08/02/2014 Click


08/02/2014

Click tries out the latest in hi-tech toys at the UK's biggest toy fair. Plus composing music using your mind and fixing your car with artificial reality.


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Transcript


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Somerset Levels. The chief of the Environment Agency has denied claims

:00:00.:00:00.

he has let people down. Time for Clicks. -- Click. Your puny steam

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train won't stop me, human! World domination is mine! EVIL LAUGHTER.

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This week on Click - toys, toys, toys! We'll try out the games that

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combine play with learning. And if you thought school was monstrous,

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wait until you see what's going on in this classroom. We are in Munich

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to see how the cars of tomorrow will be built and how the same tech could

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help you fix yours if you break down. The car, that is, not you. And

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we'll find out if it's possible to play music with your mind. All that,

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plus the latest Tech News and the hottest picks of the week - all in

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one place. As it says on the helicopter,

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welcome to Click. I'm Spencer Kelly. This week, it's playtime. We've

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swooped in on London's biggest toy box. This is the toy fair at

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Kensington Olympia. It's a 22,000 square metre playground, where the

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big kids Hawk their latest top-secret creations, and the new

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intake pitch their newest game-changing ideas. Some will

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conquer the world, some will fail to bite. A growing trend with many of

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the innovations here is the focus on education. Toys are supposed to be

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fun, of course, but slipping in a bit of learning here and there is no

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bad thing. Whether it's building your own telescope, microscope and

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binoculars by combininheee!g different lenses, a solar powered

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boat, or a self-balancing robot, we all learn better through play. --

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combining different lenses. This is designed to get kids interested in

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electronics and building electrical circuits. We're going to do exercise

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number 67, which is building a Frankenstein-style police siren.

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Here we go. Ready? It's alive! How do you make

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old classics like chess and puzzle games appealing to kids of the

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tablet generation? With lasers, of course. This single-player laser

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maze game challenges kids to solve a variety of logic puzzles by bouncing

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a laser off a series of mirrors. Although, I'm pretty sure I already

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have an app that does the same thing. It's all well and good having

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these educational toys at home, but the worry is that when your child

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goes to school, learning is going to be a lot more boring. That's the

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problem that Richard Taylor has been looking into. He visited a project

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that aims to gamify an entire classroom. These nine-year-olds are

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used to unconventional classroom management. For San Jose school

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teacher Ari Weiss, it's essential to get it right.

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Classroom management is a huge time-suck. As a teacher, I spent the

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first six months of learning how to be a teacher dealing with my

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classroom, and I'm still learning how to do that.

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But now she has another tool in her arsenal. Class Dojo is software

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which replaces the carrot and stick with points and monsters. When

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teachers sign up for Class Dojo, it's free. They then pick the kinds

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of behaviours they'd like to award or build. When the teacher sees

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something positive happening, they can then say, Johnny, that's a great

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example of teamwork! The two Brits who released the

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software here in San Francisco last year are now seeing the fruits of

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their labour. Today, Class Dojo is in 120 countries, influencing 17

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million students, including those of Miss Weiss. All the points generate

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lots and lots of data, which experts say can be extremely valuable in

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tracking pupils' progress over time. Bo Thompson finds the points system

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useful for managing his class of 12-year-olds with special

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educational needs. He'll encourage good behaviour but where necessary,

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he'll mete out punishment too. With these students, there are lots

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of different problems with focus. They like to move around a lot,

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there is a lot of hyperactivity. Just redirections don't always work

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and the fact that I can now start implementing points - I've warned

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you two times to stay in your seat, if you continue I'm going to have to

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take a point away - that means a lot more to them.

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I think of it as a competition. I really like it because we get to

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have competition with other kids. It's fun and at the end we win

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prizes. Everyone is kind of competitive. We get the picture -

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it's competitive. But is it healthy? We've chosen not to focus on making

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it a competition. There is no ranking, no leaderboard, no swapping

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points for toys. We don't do those things because they're not helpful.

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But, clearly, teachers are using the software as they see fit and in many

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classrooms, points do make prizes. At the end of the day, if the class

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is good I will say I'm opening up the store. Students can exchange

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their points like money. Five points is equal to one fruit snack. At 20

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points, and I thought this wouldn't be bought into but has been popular,

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is a positive phone call home with a fruit snack. Students have been

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saving points just for that. It's like with anything - if you put the

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power into the hands of the user, that power comes with the

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responsibility and the knowledge base that needs to go with it. Back

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at the toy fair, a fairy that hovers above your hand - or anything else

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that its infrared sensor detects directly below it. I have still yet

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to take my fairy driving test! Miniature flying devices have been a

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trend at the toy fair this year. Take a look at this - this is the

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Ravel nanoquad. It's the smallest quadcopter on sale in the world. It

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weighs just over 11 grams and fits in the palm of your hand. Tiny toys

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like this owe their Lilliputian dimensions to advances in smartphone

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technology. The miniature motors powering it from four blades started

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out as smartphone vibration motors. The lightweight digital gyroscope

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that keeps it stable in the air is also used to stabilise your photos.

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One tech that hasn't caught up is the battery. Half an hour of

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charging gets you a measly five minutes of fly time.

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Next up: This week's Tech News. Google has promised to make

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significant changes to the way its competitors appear in European

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search results, following a three-year investigation by the

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European Commission. Google had been accused of giving favourable

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treatment to its own products. They have promised to now give prominent

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placement to other companies in some searches in order to avoid a

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multibillion-euro fine. Microsoft has announced that company

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veteran Satya Nadella is its next chief executive. The outgoing exec

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Steve Balmer had seen Microsoft's fortune decline during his 14-year

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tenure, with the company losing out to rivals like Apple.

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Video footage of Britain's top-secret drone project has been

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revealed. Taranis, named after the Celtic god of thunder, is said to be

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the most advanced aircraft ever built in Britain. This video shows a

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test flight of the drone in a secret location. Taranis uses the latest

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stealth technology and is capable of launching precision airstrikes in

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hostile territory. It can be operated via satellite link from

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anywhere in the world. North Korea 's homegrown operating system seems

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to have had a makeover. The latest version of the software has

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abandoned the old Microsoft Windows style, opting instead for a design

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that looks suspiciously similar to Apple 's operating system. Hopefully

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Microsoft will not be too upset by the apparent snub. We have been

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looking at educational toys at the London Toy Fair. The next thing I

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found is taking a bit of getting used to. While I get my head around

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the controls, LJ Rich has been using nothing but her head to produce

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something that sounds very sweet indeed.

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When you think about it, all compositions start in someone's

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brain, but as any composer knows, there are quite a few steps between

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your mental musical musings and the finished performance. What better

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way to short-circuit the creative process than to stick a brain cap on

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your head and use technology to help extract the magic? We have some

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electrodes that will be placed on your scalp. They are bit spiky. They

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will measure the electrical activity in your brain. Lovely. The main

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electrode is at the back of my head. It's going to pick out the

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electrical activity in my visual cortex. The brain cap is on quite

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tightly to make sure that the contact is constant. To start

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performing, I have to compose my thoughts before composing my

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thoughts. The idea is to choose one of four chequered patterns to

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concentrate on. They all flicker at different rates. When I concentrate

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on a particular pattern, my visual cortex should create a sympathetic

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electrical signal which will be picked up by the brain cap and sent

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the computer. My chosen pattern corresponds to a musical phrase and

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this is sent to a screen in front of Jane, our professional cellist. She

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will then play it. It sounds difficult because it is. OK, I'm not

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composing individual notes - I'm choosing from ready-made phrases.

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But it still feels fantastic, like I'm using the Force to make music.

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Professor Eduardo Miranda has been working on what he called music

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neurotechnology for over a decade. He plans to mash up a string quartet

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with four extra brains to perform a piece called Activating Memory at

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this year's Peninsula Arts Contemporary Music Festival. He

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enjoys composing consciously too much to let the brain take over

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completely. Humans like to manipulate things, to

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craft, and I think there is something very special in that. I do

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not wish to eliminate that. I want to enhance, to create tools that

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will help composers to achieve that in different ways.

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It normally takes a few days practice to crack the mystery of how

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to play the phrases, but once I calmed down, I was able to control

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the system with just a couple of hours under my belt. Right at the

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end, I finally got the hang of what I was expected to do. It's a really

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odd feeling because if you get too excited you lose the signal that you

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are trying to convey. Musical performances aside, there's obvious

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potential here - not least for people with mobility problems. The

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system actually works better the less you move. My lifelong wish for

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a precision, direct, high-speed composing device still looks to be a

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long way off. For a start, this rig costs around $14,000. Not to mention

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the difficulty in mapping the composition process. But even a

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taste of elementary brain control is a truly mind-bending experience. LJ

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Rich there with quite possibly a prelude to a brain symphony. Back

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here at the London toy fair, this is the Thames and Cosmos Concept Car.

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It's a game in three stages. First, you build one of eight vehicles with

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the same parts. Next, you learn to control your ride via the

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accompanying app. That's when things get really cool. Viewed through your

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mobile device, the app recognises each of these augmented reality

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markers as a different 3-D model of a building, creating a virtual

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cityscape for you to navigate. Using the programming feature of the app,

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you can design a route for your vehicle around the city, and sit

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back and watch it navigate on its own. Of course it might require a

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few tweaks. Augmented reality isn't just been used by the creators of

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toy cars. It is also being employed by the actual car industry, to

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create the next breed of actual cars. Dan Simmons was given rare

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access to Audi's prototype garage in Germany. Although, I'm not actually

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sure he made it there. Even new cars need a bit of tender

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loving care now and again, and the oil indicator has just come up that

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tells me that I need to do something. That wouldn't ordinarily

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be a problem, it's just that I don't really know how to do that. Yeah,

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yeah, I think it's the oil. Yet, it could be the carburettor. Short of a

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car manual in a glovebox, I'm now left with two options. To call

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breakdown services and talk them through the problem. Or I could use

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a pair of these. Munich-based Metaio is developing this app for the

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forthcoming Google Glass eyewear. It identifies what's under the hood,

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and explains what needs doing. We're using a phone screen to show you

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what I can see. In this case, it's a straightforward or oil top up that's

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needed. The app positions the relevant graphics in the eyewear,

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leaving my hands free to complete the job. This tech could be useful

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for changing the wheel, diagnosing more serious problems, or training

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mechanics to more accurately timing their tutting and sharp intakes of

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breath before quoting a three figure sum - without the VAT! But augmented

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reality isn't just handy for drivers - I'm back on my way to visit the

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company who is leading the way in using AR. Welcome to Ingolstadt,

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known as Audi City. 35,000 people work here, and it is Audi's research

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HQ. It's so secret that our mobile phones have been confiscated. We are

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not even allowed to show you what's inside. OK - we can show you a bit!

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Inside, building T32, engineers are using their new toy. They need to

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know this demonstration model is going to work. Not just when they

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fire it up, but in five or ten years time. They're checking that the

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design plans match exactly what they can see. That's where augmented

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reality comes into play. Overlaid on top of the car parts is where things

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ought to be. The system relies on 18 cameras to calibrate the position of

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the whole car, in virtual space, to within a few millimetres. A special

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camera then identifies what it's pointing at, and the computer

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overlays precisely where things should be. Green shows all is well,

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but the red cable isn't following its designated route. It could be

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faulty, or be touching another engine part, leading to excessive

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wear and tear. That could result in failure, or even cause an accident.

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The system is also useful for previewing design updates, like a

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new front bumper. Very vorsprung durch! It's really great. Another

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department of Audi was jealous - they want to have a system like this

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as well. Envy isn't a bad thing. When this RH racer was first built,

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it would have been checked by eye. Now, for the price of five of these,

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Audi says the new system halves the time it takes to get the prototype

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on the road. Before I return the rental car, I want to show you a new

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app for drivers that also uses AR. Really handy if you're hiring a car

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and you're unfamiliar with the buttons inside. Ooh, horn selection!

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SOUND OF VARIOUS HORNS Dan Simmons isn't the only one who finds driving

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a challenge. Hello there! This is the scarab bee - it's a car that is

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remotely controlled using your tablet. It talks to the tablet

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directly through Wi- Fi. It can get up to speeds of 15 kilometres per

:18:36.:18:38.

hour. More interestingly, it can stream the footage from the video

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camera on its nose to the tablet, so you can see where you're driving.

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You can even take photos as you explore. You might want to upload

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some of those photos to the web using this first website this week.

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Here comes Webscape. That would make a pretty good

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animated .gif, Spencer! You could even become an Internet meme! Surely

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every tech presenter's dream! If you want to have even more fun browsing

:19:05.:19:08.

the latest viral images, head over to Imgur - a fund social community

:19:09.:19:11.

of commenting, posting and voting on all the hot pics of the week.

:19:12.:19:22.

Keeping tabs on all of the must see memes of the week is an

:19:23.:19:25.

impossibility without the help of a database like this. From crazy dog

:19:26.:19:43.

photos to an animated .gif teaching the correct way to moonwalk! The

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only theme on this site is popularity, which often means

:19:50.:19:51.

complete hilarity, but might not always be to everyone's taste. The

:19:52.:20:11.

comments are unmoderated so expect bad language and trolling in

:20:12.:20:19.

buckets. Getting around on public transport

:20:20.:20:23.

is hard enough on home turf. In a strange city, it can be a nightmare.

:20:24.:20:27.

Hopstop is a fantastic solution, with a browser-based tool, and apps

:20:28.:20:31.

for iPhone, i-Pad and on most other handsets through the mobile web

:20:32.:20:37.

application. It has the public transport information for over 300

:20:38.:20:42.

of the world's busiest cities. With an attractive, simple interface to

:20:43.:20:48.

plan your journey. The stop by stop itinerary can be texted, e-mailed or

:20:49.:20:53.

even Tweeted to you. You can plan your journey while you're on a Wi-Fi

:20:54.:20:56.

connection, and not eat up expensive roaming data allowances abroad. I

:20:57.:21:08.

was in New York and I used it to find my way around the subway, it

:21:09.:21:11.

gave me confidence to go out and explore the city without relying on

:21:12.:21:18.

expensive taxis. Last week, Google announced a cunning ploy to sap your

:21:19.:21:20.

productivity, by partnering with Lego to create a completely

:21:21.:21:23.

addictive virtual playground, in the form of Build with Chrome. You will

:21:24.:21:43.

need to log on with a Google account, and then you can take a

:21:44.:21:46.

plot of land anywhere in on the planet, and start constructing your

:21:47.:21:51.

Lego masterpiece. Whether that's a tower, a castle, or just a herd of

:21:52.:21:54.

plastic cows - the world is literally your toy box! Head over to

:21:55.:22:03.

the Build Academy if you want to sharpen your engineering skills with

:22:04.:22:07.

a set of tutorials. You can also check out what others have made, in

:22:08.:22:11.

order to get a little inspiration. Apparently there are 915 million

:22:12.:22:13.

different ways to combine six Lego bricks. I wonder how long it would

:22:14.:22:35.

take me to try them all? A different type of games - the Winter Olympics

:22:36.:22:39.

start this week in Sochi, Russia. You can catch all the BBC's live

:22:40.:22:42.

digital coverage, including radio, statistics and live commentary on

:22:43.:22:45.

the dedicated website. There will also be 650 hours of live video from

:22:46.:22:56.

up to six simultaneous streams. That's Kate Russell's Webscape. All

:22:57.:22:59.

of those links are available at our website. If you like to get in touch

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with us about anything you've seen today, we'd love to hear from you.

:23:06.:23:09.

We are on Twitter, Google+ and Facebook. That's it from the London

:23:10.:23:14.

toy fair. Time for me to head off into the sunset, and safety first!

:23:15.:23:27.

After all, this is a go-kart that can drift like this. Woo hoo! Thanks

:23:28.:23:31.

for watching and we'll see you next time.

:23:32.:23:50.

A very powerful jetstream and one that has been stuck for weeks on

:23:51.:23:57.

end, it has been responsible for the spells of wet and windy weather

:23:58.:23:58.

Click tries out the latest in hi-tech toys at the UK's biggest toy fair. Plus composing music using your mind and fixing your car with artificial reality.


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