By studying human factors (shocking!), an Israeli company makes close-range gestural input make sense.
I recently reviewed Intel’s prototype “perceptual computing” interface, and while the product vision was compelling, the user experience needed a lot of work. Just because you can plop a depth camera on top of your laptop and wave your hands in front of the screen, does that mean you should? Luckily, an Israeli company called Omek Interactive has applied some actual thought and research toward answering this question. Their “Arc Menu” is the first close-range, consumer-grade gestural UI I’ve seen that takes comfort and basic ergonomics into account. Here’s a demo the company did at CES for LazyTechGuys:
We've all seen the CES demos, and salivated while watching Phil put his hands all over one of the prototype Project Shield devices in his hands-on, but there is no way that's enough. We want to see as much as we can about this bad boy, and NVIDIA knows it. Starting today, they will be showing a new Project Shield video every Monday to build our anticipation for the next generation in gaming.
This week, Will from NVIDIA walks us through logging into Steam and playing some Borderlands 2 over the network right on his Project Shield device. It looks simple, the frame rate is great, and even the latency looks low enough to satisfy even the most hardcore gamer. It looks like it really is as badass as NVIDIA is claiming. Hit the break and watch the video.
If you're counting down the days until J.J. Abrams’ “Star Trek Into Darkness” opens in theaters, there's a new app in Google Play you'll want to give a look. Simply titled the Star Trek App, you'll be presented with missions to complete, and as a reward you'll get exclusive access to special content upon completing them.
The missions involve things like virtual scavenger hunts — where you scan photos or other imagery, use audio, or are location aware. These use the latest tech from Qualcomm, such as the Qualcomm Labs’ Gimbal platform and Qualcomm Vuforia augmented reality tool. The Start Trek App is one of the first commercially released app to use these platforms, which we first heard about at CES.
In addition, users will have access to the latest news about the upcoming film, and be able to have assets like video, wallpapers, and images delivered directly to their device. The app is free, runs on Froyo or higher, and you can download it at the Google Play link above. The full press release is after the break.
More: Star Trek
At CES Intel showed for the first time its new, emerging market orientated, Lexington chips. During the keynote presentation though, mention was made of the next generation of performance orientated, dual-core chips for higher end smartphone offerings. Dubbed Clover Trail+, and based on Intel's Atom Z2580, CES also threw up the first smartphone powered by the chip, the monstrous 5.5 inch Lenovo K900. While the K900 is destined only for select Asian markets and Russia at this time, Intel has now promised we'll get to see more Clover Trail+ devices later this month at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona.
Other than that, we really don't have much to go on. We're promised a look at the new dual-core smartphones, as well as another look at the lower spec Lexington based devices for emerging markets. OEM partners are included, so we should be seeing actual devices that actual consumers can purchase, not just Intel reference devices. If the K900 is anything to go by though, we're pretty excited to see what Intel can bring for the future.
NVIDIA has posted a great blog post explaining just what it took to get Project Shield ready for CES. We all pretty much fell in love with the idea from the minute we first saw it (see Phil's time with the device), a gamer's device that does more than play games, but we tend to forget that the 20 minutes worth of Project Shield we saw was just a short part of the entire process of getting Project Shield from the minds of engineers to the keynote stage.
According to NVIDIA, Project Shield started in early 2012, as a game controller fastened to an Android smartphone via a block of wood. Spending the rest of the year designing and testing things, the first two real prototypes were delivered on December 18, just a few weeks before it was to be shown to the world in Las Vegas.
During the final weeks of hustle to prepare for CES, engineers spent long days assembling the units that would be demonstrated at CES in a contract partners facility somewhere in Silicon Valley. The work these fellows did — putting batteries in place and carefully fitting together the device's shell — will be used to assemble the units as they roll off the line. It's important, tedious, and surely frustrating work under a tight schedule.
Of course they pulled it off, as we witnessed the day before CES officially kicked off. Project Shield looks awesome, and we can't wait until there are units out there for all of us to play with. The story is a great read, be sure to visit the link below to have a look.
We're in that slow transitional phase between CES and MWC, going through the motions of weird leaks and random product releases. Fear not, as the Apps of the Week posts will continue on regardless. You come here each Saturday to see what apps the Android Central staff are finding and using, so we do our best to find some great picks.
Hang around after the break and see how we did this week.
It's the time of year when smartphone manufacturers trot out pretty shiny new things, in the hopes that we will trade our money for them. It's pretty successful, because they always have something to wow us. Sony, Huawei and plenty of other players have already teased us with things we want at CES. Mobile World Congress is coming up soon, and we expect to see some more, and after that the fun begins for us here in the states as carriers and OEMs trickle out news about which incredible things we've seen are coming, and that they will be coming soon. Even chip makers are in on the game, telling us how great these new devices are going to be. They seem to know exactly how to make us want the new gear, and we get hyped up for it all.
But when reality sets in, most people just can't skip from phone to phone on a whim. These things that are so pretty are also pretty expensive. A new Android smartphone costs more than I spent for my first car! Subsidies from carriers help offset the price, but then you're locked in for years. In the words of the great English poet Mick Jagger, "You can't always get what you want."
So to put things into perspective, we wanna know who is ready to plunk down the cash for a new phone when this year's hotness becomes available. There's a poll in the sidebar to the right, or you'll find it after the break. Answer it, and we'll all have a better idea of how many of us are ready.
Before we go, last week's poll results:
Pretty tight race here, and that's a good thing. I have a feeling that any of these would be a great choice!
We've hit the ground running after CES, with plenty of Android news from around the world. And although that show gave us plenty of new devices to prepare for, the focus of much of this week's news was rumored devices expected to emerge in the months ahead. (Our money's on most of these being unveiled at Mobile World Congress in late February, by the way.)
Let's start by breaking down some of the rumored devices, then we'll get to some of the other international stories to break this week…
The Sony Xperia ZL may be coming to market in more than just black and white if these photos of a deep red model are to be believed. We had a look at the black and white versions of the Xperia ZL back at CES in Las Vegas and really enjoyed the quality of the handset, but the red version was nowhere to be found. The photo above is reportedly a prototype model handled at a South East Asia launch event, and word is that we shouldn't expect this for a worldwide launch like the other colors. The design is apparently identical, save for a back plate that's smooth rather than textured.
This is a touch confusing considering the white and black models were shown off so extensively at the major launch event in Las Vegas. Sony may have some final tweaking to do on the red model before it's ready for a consumer release, or it may be holding the third color as a special edition or regional device. Red version aside, we have no firm pricing or release date for the Xperia ZL (or it's brother, the Z) anywhere in the world. If you happen to be holding out for the device to make an appearance in the states, you may want to prepare to have it imported from overseas.
XperiaBlog has a good handful of pictures of the red Xperia ZL, if you're so inclined, at the source link below.
Source: XperiaBlog; Via: Pocket-Lint