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Jun 06, 2014 - 9:57 AM - by dgstorm
According to industry intel, Amazon may be poised to launch their 3D Android-based smartphone as soon as June 18th. This rumor has a solid basis to back it up as well. Amazon themselves just released a teaser trailer in which users are introduced to the device. We don't get to see what they are looking at, but their surprised and impressed reactions suggest we might just be surprised by how cool Amazon's concept really turns out to be. In fact, the folks in the video even suggest that the features aren't just for show, but might actually be extra useful as well.
Luckily, further insider info suggests this new "wow" tech comes form Omron's Okao Vision face-sensing system. Here's a quote describing it,
It certainly appears that Amazon might be the Dark Horse of 2014 if they can really pull off something impressive and useful. We are definitely intrigued and will be watching out for any further hints of the June 18th release date.
The Amazon team reportedly customized the Japanese company's creation so that it can be used to show 3D effects on an ordinary LCD screen without special glasses. Instead of relying on accessories, the software depends on four front cameras embedded on the device's corners to track the user's face, as well as on the phone's accelerometer and gyroscope. For instance, if you tilt your face to one side, the interface shows you a hidden panel you wouldn't see if you look at the screen from another angle.
Besides being able to track faces, Okao Vision (or "Face Vision" in Japanese) can also recognize facial features and determine the user's gender and ethnicity, though we've yet to find out whether Amazon has also integrated those features.~ Engadget
Jun 06, 2014 - 9:46 AM - by dgstorm
Google's Project Tango might be a bit of a mystery to many of us in techland. Knowing that the concept is meant to give smartphones and tablets the ability to map their surroundings in 3D doesn't necessarily explain the benefit. A company called Mantis Vision has partnered with Google to use Mantis Vision's unique MV4D core platform. This software technology will help Project Tango realize its ultimate vision of a seamless 3D augmented reality right in our mobile devices. Even this relatively intriguing explanation doesn't actually do the concept justice though.
Luckily, Google's new partner on the project has created a video which perfectly illustrates the concept and just how amazing it will be. Once you get a glimpse of the direction they are planning to take this idea, you might just think this could be the next "killer app" to disrupt the mobile industry. It will be absolutely breathtaking if they can pull off what is shown in the video above. And best of all, this technology is being developed for use in other apps and software as well.
Here's Mantis Vision's press release regarding their partnership with Tango,
... [Read More]
Mantis Vision’s MV4D Tapped as Core 3D Tech Behind Google’s Project Tango Tablets
TEL AVIV, ISRAEL–(Marketwired - June 05, 2014) - Mantis Vision, a developer of some of the world’s most advanced 3D enabling technologies, today confirmed that its MV4D technology platform will serve as the core 3D engine behind Google’s Project Tango. Mantis Vision provides the 3D sensing platform, consisting of flash projector hardware components and Mantis Vision’s core MV4D technology which includes structured light-based depth sensing algorithms.
Google’s new seven-inch tablet is the first mobile device released that will access the MV4D platform to easily capture, enrich and deliver quality 3D data at scale allowing Google developers to quickly build consumer and professional applications on top of the MV4D platform.
“3D represents a major paradigm shift for mobile. We haven’t seen a change this significant since the introduction of the camera-phone. MV4D allows developers to deliver 3D-enabled mobile devices and capabilities to the world,” said Amihai Loven, CEO, Mantis Vision. “This partnership with Google offers Mantis Vision the flexibility to expand quickly and strategically. It will fuel adoption and engagement directly with consumer audiences worldwide. Together, we are bringing 3D to the masses.”
MV4D is Mantis Vision’s highly-scalable 3D capture and processing platform that allows developers to integrate Mantis’ technology into new and existing applications with ease, to drive user-generated 3D content creation throughout the mobile ecosystem. MV4D’s combination of field-proven 3D imaging hardware and software and a soon-to-be released software development kit (SDK) will ultimately serve as the backbone of 3D-enabled mobile and tablet devices.
“We are excited about working with partners, such as Mantis Vision, as we push forward the hardware and software technologies for 3D sensing and motion tracking on mobile devices,” said Johnny Lee, Technical Product Lead at Google.
Since its inception, Mantis Vision has been dedicated
Jun 05, 2014 - 2:17 PM - by dgstorm
The Xbox One SmartGlass app from Microsoft just had its cool factor ratcheted up several notches. You can basically use your Android or iOS device to control your TV through your Xbox One now. It includes a great many cool features. Here's a quote with the breakdown,
[quote]"Xbox One SmartGlass is the perfect companion app for your Xbox One, both in your living room and on the go. Connect and control your Xbox One. Stay connected with the games and gamers you like. Add a new dimension to your console entertainment with the mobile device you already own.
In the living room:
It's great to see companies creating cross-platform software. It's a diverse technological world out there. We don't all want/use/like the same things. It makes more sense for a company to appeal to as broad an audience as possible.
- Navigate your Xbox One console using your device’s keyboard and touch
- Control your media and set top box with the SmartGlass remote control
- Browse the web on your TV using your mobile device
- Enhance what you are watching or playing with SmartGlass companions
- Increase performance with faster connections and reliability
- In the living room and on the go:
- Search, browse, and pin content to play on your Xbox One console
- Track achievements, get game help, message friends, and watch game DVR clips
Note: This app requires an Xbox membership to sign in. Available for most Android 4.0+ smartphones, with WVGA screen resolution or higher, plus 7"" and 10"" Tablets "
Here are a couple of links to grab this free app for whichever platform you prefer:
Google Play Store
Jun 05, 2014 - 2:05 PM - by dgstorm
The next step in the proposed merger between T-Mobile and Sprint has commenced, bringing it ever closer to reality. The two companies have actually ironed out some details now. Sprint plans to pay T-Mobile $40 per share, in a 50% stock & 50% cash split deal later this summer. This would amount to a $32 Billion total cash price for the company, although Germany’s Deutsche Telekom AG, would still retain a 15% to 20% stake in the new company.
On top of this, the merger will also...
Continue Reading @: Sprint and T-Mobile Inch Closer to $32 Billion Merger
Jun 05, 2014 - 11:10 AM - by dgstorm
Google Glass is one of those polarizing products. Some folks like it, while some hate it. We are a bit skeptical it will gain much market traction right now, although some version of the concept will probably eventually go mainstream. Of course, Google is trying their best to help propel Google Glass toward that eventuality, and their latest attempt adds some new designer frames to entice the public.
While the aesthetic of these designer frames is a big improvement, these designs also carry an even more premium price tag. Getting a new set of Google Glass with these frames is even more expensive than the OG $1,500 price of Google Glass. Here's a quote with a few more details,
What do you guys think? Is the Google Glass concept too far ahead of its time? Is this an idea that would make more sense a few years down the road, or is it something we should push forward now?
Thanks to a partnership with Diane Von Furstenberg, Google Glass will soon be available in stylish frames and lenses. There are five new frames and eight new shades available. The collection will be available through Net-A-Porter and the Google Glass store starting on June 23.
This is the first designer mashup with Google Glass. Through a partnership with Italian optical wear giant, Luxottica, Ray-Ban and Oakley-branded frames are also on tap. Google Glass Aviators, anyone?
The Google Glass hardware used in these frames is unchanged. It’s the same hardware, albeit color-matched with the designer frames, currently available for $1,500. The Diane Von Furstenberg label doesn’t come cheap. The DVF-branded shades will cost $1,620.
Be sure to check the thread below more designer frame pics.
Jun 05, 2014 - 10:52 AM - by dgstorm
We are sharing this with you guys today because it's the hot news of the hour, but we aren't at all convinced in the authenticity of the report. Supposedly, these two included pics are of the new Google Nexus 8 tablet.
Along with the photos, the source of this intel claims the following details for this tablet:
- A 64-bit Qualcomm processor
- 3GB of RAM
- Android 4.5
- Will debut at Google I/O on June 25
All of these tidbits are just generic and plausible enough to easily be viable, thus, if this is a fake report, the source took the safe route and didn't go how-wild with crazy ideas. The main reason we are so skeptical of this report is that the tablet has such a huge bezel. It looks like an 8-inch tablet, yet with an inch thick bezel, the display would be no different than a Nexus 7.
Furthermore, the other clue that this report is bologna is that the source included “exclusive leaked 100% true.” Typically, the more you try to oversell something, the less credible you become. Of course, there is a slight possibility this is true, so we included it today. To be honest, we are hoping it is fake, because that tablet is downright ugly.
Share your thoughts...
Jun 04, 2014 - 11:31 AM - by dgstorm
Whodathunkit? The tablet version of Microsoft Office which recently released for iOS will be coming to other tablets very soon. The big shocker is that it will actually hit Android tablets before it comes to Windows 8 tablets. Don't worry... we scratched our heads over this one too. According to the new Microsoft CEO, Satya Nadella, the main reason it will come to Android first is marketshare. As you can see from his Tweet above, under his leadership, Microsoft has renewed its focus on making its Office software as widely available across multiple devices as possible.
Currently, the plan is...
Continue Reading @: Tablet Version of Microsoft Office Coming to Android Before Windows 8 Tablets
Jun 04, 2014 - 10:30 AM - by dgstorm
A leaked system dump of the LG G Watch found its way onto the web. This system dump included some juicy details about the watch and a great many images from its UI as well. The primary details revealed by the system dump were a Snapdragon 400 processor (MSM8226) and Android 4.4W, which is likely the Android Wear version of KitKat. Also, apparently the folks at LG are fans of the Disney flick Finding Nemo, as the internal codename for the G Watch is ‘Dory.’
Along with these details, a massive array of images for the device were included in the system dump. We couldn't include them in our story because of how many there were, but you can peruse them at the source link below. The pics are Google Now images, clock face weather backgrounds, calendar even images and more.
Thanks to the guys at Phandroid for culling them all: LG G Watch System Dump reveals Snapdragon 400 and Google Now images
Jun 04, 2014 - 10:06 AM - by dgstorm
Since the launch of the LG G3 there has been a slight controversy surrounding the device. The back cover has a brushed metal appearance, but it is actually plastic with a faux metal appearance. On the surface, this seemingly makes the case that the phone is much less "premium" than consumers were lead to believe. However, LG recently clarified the build structure of the back cover casing. They indicated that while the outer surface is indeed a polycarbonate plastic material, internally, the case has a thin sheet of metal to give the case extra rigidity and stability.
To be clear, this metal is not on the outer surface, so we aren't handling metal when we touch the device, but there is a thin film of metal inside the design. LG indicated that in their testing, the polycarbonate was simply a better material for multiple reasons. Obviously one of those reasons is reduced cost for them, but several other reasons make it a good choice for consumers as well.
First, the faux brushed metal plastic is less slippery than a real metal would be. Second, there is less likely to be radio interference by wrapping the phone in this hybrid material. Third, the plastic they used can actually stand up better to scratches and dings from accidents. Finally, the plastic material also attracts fewer fingerprints than an all metal case design would.
What do you think? Does this make you think less of the LG G3 than you did before?
Jun 03, 2014 - 11:18 AM - by dgstorm
Previously we reported a rumor on a device called the HTC One M8 Advance, which was supposedly going to be a cheaper plastic shelled version of the HTC One M8. It turns out the rumor was partially accurate. A less expensive plastic version of the HTC One has been officially outed, but it has a slightly different name. Instead of the HTC One M8 Advance, it is called the HTC One E8. It is first hitting the China markets for a price of 2,799 yuan (about $447 or €328).
Functionally, it is nearly identical to the HTC One M8, although there are some differences. The big change is the camera, and of course the plastic body instead of the metal one on the M8. Here's a breakdown,
- 5-inch 1080p Full HD touchscreen
- 13 MP rear camera with single LED flash and 1080p Full HD video recording - (this obviously differs from the UltraPixel camera with Duo Camera and dual-tone dual-LED flash on the M8)
- 5 MP front camera
- 2.5 GHz quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 801 (which is clocked slightly higher than the 2.3GHz in other regions for some reason)
- 2 GB of RAM
- 16 GB of internal storage (around 10.6 GB of which is user-accessible)
- A microSD card support
- 4G LTE
- Dual-SIM (some models)
- Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, GPS, NFC
- 2,600 mAh battery
- Android 4.4 KitKat with HTC’s Sense 6 UI
- Dimensions are 146.42×70.67×9.85 mm
- Weighs 145 grams
There's no word on whether or not this device will be hitting any other markets besides China. Of course, with this price, it is quite a bit less expensive than the Galaxy S5 or the new LG G3, so it could be a strong competitor even if it is only released in China.
Jun 03, 2014 - 10:47 AM - by dgstorm
The folks over at Phandroid put together a handy list of all the most useful voice commands for Android users with Google Now enabled smartphones. Here's the full breakdown below!
- “Go to [Phandroid.com].” [*Of course we recommend DroidForums.net instead. ]
- “Search for [Samsung Galaxy S5].”
- “Open [Gmail].”
- “Take a picture.”
- “Record a video.”
- “Remind me to [call John at 6PM].”
- “Remind me to [buy toilet paper at Target].”
- “Set an alarm for [6PM].”
- “Create a calendar event: [Happy Hour at Union on Friday at 5:00PM].”
- “Where’s my package?”
- “Note to self: [remember to buy milk].”
- “What’s the tip for [$42]?”
- “Call [George Smith].”
- “Call [Mom mobile].”
- “Text [Lee that I'm running 5 minutes late].”
- “Send email to [Rob Jackson, subject, Google Now, message, Check out these Voice Commands].”
- “Listen to voicemail.”
- “Find [Bruce’s] number.”
- “When is [Mary’s] birthday?”
- “Post to [Google+]: [Google Now is awesome].”
- “Listen to: [TheDirty Projectors].”
- “Play: [The Beatles].”
- “What’s this song?”
- “Play some music.”
- “Watch [Toy Story 3].”
- “What movies are playing tonight?”
- “Where is [X-Men] playing?”
- “Show me pictures of the [Chesapeake Bay Bridge].”
Navigation and Travel
- “Navigate to [Ocean City, MD].”
- “[Biking] directions to [The Brewer’s Art].”
- “Find [the Eiffel Tower].”
- “Where is [the Empire State Building]?”
- “Where’s the nearest [ice cream shop]?”
- “Show me the menu for [Holy Frijoles].”
- “Call [Ledo's Pizza].”
- “Show me my flights.”
- “Where is my hotel?”
- “What are some attractions in [Baltimore]?”
- “What time is it in [London]?”
- “Do I need an umbrella today?”
- “What’s the weather in [Cape Cod] for [the weekend]?”
- “Where was [Albert Einstein] born?”
- “How old is [Brad Pitt]?”
- “How do you say [‘hello'] in [Spanish]?”
- “What does [onomatopoeia] mean?”
- “What’s [Google’s] stock price?”
- “What is [Twitter] trading at?”
- “What’s [16 ounces] in [pounds]?”
- “What is the square root of 2209?”
- “When is sunset?”
- “Did the [Orioles] win today?”
- “How did [the San Francisco Giants] do?”
Thanks for the handy list!
Jun 03, 2014 - 10:35 AM - by dgstorm
The Android 4.4.3 update is finally baked. Google made the Factory Image available for download. This one is designed for the Nexus 5, the Nexus 7 (2013), Nexus 7, Nexus 4 and Nexus 10. These images are 440MB to 465MB in size and will require fastboot set up to install. This update includes a few new tweaks and enhancements: the dialer app has new color accents and a card-based process for speed dialing, there is a bug fix related to CPU usage and the Nexus 5 camera. These factory images are obviously perfect for those who don't want to wait for the OTA.
Here's the link to the factory images: https://developers.google.com/android/nexus/images
Speaking of OTA's, the 2013 Nexus 7 WiFi-Only version is already receiving the update push at the time of this story. Users can expect to get it anytime with the next few days. For some reason, the LTE version of the 2013 Nexus 7 is not yet supported by this update.
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