PointGrab to Showcase New Gesture Control Software at CES

Via closed door demos and YouTube videos, Israel-based PointGrab has recently been promoting two new versions of its gesture-recognition software as a lead-up to this week’s CES. For the next generation smart home, AirTouch and PointSwitch will help consumers control devices by using gestures from a distance. The software products, which now work with standard 2D cameras on consumer devices, have already been integrated into TVs and PCs from Acer, Lenovo, Samsung and others.

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CES 2014: Wearable Devices and Technologies Gain Prominence

Wearable technology and personal data — rapidly moving beyond early-adopter status to play an increasingly important role in the marketplace — is a major trend we’ll be examining at CES. The skyrocketing popularity of wearables is no surprise; at last year’s show, Digital Health and Fitness emerged as the second most-talked about topic behind only Ultra HDTV. ABI Research predicts 169.5 million wearable health and fitness devices will be on the market by 2017. Continue reading CES 2014: Wearable Devices and Technologies Gain Prominence

Will iBeacon Revolutionize Interactions in the Physical World?

Apple’s iBeacon and its Bluetooth Low Energy technology may soon revolutionize the way we interact in the physical world — and it’s already built into most iPhones. The technology is growing as more retail stores install sensors to track shoppers. It is also relatively inexpensive and easy to install. And instead of people having to launch an app or whip out a credit card when they’re out and about, their phones will do it for them — automatically. Continue reading Will iBeacon Revolutionize Interactions in the Physical World?

New Athos Fitness Gear Takes the Place of Physical Trainers

A startup called Athos, founded by a pair of electrical engineers from the University of Waterloo, is making sensor laden workout gear to help quantify physical activity. Many people may have an image in their mind of a futuristic workout involving sensor laden workout gear, such as that depicted in the training montage from “Rocky IV.” However, Athos hopes to deliver Under Armor-style workout gear, invisibly embedded with muscle-tracking sensors. Continue reading New Athos Fitness Gear Takes the Place of Physical Trainers

5G Mobile Technology: The End of the Cell as Building Block

Although it seems like 4G mobile technology is relatively new, it has been around since 2006. Specialists are now speculating about what the fifth generation holds. Federico Boccardi at Alcatel-Lucent’s Bell Labs and colleagues are focusing on technologies that are likely to have a disruptive impact on the next generation of mobile communication. They are pinpointing technologies that force us to rethink networks and how devices use them. Continue reading 5G Mobile Technology: The End of the Cell as Building Block

More Retailers Tracking Shoppers with Sensor Technologies

Sensor devices used to track shoppers are becoming more commonplace in shopping malls this holiday season. The devices, often scattered through malls to identify shoppers’ movements, help retailers track how long people are waiting in line and pinpoint where they’re shopping. Some even use heat maps to show where within a store most people are gravitating. The Future of Privacy Forum estimates that approximately 1,000 retailers are using sensors. Continue reading More Retailers Tracking Shoppers with Sensor Technologies

Nexus TV: Google May Launch Android Set-Top Box Next Year

Google is rumored to be working on a set-top box that will run Android, play video games and stream from services such as Netflix, Hulu and YouTube. The device, reportedly named “Nexus TV,” is said to be scheduled for launch in the first half of 2014 and may include a motion sensor that can be controlled with an Android smartphone. Earlier this fall, Google apparently showed developers an early version of the box, which won’t support live broadcast. Continue reading Nexus TV: Google May Launch Android Set-Top Box Next Year

New Sensor Technologies Have Untapped Potential in Retail

Embedded sensor technology has proven to be useful in a number of markets, but some are saying it can revolutionize the retail experience for both companies and consumers if used to its full potential. Though online retail is booming in popularity, many transactions still take place inside physical stores, often with the aid of a mobile device. By linking up those factors, shoppers’ experiences will be more productive, and companies will benefit with greater profits. Continue reading New Sensor Technologies Have Untapped Potential in Retail

3D Systems Portable Handheld Sense Scanner Now Available

The Sense 3D scanner is now available, with a $400 price tag and scanning abilities for objects up to 10 x 10 feet. The handheld device can even digitize a person, and within the next few years, it is expected to become a mainstream consumer product. Sense reviewers are enthusiastic about the scanner, praising its attention to detail and ease of use, although there is a minor learning curve and some have questioned the need for a USB cord. Continue reading 3D Systems Portable Handheld Sense Scanner Now Available

Apple Rumored to be Acquiring 3D Sensor Firm PrimeSense

Rumors are swirling that Apple is close to reaching an acquisition deal with 3D sensor technology company PrimeSense to the tune of $345 million. But if it is true, the deal has not yet gone through, and PrimeSense’s only statement on the matter is vague. If it does happen, however, Apple would potentially be able to use PrimeSense’s motion sensing technology for current or future Apple products, including wearable devices. Continue reading Apple Rumored to be Acquiring 3D Sensor Firm PrimeSense

DSLR Sales Impacted By Ease and Quality of Phone Cameras

High-end camera sales have taken a dive this year, as the popularity of smartphones with powerful built-in cameras and related apps rises. Research firm IDC predicts shipments of digital single-lens reflex, or DSLR, cameras will decrease by more than 9 percent from last year. The two biggest camera manufacturers, Canon and Nikon, have even lowered their expected sales numbers, raising questions about whether consumers’ tastes are changing in an era of mobile devices. Continue reading DSLR Sales Impacted By Ease and Quality of Phone Cameras

New Supercapacitor Can Store Electricity on Silicon Chips

A materials research team at Vanderbilt University has designed a new supercapacitor that is made of silicon and has the potential to power many types of devices, from solar cells to mobile devices. The supercapacitor may be made from excess silicon and can provide significant savings in manufacturing costs. The technology cannot store energy the same as lithium-ion batteries, but supercapacitors have promise in consumer devices.

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Sony’s Newest Pro-Quality Cameras Threaten Bulky DSLRs

Sony’s newest cameras, the Alpha 7 and 7R, are what the company calls “the world’s smallest full-frame interchangeable lens models” — and they’re threatening the bulky DSLRs that have been standard for years. The full-frame sensored cameras weigh only about a pound each, yet they record images that are equal in detail and sharpness to those from larger models like the D800 and the Canon 5D Mark III. The new Sony cameras will be on the market in December. Continue reading Sony’s Newest Pro-Quality Cameras Threaten Bulky DSLRs

Sales of Wearable Devices to Reach $19 Billion by 2018

Juniper Research predicts that sales of wearable connected devices, including smart watches and glasses, will hit $19 billion by 2018, up from the $1.4 billion the industry is expected to generate this year. While issues concerning privacy are emerging, wearable devices are expected to become more popular as a result of advances in wireless connectivity and mobile computing. Juniper also cites consumer demand and the rise of related subscription services as key factors. Continue reading Sales of Wearable Devices to Reach $19 Billion by 2018

Apple Gears Up to Unveil iPad Updates Prior to the Holidays

Apple is expected to hold its next invitation-only event on Tuesday, October 22. On the eve of the holiday rush, Apple is preparing to unveil a slate of updates including the company’s fifth-generation iPad, the new Mac Pro and OS X Mavericks. The new 9.7-inch iPad is expected to be thinner and lighter, featuring Apple’s latest A7X processor and possibly its new Touch ID fingerprint sensor. A second-generation iPad mini is also anticipated. Continue reading Apple Gears Up to Unveil iPad Updates Prior to the Holidays

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