Tag: technology (page 1 of 8)

Qualcomm Hexagon 680 promises improved location, better photos, and more battery life

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Qualcomm has developed a new digital signal processor chip called Hexagon 680. This is a mobile chip that is supposed to help prolong the battery life in your mobile devices, such as smartphones and tablets. The chip will also give you better location data, even if you are in a location without a powerful navigational signal. Plus, if you take pictures with the mobile device then it will give you a nicer blend of bright and dark imagery. New smartphones that offer camera improvements are usually big sellers. We have already seen that plenty of times with Apple’s iPhones and Samsung’s Galaxy phones. Therefore, it is very likely that Qualcomm’s new Hexagon 680 chip will be in many mobile devices in the years to come.

The Hexagon Vector eXtensions is what gives the Hexagon 680 all of its power. This added hardware is what helps the chip produce advance imagery when used in conjunction with the Qualcomm Spectra camera image sensor. When it is used with the Snapdragon 820 processor, the CPU will be able to perform three times faster while using only 10% of its normal power. Many smartphone manufacturers have been looking for ways to cut down the power consumption of their smartphones. The one thing that consumers always complain about with their mobile devices is the fact the battery runs out too fast. We live in the age where people want the most convenience possible. In terms of batteries, this means consumers want the batteries to charge their mobile devices for longer periods of time. The smartphone that can do this the best will win over consumers. But the secret lies in the CPU of the mobile device, which is why Qualcomm is constantly working on a way to perfect this. That way they can gain more partnerships with smartphone companies that would be willing to put Qualcomm’s chips into their devices.

Qualcomm is looking to make a comeback in the chip technology market. Rumors suggest they have already lost their partnership with Samsung, which is a major mobile technology maker. Qualcomm simply cannot afford to lose any more major partnerships or else it could be the end of their operations. But for now, things are looking very good with the news about their Hexagon 680 chip. As long as another chip company doesn’t come along and create something similar. Qualcomm’s chips should be around for years to come.

How Tile Went from Crowdfunding to 2M Units Sold in Two Years

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There is a new gadget currently in development called “Tile.” It is a small white object that is about the size of a poker chip, which means it can fit into virtually anywhere. You can put it in your wallet, purse, key ring or any small object that you would likely lose. Tile is basically a tracking device that a spy would use if they wanted to follow somebody. But what you can do is put the gadget in something that you would normally lose. That way if you do lose it you can find where your item is by using your smartphone to track the Tile gadget. However, this won’t have long range capabilities. It will utilize Bluetooth technology, which is a short distance wireless technology. Basically what you do is install the Tile app on your smartphone and use that to find whatever object the Tile gadget is connected to nearby. The app will tell you the last place the gadget was tracked, which will help if you don’t remember the last place you used the item. Then when you go to look for the item, the gadget attached to it will make beeping noises that you can hear.

Now you might be wondering what would happen if you were to leave your keys or other personal items on a park bench or coffee shop? How would Bluetooth technology help you then? Well what happens is the Tile gadget keeps communicating with the app on your phone. Then as soon as you step far enough away from the Tile gadget, the app will mark it as “lost.” It will also upload the location of the Tile gadget to cloud servers hosted by the company. Then it will communicate this location back to the owner, so they will see the last place the gadget was tracked.

 

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Tile had originally run a crowdfunding campaign on Selfstarter and through its own website. They eventually ended up completing the project from the donations and later sold two million units of the gadget. Seeing how Tile only planned to create 20,000 units, the vast amount of interest in this gadget was even a shock to the developers. But it proves that there is a big market for objects like this because people are always losing things like their keys and wallet. Tile will finally put these situations to rest by allowing people to track their location and not go crazy over trying to find them. At only $25 per unit, Tile will continue to be a huge seller in the years to come.

 

 

 

Apple Music Can’t Be Deleted

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When you buy an Apple smartphone you will notice it comes with lots of preloaded apps and music. Apple Music is a preloaded app that comes with new smartphones, which some people like and some people don’t. But the annoying thing is that you cannot delete Apple Music off of your phone. Many consumers feel that Apple should let iPhone users delete any app they want, even the preloaded ones. A little while back there was another massive series of complaints similar to this one about the mandatory iOS update that put the Watch app onto people’s iPhones. The Watch app is specifically designed to work with the Apple Watch, which is a separate device that not everybody owns or wants to own. This didn’t matter though because all the iPhone users were forced to receive this app on their phone. Many felt it was Apple’s way of promoting their smartwatch to iPhone users, so they would go out and purchase it. Whether this is true or not, users feel they should have the right to choose which apps they have on their phone. Right now they are only able to place these apps in the “Junk Drawer,” but the problem is this junk drawer can fill up fast and it still takes up memory on your phone.

So what is Apple’s agenda with making people have Apple Music on their phone? Some critics claim it is Apple’s way of keeping mobile users loyal to everything that is Apple. For example, Apple Music and Apple Maps are the alternatives to Spotify and Google Maps. Even though iPhone users have the freedom to download Google Maps and Spotify apps, Apple may not want their consumers using major apps made by other companies. They want to keep everything Apple, so that consumers stay loyal to the company in every respect. In other words, Apple can dominate the app marketplace by forcing their iPhone users to keep Apple apps of all kinds on their phone. The problem here is that many users of these apps do not like them. Apple Maps is a perfect example because it got terrible reviews by Apple users when it was released back in 2012. So why should people be forced to keep it on their phone if they don’t like it? Hopefully, Apple will hear these complaints from consumers and do something about it in the future. Perhaps they will release another iOS update that allows people to delete these apps. Users shouldn’t have to wait for a new iPhone release to do this simple task.

Drum Sensor Helps You Play Digital Beats On Analog Skins

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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.

Bose SoundDock XT Speaker

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Stop and put your mouse down because this is something that you will want to hear about.  Bose has upgraded themselves with this SoundDock XT speaker that not only goes with you everywhere, but also sounds like you are bringing the party.  This speaker allows you to connect your phone on the dock or by connecter to bring music to life.  There aren’t many flaws to this amazing product, but the only thing that dims the speaker is the fact that it takes about 12 hours to charge up.  You do have lasting sound for the night, but be sure to bring your charger for the morning.  If playing music at a party isn’t your forte, then turn down the music by pressing the ever so dainty volume button on the side.  White/Yellow and White/Dark Grey are the only color choices, so chose wisely.  I will continue to use this speaker for all of my outdoor events and so should you.

Fitbit Should Fear Cheap Fitness Trackers, Not the Apple Watch

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Fitbit is a fitness wearable company that focuses on smartwatches that cater to health and fitness. Naturally, they have created some competition for the Apple Watch. The only difference is the Apple Watch doesn’t only focus on health and fitness related applications. They also connect users to their iPhones and allow them to check their email and so on. So why would somebody want to purchase a wearable from Fitbit when it only focuses on health and fitness? Well for one thing, they are a well known brand when it comes to fitness tracking products. Their sales numbers have already proven their capabilities of having great success. In 2014, their number of sales doubled from the previous year of 2013. That is pretty impressive for any tech company. Research now indicates that FitBit controls about 62% of the market share for all fitness trackers sold in the United States. Between this piece of information and the record profits they are making, it looks like FitBit will become a fierce competitor to the Apple Watch.

Sources have already indicated that Fitbit’s wearable will be cheaper than the Apple Watch. However you have to consider that the Apple Watch has all the same fitness apps as the Fitbit wearable, plus a whole lot more. Therefore, it all depends on how important the fitness apps are to you. If you are the type of person that wants to get a smartwatch simply to track your heart rate and distance traveled, then the Fitbit wearable might be the best choice. But if you are someone that wants the full potential of what a smartwatch can do and you are not afraid to pay extra money for it, then go with the Apple Watch instead.

The sale of fitness trackers have turned into a branding game. The actual function and components of the trackers are basically all the same. They all use sensors, digital displays and accelerometers to let the wearer know information regarding their fitness performance. But what makes them different are the exterior look, the cost and the brand name. Companies in America generally like to use their brand name in order to drive up the cost of a particular product. But since American consumers are still hurting for cash, they may want to purchase their wearables from the Chinese wearable company called Huami. They are selling their own fitness tracker for just $13, which is supposed to have all the same functions as the more expensive ones in the United States. If these wearables ever get marketed to Americans over the internet, then they may very well just go with those. The only thing that could save American wearable companies is if their brand and quality prove to be more important to American consumers than cost.

 

Apple iPad vs. Microsoft Surface 3

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The Apple iPad is one of the best selling tablets ever. Other computer companies have tried competing with Apple in this area, but Apple has still remained number one when it comes to manufacturing tablets. However, this may change very soon because Microsoft is getting in on the action. They have already developed their own Microsoft Windows tablet that is an alternative to the Apple iPad. The Microsoft Surface 3 was released in 2014 and has gotten a lot of positive feedback from tech enthusiasts. The retail price is going to be around $499, which is about the price of a new iPad. So there won’t be much diversity as far as the price is concerned. The diversity comes with the new tablet features found in the Microsoft Surface 3. One new feature is the magnetic clip on keyboard that attaches itself to the front of your tablet. It is said to be a step up from the swivel mechanism that operates the keyboard on the iPad. But more importantly, Microsoft’s Surface 3 is said to help you actually work without needing a laptop.

Microsoft Surface tablets have only been around for three years. In the beginning, they were merely created to compete with Apple. But these Surface tablets have quickly advanced into a successful product line that more people are starting to use. There are also a variety of accessories you can purchase for it, such as keyboards and styli. You can even install Microsoft Office programs such as Word, PowerPoint and Excel. If you choose the Microsoft Office 365 subscription when you purchase your tablet then you can get the entire suite of programs bundled together with it. The screen quality of the new tablet is also much sharper than previous Surface models, but it still has the same full size USB port. This means you can plug in a regular PC mouse or keyboard if you want to use that with your tablet.

Right now the Surface 3 is being advertised heavily to schools and colleges around the country. Parents are also taking an interest in the tablet because it is a suitable device to give their children for school. But the big question is, should you buy this tablet if you already have an iPad? It all depends on how much money you have and how much you are willing to spend. If you already have office suite products on your iPad then you might not think it’s worth switching over to Surface 3 just yet. But if you just want to own the newest Microsoft tablet and experience the differences right away, then definitely consider purchasing this product.

After Delays, Valve and Partners Near Production on Steam Machines for Living-Room Gamers

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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.

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