Posts Tagged ‘ Apple ’

Apple wants us to SEE augmented reality .. cool

When I read the article in Engadget about Apple contemplating to make a pair of glasses that would well be a device to repel women. I admit it it is ugly at first sight.  This is what they have to say about it.

Essentially an iPhone dock that sits on your face like a pair of glasses, “Head-Mounted Display Apparatus for Retaining a Portable Electronic Device with Display” details a headset that contains a stereo display and either a camera or a window for your phone’s camera. Also included in the patent application is a microphone, speaker, batteries, and an accelerometer for detecting the user’s head movements. Something like this would be great for augmented reality applications — and something like this would make ever getting a date that much more difficult.

At first sight it does look horrible, it is however a first step that innovation and companies are taking towards Wearable Electronics and Augmented Reality devices as a consumer electronic device.

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For people who are more interested in the technical nitty gritties you can head out here. Well I am excited about this, cos one of my most read posts of all time is actually Nokia Mixed Reality, where Nokia demoed a device that did the same; this means that you guys are also interested in this. Check out the video below again:

Well I know that this is not something that people will buy immediately, but will definitely pick up like the mobiles, or the smartphones, or at least I hope. Heres wishing luck to Apple 🙂

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Microsoft shows how we might use a Tablet device

[tweetmeme] One of the biggest giants of the software industry alongside Google is Microsoft and unlike Google which relies on fans and partner companies to do most of the innovation in relation to hardware, Microsoft is taking on the task by itself. Against, a common competitor Apple and the iPad. Sometime earlier we looked at how the tablet industry is shaping up across the world, especially since Apple announced the iPad. It was more than just disappointing to see that Apple did the intro of the device which was not really great, however world over people seem to think that Apple has the right pulse when it comes to handhelds especially after the tremendous success of the iPod and the iPhone. So, without really performing any sort of sanity check all companies seem to jump on to the Tablet bandwagon, maybe through direct involvement or indirect. Today lets see one of the offerings that will be available just after the iPad.

Microsoft courier

Definitely one of my favorite devices in the list. Why ? well it embodies the concept of a hand held notebook (quite literally). I guess I might be speaking too soon, but the demo’s and concept photos that have surfaced recently, including windows mobile 7, seem to show Microsoft’s intent to start from scratch to make their offering better. Some of the pictures below here might just show how good this device might turn out to be, and a video showing how Microsoft thinks we will use this device.

The below video highlights the usability and how we might use it as a true journal.

I believe that we might really use this device and it is a lot more practical than the iPad.

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The Evolution of Computing viewed through Apple Ads

All of us know how computers have evolved within our lifetimes. In fact, the other day in the office we had a discussion about what was the configuration of the first computer that each one had. And by today’s standards we did not even have toys. The evolution of computers within the Home has also improved, and the internet adding to additional push.

In today’s post we will look at how computers have evolved through the eyes of Apple Ads for the famous Mac. You will notice that off late the computing platform that they are advertising more is the hand held platforms. This is an indication towards the next evolutionary step in computing, bringing the internet and computing resources closer to us all the time.

Most of Apple’s current advertising seems to be on TV these days. You can watch most of the recent ads on the Apple website.

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Google bites off a piece of the Apple

[tweetmeme] Google and Apple have been on it for quite some time, and one seems to be trying to outsmart the other all the time. I have been trying to show the aspects of Apple and Google that inspire innovation. I am a big fan of both Apple as well as Google and Google has always been the one closer to my heart. The rivalry of the two giant companies is beautifully demonstrated in this infographic by GigaOm. However, in terms of attacking emerging markets, Google has taken a bite off Apple, in what the Apple could have done, to what Google have managed to do.

Interestingly, my past few posts have all been about bashing Apple about their “poor performance” with the iPad. Infact I also bought up the aspect of what the iPad could have been. And acting as straight out of the post and the imagination of Mac Funamizu of Petit Invention, Google has just announced at the Mobile World Conference that we do not really need to learn another language. The post about what the iPad could have been, showed what a device about Augmented Reality should be be able to do. Google in an attempt to sort of bridge the gap has come up with their first offering Google Goggles.

Googles Goggles adding an additional feature, has just demoed the application translating some text, at the Mobile World Conference. Here is a demo below.

It’s still in the experimentation phase, but ideally you can just snap a picture of something you need translated — a street sign, a menu, directional aids — and Google Goggles will send your pic to the server and have a response back to you with translated text in seconds.

Will this open up avenues for amazing devices lined up like the Notion Ink Adam, using an Android platform and can make use of more applications like the Layar and Google Goggles. Only time will tell, but this seems to be the first bold forray of Google into Augmented Reality, and we just hope that its not the last.

iPad Killer from India … Satisfaction Guarantee

I have been long criticizing the iPad for its lack of innovation and hardware to achieve any, even if developers would get their hands on them. Well now there is an Indian company, who has just like reading out of my criticism come up with the ADAM, like its name suggests its the first of its kind from India. Not only matching up, but also beating the Apple iPad in its own battle field.

Developed by Indian company Notion Ink and the brain child of Rohan Shravan, an engineering graduate from IIT Kharagpur , the Adam runs on NVIDIA’s Tegra T20 chipset and Android. It supports 1080p Full HD video playback, has integrated WiFi, Bluetooth and UMTS/HSDPA, A-GPS, a digital compass, accelerometer and proximity, ambient light and water sensors. And yes it does have a swivel 3-megapixel autofocus camera with video recording support and supports Flash. Connectivity options include USB, HDMI, a 3.5mm headphone jack and a microphone input.

The Adam is quite slim measuring 6.3 x 9.8 x 0.6 inches and weighing 770 gms. It has 16GB or 32GB of onboard storage and uses the Pixel Qi transflective display. Notion Ink’s Adam will allow 8hrs of HD video playback and 16hrs of internet surfing over WiFi.

In face Slashgear one of the most popular internet tech, gadget magazine is featuring the Notion Ink Adam, and has also done a Hands on Special, praising it and proclaiming it, “So good, it will wash the iPad from your memory”

Well these are just prototype 3D visuals from the people who are following the device, not really the manufacturers. Which just means one thing. The device is more anticipated than the Apple iPad. You can check out the SlashgearAdam review here, and follow the rest of the conversation here.

By the way, like me please go and show your appreciation and support for the Adam on their website here.

And now the Tablet – The battle continues

Its competition that eventually makes a product good or bad. I say that with a sense of a consumer. As long as there is someone who is willing to challenge you with a great product and an attractive price package to match it, you will have great innovations and even better products to play with. The beginning of such battles were seen with the browser wars of the early 90’s down to the PC and computers race and mobile platforms. The latest entrant into the warzone is the tablet. I would have said tablet PC but that is a bit of a failure as such. Touch sensitive tablets who have the ability of connect to the internet, have larger screens than your traditional phones but lighter and more agile than a standard laptop, are features that the tablets offer to us, encouraging us to look at this new ‘screen’ among the others that take away our time like the TV, computer, Mobile, Gaming Device and Movies. I believe that the launch of apple’s tablet might have just sparked off one of the biggest tablet race yet.

Tablets are not new and have been around for a while, but the touch sensitive tablets with good processing power and a host of great features has been missed by all. The ‘iPad’ might be a device that is aimed at the normal person on the street, but with no multi tasking, no camera and other small features that could have made it better; has indicated that the tablet business will not get ‘swept over’ by Apple. So the next straight question would be, if not the tablet then what will. It is hard to tell, but if I were to put my money on it, I would point to the Microsoft Courier. It is not usually the case, where I point to a Microsoft product as a game changer or actually something that can make normal geeks go wow. But it is clear with an initial look at this device that it will take on the best, and might even make it as the favorite of many. Featuring a dual screen with a typical organizer type look and feel this tablet and some of the features that it packs might just revolutionalise how we interact with the digital world around us, more so enabling Microsoft to reach heights that others can only dream of. Their foray into the world of PC’s is legendary, Mobiles not so good. But this could definitely bring them to our palms soon enough. Gadget blog Gizmodo has uncovered a set of illustrations that make it clearer how you would operate the device, and what its mains functions would be. On paper, Courier looks like it would be an innovative device, with some killer features.

Based on what has already been reported, the rumored Courier tablet would have two 7-inch color screens, with a flexible hinge in the middle allowing the device to close like a book. The hinge would also have a home button, as well as indicators for wireless signal and battery strength. The two screens can accept handwriting from a stylus or multi-touch inputs from your fingers. Courier would not have any type of keyboard, and rely entirely on handwriting recognition for text input. Courier would also include Wi-Fi connectivity, and a camera on the back of the device. There’s no word on whether Courier would include extras like a Webcam for video conferencing or 3G connectivity. At the core of Courier’s functionality would be the Infinite Journal, which is exactly what it sounds like: limitless virtual pages where you can take notes, sketch, and store Web clippings. Gizmodo says the Infinite Journal would have page numbers for easier reference, and every page receives a timestamp and a location tag once content has been entered. It’s not clear whether the Infinite Journal’s location tag would come from automatic geotagging through GPS or wireless access points, or whether it’s just a matter of manually entering your location for each page. You can also mark Infinite Journal pages with keyword tags to make it easier to search for content. The Smart Agenda would essentially be a condensed version of your Infinite Journal pulling together day-to-day information for easy reference including e-mails, to-do lists, appointments, and recent messages. Clicking on any of these items in the Smart Agenda would take you to the page where these items are stored in your Infinite Journal.

Microsoft is all about the cloud these days, with company executives constantly referring to Microsoft’s three-screen vision (personal computer, mobile device, and television all syncing or pulling information from an online database). Courier is no exception, as it offers a function that allows you to share portions of your journal with colleagues and friends online. When your content appears online, the people you share your journal with will be able to make notes and comments about your content. Once the comments have been entered, they are automatically updated on your Courier device so you can see what your collaborators are saying. One of the most interesting functions of Courier is its ability to clip content from a Web site and allow you to store and manipulate that information any way you like. Called Clip, Tuck, and Paste, with this function you would be able to clip information from a Web page, and then ‘tuck’ it underneath Courier’s hinge between the two screens. Then, you can flip or search through your Infinite Journal until you find the page you want to store the content in, and then paste the Web clipping into your journal. According to the illustrations, there’s a lot more to the Courier, including a Web browser, camera, a file browser called the Library for a quick look at all your stored information, easy-to-use painting tools and more. These new details about Courier make it sound like a fascinating and innovative device. However, we also don’t know some basic things about Courier like how it would handle Web-based video or what kind of storage this device would have. I should also point out that so far we’ve only seen illustrations, and computer-generated videos of Courier in action. Hope we see a real working device of this and that would be something that I would buy, for the time being I would suggest to give the iPad a pass.

Game changing gadgets from Apple … whats next ?

Just like the story about the person who could turn anything to gold, anything apple seems to be doing seems to be the ‘Next big thing’. Most gadgets that they bought out in the recent past have been received with amazing enthusiasm world over. The iPod and the iPhone are two amazing examples of Apple technologies making it as big as the gadgets can be.  Although there are better ‘MP3 Players’ available in the market they are just that, they can just aspire to be an iPod. Similarly various companies world over are trying really hard to come up with the perfect ‘iPhone Killer’ and even the Silicon valley giant Google, is attempting to get there; the Nexus One. I will post about it as soon as I see one in action, hands on. Keeping this in mind when Apple announces new gadgets, I guess it is for all of us to stand up and take notice.

The Apple Tablet called iSlate or iPad ?

Apple is preparing to show off a new, larger mobile device with a higher resolution display this month, probably a version of the Apple tablet. This could be in addition to a 10- to 11-inch tablet the company has supposedly been working on. I assume that their patented multi-touch screen technology will eventually penetrate more Apple product lines, including portable Macs and maybe even desktop Macs. But for the time being as long as they have the patent for the multi touch screen application, they are willing to make the most of it. Here are some pictures of the supposedly called ‘iSlate‘ or ‘iPad’. Supposedly Apple is putting up a demo so that their developers can have a look at these devices and build software for a large screen HD display. 

In face apple has gone a step forward to make it more interesting and asked people that are invited to the launch to guess on the specifications of the device, and might win a chance of winning a tablet in case they guess it right. Check out the survey form here. The touch tablet might take on the likes of the first commercial production eBook reader, the Amazon Kindle, owing to Apple approaching publishing houses and might even come up with an Apple App store kind of a storefront for books.

Apple HMD Goggles

The January issue of Mac Life sports a fauxtograph of possible Apple augmented reality HMD glasses. It’s hard to know how much of this article is based on concept, but Apple working on an AR HMD would be a huge jumpstart to the nascent technology. Apparently in mid-April of 2008, Apple published a patent for a “Head Mounted Display System.”  The patent shows screens and fiber optics and vision imaging controls.  Given Apple’s trademark secrecy, it’s a huge unknown if MacLife’s article is pure speculation or its based on some real knowledge. Imagining that Apple might introduce this gadget by the end of this year to get into the market early to also make use of all the great augmented reality applications that are bound to hit the marketplace this year.

Apple is demonstrating the most important part of business, especially during the recession. Innovation and Design. We have to hand it to Steve Jobs for his innovative products and even more innovative presentation and keynote presentations for the launch of their products.