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Weekly Recap: WWDC 2016, Swift Playgrounds, PlayStation VR, HDK 2, RAMSEE, etc.

An eventful week in the tech world:

Apple’s WWDC 2016

Apple’s annual developers conference was the platform for many an announcement, as usual.

Among the most momentous ones:

  • OS X is now macOS; version 10.12, released to developers this week in ß version, will be called macOS Sierra.
  • Apple is introducing a new file system called APFS; it will replace its ancient HFS+ system.
  • Sierra now includes an automatic obsolete file clean-up function.
  • RAID management is coming back to the Disk Utility, as in pre-El Capitan days.
  • It is now possible to copy and paste across iOS and macOS devices, using Universal Clipboard.
  • Sierra will include the Siri vocal assistant.
  • Safari is deactivating Flash as its default setting.
  • WatchOS released its much-improved version 3.
  • Under iOS 10, it will finally be possible to deactivate system applications.

The Verge, “The 13 biggest announcements from Apple WWDC 2016.”

Swift Playgrounds

Tim Cook announced the imminent release (i.e. this fall) of an iPad application to learn coding in Swift. The tutorials will be geared to people with no programming experience and should appeal to youths due to their fun approach.

The Verge, “Apple introduces Swift Playgrounds app that teaches kids to code.”

Apple, “Swift Playgrounds.”

Marty the Robot

Marty is an adorable robot at an adorable price. Developed for educational purposes by Alexander Enoch and launched through crowd funding, Marty is fully programmable and personalizable. Marty is remotely controlled over WiFi and can host a Raspberry Pi to become more autonomous. Gotta have one!

Indiegogo, “Marty the Robot.”

PlayStation VR

Sony is entering the world of virtual reality on October 13th with the launch of its PlayStation VR headset. Priced at $390 ($499 with a camera and two Move controllers) the PlayStation VR boasts a 5.7-inch screen at 1920 x 1080 pixels, or 960 x 1080 per eye. The field of vision covers 100°.

CNET, “PlayStation VR: $399, October 13, and it looks pretty good to us.”

Hackers Development Kit 2

Hackers Development Kit 2

Razer is releasing a new VR headset priced at $399, cheaper than either the HTC Vive ($799) or the Oculus Rift ($599), for the same resolution (2160 x 1200 pixels).

PC Gamer, “Razer’s $400 HDK 2 VR headset undercuts Oculus Rift and HTC Vive.”


Gamma 2 Robotics’ RAMSEE is a security bot, an autonomous patrolman, rolling around empty halls and hard-to-surveil places, its LIDAR eyes and infrared cameras scanning the environment around it at all times. It is a robot built for empty spaces, alerting its human overseers to any harmful intrusion of life.

Popular Science, “RAMSEE is a security guard robot with infrared vision.”


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