2014 Paris Motor Show highlights

Mobile Technology

Toshiba's TG01

Toshiba plans to take on the smartphone market with their TG01, based on Qualcomm's Snapdragon platform running Windows Mobile 6.1. The 9.9mm thick device sports a 4.1-inch widescreen VGA (800x480) touchscreen, a GUI designed specifically for easy one-handed navigation, and the standard HSDPA 3G, WiFi, and GPS/aGPS connectivity options.  Read More

Kurzweil's kReader can now translate scanned text and read it out in your language.

Ray Kurzweil is one of the most amazing intellectuals and inventors of our time. From his teenage years he's been building a long list of extraordinary achievements, from his early work teaching computers to compose music, to his world-first font-independent optical character recognition system, to his pioneering electric synthesizers that are so accurate that even musicians can't discern them from a real piano in listening tests. In 1976, blind music legend Stevie Wonder bought the first production model of the Kurzweil Reading Machine, a tabletop-sized device that was able to scan text documents and read them out using a text-to-speech engine. Last year, Kurzweil teamed up with Nokia to integrate the reading machine and its synthetic voice into the N82 mobile phone, letting blind or illiterate users read documents, menus, bills, and anything else they could capture on the phone's inbuilt camera. Now, Kurzweil has announced that the kReader phone can translate text it captures that's in another language and read it out to you in your language. It also has new text-tracking abilities to make it even easier to capture all the text on a page.  Read More

Major iPhone hardware revision in the works?

MacRumors has found a reference to "iPhone2,1" in the iPhone's 2.x Firmware. What makes this special? The original iPhone is "iPhone1,1" while the iPhone 3G is "iPhone1,2" - which points to a major hardware revision in the works.  Read More

One, two, three, aaaaahhhh.

Air Photo is a new iPhone app that is sure to be handy for the multitude of iPhone users who use their device for taking photos. The app lets users browse through their photos and cuts out the Mac or PC middleman, enabling printing of photos directly from the iPhone. Simply install the Air Photo Server app onto your Mac or PC and the Air Photo app onto your iPhone and you’re ready to go.  Read More

Acer shows new 10 inch Aspire One Netbook

Acer has announced an all-new 10” Aspire One netbook, complete with Windows XP, integrated Bluetooth , 802.11b/g, Acer Signal Up technology and it can also be specified with a choice of WiMAX or 3G wireless technologies. Weighing 1.18 kg, the new netbook includes a 10.1 inch WSVGA LED backlit display with a resolution of 1024x600 pixels, a 160 GB drive and a multi-in-one card reader.  Read More

HTC's updated Touch Cruise smartphone

HTC has announced an updated version of its HTC Touch Cruise smartphone that was released in January 2008. The new model Touch Cruise features a new look and expands on the GPS capabilities of its predecessor with the inclusion of HTC Footprints – geotagging software that not only allows users to geotag photos taken on the unit’s 3.2 MP fixed focus camera, but also lets them take notes and an audio clip related to that image to form a “digital postcard”. In addition to identifying each postcard with its specific GPS co-ordinates, Footprints also auto-names each postcard with its general location or area.  Read More

On show at CES 2009

We live in an era where pocket-sized mobile devices can keep us in touch with almost every corner of the globe, but this golden age of communication can quickly turn sour when your battery dies, and it usually happens when you most need it. To combat this issue there are a smorgasbord of mobile recharging devices now on the market, with our favorites being those that use alternative energy to get the job done like the Solio or HYmini solar/wind charger. Now there's a new kid on the block in the form of Powcell, a charging sleeve for iPhone, iPod Touch and Blackberry Curve that draws on almost any light source to provide a power top-up on the go and reduce your dependence on wall sockets.  Read More

Bullet Flight 1.0.0 – the US$15 iPhone app for snipers

The rapid advancement of technology on all fronts has yielded some fascinating mash-ups to make life easier for small groups of people with specific needs and the US$15 KAC Bullet Flight 1.0.0 iPhone app and rifle iPhone mount are a case in point – they are just perfect for the sniper/hunter. One of the many skills of the modern day marksman is mathematics – to measure or estimate the range, cross winds, and calculate the allowances needed for one shot to hit its target after travelling up to 2000 yards. Bullet Flight turns the iPhone into a handy, touch screen, ballistics computer using the iPhone’s accelerometer to calculate angles, providing highly detailed, very quick solutions out to 2000 metres. The KAC mounting attaches an off-the-shelf Otterbox ruggedising case. You can also download different weapon and ammunition profiles (it comes with three) and even subscribe to highly detailed weather and forecast information, not to mention listen to music whilst you await your quarry. BTW – this scares us to death!  Read More

The Schlage LiNK remotely-controllable door lock (and the demise of the key)

January 20, 2009 Locksmithing, one of man’s oldest and most venerable professions, appears set to join the digital convergence mix with the first wirelessly-controlled door lock now on the market. It's also further proof that the device formerly known as the mobile phone will one day become the remote control for much of our lives. Schlage LiNK deadbolts and locks offer consumers the ability to remotely control and monitor access to their home 24/7 with any web-enabled mobile phone or computer. The locks provide keyless entry through 4-digit access codes that can be entered, activated, deleted or disabled on the lock's 11-digit push button keypad or via the Schlage LiNK web portal. This means never having to circulate multiple sets of keys, never needing to stay home to meet the handyman, and the peace of mind of having a listing of which codes (i.e. who?) opened each lock and when for the last 90 days. The $300 starter kits (and subsequently $200 locks) might also be suitable for real estate agents wishing to streamline their ability to show properties.  Read More

The first modern diver’s watch

One of the most desirable technological boys toys throughout the last 50 years has been the Blancpain 50 fathoms watch. The Fifty Fathoms watch was born in the 1950s when Blancpain was asked by the French Ministry of Defence to create an elite “Combat Divers” watch that was reliable and readable to a depth of 50 fathoms (91.45 metres). Blancpain delivered, and the hardcore military kit was subsequently commercialised in 1953 with the first modern diver’s watch - that's an original 1954 advert at right. A new exhibition opens tomorrow in Geneva, the Cité du Temps, tracing the history of the watch with all the models and variations of the collection assembled under a single roof.  Read More

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