CES Keynotes to Go Well Beyond Typical Hardware and Devices

The showpiece keynote sessions at the 2015 International CES underscore the scope of industry and breadth of innovation gathering in Las Vegas January 5-9. Of this year’s four featured keynote speakers, two represent leading automobile manufacturers, one is the CEO of a leading tech giant, and only Samsung’s Boo-Keun Yon, opening the show on Monday night at the Venetian’s Palazzo Ballroom, represents what would be considered a typical CES keynote highlighting consumer electronics devices. Continue reading CES Keynotes to Go Well Beyond Typical Hardware and Devices

VSN Mobil Device Joins Crowded Field of Panoramic Cameras

VSN Mobil has begun shipping its $399 V.360, billed as “the first device to capture 360 degrees of video or still images with a 4K/16 megapixel imager in full 1080p high definition.” The camera, currently available via Amazon and VSN Mobil’s store, could become the GoPro of panoramic video, an emerging market sector growing in popularity amongst manufacturers. The V.360 joins a variety of panoramic offerings, including the 360cam, the Bublcam, the Centr, the Giroptic and the Panono. Continue reading VSN Mobil Device Joins Crowded Field of Panoramic Cameras

New York City Plans to Transform Pay Phones into Wi-Fi Hubs

The aging pay phones of New York City are getting a digital makeover. Mayor Bill de Blasio’s office announced a five-borough “LinkNYC” plan to give New York City residents access to free and fast Internet service. The “Link” devices, installed as replacements to the city’s 6,400 coin-operated pay phones, will also provide free phone calling and a free charging station. City officials expect the digital advertisements on the Link devices to bring in at least $20 million in annual ad revenue. Continue reading New York City Plans to Transform Pay Phones into Wi-Fi Hubs

Broadcom Bows Out of Intel’s Open Interconnect Consortium

Broadcom has left the Open Interconnect Consortium, a standards group for the Internet of Things that was created by Intel as an alternative to Qualcomm’s AllSeen Alliance. Sources say the split had to do with a disagreement over intellectual property. OIC members are required to donate code to the group, and additionally must agree to forfeit the right to sue over that IP in the future. The AllSeen Alliance does not have such a provision, which is a primary difference between the two organizations. Continue reading Broadcom Bows Out of Intel’s Open Interconnect Consortium

Google X Project: Building Large-Scale Modular Video Displays

Google X, Google’s secretive advanced projects lab, is currently developing large-scale video displays that are comprised of smaller modular screens intended to plug together like Legos to form a seamless image. According to people familiar with the previously undisclosed project, the displays can be configured in different shapes and sizes. The project is led by Mary Lou Jepsen, former MIT professor who co-founded the One Laptop Per Child project and three startups involving display technology. Continue reading Google X Project: Building Large-Scale Modular Video Displays

AT&T Expects to Begin Deployment of LTE Multicast in 2015

AT&T plans to make LTE Broadcast technology available sometime next year. Also known as LTE Multicast, the technology is based upon evolved Multimedia Broadcast Multicast Service (eMBMS), which allows for content to be sent to a large number of subscribers simultaneously, leading to a more efficient use of network resources. AT&T plans to use Qualcomm’s 700MHz D and E Block spectrum that it acquired in 2011. Content delivery is expected to change dramatically with the new service. Continue reading AT&T Expects to Begin Deployment of LTE Multicast in 2015

Black Hat: Smartphones Next Target of Cybersecurity Threats

At this week’s Black Hat security conference, researchers plan to unveil different techniques for easily taking over a smartphone without alerting the user or phone company. Security consultant Mathew Solnik will outline the ways in which he can use the Internet to hack anyone’s phone from 30 feet away. Georgia Institute of Technology students will present the ways in which they can take over the latest iPhone. And a researcher from Bluebox will show how Android apps can steal user data. Continue reading Black Hat: Smartphones Next Target of Cybersecurity Threats

Nokia Experiments with Broadcasting TV Through LTE Network

Nokia is testing a new service in Munich that would allow viewers to get TV broadcasts from the Bayerischer Rundfunk company through airwaves on the LTE network. Nokia has already tried LTE-Broadcast technology in the U.S., but this trial is more like a traditional broadcast network because it sends out the same video signals to everyone. LTE-Broadcast is an industry standard, and if it’s successful, broadcasters will be able to reach millions of people through their mobile devices. Continue reading Nokia Experiments with Broadcasting TV Through LTE Network

Nitero WiGig Chip Brings Multi-Gigabit Speeds to Smartphones

Last week, wireless startup Nitero unveiled its first WiGig radio silicon. The low-power WiGig chip is targeted at smartphones, tablets and TVs, specifically to transfer large files in a short range at extremely fast speeds. For example, the WiGig chip can stream 4K video from a TV to a smartphone using high frequency 60GHz waves. Nitero’s 28-nanometer WiGig chip reportedly consumes 10 times less power than competing chips from Wilocity. Continue reading Nitero WiGig Chip Brings Multi-Gigabit Speeds to Smartphones

Thread Group Formed to Promote IP-Based Networking Protocol

Google-owned Nest, maker of smart thermostats and smoke alarms, was one of seven companies that announced a new consortium yesterday called the Thread Group, which plans to promote the online connection of devices through a new IP-based, wireless networking protocol called Thread. Chris Boross, president of the consortium and head of technical marketing at Nest, said the group is looking at “250 products per home network” in order to “provide ample room for growth in the future.” Continue reading Thread Group Formed to Promote IP-Based Networking Protocol

Open Interconnect Consortium Plans to Develop IoT Standards

Last week, we reported that Microsoft was joining Qualcomm and 50 other members of the AllSeen Alliance, in an effort to develop open source standards for the Internet of Things. Yesterday, a group of tech companies led by Intel announced the formation of a competing organization. The Open Interconnect Consortium — which also includes Atmel, Broadcom, Dell and Samsung — similarly plans to develop standards for wirelessly connecting devices to each other and the Internet. Continue reading Open Interconnect Consortium Plans to Develop IoT Standards

Qualcomm Acquires Wilocity in Pursuit of WiGig Technology

Qualcomm has acquired Wilocity, a Sunnyvale, California-based startup that works with a high-speed wireless technology called WiGig, which operates at a much higher frequency than Wi-Fi. WiGig has been considered as a potential replacement to wires for sending videos between components in the same room. It could transfer multiple 4K video streams, while Wi-Fi can only handle one. The bet is that WiGig will also become a standard feature on smartphones and other mobile devices. Continue reading Qualcomm Acquires Wilocity in Pursuit of WiGig Technology

IoT: Microsoft Joins the Qualcomm-Backed AllSeen Alliance

Microsoft on Tuesday announced that it is joining Qualcomm and 50 other members of the nonprofit AllSeen Alliance to develop standards for an open source Internet of Things and help promote protocols for how smart devices will interact with each other. Meanwhile, competing companies reportedly have plans to unveil a rival standards consortium as early as next week. Current AllSeen Alliance members include major tech players such as Cisco, LG, Panasonic, Sharp and Technicolor. Continue reading IoT: Microsoft Joins the Qualcomm-Backed AllSeen Alliance

Amazon Unveils New 3D Fire Phone with Dynamic Perspective

Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos unveiled the company’s new Fire Phone yesterday in Seattle. The 4.7-inch smartphone, which features a 3D display that detects where eyes are looking on the screen with “Dynamic Perspective,” will be available July 25 starting at $200. The device includes a scanning feature with its Firefly app, which allows users to scan products, signs, UPC or QR codes (ideal for shopping on Amazon), and Shazam-like features to identify songs and pinpoint scenes in movies or TV shows. Continue reading Amazon Unveils New 3D Fire Phone with Dynamic Perspective

Google 3D Smartphones Will Run on Mantis Vision Technology

Google’s Project Tango is developing 3D smartphones and tablets that can not only render locations and objects, but can also be used to record 3D images and videos. Mantis Vision’s technology, which will be used in the Google Project Tango devices, creates a depth map of a scene so that users can view an image from different perspectives and add different backgrounds and other 3D visual effects. Other electronics companies are investing in the Mantis technology as well. Continue reading Google 3D Smartphones Will Run on Mantis Vision Technology

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