3 Samsung Galaxy S9’s Coming; Rear 3D Sensor on 2019 iPhone; Fisker e-car Will Recharge in 60 SecondsPosted: November 15, 2017
Rumors no more hit about 3 new iPhone models next year, and now bgr.com says there will be 3 new all-screen Samsung Galaxy S9 models. In addition to an expected Galaxy S9 and S9+, Samsung may be readying a 4 inch screen S9 Mini. It will have the same internals as the larger models and the curved screen as well. Samsung has looked at going this direction before, but hasn’t been able to pull it off, so stay tuned.
Apple is busy with next year’s iPhones, and beyond. Now, word is out from bloomberg.com that the 2019 iPhones may have a rear facing 3D sensor like the TrueDepth system on the present iPhone X. The rear setup would be a leap forward for augmented reality. Instead of the laser dots hitting your face for Face ID, it would use the time of flight of laser beams out and reflected to create a 3D picture of the oncoming environment!
If they pull it off, it will be a bombshell….Fisker, the high end electric car startup founded by a former Tesla consultant, says it’s made a breakthrough that will give it a 500 mile range and let you recharge batteries in less than a minute! Mashable.com reports that the tech won’t be ready for mass production until after 2023, but if it pans out, it will be a major game changer for electric vehicles.
Amazon Augmented Reality Shopping for iPhone; Google ‘Advanced Protection System’; New Entry Level GoPro Next YearPosted: November 2, 2017
IKEA has it, not Amazon joins the party in a big way. The party is the augmented reality shopping party. Geekwire.com reports that the latest Amazon app update for iPhone 6S and above running iOS 11 includes an augmented reality feature. We tried it out yesterday, and noted a couple ways it works. One, you can open the app, point the cam at an object…I used my coffee table…and Amazon will show you a slew of other tables. You can also pick an item and use the app to virtually place it in your room…I tried a lamp, and it was pretty cool to see it virtually appear on my messy coffee table on top of the books and magazines! Hey, just in time for the holidays, a way to spend more….and with Amazon’s countdown to Black Friday in full swing, enjoy your augmented shopping!
Most any true techie will tell you that any passwords can be hacked with time and trouble. Now, Google is rolling out a solution…a tried and true system that will work, but some will hate. Yep, it’s a DONGLE. According to zenet.com, the $20 solution, which is made like a key fob you can put your physical keys on, will be made available first to politicians and lawmakers, business leaders, activists, and reporters…the people most likely to be hacked. There are two keys involved as part of two factor ID…a Feitian key to wirelessly authenticate your computer or phone over Bluetooth and a Yubikey that can be used in a USB port. They only work with real Google pages, so phishing sites are out of luck. If you lose the dongle, you will be locked out for a few days while Google determines that you are really you and unlocks your account. One catch…besides having to plug in and push a button…the system only works directly with Google accounts, so you won’t be able to get your gmail over Apple’s mail on an iPhone or Microsoft Outlook.
GoPro has had a rough couple years, with layoffs, dropped products, and closed departments in an effort to turn a profit. Now, theverge.com says that corner has been turned, and GoPro made money third quarter. In addition to rolling out a new flagship cam, the Hero 6 Black this fall, GoPro will be unveiling a new entry level cam to replace the original Hero Session in 2018. The cam maker said there will be additional products, but wouldn’t specify what they were.
Have I got a deal for you! Well, actually, I don’t, but Samsung sure does. Starting today, on their website, and in the Shop Samsung app, you can buy a new Galaxy S8 and trade in your old phone, and get a 2nd S8 for FREE! Want an S8+? No problem, you can get that one with your qualifying trade in and $100! Bgr.com says it’s good on every major carrier, and they have a 24 month payment plan..better than the carrier plans, because it’s no money down.
You’ve been able to get Google Cardboard and get your feet wet with augmented reality for some time now…but if you have an iPhone, you’ve been out of luck. That is changing. 9to5mac.com reports that an LA based startup is getting ready to release the Mira Prism. It’s a $99 headset with a slot for an iPhone 7. Instead of popping the phone in a slot in front of you, the phone goes in a slot above, and you see the AR elements along with the rest of the world through a plastic visor in front of your eyes. It’s cheap and simple.just slide the phone into the Prism headset, fire up the app, and away you go! There’s even a spectator mode, to allow a friend to watch your AR experience on their own phone or tablet. You can preorder on the Mira website.
Amazon continues to eat the world…and this time, you can join in the eating! Amazon made meal kits could be on the way to your doorstep soon! According to arstechnica.com, the online giant has filed a trademark for a meal kit service with the tag line ‘We do the prep. You be the chef.’ They look to sell the kits through Amazon Fresh, their online grocery ordering and delivery service. Amazon Fresh already has meal kits from Tyson Foods and Martha Stewart. Blue Apron stock dropped 10% when the news came out, even though no start date has been announced by Amazon.
Facebook had a lot to talk about yesterday as their F8 conference opened. Techcrunch.com notes the headline item: FB is working on an augmented reality developer platform. This is not exactly surprising since their acquisition of Oculus, so we can expect more and more selfie masks, overlays of info on real world objects the cam sees, and more…eventually, they expect a normal-ish pair of glasses or contacts to replace the screens we use…from desktop to smart devices! A number of adds to the Messenger app…you can order food through delivery.com, book a restaurant, and group pay for a meal, and there is a new game tab with new bots. Also, QR codes will get you info at concerts and sporting events.
Samsung held back a bit on the stunning Galaxy S8…the Note 8 will be out later this year, and will feature a dual cam setup like the iPhone 7 Plus. According to appleinsider.com, Apple analyst KGI Securities says the Note 8 cam setup will be ‘much better’ than the array on the iPhone 7 Plus, and may match the rumored performance of the one due out on the iPhone 8. KGI thinks Samsung will ship 50 to 55 million S8s this year and 13-15 million of the Note 8 after it rolls out.
LTE Apple Watch & AR Glasses Coming; Amazon Puts Off Brick & Mortar; Faraday Future Punts California PlantPosted: March 28, 2017
In a report picked up from Barron’s by 9to5mac.com, an analyst for Susquehanna Financial picked up repeated rumors of an LTE connected Apple Watch 3, complete with micro SIM card. It will have a very low power chip to save battery and VoIP tech for calling.
Also, the drumbeat continues that Apple is going big with Augmented Reality. Macrumors.com says Cupertino is focusing on moving from the science project stage towards a finished consumer product. Even at that, it will probably be a 2018 launch at the soonest….although one analyst insists they will roll out AR glasses with the iPhone 8 this fall.
Amazon Go, the brick and mortar Amazon store, has been put on hold. Recode.net says the biggest sticking point is that the tech in the stores with no cashiers or checkout lines can’t handle crowds. More than 20 people inside, and it goes bonkers over tracking people and what’s been taken from specific shelf space.
Another shattered dream for further revitalizing the former submarine base at Mare Island in Vallejo, CA. According to techcrunch.com, vaporware electric car maker Faraday Future has walked away from finalizing an assembly plant and showroom there, at least for now. Faraday plans to focus on finishing their original billion dollar, 3 million square foot plant in Nevada near Las Vegas…but has downsides that to 650,000 square feet. They say they will open it this fall.
Galaxy S8-3 Colors and Pricier Than iPhone; iPhone May Tease AR Features; Dolby and Netflix Gage Viewer Reaction to ShowsPosted: March 20, 2017
The Samsung Galaxy S8 will drop with 3 different colors and cost more than an iPhone 7. That’s according to thenextweb.com. The colors are ‘black sky,’ ‘orchid grey,’ and ‘arctic silver.’ It looks like it will run $989, with the S8 Plus syphoning off $1113 of your bucks! A rumored feature has been confirmed…the S8 will have Bixby, Samsung’s AI assistant.
Apple is apparently betting big on AR. A large team of experts and engineers has been going full stop on AI since last spring, and some features may bow on the iPhone 8 this fall. Techcrunch.com reports that this may just be a warmup to some AR glasses Apple has in the works that will pair with iPhones. For the iPhone, most features will revolve around the camera….Snapchat style filters and possible after the fact re-focusing of pictures.
So much for Netflix and chill. Dolby Labs is using biosensors to detect how we are reacting to movies and TV shows. Theverge.com says the tech has been licensed to Netflix to use in their new series Iron Fist. Right now, the setup is far from subtile….the rig includes a 64 channel EEG cap, a wrist tracker that picks up heart rate and perspiration, one of those oxygen sensors on a fingertip, and a thermal imaging camera aimed at the viewer. The setup produces data on what scenes make hearts beat faster, what makes cheeks flush, and what ones put them to sleep. Netflix had already been using eye tracking tech to analyze how viewers reacted to their content. I feel like we aren’t far from a jack in the back of the head like in ‘The Matrix.’
A number of sources are giving credence to the iPhone 8 having a 3D camera setup. Businessinsider.com reports that the system will probably be in the next iPhone, but that some uses of it are a ways away. It may be that facial recognition for security or placing one’s face in games will still take a year or two, and it could be 3 years before Apple releases an SDK for AR content creation. Most analysts think an all new AR Apple product that will be a game changer like the iPod or iPhone may be just 3-4 years off.
The leaks surrounding the Samsung Galaxy S8 have become a firehose at this point. The new flagship phone, which rolls out the 29th, will revive the IR Blaster, and will have a separate button to launch Bixby, the AI assistant…this according to 9to5google.com. In addition, the on-screen home button will always be on, enabling one to turn the display on, but users will need to pick up the phone to activate the fingerprint sensor. It WILL have a USB-C connector AND a beloved headphone jack, as well as a SIM/Micro SD slot.
Verizon Rolls Out $80 Unlimited Data Plan; Google Maps Lets You Share Faves; Cook Says AR May Rival iPhone’s ImpactPosted: February 13, 2017
For the first time since 2011, Verizon has an unlimited data plan. Macrumors.com says the $80 a month plan called Verizon Unlimited gets you unlimited talk, text and 4G LTE data on one smartphone or tablet or $45 a month for 4 lines. Verizon has had an access charge of $20 per month per smartphone, but it’s not clear if that applies or is included. If it applies, the plan is really $100 per month. Unlike the cheaper T-Mobile and Sprint unlimited plans, Verizon’s includes full HD streaming.
Google Maps has unveiled Lists on Android and iOS. According to techcrunch.com, the feature lets you make lists of places you can share with friends. Some power users have been testing this out since Fall. It appears that Starred and Favorites have some overlap. The Lists can be shared with friends, and even public Lists can be created, similar to Foursquare.
More and more, AR looks like Apples Next Big Thing. In an interview with The Independent, picked up by cnet.com, Tim Cook called Augmented Reality a big idea, like the smartphone. He noted that like a smartphone, AR isn’t limited to certain demographics, countries, or other niche….it can be for nearly everyone. With AR overlays seen through some lightweight glasses….which Apple is reputedly working on with Carl Zeiss, Apple’s Next Big Thing could soon be right before our eyes.
New iPads Next Year; Bigger, Range-Increasing Battery for Teslas; Pokemon Influence On Upcoming TechPosted: August 15, 2016
According to KGI Securities, which has a good track record with accurate Apple rumors, Cupertino will roll out new iPads next year…freshening the 9.7 inch model with a ‘low cost’ version, adding a 10.5 inch iPad Pro, and beefing up the 12.9 inch iPad Pro with a more powerful processor. Macrumors.com also says Apple is planning a so-called ‘revolutionary’ iPad in the fall of 2018, with radical form factor changes and maybe a flexible AMOLED screen.
Tesla is getting ready to release a 100Kw battery for its Model S and Model X cars…giving the Model S a range of 380 miles….more than your bladder can handle without a pit stop. Theverge.com reports that a Dutch regulator that certifies Teslas for sale in the EU published model listings that included designations pointing to the increased battery size…100D and 100X. There’s also a P100D…maybe a higher end version of the Model S…in the listings.
Techcrunch.com is saying the influence of the wildly successful Pokemon Go is already rippling through the tech world, and will for years to come. The relatively simple game has suddenly gotten millions to understand what augmented reality is, and how cool it might be. Even though it’s been used in map software for some time, the game has opened up other avenues. In addition to mobile games, movies and Video games can extend their reach into ‘the real world.’ The Pokemon effect could even be extended to medical apps…helping an elderly person find where they left a medication, and remembering that they ‘captured’ their pill yesterday, and should take another. Look for other applications of AR as offshoots from Pokemon Go in the next months and into next year.
Uber has settled a couple class action suits in California and Massachusetts that will eventually play out 100 million to drivers, but keeps them classified as independent contractors, and not employees. Cnet.com says it will also set up a ‘driver association’ to address driver concerns, and a key point is that Uber won’t be able to terminate drivers at will, and they will have to establish appeals panels for those who feel they have been terminated unfairly. Drivers will also be able to post signs to ask for tips. Lyft has already allowed for driver tipping. They also won’t be allowed to terminate drivers for turning down rides when logged in, which was considered a key issue in considering drivers as employees.
Google I/O is a month away, and much of the schedule has been posted. According to arstechnica.com, a large swath of time will be dedicated to virtual reality talks. VR is an entire content track at I/O this year, with 7 sessions dedicated to virtual or augmented reality…including one called ‘Google’s Vision for VR.’ The keynote for this year’s Google I/O is May 18th at 10am Pacific.