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German Judges Rule Against Samsung Galaxy Tab 7.7

clock July 25, 2012 00:35 by author Jeremy

After a long and arduous battle, we're finally seeing a (hopefully final) result in the case between Apple vs. Samsung. The Dusseldorf Higher Regional Court has reasoned that all 27 European member states should exclude the Galaxy Tab 7.7 from sales due to its infringement on Apple patents dating back to 2004. Previously, the Galaxy Tab 7.7 was only banned from Germany.

Apple had also tried to get Samsung's re-designed Galaxy Tab 10.1N to meet the same fate, but that request was rejected. Samsung had to modify the original Galaxy Tab 10.1, else it, too, would not be seen any longer on European shelves.

However, this doesn't stop Samsung from tinkering around with the Galaxy Tab 7.7, and we could very well see a 7.7N version pop up in the next few months. Perhaps then European customers won't feel so left out.

Sources: cnet, pcworld

"Father of Wearable Computing" Assaulted for Using Augmented Reality Glasses

clock July 18, 2012 20:25 by author Jeremy

Thus far, only excitement has followed the recent wave of augmented reality headsets (Google Glasses, Olympus' Meg 4.0). But no one has stopped to consider the possible negative repercussions that may come with these fancy pieces of eyewear. Steve Mann, however, got to experience those repercussions firsthand.

Said to be the "father of augmented reality" and "father of wearable computing," Mann has been researching and creating various headsets for decades. His gear doesn't record like the Google Glasses do, though; instead, his recent wearables (the EyeTap) actually help people with sight-related issues. This didn't stop him from being attacked by what Mann claims were McDonald's employees in Paris, France.

McDonald's has refuted this, claiming that their employees were only helpful. Mann also has some proof in the form on pictures taken by his EyeTap. Ironically, since the device only helps with sight, it doesn't normally take pictures; but due to attempts by the perpetrators to forcefully remove the device from Mann's head, the EyeTap malfunctioned and started taking pictures of those in sight. This was also after the perpetrators had ripped up various doctors' notes describing Mann's need for the headgear.

This may be seen as the first major incident involving augmented reality glasses since the new wave of interest has appeared. The big question on everyone's minds now though, is: What will happen when Google and other companies try to make these glasses mainstream? Will passerbys react violently, claiming rights for privacy?

Sources: sott.net, slashgear, dailymail.co.uk

Vizio Enters the Laptop Market

clock July 7, 2012 01:03 by author Jeremy

Last month Vizio, known for their presence in the television market, started a new chain of laptop products. Titled "Thin + Light," they keep true to their name and resemble the Ultrabook-category.

The first Thin + Light model has a 14-inch, 1600x900 display, while the second one has a 15-inch, 1080p screen. Each contain Ivy Bridge processors and will have a battery life of roughly 7 hours. Meanwhile, a third product, dubbed the "15.6-inch Notebook," will have different specs (such as a Kepler GPU from NVIDIA), but will maintain the same 7-hour battery life.

So what can Vizio offer that other laptops don't? Each notebook will have a "V key" which lets you access Hulu Plus, Netflix, and other video providers. However, Vizio doesn't force these on you - no subscription to any service is required - you simply have a shortcut to get there, in case you want to. Vizio did mention that these services may be offering deals specific to these laptops at a later time.

Sources: prnewswire, engadget

Google Glasses Tempt Olympus and Apple to Join the Spectacle-Fray

clock July 6, 2012 01:07 by author Jeremy

Last week, Google showed off their latest advances with their Google Glasses: several professionals jumped out of a helicopter, equipped with the Google Glasses Explorer Edition, and made their way towards the I/O 2012 Event. This week, we're seeing two other companies who may possibly tred along the same path of technological-eyewear: Apple and Olympus.

Olympus' headgear doesn't actually have a camera like the Google Glasses do, nor are they a standalone-unit. Instead, the augmented reality spectacles will connect via bluetooth to your smartphone or tablet. Olympus boasts that the Meg 4.0, the current prototype, will last for 8 hours; however, they expect users to use the glasses in 15-second spurts every three minutes, which just doesn't seem as feasible.

Meanwhile, Apple doesn't even have a working unit yet. Their big news comes in the form of a patent granted to them earlier this week. The patent allows for a dual-lens, dual-HUD eyeglass that projects images directly to your eyes. This would provide a more immersed experience than just simple glasses. Also, by using stereoscopic projection, the user would more likely avoid motion-sickness.

The Olympus augmented-reality glasses have no current release date, and Apple's "iGlass" (for lack of an official name) hasn't even been touted as a product idea - a patent doesn't necessarily mean there's already a game-plan behind it. However, if Apple does join the fray, then we'd be closer to centralizing our market on eyewear and heads-up displays...which definitely can't be a bad thing.

Sources: slashgear, gizmodo

Spray-On Batteries Replace Your Painted Walls

clock June 30, 2012 01:09 by author Jeremy

Rice University graduate Neelam Singh and a team of researchers had recently started working on a new "spray-on" battery. And by spray-on, we mean paint. Imagine painting an entire wall with a color, only to realize it's one massive battery (or numerous batteries all connected).

The paint consists of five layers, with each layer bringing the necessary materials for a battery: cathodes, anodes and polymer separators. The initial experiment involved nine bathroom tile-based batteries that were connected together, with a solar cell on one tile. Overall, the batteries pumped out 2.4 volts and managed to power lights that spelled out "Rice" for 6 hours.

This experiment only marks the beginning of this new technology, and it paves the way for the creation of newer types of batteries. Currently, certain Lithium-Ion batteries are ruling the technological field, but they are limited due to their size and shape. With paintable batteries, gadgets could use up less space for batteries and more space for powerful upgrades.

Sources: cnet.com, nature.com

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