Computer programming – for toddlers!

A new board game, Robot Turtles, has raised over 25 times its funding target via a crowd-funding campaign on Kickstarter – making it the most successful game of its type in history.

As the importance and demand for talented computer programmers only increases with time, this game aims to build a valuable foundation for future coders, through fun gameplay.

The game, designed for 3–8 year olds, requires the child to place a series of cards in sequence to help the robot turtle make its way through a maze. The gameplay also asks the child’s parents to assist by moving game pieces based on the card that has been put down. So, the child is choosing cards that will effect a movement, much in the same way a programmer enters code to tell a computer how to behave. If a mistake is made, the player is able to ‘debug’ and reprogram the route they have chosen.

If you have budding IT specialists in your household, we’d highly recommend checking this out!

Viral ad of the week

Saroo Brierley: Homeward Bound

An Indian-born Australian man was reunited with his birth family with the help of Google Earth.

Google has turned Brierley’s story into an emotive ad for the power of Google’s technology

App of the week

Seene it?

Social photo sharing apps are plentiful and there’s more than enough to choose from, including the leaders Instagram and Pinterest. But a new app by computer vision company Obvious Engineering called ‘Seene’ utilises your smartphone sensors and WebGL to create amazing 3D images.

It’s a simple process of taking a photo like you would with any app, but guiding the camera around your subject or scene in an ‘up/down, left/right’ motion to capture multiple images in the process. The app provides a simple compass to guide you through the process – it’s dead easy. The images are then stitched together to create a 3D rendition and posted to your account. Sharing options include Facebook, Twitter and Seene itself. You can also ‘like’ other Seene images and share an embedded link via email.

It needs to be seen to be completely appreciated, and even though you can’t add filters to your shots like most other photos sharing apps, it is sure to be a race away success.

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Real world videogame combines AI

Consumer robotics company Anki has combined the physical and digital gaming worlds with artificial intelligence, to create virtual racing game Anki DRIVE, which uses physical race cars controlled by an iOS app.

The race track mat uses sensors that speak to miniature cameras on the bottom of the toy cars, enabling the cars to determine their position on the mat and strategise whether to speed up or pass another opponent. The app is linked to the cars through Bluetooth Low Energy. Each car has a different skill set and can acquire new features on the track. You can play against friends, or race against the AI-controlled car.

The toy kit, which goes on sale for US $199 on October 23, will initially only be available in the US and Canada, but we can hope that Anki expands into the Australian market in the future.

Video of the week

Banksy: Sirens of the lambs

This latest work from street artist Banksy is an installation art piece.A truck has been stuffed with fake farmyard animals that squeal loudly, touring around New York City (starting in the Meat Packing District), to raise awareness of the animal’s distress during harmful meat production practices.The video has received over 3.5 million views in just over a week

TV Ratings

The Blacklist continues to make the top 10

All People National – Free to Air Station Audience
The X Factor Live Performance – Sunday Network 7 1,761,000
The X Factor Live Results – Monday Network 7 1,673,000
The Blacklist – Monday Network 7 1,468,000
Seven News – Sunday Network 7 1,397,000
Nine News – Monday Network 9 1,314,000
60 Minutes – Sunday Network 7 1,298,000
Sunday Night – Sunday Network 7 1,297,000
Seven News – Monday Network 7 1,187,000
Nine News – Sunday Network 9 1,173,000
Seven News – Tuesday Network 7 1,135,000
Source: OzTAM 15/10/13 – 21/10/13

Wear your smartphone on your face with new 3D goggles

Hoping to increase the capabilities of smart phone devices, the vrAse system is a special phone case that lets users play games, watch video and experience digital environments in an immersive, 3D virtual reality setting, by wearing your phone ON YOUR FACE.

The phone case is worn as a pair of goggles and you are able to slide your smartphone in so that the screen is facing your eyes. The screen is then split into two (one screen per eye), allowing for a crisper picture quality. The possibilities that open up thanks to this technology are extensive, from increasing hands-free functions that could include using controllers to play video games, to immersing yourself in a full virtual reality environment.

Having completed a successful Kickstarter program, could this be the future of virtual reality? Watch the video and make up your mind for yourself.

Website of the week

Go Macro

Go Macro’s natural energy and protein bars are made fresh daily on a sustainable family farm in Wisconsin. Online, their e-commerce website gives customers’ an insight into the brand’s natural origins and family ties, whilst providing a beautiful user experience.

The site’s wood panelling helps set the scene for Go Macro’s nature focused products, whilst also providing a perfect backdrop for featured imagery and typography. These elements combine particularly well to present Go Macro’s product line, and help visually showcase the natural ingredients inside each bar.

Other notable site features include a horizontal scrolling mechanic, animated navigation shift, and many ‘behind the scenes’ type hot-spots.