Amazon Debuts New Hybrid Prototype for its Prime Air Drones

Two years after it first announced its Prime Air drone project, Amazon has unveiled its latest UAV prototype, with plans to eventually deliver packages to customers in less than 30 minutes. In a video featuring former “Top Gear” host Jeremy Clarkson, a new hybrid design is introduced — a larger vehicle that is essentially part helicopter and part airplane. The drone can still take off and land vertically, but it can also shift to a horizontal flight mode with the capability of flying 55 mph for more than 15 miles. Continue reading Amazon Debuts New Hybrid Prototype for its Prime Air Drones

Apple Goes After Enterprise With High-End, Pricier iPad Pro

Apple’s new iPad Pro is the company’s biggest, priciest tablet and the first aimed squarely at enterprise users. The company says it’s pitting the iPad Pro against laptops, not other tablets, but it almost immediately draws comparisons with Microsoft’s Surface, that company’s business-focused tablet. Apple has not typically targeted the enterprise market, but this new focus is driven by the need to bolster revenues in light of declining iPhone revenues. Sales of the iPad have also declined since the 2013 peak of 71 million units. Continue reading Apple Goes After Enterprise With High-End, Pricier iPad Pro

Ad-Blockers Improve Load Times, Battery Life and Phone Bills

While ethical questions can be raised in regards to ad-blocking, the advantages seem obvious. All those ads clutter up the page, slow down load times and eat up battery life, say proponents of ad-blocking software. Over four days, staffers from The New York Times tested ad-blocking apps Crystal, Purify and 1Blocker on their iPhones, and “measured how much the programs cut down on Web page data sizes and improved loading times, and also how much they increased the smartphone’s battery life.” The results favored ad-blockers for mobile devices. Continue reading Ad-Blockers Improve Load Times, Battery Life and Phone Bills

Qualcomm Debuts Small, Light Drone with 4K Camera Support

Qualcomm has introduced Snapdragon Flight, a platform for consumer drones that has been under development for the last six months. Named after Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 801 processor, the platform supports a 4K video camera, two cameras for depth and a fourth for indoor stabilization. Snapdragon Flight supports Sony IMX camera sensors for video and Omnivision OV7251 sensors for computer vision. Companies that adopt the platform should be able to develop drones for sale within the first half of 2016. Continue reading Qualcomm Debuts Small, Light Drone with 4K Camera Support

Amazon’s New $50 Tablet a 180-Turn From Pricey Fire Phone

Amazon took a $170 million write down in October, largely due to its Fire smartphone, which was priced the same as the iPhone, a fact that drew strong criticism. Despite offering a free year of Prime membership and steep price cuts, the Amazon Fire failed to gain traction. Now, taking that lesson to heart, Amazon will release, in time for the holidays, a $50 tablet, making it one of the least expensive such devices on the market. Experts wonder if the compromises required to achieve that price will leave consumers dissatisfied. Continue reading Amazon’s New $50 Tablet a 180-Turn From Pricey Fire Phone

Intel Aims to Reinvigorate PC Sales with New Skylake Chips

Intel hopes to reverse the trend of declining PC sales with the release of its new line of computer chips. Based on a design called Skylake, the chips are the sixth generation of the company’s Core processor line and feature more performance and less power consumption, as well as fewer wires and a host of new technologies including facial recognition. Intel hopes that the new chips, together with Microsoft’s just-released Windows 10 operating system, will encourage consumers to replace 500 million PCs older than four years. Continue reading Intel Aims to Reinvigorate PC Sales with New Skylake Chips

DxO ONE Camera Turns iPhone into Professional Level Device

A French company that creates image-processing software and an industry measurement for sensor quality just released DxO ONE, a $600 sensor and lens that plugs into the iPhone camera. DxO Labs created the ONE to feature a 1-inch image sensor (that’s six-and-a-half times bigger than the iPhone 6’s native sensor) and the equivalent of a 32mm fixed lens whose aperture opens to F1.8. The resulting 20.2-megapixel images are a considerable improvement over photos taken with the iPhone camera and competitive with those taken by pro level DSLRs. Continue reading DxO ONE Camera Turns iPhone into Professional Level Device

Tethered Drones Offer Longer Flight Times and Better Control

Since most UAVs are limited by short battery lives and face the possibility of flying into other aircraft, some companies have introduced tethered drones that are connected to the ground by ultrastrong, lightweight cables. These drones offer longer flight times, more control, and faster data transmission. Several industries have plans for these drones: CNN plans to use them for news coverage, the military for surveillance, and industries such as construction and agriculture for data gathering on their operations. Continue reading Tethered Drones Offer Longer Flight Times and Better Control

New Google Glass to Feature Larger Prism and Intel Atom CPU

Google Glass “Enterprise Edition,” expected to go into testing this fall, will feature several notable updates to its hardware, including a larger prism display, a better Intel Atom processor and longer battery life. The new version reportedly corrects the eyestrain problems of the previous Explorer Edition, improves upon screen quality, and exhibits better heat management. Users of Enterprise Edition will be able to look up comfortably, without feeling the need to look up and to the right, as was the case with the earlier version. Continue reading New Google Glass to Feature Larger Prism and Intel Atom CPU

New Standard Could Bring 8K to Laptops and Mobile Devices

The Video Electronics Standards Association (VESA) has developed a new standard to enhance the resolution display of laptops and all-in-one PCs. VESA’s improvement to its Embedded DisplayPort (eDP) from version 1.4 to 1.4a will enable laptops and desktops to support images at a 7680 x 4320 resolution. As of now, 8K displays have only existed on high-end TVs but VESA anticipates the technology will be supported by computers, mobile phones and tablets in the coming years.  Continue reading New Standard Could Bring 8K to Laptops and Mobile Devices

Google Developing a Standalone Android System for Vehicles

With its Android Auto software arriving in 2015, Google is already focusing on its next project, one that would allow drivers to make use of Android in their cars without a smartphone. As of now, the use of smartphone auto tech, including Android Auto, requires the presence of a smartphone inside the vehicle. For Google, part of the challenge moving forward will be in convincing automakers to adopt software that would potentially be an integral part of a car’s brand identity. Continue reading Google Developing a Standalone Android System for Vehicles

New Hardware Lets Developers Make Their Own Smart Devices

Startup Haltian has created a hardware device for the Internet of Things so that developers do not have to worry about designing and manufacturing the gadget. Developers can get straight to finding new ways to implement the open-source Thingsee One device, which is packed with different types of sensors that can send notifications back to an app. Thingsee One uses a 2G radio to communicate with the mobile app, so that battery life can last up to a year without charging. Continue reading New Hardware Lets Developers Make Their Own Smart Devices

Battery Using Nanodots Charges Mobile Phone in 30 Seconds

Tel Aviv-based StoreDot claims it has developed a battery technology that can charge a mobile phone in 30 seconds and an electric car in mere minutes. The prototype can reportedly store a higher charge more quickly by using nanotechnology to synthesize artificial molecules. Bio-organic peptide molecules known as “nanodots” enable the rapid absorption and retention of power. StoreDot is aiming to have a slimmer version of the current prototype available for the smartphone market by 2016. Continue reading Battery Using Nanodots Charges Mobile Phone in 30 Seconds

Microsoft Plans to Debut New Smartwatch in Next Few Weeks

Microsoft is joining Apple, Fitbit, musician will.i.am and others gearing up to offer new smartwatches. Microsoft’s wearable — a smartwatch that will track your heart rate, work across different mobile platforms, and run for more than two days of regular use before needing a charge — is expected to launch in the next few weeks. A name for the device or its retail cost is not yet known. Microsoft joins a growing field as the wearable tech market is forecasted to be worth $7.1 billion as early as next year. Continue reading Microsoft Plans to Debut New Smartwatch in Next Few Weeks

Nintendo Upgrades New 3DS for Hardcore Game Experiences

Nintendo has announced the New Nintendo 3DS, with upgrades including better graphics and faster Internet speeds. The new device, which will make its debut October 11 in Japan, features a second analog joystick, two added shoulder buttons, more battery life and Micro SD card support. Everything about the design, particularly the addition of buttons, signals a shift in Nintendo’s focus to hardcore gamers. The New Nintendo 3DS will come in two models priced at about $160 to $180. Continue reading Nintendo Upgrades New 3DS for Hardcore Game Experiences