World Tech Update - Playstation at 20, Ford Updates SYNC, Navy Fires Lasers

CIO | Dec 11, 2014

Coming up on WTU this week Playstation celebrates its 20th anniversary, Ford debuts its SYNC 3 in-car infotainment system and the Navy perfects a combat laser. Follow host Nick Barber on Twitter @nickjb

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World Tech Update - Playstation at 20, Ford updates SYNC, Navy fires lasers
Coming up on WTU this week Playstation celebrates its 20th anniversary, Ford debuts its SYNC 3 in-car infotainment system and the Navy perfects a combat laser. Follow host Nick Barber on Twitter @nickjb

Thanks for joining us here on World Tech Update, I'm Nick Barber.

We'll star this week with the 20th anniversary of Sony's Playstation. Back in 1994 Nintendo and Sega dominated the console landscape and Sony was a consumer electronics outsider. But the PlayStation took off, at first in Japan and then around the world. The industry got a boost of competition in 2001 when Microsoft launched its Xbox, and since then the two have been battling for the lead in the very competitive video gaming space. To celebrate the anniversary, Sony hosted a huge two-day event for PlayStation fans in Las Vegas called Playstation Experience. Thousands of gamers were at the weekend event and got the chance to try out new, unreleased games for the PlayStation 4 console. But all it not well in the console gaming industry. Casual gamers are more and more turning to smartphones and tablets to get their fix, so console makers are continuing to push better graphics and a more immersive experience.
Ford is updating its in-car infotainment system and dumping its partnership with Microsoft. Ford's new SYNC 3 which will begin rolling out next year will use BlackBerry's QNX operating system instead of Microsoft's Windows Embedded OS. It will also employ a capacative touchscreen, which means it will respond more like your smartphone or tablet. Eventually SYNC 3 will be able to mirror the navigation information from your Android or iOS device, but that won't be available initially. There are currently 10 million vehicles on the road with SYNC, but only new vehicles will get the most current version.

The US Navy has successfully deployed a combat ready laser. This video is of a test aboard the USS Ponce in the Persian Gulf. The laser was able to hit a target aboard a speeding, oncoming boat. It was also able to destroy an unmanned aerial vehicle flying in the sky. The biggest difference between the laser and a traditional missile is its cost to fire it. At about a dollar per shot it's a lot cheaper than firing a multi million dollar missile. Accuracy does need to be spot on though. And at 30 kilowatts it's not going to be sinking any ships. The office of naval research is working on developing a laser 5 times stronger.

And now it's over to colleagues at Greenbot for a quick look at Lenovo's Yoga Tablet 2 Pro.

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United Airlines will outfit its 23,000 flight attendants with iPhone 6 Pluses next year in an effort to improve safety and customer service. During the second quarter of 2015 the phones will be distributed to all of its mainline flight attendants. The iPhones will be able to handle most onboard transactions for food and beverage. It will also let flight attendants access company email, united-dot-com, the company's intranet and policy and procedure manuals. This follows the deployment of iPads to pilots which began in 2011.

Well that's our show thanks for joining us here on World Tech Update. To find out what's coming up on every week's show be sure to follow us on Facebook and Twitter. I'm Nick Barber and for all of us here at the IDG News Service thanks for watching and we hope to see you next week.

Credits

Produced by
IDG News Service
Nick Barber

Reporting
IDG News Service
Nick Barber
Melissa Aparicio
Florence Ion, Greenbot

Video
IDG News Service
Ford
Sony
Greenbot
United

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