Hands On

Battlefield: Hardline Beta gameplay hands-on

Battlefield: Hardline Beta gameplay hands-on

When you dive in head-first to the Beta of Battlefield: Hardline, you expect things to be different from the rest of the Battlefield series. It seems like it would be a big jump to go from fighting in the hairiest of wartime locations to moving in on the city. But it’s not. If you enjoyed Battlefield in the past, DICE and Visceral Games have a treat for you in Hardline, and it tastes delicious.

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Honeywell Lyric smart thermostat takes on Nest: Hands on

Honeywell Lyric smart thermostat takes on Nest: Hands on

Honeywell is looking to shake off its "old school" reputation with a new smart thermostat, Lyric, promising greater convenience and energy savings by following the patterns of your home, not a preset schedule. Eschewing beige plastic for a slick gloss white and chrome finish and OLED touchscreen controls, Lyric is aimed conspicuously at the sort of audience courted by Google-owned Nest, but takes a different approach to figuring when you need heating or cooling.

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Vivint Sky hands-on: The Smart Home starts learning

Vivint Sky hands-on: The Smart Home starts learning

Upstarts like Apple may be plowing into the smart home segment, but security and automation stalwart Vivint isn’t taking that lying down, launching a new system called Vivint Sky. Centered around a new, 7-inch color touchscreen and a cloud system of Vivint’s own creation, Vivint Sky promises not only centralized control in the home and remote smartphone apps, but learning algorithms that automatically pick up on the users’ own patterns.

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CreoPop 3D Pen hands-on: Freehand object sketching gets cool

CreoPop 3D Pen hands-on: Freehand object sketching gets cool

3D printing has segued from the niche lab to very nearly the mass market, and new startup CreoPop is hoping to tip it over the edge with its new 3D Pen. Built around an intriguing range of unusual "inks", as well as the promise of more child-friendly hardware, the CreoPop 3D Pen is hoping to follow in the illustrious footsteps of previous similar crowdfunding projects. I caught up with the team to try my hand and see what makes CreoPop different.

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Ferrari FF CarPlay hands-on plus Pioneer’s Apple upgrade

Ferrari FF CarPlay hands-on plus Pioneer’s Apple upgrade

CarPlay is coming, and Apple's push to put iOS and Siri in the dashboard could be one of the most significant plays from the Cupertino firm since the iPhone itself. Breaking away from the multitude of different infotainment UIs, CarPlay pushes out a customized iOS interface instead, with familiar apps like Apple Maps, iTunes, and Messages, all controlled by voice. I spent some time in three demo vehicles - Ferrari's eye-widening FF, Chevrolet's latest Spark EV, and a beautiful classic Mustang - to see how CarPlay works.

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The $4.5m Monster Trucks running gold mines

The $4.5m Monster Trucks running gold mines

I'll confess, my attention wasn't entirely on Ford's top-secret 2015 F-150 prototype when I saw the clandestine trucks in action at the Cortez gold mine. After all, it's hard to concentrate when multistory monster-trucks are roaming a near-Martian landscape. Roughly $4.5m apiece, they're the sort of heavy machinery most of us never come into contact with, so join me on a photo-tour of these big-wheeled behemoths.

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Gold Standard: Inside Ford’s 2015 F-150 secret testing

Gold Standard: Inside Ford’s 2015 F-150 secret testing

At first glance you don’t notice the Ford F-150, not when there’s a vast Liebherr T282B dump truck towering above. Looks can be deceiving, though: this is no ordinary Ford truck, but in fact an experimental prototype of Ford’s new 2015 F-150, potentially worth more than the 2,700HP monster that looms over it. But, I’m getting ahead of myself. First of all I’m wearing steel-toed boots and standing in a gold mine in the middle of Nevada.

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Making VR mainstream: SMI’s eye-tracking magic hands-on

Making VR mainstream: SMI’s eye-tracking magic hands-on

Eye-tracking tech could finally go mainstream with head-mounted displays like Oculus Rift and Sony Project Morpheus, with pupil spotting specialist SMI readying new consumer-level hardware for gaming, VR, and social networking. SensoMotoric Instruments may not be a household name, but it might be one you end up silently thanking if you've ever gotten motion-sick from using a virtual reality headset. I caught up with the company to find out how understanding eyes may be more important - and closer to the market - than you think.

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