One of the things that I love about my PS3 is that Sony seems to be trying all sorts of new ideas with it. Their latest offering is a free service they’re calling “Life with Playstation.” It turns out it’s somewhat similar to the Nintendo Wii’s News and Weather channel, but presented in a much more dramatic way. Here’s an overview from the announcement on the Playstation blog:
Life with PlayStation provides a stunning interactive globe, a 3D world map that you can twirl around to see live cloud movement courtesy of the University of Wisconsin, combined with up-to-date weather information from the Weather Channel, top news headlines provided by Google news, and live web cam images via the Earth Television Network — all localized to the select city. And why not have your favorite soundtrack playing in the background while you go through your morning ritual (just think, no TV commercials and teasers to find out if you need to bring an umbrella to work)? You’re on your own for your morning caffeine fix.
For those following the progress of Hurricane Ike throughout last week, we were able to track the storm’s real-time movement from Life with PlayStation.
At this point they have a screenshot showing the hurricane making its way towards Texas as presented on the real-time globe. It’s pretty nifty, but here’s the part that I thought was particularly cool:
We’re also really excited to share that this new lifestyle service is running in parallel with our Folding@home project. Essentially, this means that while you’re taking a stroll on Life with PlayStation, you’re automatically helping Stanford University to work towards curing diseases such as Alzheimer’s and various types of cancers. For those familiar with Folding@home, we’ve made some enhancements for more advanced simulations of protein folding and support for wider variety of simulations, in addition to adding a unique ranking system showcasing top contributors from around the world.
I have the Folding@Home software installed on my PS3, but I’ve yet to process an entire packet because the only time I leave the PS3 on without playing it is when I’m charging up the controller which is infrequent enough of an event that the Folding@Home software only runs for a little while. Now there’s a service I might actually make use of that as an added benefit does Folding@Home processing as it runs. Again it’s hard to say how much more time will come out of this, but it’ll certainly up the frequency for me.
Sony even includes a short video presentation of the new service:
I’ve not played with it myself yet, but I’ll probably download it when I get home from class this evening to check it out. I’ll post my impressions on it a bit later.