Category: Technology/Gadgets

Tablets vs. E-Readers: Why There’s Room For Both

E-readers are screwed.

That’s the main takeaway from Wednesdays ominously worded report from IHS, anyway. The numbers are pretty dramatic: By the end of the year, sales of dedicated ebook reading devices will have dropped 36% from 2011. Come 2016, says IHS, total e-reader sale volume will be just two-thirds of what it was last year.

Yikes. Is this really the death of e-readers?

It makes perfect sense that e-reader sales are falling off a cliff. Tablets are eating their lunch. Not only has Apple sold 84 million iPads to date, but the companies who have dominated the e-reader market are themselves shipping tablets now.

Consumers are quite naturally drawn to these multi-function, multimedia-capable gadgets that can stream movies, browse the Web, take photos, play Letterpress and do just about anything else app developers can dream up. And yes, those same devices – whose prices keep falling – let you read books too.

My iPad Is Great, But I Really Want A Kindle

When Steve Jobs first unveiled the iPad, I thought it was absurd. Never would I need to supplement my laptop and iPhone with this giant iPod Touch, I declared.

Read the complete article at Read Write.

Apple Big-Screen TV Is Coming, Says Andreessen, Suppliers

Apple reportedly is testing several designs for a big-screen television, and Silicon Valley VC luminary Marc Andreessen says we’ll see a TV from Cupertino by 2015.

“It’s one of those poorly kept Valley secrets,” Andreessen said Wednesday at the DealBook conference.

This adds to the flurry of speculation, rumor and innuendo surrounding the greatest product Apple still hasn’t announced. Andreessen conceded that he doesn’t have any direct inside knowledge of the project and admitted Apple is notoriously tight-lipped about its plans, but according to Business Insider he said, “rumors about an Apple TV are strong” and we’ll see something next year. Or in 2014. Or possibly 2015.

We’ve all been hearing about Apple’s Next Big Thing for more than a year, and Andreessen’s comments should be taken with a grain of salt. But Andreessen knows a thing or six about what’s happening in Silicon Valley, and his comments are bolstered by a Wall Street Journal report that cites two unnamed executives at Apple suppliers who said Apple has been testing designs for a hi-def big-screen TV.

Read the complete article at Wired.

Augmented reality promoted in electronics show through “Magic Remote”

The LG consumer electronics brand has launched a new AR device for Smart TV.

LG’s presence at the Gadget Show Live included a new augmented reality “magic remote” device that was being plugged through their “The Magic is In Your Hand” experience.

The new device allows gestures and voice commands to operate a consumer’s Smart TV.

The augmented reality experience featured a device that would allow consumers to use their voice commands and gestures to use their Smart TVs. It was also being demonstrated at a number of different shopping centers in order to boost awareness for holiday shoppers.

Read the complete article at QR Code Press.

Get Ready for Ads that Follow You from One Device to the Next

Kamakshi Sivaramakrishnan calls herself an “advertising quant.” Most people with a PhD in her field of information theory are recruited onto Wall Street if they decide to leave the halls of academia, she says.

She chose to go into advertising instead, and, with her startup, Drawbridge, is applying her expertise to a problem central to the bottom line of a wide swath of digital companies: how to make advertising pay as audiences move over to mobile devices. Founded in 2010, Drawbridge is using statistical methods that rely on anonymous data to track people as they move between their smartphones, tablets, and PCs.

Read the complete article at Technology Review.

Draw precise freehand circles and copy paste drawings with the dePENd table

This table helps you to draw precise freehand circles and lines. It is under development by a group in the Yasuaki Kakehi Lab at Keio University.

By using a computer to control the XY position of a magnet under the surface of the table, it implements, on paper, drawing methods utilized in computer graphics.

Read the complete article at Diginfo.tv.

A New Chip to Bring 3-D Gesture Control to Smartphones

The clickwheel of the first iPod worked by measuring electric field disturbances in one dimension. The first iPhone touch screen functioned similarly, but in two dimensions.

This week, Microchip Technology, a large U.S. semiconductor manufacturer, says it is releasing the first controller that uses electrical fields to make 3-D measurements.

The low-power chip makes it possible to interact with mobile devices and a host of other consumer electronics using hand gesture recognition, which today is usually accomplished with camera-based sensors. A key limitation is that it only recognizes motions, such as a hand flick or circular movement, within a six-inch range.

“That’s the biggest drawback,” says University of Washington computing interface researcher Sidhant Gupta. “But I think, still, it’s a pretty big win, especially when compared to a camera system. It’s low-cost and low-power. I can completely see it going into phones.”

Gesture recognition technology has advanced in recent years with efforts to create more-natural user interfaces that go beyond touch screens, keyboards, and mouses (see “What Comes After the Touchscreen?”). Microsoft’s Kinect made 3-D gesture recognition popular for game consoles, for example. But while creative uses of the Kinect have proliferated, the concept hasn’t become mainstream in desktops, laptops, or mobile devices quite yet.

Read the complete article at Technology Review.

Scanning Device Enables Computers To Read And Play Sheet Music In Real-Time

 

Reading sheet music can be a bit of a drag. All those staves and notes and stuff—much better to have technology do the heavy lifting for you, so you can free up your time to watch videos of cats getting blowdried and babies doing kung-fu.

Read the complete article at The Creators Project.

How Much Would You Pay to Never See an Online Ad Again?

Imagine a $120 box that sits between your cable modem (the box that brings the internet into your house) and your wireless router (the thing that fills your house with wifi) and blocks every kind of ad that can be delivered over the internet. No more ads on your laptop, tablet or smartphone. No more ads on webpages, in music streams, in front of videos, or on mobile apps.

That’s the goal of AdTrap, a device that is already in the working prototype stage. If you want to get your hands on one, you can pre-order it now by supporting the project on the crowd-funding site Kickstarter. If AdTrap’s three Palo Alto, California-based creators can get enough pledges by December 8 — $150,000 worth — they’ll start shipping the device.

Read the complete article at The Atlantic.

Eye-tracking glasses let you turn digital pages hands-free

The promise of Google Glass is essentially the ability to compute from a pair of glasses using a side-mounted interface. But another group of researchers have developed an even more innovative pair of specs that will allow you to turn digital pages with your eyes.

Developed by Germany’s Fraunhofer Research Institution for Organics, Materials and Electronic Devices, the glasses allow for hands-free turning of digital document pages by simply looking at arrows pointing in the direction the user wishes to page toward.

Read the complete article at DVice.

How Technology Will Fare In President Obama’s Second Term

The long 18-month U.S. presidential election is finally over, and after the dust has settled, President Barack Obama has been elected to serve a second term in the highest office in the land.

The President will have a lot on his plate: dealing with the so-called fiscal cliff; keeping economic growth on track; working with the ever-complicated world outside U.S. borders; and tackling the problems surrounding the U.S. education system for starters.

But ReadWrite wants to know just what President Obama will do about the technology sector once he is sworn in again on January 20, 2013. In his victory speech early Wednesday morning, Obama reiterated the importance of technology… of being “A country that lives up to its legacy as the global leader in technology and discovery and innovation. With all the new jobs and new businesses that follow.” Beginning with this brief mention and based on his past actions and statements, we can make some reasonable guesses at what a second Obama administration may do for technology and telecommunications.

Based largely on what he did during his first term in office, here’s what to expect Obama to do about technology, beyond hanging on to his beloved BlackBerry.

Read the complete article at ReadWriteWeb.