Global Wireless: Google Acquires Alpental in Pursuit of 5G

As part of its inititaive to extend Internet access to countries not yet connected, Google has acquired Alpental Technologies, a small startup focusing on 5G cellular service. Alpental, which was founded by former Clearwire engineers, has developed a cheap, high-speed networking technology that runs on 60GHz spectrum band. The FCC said that this band of spectrum has been used to provide service for buildings a mile apart at speeds up to seven gigabits per second. Continue reading Global Wireless: Google Acquires Alpental in Pursuit of 5G

New Matter’s MOD-t Makes 3D Printing Easy and Affordable

Startup New Matter, led by veteran engineer Steve Schell, has developed a $250 3D printer called the “MOD-t.” New Matter’s digital platform may be as groundbreaking as the low-cost hardware itself. Schell found three obstacles with 3D printers: first, they are too complicated for ordinary people to experiment with; second, it is hard to find high-quality objects to print; and third, the price is prohibitive. New Matter has created a printer that may be simple and affordable enough for most consumers. Continue reading New Matter’s MOD-t Makes 3D Printing Easy and Affordable

DARPA Converts Army Surveillance Drones into Mobile Hotspots

DARPA’s Mobile Hotspots program is converting retired RQ-7 Army drones into wireless hotspots to provide Wi-Fi to soldiers in remote areas. The drones will be able to transfer data at one gigabyte per second — about the same connectivity of a 4G smartphone — to give troops the same communication capabilities, including access to tactical operation centers and mission data, that others in more central conflict zones have. DARPA is retrofitting the drones with small Wi-Fi antennas. Continue reading DARPA Converts Army Surveillance Drones into Mobile Hotspots

Gogo Plans Satellite In-Flight Internet Service with 70Mbps Link

Gogo recently announced it will add satellite to its ground-to-air service in the hopes of increasing speeds of its in-flight Internet networks. The satellite connectivity network will give more support for international flights, including Internet access while flying over the open ocean. The new service is called 2Ku, and plans to offer a 70Mbps downlink connection using a new high-gain antenna design. This is expected to make Gogo’s in-flight service excel at twice the performance of its competitors. Continue reading Gogo Plans Satellite In-Flight Internet Service with 70Mbps Link

Startups From SPROCKIT Program Deliver Pitches During NAB

In partnership with the National Association of Broadcasters and the World Series of Startups, SPROCKIT is a program that shines a spotlight on interesting startups through the NAB Show and SPROCKIT Sync, the exclusive community of entertainment and media decision-makers that meets three times a year. The July 2014 meeting will take place at ETC@USC. The other meetings are October 2014 in conjunction with NY TV week, and January 2015 in Silicon Valley. Continue reading Startups From SPROCKIT Program Deliver Pitches During NAB

New Software Lets Chat Apps Connect Phones Without Internet

The recently released FireChat mobile app stands out from competitors as the only messaging app that can be used without cell phone reception. FireChat makes use of Apple’s multipeer connectivity introduced in iOS 7, which enables phones to connect with each other directly via Bluetooth or Wi-Fi. FireChat users within 100 feet of one another can exchange messages without sending data through a cellular provider. A future of similar apps not reliant upon the Internet could open new possibilities and address privacy concerns. Continue reading New Software Lets Chat Apps Connect Phones Without Internet

Sonos Search Engine Can Play Any Song in Multiple Rooms

Wireless audio company Sonos has launched a redesign that will provide users with a universal search, essentially enabling them to play any song in the world. The innovation can pull songs from a user’s MP3 collection and from over two dozen streaming music services including Pandora, Spotify, and Beats Music, and play the music throughout multiple rooms. For the past decade Sonos has been making wireless multiroom audio systems, but previously they only functioned with Sonos software. Continue reading Sonos Search Engine Can Play Any Song in Multiple Rooms

Comcast Uses Chicago Cable Service to Launch Wi-Fi Hot Spots

Comcast has started to use hundreds of thousands of homes in the Chicago area to create more hotspots for its publicly accessible wireless network. The company will continue to roll out this service to more areas in the next few months. The service will use Comcast-issued home equipment, and separate the Wi-Fi signal to allow anyone within range to get Internet reception. Comcast claims that since the two services are separated, the Comcast users’ signals will not be disturbed. Continue reading Comcast Uses Chicago Cable Service to Launch Wi-Fi Hot Spots

Make Your TV Smart: Roku to Ship $50 Streaming Stick in April

Video-streaming set-top box maker Roku is planning to launch its anticipated Streaming Stick with Wi-Fi remote next month for $49.99. The thumb-size media stick plugs into a television’s HDMI port and offers a similar interface available through the Roku set-top boxes with access to a host of online streaming services. A simple solution to make your TV smart, the Roku Streaming Stick will compete with the popular $35 smartphone-controlled Chromecast device from Google. Continue reading Make Your TV Smart: Roku to Ship $50 Streaming Stick in April

Nintendo Outlines New Move into Health-Related Entertainment

Nintendo wants to improve your quality of life. In a letter to shareholders, CEO Satoru Iwata outlined the company’s plan to establish itself as a health-oriented entertainment company. He said Ninetendo will expand beyond games in the coming decade to develop products that improve “quality of life” for people. It is unclear whether this will involve an expansion of Wii products, or if this will involve an entirely new approach. Iwata suggested the new business will be outside of video games.

Continue reading Nintendo Outlines New Move into Health-Related Entertainment

Chip Makers Race to Deliver Tech for Faster Mobile Networks

Intel, Broadcom and other chip makers are working to develop the next major advance in cellular network technology, a topic of discussion this week at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona. Spurred by market leader Qualcomm and rivals that hope to reduce its dominance, companies are demonstrating extensions of the tech presently used in the fastest networks. One new service, LTE Advanced, is expected to offer download rates of 300 megabits per second, four to six times faster than current LTE. Continue reading Chip Makers Race to Deliver Tech for Faster Mobile Networks

HPA Retreat: Stadium of the Future? There’s an App for That

Attendees at the Hollywood Post Alliance Tech Retreat in Indian Wells were treated on Wednesday to an in-depth technical description of the most connected sports stadium in the world. James Stellpflug, VP of sports products at media company EVS Broadcast Equipment explained the inner workings of the latest systems currently running at Sporting Park, the home of Major League Soccer team Sporting Kansas City. Last summer we reported that Sporting Park is becoming a model for stadium technology and fan engagement. Continue reading HPA Retreat: Stadium of the Future? There’s an App for That

YouTube Available for Roku 3, Additional Model Support Soon

One criticism of Roku’s popular line of streaming media devices has been a lack of support for YouTube, now one of the most essential sources of video and music on the Internet. YouTube announced this week that Roku 3 users will finally have access to YouTube content on their TVs. Users can also pair their mobile devices to YouTube on the Roku with the “Send to TV” feature, which lets you send videos by simply connecting a tablet or smartphone to the same Wi-Fi as your Roku player. Continue reading YouTube Available for Roku 3, Additional Model Support Soon

Neptune Pine Smartwatch is Just as Capable as a Smartphone

The world’s most powerful smartwatch will soon be released, and it wasn’t created by Apple or Google, but a 19-year-old college dropout. The Kickstarter-funded product, named Neptune Pine, will be able to ship as soon as it has FCC approval and the Kickstarter funds are delivered for mass production. The project’s video depicts a working prototype with a 2.6-inch frame, front- and rear-facing cameras, and Web browsing, among countless other features. Continue reading Neptune Pine Smartwatch is Just as Capable as a Smartphone

FCC Releases Free App for Testing Mobile Broadband Speed

The FCC released a free app for Android users that allows users to test their mobile broadband performance and speed. Early next year, the Commission will also release interactive maps that will allow consumers to get detailed information of network speeds from different mobile providers across the country. It’s the first tool that will give consumers the power to accurately assess which providers give the best coverage in their area. Continue reading FCC Releases Free App for Testing Mobile Broadband Speed

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