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Mobile Technology

Awareness Headphone App helps you stay alert

Following a stream of incidents where teenagers or cyclists have been hit by a car or truck because they were listening to music with headphones on, London based company Essency has released Awareness! The Headphone App. The philosophy behind the app is to allow users to listen to music, whilst remaining street safe and street smart. When listening to music (at any desired volume) a user will be able to hear important sounds, like a siren, shout or directed conversation. The application utilizes the inbuilt microphone on the iPhone and iPod Touch to record outside sounds and by recognizing the street level sound it will then “bleed” all louder noises through the headphones. Read More

Back-type adds a physical keyboard to a tablet’s backside

Looking to make typing on tablet computers easier (and add another term to the mobile computing lexicon), French company AlphaUI is developing a “back-typing” concept that adds an external physical keyboard to the back of a tablet. The prototype device from AlphaUI is designed to attach to the back of smaller tablets with 5-7-inch displays and provides 24 standard-sized physical keys that are ergonomically placed within easy reach of the user’s fingers as they hold the tablet. Read More

Six times the luxury with Gresso’s Luxor World Time phone

Camera phones are pretty much de rigueur nowadays but what about clock phones? Sure, your mobile phone no doubt displays the time but does it simultaneously give the time for six different time zones using six separate clock faces on the rear of the phone? Unless you own one of Gresso’s Luxor World Time phones, I’m guessing not. Read More

Lumix Phone finally unveiled at CEATEC Japan

At CEATEC 2010 in Chiba, Japan, Panasonic exhibited the Lumix Phone, amid some significant excitement as they had teased the specs in a release the previous week. While it remains to be seen exactly how good the Lumix Phone is, it's certainly interesting to see a product that at least approaches the model of a camera with a phone rather than a just another phone with a camera. Read More

Docomo's AR Walker is a virtual tour guide in a pair of glasses

At this year's CEATEC conference in Chiba, Japan, Docomo previewed the AR Walker augmented reality application that uses a tiny display screen mounted on a pair of glasses, rather than on a mobile phone screen like Layar or other AR apps. While the AR Walker application is not by itself anything new, being able to see annotations of the world around you without having to view it through a mobile phone's camera display is. Docomo has come one step closer to the fictional augmented reality glasses that anime fans might remember from the TV series Dennou Coil, where children wore glasses to view virtual objects superimposed over the real world. Read More

Researchers develop pinhead-sized gyroscope for smartphones and medical devices

Earlier this year the iPhone 4 became the first smartphone to boast a built-in gyroscope in addition to an accelerometer, proximity sensor and ambient light sensor. Combining a gyroscope with an accelerometer allows the device to sense motion on six axes – left, right, up, down, forward and backward, as well as roll, pitch and yaw rotations – allowing for more accurate motion sensing abilities comparable to a game controller such as the Wii-mote. The iPhone 4 uses a MEMs (micro-electro-mechanical-systems) gyroscope but a newly developed optical gyroscope, small enough to fit on the head of a pin, could allow the integration of more accurate motion sensing technology in not only smartphones, but also in medical devices inside the human body.Read More

Sony and TomTom team up for in-dash car navigation systems

Sony has announced its first foray into the U.S. in-dash car navigation system market which sees it teaming up with TomTom. Joining Sony’s existing line of Xplod in-dash A/V units, the XNV-660BT boasts a 6.1-inch WVGA capacitive touchscreen, while the XNV-770BT ups the screen real estate to 7-inches. In addition to car navigation duties, both units feature CD/DVD playback, integrated Bluetooth, rear USB 1-wire connectivity for portable music players and support for multi-channel audio playback with virtual 5.1 channel surround sound capabilities.Read More

Sharp unveils Galapagos e-Reader tablet

Sharp has revealed plans to launch an e-bookstore and a couple of color tablets/e-book readers in Japan by the end of the year. While the few thousand offerings from online bookstore at launch is unlikely to make a huge dent in Amazon's or B&N's user base, the Galapagos mobile and home tablets look promising. Detailed specifications are sadly lacking but they will both be able to get online wirelessly, play multimedia content and come pre-installed with social networking applications to allow the sharing of comments and favorites with friends and family.Read More

Sony Ericsson LiveView puts Android handset display and control on your wrist

For people who absolutely, positively have to have Facbook updates and tweets now and can’t even spare the time it takes to pull their mobile phone from their pocket or handbag, Sony Ericsson has unveiled its LiveView Android accessory. The compact device sports a form factor similar to the latest iPod nano and can be clipped to clothing or worn like a wristwatch just like Apple’s device. But LiveView offers extra functionality that effectively makes it a remote micro display and controller for a mobile phone.Read More

RIM unveils BlackBerry PlayBook 7-inch tablet

The rumors of a tablet from Research In Motion (RIM) have turned out to be true with CEO Mike Lazardis announcing the company’s PlayBook tablet at its annual BlackBerry Developer Conference. Described by RIM as a “professional-grade” tablet, the 7-inch device will be running the new BlackBerry Tablet OS created by the recently acquired QNX. It boasts BlackBerry integration, out-of-the-box BlackBerry Enterprise Server compatibility and security features designed to appeal to businesses as well as true multitasking, gaming and multimedia capabilities.Read More

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