Via: Android Central
If you’re fluent in American Sign Language, congratulations: you know one more language than most of the people reading this post. The rest of us? A solution to our communicative failures is on the way. A company called MotionSavvy is building a Leap Motion-equipped tablet case that can actively interpret ASL and ‘speak’ the translation out loud. It’s an ambitious project, but it works: at a recent Leap AXLR8R event we saw company founder Ryan Hait-Campbell sign over a MotionSavvy equipped slate. “Hello, my name is Ryan,” he said. “What’s your name?” It was an impressive demo, but Hait-Campbell admitted it was limited — the setup can only recognize about 100 words at present, and since signs can vary slightly from person to person, those words don’t consistently register for every user. Still, the company’s prototype shows enormous potential. If the firm can outfit it with a larger word database and the ability to decipher personalized signing, MotionSavvy could become an incredible communication tool for the hearing-impaired.
Welcome to Feedback Loop, a weekly roundup of the most interesting discussions happening within the Engadget community. There’s so much technology to talk about and so little time to enjoy it, but you have a lot of great ideas and opinions that need to be shared! Join us every Saturday as we highlight some of the most interesting discussions that happened during the past week.
This week, we take a look at getting started with home automation, try to identify apps that drain our phone batteries, share our favorite Chrome extensions and discuss whether digital magazine subscriptions make sense. All this and more past the break!
Getting started with home automation
There are a variety of different protocols and services that allow you to remotely control lights, thermostats and locks throughout your home. From things like WeMo to Z-Wave, the world of home automation can be a complex and confusing place. Fortunately for us, there are people like Dignan17 in the world. He shares how he got started with home automation and his experience setting up Z-Wave devices. If you’re looking for a new weekend project, this thread is for you.
How to identify battery-draining apps in iOS
Frank has a problem. Something is draining all the precious battery life from his iPhone 5s, however he doesn’t know what the culprit is. Do you have any tips and tricks for finding those apps that like to snack on your power reserves for lunch? Help him out!
Favorite Chrome extensions?
I basically work inside a browser window all day, everyday. My go-to choice is Chrome because it’s fast, flexible and the options to keep it in sync with my main Google account between various devices are pretty awesome. Because of this, I find myself downloading and using a lot of extensions. Here are a few of my favorites. What are yours?
Justifying digital magazine subscriptions
Both Apple and Google have made significant strides in getting traditional content publishers to use their digital newsstands. A quick look through either service reveals a large number of the most popular magazines around offering digital alternatives. Do you think digital magazines have finally arrived and is it worth it to pick up a subscription?
That’s all this week! Do you want to talk about your favorite gadget or have a burning question about technology? Register for an Engadget account today, visit the Engadget forums and start a new discussion!
Yesterday, we reported that the Nexus line of devices would likely be terminated in favour of a line of devices to be known as Android Silver. This has been the second such assertion in recent months, and to help put the nails in the coffin, @evleaks has yet again leaked out some information that likely suggests the start of the Android Silver devices. @evleaks posted earlier today saying that a LG 64-bit handset will be one of the first in Android Silver which would be carried by U.S. carrier, Sprint, and reiterated again that there will be no Nexus 6.
This LG handset would be running a Qualcomm MSM8994 chipset processor, which we know as Qualcomm’s 64-bit, octa-core mobile processor. It looks like Android Silver is going to be loosely based on the Nexus line, at the very least, as the continuation of LG’s services as a manufacturer suggests that this be more of a rebranding, or rethinking, of the Nexus devices. What’s also interesting is that @evleaks says that the LG handset in question would be a “successor to the Nexus 6 initiative, suggesting perhaps that the Nexus 6 had been previously worked on (which would make a lot of sense given recent rumours) but LG has since diverted development energy over to this new Android Silver handset.
It’s all very intriguing stuff at this point, so we hope we get a clearer picture of how this is going to shake out sooner rather than later. What do you think about a new LG 64-bit Android Silver device? Let us know your thoughts about Android Silver in the comments below.
Physical therapy isn’t fun. It’s a physical and emotional challenge that often consists of dull, repetitive tasks. It’s boring, and offers patients almost no short-term rewards for their very real efforts — but maybe it doesn’t have to be that way. A new software platform called Visual Touch Therapy is trying to make physical rehabilitation fun, gamifying repetitive exercises by marrying a Leap Motion controller, a PC and a simple meme-inspired video game. The game itself is fairly simple: players perform simple motions over the Leap controller that cause a dog character to run (or fly a jetpack) across the screen, and their performance and improvement can be tracked, quantified and even sent to their physical therapist for review.
“I want to be the Candy Crush of physical therapy,” explains Eric Medine, the game’s creator. He also wants the game platform to be affordable, and says that the monthly $25 per-patient fee he’s targeting (which includes the motion controller) is far cheaper than the cost of traditional therapy equipment. Right now, the company’s games are focused on helping stroke victims, but Medine hopes to build games to help patients with arthritis, carpel tunnel syndrome and even multiple sclerosis in the future.
We’ve certainly reviewed wireless headphones previously, but none quite like these. The VOXOA HD Wireless Headphones will provide a great sound, portability, and ease of use to your everyday life. They can be connected to any device via Bluetooth, but if you feel like plugging them in, you can do that as well.
We’ve used these headphones almost everyday for roughly three weeks, so let’s take a look at our final verdict.
The VOXOA Wireless Headphones offer a sleek, durable design. They’re mostly composed of matted soft-touch plastic, allowing for a light weight, premium-feeling experience. They’re foldable at the hinges (what headphones aren’t), and they extend out quite a bit for even the biggest-sized heads out there. Once folded, they seem surprisingly small and able to fit in a backpack or purse quite easily.
On the right side sits a big square multifunction button, along with volume buttons towards the back, and navigation buttons towards the front. The bottom of the right side sits a Micro USB port, an LED connection light, and the 3.5mm headphone jack. Both sides have a premium-feeling brushed aluminum edges, which is a very nice design touch.
Earpieces are these headphone’s strong suit, offering the most comfortable headphone experience we’ve had in quite a long time. They swivel to ensure the best-feeling fit for anyone who decides to wear them. Paired with the earpieces, the padding towards the top of the headphones is also quite comfortable, leaving the overall experience a great one.
These headphones offer a 430mAh battery inside to ensure a long wireless lifespan. VOXOA is quoting about 16 hours of continuous music playback with this size battery, and we’d say that’s pretty accurate. It also takes about 3 hours to charge them from 0-100%, which isn’t horrible for wireless headphones.
The 3.5mm headphone cable that’s included could be longer, only measuring about three feet. However, if you’re at a desk or something similar, the cord will be perfect for connecting to a laptop or the phone in your pocket. What are you doing connecting these headphones anyway? You should be connecting them wirelessly!
We’ve really enjoyed using these headphones for all types of listening needs. The bass and treble had a great mix the entire time we tested them. For $100, music quality should be the #1 priority, and that’s very apparent in these. Call quality was just okay, leaving the other party constantly thinking they were on speakerphone.
The earpieces did a great job with canceling out background noise, even though these aren’t officially considered “noise canceling”. If you aren’t the one wearing them, you can barely hear what the other person is listening to, which is a huge plus. Also, using the controls was really easy and felt completely natural in terms of button placement.
There is one difficulty that comes with using wireless headphones: switching devices. If I’m connected to a computer and want to switch to my phone, there is just no simple way to do that. First, Bluetooth needs to be turned off and the headphones need to be unpaired from the computer (at least in my experiences). Then you can begin pairing the headphones to another device. This problem certainly isn’t caused by these headphones or VOXOA, but it does need to be addressed eventually. This is the one area where you may want to use the headphone cable provided.
Should I buy?
Overall, these are a great pair of headphones. If you’re looking for a mid-to-high end pair of premium-feeling wireless headphones, you should absolutely consider these. With the sleek and comfortable design, great performance, and wireless capabilities, you’d be hard pressed to find a better deal for the money.
You can pick up the VOXOA HD Wireless Headphones from Amazon for $99.95 in black or white.
Let us know if you decide to choose these for your next headphones, and tell us your experiences!
LG G3 will be announced in just 10 days in London and it’s leaking like crazy. We’ve already seen it’s back plates, front and back in gold, a teaser video by LG, three color renders, and it’s appeared in the wild rockin’ a snap cover.
This time we have some fresh leaks of it in white and gold, courtesy of @evleaks. After the phone has been leaked so many times it’s hard to argue it won’t look like it. This is the LG G3 that will be announced in 10 days. It is expected to sport a Snapdragon 805 chip along with 3GB of RAM and a 13MP OIS+ camera. On the front we expect to see a 5.5″ 2560 x 1440 QHD display and a 3,200mAh battery is also rumored.
We can’t wait the announcement of LG’s new flagship even though we basically know all about. Oh well, we know how will it look the specifications are just a guess based on rumors. Are you excited for this phone?
Sure, you’ve read Lord of the Flies, but have you ever danced to it? Well, now you can. Researchers have created a way to digitally compose songs using the text from books. To make the jams, a computer program reads the book, applying sentiment analysis (the same thing marketers use to gauge emotions in tweets) and a special algorithm to assign notes to individual emotions. All those tones are then tied together to create a track that represents the book as a whole. The project, aptly named TransProse, is the creation of Hannah Davis from New York University and Saif Mohammad at the National Research Council Canada.
When it reads, the algorithm is looking for one of eight different emotions: fear, surprise, trust, joy, sadness, disgust and anger. A painful death scene in the book will get assigned a low note, while a joyful celebration will get something higher. To make things flow, the program splits novels up into four different parts: beginning, early middle, late middle and end. Each section has its own unique musical accompaniment, a feature that allows you to travel through the emotions of a story. Right now songs sound more like a beginner’s piano lesson than a musical masterpiece, but that could change over time. Its creators hope that the end result is so good the technology might automate the soundtrack for movies, or even power audiovisual e-books that play tunes while you’re reading the accompanying text. That could give a whole new meaning to the phrase “audio book.” You can
read listen to a few more titles at the source link.
[Image credit: Shutterstock]
Via: Popular Science
The Wall Street Journal reports that Italy’s Antitrust and Competition Authority has launched an investigation to determine whether internet companies such as Apple, Google, and Amazon mislead people by offering in-app purchases for titles that are listed as free downloads.
Consumers could be led to think, contrary to reality, that a game is completely free and therefore they don’t know ahead of time the game’s true cost,” the regulator said in a statement. “It appears also that there is a lack of information regarding how to exclude or limit the possibility of making a purchase inside the app.
The news comes as Apple has been the target of multiple complaints from consumers and regulatory agencies over in-app purchases in recent years. After multiple parental complaints were filed with the FTC in 2011, Apple came to a settlement in January which saw the company provide $32 million in refunds to parents whose children purchased unauthorized in-app items.
Apple has also implemented a number of changes to its in-app purchase policies, including requiring a separate passcode entry for initiating in-app purchases, providing multiple notifications before a purchase is made, and obtaining express consent from consumers before billing them for an in-app purchase. The company has also displayed “Offers In-App Purchases” disclosure on individual app detail pages and inserted small “In-App Purchases” notifications for apps in Top Charts listings and elsewhere.
If found at fault, Apple could receive a maximum fine of €5 million, or approximately $6.8 million. Italian regulators previously fined Apple $1.2 million in late 2011 and another $260,000 in late 2012 over AppleCare practices, stating that the company was not providing customers with sufficient information about the two years of the free product warranty required under Italian law. As a result of this, Apple added an online statement on warranty disclosures to its customers in Italy.