Much has been written about how mobility is influencing the design and engineering of all types of products, not just those that are actually mobile. A case in point is Samsung new T9000 four-door refrigerator, which the company debuted at the Consumer Electronics Show last month. Consumers in the UK will soon be able to buy it. The “smart” refrigerator comes with an Android tablet built into one of the doors that allows owners to share recipes, send grocery lists to mobile devices, and even serve as a “nanny cam.”
The future is wireless. Eventually Wi-Fi will be everywhere we go and will connect many of the things we use on a daily basis to the internet. This approaching phenomenon is called the Internet of Things. Sensors on everything from the fridge at home to the pen on your desk will record data, hopefully to improve our lives.
Other than broad Wi-Fi or fast cellular coverage, we’ll also need a platform for developing products to make the Internet of Things a reality. Qualcomm and AT&T are developing just such a platform, which they are calling the Internet of Everything. This particular platform will be designed specifically to use AT&T’s bandwidth, and supports Oracle’s Java ME Embedded 3.2. Continue reading
Ever since cell phones advanced beyond an unwieldy brick of plastic, they’ve become a convenience most people take for granted. Right up until you drop it, sit on it or it falls in the water. A dead cell phone is a nigh catastrophe for most people, including me. When I was a kid I knew every friend’s number by heart. Now? If it isn’t in my phone, I have no idea.
Imagine owning a phone that will never break if you drop it, and has a screen that is nearly impossible to crack. Flexible cell phones offer all these advantages over current generation models, and may soon become a reality. Continue reading
The cell phone wars have been raging for a while now, and the patent battles don’t look to be ending any time soon. Now, get ready for the tablet wars to kick-off. Apple and Amazon have had some skirmishes, and Microsoft’s Surface is the new kid on the block, showing off its nifty keyboards and new operating system.
Intel looks to be arming itself for future conflicts with the acquisition of Ziilabs, which was previously part of Creative Technology. Ziilabs manufacturers chips such as the ZMS-40 and the ZMS-20, with its ARM-based “StemCell” processor. The chips in question are intended for use with Android cell phones and tablets. Continue reading
I very nearly titled this piece “Play Angry Birds Longer.” From what I’ve heard (a friend told me …), Angry Birds eats smartphone power at a pretty rapid pace. While plenty of other apps are guilty of the same thing, I still wonder how many lost calls are the direct result of flinging birds at pigs.
A new startup called ETA Devices, founded by Joel Dawson and David Perreault, a pair of electrical engineering professors from MIT, hopes to decrease smartphone power consumption by up to half. The key to this breakthrough is improved power amplifier efficiency. Continue reading