Technological World for January 29: Lightcycle Morph LED light, new Dyson store in Vancouver, get ready for your demise, viral outbreaks in video games

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Categories Consumer technology | Video games

This week, Dyson unveils a new version of its LED lamp and opens a new store in Vancouver. Plus, an online service aims to help you plan for the invevitable, and some video games about viral outbreaks.

Dyson’s new LED lights will adapt to your environment

Dyson has released a new version of its LED light fixture. The Lightcycle Morph is an adaptable light that can be used as a task light or a feature light, or can be used as an indirect or ambient source of light.

Fully configurable, the Morph can also automatically adjust the colour and intensity of the light it emits to complement the sunlight that you may – or may not – be experiencing in your environment.

You can also use the Dyson Link app to engage presets for studying, to keep the light bright, for relaxing, and even to act as a wake-up light.

The light creates an ambient effect by shining through the stand, which diffuses the light through its mesh surface. The stand has a USB charing port built in.

The Morph comes in a floor and desk model and retails for $1200 and $850, respectively.

Dyson opens new “Demo” store in Vancouver

Dyson, the technology company that was built on vacuums and fans, has opened a new retail location in Vancouver’s Pacific Center Mall. It’s the second in Canada, after Toronto’s Yorkdale Mall store which opened at the end of 2017.

Located on the lower level of Vancouver’s downtown mall, the first thing you’ll notice walking in is how fresh the air is. That’s because among the products on display – and on sale – are fans and air purifiers.

Dyson calls it a “Demo” store and that’s one of the reasons you’ll want to visit: to try everything out.

While the Dyson business started in Canada in 2006 with two models of vacuum, the product line now includes multiple ways you can clean your floors and improve the quality of the air in your home. Not to mention the personal care products, the hair dryer and the curler that use fluid dynamics and air flow to accomplish what once could only be accomplished with heat.

The Airwrap curler in particular needs to be seen – and played with – to be appreciated. It’s difficult to explain how the Coanda effect can use air to curl hair so simply. At the new Dyson Demo Store, you can see first hand how it works. And you can book a free, 45-minute appointment in the salon area at the back of the store so you can learn how to make styling magic with it or the hair dryer. They’ve even got a sink so you can start with a wet head.

There’s an embossing machine on site, too, so you can personalize the case that comes with some of the personal care products with gold foil.

The new LED Lightcycle Morph is on display, and you can test drive the latest Dyson handheld, cordless vacuum. Employees at the store will dump dirt and debris onto hardwood and carpet areas so you can see for yourself how the V11 can adjust its suction level depending on what surface you’re cleaning.

The V11 includes a host of improvements over the last Dyson model, inlcuding an LCD screen with information on battery life, an improved method of emptying the dust bin, and an optional charging stand. These are examples, I was told by one of the store managers, of how Dyson, “solves problems that others ignore”.

Web service helps you get ready for your final departure

Everybody dies, right? Check Out Plan wants to give you the tools to make sure that when it’s your time, you’ve got everything organized and ready.

End-of-life planning is more important than ever before, especially with the number of connection points we all have with the world.

Check Out Plan is a web-based service established in Kelowna, B.C., that guides you through the development of a plan that is right for you. This includes collecting things like memories and photos, information about possessions and family histories, and even logins and passwords for accounts.

Subscriptions to Check Out Plan are $10 monthly or $70 annually.

Video games that explore viral outbreaks

Resident Evil was one of the first games that explored what happened after a virus was unleashed on the world. There’s been a run of games in that franchise of shooters, all of them fraught and intense and awesome.

More recently, Ubisoft’s The Division and its sequel, The Division 2, explore the chaos that occurs in post-pandemic environments in New York and Washington, D.C. respectively. By pitting players against each other, you never really know ally from enemy.

The Last of Us doesn’t deal with a viral outbreak but a fungal epidemic. The impact on humanity is equally as devastating. The Last of Us Part II, which will be released on May 29, continues the story of Ellie, five years after the events of the first game.

Plague, Inc. gives you the chance to experience things from the perspective of the virus itself. In that mobile game, available on Android and iOS, you only win if you kill everyone on Earth.

Similarly, Killer Flu was a game that put you in the role of the virus. But the intent of the game, designer Ian Bogost told me in 2009, was “to inject a greater amount of accuracy into the depiction of the spread of a mutated virus”.

Despite what you might be hearing, and what you might believe, it’s nearly impossible for a pandemic virus to actually kill everyone.

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