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Tag: application

RHP MirrorCase Goes For A KickStarter

Posted by Andrew at 1:37 PM on April 29, 2012

RHP Multimedia MirrorCaseAt this year’s CES, Andy McCaskey and Courtney Wallin interviewed John Palmeri of RHP on their new MirrorCase, a special case for the iPhone 4/4S that lets photos be taken while the phone is horizontal, i.e. flat, rather than the more usual vertical orientation.

Depending on your point of view, it’s either a clever idea that stops the camera intruding on the moment or else it’s sneaky way of taking pics without other people realising. Regardless of reasons, it may be of interest to know that the MirrorCase is currently on Kickstarter.

If I read the funding levels correctly, at the moment $35 will get you pre-order of the MirrorCase (RRP $80) but there are only limited numbers of backers at that level. If you do miss out, you should be able to back at $40. Backers are also offered a discount on the iPhone 5 version, whenever that comes out!

There are another 28 days and $21,000-odd to go before the project is funded. Assuming this, delivery is expected in July.

WD TV Live at The Gadget Show Live

Posted by Andrew at 12:27 AM on April 23, 2012

WD TV LiveWestern Digital’s TV Live series of media players has been around for a couple of years and they’ve gained a sizeable following with over 3.5 million devices sold. The 3rd generation WD TV Live has been released recently and Daniel Mauerhofer was kind enough to give me an interview at The Gadget Show Live.

The new WD TV Live model introduces wi-fi connectivity which was absent on the previous model and it’s now been localised for the UK market with the inclusion of iPlayer and Spotify. Coming in two models, one without an internal hard drive (£99), which is available now, and a second which will have a 1 TB drive and will be available later in the year (approx. £129).

As ever, there’s a complementary remote control app for Android and iOS devices, which looks pretty useful; it’s certainly more than just a button-for-button replacement of the IR remote control.

My personal pet peeve in this area was that media players seemed either play from the local network or stream from the Internet but it was a rare device that could do both. The WD TV Live does both so it’s a thumbs up from me.

SnapCuts Video Messages

Posted by Andrew at 2:45 PM on February 19, 2012

The nuances of human interaction are so complex that even as adults we often misunderstand one another and at other times, we want to shout our message plainly from the rooftops. So to help us communicate more effectively, SnapCuts offers video messaging using prepared clips from film and TV to help pass on the message with clarity. Think “I’m sorry”, “Thanks for being my friend”, “I got the job!”

SnapCuts

The SnapCuts website lets you create the message you want to convey from a fair selection of clips from film and TV. Some are definitely classics, others are unknowns (to me anyway), but there’s enough to get your message over, which is probably the main thing. There is tag search, so if you are looking for clips that have a particular theme, you can find them easily enough. The site has an easy-to-use editor – the snapper – that lets you set up a string of clips, if that’s what you need.

The site is free to use and all the clips are legally licensed too, so there’s no dodgy stuff here. The business model is to encourage rights owners to license the clips in return for a link from SnapCuts to where the full film or TV show can be purchased. Nice idea.

Interview by Jeffrey Powers of Geekazine and Andy Smith of Geocaching World.

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Not Just StuffIt! At Smith Micro

Posted by Andrew at 1:11 AM on February 6, 2012

Smith Micro Mobile Network DirectorSmith Micro is best known for its Mac software and StuffIt! in particular but the company’s portfolio is much wider than that. Andy and Don chat to Carla of Smith Micro Software to find out what else the company does.

Smith Micro has a portfolio of products in the mobile wireless space, delivering solutions for telcos and cable operators. As Carla points out, if you’ve ever connected your laptop to a 3G network, you’ve probably used some of their software.

Sprint chose Smith Micro’s Mobile Network Director to intelligently manage traffic between 3G, 4G and Wi-Fi connections. A software client on the smartphone works with the carrier’s systems to select the connection technology that will give the best performance in the particular situation. For example, in a very congested 4G area, the software will transfer the data connection to a quieter and consequently faster 3G network.

From the interview, it sounds like Sprint has learnt from the CarrierIQ debacle and while the software on the smartphone works transparently, the owner can override the connection selection manually. Good.

Interview by Andy McCaskey of SDR News and RV News Net and Don Baine, the Gadget Professor.

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Polkast: Making Your Computer the Cloud

Posted by KL Tech Muse at 5:04 PM on January 28, 2012

Polkast Cloud base solutions for accessing the data on your computer off site are great, but they have their limitations. First they are slow, because everything has to upload to the cloud first before you can access it off site. Second most cloud solutions have a limit on how much you can store on their sites. Third they can get expensive if you have to store a lot and finally you have to depend on them to be up.

What if you made your computer the cloud, that is the solution that Polkast came up with. You install the Polkast server on the computer you want to access the files from and then the Polkast app on your mobile devices including your smart phone, tablets or lap top. You can then access the files on that computer from anywhere in the world as long as the server is running. To access files using Polkast you have to sign in with a user name and password. Everything is encrypted while going from PC to PC or mobile device. Unlike a cloud base solution there is no storage limitation and it is as fast as your local ISP. You can share specific files with other people by email or through their Polkast account. The service is free for one computer for multiple devices it is $49.95 a year. If you are looking for a way to access your home files on the road, but are wary of a cloud solution, this might be a solution for you.

Interview by Todd Cochrane of Geek News Central and Don Baine The Gadget Professor of Geek News Central

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Take Control of Your Car with Mavia

Posted by Andrew at 11:06 PM on January 25, 2012

Mavia DeviceTodd chats to Madison of Mavizon about their new Mavia automotive product which keeps tabs on your vehicle in more ways than one.

Mavia is a small box (see picture left) that plugs into your vehicle’s ODB-II port – that’s the connector used by technician’s to check on the car when there’s a problem. The Mavia combines readouts from this port with its own internal GPS receiver to provide location and technical information that is sent back to an online hub at www.mymavia.comAndroid and iPhone client apps can be downloaded too.

The MyMavia hub will show data on the vehicle such as gas mileage and distance to next service, plus any diagnostic error codes. MyMavia can interpret some of the diagnostic codes and it enables the owner to consult other resources, online or otherwise, to find out more on what’s wrong with the car. MyMavia incorporates location services too, showing where the vehicle is on Google Maps and there are connections to social sites like Foursquare.

The Mavia is in a beta testing phase so pricing is not confirmed but is expected to be around $200. The device will be available from retail outlets later in the year and requires no special fitting; it’s a self-install.

Interview by Todd Cochrane of Geek News Central for the TechPodcast Network.

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Treehouse Labs and BiKN

Posted by Andrew at 4:59 PM on December 22, 2011

BiKN LogoTreehouse Labs has been working hard on its BiKN Technology Platform and the first consumer product based on the technology has now been announced. BiKN for iPhone uses a smart case, the myBiKN app and small, clip-on tags to help people find the things they tagged from their phone or page their phone from one of the tags. If you are wondering, BiKN is pronounced “beacon”.BiKN Tag

The app and tags can be used for different functions, such as Find, Leash and Page. The Find mode shows a visual meter and audio signal on the iPhone that helps locate the missing item. The Leash feature enables the user to control how far a tagged item can be separated from the smart case before an alarm sounds on both the iPhone and tag. Sounds handy for keeping track of wayward children! The Page function can sound an alert on one or more tags.

In creating BiKN we asked, ‘why can’t your phone case protect more than just your phone?’. BiKN is essentially a wireless network for your stuff with both a head – our smart case – and a heart – the myBiKN app.” said John Howard, Founder & CEO of Treehouse Labs. “It’s not just an alarm or a tether. BiKN enables your iPhone to keep up with your stuff and your stuff to page your phone. Even if it is dead or turned off.

BiKN for iPhone is a CES 2012 Design Innovation and Engineering Award Honoree (.pdf) and GNC will be chatting with Treehouse Labs at CES.

Move Over Siri, Make Way For Iris

Posted by tomwiles at 3:56 PM on November 16, 2011

Android users feeling a bit left out after the release of the iPhone 4s and its Siri personal voice assistance technology, listen up. There’s a new Android female voice assistant in town and her name is Iris. That’s right, Iris is Siri spelled backwards.

Like Siri, the Iris app for Android has a big blue button located at the bottom of the screen. A single tap brings up an on-screen microphone. Speaking near the phone it is possible to ask questions as well as to direct the Iris app to execute commands, such as to search for something, etc. The voice recognition is quite good, and Iris responds quickly. The heavy lifting for the voice to text recognition happens on the server end, as well as the artificial intelligence involved.

Iris for Android is currently free in the Android Marketplace and is named as Alpha software. Even though it is an Alpha version, I have found the app itself to be very stable. The Iris app is a small download.

Q: “What is a tire?”

A: “Tire (a rubber cover that protects the wheel of a vehicle and absorbs shock)

 

Q: “What is Android?”

A: “Android is a software platform for mobile devices powered by the Linux kernel, initially developed by Google and later the Open Handset Alliance”

 

Q: “Is Google good or evil?”

A: “Better not tell you now. Ask Lucy if it is.”

 

Q: “Ask Lucy if Google is good or evil.”

A: “They are not available right now, but I wiill ask them later.”

 

Q: “What is the capital of Romania?”

A: “Bucharest, the capital of Romania”

 

Q: “Is blogging real news?”

A: “Signs point to yes. Ask Dancing Alice if it is.”

 

Q: “Who is Dancing Alice?”

A: “They are sometimes a client on the Internet. I will search for it.”

 

Q: “Where do you live?”

A: “I live inside a computer. Where are you?”

 

Q: “What is your sex?”

A: “I am a female.”

 

Q: “Are you a female?”

A: “No”

So as you can see with this random set of admittedly somewhat off-the-wall questions, the answers can be varied.

Iris is not yet perfect, but this is an app that every Android phone owner should immediately download. It’s possible to waste hours on end interacting with Iris.

Neither Iris or Siri are quite up to the standards of their Star Trek counterparts, but the technology is getting there. The real world is never like it is in the movies or TV, but it’s clear that this type of voice recognition/artificial intelligence technology combo has a bright and useful future.

Mixel Lets You Create Art, Collaborate with Friends on iPad

Posted by J Powers at 9:58 AM on November 10, 2011
Mixel

Mixel

In this day and age, we can make art by iPad with a simple stroke of the finger. There are painting apps like Art Rage, which we saw at CES.  Now we can do art share remixing – with an application called Mixel.

What is art share remixing? Well, you create a piece of art, then share it with your friends. They will then either enjoy your piece, remix your art or even add items to make it better. Your friend can then share that part so you can view, add or remix.

The program is created by Khoi Vinh and Scott Ostler. Vinh was a digital design director for the New York Times and Ostler works with an image hosting site called dump.fm. The duo is calling it the world’s first social art app for the iPad.

“Most art apps translate the analog art experience into digital form and stop there,” Vinh said. “They overlook the transformative power of a user’s social graph, which can turn an ‘expert’ activity like art-making into something casual, accessible and even addictive. Mixel is a true social experience, which is why it’s so much more fun and engaging.”

The application is available for download from the Apple app store.

Introducing Mixel for iPad from Mixel App on Vimeo.