reference list of materials with the aim of replicating the finer details.

https://youtu.be/uK9ijZeHWjI

Below is two screenshots of the level of detail which have been conveyed within this model, the luminosity of the planet/star and the fluid movement of the Asteroids capture the imagination of the viewer.

It is certainly impressive considering one person has achieved this level of detail, the textures and visual representations are immersive and according to the website, Jason’s main objective is to ” create the entirety of the USS Enterprise NCC-1701-D in the Unreal Game Engine. The Enterprise would serve first and foremost as a virtual museum. Every deck and room can be explored” Other potential phases include a “populated ship containing Federation citizens and Starfleet” and also “Different Planetary Systems.”

It’s a fascinating and fabulous project which has the potential for wider exposure within many outlets while keeping fans entertained.

Thank you roadtovr and enterprise3dproject for providing us with this information.

Welsh Assembly Responds to UFO Questions in Klingon

A series of questions posed by a Conservative MP regarding UFO sightings within the borders of Wales, the Welsh government responded in Klingon, the language of the infamous Star Trek antagonists. Shadow Minister for Health and Social Services and MP for Clwyd West Darren Millar asked Labour MP Edwina Hart, the Minister for Economy, Science, and Transport, three questions regarding UFOs at the Welsh Assembly.

Millar asked:

  • Will the minister make a statement on how many reports of unidentified flying objects there have been at Cardiff Airport since its acquisition by the Welsh government?
  • What discussions has the Welsh government had with the Ministry of Defence regarding sightings of unidentified flying objects in Wales in each of the past five years?
  • What consideration has the Welsh government given to the funding of research into sightings of unidentified flying objects in Wales?

To which the Welsh Assembly responded, in writing:

“jang vIDa je due luq. ‘ach ghotvam’e’ QI’yaH-devolved qaS.”

The reply in Klingon roughly translates as “The minister will reply in due course. However this is a non-devolved matter.” By “non-devolved”, it means that only the UK Parliament can respond, rather than the devolved Welsh Assembly. Since it was not in a position to offer a response, it seems that someone within the Welsh government decided to have a little fun with it.

Millar’s retort, a cheap gag, made him sound a little sore: “I’ve always suspected that Labour ministers came from another planet. This response confirms it.” A Conservative Party spokesperson claims that Millar relayed the questions on behalf of a handful of North Walians, saying, “Darren tabled these questions after being contacted by constituents.”

An official response – relaying the same response, only in English and Welsh this time – from Edwina Hart is due on 15th July.

Thank you Ars Technica for providing us with this information.

Adam Savage Builds Perfect Replica of Captain Kirk’s Chair

When industrial designer Adam Savage, famous as one of the hosts of Mythbusters, ordered a replica of Captain Kirk’s chair from the original Star Trek TV series he was left disappointed, calling the seat “totally sad and not accurate”. His solution? Build his own.

The video below shows Savage’s gorgeous duplicate of the iconic Captain’s chair in its full glory, and it has already garnered one important fan:

The chair, as exact to scale as Savage could make it, is based on the version that appeared in the two pilot episode of Star Trek, the unaired The Cage, which featured Jeffrey Hunter as Captain Christopher Pike (and a female first officer, which proved too progressive for CBS), and Where No Man Has Gone Before, which marks the first appearance of William Shatner as Captain James T. Kirk. As such, the chair features a viewer mounted near the right armrest, included because Savage “wanted it to have a feature that no other chair has.”

Savage built the chair from scratch, including the upholstery, based on a number of plans remaining from the Sixties TV show, and photos of the original chair that is housed at the EMP Museum in Seattle. “I’m not going to say it’s 100% accurate, but it’s pretty freaking accurate,” Savage says.

Reports of NASA “Warp Drive” Have Been Greatly Exaggerated

After the huge buzz of discovering that not only was NASA working on its own version of Star Trek’s ‘warp drive’ – the fuelless EmDrive, that uses electromagnetics to propel a craft to astronomical speeds – but that the astronautics agency had successfully tested it, here comes the inevitable deflation: “NASA is not working on ‘warp drive’ technology,” agency officials told space.com.

According to NASA, though the EmDrive was successfully tested in vacuum conditions, the experiment was small-scale and the drive only produced a tiny amount of thrust, far from the speed of light-breaking propulsion of the USS Enterprise. As NASA puts it, “While conceptual research into novel propulsion methods by a team at NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Houston has created headlines, this is a small effort that has not yet shown any tangible results.”

The problem with the EmDrive, which was a concern even when it seemed that tests were promising, is that it seemed to output more energy than the amount consumed by it which violates Newton’s Third Law. According to astrophysicist Brian Koberlien, the “impossible” result of the EmDrive test could be due to electromagnetic leaks in the chamber or the drive coupling with the Earth’s magnetic field. Until the results are peer-reviewed, Koberlien says, we won’t know.

Regardless, NASA has resolved to continue to research and develop new ways of travelling to the stars:

“The agency does fund very fundamental research as part of our advanced concepts and innovative investments that push the frontiers of science and engineering. This is part of what NASA does in exploring the unknown, and the agency is committed to and focused on the priorities and investments identified by the NASA Strategic Space Technology Investment Plan. Through these investments, NASA will develop the capabilities necessary to send humans further into space than ever before.”

Thank you space.com for providing us with this information.

NASA’s New EM Propulsion Brings Us One Step Closer to Warp Drive

NASA has tested a new electromagnetic propulsion drive that, much like Star Trek’s warp drive, could push a spacecraft to travel beyond the speed of light. Unlike warp drive, which stretches the space around a craft, NASA’s EM drive converts electrical energy into thrust without the need for propellant fuel, a controversial concept since it violates Newton’s laws of motion. However, NASA claims to have successfully tested the EM drive in conditions that replicate the vacuum of space, according to NASASpaceFlight.com, meaning a real-world equivalent of warp drive may be close.

Paul March, an engineer at the Johnson Space Center where the propulsion technology is being tested, spoke to CNet about the development, saying, “My work at Eagleworks (the lab at JSC where the EM drive is being tested) is just a continuation of my work tackling the fundamental problem that has been hindering manned spaceflight from the termination of the Apollo moon program. That being the availability of a robust and cost-effective power and propulsion technology that can break us loose from the shackles of the rocket equation.”

The EM drive is due to undergo further rigorous testing to ensure that it really works, and if it is truly implementable it would require a craft to be powered by its own nuclear reactor, but even the possibility of faster-than-light travel becoming reality is tremendously exciting.

Thank you CNet for providing us with this information.

Star Trek Fan Creates USS Enterprise Router

Disappointed that there were no Star Trek-themed routers on the market, fans Christoph Kauch and Rol Schwarz decided to build their own, taking an a Revel 1:600 model of the original USS Enterprise (NCC-1701) and inserting the innards from a Ubiquiti Unifi wireless router.

The entry-level router had only one Ethernet port to integrate into the model, which is now housed in the ship’s stand, with the router’s board a snug fit beneath the bridge, but despite the relative ease of the modding job, the pair took the time and effort to insert LEDs to light up the bridge. Unnecessary, but very cool.

 

Source: Gizmodo

Israeli Scientists Develop Real-Life Star Trek Tricorder

Researchers from the Tel Aviv University have succeeded in creating a real-life tricorder – the multi-function scanning device from the Star Trek TV shows and movies – by adopting existing smartphone technology.

Professor David Mendlovic and doctoral student Ariel Raz from Tel Aviv University’s School of Electrical Engineering teamed up with Unispectral Technologies to develop and patent an optical component based on microelectromechanical (MEMS) technology found in modern smartphones.

Mendlovic says, “The optical element acts as a tunable filter and the software – an image fusion library – would support this new component and extract all the relevant information from the image.” The optical component can read an object’s hyperspectral signature – using either still or video images – the data from which can be used to discern what it is made of.

“A long list of fields stand to gain from this new technology,” Mendlovic said. “We predict hyperspectral imaging will play a major role in consumer electronics, the automotive industry, biotechnology, and homeland security.”

The team hopes to deliver a prototype by June this year, and is already in talks with smartphone manufacturers about implementing the technology.

Source: Tech Times

Elite Dangerous Adding Nimoy Memorial Station

Game developer Frontier will be adding the Nimoy Memorial Station to its open world space exploration game Elite: Dangerous to commemorate the passing of Star Trek actor Leonard Nimoy.

Elite is the latest MMO to reveal plans to celebrate the life of Nimoy – who played iconic character Spock across a number of different Star Trek shows and films – with Star Trek Online holding a wake on the planet Vulcan, Cryptic promising a permanent memorial soon, and Star Citizen announcing that a tribute to the late actor is in the works.

Michael Brookes, Executive Producer at Frontier, says the station will be positioned “in the LHS 3006 system around the only suitably named planet,” which, of course, is called Vulcan. Brookes confirmed the news on an Elite forum post that was taking name suggestions for a new station in the New Yembo region, for which the overwhelming suggestion was Nimoy. Though, since the Nimoy Memorial Station will be in the LHS 3006 region, the New Yembo contest is still open.

Elite’s planet Vulcan already has a station, the WCM Transfer Orbital, but it is assumed that the Nimoy station will be a new addition, rather than the old station renamed. Nimoy Memorial Station will be added to Elite: Dangerous with the release of the 1.2 update.

Source: Rock, Paper, Shotgun

Leonard Nimoy, Mr Spock From ‘Star Trek’ Dies Aged 83

Leonard Nimoy, the actor famous for playing Mr Spock in the iconic Star Trek, has died at age 83. He died of end-stage chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, according to his son, Adam.

Nimoy captured the hearts and minds of generations for his role in Star Trek, playing a half-human, half-Vulcan character. He was famous for his catchphrase “live long and prosper” and the hand gesture seen above.

Poignantly, he effectively bid farewell via Twitter, on February 23rd he posted “A life is like a garden. Perfect moments can be had, but not preserved, except in memory.”

Source: BBC News

Star Trek 3 Secures 2016 Release With Fast and Furious Director

The last two Star Trek films haven’t done too badly, but they haven’t been massive hits for Paramount. Well, the company has reportedly secured Justin Lin as the director of the third outing, Star Trek 3, who is known for his work with the Fast and the Furious franchise.

Star Trek was released in 2009, while Star Trek Into Darkness was released last year. Both of the movies were directed by J.J. Abrams who has since moved off to the Star  Wars franchise, with next year’s Star Wars: The Force Awakens.

Source: Polygon.

George Takei Helps Raise $650K for Fan Made Star Trek Film

A new Star Trek film has been hitting the big screen every few years for quite some time now, but now it looks like we’re going to be treated to the ultimate Star Trek fan made production, especially now that actor George Takei who played Sulu in the original series has helped them raise $650,000 to fund a new adventure for the U.S.S. Enterprise.

George threw out a few tweets to help boost the funding for the movie, Star Trek: Axanar, which helped boost the already quite health fund by an extra $200,000. The new feature film succeeded in reaching its funding goals and will also includes a mock documentary called “Prelude to Anaxar” which was launched a few weeks ago.

“The most important part was Prelude itself, because it gave us enormous credibility,” team leader Alec Peters said in a statement. “Combine that with an amazingly-loyal and passionate group of donors from our first Kickstarter, who tirelessly evangelized for us, and the aid of the geek media, which got behind the project after seeing our first trailer, and there was no stopping the momentum we’d built up.”

The team only needed $100k to make this a reality, but now that they have over six times as much we’re expecting great things from them. The movie will focus around the Battle of Axanar and Garth of Izar, both of which were briefly mentioned in the original Star Trek TV series.

They’ve even got themselves a few industry names on board, such as actor Richard Hatch of Battlestar: Galactica, Gary Graham from Star Trek: Enterprise, Frank Serafine the sound designer for The Hunt For Red Octocber and Tobias Richeter, the visual effects artist who retooled the Star Trek: TNG Blu-Rays.

Check out the official Kickstarter page here for more details.

Thank you Space for providing us with this information.

Image courtesy of Space.

New Smart Glasses to Aid Blind People

A pair of smart glasses that could transform the lives of blind and partially-sighted people could be in the shops as soon as 2016. The joint project between the Royal National Institute of Blind People (RNIB) and the University of Oxford and the has won a £500.000 grant in a Google charity competition.

The new smart glasses would enable those suffering from sight loss to see obstacles and faces, similar to the fictional high-tech visor worn by Geordi La Forge in the TV show Star Trek. They consist of a video camera on the frame, a computer processing unit small enough to fit in a pocket and a software to provide images of objects close-by onto the see-through displays.

The RNIB is planning to create 100 pairs of smart glasses and test them with 1000 people. This will be the first large-scale test of smart glasses and augmented reality for sight enhancement anywhere in the world. The glasses could later be sold for as little as £300. It is estimated the new smart glasses could help over half of the 300.000 people registered as blind in the UK.

“The idea of the smart glasses is to give people with poor vision an aid that boosts their awareness of what’s around them – allowing greater freedom, independence and confidence to get about, and a much improved quality of life,” says Dr Stephen Hicks of the Nuffield Department of Clinical Neurosciences at the University of Oxford.

Further funding has been given by the Royal Society to create even more features for the glasses. Face, object and text recognition as well as an audio prompt via earpiece are being considered. “We eventually want to have a product that will look like a regular pair of glasses and cost no more than a few hundred pounds – about the same as a smart phone,” says Dr Hicks.

Iain Cairns of London tried out the smart glasses. The 43-year-old was diagnosed with the inherited eye condition choroideremia at 12 and only has an area of central vision left in each eye. Working at the computer and writing still works for him, but he did start to use a cane around three years ago.

When fitted with the glasses, Iain reacted: “I can see your face. It’s like the Lord of the Rings when he puts the ring on and sees things in a new way.”

More information about the smart glasses to aid blind people can be found on the RNIB’s homepage

Thank you Daily Mail for providing us with this information

Images courtesy of Daily Mail

NASA & GRoK Technologies Working On Star Trek Style Healing Devices

Anyone who has seen an episode of Star Trek will no doubt be familiar with the healing devices they used in the show, simply shine the non-invasive device on the skin and BAM! You’re healed. They have a little device to scan over your skin that would heal cuts, burns, scars, fractures and many other injuries and it’s this technology that has sparked the imagination of NASA and Houston-based company GRoK Technologies.

“It’s not just science fiction anymore. All indications are that 21st century life sciences will change dramatically during the next several decades, and GRoK is working to define the forefront of a new scientific wave.” said GRoK’s founder and CEO Moshe Kushman

NASA are also keen to push this technology to help with the potential regeneration of bone and muscle tissue during space flight, and GRoK will be taking the first steps by trying to create BioReplicates, a 3D printed human tissue that could be used to test cosmetics, drugs and other products for efficacy and toxicity. On one hand ending the need for animal testing and on the other improving test results by testing on something that actually represents human tissue.

Next up is Scionic, a technology that GRoK say could result in “development of medical devices designed to target musculoskeletal pain and inflammation in humans and animals noninvasively and without the use of pharmaceuticals.” and it is this technology, the Scionic, that mimics the behaviour of the Star Trek medical devices.

“NASA is interested in the potential these technologies present for regenerating bone and muscle. [Astronauts] are susceptible to developing osteopenia, which is a condition arising from the loss of bone and muscle mass and bone density.” Said NASA in a press release.

They haven’t got any products just yet, but the point is that they’re actively pushing to make this technology happen. The only way we’re going to have super-advanced medical equipment in the future is if someone starts planning and experimenting now and that’s exactly what GRoK and NASA have begun to do.

Thank you Gizmodo for providing us with this information.

Star Trek: The Game Xbox 360 Review

The latest entry to a long history of Star Trek gaming titles has been unleashed upon the gaming masses, promising co-operative gameplay throughout the familiar settings of the Star Trek universe and all through the avatars of Spock and Kirk, a pretty tall order to fill by any standard.

With the release of the J. J. Abram Stark Trek films comes a whole new generation of Star Trek fans, not only for the movies and multiple TV series, but also for the games and the Star Trek franchise has already more than stood the test of time in all these areas, although maybe not so much on the gaming side of things as it has with movies and TV.

Star Trek The Game promises a single player adventure, but its main focus in on the co-op aspects of both Spock and Kirt working together in their classic competitive and argumentative fashion. Steve Sinclair, the creative director for the game even went as far as calling the game’s genre “bro-op” at E3… oh dear.

The concept is solid, the characters are familiar and the game world is already well documented, so the ingredients for great entertainment are right here, but how does it hold up in the real world?

Graphics wise, the game isn’t lacking in charms, the characters are well created based on the latest Star Trek movie and many of the voices are either in place or at the very best close to the original, closer than you find in most games anyway. Scotty does unfortunately sound like he’s only been told what a Scottish accent is before acting it, but I guess they couldn’t get hold of Simon Pegg to reprise the role.

The game offers up some stunning locations too and many of them will be familiar to fans of the series and movies, offering some excellent nostalgia throughout, but there is a problem. The animation on the characters is something lifted out of an early PlayStation 2 low-budget Sci-Fi shooter, by which I mean its pretty awful and it’s not helped by graphical glitches, poor collision detection and worst of all, some pretty unresponsive controls that do tend to mar the experience a fair bit.

Whilst the game does feel, dare I say it, bad to play, there are moments of reprisal that do make it a fun adventure. Seeing the classic ships, characters and  being able to run around the Enterprise is something I will likely never get fed up with.

The game is full of amusing dialogue, the common banter that we have become accustomed to with Spock and Kirk is seemingly endless and it does offer a great environment to the game. As a big Star Trek fan I find it a lot of fun being able to work around the bridge pre-mission, checking with various members of the crew for information and status reports before heading for the turbo lift, it’s like being in the movie when it all works properly.

At it’s core gameplay experience, Star Trek is a cover based shooter, but its let down by the poor controls and this can often turn into a game of patience rather than something you can lose yourself in for a few hours. The missions a little linear at times, but that’s nothing out of the ordinary for near any cover based shooter of the last few years.

The game’s co-op system does allow for drop in / drop out play should you need it, but only if your playing online. If your sharing a seat for split screen the game has to be played in chapters and campaign progression doesn’t carry over your experience for player 2. I’ve spoken to the developers about this issue fearing it may be a bug, but if you’re going to play co-op, I’d suggest playing online with your friend for the time being.

One  of the more fun aspects of this game is the return of the Gorn, a classic Star Trek enemy that is sure to amuse fans of some of the more classic TV series episodes. The enemies are a little copy/paste at times, but given they’re a beast, the developers can easily get away with that on. Nothing that can’t be dispatched with a few phaser blasts and for the most part, combat isn’t too difficult, although it can get a little chaotic at time, which is no bad thing.

Overall I found Star Trek to be a fairly average entry to the franchise, it didn’t excite me in the way I had hoped and since the original announcement of the game I had been really looking forward to this game. Me and my girlfriend are massive co-op gaming fans and we were really happy to hear there would be another entry to the split screen market, given the trend is dying in favour of online play and online shooters. Yet I almost wish we hadn’t bother with this title as the dream was in this case much better than the reality.

It’s not without its charms though and when you get used to little problems with it, there can be some fun in here. It’s got some of the best characters in gaming history, classic weapons at your disposal, one of the most famous star ships in cinema, tv and gaming history and its going to be a fun adventure for fans of the newer films as it ties in nicely with both of the J. J. Abrams movies.

The trailer promises something along the lines of Mass Effect but what we really have is a fairly standard cover shooter that has been turned into a movie tie-in of sorts, if you like both of those things and you’re a big fan of the series, I’d suggest giving the game a try.

What really bothers me are the developers, as this game could have been so much more and Digital Extremes have a rich history in game’s development and you can see the list here, they’ve worked on some truly great titles, so what went wrong Digital Extreme? Or more importantly, are there any movie to game conversions that are truly great anyway? Let me know what you think in the comments section below.

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New video explores the making of Star Trek Video Game

Three years ago, shortly after the massive worldwide success of the re-imagined film version of Star Trek, the creators of the upcoming Star Trek The Video Game began their journey to bring an entirely new adventure to gamers.

“At the heart of every Star Trek adventure are two unforgettable heroes: Kirk and Spock – and just as their cooperation drives the story of Star Trek on screen, it needed to form the core of the video-game experience” says Brian Miller, executive producer of Star Trek The Video Game.

“Kirk is this brash cowboy character, whereas Spock is the exact opposite – and when you break down Star Trek to those elements, you had to make a co-op game,” Miller says. “There was no other game we could possibly make.”

In a new video feature released yesterday by Paramount Pictures, Miller explains more about the creation of Star Trek The Video Game and the co-op play that gamers will experience in it.

Star Trek The Video Game will be available April 26, 2013, for Xbox 360, PlayStation 3 and PC.

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