At the Consumer Electronics Show last year, products were introduced that would integrate with Apple’s smart home platform. These smart products included light bulb adapters, power outlets, door locks and more. Google announced similar innovations in smart home technology last year as well. This got consumers excited and craving for updates on this technology at this year’s electronics show. Unfortunately, there weren’t many people talking about Google’s smart home system; nicknamed Brillo and Weave. At the 2016 CES, there were some smart products from this system shown like the security camera, printer, oven, scanner, speaker, door locks and light bulbs. These products were manufactured by big named tech company partners, like Philips, LG Asus and HP.
LG is actually the biggest partner of Google’s smart home system. They had a washer and dryer, air conditioner, security camera, wireless speakers and a refrigerator on display at the CES. So what’s the problem? Well there was no mention from Google or its tech partners about when these items will be released or what the progress is on their development. During LG’s press conference, Brillo and Weave were talked about for three minutes by Google’s Vice President. But there were no specifics on the new platform.
Just so you understand, Brillo is the software that gets programmed into these smart devices. It is basically like the operating system of them which is similar to how Android is an operating system to smartphones. As for Weave, this is the special programming language that allows the various smart devices to speak to one another. What is interesting is that devices don’t need to have Brillo installed in them in order to speak Weave to each other. This makes Weave the most important programming feature of these smart devices. In fact, it can even help these devices to communicate with apps for your smartphone, whether they are iOS apps or Android apps.
Perhaps, Google is focusing on other projects at the moment and hasn’t made any new advancement with Brillo and Weave. Either that or they may be looking to create something that will blow people away. You should check back at next year’s CES to see if Google introduces updates on this awesome smart home system. Since smart technology is growing to all types of products, it is safe to say that smart devices for homes will gain more attention sooner or later as they become more developed and tested.
We live in the age of digital music and instrumentation. People no longer have to learn how to play the guitar or the drums because they can just generate the sounds through software and other electronic devices. Drum machines are basically electronic drums that will add drum sounds into your music without actually having to play the physical drums. This is great for people who do not know how to play instruments in real life, but still want to create their own music. However, there is a quality missing from digital drum sounds that you can only hear by beating on the calfskins of a real drum set. The detail and intuitiveness is just not there with digital music like it is with old school skins. Wouldn’t it be great if you could have the positive elements of both?
The music tech company Sunhouse is crowdfunding their new drum sensory technology called Sensory Percussion. This is a sensor that will turn acoustic drum sounds into digital beats. All you have to do is attach the add-on device to your physical drums and start playing on them. The device will recognize the styles you are playing and save the beats into digital format. This will help you create beats that are rarely heard in studios or live concerts. If you are into creating music with drums then this technology is definitely worth purchasing. But be prepared to pay over a thousand dollars for this device. If you place a pledge of about $600 on this unit then you will get a single Sensory Percussion device after it gets developed. The downside is that one unit can only go on one drum. A full drum kit will have at least two drums, which means it will cost $1200 for two units. Luckily the hardware for these units is easy to ship, but it won’t be shipping until January of next year. All the drummers out there will just have to wait for the New Year before they add electronic music to the sounds of their band. Some people are disappointed because they wanted to have this sound for their summer festivals. But remember, all good things will come to those who wait. This technology is still in the development phase, so you’ll want it to produce the best quality sounds for you. By the time January comes along, it will be well worth the wait.
If you follow video gaming then you have probably heard of the video gaming company, Valve, and their video gaming software known as Steam. This software connects people together by allowing them to play multiplayer games with each other right over the internet. The only thing is that Steam is traditionally for the PC, Mac and Linux computer systems. This means people who want to play these games have to use their monitors, unless they have the right video cables to hook up their computer to a flat screen television set. Most people do not have these cables, or they simply don’t know how to hook it up properly.
After years of delays and setbacks, Valve has finally created a Steam gaming console that people can hookup to their television sets. That way people can now play video games through Steam right on their big television sets instead of their smaller monitors. The console will still connect to the user’s Steam account, so they won’t lose any of their games. All they have to do is login to their account through the Steam Machine and then they can just download all of their games right back onto it.
The Steam Machine will create competition for other living room gaming computers, like Microsoft Xbox and Sony PlayStation 4. Right now they are king of multiplayer gaming through consoles. But with the massive amount of people who already use Steam, the new Steam Machine could very well turn people off from those other consoles and cause them to lose money. Not only that, but the Steam Machine will have its own Steam operating system to run games on. This could very well jeopardize the $25 billion market for Windows PC gaming. The majority of the people who use Steam on their computers are using a Windows operating system, which the games require in order to play them. But with the Steam Machine, the games won’t need the Windows operating system anymore. This could cause Microsoft to lose even more business and set them back much further as a company.
The only complication is not all of the 5,000 games on Steam will work with Steam Machine. After all, the original designers of these games were creating them for popular operating systems like Windows and Linux. The Steam OS is brand new and a Linux-based operating system. This means it will only be able to run games that can be run on Linux operating systems. Right now there are over 1,000 games on Steam that could be run on the Steam Machine. But as time goes on and the popularity of the machine increases, the number of approved games is likely to go up.
Google has certainly been very innovative with its computer technology. The company has already come out with their own laptop, which has had great success in the consumer marketplace. They have also developed the Android operating system, which is one of the most popular operating systems for smartphones. Now Google may be coming out with their own wireless service for Android smartphones. Their service, Sundar Pichai, was announced at the Mobile World Congress. Google mentioned this wireless service would be on a much smaller scale in comparison to the bigger mobile carriers like AT&T and Verizon. In fact they are going to buy spectrum from these big carriers and then repackage it under their name in order to create their own mobile virtual network.
The official information about the service is still limited and Google has yet to announce more information. However the Android news website, Android Police, may have found leaked information that contains nearly every detail about Google’s mobile network project. Android Police found a Google app called Tycho that was unreleased to the public. It was located inside the Nexus 6 firmware at MotoFireware.center. It was likely an accident that it ended up there because it was taken down quickly. But it was up long enough for Android Police to collect a lot of vital information about it. They found out the wireless service’s code name is “Project Fi.” People who use the Tycho app for the service will be able to use it to manage details about their plan, take care of billing details, activate accounts and close accounts. It seems like consumers will only have to pay for what they use, so if you have unused data on your plan at the end of the month then it will be credited back to you. But if you go over your data limit then you will be charged a flat rate for the numbers of gigabytes over you go.
These are just some of the details discovered by Android Phone. The details seem promising enough because it looks to be an affordable alternative to the more expensive carriers that require contracts. If this really ends up being a pay as you go type service plan then it could very well put some other prepaid carriers out of business. Of course this is all speculation right now because Google has not officially released these details yet. But if Android Phone’s discovery turns out to be true, then Google could very well be a fierce competitor to a number of mobile service carriers.
Apple has a reputation for updating their existing iPhone models while keeping the same model number. A great example is with the iPhone 5 when they made the cheaper 5C and more expensive 5S models. Instead of just giving the iPhone an entirely new model number, they kept as the same model number and just added a letter after the number. This usually indicates that the phone has not been updated to the point where it is significantly different than the previous version. However, the iPhone 6 might not have the same minor updates that its predecessor had.
Ming-Chi Kuo, an analyst at KGI Securities, predicts the next iPhone will contain a number of major updates that will make it significantly different than the original iPhone 6. These updates include the new Apple Force Touch technology, which has already been seen in the newest Apple Watch and Apple MacBook. The Force Touch is said to detect the amount of pressure placed on the contact area of the Smartphone. The amount of pressure placed could determine enable certain functions to be performed. It will also have 5-5 inch and 4-7 inch variants in this updated version. So with all of these exciting new features, it is unlikely that Apple will just call it the iPhone 6s and instead jump right to the iPhone 7 name. The major reason for this has to do with the Force Touch because it pretty much changes the entire control function of the Smartphone itself.
The predictions about the Apple iPhone 7 name came just after the Economic Daily News website mentioned the new Force Touch technology being in the next iPhone. Kuo’s predictions about Apple products have been right in the past, such as with the details preceding the iPhone 5 launch. So he is definitely someone whose opinion should be valued. Of course it is still too early to tell what Apple is going to do for their next iPhone release. We only know about the Force Touch technology at this point. We still don’t know any additional features that may be in the next iPhone. The big question is, will the Force Touch technology be enough to just call it iPhone 7 or will there need to be additional upgrades as well? This is the question that consumers and speculators are pondering over right now. It is likely the speculation will continue until September, which is the month that Apple usually unveils their newest iPhone products.
Drone technology is advancing very fast. Not only do they have cameras and mechanical functions, but they can now monitor signals that come from Smartphones and other mobile devices. In the San Fernando Valley region, many small drones have been flying over the city since February. Their objective is to track the locations of various mobile devices that give off cellular transmission and Wi-Fi signals. These drones are just an experiment conducted by Adnear, which is a marketing firm based in Singapore and has offices all over the world. The firm acknowledged this experiment was the first time that drones were used to gather data from wireless connections.
Smriti Kataria, the director of marketing and research of Adnear, stated in an interview that the drones did not capture people’s conversations or any of their personally identifiable information. All they do is test the strength of the signals and other indicators on the devices in order to tell where they are. The information received can also determine people’s travel patterns. So, why is this important if it is not used for governmental or law enforcement purposes? Well the idea here is that businesses can partner with these drone companies to send out mobile advertisements any time a person walks by their business establishment. For example, let’s say you walk by a health food store that is partnered with a drone company. Once the drone detects you are walking near the health food store, they will send you mobile ads about the products being sold in the store. People may even receive discount coupons as well.
The capability of drones sending advertisements has not been fully developed yet, but this is what Adnear hopes to accomplish with their experiment. Right now, these drones have only been tested in the San Fernando Valley and have gathered user profiles from over 530 million people. The only way drones can gather data is if mobile users are currently using an app that sends out a cellular transmission or Wi-Fi signal. The app doesn’t have to provide coordinates or mapping information. It can simply be any app that sends out a signal. This signal is all the drones need to map out the person’s location and gather information about the strength of their mobile signal. The drones can even help give people better mobile connections by emulating a Wi-Fi transceiver. That way those who are far away from cellular towers or Wi-Fi connections will be able to receive a strong signal.
There are a lot of Android Smartphone brands currently on the market. That is why it makes sense that Amazon would try to get in on the action and create an Amazon Smartphone that will run on the Android operating system. This phone will have a 3D interface that is unique to the rest of the Smartphones on the market. This 3D interface won’t require the user to wear special glasses in order to see the effects. The visuals are said to look very similar to the parallax interface elements that you see on the Apple iOS 7. This kind of 3D is not the traditional 3d that you would see in a movie theater or on television while wearing 3D glasses. The Amazon Smartphone will have what is known as “pseudo 3D,” which is another name for 2.5D. This is basically 2D that gives off the illusion of 3D by the way the elements on the screen are shaped. Amazon plans on doing this through the use of four infrared cameras that will be set up in each corner of the Smartphone. The cameras will then track the user’s head movements while changing the look of the interface at the same time. Of course, the visual effects of the 3d interface will be minor during the first launch of the Amazon Smartphone. After awhile, it is expected that the Smartphone will become more advanced and will be able to show off better 3D visuals on the interface.
The real speculation over Amazon’s new Smartphone is in regards to its name. So far, Amazon has not released the official name of their new Smartphone, but many people are guessing it will be called “Fire Phone,” which is based off of Amazon’s recently released “Fire TV.” The new Amazon Smartphone will have a 4.7 inch screen, which is 0.3 inches smaller than average, but the 3D interface is expected to be the feature that entices consumers to give up their other mobile devices and switch to Amazon’s. Amazon is also creating a cheaper model of their Smartphone, which is similar to how Apple created the affordable iPhone 5c last year. The only difference is the cheaper Amazon Smartphone won’t have the 3D interface. So, it is really a gamble for Amazon to see if consumers will switch over to their model or not.
Would you try an Amazon phone? Please comment!
We recently ran an article March 28, that touted the $25 Firefox OS smartphone being developed by Nokia. We’ve since learned that Google is also progressing in the cheap phone market with the development of its $50 device dubbed Project Ara. Just as consumers have become accustomed to shelling out $500 for a new phone, manufacturers are working to dramatically reduce price tags. Project Ara is scheduled for release in 2015, and will be among the cheapest smartphones on the market. The only catch is that it will not have cellular internet connectivity like its more expensive competitors. Instead, Project Ara will solely rely on a Wi-Fi internet connection. This means you will only be able to use it in locations that have wireless “hot spots.” Since it is a modular phone, users will be able to connect more advanced modules as they get released over time. Google is actually taking a big chance in the consumer marketplace by releasing a modular Smartphone because there are no other modular Smartphones in the market yet. They are not sure if people will go for them or not, but if they do then Google will be the top selling company to make them.
The Google Ara Smartphone won’t likely be sold in computer stores or other high-end retailers. Google plans to sell them in convenience stores because of their low price and modular capabilities. The idea is that buyers will end up purchasing more in the long run when they shop for customized modules that will eventually be released. It will even let you configure the Ara phone through an app on another regular Android device. This will come in handy if you don’t have access to a computer and you want to set up the configurations remotely.
Google actually has an ulterior motive behind the Ara phone. For a long time now, Google has tried to figure out a way to get people in developing countries to connect to the internet. They have experimented with innovative technology, like balloon satellites, where people in remote countries would be able to connect to the internet through the satellite. Since the Ara phones are going to require a Wi-Fi Satellite connection and not a cellular connection, then the Ara phones may very well allow people in these countries to get on the internet. After all, the Ara phones are going to be much cheaper than the standard Smartphones. The basic design of the Ara platform is incredible simply and easy to learn for people who have never used the internet before. Critics are skeptical about this master plan, but Google is keeping up its optimism.
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