The Battle to be the Best Smart Watch

With reports stating that over 5 million smart watches will be shipped in 2014, it makes sense to look at smart watches as one of the key emerging markets for communication technology in the near future. The watches are meant to be accessories that work with the user’s smartphone, making it easier for the user to run applications or keep up with emails and text messages.
Most smart watches also have GPS capabilities. Many of the these devices use Bluetooth as a means of connection, though more and more smart watches are able to use Wi-Fi in order to communicate with smartphones, tablets, and other devices. Wi-Fi internet capability is an important factor for most smart watch users, and ease of access to Wi-Fi could make all the difference if manufacturers want to see smart watches used more widely.
There are rumors that Google, Apple, and other big manufacturers are going to be getting in on the smart watch game soon. Many companies both large and small are producing their own smart watches, so here is a critical comparison of some of the smart watches available for purchase.

 Samsung Galaxy Gear
The Galaxy Gear was released in the summer of 2013 and reviews have been largely mixed. The smart watch has received praise for its attractiveness and easy-to-read screen, but it has also faced some criticism. The device connects to the parent phone through Bluetooth, meaning that it has no Wi-Fi capabilities.

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Android Fingerprint Sensor To Come – Very Soon!

Apple’s new iPhones were announced with a lot of noise, as usual, and while there are people who (correctly or not) say that there isn’t anything revolutionary about the iPhone 5S and iPhone 5C, the fingerprint sensor certainly got a lot of attention. Unsurprisingly, Android is reported to be close behind Apple when it comes to incorporating this technology in phones running the system

The FIDO Alliance, which is composed of tech companies, is the driving force behind this initiative. Big names are associated with this group, including Lenovo and PayPal. Basically, they want to achieve a technical standard that will benefit both manufacturers and users. According to Michael Barrett, the president of the group, the intention of FIDO is “absolutely that it will allow consumers to have access to mobile services that they can use with very low friction, while keeping good security. That’s explicitly what we want to build.
Sounds absolutely good to me.
Then again, there is the question Apple’s Touch ID technology. In spite of some glitches it has encountered, it is out there; and the thing is, it is NOT FIDO-compliant.
What’s that going to do with the goal of establishing technical standards? Are we going to see a coming together of tech giants, or is this only going to further serve to splinter the scene? Barrett does say that Apple is a potential user of FIDO, although not in the next few years.
In any case, according to Barrett, Android users should not be envious of iPhone users due to the lack of fingerprint sensors from the former. (As if Android enthusiasts would envy iOS users of anything!) Within six months, he says, your Android phone will have a fingerprint sensor – if you buy a new one.

However, there is little information about Android phone manufacturers who have taken on the FIDO standard. There has been talk about the HTC One Max and Pantech Vega Note getting the fingerprint sensor, though.
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IPad Mini 2 Rumours

As always there are numerous rumors doing the rounds about Apple’s next update for one of its iOS products the iPad mini 2. Over the past few months, there have been various leaks, speculations and reports which have all added to the mystery around the next generation of iPad mini.

Better Resolution

For the iPad 2 and the iPad mini, both displays saw 1024 x 768 pixel resolution which wasn’t too impressive at all. Users complained that they could easily make out the 163 pixels per inch on the display. Now though, there are rumors that the iPad mini2 will feature 324 pixels per inch.

Patently Apple have encouraged rumors saying that Apple have been discussing the possibility of building a premier display with LG to push the pixel count per inch to over 400 for the iPad mini 3.

It’s Got The Looks

After a Chinese website leaked a photo of what looked like a gold iPad Mini 2, there is now also speculation that the new version of the mini iPad will be available in different colors. The picture in question also appeared to show a touch ID fingerprint scanner like the one featured on the iPhone 5s. There’s also supposed to be a 8MP camera on the latest mini iPad.

When Will It Be Out?

There is some speculation about the fact that Wallmart has dropped prices for the iPad mini. Certain people believe this might be because Wallmart have information on an updated version of the iOS product coming out soon. Normally, Apple have been keeping to a yearly update schedule for such things but then the iPad 4 was released only 6 months after the 3rd generation of the iPad sparking rumors that Apple might be leading towards a bi-annual release for the iPads.

One thing is for sure though, whether any of the above rumors are true or not, Apple have certainly got a buzz around their iPad mini 2.
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Improved Camera For The iPad 5 & iPad Mini 2

According to the KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi-Kuo, we could see the iPad 5 and second-generation iPad Mini with far better cameras when they are unveiled.
Kuo, whos predictions aren’t always correct, thinks that both of Apple’s new tablets will be launched in the fourth quarter of this year and will be sporting upgraded cameras. The analyst has said that the rear camera, which currently has five megapixels, will be updated to have an eight megapixel sensor.

He also expects the aperature to be increased, improving picture quality, much the same as the iPhone 5S. It could be that Apple also throw in some of the new software-based camera features from the iPhone 5S, like the slow-motion shooting capability.
The iPad 5 is thought to keep the 9.7-inch screen but have a significantly smaller surface area.
As for the iPad Mini 2, thinks are a little more uncertain. A Retina display was on the cards for this model but according to a report, the work has only just started on manufacturing the displays. So it is possible that will not see a launch of this tablet until next year, or maybe a very small number will be available at the end of this year.
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Instant Translation Glasses For 2020 Tokyo Olympics

Japan’s NTT Docomo has sparked new excitement for the Tokyo Olympics by announcing that a 5G network 100 times faster than LTE and augmented reality glasses that can do instant translations, will both be ready by 2020.

These new innovations were displayed at the CEATEC 2013 event in Tokyo this week. The network technology is still early on in the development stage but it does reveal that NTT Docomo plans to deliver a very fast network with 1,000 times the capacity of LTE.

However NTT isn’t the first to announce plans for 5G. Huawei spoke of a similar super-fast network back in August and Samsung too has demonstrated 1Gbps wireless technology.

NTT hasn’t provided much detail about the network but apparently the firm is hoping to tap higher frequencies with small cells used to boost coverage in certain areas.

As well as the network, NTT Docomo also showcased augmented reality glasses which can instantly translate text. So far the translation time is five seconds but this is likely to improve as the technology is refined.

These would certainly be a useful tool for those visiting Japan in 2020 but they will need to be spot on to avoid embarassing and albeit hilarious mis-translations.

The glasses also have the ability to interact with a flat surface as if it was a touchscreen. It works with a specially designed ring that records and relays hand movements of the user.

It will be interesting to see how these two technologies enhance the enjoyment of the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.
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IMotion 3D Controller Could Replace The Mouse

Singapore based company, Intellect Motion started to design the iMotion 3D controller a few years ago with the hope of utilizing the controller to help in the field of sports rehabilitation. Sometime last year, the company started making moves to bring the controller to the Gaming world and have now announced the launch of a crowd funding campaign on Kickstarter. The small controller will allow people to replace their mouse and simply wave their arms to move the controller/character on screen.

The iMotion 3D controller straps to the hand and uses a combination of LED sensors, accelerometers and gyroscopes to track the movements of a player’s body and use the player’s hand as the controller. The team at Engadget had a little practice with the controller and found that after a little getting used to, the controller worked quite well with Angry Birds and a shoot ‘em up game.

One of the highlights about the controller is the fact that it can be used with any app or game without any special equipment other than the controller itself and the iMotion software that will come with it. Intellect Motion plan to release an SDK with the controller to enable developers of games and apps to tweak their products for a better user experience with the iMotion controller and game, making certain actions more precise for example.

Raising Funds

The developers of the controller are intent on bringing the controller to the public and are asking for interested parties to get involved with raising funds to complete development. People can help do this by pre-ordering the controller for $49 which will go towards the $100,000 target that Intellect Motion has set. Anyone who misses this offer will be able to purchase one for $59 (up to 2000 controllers at this price) and the final price for the 3D motion controller will be $79.
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Scientists Charge Nokia Phone With Lightning

Bringing something to life through the power of lightning sounds more like a theme from a novel or movie but scientists  have been able to charge a mobile phone with the help of a lightning bolt.

Scientists from the University of Southampton have got together with Nokia and carried out a proof-of-concept experiment. It is hoped that by harnessing this natural power source, areas with a short electricity supply could use this as an alternative energy source.

The team used a transformer to recreate a lightning bolt in the laboratory by passing 200,000 volts across an 11-inch air gap.
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Samsung’s Next Phone May Not Bend The Way You Thought

There has been alot of hype recently over certain smartphones being developed with bendable screens. Samsung, LG and Nokia have all been reported to be experimenting with kinetic displays, but contain your excitement because it is more likely that these smartphones will have a contoured display.

So what is the difference? Well a bendable screen is one you can actually wiggle and bend, a contoured display is a screen that has a glass topper molded into a subtle stationary arc.
Some devices already feature the curved display, such as the Samsung Galaxy Nexus S. The YotaPhone, which is curently in development, achieves the desired curve through formed Gorilla Glass 3 as the cover glass material.
Seeing as Samsung can already produced contoured displays, it is likely that the new smartphone, which is expected this month,  will feature a curved screen allowing its face to fit to your cheek, making it  alot more comfortable to conduct long phone conversations. It will also help the smartphone to stand out from its competitors, changing the standard shape of phones from a box-like form and into something far more interesting and appealing.
But what about bendable displays. Well unfortunately that is still something for the future. A material that is flexible enough but still strong so as not to break is a big ask.
Major advancements in engineering and the necessary materials are needed before the tech industry can start to think about selling us a truly bendable device.
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Charge Your iPhone By Hand

Mipwr, the mobile technology innovation group have been thinking long and hard about emergency power sources for mobile phones and they have come up with a solution that relies on years old technology. With the Mipwr case, you can protect and charge your iPhone by hand.
Dynamo Electricity
The team at Mipwr have used the 182 year old principle of Electromagnetic induction to enable people to use their phones in an emergency situation. Electromagnetic induction uses magnetic fields to control electricity. The plastic casing that will slip easily over the iPhone will contain a magnet. As the user pushes the paddle attached to the case, the magnet will be turned and begin to create an electric charge which in turn, gives the phone some juice (after the Mipwr backup battery that gives an additional 2 hours talk time has died as well).

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Mc Afee's Anti NSA Device For Under $100 prevents tracking our Locations

John McAfee is a very unusual man.  He was previously employed by NASA, in the 1980′s he began developing software to combat computer viruses and in 1987 he started up McAfee Associates, his Anti Virus Company.  He is now 68 years old and still very active in the technology markets.  He is currently and for the last couple of year has been involved with bacterial quorum sensing.  The company QuorumEx‘s headquarters is in Belize.

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Keep your files and photos safe with Network Attached Storage (NAS)

If you're anything like us, you'll have several tablets, phones or computers in your home. Multiple device use has increased significantly over the last decade – and that's before you get to other home entertainment devices such as smart TVs or digital photo frames. The trouble with all these devices is that they can all create or display content, so the challenge is increasingly about knowing where your photos, music and files are stored.

And, while your photos may sync between your iPad and iPhone, do you have a plan so you can get them onto your PC or display them on your TV? You almost need to have a strategy in place just to deal with your photos! After all, the danger is that you could lose the precious photo you snapped on your iPad just because you'd forgotten that was where you'd left it. No longer is backup just about making a copy of all the important stuff on your main computer's hard drive.
That's why network storage is the best option. NAS (or network attached storage) uses a hard drive that sits on your network, can be accessed by all devices and can have its storage expanded when necessary – no longer is there the need to spend out money on incremental USB thumb drives, burning DVDs or spend time copying to short-term external hard drives. What's more, copying to something on your own network is far faster than using cloud storage services.
Not only is it a central repository for files, photos and music in your home, but you can access all your stuff from any device that connects to your network or even over the internet when you're not in the house. You can also easily share your files within your home or office, with user accounts and user privileges that you decide upon. What's more, you can also back it up to a cloud-based storage service such as Dropbox, too, while many NAS boxes with multiple drives can back themselves up with RAID technology.
Inside a NAS box there are standard size 2.5-inch and 3.5-inch hard drives that you find in laptop and desktop PCs respectively. But while standard hard drives are designed for reliability within a PC or Mac, it's better to have purpose-built drives for use with network storage because of the always-on nature of network storage and the fact most NAS boxes can be configured for self-backup. That's where the WD Red family of hard drives come in – WD Red is the best drive for NAS and has been certified to work with many of the big name NAS boxes.
When choosing a hard drive for a specific application, it's important to consider the level of reliability that will be needed and the strain that might be placed on that drive. That's why WD Red has been designed specifically for use in NAS applications.
With WD Red drives for NAS, Every component and decision was built on a passion and determination to deliver the best NAS experience. WD Red delivers, with massive capacity and our NASware 2.0 software, which further improves drive reliability and protects your data in the event of a power loss or power disruption.
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Android 4.4 KitKat release date, news and rumors

Well, this is a surprise. Having long expected version 5.0 of Android to be given the code name Key Lime Pie, Google has instead handed the 'K' release name to Android 4.4 and in a weird cross-promotional deal it's called it Android KitKat.
As part of the deal Nestle is running a contest to win a Nexus 7 or Google Play credit through specially branded Kit Kat bars.
So, apart from the fact that the chocolate bar has a space between Kit and Kat and Android 4.4 doesn't. what do we know about KitKat so far?

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