Archive for the ‘Samsung’ Category

The idea of virtual reality has been around for a very long time, but few have been able to perfect the idea like the boys at Oculus Rift.

This company not only smashed through its Kickstarter campaign goals but still has investment flowing in with Facebook purchasing the company and now Samsung working with them to create a headset for its own media.

Of course, in any great market, others will strive to take a piece of the pie as the public is hungry for the new technology. The gaming industry is worth nearly $80bn, and some games gross more than some films nowadays so the fruit is there for the picking.

Oculus may be seeing its first real rival from China in the form of ANTVR. Still small and mobile enough to do what it wants without the huge corporate board that Oculus has with Facebook peering over its shoulder demanding results.

The ANTVR Kit includes a customisable remote, which is compatible with all games. The coolest form the remote takes is the hand gun which I think most of us will enjoy, giving you that "Time Crisis" type feel which we all enjoyed back in the 90's arcade scene.

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The controller can be a simple joy pad, or happily transform into a joystick or steering wheel making it very versatile.

The headset is equipped with Full HD display (1920x1080, 1.03 megapixel per eye) and will give an IMAX style viewing environment with its large screen. They creators have even thought about glasses wearers making sure there is enough room inside to still wear them. It supports all the mainstream platforms including PC, Xbox, PlayStation and Android devices. All you need is a standard HDMI signal to use the headset as a screen.

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The headset can be wireless, but currently it is an expensive add-on which we don't really think you need. We do like the idea of the "shotgun style" bullet reload to change the batteries in the device.

This is certainly a formidable rival for Oculus, it's price point is pretty much the same and it looks no lesser quality than its bigger brother and presents Oculus with a spin....the cool controller.

Starting at $300 with an estimated delivery date of September, we really cannot wait to test these out for ourselves.

Over on Kickstarter

In the last few years BMW have been known for the fibre optic iDrive system, a screen in the centre console which not only can see the status of many aspects of the car, but also let you control a great deal of those aspects. This system has had its faults (As all BMW drivers will tell you) but it was still ahead of most of the competition.

Recent BMW’s have been arriving with the new updated versions of iDrive which include connected apps and more integration with our smartphones. This is a great move for the German car company as what we would all like is the API’s to be released so that developers could make their own apps to control/see parts of the car.

Today, BMW announced the updates to ConnectDrive which is a great step in the right direction. Apple’s Siri stepping straight in to control overall voice command and the addition of Samsung’s very own S-Voice, offering the option to Android users. These service will allow the user to dictate messages along with voice commands inside the car while on the move.

Along with this update, we also see a touch pad creeping onto the centre console which can be used instead of the infamous twist controller, this can be used to zoom in and out of maps. A USB connection will also not be required in order to access one’s music library on an Apple iPhone or iPod Touch. iAP will make it possible to browse and select music using the BMW controller and screen via a wireless A2DP Bluetooth connection with the same functionality as with USB connection. We also now see updates across Navigation, web access and Real time traffic info, but BMW have said that they are moving towards having automatic collision notifications being as standard, so a call centre will know when an air bag is deployed and where you are.

The other cool update is the amount of 3rd party apps that are being accepted, this includes Pandora, TuneIn and Rhapsody and soon will include Android compatibility for all of you who do not own an iPhone.

Our cars are slowly catching up with the rest of the tech world, but are seriously lagging considering what we can do with most other devices in our lives.

Come on guys, there is so much more potential in these information/entertainment systems, open source them and let developers have a play, then we will see how advanced our cars can really be!

connecteddrive

 

 

Fitbit, the San Francisco based company who aim to make all of our lives more healthy, have today launched the Fitbit Flex wristband for pre-sale in the UK after a US launch on Monday.

The company say “We take a common sense approach to fitness, and believe that the key is to make it easier for consumers to be more active, eat smarter, and get enough sleep — in short, that small changes to your daily routine can add up to big results. To that end, we aim to create innovative, inspiring products and online services that harness the power of new technologies to make people more aware of their everyday activities and motivate them to do more.”

Going in direct competition with the likes of Nike’s Fuelband or the Jawbone UP (covered back in March), the company has come in and undercut both of these offerings.

The wristband will sync with iOS and Android devices via Bluetooth 4.0 and is meant to be worn day and night with a 5-7 day rechargeable battery life. The Flex can track the amount of steps taken, calories burned, distance traveled and the amount of hours slept and then update this data to your smartphone or computer.

As expected, the wristband is water-resistant and neatly has a silent wake alarm to bring you back to life at the best time in your sleep pattern. The little LED’s on the device show how well you are doing on any set goals you have applied to yourself via the software to keep motivating you during your day.

It’s pretty much like the others in its field, but at a lower price point. The only issue we see at the moment is that the wristband is only compatible with some new select Android devices in the form of the Samsung Galaxy S 3 and Note 2(iOS 4S upwards), but the company have said that they will be updating this very soon after launch.

Pre-order for £79.99 delivering in spring 2013.

fitbit flex

 

 

 

The latest version of the Note is now for sale at the Samsung Experience store in Westfields in Stratford City. At the moment this is the only place you can purchase the tablet and for the time being it will only be available in a 16gb Wi-Fi only edition.

The tablet includes a suite of S Note tools for your documents, multi-tasking and multi-window view splitting, which when paired with the 8-inch screen comfortably allows a number of applications to run at the same time.

In store, from April 15th, a limited number of customers will receive a 2 month subscription to The Times newspaper, 50gb DropBox account free for 2 years, free access to the Samsung Music Hub and a couple of games with every Note 8.

The Galaxy Note 8 is packing a 1.6GHz quad-core A9 processor, a 1280x900p display, 2GB RAM and a much needed microSD slot which support up to 64gb cards which is essential with a 16gb only internal storage.

 

Note 8

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Earlier this morning Bloomberg reported that Samsung have now confirmed they are working on a Smart Watch.

In a Bloomberg interview with Executive Vice President of Mobile at Samsung, Lee Young confirmed “We are preparing products for the future, and the watch is definitely one of them”. Amid rumours that Apple are working on the iWatch, Samsung’s Lee states “the issue here is who will first commercialize it so consumers can use it meaningfully”.

Samsung are not new to the Smart Watch territory, back in 2009 they released the S9110 which was a flop as it tried to cram an entire phone into a 11.89mm thick watch sacrificing a lot of features. The difference between then and now, is that the general theme that these companies are following is having a watch which doesn’t replicate the Dick Tracy or Michael Knight style, using the watch to talk through, but merely using the watch as a portal to the phone, showing notifications from Facebook, Twitter and email and being able to read text messages or control the volume of your phone.

The one thing that is certain, is that both Apple & Samsung will come up against some serious competition in the form of the immensely successful Kickstarter project, Pebble, and also the likes of Cookoo which both offer low powered Bluetooth connectivity to your mobile with multiple notifications at a glance, geofencing and both are open sourced with access to API’s.

The problem with Apple and Samsung, is that they will probably lock the watch down to iOS or Android, where as the Cookoo and Pebble both allow the user to use any phone they wish.

The biggest issue is not what the phone will do, or if Apple produce a better product than Samsung, it’s how these companies will displace the major players in the watch market off of your wrist. I am sure The Watch Spy will agree that it will be unlikely that we will see somebody wearing a Breitling on one wrist and an Apple iWatch on the other.

We look forward to seeing how this race pans out as both are rumoured to be out in 2013….

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The Galaxy S4 was finally announced last night in New York after a week of Chinese leaks and Samsung flash mob marketing on the streets. After an opening of music and theatrics, the smartphone was unveiled and once again it did not disappoint.

The S4 has a few new features, while keeping some of the best spec from its older brother. Samsung have not changed the look a great deal except for making it slightly slimmer and giving it a bigger screen.

Here are the main updates to the S4;

Updated 5″ 1080p Super AMOLED screen 441ppi
16, 32 or 64GB of internal storage
1.9Ghz quad-core processor
2GB of RAM
IR-blaster built into the phone
WiFi 802.11ac support on top of the usual a/b/g/n
2,600mAh battery
13-megapixel rear-facing camera & 2-megapixel forward-facing
Running Android 4.2.2 out of the box
Dimensions 136.6 x 69.8 x 7.9mm
Inductive charging mat (too late Apple)

Samsung Galaxy S4

The Galaxy S4 is due to be announced tonight as the flagship smartphone in the Samsung armoury.

This model has always been the thorn in Apple’s side, but with Blackberry releasing the “Z10” (receiving a record 1 million handset order), Sony releasing the awesome “Xperia Z” and HTC releasing the “One” will this smartphone impress once more?

In a well timed WSJ interview with Apple’s Phil Schiller, the exec talks about how Android still needs to catch up with Apple in the user experience, stating “When you take an Android device out of the box, you have to sign up to nine accounts with different vendors to get the experience iOS comes with….They don’t work seamlessly together”.

The Galaxy S4 is rumoured to have the following spec;

1.8GHz 8-Core CPU
2600mAh Battery
2GB Ram
4.9 Inch Full HD 1080p Display
MicroSD Slot
Smart Eye Tracking

Of course we have had the normal slideshow of Chinese leak pics, but the phone will be officially unveiled in New York tonight at midnight.

Galaxy S4