To enable connection on this protocol, gamers can sync their mobile devices with an Android TV from the same Wi-Fi network and use their phones or tablets as controllers for multi-player games.
Greg Hartrell, Senior Product Manager of Google Play Games, tells us that Nearby Connections is intended to promote multi-player gaming without the hassle of requiring single-purpose game controllers. By taking advantage of devices in everyone’s pockets, the team hopes this will enable developers to get creative with games on the Play Store and optimize them for social playing experiences in the same living room.
The Nearby Connections API is expected to roll out over the next few weeks, with a consumer launch over this summer. For more info, check out the demo video below for multi-player gaming on Beach Buggy Racing.
A federal jury in Texas has ordered Apple to pay $532.9 million for infringing on patents held bySmartflash LLC, in software and games delivered through iTunes, reports Bloomberg.
The plaintiff claimed that Apple infringed three patents related to “data storage and managing access through payment systems” and cited their use in apps like Game Circus LLC’s Coin Dozer and 4 Pics 1 Movie. Game companies who used the same technologies settled out of court with Smartflash earlier.
Apple said that it saw no reason to pay royalties on the price of a phone when the dispute was over a single feature. As representing lawyer Eric Albritton put it, “People do not buy cell phones for the sole purpose of using apps.”
Smartflash originally sought $852 million in damages, arguing that it was entitled to a percentage of sales of Apple products that access iTunes. The company doesn’t sell anything itself and makes money only by licensing the seven patents it holds. It’s also suing Samsung and Google, and has previously taken Amazon.com to court as well.
In the last few months we've seen an explosion of augmented reality and virtual reality headsets. While the technology has been bubbling under for decades, advances in the miniaturisation of components - derived from smartphones - have finally made the mass manufacture of both technologies feasible.
If you're unfamiliar with the terms, augmented reality (AR) refers to devices that project information into your view of the real world. With gaming headsets this could mean blurring the lines between your real surroundings and a digital realm.
Virtual reality (VR) is a more immersive experience in which your head movements are tracked in a three dimensional world, making it suited to games and even movies.
But what are the best VR headsets? We've created the definitive list of the most gob-smackingly awesome devices just waiting to be strapped to your bonce.
Samsung Gear VR
Over in Berlin at IFA 2014 Samsung revealed its venture into the world of virtual reality. The Samsung Gear VR is an Oculus Rift powered device that involves not a PC to plug into but a Samsung Galaxy Note 4 acting as processor and display.
The 2560 x 1440 QHD Super AMOLED display mobile device simply slots in, in front of the lenses, into a Micro USB dock. What you get is a split VR resolution of 1280 x 1440 for each eye. That’s with a 60Hz refresh rate and a 96 degree field of view. There’ll be over 100 apps to go with it at launch and some Bluetooth compatible headsets to complete the total immersion entertainment.
Of course, Oculus Rift is the virtual reality headset that started the current trend. Developed by 21-year-old engineer Palmer Luckey and funded via Kickstarter, the Rift plugs into your computer's DVI and USB ports and tracks your head movements to provide 3D imagery to its stereo screens.
It's captured the imagination of game developers around the world, and it can even be used to watch films on a giant – albeit virtual – screen.
However, Oculus VR's $2 billion acquisition by Facebook has sparked controversy, so if you're really keen to get into the world of virtual reality you may wish to consider the alternatives. Chief among these is Sony's Project Morpheus, which provides virtual reality immersion for the company's PlayStation 4 console.
Compatible titles are thin on the ground at the moment, but it's a list that's sure to grow once the headset is released.
The big news here is, like the Samsung Gear VR, the hardware power for this headset comes from your smartphone. Unlike Sammy’s effort, however, you’re not tied to just one mobile with the Zeiss VR One; it will play ball with any iOS or Android handset between 4.7 and 5.2 inches.
Launching in December with two basic apps; one a media player for the likes of pictures and YouTube videos, and the second an AR app for augmented experiences, its makers will be hoping that its open source Unity3D SDK (iOS and Android) will provide more.
The majority of these headsets are large and heavy, but Avegant's Glyph is far sleeker and smaller. Its svelte size is due to its display technology: rather than using conventional smartphone-like screens to present imagery, it uses an array of micro mirrors to reflect an image directly into your retina.
It may sound like the stuff of techno-nightmares, but it's said to alleviate the slight nausea that comes with conventional virtual reality headsets, and your peripheral vision is unaffected so you can still see your keyboard.
Not to be outdone, Google has announced its Cardboard virtual reality headset. Popping a smartphone into a cardboard container and then strapping it to your head may sound like a joke, but it actually works and it could become a low-cost way to experience virtual reality.
After all, your smartphone contains all the necessary gyroscopic sensors and positioning systems to accurately track your head movements. Related is Durovis' Dive, which is essentially the same thing made of higher quality and more sweat-resistant materials.
Essentially Google cardboard but, er, not cardboard, Archos' attempt at bringing mobile VR experiences to the masses is a sub-£25 device that was announced in October.
The Archos VR Headset works with any smartphone with a screen sized 6-inches or less, and the French company claims it will work with iOS, Android and Windows Phone - although you'll be hard pressed finding any developers knocking out VR apps and demos for Microsoft's mobile platform.