mobile news

Biohacker Implants Smartphone-Sized Sensor Into His Arm

BioHacker Tim Cannon implants an health monitor device in his own body. Could this be the first step toward this type of augmentative technology. The article talks about how future versions may be able to take health data collected over a stressful day and relay it to your car or home and modify those environments to accommodate your mood. Or say if your body temperature is steadily going up the chip may text you warning of a fever and seek out data to explain why this fever might be happening. Least of all this is a brazen step toward a seemingly only envisioned future of cyborg beings, men medically enhanced by machine. Alas in its current state there is still work to be done, as the procedure is not technically sanctioned and seems rather crude. However reportedly, newer implant models are being developed to be smaller and cover a wider range of health monitoring features. It be interesting to see if something like technology implants could become marketable and commercialized for the masses, for now Tim Cannon may be the worlds first cyborg.

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Crop of High-Tech Farmers Sows Results with Apps

This article talks about farmers using technology to efficiently manage and harvest their crops year after year. The technology provides farmers with information they can use to determine the best farming methods, right times of the year, and other factors that play an important role in successfully producing crop. Recently, an agronomist from the University of Vermont Extension developed an application that digitizes information that used to be kept in notebooks and stores it in the “cloud”, where it can be shared with fellow farmers and can’t blow out of a pickup or tractor and get lost. Application development is all about making processes simpler and cutting out unnecessary steps in performing a task and that is exactly what this app does for farmers that openly embrace new technology. To read more about this specific application and the uses of technology for agriculture in general, be sure to read the full article.

Source: Crop of High-Tech Farmers Sows Results with Apps

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How Japan’s “Line” became an unintentional gaming-platform giant

Japan’s mobile messaging platform called Line has become extremely popular with over 270 million users currently. This article talks about the application and how it has basically become a replacement for text messaging in Japan for its millions upon millions of users. Also, the article talks about mobile gaming and how Line has become the number 2 publisher of Google Play titles in the world in terms of monthly revenue. In the article is an interview with the CEO of Line where he provides insight into the application’s purpose and how it has become such a huge hit for mobile gaming. The CEO makes very interesting points about engaging users and keeping them interested in mobile games, which leads to money in the long-run. For example, when asked about pay-to-play games and how Line is monetizing their games he said “We’ve done data mining on our social games to figure out the kind of design that works. The important thing is where people tend to drop out when they play a game. If you allow users to drop before billing starts, you’re losing users. So what’s important is to make a process that’s so intriguing that users don’t drop out, even after they start paying.”

Source: How Japan’s Line became an unintentional gaming-platform giant

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Google Hangouts for iOS dials up free voice calls for US, Canada

Users with the newest version of Google Hangouts for iOS can now place outgoing voice calls for free to numbers in the US and Canada. Google made a statement that said placing these voice calls will not use your phone carrier’s voice minutes, but it will use your data plan. This is good for users with unlimited data or access to WiFi, giving them an option to place free calls without worrying about racking up charges or going over on their minutes. While calls are free to numbers within the US and Canada, users can choose a payment option that would allow them to place voice calls to other countries as well. Google assured users that are thinking about using the payment option that their rates would be much cheaper than competitors. There will be many services similar to this popping up in the future and they might just take over the market for voice calls.

Source: Google Hangouts for iOS dials up free voice calls for US, Canada

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Wickr Wants to Lure Folks Away from Snapchat with Android App

As we have seen in recent years, sending photos to friends and family through mobile apps such as Snapchat has gained quite a bit of popularity. This article focuses on an app called Wickr that allows users to share text, multiple pictures, short videos, and voice messages to each other that “self-destruct” after a set time up to five days. Wickr released its iOS version of the application in 2012 and today they released the Android version of the application for public use. The one thing this application focuses on is security for its users. It does this through end-to-end encryption which means the message sent between users is never sent to a server. Wickr does not see or store any information regarding the messages sent between users to avoid legal issues. With self-destructing messages that are promised to be completed encrypted, Wickr could be the next big thing when it comes to sharing sensitive information with other people through a mobile application. Not that highly sensitive information should be sent through an application in the first place, but if it must, then Wickr is the application to use.

Source: Wickr wants to lure folks away from Snapchat with Android app

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Yahoo Tunes into Mobile Video with New Application

Yahoo is auditioning for a bigger role on iPhones and iPads with the release of its first mobile application tailored for watching video on touch-control screens. With the huge success achieved by the popular internet video subscription service, Netflix, Yahoo has decided to build its own mobile application to provide a video watching service similar to Netflix at no cost whatsoever. This is disruptive technology at its finest. Even though I do not see Netflix going out of business any time soon due to this new application, the free aspect of Yahoo’s app is enticing to consumers to say the least. As we have talked about in class many times, you can’t beat free. I believe this application might be something that could really catch on and not only become popular over time, but influence the experience of mobile video watching in several ways.

Source: Yahoo Tunes into Mobile Video with New Application