A new start-up has launched a Kickstarter campaign to introduce a new phone case to consumers that are concerned with tracking and privacy issues. Their product named OFF Pocket is designed to block all signals coming to and from your smartphone by means of a case that interferes with the signals. It is reported to block Wi-Fi, Cellular and GPS signals. People might say why don’t you just shutdown the device but most devices still transmit even when completely off so this product would even stop that. The technology is like an electric field blocker similar to that of a Faraday Cage. This is a good product for consumers worried about their privacy but it isn’t quite practical in my opinion. The case offers little protection as it is just a metal fabric cloth like sack that you place your phone in. Also what happens when you have to take your phone out to use it? You will become ‘visible’ again and you’ll have to wait for your phone to load all of the data from when it was not reachable.
Sift makes a personalized storefront from your email inbox and social media interests. This app is new but has great potential from its introduction through the past few months.
Qualcomm announced a handful of new chips for mobile and networking gadgets ahead of its annual investor event on Wednesday, where analysts are likely to quiz executives about a shift in smartphone growth from the United States to China and other developing countries.
Qualcomm said the fourth generation of its Long Term Evolution chip, used for fast data transfer in top-tier smartphones, would begin sampling by manufacturing customers early next year.
Qualcomm is the world’s leading mobile chipmaker and is far ahead of Intel and smaller rivals in LTE technology.
Read entire article here: http://www.foxbusiness.com/industries/2013/11/20/qualcomm-announces-new-mobile-networking-chips/
Recently a credit card-sized device called Coin has been developed that allows users to store all of their credit cards on one device and select which card they want to use by pressing a button. This is very convenient for people that use multiple credit cards due to the small size of the device and the convenience of only having to carry one card around instead of many. The device includes built-in encryption and alerts the user if their Coin card surpasses as certain range from the linked smart phone. According to this article there a couple areas of concern. First, the battery that powers the device only lasts for up to two years of regular use. This means spending $100 every two years to obtain a new one since there is no way to recharge the battery. Second, convenience is questioned by many in terms of smart phone alerts when the card reaches a certain distance from the phone. False alarms may become a problem when the waiter/waitress takes the device for payment processing, which could prove to be very annoying and defeat the convenience the device creates. A third concern is if the device is somehow damage or lost, the user must get a new one. Even though there are problems that could arise with this new technology, I personally believe the convenience it creates outweighs the concerns talked in this summary.
A recent race to develop a solution for mapping indoor locations with a smartphone has begun. There are many companies that are part of this race and some of them have developed technology that can map indoor locations but in a limited fashion. For example, WifiSLAM uses a combination of Wi-Fi and Bluetooth to determine your position. The only problem so far, according to Harverninen, is, “It doesn’t work in a wooden house.” Another company called Indoor Atlas has filed 15 petitions, raised $600,000, and is actively working on this technology as I type this article summary. Indoor Atlas uses the magnetometers to detect anomalies in a magnetic field that come from such things as steel beams in buildings. Each building has its own unique magnetic signature. As a result, it doesn’t have to install hardware sensors inside structures at all. The technology works from mines underground to high-rise buildings. This technology being developed would mean no more getting lost in large buildings such as Las Vegas hotels and other large buildings around the world. To read more about this technology, access the source link below.
The Yankee Group has come up with the Bluetooth Smart technology. This ability will help businesses interact with customers more by adding an intelligent factor to location services. It will allow businesses to change the Geo-location based on a persons interests. It uses a smaller geofence than most other services which is proven to be more effective.
(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.
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.
Microsoft has finally allowed Facebook login capacity on Windows 8 devices, including applications. This will greatly benefit developers and consumers as it makes registering new accounts and logging in much simpler. Foursquare and Adobe are among the first companies to make use of this new feature for Windows phones.
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Microsoft’s Windows phones have surpassed Apple’s iOs in Italy. The windows phone is more popular in Italy and parts of Europe. The top purchased Microsoft phone is the Nokia brand. Microsoft accounts for over ten percent of the phone market in Italy. Although Microsoft is doing well in Italy, it still has not passed the success of Android in the country.
The number of smartphone sales are increasing world-wide as time goes on. Smartphones now take up 55% of all mobile phone sales in the world. The numbers are only expected to increase further to 60% by 2019 according to Ericsson. This is very promising data that has been released for professionals in the mobile application development field. The opportunities are growing to create an app for smartphone users as smartphone sales rise. Also stated in the article is that video will make up 50% of all mobile traffic in 2019. To read more about this and see the chart displaying past, present, and future data, check out the linked article below.
The many uses for smartphones are increasing day by day and the possibilities seem limitless. One of the next big capabilities smartphone makers and application developers are making use of are the coprocessor’s abilities to track data even while the user is not using their smartphone. This is something that has been around for a little while, but previously, it required the use of a Bluetooth connection and an application being open on the smartphone. Now, the smartphone can be completely idle with the display off and no applications open, yet still make use of this new responsive technology through the coprocessor in the smartphone. It collects sensor data from integrated accelerometers, gyroscopes, and compasses. This can be used to track information for users and implement the information into applications such as fitness trackers before the user opens the app for the first time. Making use of this technology is something application developers will definitely want to consider as it could completely blow the user away during their “out of the box experience”.
Mixpanel is looking to change the way companies get feedback. Email surveys are often ignored due to the extra effort the user does not want to put in. This is where Mixpanel is hoping to change surveying. Instead of going from email to go to a webpage to view a survey, it will pop up inside the app. The customization of the survey will allow developers to make it look and feel like it was built into the app from the beginning.
LG has created a new curved smartphone that has not been released just yet. However, Samsung has also created a curved smartphone. The difference between the two is that the LG has a horizontal curve and the Samsung has a Vertical Curve. The two smartphones are not looking well considering there awkward shapes. It’s up to the people to now whether they want their phone curved horizontally or vertically.
AT&T and Verizon have both announced their plans to release smartphones compatible with VoLTE. VoLTE would allow voice calls to be carried out over LTE, which could also open the door for simultaneous data usage and voice usage. AT&T plans to release their first VoLTE compatible phone at the end of the year, while Verizon is planning for a launch in the first half of 2014.
This app simply asks you a few questions in the beginning about yourself such as your GPA, gender, race, state you live in, and grade. Then with that information as well as some other added information such as if you are of a certain religion or involved in sports. All of this information comes together in this application to help identify any scholarships you may be eligible for. Their goal is to aid students in finding scholarships they may not be aware of already. It is also a good application for some people who may have smart phones but limited access to a computer at home.
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Nokia announced that it would be trying once again to break into the smartphone market, largely dominated by rivals Apple and Samsung, by releasing the Lumia 920 this November. The Lumia 920 uses Microsoft Windows software and looks similar to its predecessor, the smaller Lumia 820. The new phone will be on shelves in time for the 2012 holiday season, and sources say that it will be priced similar to Samsung’s Galaxy S3 line.