Get Ready for Qualcomm’s New Snapdragon 820 Ultrasound Biometric Technology

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snapdragon_primary-100259796-largeQualcomm’s latest announcement at the Mobile World Congress 2015 – the new Snapdragon 820 will come loaded with Snapdragon Sense ID 3D Fingerprint Technology, a silicon chip that has 3D fingerprint reading capability and functions like a ‘brain,’ meaning it has cognitive abilities, might have widespread implications for the smartphone industry.

While the concept of ID or fingerprint unlock is old enough, the new processor will open doors to an entirely different kind of authentication security. The new Snapdragon Sense ID 3D senses fingerprint via an ultrasound and analyses it to unlock the device. The government-grade technology can sense the finger through glass, aluminum, sapphire or even stainless steel.

Speaking of detailing, the ultrasound technology is able to sift through layers of skin, including details of ridges and sweat pores. The principle behind its working is that the ultrasound scans the fingerprint in 3D instead of the current 2D technology, and constructs an accurate picture of the finger for authentication purposes.

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Project Loon: Not so Loony, Google’s Balloon in the Sky Internet turns from Myth to Reality

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When Google announced its Project Loon in June 2013, a lot of people thought they had gone loony! Google’s ‘floating cell towers in the sky’ or balloon powered internet service aims to send balloons into the stratosphere as floating network towers providing world-wide connectivity even to remote, rural areas.

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Two years hence, with the project progressing in leaps and bounds, the joke is on everyone else. Not only is it off the ground, it has been successfully been tested on a smaller scale in Australia and South America and is being currently tested on a large scale in collaboration with partners. Outlining the ambitious plans, Google’s Sundar Pichai said, “When I first heard the idea, I thought it was a crazy idea, and these balloons are really big. The notion that you can run these things to scale, which sounds like science fiction… but we will see a lot of progress in the next few years where we can turn it into a real service for users.”
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The World’s first ’4K Android TV console’ from NVIDIA

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NVIDIA, the leaders in graphic chips and visual computing design wowed the crowds at the 2015 Game Developers Conference at San Francisco with their latest offering in the Shield series, an Android gaming console they are calling the “world’s first 4K Android TV console.”

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While announcing the device, CEO Jen-Hsun Huang said “First, it’s based on the most popular OS in the world. Second, the richness of the Google Play store, with its huge range of applications. Third, it syncs with all my other devices. Finally, it has an incredible voice search capability.”

nvidia-shield1.0A sleek device with NVIDIA’s signature green glow incorporated as a part of the design, the console supports decoded 4K videos at a rate of 60Hz. It can be plugged into the TV for an out-of-the-world gaming experience. The device runs on Android and incorporates the latest NVIDIA Tegra X1 ‘superchip.’

The console can run local and streamed games (up to 1080p at 60fps); in a demo at the event, NVIDIA demonstrated the console’s abilities by adapting and directly downloading of popular high-end video games, including Id Software’s ‘Doom 3′ and Crytek’s ‘Crysis,’ made for other gaming devices or by streaming them remotely via NVIDIA’s servers. Other features include:

  • Tegra X1 Processor with 256-bit Maxwell GPU
  • 3GB of memory.
  • MicroSD slot,
  • a Micro USB 2.0 port,
  • two USB Type-A 3.0 ports, gigabit Ethernet port,
  • HDMI port.

nvidia-remote.0A non-gaming Bluetooth remote (it supports Android Bluetooth 4.1 and dual-band 801.11ac Wi-Fi connections) controls the device and can be activated with a “one click, one touch voice search.” A headset jack on the controller can be used for controlling privacy when the user wants to listen quietly, otherwise, the console outputs 5.1 and 7.1 surround sound.

In Huang’s words, “This is really a discontinuity in the gaming industry.” He emphasized its power compared to other set-top boxes from Roku and Apple TV. He also took a dig at Xbox 360 by telling the crowd that the new NVIDIA console performs twice as well and at half the power.

The company said that it aims to popularize the concept of superior video games and other forms of personal entertainment on a larger scale.

Along with the Console, NVIDIA also announced more than 50 Android games and an online service – Grid store – for streaming videogames to the console. The console itself, including the game controller will be available in May and has been priced at $199.

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Sony sets 2016 as launch date for Morpheus virtual-reality headset

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It is not an unknown fact that Sony has been working on a virtual-reality headset, but the news is, the electronics giants announced its plans to launch it by 2016.

Morpheus, named after the Greek god of dreams, was unveiled last year as a prototype, but at that time it was still in its most nascent phase. A year later, the version has a number of improvements making it almost ready for the market.

SonyAt the Game Developers Conference in San Francisco yesterday, Sony lifted the wraps from a new version of the product which has been designed after taking into account developer and consumer feedback. Shuhei Yoshida, the president of the company’s Worldwide Studios for Sony Computer Entertainment called this version ‘close to the final consumer product’ and said, “We want to deliver a VR experience that lives up to our vision.”
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BlackBerry launches the New All-touch BlackBerry Leap at $275

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In a bid to make its own mark in the fast-progressing smartphone market, BlackBerry has launched a touch-enabled phone – the new BlackBerry Leap that is expected to enter the U.S and European markets sometime in April.

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Though the company emphasized that they are now moving away from a purely handset-based market, “We are committed to making software as a business. We are going to evolve,” the new release says that BlackBerry has not completely given up on its phones with their unique QWERTY keyboards.

Blackberry's Chief Executive Chen gestures during a news conference at the Mobile World Congress in BarcelonaThis time however, the design is a little different. Making the announcement at the Mobile World Congress at Barcelona, BlackBerry’s Executive Chairman and CEO John Chen unveiled the new all-touch LTE device and said that the new phone is, “mechanically very innovative and has very different usage scenarios.” He also added, “We have to be careful how we position our products. Some of those 5-inch touchscreens in Asia are selling for $100. I cannot put my BoM [bill of materials] at $100. But what we can do is build you a better phone.”

The new Leap is a definite move away from its traditional full-keypad phones and touts the following features:
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IKEA Announces Furniture with inbuilt wireless chargers

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We have heard of chargers, charging mats and even wireless charging covers, but how about charging furniture? Swedish furniture powerhouse IKEA introduced the Mobile World Congress to a completely new concept – furniture which can wirelessly charge smartphones and other mobile devices.

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According to reports from those who attended the briefing at the MWC, smart device users will be able to charge their phones, tablets and perhaps even smart watches by simply placing them on a specific location on tables, lamps, nightstands, desks etc.

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Google is set to Launch its Own Wireless Network in the US

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If you thought the MWC is only about smartphone, tablets and smartwatch releases, think again. Google’s Sundar Pichai stunned the attendees with an announcement called ‘Project Nova’, a new ambitious plan by Google to launch its own wireless mobile network in the US.

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Under the new plan, Google’s virtual network will start out on a smaller scale than the current national carriers like Verizon, AT&T, Sprint and T-Mobile. In the words of Mr. Pichai, “We don’t intend to be a network operator at scale. All innovation in computing happens at intersection of hardware and software. That is why we do Nexus devices. We do it at enough scale to achieve impact. We are at a stage now where it is important to think about hardware software and connectivity together.”
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Five Other Latest and Hottest New Tech from Mobile World Congress 2015

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The first day of the MWC has barely ended and already the tech forums and news site are buzzing with all the amazing new technologies announced so far.

Mobile World Congress 2015

Following last year’s slump, the world was waiting for something definitive, something that pushes the borders of imagination in terms of innovation and this year’s attendees have not failed to deliver. We have all been following some of the trendier and more popular releases like the Samsung Galaxy S6 and S6 Edge, HTC One M9, Microsoft Lumia 640 and 640 XL, Sony Xperia Z4 Tablet and M4 Aqua smartphone, etc.

But the MWC has also seen the debut of some other amazing gadgets, devices and technology in an increasingly digitized world. So here is a quick round up of five of the other best announcements so far:
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YiCamera: Xiaomi’s $64 action camera outclasses GoPro Hero

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Xiaomi is on a roll, first the Mi Note that almost outshines an iPhone and now YiCamera, a camera that can match the GoPro Hero any day!

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Xiaomi’s new action camera, the YiCamera is tiny is size (72 g compared to GoPro’s 111g) but big in features. It has a 16MP Sony Exmor R CMOS image sensor with f/2.8 aperture lens as compared to GoPro’s 5MP camera.

Compared to the Go Pro which can shoot 1080p footage at 30 fps, or 720p film at 60 fps, the camera can record videos with 1080p resolution at a frame rate of 60fps. It also has a 155 degree panorama view and supports adjustable time lapse shooting of videos and images.

The camera has an internal storage of 64GB which is double the storage offered on GoPro and it also has a built-in support for Wi-Fi and Bluetooth for wireless content sharing over Android devices through a specific app. The app allows the user to remotely control the camera and also edit and share new shots and footages.

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Kim Kardashian’s $200 million Super-Hit mobile Game App lands her on the cover of Adweek

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This week’s Adweek magazine, in its March issue, features Kim Kardashian in a skintight, black latex dress with a black-and-white pixel glasses in her hand – the context for the cover story where she talks about her $200 million app,  the super successful mobile game Kim Kardashian: Hollywood launched last summer and how she plans to become the “next tech superstar.”

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After dabbling in modelling and reality TV shows, Kim decided to delve into the world of technology with her game Kim Kardashian: Hollywood which achieved immense popularity and raked in the big bucks. The game itself was developed by Glu Mobile which requested her partnership on a new video game soon after she became a mother.
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