Google Pursues Original VR Content Prior to Daydream Debut

Google is readying Daydream VR, a store/software service, set to debut around the same time as new Android phones, VR headsets and controllers. Daydream will offer users apps from YouTube and HBO Now among others. Google is also investing in original content to help build the buzz for its platform, including 360-degree projects with YouTube stars such as the Dolan twins and Justine Ezarik, as well as projects from Hulu. The goal is to become the dominant way that consumers interact in VR. Continue reading Google Pursues Original VR Content Prior to Daydream Debut

Startups Use New Technologies to Wirelessly Charge Phones

Energous and Witricity have developed new ways to charge smartphones, tablets and other small devices without needing wires to plug them into an outlet. Energous’ WattUp technology allows users to recharge phones in special cases or receivers that can pick up signals from a transmitter that is plugged in more than 10 feet away. Toyota and TDK are already planning to utilize Witricity’s wireless charging technology in upcoming hybrid and electric cars, and car batteries. Continue reading Startups Use New Technologies to Wirelessly Charge Phones

Verizon Wireless Promises Double the Bandwidth with XLTE

Following months of expanding its LTE data pipes, Verizon Wireless is now offering improved 4G speeds under its new “XLTE” banner. The carrier is introducing improved performance in areas where it has added AWS wireless spectrum. Verizon promises that XLTE regions will feature double the bandwidth and faster peak speeds. The company says that more than 35 percent of devices operating on its network can take advantage of the added capacity of AWS. Continue reading Verizon Wireless Promises Double the Bandwidth with XLTE

Google Gets Serious About Public Cloud: Previews New API

In December, Google made its IaaS (infrastructure-as-a-service) Google Compute Engine (GCE) available as a full-fledged commercial service, after testing it in preview mode for more than a year. Last week, the company introduced its new Billing API as an easier way for developers to monitor and analyze how much running an application on the Cloud Platform costs. According to Google, the Billing Export offers a new means of accessing usage data, and is available in preview. Continue reading Google Gets Serious About Public Cloud: Previews New API

NASA Sets Data Transmission Record Between Earth and Moon

NASA’s Lunar Laser Communication Demonstration (LLCD) uses a pulsed laser beam to transmit data from Earth to the moon. The record-setting laser recently made history by sending data 239,000 miles at a download speed of 622 megabits per second (Mbps). Radio frequency has been the main method of communication, but does not have the data capacity and speed of laser. If the laser program is successful, NASA plans to use it on future missions. Continue reading NASA Sets Data Transmission Record Between Earth and Moon

Companies Using Sound for Mobile Payments and Data Sharing

Several companies are developing systems and apps that use sound waves to transfer small pieces of data over short distances, and could simplify transferring funds electronically. This is an alternative to using near-field communication (NFC) to transfer data wirelessly. Many devices are ready to use sound technology, including simple and feature phones. There are problems in using sound especially in loud areas, but it has significant potential. Continue reading Companies Using Sound for Mobile Payments and Data Sharing

Bell Labs: Lensless Camera Records Multiple View Images

Bell Labs is developing a new class of imaging device that does not require a lens, but instead uses a light sensitive sensor to create a high resolution image. A new technique known as compressive sensing minimizes redundancy to acquire data with carefully chosen measurements. The camera, which merely features an aperture assembly and a sensor, records images that are never out of focus. Additionally, when using two pixels instead of one, it can create two different images of the scene. Continue reading Bell Labs: Lensless Camera Records Multiple View Images