Category Archives: techtonicc

Project Tango: Google’s new prototype Android phone

project-tangoEarlier today, Google announced its latest Android phone titled “Project Tango”.  This new Android phone experiments with robotics and computer vision to map out the world around you.  Project lead, Johnny Lee, stated, “The goal of Project Tango is to give mobile devices a human-scale understanding of space and motion.”

The phone itself measures five inches and includes a few sensors (4 MP camera and a motion tracking camera) that allow the phone to make over a quarter of a million 3D measurements every second.  These measurements help the phone update its position, in real-time, and combines all of the data into a single 3D model of the world around you (video below).

This new phone opens up a lot of doors for new features on current smartphones. Chase Cobb stated, “imagine that you scan a small section of your living room and then are able to generate a little game world in it, I don’t know of any controller or gaming device that can do that at the moment.” Besides that, there has also been talk suggesting that these new phones have the ability to help the visually impaired navigate unfamiliar areas with ease. Pretty cool huh?

Well good news to any developers out there. Google is planning on shipping out 200 prototypes and dev kits of Project Tango to “developers with dreams of creating more than a touch-screen app.”  There is an application online for anyone who is interested in trying to get their hands on this device, here.

Thoughts on Project Tango? Comment below with any thoughts/opinions. Also, follow me on Twitter to stay up-to-date with current tech news!

Apple to use magnets to attach accessories on iPad

ipad-magnet-accessories-patentThe US Patent and Trademark Office published earlier today that Google has put a patent on a “Magnetic Attachment Unit”.  This patent describes how the iPad’s current magnet system could be expanded to allow the device to connect to docks, joysticks, cameras, and even other iPads.  This way, consumers would not have to spend time thinking about what type of connector they need when they are purchasing their next iPad accessory.

As described in the patent, accessories would be able to connect to any side of the device (including the bottom).  Users would also be able to connect and disconnect the accessory by pressing the home button.

The patent also describes a “magnetic ring” that will supposedly give users the ability to move your hand above the screen in order to take advantage of some features.

Other possibilities of what could be developed from this “Magnetic Attachment Unit” is that two iPads would be able to connect to each other and send content displayed from one screen to the other.  Also, you could turn your tablet into a computer by attaching a second iPad, and using it as a virtual keyboard for the main iPad.

This will definitely open up a large doorway of opportunities but unfortunately just because they filed the patent, doesn’t mean that we will ever see the technology.  However, it does look to be very possible since the current iPad already has magnets built in (to support smart covers) so we may see this technology in the near future.

Tell me what you think of this patent and what ideas/products could possibly develop from it in the comments below and on Twitter!

Follow me on Twitter @Techtonicc

BioShock Infinite developer shutting down

BioShock_Infinite_62347BioShock Infinite developer, Irrational Games, has announced that they will be closing their company. The company’s Co-founder, Ken Levine, told people that he will be starting a new company at Take-Two.  This new company will be focused on “narrative-driven and highly replayable games” that will more than likely all be digital. Due to the company closing, Irrational Games will be laying off most employees beside the select 15 or so that get to stay. Irrational Games has been nice throughout the situation by allowing employees to use the studio in order to make portfolios and even having other studios come visit to speak to the team members leaving to give them a new opportunity. Unfortunately, there will be no more work on the BioShock series. It was handed off to 2K so that Levine and his company could focus on new projects.

Irrational was founded in 1997 by Levine, Jonathan Chey, and Robert Fermier. The three were former employees of Looking Glass Studios, the creator of the Thief andSystem Shock series. Irrational’s releases aside from the BioShock series includedSystem Shock 2Tribes Vengeance, and Freedom Force.

Have any thoughts about this? Leave a comment below!

Grocery shopping becomes even easier

Normally I wouldn’t write on something like this, but I found it to be an interesting thought.

Phillips has recently come out with new “smart light” technology that tells customers in a store where they need to go in order to gather all of the ingredients necessary for the recipe they are looking for.  The technology uses light-based communication to create a positioning grid for your phone.  This grid will tell your phone what route you need to take through the store to get everything for your recipe.  The lights can also point customers to location-based discounts or other products throughout the store that are on sale.  This seems like a great idea and hopefully it catches on and Phillips is already testing their new smart lights in a few stores.  These lights may start gaining popularity pretty fast so prepare yourselves for the next generation of efficient shopping!

philips-intelligent-lighting-diagram

Google Says Merry Christmas

Google’s holiday Doodle has finally arrived after being spotted around the world over the last two days. The early timing of the festive logo in Australia, was unusual and unexplained, but there seems to have been be two versions it – one static and, today, one animated, which also plays jingle bells.  Some people were having trouble playing the animation in their web browsers so here is a video of the animation in action.

Besides Google’s animation, they have also provided us with multiple other holiday surprises this year.  There is the “let it snow” Easter Egg, as well as YouTube now has a snowflake button to make it snow along with your video.  If you have trouble finding the button on YouTube, just search “let it snow” on YouTube and see the snow appear!

youtube snow, snowing youtube videos

As mentioned in another one of my posts, Google has also set up a Google Voicemail where you can send an actual voicemail to Santa! If you haven’t tried it yet, give it a shot, it’s pretty fun.

Use all of these holiday features Google has set up for you and have a happy holiday!

Twitter Receives a Interface Update

Social-networking hub Twitter will roll out a significant redesign of its Web and mobile platforms in coming weeks that promises to be “faster and simpler.”

The layout looks a lot cleaner by featuring Home, Connect, and Discover tabs across the top of the page.  Home hosts the main feed of Tweets from other users; Connect is where they can directly contact others; and Discover is where they can find popular topics or hashtags and view the activity of followed users.

The new design will become available in the next few weeks but mobile users can access it now by downloading and logging into Twitter on either your iPhone or Android device.

Here is a review of the new design by YouTube partner, MarquesBrownLee.

 

2011 Christmas Wishlist

Having trouble thinking of what to buy for Christmas?  Look no further as this is the top 10 most desired Christmas gifts for 2011!

Follow me on Twitter in order to receive updates on some more popular Christmas electronics!

1. Apple’s iPod Touch

The iPod touch is a great device for storing music, video, podcasts with multi-touch screen technology. It is the number one handheld gaming device and is a great Christmas gift for 2011 for both kids, teens and adults.

The new generation of the device allows you to take pictures, record HD quality video, and even offers video calling.

2. Apple’s iPad Tablet

The Apple iPad Tablet is probably one of the coolest gifts you can buy this Christmas season. It is an exciting to use new piece of technology. There are so many apps available for the Apple iPad such as fun games and interesting ways to access information on the internet.

3. Xbox 360 Kinect Console

This long awaited addition to the Xbox 360 system is one of the most asked for gift this holiday season. The Kinect console for Xbox 360 enables voice activation for your Xbox 360 system. You can tell the Xbox to play or pause and the Kinect allows it to recognize voice commands. The Kinect also offers remote free operation of Xbox 360 video games.

4. Playstation Move

The Playstation Move is the newest component for the Playstation 3. It enables game players to really get into their game play by bringing motion gaming to PS3 console owners.

5. Amazon Kindle

The Kindle is an electronic reading device for downloading, storing, and reading electronic books, which are also known as e-books.  The Kindle Fire is the newest model for 2011. It offers WiFi, web browsing and thousands of Apps and games.  Any avid reader would love one of these for a Christmas gift.

6. Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3

Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 is a long awaited new video game. The Call of Duty series of video games have been wildly popular and this one is no exception.  Just about any teen would love to get this as one of their gifts.

7. Samsung LN40C630 40-Inch LCD HDTV

What better gift to give than a tv?  This is a top seller in the tv “section”.  The screen is 40 inches and has full 1080p  HD resolution.  It also includes the ability to connect a thumb drive or digital camera with ease.  If you are considering a TV as a Christmas gift this year this one is the one to buy.

8. Canon Powershot 12.1 MP Digital Camera

A digital camera is always a great gift to give during the holiday season.  This digital camera by Canon is the world’s thinnest digital camera with a 24mm ultra wide-angle lens and 5x optical zoom along with optical image stabilizer. The Canon Powershot offers high speed shooting for a point and shoot camera. It has improved lighting in low light conditions and has 32 predefined shooting situations.

 9. Garmin 5-Inch Portable GPS

This Garmin portable GPS is sunlight-readable and offers a 5-inch backlit TFT color touchscreen display. It is preloaded with City Navigator NT data for the lower 48 states, Hawaii and Puerto Rico, with nearly six million points of interest. It has free lifetime map and traffic updates for the most up-to-date maps, POIs, and navigation info, along with constantly updated traffic information.

10. ASUS UL30A-X5 Thin and Light Black Laptop

Many people are asking for laptops this year whether it be for school or just for the portability.  The Asus thin laptop is one of Amazon’s best selling laptops.  It offers a high-gloss 13.3 inch HD display with 1366 x 768 resolution. The 8 cell battery has 12 hours of battery life. The laptop comes loaded with Windows 7 and has a 1.3 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo SU7300 processor.

Ice Cream Sandwich Rumors

Only 48 more hours to go and new rumors about the new Android upgrade are still coming up.  The newest of these rumors shows that Ice Cream Sandwich will feature some photo-editing tools.

If a number of uncovered camera icons are to be believed, the next build of Android could make it much easier to touch up photos.  AndroidPolice,  indicates that users will have the ability to perform standard editing techniques and apply effects to pictures without the need to download additional software.

Currently, Android users must rely on applications such as Picplz, Photoshop, or Color Touch Effects if they wish to enhance photos. Many of Android’s apps then allow the user to share the images across social networking sites, e-mail, and other avenues once finished editing.

No one is sure how effective or useful these new features will be, but it is to be expected that Android users will continue to stick to their favorite photo-editing apps.

Haters of Facebook Changes Build Up

In a recent survey of over 1,000 people conducted by Sodahead, a social-voting-based site, it has been shown that Facebook users aren’t too happy with the recent changes the social network has made.

According to this survey of 1000 people, about 86% of the social network audience said that they strongly disliked the recent changes Facebook has made.

The most disapproval for the new features came from teens, with a whopping 91 percent of that group saying that Facebook should nix the changes. Seventy-nine percent of young adults said they disapproved of the new changes, although the site does not explicitly lay out who constitutes a young adult.

To narrow down the results even more, it appears that women are more upset about the changes than men.  Eighty-nine percent of women called for scrapping the new Facebook, while only 78 percent of men have said they disapprove of the new features.

Through all of these upset Facebook users, there is a small portion of them that actually enjoy the new changes.  These users, according to the study, tend to be information technology employees, or people who had an income of $100,000 or more per year.

This of course is not the first, nor the last time that Facebook users have been upset about changes to the site.  And like always, over time, users will love the new changes.

PlayStation Prices Falling Rapidly

Due to a desperate attempt to regain sales, Sony has now lowered the prices on their PlayStation products.

Resulting from the massive hacking (75 million accounts hacked) on PlayStation’s network a while ago, Sony’s sales have fallen dramatically.  Sony is now hoping to regain these sales by dropping their prices for their PlayStation product(s).  Starting on Tuesday, the 160GB version will fall from $299 to $249 (Prices in different countries will also drop to 249 euros and 24,980 yen) and the 320GB version will fall from $349 to $299.

These changes in price will take immediate effect in Europe but Japan will have to wait until August 18th.

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