Posts Tagged ‘ Gadgets ’

Nokia Phone Manufacture

It is one of those processes that require a lot of Clean environments. Putting together a mobile phone that works. I was fortunate enough to receive some of these pics through email from one of my friends who used to work at a Nokia factory. I cannot say where, however if you search around you can guess I think. When I received the pictures, I thought it might be worthwhile sharing the same on the blog for the readers who come here. So well here we go.

Nokia N95 assembly.

Adding the Battery

Finishing the cover off

Testing the Phones

Communicator

More Packaging

Putting the serial Numbers on

Fixing the smaller components

Getting the PCB and components

Loading the software

Checking the camera

Buy a piece of the future at Sharaf DG : Power Mats

[tweetmeme] Sharaf DG in Dubai is one of my favorite stores, offering a lot of electronics gadgets and offers at the same time. Personally, my experience is of a kid going to a candy store. I always find something noteworthy and something of utter uselessness when I go there, however it might not stock the latest Google Nexus One or Samsung Droid, it still sports something that grabs my attention.

My pick at my last visit was the Power Mat, well you have heard about normal mats, but this will help your gadgets charge and juice up wirelessly, yes you hears that right wirelessly. We’ve seen quite a few induction-based “wireless power” systems make the scene, and while the idea is interesting both in theory and prototype, actually getting it to market has proven to be quite difficult, with some casualties along the way.  Unlike other induction-based “wireless power” contraptions, this one came out earlier this year as total vaporware and has now resurfaced as a collaborative effort by Michigan-based HoMedics Powermat North America (HPNA).

It seems as though Powermat is a shoe-in to the first company to really hit with something usable, affordable and practical. When you need to give something with a USB port a bit of juice, you can simply plug it into the PowerMat and let it transfer power across. It’s nice and neat, and a simple concept. Of course, it tackles the question of wireless charging, that charges devices without them needing to be attached, but it’s no less interesting for it.

I would have got one except that they do not really support Nokia devices and my N95 would not really make use of it, but really when they support it, I would be more than happy to get it. Priced at about Dhs 300, it is something that will drop price as the sales increase.

Checkit out here:

http://www.powermat.com/us/home/
http://www.sharafdg.com/shop/index.aspx

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 secret lives of Nokia Mobile Phones

I am a Nokia fan, ever since I got my Nokia 3310, I have been hooked onto the Nokia bandwagon. However, in the past few years Nokia is slipping in the SmartPhone segment. They have tried their hand at the N97, N97 Mini and now the N900 to try and bridge the gap between the iPhone (which is now considered the leader in the category). Let’s look at the competition to get a look at the same, the iPhone, the Google Nexus One, the Samsung Droid, the Blackberry and Nokia N97; the list seems to fizz off when it gets closer to the Nokia. The only one in the list which sports an Ageing Operating System. However it’s not really the Operating system or the functionalities of the phone that Nokia users talk about most, it’s the durability of the phone. Nearly everyone that has owned a Nokia has dropped their phone, not because they wanted to but just because they have been a bit careless having faith in the durability of the phone sets from Nokia. I am no example, right from the days of my Nokia 3310, right until the N95 which I currently own, I have dropped the phone on many a occasion, be it from the first floor balcony, or a fast moving motorcycle, It always fits back and Just works.

That being said, I started to look at the QA & QC procedures for the sake of my knowledge. And what I did see was really astonishing, Nokia has some of the most rigorous tests for a mobile handset ever and here are some pictures from the Nokia Labs.

Repeated Button Press.


Humidity

Various liquids, creams and gels…

Bending Test, Ouch!

Dust Test

Those are hard and sharp plastic for scratch test.

These are enough for me as a fan that the Mobiles are tested well enough. However there is a complain about the Nokia devices not being Innovative. I will compile some for the next post.

What could have been of the iPad

In my last post about the iPad I showed my disappointment at the device and what is greatly missed in the iPad. What it could have been is not just my vision, it’s the vision of Mac Funamizu who made the concept photos for a hand held iPad kind of device which could change the way tablets would have been viewed (Petit Invention). I think in a move of premature ejaculation from Apple, the iPad was launched. Not because it was ready but more because of the pressure or 2 years worth of rumors. However, historically Apple have improved features on the future upgrades and releases of their devices in the past. We hope that they will do something like that for the iPad, because I believe it can be made awesome with some tinkering. i.e. 2 cameras.

 

So what could it have been, some application examples here definitely make the vision clear so to speak. So instead of text I will let you feast your eyes on these pictures for an application called the looking glass on the device. If at all the iPad had a camera, someone would have made one of these, or at least some of these functionalities could be added. All courtesy of Petit Invention.

Integration with Maps would mean information about locations in a blend of “street view” type functionality

 

 

Integration with Maps would mean information about locations in a blend of “street view” type functionality.

On further exploration it could even provide details of people you are following, on your friends list, or twitter feeds etc.

 

 

Or just accepting meeting requests it can guide you to that location

 

Just looking at monuments or tourist destinations providing information about the place.
Linking with Google sky it could chart out constellations in the sky or identify planets based on your geo location.

 

 

Real time information from Wikipedia for anything that the ‘Looking Glass Sees’

 

 

Nutritional value of foods that you are eating, such that the Diet freaks are always pacified.

 

 

Information about general foods that can be added by people all over the world, making the database better

 

 

 

Access to translation of languages, Thesaurus, Dictionary while reading making the experience even better

 

 

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Sharing digital photos etc a breeze, as it just connects to other known devices remotely, Bluetooth, wireless or something else that has not been invented yet.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Imagine an IKEA catalog and checking if furniture ‘fits’ and how it looks before buying it

 

 

 

Real time and predicted weather information

 

 

 

As street view changes and grows, it can add historical information about a place, like what a place looked in the past.

 

 

To be able to ‘listen to conversations’ and convert it to text is an awesome application for the hearing impaired, don’t you think.

 

 

It could do interpretation of multiple people

 

 

 

Or just sounds

 

 

 

Even directional text for conversation outside the ‘looking glass’

 

 

The inclusion of one piece of hardware into the iPad can introduce immense possibilities into the device. Considering that this was a post made by in January 2009, Apple had over a year to think about including this. Mr. Jobs if you are reading this, please note it, since tones of people are also writing about this, blogging about it, sharing it, including myself. You know what people want. I guess now it the turn of the Microsoft Courier to work on some of this, hello…… if you are listening, this is what I want !!

Sorry Mr. Jobs, but this was a bad Job

By far the most exciting technology release that has happened this year is the Apple iPad, but in my verdict it’s all just the hype and no meat within. Just like my college professor used to say, “All fart and no Shit”. Just like thousands of people, I was really looking forward to the release of the then iSlate the device which would revolutionalize the way we from the physical world interact with the digital world. In the end its more of a glorified eBook reader and game player. Looking for the next game changing gadget like the iPod and the iPhone Apple has blurted out the iPad. And I think Apple has missed an exceptional opportunity to make another landmark in the history of technologies.

The specifications of the iPad are anything but exciting, it’s just a glorified Phone / Netbook device and in the process of doing this they might be causing more harm to the gadget industry than any good. They are killing the market that existed for the eBook readers like the Amazon Kindle which although had limited features was made for a purpose. But the iPad does not fit in any of the categories and neither does it fulfill any requirements for a new category of device. Have a look at the specifications of the iPad, (source) A trying-to-be Jack of Many, and Master of None is what I would call it.

  • CPU: Apple’s custom 1GHz A4 SOC, manufactured by Samsung. And we can tell you, it’s blazingly fast.
  • Display: 9.7-inch, 1024 x 786 (132 PPI), LED backlit IPS with capacitive touch.
  • Storage: The iPad will come in 16GB, 32GB, and 64GB variations.
  • RAM: No word on this from Apple (just like with the iPhone and iPod touch).
  • Wireless: The devices comes standard with 802.11a/b/g/n WiFi and Bluetooth 2.1. You can also purchase a version which has 3G connectivity (UMTS / HSDPA 850, 1900, 2100MHz and GSM / EDGE 850, 900, 1800, 1900MHz).
  • Sim Card : The iPad uses new micro SIMs.
  • Other sensors: The iPad has a digital compass, there’s AGPS on-board in the 3G version, and both versions have an accelerometer and ambient light sensor.
  • Ports / input / output: Headphone jack, 30-pin dock connector, built-in microphone, built-in speaker.
  • Battery life: Apple claims "up to" 10 hours web surfing on WiFi, listening to music, or watching video, and over a month on standby.
  • Dimensions: height: 9.56-inches, width: 7.47-inches, depth: 0.5-inches, weight: 1.5 pounds (1.6 for the 3G model).

There’s no question that much of what the iPhone and iPod touch do translates here, but nothing I saw during the online keynote or online made me sit up and think, "Wow, I need this." If Steve Jobs hoped to answer the question about why we need this third device, or how it’s better than a netbook, he didn’t make a compelling case. Where is video chat? Where is multitasking (honestly, only one app at a time for a device of this size and speed)? Why is the lock screen so embarrassingly empty? Why are there no active widgets to fill that huge home screen space? Where is the expansion of the multi touch user experience? These are things that you will really expect from a device from Apple. In case you can’t tell by looking at the thing, the iPad does — indeed — resemble a large iPhone (actually, more like an iPod touch). The front of the device is a large, smooth piece of glass with no buttons save for the familiar "home" button in a bottom center location. There’s no phone or SMS functionality on this device, and no iChat, though the iPad can run "almost" (Steve’s words) all of the 140,000 apps made for the iPhone and iPod touch. Besides the standard music and video partnerships Apple already has for its stores (and those aren’t changing yet), the company has teamed up with give publishing houses to start bringing ebooks to the iPad: Macmillan, Penguin, HarperCollins, Simon & Schuster, and Hachett. What does all this scream out, Apple is looking at the magazine / ebook market and it’s not a secret with all the partnerships and slightly larger than eBook readers sizing.

Although most of the software chunks that have been missed out are going to be definitely plugged in by the Army of private Apple developers, the main trick that they have lost is in the hardware. Not including a camera for the front and the back was a cardinal sin if any for a device this powerful. 2 Way video chat would be ideal on a device like this and also the inclusion of a camera at the back would have given a break to the frustrated Augmented Reality world. What could have been is something I will ponder over the next post. But for now, unless Apple really works towards providing some hardware / software fixes to this device I am sure it will just settle into the eBook reader category with very little success. Sorry Mr. Jobs, this was a bad Job.

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.