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14
Jan
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Sony Xperia T2 Ultra and Xperia E1 get Announced


Sony just recently announced the Xperia Z1S, which is up for order through T-Mobile right now, and the Xperia Z1 Compact. Apparently they werent done and have since announced two more device offerings, the Xperia T2 Ultra and Xperia E1.

The Sony Xperia T2 Ultra is the larger size phablet style style device that pulls off a sleek 6-inch 720p TRILUMINOS display. It offers a 1.1MP front facer and a 13MP rear shooter. Inside you will a quad-core Snapdragon 400 processor clocked at 1.4GHz with just 1GB of RAM. It will support an SD card slot which will be needed with the small 8GB of on board storage. It does pack in a 3000 mAh battery to keep you going long term and will be offered in a dual-sim single SIM offering. However, unlike many of its sought after higher-end counterparts, the Xperia T2 Ultra doesn’t appear to have an IP rating for water resistance.

Sony Xperia T2 Ultra ImageMoving along to the smaller size Sony brings out the Xperia E1. This little guys has a traditional 4-inch 800×480 display. It packs in a 1.2GHz dual-core Snapdragon 200 processor with 512MB of RAM and a smaller 1700 mAh battery. Storage is limited to 4GBs but does offer up a micro SD card slot.  The Xperia E1 is easily aimed at the music centric users who don’t need massive screens and a ton of processing power. Its big selling point is the 100Db rear speaker and intuitive Walkman controls. Again, this is another single or dual-sim phone too.

Sony Xperia E1 announced ImagesBoth devices come out rocking Android 4.3 and easily fit into the more mid-range category of devices. Pricing and availability are still under wraps for now but are clearly aimed at overseas markets like China and the Middle East. If Sony can find the sweet spot for the pricing on these they should have no issues selling a ton of both.

Press release links: Sony Xperia T2 Ultra / Sony Xperia E1

14
Jan
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[Kickstarter] Dust Your Friends in a Game of Geo-Combat with Dustcloud


Walking around CES, I got to see the “next greatest things in tech” scattered throughout thousands of booths in the three convention halls. It’s not always inside that you’ll see the latest ideas, though. I happened to be outside for a breather of the North Hall when I bumped into Howard Hunt, founder and CEO of The Dustcloud. Howard demonstrated this new GPS-based game of laser tag to me first-hand.

Dustcloud-2

The small, hand-held guns are called Dusters and shoot invisible bullets called SpeksWhen someone says laser tag, everyone immediately knows what that means, but calling this laser tag is a little misleading. The Dusters aren’t actually lasers, but are ZigBee powered, meaning they can’t be blocked by clothing or people and have a range of five meters. There’s blue, green, and red teams where you try to take out or dust your opponents by blasting them with Speks. (Note that you can change colors at any time.) Each Duster is paired to your Android or iOS device via Bluetooth and broadcasts your location and stats to The Dustcloud. You can track opponents, create alliances, see your friends, call on opponents for a match, and call in backup to “avenge your death” where you were just dusted. As you dust more opponents you move up the ranks and your Duster becomes more powerful. If The Dustcloud takes off, there’s aspiration for expansion into things such as Google Glass, the possibilities are endless. 

Dustcloud-1

Using Speks costs cash money at $.05 each via PayPal, so there’s an incentive to use them wisely. They’re stored in your paired device where you can reload them into your Duster. But, if you’re a good player you won’t have to buy them very often. When someone is dusted:

• Their Dusters are switched off for thirteen seconds.
• The Speks in their Dusters are captured by the player who has dusted them.
• Their positional marker (POI) disappears from the iOS and Android app on their phone.
• Their efficiency percentage decreases incrementally on the Dustcloud database.
• Their Mini Dossier is sent to the Dustbin in the Dossier of the player who has dusted them.

If you don’t want to pay for Speks and just want to play for fun without stats, there’s an option for offline mode. You’ll get five lives to Dust your opponents. When you are dusted your Duster refills in thirteen seconds, but in the meantime your opponent receives one of your Speks.

Dustcloud-Stock-App

The Dustcloud has a Kickstarter campaign going, which is trying to get it off the ground. Early backers will get incentives such a free magazine of six Speks every 24 hours though 2015. If you want an early Duster, you’ll have to pledge at least $39, but that’ll get you 300 Speks, two 24 hour empty Spek recharges through 2015, and three minute resurrection.

Dustcloud-Vegas

The Dustcloud looks like a fun strategy-filled game to play with friends and strangers alike; it couples the essence of laser tag with modern technology in Geo-Combat utilizing GPS, social networking, and mobile devices.

Check out Dustcloud’s Kickstarter Campaign HERE.

14
Jan
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Verizon Motorola DROID Users Seeing Android 4.4 Updates Today, Again


Motorola and Verizon have been performing their usual soak test for the pending Android 4.4 KitKat update for the Motorola DROID line of devices. After what seems like ages, and after it was pulled, they are finally ready to start rolling it out to all current users. Per the norm, the update will roll out gradually for the Motorola DROID Ultra, DROID MAXX and DROID Mini over the next few weeks.

Motorola DROID Android 4.4 OTA VerizonFor the most part the update will be all KitKatted out. There are a few minor differences to report though. Users will keep the blue icons and not go to the frosty white. The Jelly Bean dialer remains in place and the home screen stays the same.

Each device gets a slew of improvements to their camera apps, Emojis, DROID ZAP 2.0 update, Fitbit support and some more app updates and integrated ones too. Check out the support docs for the DROID MAXX and Ultra or the DROID Mini for more indepth details.

Via Android Community

14
Jan
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Apple Details iOS User Interface That Compensates for Device Motion


Apple has received a patent — originally filed for in 2007, when the original iPhone was only months old — that allows an iOS device to adjust its screen to make it easier for users to interact with the touchscreen when it detects movement (via AppleInsider).

For example, play and next/previous track buttons on the lock screen, or listings in the Contacts app, could get larger if the iPhone detects that the user is jogging. It could also have items like app buttons on the home screen move themselves slightly to give the illusion of stability.

Apple proposes using the gyroscope, proximity sensor, accelerometer and other sensors to detect movement and the angle of the display, with the iPhone then adjusting user interface elements to prevent touch errors. It also learns about how the user touches the display, allowing it to better correct for errors in the future.

Patent

In general, one aspect of the subject matter described in this specification can be embodied in methods that include the actions of detecting a pattern of motion of a device; and adjusting a graphical user interface of the device in response to the detected pattern of motion. Other embodiments of this aspect include corresponding systems, apparatus, devices, computer program products, and computer readable media.

In general, another aspect of the subject matter described in this specification can be embodied in methods that include the actions of detecting a motion of a device; comparing the detected motion to a predetermined signature of motion; and adjusting a graphical user interface of the device based on the comparing. Other embodiments of this aspect include corresponding systems, apparatus, devices, computer program products, and computer readable media.

Particular embodiments of the subject matter described in this specification can be implemented to realize one or more of the following advantages. Loss in accuracy of a user’s interactions with a touch-sensitive display of a device or user mistakes with respect to the selection of user interface elements on a touch-sensitive display, due to movement of the user and/or the device, is mitigated. A device user interface can be adjusted to provide better visibility or usability.

The patent was originally filed for back in 2007 and Apple has not yet implemented the design into iOS. Apple frequently files for patents on inventions that it never uses commercially, but something similar could appear in iOS in the future.

    



14
Jan
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New ‘Umoove Experience’ iOS Game Demos Face and Eye Tracking Technology


Umoove, an Israeli startup developing mobile-based face and eye-tracking technology, today released a new game that demonstrates its current work on tracking using the iPhone’s front-facing camera.

Umoove Experience: The 3D Face & Eye Tracking Flying Game is a simple app that allows users to fly through a village using gentle head movements that are detected by the camera. The goal is to collect potion bottles scattered throughout the landscape by turning and moving up and down with head movements. The game also incorporates touch gestures at the same time for an all-encompassing gaming experience, with the touches used to control flight speed.

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Enjoy the 3D flying experience and test your skills by collecting the purple magic potions, which will give you more energy to continue exploring the village.

The Umoove Experience is only the beginning! Think about the potential of this technology on other app and gaming experiences such as first person shooters, driving games, and other flying or running gaming experiences.

Umoove has been developing its head and eye-tracking technology since 2010, and the current game serves as a simple demo highlighting the ways the system could be used in other apps and games in the future. As in the game demo that combines head movements with touch, Umoove’s goal is to supplement traditional touchscreen controls rather than replace them.

In an interview with TechCrunch, Umoove CEO Yitzi Kempinski notes that the addition of head-tracking to standard touch controls is meant to mimic real-world experiences.

“We’re talking about adding another layer on top of touching, similar to what the mouse did with the keyboard — they didn’t throw out the keyboard, it actually added suddenly the ability to have another layer of interaction, so it’s the same sort of thing here,” says CEO Yitzi Kempinski.

“It’s supposed to be something that mimics real-world experience. I’ll give you an example… if you think of a first-person shooter, those games you play and you have to shoot, and then you have the joystick to move around and you have to drag the screen to move around the room. Basically what we do is simple: based on where you face that’s where you’re aiming.”

Umoove is currently offering indie developers a free SDK to incorporate face-tracking into their own apps and games. According to Kempinski, Umoove is also talking with OEMs about adding the technology into future devices.

Motion tracking using the iPhone’s camera has been explored in the past, with two French researchers detailing a system for head tracking using an iOS device’s camera back in 2011. Apple has expressed interest in similar technology in the past, with a 2009 patent detailing face-controlled 3D displays, and it has implemented accessibility options in iOS 7 allowing iPhone users to control their devices using head movements.

Umoove Experience: The 3D Face & Eye Tracking Flying Game can be downloaded from the App Store for free. [Direct Link]

    



14
Jan

Galaxy S5 rumored to have a big ol’ rapid charging battery


With the Samsung Galaxy S5 rumors in full-swing, some more speculation emerges with talk of the battery.

In a few months, we’ll know just how many of these rumors are true. In the mean time, let’s talk about what’s arguably the most important feature of the phone: the battery.

It is rumored that the new Samsung flagship will sport a 2900mAh battery, and will feature some new “rapid-charging technology.” The rumored capacity of the battery isn’t all that absurd… it is a normal jump up from the company’s 2013 flagship, the GS4. It will use a silicon anode instead of graphite, leaving the battery more compact. The rapid-charging technology is something to think about, though. The new technology could charge your phone in around 2 hours, which is huge.

From the “confirmed” specs of the S5 a few days ago, it seemed that the battery was the only thing missing. If these rumors are true, this new technology will begin changing batteries for the better. Let’s hope the rumors prove true in the next few months.

Via: Gigaom

Source: Phonearena

The post Galaxy S5 rumored to have a big ol’ rapid charging battery appeared first on AndroidGuys.

14
Jan

Moto G Google Play Edition now offered in Google Play Store


Take a trip to the Google Play Store this afternoon and you’ll find yet another smartphone listed under the Google Play Edition devices. Indeed, Motorola’s Moto G is the latest device to get the Pure Google treatment. Priced at $179, the unlocked handset works on either AT&T or T-Mobile’s 3G networks.

There’s hardly much difference between this version and the one offered directly from Motorola. Already running a stripped down build of Android, this one will not look or feel all that different from other Moto G’s. Nevertheless, we suspect it will get a higher priority in receiving updated releases of Android. Not that Motorola has been slouching in that department, mind you.

Moto G 8GB Google Play Edition

Moto G 16GB Google Play Edition

The post Moto G Google Play Edition now offered in Google Play Store appeared first on AndroidGuys.

14
Jan
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Radionomy acquires Winamp and Shoutcast to boost its streaming efforts


WinAmp playing some sweet drum and bass

There were rumors that Winamp would find a rescuer following its shutdown, and today that rescue is official. Online radio platform provider Radionomy has acquired both WinAmp and Shoutcast from AOL (Engadget’s owner) for an undisclosed amount. The deal is primarily a play for market share; now that Radionomy owns Shoutcast, it’s powering roughly half of all internet radio. The company also plans to improve Winamp, making it “ubiquitous” across multiple platforms that include mobile devices and car infotainment systems. It’s doubtful that Winamp will reclaim the prominence it had during its heyday, but the acquisition should at least give it (and Shoutcast) a new lease on life.

[Image credit: Theis Kofoed Hjorth, Flickr]

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Via: Tech.eu

Source: PR Newswire

14
Jan
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European researchers have created a hive mind for robots and it’s being demoed this week


RoboEarth isn’t as sinister as it sounds. It’s not a special interest group advocating for a new world order with robots at its core — not yet, anyway. The project, which is backed by the European Union and brings together researchers from universities in Germany, the Netherlands and Spain, is actually more benign than that; it’s being described as a “world wide web for robots.” We know what you’re thinking: What does that even mean? And what would a robot-curated Tumblr look like? The implications are ridiculous, but the reality is not. Simply put, RoboEarth is a four years in the making, cloud-based hive mind for robotics that aims to store and share knowledge amongst (you guessed it) robots. The end goal being that single-tasked robots will become a thing of the past. And now, its many collaborators are ready to show off what RoboEarth can realistically do this week.

This initial RoboEarth demo, set to take place on January 16th at Eindhoven University in the Netherlands, will highlight the system’s ability to offload real time computational tasks in the cloud and then disseminate that knowledge to four networked robots working in a mock hospital. According to the BBC, these robots will be tasked with serving drinks to patients, assisting in navigation by uploading maps to the cloud and even helping to open pill boxes. The benefit of all of this shared data being that no one robot is limited to a specific task — any robot can become multi-purpose.

But there’s another upside to this cloud processing that could impact the reality of assistive technology in the home and that’s the potential for cheaper to produce and longer-lasting commercial robots. With much of the data computation being offloaded the cloud, manufacturers won’t need to create robots with top shelf components, making them more affordable long term investments for consumers. Which, in turn, means you’ll be able to hold onto Rosie just long enough to consider her a member of the family.

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Via: BBC

Source: RoboEarth

14
Jan
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Moto G Google Play edition now available for $180


The Moto G now has an official Google Play Edition. The device, which just popped up on the Google Play Store, is available for $180 (8GB) or $200 (16GB). Just like we’ve seen on other Google Play edition devices, the Moto G will offer the same specs as the GSM version along with a stock version of Android 4.4 KitKat. It’ll be compatible with AT&T and T-Mobile here in the US. We’re still waiting to hear details about its availability in other parts of the world. Head to the source link to grab one of your very own.

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Via: Android (Twitter)

Source: Google Play Store

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