Posts Tagged ‘ Technology Update ’

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.

4 - CLIP MECHANISM +

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 🙂

Nokia charging phone with thin air …

[tweetmeme] We all have had Nokia Phones at some time, and we always have loved them for their robust nature along with their ease of use. A lot of people mention that with the new technologies in the world, Nokia has sort of lost its relevance. I think on the other hand Nokia is looking at different markets than the giant that it has become, iPhone and the Phone that aspires to be the Giant, the Motorola Droid, or the Google Nexus One.

As long as technology is moving on, so is the need for more juice in the batteries of the phones. More requirement for the power means that there will be more advancements required in batteries; or charging for the batteries. What if you dont really have to charge them at all, I mean physically. Ofcourse there are ways, like kinetic energy transformation, solar energy etc. But here’s another concept; Like Nokia I have always been wondering about how much energy is in the air all around us, I am not talking about the energy of people; but more to do with energy of wireless radio systems. Be it FM transmitting radio, GSM signals, Wi-Fi Signals or terrestrial radio systems. What if we could tap into that power to enable mobile phones to pick up the charging of the batteries from there. Completely wireless, and completely practical.

I guess what needs to be worked out is how long it will take to tap this power and how long can you charge the phone with this. Well Nokia is at it again, their innovation well not really aimed at high end phones but mostly innovation like these. Nokia Research center is working on a solution that will help the cause of wireless charging.

Nokia

A new prototype charging system from the company is able to power itself on nothing more than ambient radiowaves – the weak TV, radio and mobile phone signals that permanently surround us. The power harvested is small but it is almost enough to power a mobile in standby mode indefinitely without ever needing to plug it into the mains, according to one of the researchers who developed the device at the Nokia Research Centre in Cambridge, UK. The concept is being worked upon by different fronts, old crystal radio sets and more recently modern radio frequency identification (RFID) tags, increasingly used in shipping and as antitheft devices, are powered purely by radiowaves.

The difference with Nokia’s prototype is that instead of harvesting tiny amounts of power (a few microwatts) from dedicated transmitters, Nokia claims it is able to scavenge relatively large amounts of power — around a thousand times as much — from signals coming from miles away. Individually the energy available in each of these signals is miniscule. But by harvesting radiowaves across a wide range of frequencies it all adds up. Such wireless transfer of energy was first demonstrated by Nikola Tesla in 1893, who was so taken with the idea he attempted to build an intercontinental transmission tower to send power wirelessly across the Atlantic. Nokia’s device is somewhat less ambitious and is made possible thanks to a wide-band antenna and two very simple circuits. The antenna and the receiver circuit are designed to pick up a wide range of frequencies — from 500 megahertz to 10 gigahertz — and convert the electromagnetic waves into an electrical current, while the second circuit is designed to feed this current to the battery to recharge it.

Wireless charging is not intended as a sole energy source, but rather to be used in conjunction with other energy harvesting technologies, such as handset casings embedded with solar cell materials. According to Technology Review magazine, the phone could be on the market in three to five years.

In the meantime, there are other companies who are working on similar concepts  for charging devices wirelessly using the ambient radio waves. At CES 2010, RCA introduced something even better that’s going to be available way sooner: a dongle that tops up your mobile device’s battery via WiFi signals. Notice I didn’t say that it only tops up your cell phone battery; according to RCA reps, this little fella will work with just about all of your mobile devices.

The attachment is efficient enough that it actually provides a noticeable boost to your battery, and given enough time it will charge it to the max. Other similar gizmos have provided only a weak top-up charge at best, so this is a huge improvement. And what’s even better is that the device will be available for around $40 in the summer of 2010. Soon, as long as you’re in an urban environment or around a WiFi router, worrying about your phone’s charge will be the last thing on your mind.

The future applications of the technology are exciting as well. In 2011, RCA expects to release batteries with the WiFi charging capability built right in. There’s no word yet on how much those will cost, but does it matter? The prospect of never having to plug your phone in again will probably be enough to have them flying off of the shelves. Video Included.

Via source and source

Beam me up Scotty ! … Coming Soon … Maybe

If you have been reading my blog regularly, you will know that I usually like to blog about technology from movies coming into real life technology. And the holy grail of technology for most nerds or would be nerds, like me would be the Star Wars and Star Trek movies. Although I am not such a big fan of these movies, (although Star Trek was good) I believe that someday in the future some technologies from the franchise might just come true. Like the Teleportation device that the movies display.

Yes, you read it right, Teleportation. Sending objects from one place to another without really having to travel in the traditional sense; only electronically like sending an email. Once called “spooky action at a distance” by Einstein, quantum entanglement is a fascinating property of quantum mechanics that may one day lead to unlocking the secrets of teleportation. Quantum entanglement describes what happens when two or more particles become inextricably “entangled” so that when something affects one, it affects the others – regardless of the physical distance between them. Scientists have been able to link particles for a few years, but recently a group of researchers from the Australian National University devised a method to make it easier to do so using far less equipment than before.

Recent developments in quantum physics have made the possibility of teleporting matter a theoretical possibility while warp drive still remains a fantasy concept. However, the amount of energy required to move a person and all the other problems that go with it (engineering and ethical) leave quantum teleportation a bit to be desired for practical use. So far, according to team leader Jiri Janousek, the team has been able to use their new method to measure changes to a beam of light from another, entangled, beam of light. They are currently hoping to advance the field of quantum computing with their method, but Janousek says that, by extension, it could be used for teleportation as well. But don’t expect to go home for the holidays via teleportation this year; Janousek says that it will probably be another 50 years or so before we see this type of technology used outside of laboratories.

Michio Kaku, admired futurist and theoretical physicist, sat down to talk with Popular Science about the science of Star Trek and what may or may not become science fact some day. Most interesting was his take on warp-speed travel. To some extent, scientists have already worked out how it might happen. Mexican relativist Miguel Alcubierre examined the question and came up with the solution of bringing the stars to the traveler rather than taking the traveler to the stars: essentially folding space to make the distance traveled much shorter. It’s not a perfect theory, but the fact that it’s being seriously considered by the scientific community is a step toward someday testing that theory.

The idea of Teleportation is not new, it exists from the time of the Bible, yes you read it right; in the gospel of John 6:16-24 which says:

“When evening came, his disciples went down to the lake, where they got into a boat and set off across the lake of Capernaum. By now it was dark, and Jesus had not yet joined them. A strong wind was blowing and the waters grew rough. When they had rowed three or three and a half miles, they saw Jesus approaching the boat, walking on the water; and they were terrified. But he said to them, “It is I; don’t be afraid.” Then they were willing to take him into the boat, and immediately the boat reached the shore where they were heading.”

“The next day the crowd that had stayed on the opposite shore of the lake realized that only one boat had been there, and that Jesus had not entered it with his disciples, but that they had gone away alone. Then some boats from Tiberias landed near the place where the people had eaten the bread after the Lord had given thanks. Once the crowd realized that neither Jesus nor his disciples were there, they got into the boats and went to Capernaum in search of Jesus.”

The lake mentioned here is the Sea of Galilee which averages about 6 miles across. So according to the text above the disciples rowed about 3 1/2 miles across (which means they were somewhere in the middle) and then Jesus appears, walking on water (another miracle) and once they took Him into the boat they immediately appeared at the shore. So Jesus instantly teleported the boat, the twelve disciples another 2 1/2 miles to the shore. Well, so there you go, if all these guys in various labs are working really hard, then very soon we might all be realizing a dream that we as humans have had for over 2000 years.

India Shining: A Technology Update – Part 3 The Government

This is a continuation of my previous two posts about India Shining on Republic Day 2010.

Part 1 : The Military / Part 2 : Space Technologies

In part 3, the spotlight is on the government. I can already see some of us rolling eyes at the screen when we talk about the Indian Government and Technology. To be honest I would have done the same if I had not gone looking for information regarding the use of technology in the Indian Government. Although at a crawling pace, our government has managed to take up certain firm and good initiatives in introducing technology into the government services. However, with increased technology comes increased transparency which I am sure the red tape and bureaucracy within the government can be highlighted. And that is something our government does not want to pitch for.

If you visit the India portal of the government of India we can confirm that, we clearly missed the train with regards to e-Governance and to make up for the failed attempt, the Government IT department which is essentially the National Information Center launched a series of websites over the years. There are specialized websites for all government sectors or at least links that can be found, starting from the personal website of the Honorable President of India, to Centralized Banks. All these links can be found here, In fact you can dig through the services to find out more departments and regional offices as well. As listed here, there are more than 3000 websites dedicated to the Indian Government Departments and organizations. Check them out here as well.

Having said that there are some noteworthy web sites and services that are definitely to be mentioned,

  • ISRO vs. Google Earth : As discussed in the last post, ‘Bhuvan’ the mapping service from ISRO stands out as a jewel in the crown.
  • The work of NIC to spread the improve the Indian web presence worldwide took a huge appreciation last year.
  • The Indian tourism website and the slogan Incredible India are now present worldwide thanks to the effort of the Tourism Department of India, However as a country we are not yet ready to accept mass influx of tourists.

I have visited many state run websites lately and have rarely found one that is well designed and well maintained. It’s worrying when you consider the claim (usually from NASSCOM), that India is a Software Giant. It is said that India is called a Sleeping tiger because India’s progress is not because of government but despite of it. Still, after so many years of impressive growth in software business, if better technology has not reached the Indian governments and the public, something is surely missing.

Having said this I am going to bring about the amazing Indian software sector that undeniably is vastly ahead of its government counterpart, and posts like this might give the required encouragement to software firms to approach government  to upgrade their services, websites etc. to be in a position that we can get in par with the name ‘Software Giant’.