Friday, September 20, 2013

Cyanogen Raises $7 Million to help Transform Custom Android Firmware



According to TechCrunch, the startup has now raised $7 million from Benchmark Capital in hopes of turning this once hobby into a full-fledged business. Steve Kondik, Cyanogen’s cofounder, explained, “This is something that I kind of started for fun when the first generation of Android devices came out. But it just took off and snowballed. And soon people started giving me advice about features that they wanted.”


Cyanogen Raises $7 Million to help Transform Custom Android Firmware 




The real allure of the Cyanogen firmware is that it maintains the familiarity of the traditional Android software, while providing users with enhanced security, improved response speeds, and a slew of customizable features. The latest version of the mod includes a brand-new camera app, a better protected messaging system, and literally thousands of different themes.



A secondary advantage is that new 'experimental' versions are released on a daily basis, while more stable monthly builds are also available. In essence, Cyanogen Mod is an ongoing project, with updates denoting when bugs are worked out and new features are added. 



Their first plan of business is to address the aforementioned installation issues, developing a one-click installer for Windows. It's also speculated that Cyanogen will announce a partnership with a hardware manufacturer in about a week’s time. 

Finally, they want to start their rebranding effort with a name change – apparently the name “Cyanogen Mod” isn’t considered consumer-friendly.
Unfortunately, the complicated installation process has proved to be a major hindrance to Cyanogen’s success. It currently takes over an hour to successfully install the firmware, with one particular guide referencing the 23 different steps that are involved in the setup procedure. 

Jolla Sailfish OS Smartphone

Jolla had unveiled its first smartphone based on the Sailfish OS back in May. And now the specifications of the first Jolla smartphone, running the gesture-based Sailfish OS, have been detailed officially. 

Jolla Sailfish OS Smartphone

As per the post, the smartphone will boast a 4.5-inch Estrade (540x960 pixel) display and will be backed up by a 1.4GHz dual-core Qualcomm Snapdragon processor. It includes 1GB of RAM and has 16GB of inbuilt storage which is expandable via microSD card (no maximum capacity mentioned).

Moreover, Jolla announced that its first Sailfish smartphone OS will be compatible with Android, in terms of app and hardware compatibility. While the company had previously mentioned that phones running the Sailfish OS would be able to run Android apps, by announcing support for hardware which will be compatible with Android, the company aims to reach a large number of OEMs that produce Android devices.

Jolla Smartphone Key specifications



  • 4.5-inch Estrade (540x960) display
  • 1.4GHz dual-core Qualcomm Snapdragon processor
  • 1GB of RAM
  • 16GB of inbuilt storage, expandable via microSD card
  • 8-megapixel autofocus rear camera with an LED flash
  • 2-megapixel front-facing camera
  • 2100mAh battery
  • Gesture based Sailfish OS
  • Compatible with Android app


The Jolla smartphone will sport an 8-megapixel autofocus rear camera alongside an LED flash, and there is a 2-megapixel front-facing camera as well. It comes with 2100mAh battery and features changeable smart covers. Jolla targets to ship the device by the end of this year. 

The company did not disclose the number of countries receiving the device at the time of launch but revealed that in Europe the device will ship for 399 Euros (Rs. 33,350 approximately) which only included VAT in Europe, so shipping costs, local taxes and duties would be extra.



Friday, September 13, 2013

Sony Unveils New Walkman Headphones with Built-In MP3 Player, Speakers

Sony's New Walkman Headphones with Built-In MP3 Player, Speakers

Sony has announced a new Walkman device, and this new product may just be a must-have from music lovers on the go. The 3-in-1 WH series headphones look like a simple set of over-ear headphones, but the sleek design hides a built-in MP3 player as well as an external speaker. The device comes in two different models, a baseline NWZ-WH303 model and a high-end NWZ-WH505 model.

For the most part, the two versions of Sony’s new Walkman headphones are pretty much the same. Both are compatible with Mac and PC, both offer the same built-in stereo surround-sound speakers, and both boast 20 hours on a full charge. You’ll even get an hour of battery life after just three minutes of charging. However, the WH505 offers 16GB of music storage, enough for about 4,000 songs, while the WH303 is restricted to 4GB or about 1,000 tracks. The WH505 also offers a slightly better bass with its 40mm headphone driver unit, compared to 30mm version found on the WH303.

Sony hasn’t revealed how much the new headphones will cost or when they might be available, though we guess they’ll hit stores in the next month or so, just in time for the holidays.

Celkon Launches Monalisa ML5, Signature Swift A112 And Campus A10

Celkon Launches Monalisa ML5, Signature Swift A112 And Campus A10

Indian mobile phone manufacturer, Celkon has launched three new smartphones, namely Monalisa ML-5, Signature Swift A112 and Campus A10.

Celkon Monalisa ML-5 key specifications

Celkon Monalisa ML-5

>> 4.5-inch qHD (f 540x960 pixel) display
>> 1.2GHz quad-core processor
>> 1GB of RAM
>> 512MB of inbuilt storage, expandable up to 32GB
>> 8-megapixel rear camera
>> 2-megapixel front-facing camera
>> Dual-SIM (GSM+GSM)
>> 1800mAh battery
>> Android 4.1.2 Jelly Bean

Celkon Signature Swift A112 key specifications

Celkon Signature Swift A112

>> 5-inch FWVGA (480x854 pixel) display
>> 1.2GHz dual-core processor
>> 512MB of RAM
>> 4GB of inbuilt storage, expandable up to 32GB
>> 8-megapixel rear camera
>> 1.3-megapixel front-facing camera
>> Dual-SIM (GSM+GSM)
>> 2000mAh battery
>> Android 4.2.2 Jelly Bean

Celkon Campus A10 key specifications

Celkon Campus A10

>> 3.5-inch HVGA display with resolution of 320x480 pixels
>> 1GHz dual-core processor
>> 256MB of RAM
>> 512MB of inbuilt storage, expandable up to 32GB
>> 1.3-megapixel rear camera
>> VGA front-facing camera
>> Dual-SIM (GSM + GSM)
>> 1500mAh battery
>> Android 4.2.2 Jelly Bean

Of the three the Monalisa ML-5 is the first phone of Celkon's Monalisa brand which is priced at Rs 10,999. The Celkon Signature Swift A112 and Campus A10 costs Rs 8,799 and Rs 4,299 respectively.

Galaxy Tab 2 With Breezie: A Tablet For Beginners

Galaxy Tab 2 With Breezie: A Tablet For Beginners

A UK company has come up with what it hopes is the perfect tablet for beginners. Breezie is a custom interface for Android tablets that hides all the clutter and customisation and cuts to the chase -- and it's sold pre-installed on a Galaxy Tab.

Technically, Breezie is a launcher, a kind of uber-app that changes the tablet's interface, like Facebook Home. It's a bit more than that though because it has a range of popular apps like Chrome and Skype preinstalled -- which the user never sees as icons. Instead they're hidden behind more intuitive menus based around the people you want to talk to.

If you go into the address book, for example, if a person you want to contact is available on Skype, you'll be able to hit the video call button. The tablet will then fire up Skype and ring that person, without you having to know what Skype is or how to find a contact on it.

"Our goal was to design software that makes the online environment considerably more accessible for people with little or no technological nous, and to do so without patronising or limiting them," says Breezie founder Jeh Kazimi. "Breezie is about giving people a solution that works straight out of the box and lets them see the universal and immediate benefits of being online."

For a limited offer of £299 (the price goes up to £329 on 15 September, so hurry if you're interested), you get a 10-inch Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 and a year's subscription to Breezie's Hub, a remote control service that lets you set up and manage the tablet for a loved one, and also provides support from the company.

HDMI 2.0 Specifications

HDMI 2.0

The introduction of the HDMI 2.0 specification represents a major milestone for the HDMI Forum. According to Robert Blanchard of Sony Corporation, president of the HDMI Forum. “Our members collaborated closely to take the highly successful HDMI Specification to the next level by expanding audio and video features for consumer electronics applications.”

The new HDMI 2.0 spec was accidentally leaked when details of Panasonic’s first-ever consumer-grade Ultra HD TV were prematurely displayed on one of its US websites.

Most importantly, HDMI 2.0’s extra bandwidth of up to 18Gbps will allow 4K (2160p) pictures at 50Hz and 60Hz frame rates (3,840 x 2,160 resolution video at up to 60fps), which is four times the clarity of existing 1080p at 60Hz video resolution. The new functionality also includes 32 audio channels, dynamic auto lip-sync and extensions to the Consumer Electronics Control (CEC).

Although a year late, the timing of the HDMI 2.0 introduction is appropriate for the impending plethora of 4K device announcements and the commencement of 4K broadcasts expected in 2014.

HDMI 2.0 is backwardly compatible with earlier versions of the HDMI specifications and does not require new connectors. Existing Cat 2 (high speed) cables are also quite capable of handling the increased bandwidth, so there’s no need to go out and replace existing kit when that new 4K TV arrives.

HDMI.org highlights a few other significant facts about the new specification including, “up to 1536kHz audio sample frequency for the highest audio fidelity and simultaneous delivery of dual video streams to multiple users on the same screen.”

It also offers simultaneous delivery of multi-stream audio output to a maximum of four users, and support for a 21:9 theater/cinema style video aspect ratio.

The HDMI Forum has selected HDMI Licensing, LLC to be the licensing agent for version 2.0 and provide marketing, promotional and administrative services whilst educating retailers and consumers on the benefits of the new specifications.

RC Gadgets

HTC One vs iPhone 5

HTC One Vs iPhone 5

Here is a comparison between Apple’s top-selling iPhone 5 and HTC One. We compare the specs and other features of both the devices.

SIZE

comparison of sizes

WEIGHT

comparison of weight

DISPLAY

comparison of display

PROCESSOR

comparison of processor

RAM

comparison of ram

STORAGE

comparison of storage

WIRELESS

comparison of wireless

BATTERY

comparison of battery

CAMERAS

comparison of cameras

SOFTWARE

comparison of software

HTC is emphasizing its custom software skin – Sense – and its intriguing new features. The most memorable part is BlinkFeed, a Flipboard-esque feed reader that sits front and center as a sort of home screen. It’s a bold departure from the standard grid of icons.

Hidden as it may be, the One still runs Android: 4.1.2 Jellybean to be exact (one full version behind Google’s latest major release). Like most Android devices, you’ll get your apps from Google’s Play Store.

The iPhone 5 runs iOS 6 (6.1.2 at the moment), Apple’s newest version of its mobile OS. You get iCloud for (sometimes) easy syncing, the Siri virtual assistant, and – gasp – Apple Maps. Perhaps the biggest highlight, though, is the App Store – with over 750,000 apps and games.
RC Mobiles
Wednesday, September 11, 2013

New ASUS PadFone Infinity To Be Launched On Sept. 17

New ASUS PadFone Infinity To Launch On Sept. 17

Asus finally confirmed the rumors today, unveiling a Web site and short YouTube video to promote the updated PadFone Infinity. The refreshed smartphone-tablet hybrid will launch next week on Sept. 17 at a special event hosted by CEO Jerry Shen in Taipei.

We already have a pretty good idea of what to expect from the new device. The updated PadFone will likely boast a Snapdragon 800 processor, a microSD slot, a noise canceling microphone, and come in black and white models. The Padfone Infinity is expected to sport a full-HD display with 1080x1920 pixels resolution; however there is no word about the size of the display, yet. The tablet is codenamed PadFone T004 and runs on Android 4.2.2. The device is likely to include expandable storage and a noise-cancelling microphone.

The refreshed A86 model offers the same dimensions and design as the current A80, and will likely fit right into its accompanying tablet. Asus continues to roll out new versions of the PadFone, a smartphone that can power up a special Android slate by sliding into a slot in the back.

It’s also mentioned the price may fall, which probably isn’t a bad thing, as you’ll pay 1000 euros (that’s $1325) for one at the moment. Asus justifies the price by saying it’s less than buying an equivalent phone and tablet separately, but in these days of Nexus 7/Nexus 4 match ups, it’s tough to swallow.

However, before getting too excited, as the event is being held in Taipei, it could indicate we’ll have to wait for the new Padfone Infinity’s release outside of the region. It could also be the reason it didn’t include the new device in its IFA 2013 line-up.

RELATED VIDEO:

Kawasaki Launches New Ninza ZX-10R And ZX-14R Bikes

Kawasaki Launches New Ninza ZX-10R And ZX-14R Bikes

Japanese Bike maker Kawasaki Motors which is known for it's super bikes today launched new Ninza Models - Ninza ZX 10R and Ninza ZX 14R, priced at 15.70 lakh and 16.90 lakh. The bikes will be imported  as Completely Builts Unit (CBU) from Japan and sold through Kawasaki's upcoming exclusive outlet in Pune, a press release said here.

Shigeto Nishikawa, deputy managing director, India Kawasaki Motors, said, "We are presently studying what more brands could we launch in India. We have many brands in our portfolio and we need to see which category can we enter"

Stating that Kawasaki had carefully studied the 1000 plus cc segment before rolling it out in the domestic market, company's deputy managing director Shigeto Nishikawa said the segment has seen a healthy growth of 25-30 per cent year-on-year in the last two years.

"Kawasaki has carefully monitored the 1000 plus cc market in India for the past five years. Only two years ago, the segment was almost negligible but now it is growing by 25-30 per cent y-o-y," Nishikawa said.

There has been a noticeable demand for the super bikes in the last one year alone, he said adding, "We would like to be a part of this growth story. We are looking at cornering 20 per cent market share from the segment by 2015."

The Ninja 300 and Ninja 650 will however continue to be sold by Bajaj Auto's dealership under the KTM brand but buyers can also purchase them at Kawasaki dealerships. Bajaj Auto is focussing on the mid-segment upto 800cc and opted out of partnering Kawasaki in setting up a separate line of dealerships.

The Japanese company will launch 1-2 new products every year in the class of 1000cc and above. India Kawasaki Motors targets sales of 100 units per year. IKM is looking at selecting and training staff that can work on the two motorcycles.

Apple gets a license for iPhone to run on China Mobile Network

Apple gets a license for iPhone to run on China Mobile Network

Apple Inc. on Wednesday hosted its first-ever iPhone product introduction in Beijing and gained approval to offer the device with China's largest carrier, indications of how important the world's largest smartphone market has become for the Cupertino, Calif., company.

The approval could open a huge market for Apple. China Mobile has seven times the subscriber base of Verizon Wireless, the biggest carrier in the U.S., the Wall Street Journal reports.

The license was granted by China’s Telecom Equipment Certification Center, which is overseen by the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT). If China Mobile does indeed start supporting the iPhone, this will be the first time the device has been released by all three major carriers in China. Landing an agreement with China Mobile is especially important to Apple because it has 740 million users, or more than half of the estimated 1.2 billion mobile subscribers in China.

The company has tried to secure an agreement with China Mobile since 2011, when Steve Jobs reportedly traveled to China to negotiate with the carrier. Meetings with China Mobile, as well as the MIIT, were also key parts of Tim Cook’s visit to the country in January.

China is Apple’s most important market outside the U.S., but sales of the iPhone have been under pressure there thanks to competition from Android smartphones, which now account for over 70% of smartphone sales, compared to the 22% share held by iOS. In Q2 of this year, Apple posted its biggest quarter ever for the Greater China region, with $8.8 billion in revenues. But in Q3, revenues were down 43%, but still accounted for 14% of the company’s overall revenues.

Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL) has been targeting emerging smartphone markets such as China and India as it looks for new growth.

When unveiling its new iPhone models Tuesday, Apple said the devices would go on sale in China on Sept. 20, the same day as in the U.S.

Apple also held its first-ever iPhone product launch in Beijing Wednesday, showing the importance the company is placing on the Chinese market.

RC Apple, News

LG unveils world's largest 77-inch 4k OLED TV

LG unveils world's largest 77-inch 4k OLED TV

KOREAN HARDWARE MAKER LG unveiled the "world's largest" Ultra HD OLED TV at IFA in Berlin on Friday, putting it one up on rival Samsung.

Clearly targeting people with deep pockets and large living rooms, LG has upped the ante in the 4K TV arena with its 77in Ultra HD curved OLED monster, as it looks to overshadow Samsung in the market.

As well as being the "world's largest," the TV features the most advanced screen the firm has ever developed, LG boasted, combining WRGB OLED with 4K resolution to deliver an "infinite contrast ratio" and "resolution four times greater than regular full HD".

LG clearly is looking to win over film buffs with the TV's "IMAX-like" curvature, which it said offers a more immersive viewing experience than regular flat TVs with its ability to completely fill the viewers field of vision.

“LG was proud to be the first company to commercially launch an OLED TV and we are once again setting our sights high with the ULTRA HD CURVED OLED TV,” Havis Kwon, President and CEO of LG Home Entertainment Company said in unveiling the new 4K monster.

He added: “This 77-inch TV is proof that we will never stop pushing the boundaries and exploring new possibilities.”

On show now at the IFA 2013 conference in Berlin, the 77-inch LG Curved OLED TV has been described by Kwon as ““a true home entertainment wonder that has to be seen to be believed.”

Featuring a 3840 x 2160 pixel resolution four times that of current 1080p Full HD models, the 77-inch LG OLED boasts and WRGB OLED panel with integrated Ultra HD technology to offer near infinite contrast ratios.

It features a 3840 x 2160 pixel resolution four times that of current 1080p Full HD models

It is expected that the newly unveiled behemoth of the TV sector will be dated and priced for launch early next year.

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Sony HMZ-T3W, A Next-Gen Head-Mounted 3D Video Viewer

Sony HMZ-T3W, A Next-Gen Head-Mounted 3D Video Viewer

HMZ-T2A there were two small OLED screens that give the impression of a much larger display, optional 3D, and the privacy of your own virtual screening room. This time around, however, at least one of the cords has disappeared, though it’s not quite the wireless nirvana Sony might like you to believe. At IFA 2013, the company is hoping to launch the new HMZ-T3W.

It's completely wireless, though you'd have to be very brave to take this thing on the bus. Sony promises "hours" of battery life, meanwhile. The 1,280x720-pixel OLED displays mimic a giant screen, and are 3D-capable.

Flexible headbands are one-size-fits-all, and have cushioned pads to keep things comfy. Its lenses are adjustable via two sliders under the set, so in theory even wearers of glasses can get involved, but in practise, the fit is quite snug, so we're not convinced you'd fit any spectacles comfortably into the viewing area.

Users can now reduce the image size down by four steps to a low of 70 percent (similar to a 13.3 m screen from 20 m away), a 2D image can be displayed with a slight virtual curve for a movie theater feel, and gamers are offered four image adjustment modes to increase visibility in darker areas of the screen during a game.

With Sony HMZ-T3W users can reduce the image size down by four steps to a low of 70 percent

There's an adjustable cushioned head pad to help give some relief from pressure against your noggin, six stage independent lens adjustment, and the device will warn users of prolonged use after three hours.

Though ambient light shields are available to help isolate users from the outside world, there's a handy gap at the bottom of the headset to allow gamers to hit the right key or click the mouse button at that critical win or lose moment, or for the rest of us to reach for a cup of coffee without risking a spill. 

Sony says that its Virtual Surround Technology offers accurate sound placement in an immersive 360° soundstage. A 32-bit DAC delivers 7.1 channel audio through supplied earphones that boast 16-mm drivers, with a frequency response of 4 Hz to 27 kHz and 106 dB per mW sensitivity.

The version that requires wired connection between battery box and a slightly lighter processor unit is called the HMZ-T3. Other than supplied earphones with 13.5-mm drivers that have 105 dB per mW sensitivity and a frequency range of 5 Hz to 24 kHz, the specs are the same as the wireless model.

You can connect the HMZ-T3W to your PC, game console, and mobile phone or tablet via HDMI plugged into a wireless processor unit that converts the input to an image that matches your two screens. Whether its wireless connection is fast enough for intense gaming is something we'll have to test. Sony does say the visor offers enough room so you can look down at your keyboard.

The HMZ-T3W is out in Europe in November for the staggering price of £1,300 ($2,035). A US launch date has yet to be penciled in.

First Time for Android, Trojan Spreading Via Mobile Botnets

First Time for Android, Trojan Spreading Via Mobile Botnets

Kaspersky Lab is reporting that "For the first time malware is being distributed using botnets that were created using completely different mobile malware."

Kaspersky describes the malware culprit, Backdoor.AndroidOS.Obad.a, as the "most sophisticated Android Trojan yet." The Russian antivirus company also has said that Obad.a is looking "closer to Windows malware than to other Android Trojans, in terms of its complexity and the number of unpublished vulnerabilities it exploits.

Roman Unuchek, a Kaspersky Lab Expert, wrote that while Obad.a uses the usual Android infection routes of SMS, aka texting, spam; fake Google Play stores; and cracked or otherwise untrustworthy Android software downloads sites — its latest trick make it more infectious than the usual Android Trojan.

What happens is that Obad.a is distributed along with another mobile Trojan, SMS.AndroidOS.Opfake.a. This uses the usual routes to infect an Android usually while pretending to be another desirable program. Once in place, Opfake.a uses Google Cloud Messaging (GCM) to send the user a text message with the following text:

MMS message has been delivered, download from www.otkroi.com.

If the user clicks on the link, a file named mms.apk, containing Opfake.a, is automatically loaded onto the smartphone or tablet. Then again, the user has to be a bit of an idiot and users run the downloaded program. If that happens, the botnet's command and control server can instruct the Trojan to send out the following message to all the contacts in the victim’s address book:

You have a new MMS message, download at - http://otkroi.net/12

If the people who get this message follow the link , they'll automatically loads Obad.a under the names of mms.apk or mmska.apk. And, if they foolishly run these programs, they'll get a case of Obad.a.

All of this requires mindless clicking by users to work, but guess what? There are a lot of idiots out there.

First Time for Android, Trojan Spreading Via Mobile Botnets

According to Unuchek, data from a leading Russian mobile operator showed that "in the space of five hours, 600 messages were sent with one of the Trojan-SMS.AndroidOS.Opfake.a modifications. In most cases delivery was via infected devices, while previously similar distributions used SMS gateways. At the same time, only a few devices infected with Opfake.a distributed links to Obad.a, so we could conclude that the creators of the dangerous Trojan rented part of a mobile botnet to spread their brainchild."

The net result is that this botnet is capable of spreading Opfake.a and Obad.a very quickly.

Kaspersky concluded that there are "12 versions of Backdoor.AndroidOS.Obad.a. All of them had the same function set and a high level of code obfuscation. Each used an Android OS vulnerability that allows the malware to gain Device Administrator rights and made it significantly more complicated to delete."

In addition, Google has closed the security holes Obad.a used in the Android 4.3. Kaspersky also stated that "the latest version of KIS (Kaspersky Internet Security) for Android 11.1.4 can delete Obad.a from any version of Android despite the presence of vulnerabilities.

LG D820 Could Be G2's CDMA Variant While LG-D821 Could Be Nexus Successor

LG D820 Could Be G2's CDMA Variant

We have been hearing rumours for quite some time that LG will be the official Nexus manufacturer for a second year in a row.

Recently, an alleged LG branded device with model number D820 popped up at the FCC website and appeared to have the same dimensions as the mysterious Nexus smartphone that was spotted in the Android KitKat video released by Google.

Some fine points exposed by the LG D820′s FCC listing include the firmware M8974A running on the device and the software version listed as, “aosp_hammerhead-userdebug KyeLimePieFACTORY eng.sangjoon84.lee.20130618.015154.” The device is expected to come with connectivity options like GSM, CDMA, WCDMA, NFC, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and various LTE bands, as per the listing.

However, @evleaks is the latest to suggest that the rumoured LG D820 is just a CDMA variant of the flagship, the G2 and is not a Nexus successor. The tweet said, "Sorry Nexus fans: LG D820 is just a CDMA G2 variant." The tweet by the notorious phone leaker clears the doubt about a possible Nexus 4 successor being spotted at various certification sites. However, the serial leaker has not mentioned anything about the Nexus 4 successor.

Earlier on Monday, another LG branded device popped up, this time on the Bluetooth SIG website. The listing revealed a device with model number LG-D821 which LTE enabled device. The SIG listing unfortunately did not offer anything new and doesn't shed any light on the internals of the device.

The model number LG-D821 seen in a recent Bluetooth SIG filing may be the Nexus 5

Previously, a Vietnamese site, Tinhte.vn claimed that the next Nexus smartphone - called Nexus 5 - will be based on the LG G2, though it obviously would not be an exact copy.

The alleged Nexus 5 has been rumoured to sport a 5.2-inch show just like the LG G2 and also come with the Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 processorclocked at 2.3GHz and 3GB of LPDDR3 RAM. The alleged Nexus successor can be expected to run the latest Android OS, the KitKat (Android 4.4) which might be launched with the device.But, there’s no word on when the next Nexus phone will be launched, though it is
expected to be unveiled within the next couple of months.



Nissan's Coming Smartwatch To Connect Car And Driver

Nissan's Coming Smartwatch To Connect Car And Driver

Like many other smartwatches, the Nissan Nismo not only measures the user's heart rate, temperature and other biometrics but it also allows users to keep an eye on their car's performance - including average speeds and fuel consumption. This watch could be an important step towards greater connectivity in cars.

"Connectivity is the new battleground for car manufacturers," said Chas Hallett, editor-in-chief of What Car? "In-car internet is coming and now with consumer electronics focusing on watch-based connections, Nissan is getting ahead of the game and joining the two together very cleverly."

The Nismo watch can be connected to the car's on-board computer system to allow users to monitor vehicle telematics and performance data. Users can also receive tailored messages from Nissan via the gadget.

It was unveiled ahead of the Frankfurt Motor Show, which runs until 22 September.

At a concept stage at the moment, the Nismo watch is meant to complement Nissan’s cars, allowing drivers to measure the efficiency of their cars and monitoring their own driving performance. The smartwatch would also monitor the driver’s biometrics via a heart rate monitor and send feedback based on their heartbeat.

The smartwatch would monitor the driver’s biometrics via heart rate

The "Nismo Concept Watch", intended for drivers of Nissan Nismo cars, will be the first smartwatch to connect drivers to their cars, the company claims.

The Nismo watch, which will be showcased at the Frankfurt Motor Show, will be available in three colors – red, black and white – and will come in a premium design with a snapfit mechanism to secure on the driver’s wrist. Interestingly, it will also monitor the driver’s online social feed, which Nissan says has been developed internally (sounds like Klout to us) and calls it social speed.

The smartwatch will use a lithium battery and will be charged by micro-USB, with a battery life of over seven days under normal usage conditions. It can also track and rate the user’s social performance across Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram.

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Ultra-Thin Touch Interface for Smartphones and Tablets Introduces by CSR

The 'world's thinnest' touch-sensitive surface from Cambridge Silicon Radio

A flexible computer keyboard has been developed by scientists at Cambridge Silicon Radio (CSR) which is paper thin and is capable of transforming any area into a touch-sensitive surface. The company describes its creation as the world's thinnest wireless touch surface at 0.5 mm thick, and offers consumers a low-power Bluetooth technology featuring "the latest in printable, flexible electronics and touch screen sensing."

CSR’s ultra-thin touch surface will be unveiled to customers for the first time this week at IFA 2013 in Berlin.

The ultra-thin surface is wirelessly connected to an iOS 7 or Windows 8 device using CSR’s brand new CSR1010 chip, which is optimized solely for Bluetooth Smart, a recent technology that ostensibly extends battery life and has a much smaller form factor than standard Bluetooth. With a touch latency of under 12 ms the user experience is reported to be seamless, providing instant visual feedback.

The device can do basic text input as well as touch and gesture control, so you can swipe and pinch and zoom, as well as use much more complex gestures. Moreover, it can be used with a stylus-like pen for handwriting recognition or for drawing and sketching.


The touch surface is able to register multiple touch points thanks to Atmel's touch silicon technology, with reel-to-reel printing from Conductive Inkjet Technology used to apply the conductors to the flexible membrane. The process allows for the production of a wide range of shapes and sizes, which can bring a full-sized keyboard experience to protective tablet covers, for example, or add touch-sensitive areas to a desktop workspace.

Related Video


A Wristwatch for Your Finger :- Ring Clock:

The Ring Clock needs charging regularly, with the charging station also being used to set the time

The team behind the Ring Clock has launched a crowdfunding campaign to bring the idea to market.

The Ring Clock is a watch that you wear as a ring rather than a bracelet. It was originally designed in 2011 by Gusztav Szikszai as part of a competition to create a product that was impossible to make now, but may be feasible in 10 years. Given that the The Ring Clock is becoming reality just two years later, it might already be ahead of its time.

The Ring Clock at the conceptual prototype stage, with LEDs revealing the time


Specifications

The final product is a chunky stainless steel finger ring made up of an inner ring and an outer ring. The outer ring has three distinct bands on it i.e. the top one has the 24-hour clock markings, the second has minute markings, and the third has dots showing the seconds ticking away.

The Ring Clock at the conceptual prototype stage, with LEDs revealing the time

The Ring Clock sits on your finger in an inert state until you spin the outside ring, at which point the time is revealed by the correct numbers lighting up with LEDs. This keeps battery use to a minimum, which, as the battery only lasts two hours before needing to be recharged via its Qi wireless power charger pad, is a good thing. The battery also only has a lifespan of three years, and is not replaceable.


When not telling the time the Ring Clock is a chunky stainless steel finger ring


The basic pledge is $195 for a single Ring Clock, with $15 extra added for shipping outside the UK. Currently the designers say a conceptual model has been completed and if all goes well, the first batch will be delivered to backers in April 2014.


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Microsoft buys Nokia but still has eyes on BlackBerry

Microsoft still has its eyes set on BlackBerry after acquiring Nokia’s handset business, Bloomberg reports citing anonymous sources. BlackBerry recently announced it was open to strategic partnerships including a sale and its presence in the enterprise segment could be of interest to Microsoft.

Microsoft buys Nokia


Microsoft first approached Nokia in February at this year’s MWC in Barcelona to discuss the acquisition. Both companies were of the opinion that the two-year partnership between Nokia and Microsoft wasn’t working. Both the companies’ marketing campaigns were overlapping and Nokia’s Lumia smartphones still had just 3 percent of overall smartphone market share.

Nokia was the sole handset vendor dedicated to Windows Phone and a situation, where Nokia felt that its Lumia smartphones are not worth the time and money being poured into it, would have killed Microsoft’s smartphone dreams for good.

Nokia’s codename in the talks was Nurmi, after the nine-time gold medal runner Paavo Johannes Nurmiknown as the “the Flying Finn” while Microsoft was called Edwin Moses, after the American track-and-field athlete. Nokia’s board met more than 50 times through summer to discuss the deal. “This transaction makes a lot of sense rationally but gets complicated emotionally,” said Risto Siilasmaa, Nokia’s chairman and now interim CEO during yesterday’s press conference to discuss the deal.

The deal comes at a time when Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer is already on his way out. Microsoft’s attempts to become a device and services company hasn’t been a success so far. 

Sound Blaster Omni Surround 5.1 by Creative

An all-new high performance external sound card - The Sound Blaster Omni Surround 5.1 has been announced by Creative.

Sound Blaster Omni Surround 5.1

The Sound Blaster Omni Surround 5.1 (with enhancing audio playback via Creative’s SBX Pro Studio suite of processing technologies) comes with a 600ohm headphone amplifier that allows listeners to hear every enhanced audio detail through powerful studio-grade monitoring headphones.

It also features recording capabilities that will be appreciated by today’s new generation of audio content creators, including podcasters and budding YouTube musicians, housing a built-in dual array microphone that records clear audio, and all recorded audio is further enhanced and cleaned up via Creative’s CrystalVoice technologies. Connecting to laptops, PCs, and Macs via a simple USB cable, the device also offers conveniently accessible controls and input options.

Creative also revealed the Sound Blaster Audigy Rx and Sound Blaster Audigy Fx, two internal sound cards that represent powerful upgrades from basic motherboard audio to immersive surround sound. 
The Sound Blaster Audigy Rx is an advanced internal 7.1 PCIe sound card, while the Sound Blaster Audigy Fx is an internal 5.1 half-height PCIe sound card.

Both cards feature 600ohm headphone amplifiers, a 106dB SNR and full customization via their respective PC software suites. 
The Sound Blaster Audigy Rx has more advanced recording capabilities, with a dual microphone input for simultaneous multi-person audio recording.

Hands-on with the Sony Xperia Z1

After the announcement of the Xperia Z, the Z1 comes with a similarly sized 5" screen, a faster Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 quad-core 2.2Ghz processor, a larger 3000 mAh battery, 4G LTE support, is also dust and water resistant (rated IP55 and IP58), built with tempered glass and a single piece aluminium frame. 

From left to right; the Sony Xperia Z, Z1 and the Z Ultra.

The Z1 features a fast f/2.0 G lens with a wide-angle view of 27mm.


The 5" screen features Sony's TriLuminos display for mobile, and it looks good in real life, with none of the washed out viewing angles which plagued the Xperia Z.

The key draw for the Z1 however, is definitely its camera. It's not just about the 20.7 megapixels, the 1/2.3" Exmor RS CMOS sensor inside is as big as sensors found in most digital compact cameras today. Sensor size matters when it comes to image quality, and the Z1's sensor size makes it the third-largest found in smartphones today, on par with the Samsung Galaxy Zoom and behind only the Nokia Lumia 1020 and 808.

The Z1's 5" screen is the same size as the Xperia Z's, but the Z1 is slightly bigger and thicker.

Not only that, the Z1 features two Sony brand names from their digital cameras, which implies Sony's confidence in the Z1's imaging prowess.

 The first is a G lens, which shares the same name as Sony's range of G lenses for their DSLR cameras; the lens on the Z1 has a fast maximum aperture of f/2.0 and a wide shooting angle of 27mm. The second is a BIONZ image processing engine; BIONZ-named image processing engines can be found in Sony's entire digital camera range. For all its impressive specs, however, the Z1 lacks one: Optical image stabilization, a key feature which helps you to minimize camera shake (you can find OIS on the HTC One and Lumia 1020).

The screen looks good, with none of the washed out viewing angles which plagued the Xperia Z.

Sony is also launching a suite of Xperia Camera apps to use with the Z1. Social Live broadcasts a live video feed from the Z1 to Facebook and may or may not be available at launch depending on the country. Info-eye uses the camera to do visual search with info on landmarks and items like books and wine. Timeshift burst takes 61 images in 2 seconds, a second before and after pressing the shutter, in 1920 x 1080 resolution. 

At 8.5mm, the Z1 is slightly thicker than the Z which has a thickness of 7.9mm.

The Sony Xperia Z1 and the Nokia Lumia 1020 are the ones to watch for anyone who wants the best possible picture quality from their phones this season, and while the Lumia 1020 wins with specs like a whopping 38 megapixel count and optical image stabilization, it runs on Windows Phone 8. No disrespect to fans out there, but Windows Phone still lags behind iOS and Android when it comes to apps. While the Z1 has less megapixels and a smaller sensor without OIS, it runs on Android, and can even manage shooting in a little rain.

The Z1 comes with a microSD slot and a mini-USB port.


In the hands, the Z1 feels slightly more comfortable than the Z, thanks to its slightly rounded edges and smooth bevels, in contrast to the Z's harder edges. Even though the Z1 and the Z share a similarly sized 5" screen, the Z1 is slightly bigger and thicker, but not uncomfortably.

Like the Xperia Z, the Z1 will be available in white, black and purple, and is expected to be available globally in September 2013.


Monday, September 2, 2013

Transparent gel Speaker plays Music, paves way for Biocompatible 'Soft Machines'

A translucent speaker has been developed by Material scientists at Harvard University, which is made out of a thin sheet of rubber squished between two membranes of saltwater gel.

Transparent loudspeaker | Harvard School of Engineering and Applied 


By running a high voltage ionic signal across the surfaces, the rubber can be made to rapidly contract and vibrate, producing sounds that span the audio spectrum between 20 hertz and 20 kilohertz. The technology was used to play Edvard Grieg's Morgenstimmung in a demonstration video embedded in this post.

This is an important proof of concept for ionic conductors, since speakers require both a high voltage and high-speed vibrations i.e.  two criteria that are important for a wide range of applications, but have been ruled out of previous tests of ionic materials. This is because high voltages tend to set of electrochemical reactions, which cause damage to the materials.

This demonstration could pave the way for developing ionic conductors to replace some electronic systems. A key benefit to using ionic conductors is the fact that they can be stretched many times to cover a large surface area without affecting their resistivity.

Moreover, ions -- being larger and heavier than electrons -- have generally moved very slowly through circuits. The Harvard team has overcome these challenges with the combination of the polyacrylamide gel swollen with salt water and the rubber.


"The big vision is soft machines. Engineered ionic systems can achieve a lot of functions that our body has: they can sense, they can conduct a signal, and they can actuate movement. We're really approaching the type of soft machine that biology has to offer", said by Co-lead author Christoph Keplinger, a postdoctoral fellow at Harvard School of Engineering and Applied Sciences (SEAS).

It has been added by Jeong-Yun Sun, a postdoctoral fellow at SEAS that it might seem counter-intuitive that ionic conductors could be used in a system that needs very fast actuation, as speakers generally do. "Yet by exploiting the rubber layer as an insulator, we're able to control the voltage at the interfaces where the gel connects to the electrodes, so we don't have to worry about unwanted chemical reactions. The input signal is an alternating current (AC), and we use the rubber sheet as a capacitor, which blocks the flow of charge carriers through the circuit. As a result, we don't have to continuously move the ions in one direction, which would be slow; we simply redistribute them, which we can do thousands of times per second."

The system doesn't need a lot of power and could be used as a soft transparent layer that deforms in response to electrical stimuli and even create active noise cancellation on windows so that rooms could be completely silent inside.

Harvard plans to commercialise the technology, working with companies involved in tablet computing, smartphones, wearable electronics, adaptive optics and consumer audio devices.

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A Convenient additional button for your Android device :- Pressy

The Pressy button on Kickstarter has excited more than 2,900 people as it adds an external physical button to your Android device.

Pressy is a small button with big potential

The Pressy app is set up to handle a few default actions. A short click toggles the flashlight. A long click toggles silent mode. Double click takes a photo. Pressy can be customized to fit your needs, so you can turn it into anything from an emergency button to a voice recorder activator.

The tiny button connects into the headphone port on Android smartphones or tablets. Coupled with the Pressy app, it can control certain functions, like turning on your flashlight, snapping a picture, or putting your phone on silent. 

The idea is to save the steps of unlocking your phone, locating an app, and tapping or swiping your way to your goal.

The small device is shaping up to be a handy time-saver for Android users, especially if you don't have your headphones plugged in all the time.

Pressy likes to be pushed around.

When you need to use your headphone jack for actual headphones, you can pop Pressy out and use your headphone media button to activate Pressy's commands.

Pressy has already handily topped its US$40,000 funding goal. A US$20 pledge includes a keychain holder for when you need to unplug Pressy.