Valve reveals mystery hardware project: wearable computing

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This morning, Valve Software set the world of gaming news abuzz by attempting to hire hardware engineers. Now, Valve developer (and well-known programmer) Michael Abrash has revealed what kind of hardware the company is prototyping: computer technology you can wear.
It's certainly an important time to admit such a thing, considering how Google's Project Glass heads-up display generated so much interest last week, but Abrash cautions that you shouldn't expect a product out of Valve anytime soon, if at all:

To be clear, this is R&D – it doesn’t in any way involve a product at this point, and won’t for a long while, if ever – so please, no rumors about Steam glasses being announced at E3. It’s an initial investigation into a very interesting and promising space, and falls more under the heading of research than development. The Valve approach is to do experiments and see what we learn – failure is fine, just so long as we can identify failure quickly, learn from it, and move on – and then apply it to the next experiment. The process is very fast-moving and iterative, and we’re just at the start. How far and where the investigation goes depends on what we learn.​
The reveal is actually part of a long, fascinating blog post about how Abrash was first drawn to work at Valve, after years at Microsoft, Intel (on the canceled Larrabee graphics architecture) and id, where he coauthored Quake, not to mention how the intense freedom at Valve (and a love of Neal Stephenson's Snow Crash) helped him start building the wearable computing R&D project in the first place. It's hard to think of a better recruiting pitch, and he's even asking for interested talent to shoot him an email. Head on over to our source link to take a look.

Source: The Verge
More: Ramblings in Valve Time

What I love about Valve is they do some pretty sweet shit with the resources available to them instead of making sequels to those games that made them bucket loads of money in the first place
 

Tom Bombadildo

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Hmm...
It's certainly an important time to admit such a thing, considering how Google's Project Glass heads-up display generated so much interest last week, but Abrash cautions that you shouldn't expect a product out of Valve anytime soon, if at all


So...all this post is about is Valve had an idea?
 
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Gahars

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This isn't an entirely new idea; there's the aforementioned Google Glasses, and scientists like Michio Kaku have predicted this for some time (just an example).

I can't help but imagine that, if this project is ever completed, people will use it to show off their Steam libraries on the go.
 
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Midna

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Ah yes, wearable computing
keyboardpants05.jpg
 
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GreatZimkogway

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-.-

Stop over-thinking things, Valve.

Just release the goddamn Steambox and make everybody happy.

You think everyone is going to be happy about a new console being released? That would be, essentially, a glorified computer in more of a way than the PS3 was? To have a 4th console when 2 are already being released soon?
 
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Snailface

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-.-

Stop over-thinking things, Valve.

Just release the goddamn Steambox and make everybody happy.

You think everyone is going to be happy about a new console being released? That would be, essentially, a glorified computer in more of a way than the PS3 was? To have a 4th console when 2 are already being released soon?
A PC-Style console has been a dream of mine for 50 years. (and many others as well)
The freedom of the PC with the comfy-on-the-couch appeal of a console in one box is pure music to me.

Seriously,
Day 1 open source.
Homebrew without hassle.
Console.
Take my money.

As far as the other console makers, I think its about time for one of them to kick the bucket. Complacency deserves death.
 

Snailface

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Day 1 open source.
Homebrew without hassle.
Console.
Take my money.
PC, PS3 controller, HDMI to TV, Steam?
My Wal-Mart integrated graphics laptop screams in protest to your suggestion, Rydian. :P

I'm sure this would work great for some people with a nice PC to spare for the living room big screen, but it's just not the economical and practical mass-market solution that a Steambox would be.
 

FAST6191

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Day 1 open source.
Homebrew without hassle.
Console.
Take my money.
PC, PS3 controller, HDMI to TV, Steam?
My Wal-Mart integrated graphics laptop screams in protest to your suggestion, Rydian. :P

I'm sure this would work great for some people with a nice PC to spare for the living room big screen, but it's just not the economical and practical mass-market solution that a Steambox would be.

With the world being stuck on DX9 thanks to the consoles and vista not taking off (granted I do not call it a bad thing per se) and most games being GPU bound you can build a fairly nice little machine capable of running most games at a decent clip on reasonable settings for very little at this point in time (definitely in line with a new console and related gubbins depending on your chosen form factor) and have been able to for a while (ignoring the software side of things in terms of hardware to play the PC game has never had it so good as the last sort of 5 years). Certainly I have put together a couple of combined XBMC, games (although I have not really done anything with steam so I am not entirely sure about the UI there) and light home server boxes to sit under TVs for people out of what might be dubbed sub par gear or some quick and dirty upgrades to an existing box. Mass market.... I have not really done much with off the shelf boxes in recent years as far as this sort of thing goes but I can not see it being that hard to punch the average vendor box into form.

Back on topic valve blue sky research... could be interesting. Not sure how useful it might be in the long run now mobile phones are starting to consider being computing devices worth a damn (still not enough and still not quite open/functional enough to make me consider getting one but heading that way).
 

FireGrey

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Hopefully it's something that doesn't make you look freaky in public...

Also, I think valves strategy is to make their games hyped up by having huge gaps between the releases so when it's released people go hyper over it.
 

Guild McCommunist

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Also, I think valves strategy is to make their games hyped up by having huge gaps between the releases so when it's released people go hyper over it.

Also doesn't help that Valve has made some of the best games ever and is pretty much the only company to have little (if any) screw ups or flops. I'd say maybe Ricochet was their "screw up" but that was in their early days. Pretty much any game they've made in the past 10+ years hasn't just been good, but exceptional and masterful.

But yeah, the "long waits" also factor in a lot. Also Valve are notorious for teasing and having an incredibly elaborate marketing. Like people had to decipher code to find out that there was a Portal sequel.

Although I do find it funny that they can make Left 4 Dead 2 in literally a year but there's not a single piece shown for Half Life 3. But Valve is Valve, you can't hate 'em.
 
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Also, I think valves strategy is to make their games hyped up by having huge gaps between the releases so when it's released people go hyper over it.

Also doesn't help that Valve has made some of the best games ever and is pretty much the only company to have little (if any) screw ups or flops. I'd say maybe Ricochet was their "screw up" but that was in their early days. Pretty much any game they've made in the past 10+ years hasn't just been good, but exceptional and masterful.

But yeah, the "long waits" also factor in a lot. Also Valve are notorious for teasing and having an incredibly elaborate marketing. Like people had to decipher code to find out that there was a Portal sequel.

Although I do find it funny that they can make Left 4 Dead 2 in literally a year but there's not a single piece shown for Half Life 3. But Valve is Valve, you can't hate 'em.
Made me think of this
 
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