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Mobile Technology

Google TV and new translate 'conversation mode' showcased at IFA 2010

IFA is billed as the world’s largest consumer electronics and home appliances tradeshow, so it's fitting that the closing address for the 2010 event was delivered by the CEO of one of the biggest players in the technology space – Dr. Eric Schmidt of Google Inc. He discussed the age of the smartphone, cloud computing, plus some tasty samples of Google TV and what's just around the corner for the Android platform including a game-changing tool for mobile speech translation called "conversation mode"... read on for a summary of the key points. Read More

Natural Guidance from Navteq – a more human angle on navigation

Brilliant idea or bad move? Awful advertising, either way. Navteq has decided that typical turn-by-turn navigation instructions like "in 300 meters, turn left" aren't 'human' enough. That's not how a human navigator would direct you; in fact you kind of need to train your brain to be comfortable with that kind of instruction. Navteq's thinking is that a driver will respond more effectively and comfortably to visual cues like "turn left after the church" or "turn right after the yellow house," so it's rolling out a 'Natural Guidance' system that does just that. It seems like a fairly huge task to put together those sorts of navigation cues across a whole set of maps, but Navteq already has 10 cities' worth of cues programmed in. It'll be interesting to see if it's worth all the effort. Oh, and it's worth clicking through just to see Navteq present the system in one of the most offensively patronizing ad videos we've seen.Read More

Making the most of it: Sony turns music player defeat into PR win

Leading up to Apple's big iPod refresh last week, Sony managed to steal some spotlight as headlines around the Internet proclaimed how the company's Walkman had outsold the iPod for the month of August in Japan. According to a market survey from BCN Ranking, the Walkman holds a 47.8 percent market share, with the iPod now suddenly trailing at 44 percent.Read More

UK's Royal Mail brings the postage stamp into the 21st Century

Nestled amongst a set of postage stamps celebrating Great British Railways is a world's first. The UK's Royal Mail calls it an "intelligent stamp" and pointing a smartphone camera at it delivers exclusive online content to the screen. The first piece of enhanced content features a special poetry reading by actor Bernard Cribbins.Read More

Toshiba unveils Folio 100 media tablet at IFA

Toshiba Europe has chosen the IFA consumer electronics show to unveil its 10.1-inch Android media tablet powered by NVIDIA's Tegra II processor. The Folio 100 features an onboard camera, Wi-Fi and Bluetooth (with a 3G model in the pipeline) and a HDMI port for viewing content on a big screen television. The company has also announced the development of an one-stop portal to access and share online content over numerous device formats. We couldn't resist the opportunity to take a closer look.Read More

Sun, dust, music, desert and a free solar powered cellular network

Burning Man, the popular desert music festival, is this year featuring a free, solar powered cellular network for the duration of the festival which winds up on Monday. The open source software, OpenBTS (Open Base Transceiver Station) is a low-cost replacement for traditional cell networks. It allows mobile phones to connect to each other if they're all within range of the transceiver, or to connect with any other phones with Internet connection. It utilizes a Universal Software Radio Peripheral (USRP) to create a GSM air interface on any standard GSM mobile phone. The founders of Burning Man, which began this week in Black Rock City, Nevada, have decided to trial the system by allowing the 50,000 or so attendees free access to the network. Read More

The Rydeen GCOM701 tablet/GPS navigation hybrid device

Integrated silicon solutions company, Marvell along with Rydeen Mobile Electronics have announced the Rydeen GCOM701, a new Android™ tablet. The GCOM701 features built-in Wi-Fi, GPS, Bluetooth capability, removable memory, a front-facing camera and easy connectivity for jump drives, along with an internal microphone and speaker, enabling the use of Internet-based communications services such as Skype. A 7 inch TFT touch panel with 800x480 pixel resolution, which also provides ability to surf the web, read e-books and view photos or videos. Whilst on the road, the GCOM701 functions as a portable navigation device, including four million points of interest. The 7.4 volt battery provides considerable standby time and 6 hours of operational time. Read More

ViewSonic reveals 7-inch Android tablet

Somewhere between what we've come to know as a tablet computer and a smartphone sits ViewSonic's new Viewpad 7. You might already guess from the name that this portable tablet with phone functionality sports a 7-inch touchscreen display. It runs on Android 2.2, has both Wi-Fi and 3G capabilities, and cameras at the back and front. The device is currently on show at ViewSonic's stand at IFA 2010 in Berlin, but for those not lucky enough to be in Germany this week, here's a brief summary of what's on offer.Read More

Eye-controlled earphones let you pick up phone calls with a glance

The Japanese wireless carrier NTT DoCoMo has recently developed and demonstrated a peculiar pair of headphones that can precisely detect a user's eye movements without a camera, and use those movements to control electronic devices such as mobile phones and portable music players. DoCoMo started working on this idea back in 2008 by adapting an electrooculogram (EOG), a medical device used for measuring eye response, to their purposes. An EOG works on the principle that the human cornea has a positive electrical charge. As the user looks to the left or right, the charge shifts in the space between the user's ears – a change that can be easily detected by appropriate sensors. Read More

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