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DJI Spark – The Drone with Gesture Control

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Gesture controlled drone

Is this the coolest toy around? A tiny drone that fits in the palm of your hand, can be controlled by gesture and shoots quality video.  Well, yes, it is, but probably not for long.  At five hundred dollars, and that’s before the extras that you’re almost certainly going to want, this isn’t exactly ‘a drone for the masses’ but it’s certainly a huge leap in that direction.

Controlling an airborne machine with the palm of your hand is awesome but before you get too carried away you need to remind yourself that this is still a technology in its infancy.  You can launch DJI Spark from your hand and it will hover three feet above the ground, you can then use the palm of your hand to move it around with gesture control. If you wave your hand the drone will fly up and if you make a square with your thumbs and forefingers it will take a selfie or maybe it won’t because like I said, this technology is in its infancy and like any infant, it doesn’t always get things right.  Any distance beyond ten feet and you may find that those hand gestures of yours are becoming increasingly frantic.

This may just be a Pokemon Go moment though, a moment when the possibilities of a new technology suddenly capture the public imagination.  When machines make the transition from single sensor responses to a device which can read and respond to a complex series of gestures, then we will have ‘intelligent machines’ capable of reading a gesture language.

We’re already used to using gesture control with our phones, ‘iGest  Gesture Launcher’ has been around a while, it enables you to create a gesture and associate it with an action.  The partypoker mobile app allows players to place bets and flick cards with gestures neatly approximate to real life poker.  The Halide app for iPhone is delighting users with its gesture control photography which turns an iPhone camera into a professional tool.  These devices though are only deploying a fairly limited range of gesture vocabulary.  They are still only a few steps on from the technology that enables you to turn on a light with a wave of your hand.

Car manufacturers have long been interested in the possibilities of gesture control, think how much safer it would be if you never had to look down at the dashboard, think what it could mean to disabled drivers.  Google was quick to file a patent for gesture control for their Google cars and PSA Peugeot Citroen are developing a ‘time of flight camera’ for ‘precise recognition of finger movement for a full and extensive gestural grammar’.  The DJI Spark is some way off being able to read that ‘full and extensive gestural grammar’ but like I said, this may be the moment when the potential of gesture control really hits the public consciousness and rudimentary though it may be the DJI Spark may do for gesture control what the Wright brothers did for aviation.  Let’s hope so.

As part of the editorial team here at Geekreply, John spends a lot of his time making sure each article is up to snuff. That said, he also occasionally pens articles on the latest in Geek culture. From Gaming to Science, expect the latest news fast from John and team.

Consoles

Despite popular belief, PS4 sales in the UK skyrocketed last year

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PS4 sales in the UK climbed by a shocking 633 percent year-over-year in 2023, so apparently the old system isn’t dead yet. The previous year’s very limited supply of the system is likely a major factor in this figure, since the console’s lifespan was drastically reduced because of chip shortages caused by the pandemic. Still, it’s proof that PlayStation’s original platform has unmet demand.

With the very low prices of PS4 software (both in-store and online at the PS Store), this strategy makes a lot of sense. Plus, it’s future-proof, so there’s no harm in stocking up on PS4s while new-gen pricing is still high, since if you decide to switch to a PS5 in the future, you can transfer all of your purchases across. Not to mention that the majority of new releases still come out on the PS4, with several offering free PS5 upgrades.

While the percentage rise may seem huge, real PS4 sales will probably be much lower. It’s a sign that the gadget, which is now a decade old, isn’t completely dead yet, and we expect it to keep receiving maintenance for a while longer. Of course, this is great news for Sony, because the company would rather have PS4 players playing on its last-gen gadget than none at all, even if it would love to have them upgrade to PS5.

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Consoles

New PS5 firmware is available for download!

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A PS5 firmware update on a cold winter morning is unmatched. The latest PS5 system software update is 23.02–08.40.00 from Sony. Does this one add useful features or just boost system performance?

Though closer to the latter, it’s more than Sony’s favorite patch note. It fixes security issues, improves messages and usability, and boosts system software performance. Official patch notes for this 1.185GB update:

  • We updated system software security
  • We improved system software stability and performance
  • Some screens now have better messages and usability

That’s it. PS5 gets another win to recover from its midweek slump. Do you share our enthusiasm for this firmware update? Comment below. To spice things up, make your comment rhyme.

 

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Consoles

Baldur’s Gate 3’s Xbox Version Will Help PS5

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Belgian developer Larian Studios’ work on Baldur’s Gate 3’s Xbox Series S version will improve performance on all platforms, including PS5. The game’s fifth major patch, expected to launch this week, will include upgrades and new features. More details will be revealed later today.

Director of Publishing Michael Douse says PS5 performance improvements may be the “least exciting thing” in the title’s next update, so it sounds like a big one. Larian Studios employees are proud of “finally” implementing tweaks, fixes, and changes, Douse says. Later today, we’ll bring you all the Baldur’s Gate 3 update details.

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Those who reached the RPG’s third act have reported technical issues during the narrative’s conclusion, especially in co-op, so today’s update should fix them. New features like a permadeath mode are expected, along with Xbox Series S optimization fixes. What else should be added to the game?

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