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Posts from the ‘News’ Category

2
Sep
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Sony’s next smartphone-mounted camera will let you change lenses


If you’re looking to be the king of Instagram, Sony’s about to give you the ultimate smartphone weapon, judging by a leak from Xperia Blog. The site posted several purported images of the Sony ILCE-QX1, a lens camera system that’d work with interchangeable E-Mount style lenses. Sony’s niche-oriented lens camera lineup is currently fixed-lens only with the QX10 and QX100 models. The QX100, for instance, is based on Sony’s fantastic RX100 camera and priced for serious smartphone photographers at $500. Assuming the rumor pans out, the QX1 would have an even larger APS-C (26.7mm) sensor and take compatible E-Mount lenses. There are no other specs, but as before, we’d expect that your smartphone will control the QX1 and capture images from it, with a mount that adapts to a wide variety of handsets. It’ll also likely have a built-in memory card. There’s no pricing yet, but as a rule, interchangeable-lens cameras are usually more expensive than fixed-lens models. Then again, Sony tends to break that rule.

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Source: Xperia Blog

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2
Sep
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Digitsole’s smart insoles keep your tootsies warm as you walk


Most people believe that wrist-worn wearables are technology’s next frontier, but only one company that we know of has thought about our feet. Today, that number increases to two, now that Digitsole has announced an interactive insole that’s designed to heat your feet. Connecting to your smartphone over Bluetooth 4.0, you use the companion app for iOS or Android to set the temperature to a maximum of 40 C/104 F. Of course, no piece of wearable technology is complete without some sort of activity tracking, so in addition to keeping your little piggies warm, the smart insoles will monitor the distance that you’ve walked and the calories that you’ve burned.

Hardware-wise, we’re looking at an insole weighing around 3.5 ounces, with a Neotech heel, which is good for preventing vibration, and a Poron sole that we’re told is a good shock absorber. The battery is sandwiched inside, charges over microUSB and has a rated life of between 7 hours and a few days, depending on use. Unfortunately, you can’t buy Digitsole at the Sharper Image, at least not yet, and instead will have to buy one through Kickstarter. Super early-bird users will be able to get a pair for $100, while Johnny-come-lateleys will rue their cold feet (geddit?) after spending $150.

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Source: Kickstarter

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2
Sep
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Photos show the Xperia Z3 Compact is (another) chip off the old block


To say that Sony’s Xperia devices have become a bit… “samey” would be an understatement. If the picture above is anything to go by, don’t expect that trend to change any time soon. The snaps (more at the source) show what is claimed to be the Xperia Z3 Compact. It’s worth noting that would mean the Z2 Compact got skipped altogether here in the west (we loved the Z1 Compact though, so all forgiven). Other than the fact it’s nigh on the same design, all the photos tell us is that there are some new mint and… orangey-pinky-red color schemes coming. Ausdroid (who sourced the pics) claims it was also tipped that the Z3 Compact will have a 4.6-inch screen, 2.5GHz (Snapdragon 801) processor and that now Xperia-standard 20.7-megapixel camera. So, what’s more appealing? A gentle bump in spec, or the snazzy new hues? We’ll find out for sure once we get hands on at IFA this week.

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Via: Xperia Blog

Source: Ausdroid

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2
Sep
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NASA explains why you won’t get a drone delivery anytime soon


Delivery drones are great at exactly one job right now: generating buzz. However, NASA has told the New York Times that actual widget-shipping drones from Amazon or Google are still far in the future. And the space agency should know: it has taken on the task of developing an “air traffic control” (ATC) system for drones flying below 400 feet. Such a system would be run by computers without human aid, and take into account weather, air traffic, geographic obstacles and other factors. The space agency is quite familiar with existing air traffic issues, as it has been advising the FAA on the NextGen system for “real” planes. Armed with that know-how, it sees a number of problems for UAV couriers.

For one, a decent gust could easily push a drone into a building and crash it, so tracking weather would be a must, adding a layer of complexity. Maintaining separation between low-flying drones and obstacles and manned air traffic would also be tricky, especially in urban areas. Though Google and other companies have proposed obstacle avoidance systems for drones, we haven’t seen any plans to tie it into the ATC system. And drones would have to fly within the existing system in order to avoid no-fly zones, airports and other classified airspace. Finally, there’s the acceptance issue. As one researcher put it, they’ll need to operate in the “presence of a grandma doing landscaping and kids playing soccer” — meaning noise and safety will be strong factors. The FAA will also have to be sure they can’t be commandeered by “rogue elements” for illicit or dangerous purposes.

On the other hand, NASA is optimistic about commercial drones in lightly populated areas. It sees drones doing crop or pipeline inspections, two jobs that have already been partially authorized by the FAA. However, NASA thinks it’ll take at least five years before remote deliveries over sparsely populated areas happen. And deliveries to densely populated areas — necessary to make such services economically viable — are much farther in the future. So enjoy the drone-and-pony shows for now, but don’t count on getting a Blu-ray disk dropped on your doorstep in the near future.

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2
Sep
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Philips’ Hue Beyond brings smart lighting to lamps and table lights


Here’s a thing that we learned today: an enclosed light fitting, like a table lamp or a pendant light is technically called a luminaire. The reason that we now know this, is because that’s the phrase Philips is using to describe the latest addition to its lineup of connected lighting devices. Hue Beyond, despite the sci-fi sounding name, is a range of lamps and ceiling lights luminaires with a dual light source — a “tunable” white light for seeing and a color-changing bulb that you can tweak to your heart’s content. Of course, as a Hue device, it’s this second element that’ll offer the same smart integration with online services like email alerts and IFTTT recipes. It’ll hit stores in the US and Europe toward the end of this month, but be warned, adding a little bit of technical ambience to your home doesn’t come cheap. The table lamp version of Beyond, for instance, will set you back €330 ($430, £260), while both the ceiling light and pendant light editions are priced up at a whopping €530 ($695, £420)

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2
Sep
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Sammy Glam: Samsung announces Gear S Strap with embedded Swarovski crystals



Gear S Strap with embedded Swarovski crystalsIf I had a lot of money – and I don’t – but if I did, I would probably still not get this, but each to their own. Samsung just announced the Gear S Strap with embedded Swarovski crystals, a swanky take on Samsung’s latest smartwatch, the newest addition to Samsung’s “Swarovski with Samsung” range which includes the likes of a Samsung Galaxy S5 with crystals embedded in the back cover. The Gear S Strap also employs the use of something called “Crystal Fine Mesh” which is apparently the latest thing from Swarovski.

The newly announced Gear S was already a pretty stylish thing, so unless you’re swimming in cash, this might not be the smartwatch for you, though Samsung is interestingly mum on pricing in its press release. Apart from the crystals, there don’t appear to be any differences in the device so you will still get a dualcore 1GHz processor, a curved 2-inch AMOLED display, a 300mAh battery and a 3G modem that will enable mobile data features on the device.


What do you think about the Samsung Gear S Strap? Is this a device you would like to rock? Let us know your thoughts in the comments.

Source: Samsung via engadget


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The post Sammy Glam: Samsung announces Gear S Strap with embedded Swarovski crystals appeared first on AndroidSPIN.

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2
Sep
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iWatch Said to Be at ‘Engineering Verification Test’ Stage, Components Now in Production


iwatch_concept_ifoyucouldsee Apple’s iWatch has reached the “engineering verification test” (EVT) stage of development and will likely beginning shipping in 2015, according to a new report from Digitimes. While components for the device are said to be in production, source close to the matter stated that the device must also head to production verification testing (PVT) before entering mass production.

Digitimes also claims that Apple is “unlikely” to unveil the iWatch during its upcoming September 9 media event, which contrasts reports from the likes of Re/code and Bloomberg last week stating that the device would be introduced alongside the iPhone 6. A previous report suggested that Apple would be debuting the device at an October event, but Re/code noted that the company later ended up changing its plans.

However, reports of an early 2015 launch for the iWatch has been suggested by a number of sources, as part leaks for the device have also been non-existent to this point. Recent rumors have suggested the device will include an array of sensors to track health and fitness-related metrics, and will be positioned as an iPhone accessory that tightly integrates with iOS 8.




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2
Sep
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Samsung coats its new smartwatch in Swarovski crystal, so now you’ll want it


LG’s not the only electronics maker hoping a scattering of Swarovski will add… something to its products. Not far behind, Samsung now has the Gear S Strap, an accessory ready to pair to its just-announced (and again, just after LG) wearable. If you’re a fan of Swarovski, you’ll be glad to hear it uses the company’s newest Crystal Fine Mesh which, according to Samsung, is apparently already being sprinkled upon “top brands in the fashion industry.” And if you’re not a fan, well, you’re probably not remotely interested or even reading this. It’ll be available in Samsung’s flagship stores next month.

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Source: Samsung

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2
Sep
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BBC launches kid coding lessons as schools increase focus on computing


Kid Playing Minecraft At School

This week marks a new chapter in how computing is taught in Britain’s schools, with children as young as five learning how to code as part of the government’s new national curriculum. With the help of hardware like the Raspberry Pi, schools are expected to help pupils understand and exercise the basic principles of computer science, giving them a basic grounding in programming and how algorithms are implemented in the devices they use every day. It’s a tough ask, but the BBC wants to help, so it’s expanded the support materials on its Bitesize website (having already helped schoolchildren learn more about core subjects for more than 15 years) to include basic computing skills. Content will include a number of interactive games and online guides, but the BBC also intends to deliver a number of new technology-themed TV shows, 30 years after it launched its first computing initiative centred around the BBC Microcomputer. With smartphones and tablets at their disposal, younger generations are now surrounded by technology — the government now (finally) believes it’s time for them to get a better grasp of how it all works.

[Image credit: David Gilmour, Flickr]

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Source: BBC News

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2
Sep
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Elgato Unveils ‘Eve’ HomeKit Supported Smart Home Sensors, Hub-Less Smart Bulb


Elgato has announced its brand new line of “Eve” connected home sensors at this year’s IFA 2014 trade show in Berlin, which will feature full integration with Apple’s HomeKit home automation platform once iOS 8 launches.

elgato_eve_line1 Elgato’s line of “Eve” smart home sensors
The Eve brand features Bluetooth accessories that monitor air quality, smoke, humidity, air pressure, energy, and water consumption, with all information syncing back to an iOS app. From the app, users can see an overview of the different aspects in their home along with suggestions and tips to better improve the environment.

elgato_avea_2 Elgato’s $50 “Avea” smart lightbulb
The company also announced its own $50 Avea smart lightbulb, which allows for custom profiles, colors and alarms through an iOS app. Notably, the Avea does not require a hub like the Philips’ line of Hue smart bulbs, and can utilize multiple bulbs to coordinate lighting patterns.

elgato_eve_app2 Elgato’s iOS app for its line of “Eve” smart home sensors
Elgato’s Eve line of products are among the first to publicly support HomeKit, which was first announced at WWDC this past June. The platform allows home automation devices and their apps to work with Apple’s first-party services like Siri and stock iOS apps using a single, secure protocol. A report from earlier this year claimed that Apple was developing its own smart home products to work with HomeKit for a release in the near future. Apple may also look to feature HomeKit integration in its highly-rumored iWatch wearable device, which is said to “make good use” of HomeKit.




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