Categories
disruptive technology mobile development

Sony files patent for a “SmartWig”

http://money.cnn.com/2013/11/27/technology/sony-smartwig-patent/index.html

Wearable technology is on the rise! Wigs can now register blood pressure along with brainwaves! Bravo Sony!

Sony files patent for a “SmartWig”

sony smartwigRegular wigs are so passé. Sony has just filed a patent for a “SmartWig”.

LONDON (CNNMoney)

Sony is taking wearable technology to a whole new level.

The Japanese electronics company has filed a U.S. patent for a “SmartWig,” which will use sensors to detect everything from blood pressure to brain waves.

The wearable wig could also be used in a number of practical ways, such as helping blind people navigate without any extra assistance, said Sony (SNE) in its filing.

It could also come in handy for the gaming industry, especially for virtual reality fans, and could be hooked up to Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and radio transceivers, according to the patent application.

Related: The Sony Playstation 4 is only for very serious gamers

Wearable technology is starting to become a hot trend, with both Google(GOOGFortune 500) and Samsung (SSNLF) jostling for market share.

Google launched Google Glass in May and Samsung unveiled its Galaxy Gear smartwatch in September.

Both products have generated a lot of buzz but skeptics have been pretty vocal, questioning the cost and benefits of the devices.

Don’t expect to see the “SmartWig” on store shelves anytime soon.

The technology is still in “fundamental research stage and it has not been decided whether to commercialize the technology or not,” said a Sony Europe spokesperson.

Related: Google Glass: Limited and clunky

Sony has been trying for years to keep pace with rapid changes in the consumer electronics business, struggling to match the innovative gadgets produced by rivals such as Apple (AAPLFortune 500).

Sony just released the new Playstation 4 this month, its first new gaming system in seven years. The system sells for $399 and is competing against Microsoft’s(MSFTFortune 500) rival Xbox One for sales in the upcoming the holiday season. To top of page

 

First Published: November 27, 2013: 9:58 AM ET

Categories
mobile news

Space Instagram

http://www.cnn.com/2013/11/28/tech/innovation/the-stratospheric-rise-nasa-instagram/index.html

 

 

NASA has taken another step to ramp up the space program, this time reaching mobile users via the application Instagram. Check out this IGer’s pic of the day!

 

 

The stratospheric rise of NASA’s Instagram

NASA posted this snap of astronaut James H. Newman on November 20, 1998, to celebrate the 15th anniversary of the International Space Station.NASA posted this snap of astronaut James H. Newman on November 20, 1998, to celebrate the 15th anniversary of the International Space Station.

Out-of-this-world photos from Nasa’s Instagram

(CNN) — 350,000 followers agree: no one does selfies quite like NASA.

It’s the year of the “selfie” and the year that social media-transmitted self portraits were taken to new heights, with the arrival of U.S. space agency NASA on Instagram.

In less than three months, the space agency has accumulated over 350,000 followers and given them an incredible insight into the day-to-day lives of astronauts and Nasa’s work unraveling the mysteries of the universe.

NASA launched the account on September 6 — promising to take its fans on “an out-of-this-world journey through images of Earth and beyond” — and soon spawned a slew of viral trends.

The account’s first post highlighted the launch of the agency’s LADEE research robot. But the spacecraft’s lift-off threw up some unexpected results in the form of an ill-fated photobomber, soon to be known as #nasafrog.

New photographs from NASA’s satelites and spacecraft have spread across the internet, too — a fresh view of Saturn making headlines — in addition to candid scenes aboard the International Space Station.

Three months in, the account is going strong, picking up hundred more followers each day. And that’s as good an excuse as any to have another gawk at 15 of the most awe-inspiring, incredible and moving NASA Instagram photos so far.

Categories
Android disruptive technology iOS mobile development mobile news

Researchers use smartphone camera to figure out PINs

The program researchers created uses the user's hand position to deduce what is being typed.
The program researchers created uses the user’s hand position to deduce what is being typed.

(CNN) — Researchers have found a way to figure out what personal identification number, or PIN, someone is typing into their smartphone by using the device’s built-in cameras and microphones to secretly record them.

Smartphones are handling an increasing amount of sensitive financial information, with banking and payment apps and other features that turn phones into full-featured mobile wallets. That makes mobile devices a ripe target for cybercriminals.

In a paper published Thursday, security researchers at the University of Cambridge detailed how they exploited the smartphone’s camera and microphone to detect PINs and gave some suggestions for making this type of hack more difficult.

This type of malware doesn’t exist in the wild just yet. The PIN Skimmer program was created by Cambridge’s Ross Anderson and Laurent Simon. The idea is to identify potential security holes before they can be exploited by criminals. In tests, the PIN Skimmer had a 30% success rate detecting four-digit PINs after monitoring a few attempts, and that number went up after it grabbed information over five tries.

Group claims to have hacked finger-print sensor on iPhone 5s

First, the microphone detects that a person is entering a PIN. On many apps, the device will vibrate each time a number is tapped. That vibration creates a sound that is picked up by the microphone, which lets the malware know that a “touch event” is happening — in this case it is the entering of a secret PIN.

Then the camera takes over. The camera isn’t looking for reflections in your eyes or triangulating what numbers you’re looking at while typing in the code. The researchers use the camera to detect the orientation of the phone and determine where the user’s finger is on the screen. On-screen keypads typically display number in a standard order, so if the program can tell where a finger is tapping on the screen based on how the person is holding it, it can deduce what number is there. In their example, researchers assume people are holding their phones with one hand and typing in numbers with their thumb.

Opinion: Your smartphone is hackers’ next big target

The malware captures some photos and a few seconds of video and uploads them to a remote server, evading detection by hiding any data usage charges by possibly waiting for the phone to have a WiFi connection.

Depending on the phone, it could take some additional precautions like disabling any LED light that would let a person know their smartphone camera was recording. The researchers tested the program on the Galaxy S3 and Google Nexus Android phones.

In the past, security researchers have warned that criminals could use other phone sensors like the accelerometer and gyroscope to puzzle out what someone is typing. The paper suggests that apps or electronic wallets like Trustzone take control of and disable all the available sensors when entering a secure mode. Another suggestion includes randomizing where the numbers appear on the screen.

Categories
disruptive technology mobile development usability

Google patenting an electronic ‘throat tattoo’

http://www.cnn.com/2013/11/12/tech/innovation/google-throat-tattoo/index.html?hpt=te_t1

 

As Google Glass prepares to launch to the public, Google is stepping up the game with some rather crazy technology. The temporary throat tattoo will eliminate the need for a head/earpiece . The tattoo would communicate with smartphones for a enhanced mobile experience including the possibility for clearer voice calls and listening to music without headphones. Wearable technology is the next step towards getting ahead in mobile development, Google has shown to be the number one player.

131112095149-google-neck-tattoo-story-top

 

Categories
disruptive technology iOS mobile development

More than a watch: Apple’s entry into wearable tech

http://www.cnn.com/2013/02/13/tech/innovation/apple-smart-watch/

 

More than a watch: Apple’s entry into wearable tech

Most current smartwatches rely on smartphone pairing over Bluetooth to get data and notifications. A long-rumored 'iWatch' from Apple could take the same approach as these rivals, or put more computing power directly into the device. Most current smartwatches rely on smartphone pairing over Bluetooth to get data and notifications. A long-rumored ‘iWatch’ from Apple could take the same approach as these rivals, or put more computing power directly into the device.

Apple’s rumored ‘iWatch’

(CNN) — In the last week, the Apple iWatch has made the jump from unlikely rumor to a real product that’s probably in development, thanks to well-placed leaks that have been showing up in various publications.

The latest is a report from Bloomberg that says Apple already has a team of 100 employees working on a wearable device.

The clues, and resulting flurry of speculation, are planting the seeds of an Apple watch in consumers’ minds. The general public has not been crying out for a better watch. Apple dream-product rumors have mostly focused on an elusive Apple TV over the past year.

But Apple prides itself on knowing what the people want before they do, and an Apple watch would be way more than just a fancy timepiece.

It’s not about the watch form factor, but creating a wearable mobile device that takes advantage of advances in mobile computing technology such as cheap sensors, better battery life and improved voice recognition. An Apple watch could work with an ecosystem of third-party wearable sensors and products that tie into one powerful, small hub.

If executed correctly, an Apple watch could spawn a lucrative industry of compatible products, like it did with the iOS App Store and mobile applications.

“It’s unlimited, the number of wearable things you can tap into,” said Gene Munster, an analyst with Piper Jaffray, who imagines small companies making inexpensive products like belts with sensors that alert the watch when you’ve eaten too much.

Apple is not entering virgin territory. There are already a handful of slick smart watches available, but most act as accessories, connecting to the more powerful Android and iOS smartphones and tablets over Bluetooth.

For example, the new Pebble smart watch passes on alerts from a smartphone, so when you receive a text, e-mail, or Facebook notification it is pushed to the watch, which vibrates.

Wearable technology is also booming, thanks to cheap sensors that can be used to track things like movement and heart rates. The number of wearable fitness products has been growing at a fast pace, but an Apple offering would shake up the industry completely.

“We’re finally getting some players involved, and Apple’s the real one, that can add some value to some of this wearable technology,” said Munster.

Apple isn’t alone in seeing the potential for this type of technology. Google is working on its own wearable platform, Google Glasses. The two will face off when they are finally available, each sporting its own unique take on what kind of user interface people will use (voice control and a small touchscreen or augmented reality). And they will, of course, have their own ecosystems of accessories and apps.

Traditional watches have dropped in popularity in recent years. Smartphones prominently display the time and are already in our back pockets, so it can seem redundant to also strap a small clock to our wrists. But when you start packing more power, sensors and connection options like Bluetooth into a watch, it ceases to be a watch and becomes a small wearable computer.

An Apple watch could leap frog the current crop of smart watches by creating a platform, not another accessory. According to Munster, the three tasks people use their smartphones for are, in order, texting, Internet and phone calls. Two out of three of those tasks would be a natural fit for a small device, while the need to surf and play games would ensure the smartphone doesn’t become obsolete.

Categories
disruptive technology mobile development

New Google Glass is on the way

http://www.cnn.com/2013/10/29/tech/mobile/new-google-glass/

 

New Google Glass is on the way

New Google Glass will work better with eyeglasses and include an ear bud for better audio, Google says.
New Google Glass will work better with eyeglasses and include an ear bud for better audio, Google says.

(CNN) — A new version of Google Glass, the company’s breakthrough entry into the world of wearable tech, is on the way.

Current testers, or “Explorers,” in Google’s parlance, will get a chance to swap out their current models for the new ones, the company said in a Google+ post.

The new Google Glass hardware will work with eyeglasses or shades, and include an ear bud to replace the speaker in the current model. The bone-conduction speaker, which, similar to some hearing aids, literally sends sound waves through the skull to the ear, has been called faulty by some testers.

The swap begins Friday and testers will have 60 days to decide if they want new Glass.

The roughly 10,000 current testers also be able to invite up to three friends into the program, which requires testers to fork over the current $1,500 price of the glasses.

“Over the next few weeks, all Explorers will have the opportunity to invite three friends to join the program,” the post said. “They’ll be able to buy Glass online and can have it shipped to their home, office, treehouse or igloo. We’re counting on you to get Glass to the people you think will make great Explorers.”

Google has not said when Glass will go on sale to the general public, though it is expected to be some time next year.

Google Glass, worn like regular glasses, has a high-resolution display and lets wearers use voice commands to shoot photos or videos and access features like e-mail, text messaging, Google Maps, Google search and a handful of other apps.

It’s not clear what hardware changes will be made to make the new Glass work better with other eyeglasses, though some in the tech press were speculating that users will be able to insert prescription lenses into it. It’s possible to wear both Glass and eyeglasses currently, though many users who have tried have called it awkward.

The post didn’t say how the overall design of Glass will be tweaked in the next version. Looking a little bit like something out of an ’80s sci-fi movie, some have said the device looks … well … goofy, at least on the sometimes geekish early adopters who have been sporting them.

Glass has been a groundbreaker in wearable tech, a movement that’s shaping up to be the coming wave in the technology world.

Samsung has weighed in with Galaxy Gear, a smartwatch that works with its Android smartphones.

Google and Apple are believed to be joining the smartwatch market soon, and Pebble and Sony are just a couple of the other names that have wristwatch tech for sale.

READ More than a watch: Apple’s entry into wearable tech

Categories
mobile development

Google releases Nexus 5 phone with Kit Kat

http://www.cnn.com/2013/10/31/tech/mobile/google-kit-kat-nexus-5/index.html

 

Google releases Nexus 5 phone with Kit Kat

Google on Thursday announced its new Nexus 5 smartphone, which went on sale immediately.
Google on Thursday announced its new Nexus 5 smartphone, which went on sale immediately.

(CNN) — Google on Thursday released its latest candy-themed mobile operating system: Android 4.4, more deliciously known as Kit Kat.

The system will launch immediately on Google’s new Nexus 5 phone and then roll out to other Nexus devices, the Samsung Galaxy S4 and HTC One, in the next few weeks.

Nexus devices are Google’s flagship line of phones and tablets, running the newest and purest form of Android and available without contracts. The Nexus 5, manufactured by LG, is built to work internationally on a variety of bands and with whatever local SIM card you pick up, though Verizon’s band is still not supported.

Physically, the 5-inch Nexus is a bit thinner and lighter than the previous generation, while packing a faster Snapdragon 800 processor. It has optical image stabilization and a new HDR camera feature for combining multiple exposures into a single photo, lightening up dark areas and bringing details back to images blown out by a flash.

The Nexus 5 is available online today in 10 countries and will be available in retail stores like Best Buy. It’s a wider rollout than for previous generations of Nexus phones. The 16 GB version will cost $349 without a contract and the 32 GB version will go for $399, also without a contract.

The phone also will be the first to have the new Kit Kat features, many of which attempt to break down the walls between web, search, apps and communication tools.

The phone app — widely neglected since Android smartphones first came out — gets more search power in Kit Kat, pulling in search results for business as well as your usual roster of contacts. Incoming calls from business are recognized automatically in caller ID, while pulling data from the same database that powers Google Maps.

Kit Kat also adds support for third-party cloud services like Box so you can see files stored on the device and in the cloud. Google Hangouts absorbs SMS and MMS messages, so your chats, video calls and texts are all together in one place.

Google Now, the company’s app for serving up answers to questions you haven’t even asked yet, is adding new categories. It can deduce your interests based on your web searches — say, “The Walking Dead,” or corgis — and add a card to Google Now with the latest information about those interests. If there’s a specific site you check a lot that is only sporadically updated, Google Now might alert you to new posts when they happen.

It’s also tapping the power of crowds. Google Now knows your location, and Google knows what people at that exact spot during that time are most likely to search. For example, someone standing in front of Old Faithful at Yellowstone might search for a schedule of when the geyser is going to erupt. Google Now will automatically show you the times without your searching.

Google Search on Kit Kat is not limited to content from the web. Google is starting to index content deep inside of individual apps, so if you search for a recipe it might show a web page and a link to a cooking app you already have installed. For now, it will only work with installed apps, but Google says its working on adding support for apps in the Google Play store, which could be a clever way to sell more apps.

Kit Kat is also Google’s attempt to address one the bigger problems plaguing Android: OS fragmentation. Low-end Android devices are big sellers in emerging markets like China and India, but because of their limited memories and pokey processors, they typically run older versions of the Android operating system, like Gingerbread.

The decision of what version of Android to ship on these devices is up the manufacturers. But Google is trying hard to make its newest OS more appealing for these markets by upgrading it to use less processor power and memory.

Categories
disruptive technology iPad mobile development

Samsung edges Apple in tablet-satisfaction survey

http://www.cnn.com/2013/11/01/tech/mobile/samsung-apple-tablets-satisfaction/index.html

Samsung edges Apple in tablet-satisfaction survey

While the iPad still leads the way, the tablet-computer market has become a more diverse and competitive one in the past year or so. Users looking to upgrade from their smartphone screen, or get simpler than a laptop, have options that include Apple's offering, as well as new designs from Samsung, Google, Microsoft, Nokia, Asus and others.While the iPad still leads the way, the tablet-computer market has become a more diverse and competitive one in the past year or so. Users looking to upgrade from their smartphone screen, or get simpler than a laptop, have options that include Apple’s offering, as well as new designs from Samsung, Google, Microsoft, Nokia, Asus and others.

 

The hottest and best-known tablets

 

(CNN) — Samsung tablets have edged out iPads for the first time in JD Power’s biannual customer-satisfaction survey, although some observers say the results don’t quite add up.

Samsung topped JD Power’s rankings with a score of 835 out of 1,000, narrowly beating out Apple’s 833. Amazon was third in customer satisfaction at 826, followed by Asus and Acer.

The rankings are based on the experiences of 3,375 tablet owners who responded between March and August of this year, and don’t include the new iPad Air and iPad Mini, which went on sale Friday.

But some tech pundits questioned the market-research company’s scoring system.

Survey respondents scored Apple’s iPad higher than Samsung’s tablets in four of five categories — performance, ease of operation, styling/design, and features — while Samsung scored higher in just one: cost.

A Samsung Galaxy Tab 3 with an almost 8-inch screen, Wi-Fi-only connectivity and 16GB of storage sells for $299, compared to $399 for a comparable iPad Mini.

“Reporters who got their hands on the attached chart were left scratching their heads,” wrote Philip Elmer DeWitt in Fortune. “The only category that Samsung beat Apple in was (duh) cost. And cost, according to Power’s press release, counts for at most 16% of the total score.”

“Did J.D. Power overreach in giving its top customer satisfaction nod to Samsung instead of Apple?” wondered Don Reisinger of CNET. “So who’s the real winner?”

JD Power did not immediately respond Friday to CNN’s request for comment.

Apple in the past has trumpeted JD Power’s rankings as evidence of its products’ popularity with consumers. At the company’s Worldwide Developers Conference in June, Apple CEO Tim Cook bragged that iOS devices have won nine consecutive JD Power awards.

JD Power’s survey notes that Samsung is the only manufacturer to improve across all five categories since its last survey in April.

The survey found that before buying their tablet, 50% of consumers rely on recommendations from friends, family members or colleagues, while 49% gather information from the manufacturer’s website.

Other factors that determine tablet-buying choices include brand reputation (42%) and past experience with the brand (32%).

Categories
mobile development mobile news

http://www.technewsworld.com/story/79255.html

Google has been the top leader in wearable technology with Google Glass, now Microsoft has jumped on board!

Microsoft Steps on the Glass Gas

ManageEngine OpManager, a powerful NMS for monitoring your network, physical & virtual (VMware/ HyperV) servers, apps & other IT devices. Deploy and start monitoring in less than an hour. Trusted by over a million admins worldwide.Try it for free

Google Glass may currently be the name most associated with Internet-connected eyewear, but Microsoft is apparently hoping to make its own mark on the nascent category. Specifically, the company is now testing prototypes of a smart glass technology of its own, according to a Tuesday report in The Wall Street Journal.

There are few details available as to how the glasses might work, but rumors circulating online suggest they could be linked to Microsoft’s Xbox line of gaming products, including a Kinect Glasses initiative that has been known as “Project Fortaleza.” While the Kinect Glasses were slated as a 2014 product, it is unclear if they have moved beyond an early prototype stage.

Earlier this year Microsoft also submitted a patent application for a head-mounted display that was tied to its gaming initiatives, and the company was looking at an “immersive display experience” as far back as 2011.

Microsoft’s SPOT watch was another wearable device the company has toyed with, but that product was shut down along with MSN Direct early last year.

Wearable Potential

The timing of this latest round of rumors coincides with the release of new data from Gartner predicting that the wearable smart electronics market could reach US$10 billion by 2016. Microsoft, which by most accounts was late to the mobile market, could be hoping to ensure it is a leader in the wearable tech arena.

“Microsoft, like everyone else, is looking at the potential around wearables,” Jim McGregor, founder and principal analyst with Tirias Research, told the E-Commerce Times. “Wearables combined with Internet of Things and data analytics is likely to create a major market inflection point, equivalent to the PC, Internet or smartphone.”

As a result, “it’s an open opportunity for Microsoft and everyone else,” added McGregor. “However, for Microsoft, it represents an opportunity to regain a leadership position after missing opportunities with the Internet and mobile.”

Mixed Hardware Success

Of course, while software has been Microsoft’s bread and butter, it has had something of a rocky history with hardware. While it scored a hit with the Xbox 360 and its Kinect accessory, the company has left behind a long trail of failed hardware offerings in a number of hardware categories, raising the question of whether it’s likely to do any better with eyewear.

“Microsoft has had mixed results with peripherals,” said Roger Kay, principal analyst at Endpoint Technologies Associates. “Kinect has been pretty much an unqualified hit, but the watches not so much.

“It does crank out a steady stream of keyboards and mice,” Kay told the E-Commerce Times. “So, the company has some record of being in this business. Mostly, Microsoft is concerned with making its software more usable, and the peripheral efforts tend to support this goal.”

A Spot of Trouble

Other products have been less of a success, and the SPOT is just one example.

“Microsoft had the SPOT watch, which was a connected device using FM sideband that, like a lot of efforts at the time, was underfunded and died out,” noted Rob Enderle, principal analyst at the Enderle Group. “It is clear we are moving towards wearable technology, and Microsoft has a ton of IP in this area. They clearly don’t want to miss the wave if it turns out to be real, and thus are exploring the technology to assure they won’t be left behind.”

Moreover, “given how badly Samsung belly-flopped with their Galaxy Gear, there is some concern they may have damaged the segment badly,” Enderle added.

Mirroring Google Glass

In the meantime, there is “no reason for the company not to experiment with a Glass-like knockoff,” said Kay. “It’s not clear that even Google will be successful in this domain. People are rather sensitive about their exposure to privacy invasion, and Glass seems like a risk from that perspective.”

It is also possible that these various attempts to bring smart glasses to market could remain nothing more than vaporware for the foreseeable future.

“Microsoft has just as much potential as everyone else, but no one knows exactly how the market, devices and services will develop or when,” said McGregor. “If history is any indication, it will take two to three generations, or approximately five years, after the first products introduced before the technology becomes appealing to the mass market.”

Power, battery life, integration and connectivity are all challenges that need to be addressed, he added, and “that would push mass adoption out to the latter half of this decade.” 

Categories
disruptive technology mobile development

Samsung Announces GALAXY ROUND

 

Samsung is taking the leap…or curve I should say. The round curved display on the new Samsung “Galaxy Round” has been launched in Korea. Personally, I don’t see this innovative technology making a huge impact on the mobile technology market. Flexible mobile devices on the other hand will surpass all displays in the future. Check out the full article below…

 

 http://www.mobiletechnews.com/info/2013/10/09/170829.html

Posted: 09-Oct-2013 [Source: Samsung]

[Samsung’s well-rumored curved display is now available in the GALAXY ROUND, with first availability in Korea. The 5.7″ full HD display is based on Samsung’s flexible AMOLED technology.]

Samsung Electronics introduced GALAXY ROUND, the world’s first curved display smartphone, to be available October 10th in Korea. Samsung has been a mobile display innovator by introducing color TFT-LCD, AMOLED, and Super AMOLED flexible display for its mobile product.

With this pioneering curved display technology, GALAXY ROUND blends the latest smartphone screen innovations with unique design features. The sleek and thin Samsung GALAXY ROUND which equipped with a 5.7” Full HD Super AMOLED with 7.9mm thick and weighs 154g offers a comfortable hand grip feeling to user, and exclusive experiences of curved display.

As a result of its unique curved design, users can take advantage of round integration experiences like the Roll Effect that enables the user to check information such as the date, time, missed calls and battery easily when home screen is off, and the Gravity Effect for creating visual interaction with the screen by tilting the device. For music, the Bounce UX enables users to control their music. When the GALAXY ROUND’s display is off while the music player is running, a short press to the left of the device will play the previous track while a short press to the right will play the next track. For pictures and videos, the Side Mirror feature enables users to gain access to list of the album content with a left and right tilt.

The large screen size of the GALAXY ROUND provides additional benefits to users. Useful One-Hand Operation features bring a user’s most desired controls closer to a preferred side of the screen. The device enables enhanced multitasking capabilities that allow users to fully utilize the larger screen through Multi Window, a feature that enables users to open more than one application on the screen, run simultaneous multiple instances of the same application or to easily share content between applications.

Samsung GALAXY ROUND is available in Korea with Luxury Brown, and more colors will be available soon.

Categories
iPad mobile development

Apple is expected to reveal a fifth-generation iPad and a new iPad Mini next Tuesday.

The iPad…Dead or Alive?

Rumor has it, Apple is expect to reveal the next generation iPad/iPad Mini on Tuesday. Will this be a slight upgrade like the iPhone 5c/5s?
Will a finger print scanner be implemented in this system? Who knows… Rumors surfacing on the Internet yield slim chances of any major advances in this mobile technology that seems to be on a downward trend. Check out the full story from CNN below…

 

http://money.cnn.com/2013/10/18/technology/mobile/apple-ipad/index.html

IPad sales are slumping, and Apple’s share of the tablet market is in a tailspin.

Apple (AAPLFortune 500) is hoping to reverse the trend on Tuesday. The company is expected to reveal its first revamped iPad in a year during an event in San Francisco.

But don’t expect Apple to produce a radically new device in an effort to turn the tide — the new iPad will likely be a marginal upgrade from the current version. Apple is expected to unveil a slightly thinner and faster iPad with a fingerprint sensor.

“What are they supposed to do, add wings and make it fly?” asked Colin Gillis, senior tech analyst at BCG Financial. “It’s a tablet. There’s only so much you can upgrade.”

During Apple’s fiscal third quarter, which ended in June, iPad sales fell to $6.3 billion — a 27% drop over last year. But this year, Apple didn’t get a boost from a new version of the tablet. The company released a new iPad in March 2012, while the fourth-generation iPad came out in November. Even though last quarter’s iPad sales were weak, tablet revenue jumped 40% and 22% in the prior two quarters.

More striking is the fact that Apple no longer dominates in tablets. Apple’s global tablet market share currently stands at 32%, down from 60% a year ago, according to IDC.

That’s because rivals are taking advantage of Apple’s lack of major updates: The tablet market share controlled by Samsung, Acer and Lenovo tripled last quarter from the previous year. That kind of wild changing of the guards is common for markets that are in their infancy — but it still isn’t particularly good news for Apple.

Although the iPhone gets the lion’s share of Apple hype, the iPad is still extremely important to the company’s overall business.

“The iPad is the company’s second-largest revenue stream, so you definitely can’t discount it,” said Gillis.

Related story: Verizon: Apple has an iPhone supply problem

And there is still a strong growth opportunity for the iPad, via the smaller iPad mini.

Apple stores to get a shot of high-style 

Apple is also expected to update the iPad mini on Tuesday, giving it a much more robust upgrade. Most notably, the mini tablet is expected to get a Retina display, significantly upgrading the resolution of its screen.

The “mini” category of tablets that includes the iPad Mini, Amazon (AMZNFortune 500) Kindle Fire and Google (GOOGFortune 500) Nexus 7 is primed for skyrocketing growth, analysts believe.

“The seven-inch is absolutely dominant right now, and we expect it to stay that way for some time,” said IHS iSuppli tablet market analyst Rhoda Alexander.

Tablets with screens smaller than eight inches accounted for only about a quarter of the tablet market in 2011, according to IHS, but the consultancy predicts the category will take a majority 55% share this year and grow to 57% by 2017.

Meanwhile, medium-sized tablets like the iPad are expected to fall to a 37% share in 2017.

“Apple caught a lot of heat for launching the iPad Mini, with critics saying the low end isn’t where the competition is,” Alexander said. “But they’ve overcome the naysayers pretty quickly.” To top of page

 

First Published: October 18, 2013: 3:46 AM ET

NEW YORK (CNNMoney)

 

 

Categories
Android

Moto X is the best Android phone

http://money.cnn.com/2013/10/08/technology/moto-x/index.html

 

Moto X is the best Android phone

Moto X phone: Details make big difference 

NEW YORK (CNNMoney)

The Moto X isn’t going to change your life. But a few extra features make the Moto X the best Android smartphone you can buy — and CNNMoney’s Best In Tech for the Android category.

Sure, there are other phones with better looks, screens and speed. But the Moto X handles ordinary day-to-day smartphone tasks just as well as any competitor. And the battery will get you through an impressive one to two days of legitimate smartphone use, which only a few other phones can claim.

It’s the little details of the Moto X that really make a huge difference, separating Google’s first Motorola smartphone from its competitors.

The phone has a curved back to fit nicely into the hand, but there’s a little dimple in the curve so the phone doesn’t wobble when placed on a table. The notification screen shows you new emails, calls and texts without turning the whole screen on — and without unlocking the phone.

Inside America's first smartphone factory 

The most amazing thing about the Moto X: It has a 4.7-inch screen, but it feels like you’re holding a phone with a much smaller one. Motorola was nearly able to eliminate the side bezels entirely, while making the top and bottom of the phone as compact as humanly possible. It’s arguably the most perfectly sized phone, striking a balance between screen size, pocketability, and one-handed usability. By comparison, the screen on the HTC One has the same dimensions, but the phone looks and feels noticeably larger.

Strangely enough, it’s Google’s biggest claims about the Moto X that don’t live up to the hype.

Related story: Amazon Kindle Paperwhite is the best e-reader ever

The Moto X has a processor dedicated to listening for your voice (and only your voice) to deliver the command “OK Google Now.” When you say those magic words, the Moto X will let you ask for directions, play music, send text messages, place calls, set reminders, and conduct Google (GOOGFortune 500)searches.

It works, mostly. The phone never failed to heed my command, even when it was across the room with the screen off. But outside of this active listening, Motorola didn’t do much to customize the Google Now voice interface. Any Android phone can do the same thing — as can Siri on the iPhone — albeit with a few extra button presses.

The only place where this feature really makes life easier is in the car. But Android’s voice recognition isn’t quite good enough yet to make the process of searching for locations or texting by voice a frustration-free experience.

And here’s the deal-breaker: If you use a password on your lock screen, this feature basically becomes useless. You can’t even set a reminder or check the weather without entering your password.

Another touted feature that fails to live up to the hype is a quick-access gesture to get to the camera. By twisting the phone like a screwdriver, the camera screen comes right up, just as advertised. But it isn’t actually much quicker than turning on the Android lock screen and swiping to the right.

The camera itself is also a letdown. It’s just no match for the likes of the Samsung(SSNLFGalaxy S4, Apple (AAPLFortune 500) iPhone and Nokia (NOKLumia Phones.

In well-lit situations, the 10-megapixel sensor is capable of producing photos that are crisp and clear, if a little over-saturated. In low-light, photos become artifacty and noisy, with poor reproduction of color.

(Motorola is in the process of pushing an update which it claims will dramatically improve performance and image quality. We haven’t tested this yet, but will update again once we have).

The Moto X is available on every major U.S. carrier, and if you’re an AT&T (T,Fortune 500) customer, you can fully customize the appearance of the phone, choosing from an array of colors. That feature is expected to be available for Verizon customers in November.

The 16 gigabyte phone costs $200, which is about $50 to $100 too much. But if you want an Android phone whose software actually resembles Google’s vision for Android, this is one of the cheapest and easiest ways to do it without paying $700 up front. And that goes a long way towards making this the best device in its class.

Ultimately, the Moto X is really about balance. Its “special features” are more of a preview of things to come, and less a realization of the future. It’s not the best phone at any one thing, but it’s not too slow. It’s not too big. It’s not too boring. It’s the Android phone that someone who is neither Luddite, nor tech junkie, should buy. To top of page

 

First Published: October 8, 2013: 4:23 AM ET

Categories
Android mobile development

Samsung unveils first curved smartphone

http://money.cnn.com/2013/10/09/technology/mobile/samsung-round-phone/index.html

 

The Galaxy Round, with a 5.7 inch display, will be available in Korea starting Thursday.

Samsung (SSNLF) did not provide details on prices or when it will be available in others countries.

The announcement comes in the same week that rival LG (LPL) said it will start mass-producing a flexible curved smartphone screen that will go on sale next year.

Related: Moto X is the best Android phone

Both Samsung and LG have been working on curved designs for some time, and each company offers high-end televisions with curved screens that are designed to create an immersive television experience.

Samsung’s official blog, with an embedded video, shows how the Galaxy Round can be sitting on a table and turned off, but will light up when it’s tilted to the side.

Not all prospective customers were impressed with the feature, however, with one person commenting on the blog “Get a rocking chair… you don’t need a smartphone for that!”

Samsung recently caused waves in the tech world when it launched its Galaxy Gearsmartwatch.

Categories
disruptive technology iOS mobile development mobile news

Apple Gets Into the 3D Sensor Game

http://www.technewsworld.com/story/79452.html

From Kinect technology to robotic navigation, Apple has a few surprises to come in the near future.

Apple Gets Into the 3D Sensor Game

ManageEngine OpManager, a powerful NMS for monitoring your network, physical & virtual (VMware/ HyperV) servers, apps & other IT devices. Deploy and start monitoring in less than an hour. Trusted by over a million admins worldwide.Try it for free

Apple may have a new tool in its armory, reportedly having acquired PrimeSense, which makes chips for three-dimensional machine vision and gesture-based technology.

Apple is said to have paid US$345 million for the company. News of the sale first emerged in the Calcalist financial newspaper in Israel, where PrimeSense is based.

Reports vary as to whether the deal is done or will close by the end of this week.

PrimeSense has raised $85 million in venture capital from funds including Canaan Partners Global, Gemini Israel, and Genesis Partners, according to Calcalist. Applewas interested in buying PrimeSense earlier this year, according to rumors that surfaced in July.

Kinect Tech

PrimeSense is perhaps best known as the company behind the technology that enabled Microsoft’s Xbox Kinect. The sensing technology allows the game console to view a scene in three dimensions, so players can control a game using their body and physical movements.

“The clear thing [Apple is] moving to is a more gesture-based interface.” Rob enderle, principal analyst at the Enderle Group, told MacNewsWorld. “They want to make sure they’ve got some of the IP locked up so they can do this before Samsung or somebody else locks them out.”

Robot Navigation

PrimeSense’s technology is also used in iRobot’s mobile robotics platform, Ava. The system is aimed at accelerating patient treatment in hospitals and healthcare facilities. It uses PrimeSense sensors for navigation, and to view the larger environment so it can detect and interact with people.

“There are three key areas of innovation in mobile devices — that is, user interfaces, form factor, and smart applications using sensors to break down the digital divide,” said Jim McGregor, principal analyst at Tirias Research.

“Acquiring PrimeSense speaks to both the UIs and the potential around sensors — but even beyond mobile, using sensors is also a critical part of enabling the Internet of Things/Internet of Everything,” he told MacNewsWorld. “So, sensor technology is likely to be critical not only to the devices Apple makes today, but almost any other solutions they are considering for the future.”

Apple likely is buying PrimeSense to bolster the smart TV it’s rumored to be working on, according to the Calcalist report, which noted that PrimeSense has been probing TV integration for its technology as far back as January 2011.

Yet both PrimeSense and a third-party company have recently pushed into the market for mobile 3D scanning devices, offering another hint as to what else Apple might do with the technology should a deal go through.

3D Scanning

An iPad peripheral called the “Structure Sensor” aims to capture objects and spacesin three dimensions for uses such as computer-aided design and 3D printing. The device uses the same PrimeSense sensor protocols as in the Kinect. The company behind the Structure Sensor KickStarter project hoped to raise $100,000, but actually received almost $1.3 million.

Earlier this month, PrimeSense teamed up with 3D Systems to create the Sense 3D scanner, which is billed as the first such scanner with sub-millimeter accuracy that’s targeted toward consumers.

“If you can enable the device to sense information about the user and the environment, you can not only improve the user experience, but enable entirely new usage models,” Tirias Research’s McGregor suggested.

“What if my device could tell me about or even warn me about my surroundings when I’m not even looking?” he wondered.

“The 3D imaging potential is really cool,” McGregor continued. “Several companies are working on the ability to create 3D models of objects and the environment with just a quick and simple scan using a smartphone. Imagine if you could quickly scan an object and then print it out on a 3D printer in any size that you wish. The applications are almost unlimited.” 

Categories
disruptive technology iOS iPhone mobile development

Give Apple your fingerprint? It’s your call

Give Apple your fingerprint? It’s your call – CNN.com.

With all the controversy over the recent NSA scandals revealed, do we trust digitizing our fingerprints? Although we do hand over our banking information our social security number, our current locations, recent calls, text messages, sites visited, ect., are we ready to hand over biometrics that solely identify “us”? This technology will arise many questions when launched in just a few days…

 

 

Categories
iOS iPhone mobile development

Siri leaves beta, enters manhood – CNN.com

Siri leaves beta, enters manhood – CNN.com.

Siri fans finally have a real version of this hands free voice command technology. Siri now can access your setting and has Twitter and Wikipedia configuration. Although Siri is more chatty than Google’s counterpart, you can still have Siri preform a regular Google search in Safari.

Categories
Android iOS mobile development mobile news

Feds launch smartphone app to nab child sexual predators – CNN.com

Feds launch smartphone app to nab child sexual predators – CNN.com.

 

A recent application was launched by the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement to help enhance protection for children. This application gathers information on suspected child sexual predators and publishes the information to the public. This application is used for people to submit information anonymously about sexual predators or suspected individuals.

Categories
disruptive technology usability

The laser light that could cut cyclist deaths – CNN.com

The laser light that could cut cyclist deaths – CNN.com.

 

Reflectors may just not be enough to save your life. For all the cyclists out roaming around the streets at night, new technology for you bike could save your life one day. UK design student, Blaze invented a detachable bike lamp that projects an image 5 meters in front of your bicycle to alert motorist about your whereabouts when cyclists are in your blind spot.

Categories
disruptive technology mobile development usability

Under Armour39

Under Armour39 Specifications | Digital Trends Reviews.

Wearable technology, innovation of the future…

Immagine sprinting down a track and timing your fastest run. Now imagine technology built into your clothing than can track you heart rate, blood pressure, calories burned, willpower, and intensity capabilities. The Under Armour39 has been on the market for some time, available in a band like fashion that straps around your chest.

Under Armour39 is currently being tested in be built into clothing for athletes to measure performance and monitor vital functions. This new disruptive technology has become one the pioneers for wearable technology and continues to advance. We will keep our eyes open to make sure we are the first to get our hands on the Under Armour39-touch screen arm device.

 

Categories
Android disruptive technology mobile development mobile news

Smartphone Watch Battle…

http://www.cnn.com/2013/09/04/tech/mobile/samsung-galaxy-gear-reaction/index.html?hpt=te_t1

Although the new smartphone watch has become apart of the newest gadgets to surface in the tech industry, are they really practical? They look awesome and aren’t as bulky as predicted but what is the catch? You need a smartphone connected via Bluetooth to use the device. Even though many of us would love the luxury of keeping our smartphones inside our bags while walking to work or transiting around town, I don’t think ordinary baby boomers will take the leap to adding a spare wrist-held-device in order to keep up with the speed of emerging technology. Although I could see millennials at the gym using this like the latest iPod…