At the Georgia Institute of Technology, engineers have been teaching a robot how to play Angry Birds, and although it may not sound like it, the project has considerable real-world benefit.
The idea is for the little robot to eventually help kids with cognitive and motor-skill disabilities in rehab sessions, and early tests have shown the children are more engaged with the robot than they are with actual people.
The robot itself can analyze information, adapt its behavior, and select the right social response, from disappointment to elation.
It looks cute too, but we’re not sure whether George Lucas will look favorably on the R2-D2-like sound effects. The next stage is to teach the robot how to play the super-addictive Candy Crush, which means it may never get round to doing any actual work ever again.
Google’s cool augmented reality game, Ingress, is now available for iOS devices. Although Ingress for Android has been around for quite a while, it hasn’t moved far beyond its geeky roots.
But that could all change now that it’s available in the iTunes App Store. Now, iPhone owners can decide if they want to join the Resistance or the Enlightened, and fight for control of energy-giving portals around the world. If you didn’t get any of that, you’ll need to read up on Ingress’ rich sci-fi plot, which is as complex and conspiracy-laden as anything seen in Lost or Fringe. The location-based game is available – for free – starting Monday.
And finally, here’s your Monday Apple iWatch rumor department update. The money men at Morgan Stanley have weighed in on the so-far non-existent smartwatch and say Apple will likely sell the device – if it ever gets released – for about $300. They also think that the iWatch may include functionality like those Disney smart bands that let you get on rides, open hotel room doors and buy food without having to carry around a wallet. That would be pretty cool.
Morgan Stanley also thinks Apple is planning to sell 30 to 60 million units in the first year – if it ever gets released. Are they on the money? Well, it is Morgan Stanley, but we’ll all find out when Apple decides to set the iWatch free from the rumor mill, which frankly, can’t happen soon enough.
Your host today is Greg Nibler.
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