Our favorite products from E3
Now that E3, the world’s prized gaming expo, has gone and passed, we take a look at our favorite devices, games, and accessories that were unveiled on the show floor.
The Wii U was the most talked about product unveiling at this year’s event and usesa wireless controller with a 6.2-inch touchscreen display and measures about eight inches across. It has a left and right analog stick, traditional D-pad for up, down, left and right movement, as well as A, B, X and Y buttons. Left and right shoulder buttons, left and right triggers, built-in speakers, and a microphone are on the device. A built-in gyroscope and accelerometers will let players affect game play by moving the display, even in a 360-degree direction.
The coolest part, though, is that the controller is also a self-contained device that doesn’t need to use a TV as a display to play a game. This can be incredibly useful for multiple household members who want to interrupt video game playing to watch programs on the TV. The console also features 1080 progressive HD video using the same size Wii game discs. Nintendo’s E3 event also showed the controller display being used as a web browser and video chat access.
We got our hands on the new PlayStation Vita, which features front and back multi-touch screens, dual analog sticks, front and rear cameras, motion sensors and Six Axis sensors. The 5-inch display also was designed with every curve in mind for the best grip in mobile gaming. Gamers have been a bit confused by the “Vita” name, but Sony insists the portable system shows off the combination of rich gaming and social connectivity with a real world context.
Snoop Dogg made a special guest appearance at E3 to announce the newest social video game on the block, Yoostar on MTV. The game acts as a social “video karaoke” and works with Xbox 360 Kinect, released in Holiday 2011 and is designed for the pop culture gamer fan. The game gives players the opportunity to warp into their favorite MTV character, from shows like Jersey Shore and The Hills, and place themselves into the TV show.
The game features 80 clips from TV, music videos, interviews, movies and more in a virtual green set to fulfill their wildest, actor-bound dreams. Yoostar will also boast its own social community, Yoostar Playground, to rate and award fellow Yoostars’ uploaded clips, while earning boosts, fame and Yoobucks. Users can also raise the leaderboard by adding comments and entering contests.
One of our favorite accessories at E3 was Calibur’s 3D Armored Gaming Cases, called Vaults. These cases are designed for the avid gamer and features a Chassis that stabilizes the console while also improving airflow, along with a cradle to hold your controller or headset when not in use. You can accessorize your console with a number of themed cases, including a Base Vault that gives you a foundation to start creating designs to a Gears of War Vault that glows a crimson red every time you are hurt by an enemy and need to recover. And if you want to take the customization even further, personalize the name plate with your gamer alias or anything else your heart desires.
If you’re looking to take video gaming outside, you must check out the AR.Drone, which creates an auto pilot gaming experience away from the TV set and outside into the open air. The flying video game lets you be the pilot of a novel aircraft equipped with two on-board video cameras so you can really see what’s going on up in the air and down below. The game works with the iPod touch, iPhone and iPad where you can take off, land and fly 2.6 ft in the air. If you get a phone call, the flying quadricopter stabilizes and lands in seconds. The aircraft has full hull shield that is helpful for beginner fliers to protect from impact and the AR.Drone software displays virtual objects on the screen and lets players interact with them. Imagine getting into a dog fight against aliens in your living room or backyard. This is beyond cool!
Nox Audio showed off several impressive headsets, but our favorite was the Admiral Touch, a wireless surround sound product with an LCD touch screen. It’s compatible with Xbox 360, PS3, iPod, iPhone, iPad, MP3 players, mobile phones, PC, Blu-Ray players, and Bluetooth enabled devices. The Admiral Touch is also app capable and syncs up with Skype and Internet radio stations and its rotating ear doubles as a loud speaker.
How changing your company's software code can prevent bias
Two-third of tech professionals believe organizations aren’t doing enough to address racial inequality. After all, many companies will just hire a DEI consultant, have a few training sessions and call it a day.
Wanting to take a unique yet impactful approach to DEI, Deltek, the leading global provider of software and solutions for project-based businesses, took a look at and removed all exclusive terminology in their software code. By removing terms such as ‘master’ and ‘blacklist’ from company coding, Deltek is working to ensure that diversity and inclusion are woven into every aspect of their organization.
Business Chief North America talks to Lisa Roberts, Senior Director of HR and Leader of Diversity & Inclusion at Deltek to find out more.
Why should businesses today care about removing company bias within their software code?
We know that words can have a profound impact on people and leave a lasting impression. Many of the words that have been used in a technology environment were created many years ago, and today those words can be harmful to our customers and employees. Businesses should use words that will leave a positive impact and help create a more inclusive culture in their organization
What impact can exclusive terms have on employees?
Exclusive terms can have a significant impact on employees. It starts with the words we use in our job postings to describe the responsibilities in the position and of course, we also see this in our software code and other areas of the business. Exclusive terminology can be hurtful, and even make employees feel unwelcome. That can impact a person’s desire to join the team, stay at a company, or ultimately decide to leave. All of these critical actions impact the bottom line to the organization.
Please explain how Deltek has removed bias terminology from its software code
Deltek’s engineering team has removed biased terminology from our products, as well as from our documentation. The terms we focused on first that were easy to identify include blacklist, whitelist, and master/slave relationships in data architecture. We have also made some progress in removing gendered language, such as changing he and she to they in some documentation, as well as heteronormative language. We see this most commonly in pick lists that ask to identify someone as your husband or wife. The work is not done, but we are proud of how far we’ve come with this exercise!
What steps is Deltek taking to ensure biased terminology doesn’t end up in its code in the future?
What we are doing at Deltek, and what other organizations can do, is to put accountability on employees to recognize when this is happening – if you see something, say something! We also listen to feedback our customers give us and have heard their feedback on this topic. Those are both very reactive things of course, but we are also proactive. We have created guidance that identifies words that are more inclusive and also just good practice for communicating in a way that includes and respects others.
What advice would you give to other HR leaders who are looking to enhance DEI efforts within company technology?
My simple advice is to start with what makes sense to your organization and culture. Doing nothing is worse than doing something. And one of the best places to start is by acknowledging this is not just an HR initiative. Every employee owns the success of D&I efforts, and employees want to help the organization be better. For example, removing bias terminology was an action initiated by our Engineering and Product Strategy teams at Deltek, not HR. You can solicit the voices of employees by asking for feedback in engagement surveys, focus groups, and town halls. We hear great recommendations from employees and take those opportunities to improve.