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Mar 2013

HP develops hologram tech for tablets and smartphones

Technology News

Tags: HP, new technology

HP Labs has been developing a new kind of 3D display that plays hologram-like videos and images without the need for moving parts or glasses.

Viewers can walk around the videos and images, which hover just above the screen, and experience them from as many as 200 different viewpoints.

This new screen is made by modifying a conventional LCD, the same kind of display found in most smartphones, tablets, laptops and televisions. Researchers at HP Labs believe these 3D systems could enable new kinds of user interfaces for portable electronic devices.

The display uses nanopatterned grooves, which HP researcher David Fattal, who led the work, calls ‘directional pixels’. Theses pixels send light off in different directions meaning no new moving parts are required. This also means the patterns are built into the backlight of an existing display component.

Leading up to the announcement of the iPhone 5 last year, there was a host of rumours revolving around holograms and laser keyboards, in fact someone even made a mock iPhone 5 advert showing the made up tech. It was so well done that Fox 5 News reported it as fact. But whilst that turned out to be fake, with HP’s new technology it may not be too long until we see something along those lines in the not too distant future.




Jan 2013

Intel to release Yolo smartphone

Technology News

Tags: Intel, Phones

New Intel Smartphone!

Young hipsters will soon have a new way to showcase their carefree spirit as Intel prepares to roll out its aptly named Yolo smartphone.

That noise? Don't worry; it's just the sound of the tech industry collectively sighing.

Intel is releasing the entry-level device in partnership with integrated communications provider Safaricom, in order to tap into developing markets.

As for specifications, the Yolo packs a 1.2GHz Atom Z2420 SoC chip, which is capable of both 1080p video and 8MP image capture – perfect for all of life's Instagrammable moments.

If a leaf falls from a windswept tree, does a hipster see it? They do. Likely with the Yolo in hand and Instagram filter at the ready, too.

The device will also sport a 3.5-inch screen and run on Android, but the firm has yet to reveal which version of the operating system will ship with the device.

Intel's regional director for the Middle East, Aysegul IIdeniz, said: "The new handset extends the benefits of Intel technology to more smartphone users around the world and we believe that Kenyan consumers will welcome the increased functionality and overall value of the device," she said in a statement.

Peter Arina, GM of Safaricom's consumer business unit, stressed the handset's potential and cost-efficiency.

"The Intel-based Yolo smartphone strikes a unique balance between price and performance -- we consider it to be a real breakthrough," he said.

Intel is hoping to further increase its presence in the mobile device mrket with the Yolo, following on from the release of its Motorola Droid Razr i last year.




Jan 2013

Microsoft shows off IllumiRoom at CES

Technology News

Tags: microsoft, technology, games

The firm has revealed a concept video of its latest gaming feature IllumiRoom, marking another step forward boards virtual reality technology.

Within the video, IllumiRoom is shown to scan a users room before projecting images onto the surrounding walls, and essentially extends the game environment to surround the user and create a sense of motion.

The technology is powered through the use of Microsoft's Kinect sensor and a projector, with the Kinect sensor scanning the room in order to accurately contour images around the environment of the room and additional objects.

Microsoft has stated that all of the effects shown within the proof-of-concept video were produced in real time by the IllumiRoom technology, with no post-processing effects added to enhance the video's visuals.

It is widely believed that the tech is a continuation of the patent filed by Microsoft last year, which detailed a gaming projector that could integrate with Kinect and possibly the firm's upcoming next-gen Xbox console.

The patent described a "environmental display" incorporating advanced projector technology in order to spread a 360-degree view of the game onto its surroundings, which would use a user's body and positioning to select what images of the game environment to display.

Check out the video for Microsoft's IllumiRoom below.
Watch video




Dec 2012

Ericsson Launches First WebRTC-Compatible Mobile Browser

Technology News

Tags: ericsson, phones, technology

Following the May 2011 release of the the world’s first WebRTC-enabled browser for desktops, Ericsson Research has launched another world's first with the new WebRTC-enabled browser for mobile called Bowser. Now web developers can add audio and video functionality to their mobile web applications in Bowser using the WebRTC API.

"As with our previous WebRTC implementation efforts, the media engine in Bowser is based on the powerful GStreamer framework," the company said. "To avoid confusion, we would like to clarify that we are not using the framework. Having independent implementations of WebRTC, using different media back-ends will help push the WebRTC standard forward."
In Bowser, web applications can establish audio and video calls with another device or call audio/visual services using the WebRTC API. Even more, Bowser doesn't limit the use of the <video> element to fullscreen only as seen with other mobile browsers. Instead, Bowser makes it possible to render video in an application controlled by part of the screen or in fullscreen.
"The API definition is still evolving in the standard bodies (W3C and IETF), we have chosen an earlier version of the API for this particular release, but we aim for full standard compliance in the future," the company said. "For Bowser, we have selected to implement the H.264 video codec. H.264 is a well-known codec with proven performance and quality. The audio codec currently used in Bowser is the G.711 codec."
The new Bowser browser (sorry couldn't help it) is known to work on twelve devices thus far spanning iOS 5.0, Android 4.0, and Android 2.3.3 including iPhone 4 and above, iPad 2 and above, Google's Nexus 7, the Samsung Galaxy S3, several Xperia phones and more. The entire device list can be found here including an additional list of limitations and items that are not supported.
"Ericsson Research will continue to update Bowser to improve the stability and media quality, as well as move to a newer API as it becomes more stable," the company said.
Ericsson Research has provided a description of the API currently used in Bowser – including application examples – on this sample code page here. The company is also keeping track of Bowser's development here in a blog.




Oct 2012

Apple removes support for Java

Technology News

Tags: apple, java, technology

Apple has removed a Java plug-in for all Mac-compatible web browsers in its latest update for OSX. According to Pocket Lint, Java fans can still download it at Oracle’s official site but it will be treated as any other third party software.

This will have to be the path for any users currently using the plug-in. Its removal means that anyone using Java browser items will have to re-install the software. Although no reasons were given for the move, it has been speculated that the discontinued support is due to concerns over security. Java has been in the headlines a number of times recently due to security flaws allowing hackers access to a users machine.