Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Apple Has Made Plans And Designs Of Their Own To Compete With The Oculus Rift

There's a common word that can either bring people to a very angry place, or a happy place. The word is "bandwagon". Many of us know this word from sporting events when your friend "jumps on the bandwagon" of the winning team. But that word can also apply to tech and tech companies, believe it or not. Take the currently hot Oculus Rift Virtual Reality headset. As most of you may be well aware of, this technology was recently bought by Facebook. Naturally with how many people are stoked on the idea of virtual reality in media and games, Facebook is dumping quite a bit of cash into it. This hasn't gone unnoticed by certain companies, namely Apple. Apple has never been one to stray away from something that they see as a cash cow. Anything they view that they can take, slap their logo on, design better, and charge a pretty penny for, they will take.

Naturally, seeing a company as large as Facebook getting a hold of the Oculus Virtual Reality tech, Apple has now put in a patent to make their own Virtual Reality headset technology in order to compete with Facebook and Oculus.

Much like the rumored and now confirmed iWatch, the possibility of Apple coming out with their own version of a Virtual Reality headset has been circulating for some time now. With this patent, they have now proven the rumors to be true.

Even though the rumors have now been shown to be true, that doesn't the patent has necessarily been granted. As of now, the patent has been rejected, but it isn't necessarily done for. Apple had the plan of just augmenting, or "touching up" one of their previous patents. Since it has now be rejected though, Apple now has the option of a rebuttal or just giving up on the patent all together.

However even with the patent being rejected, this doesn't mean that the patent itself didn't show specific image designs of what we could be looking at in the future. The designs showed something that looked reminiscent of the Oculus goggles, but with some nuances to differentiate themselves obviously. For example, the new HMD (head-mounted display) is being designed to connect to other Apple products such as your iPod or iPhone. It's all about the connectivity these days! The connectivity could be wireless or wired depending on your Wi-Fi connection and will be able to connect to things like Apple TV to offer you your media on a personal display while you're away from home.

While it's nice to see all the connectivity features that will eventually come with Apples new Virtual Reality headset, there are a few things missing from the design. For one, there is no specification on what the resolution will be for the display. They will obviously have to compensate the screen size and pixel size/count to the distance from the display to the eyes. With that being said, Apple has noted that it will be like "watching a movie." Hopefully it turns out that way. The next thing missing from the design is something that Oculus has a leg up on: gyroscopes and accelerometers. These two components help in giving the user a more immersive experience. Basically when you look left in the real world, your view point on the headset will also look left in the virtual world.

It's safe to say that with Facebook blazing down the trail to make Oculus the best that it can possibly be, Apple will definitely be putting more focus on their own Virtual Reality headset just to compete.

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Sunday, April 13, 2014

Amazon To Release Their Own Smartphone This Year

Amazon has decided to expand their horizons into the smartphone market. The company has reportedly decided to debut their new handset this fall.

The rumor of this happening has been around for years. There have been supposed leaks and people talking about it, saying they have had information, but you can never really believe it until there is some solid evidence. On Friday, The Wall Street Journal came out and said that Amazon is for sure planning to announce their very own handset some time in June.

The Wall Street Journal also said that Amazon has been showing off their new device to different developers in the Seattle and San Francisco areas for a few weeks, having them meet up at a hotel suite guarded by heavy security. Reports from some of the insiders say that the phone is supposed to be released to the public some time at the end of September. It will feature four different front facing cameras to track your face and your eyes, and will use the technology to offer a 3D viewing experience without the use of any type of glasses.

All of the rumors in the past have mainly focused on silly details that most wouldn't care about, like the online shopping possibilities that may be included. But, these recent reports make us think that this phone may have more to offer than a few silly gimmicks.

Sources have said that the first order for these new phones will consist of about 600,000 units, and that Japan Display has been producing at least one of the phone's components.

Everyone isn't so on board with the idea of this new device though. Lot's of people think that Amazon is getting too far away from it's roots, and that the new device will likely flop. I think that these people are forgetting that this is still the same company who put out the Kindle, which is an extremely successful and popular device. As a matter of fact, the Kindle was responsible for taking away more of the iPad's costumers than any other tablet in late 2013. So if that is any sign of how the phone is going to do on the market, it's actually got a pretty good shot.

Production for the device is supposed to start this month. We should see the first glimpses in June, and we'll be able to see it in person in September. I'm pretty excited to see what it's all about, and see how it does going up against Apple's iPhone 6, which will likely come out around the same time.

Thursday, April 03, 2014

Looking To Get A Bit More Productivity Out Of Your Tablet? Try This!

It's pretty safe to say that even though those of us who have tablets have the intent of using them for productive purposes, that doesn't normally happen. Half the time we spend on our tablets is either to surf the web, update our statuses, or trying beat our high score on Fruit Ninja. It's mainly due to these, and other reasons, why most people think that owning a tablet is strictly for leisure purposes. Some of us may want to use the devices for their original intentions of being productive, but may not know exactly how. Well, lucky for us, there are a few ways to turn our ultra thin Angry Birds machines, into the devices they were intended to be.

Clean Up Your Apps.
One of the first things you can do is go through and see if there are any apps that you can do without. I can almost guarantee that there are at least 5 or 6 apps on your phone or tablet that you can get rid of and give your mobile device a bit more breathing room to work with. Don't keep so many games on your tablet, just because they can take up a lot of space. There is nothing wrong with playing some Jet Pack Joyride while you are going to sleep (I'm quite fond of this myself), but when it comes down to crunch time you may want to get rid of something of the games you've not played in a while. For those iPad users, there happens to be an app available called Parallels Access which allows you to use any app from your PC or Mac directly on the tablet. The $80 annual rate may be a bit pricey, but for what you are getting out of it, it could be a great way to fill up that empty space left by the lack of games.

Time For Keyboard.
While it is nice to just type away on your tablet and feel good about it, there is nothing as comforting as feeling the keys against your fingertips. You are able to easily guide your fingers when you feel the keys, as opposed to just tapping on the screen. Not that it isn't responsive, but having an external keyboard or maybe a Touchfire keyboard accessory could definitely help deter you from making continuous typos. It will definitely make typing easy, feel more responsive, and can help you get more work done simply due to the fact that you wont be deleting every thing you wrote every 2 minutes.

A Second Monitor You Didn't Know You Had.
 There are some apps out there that actually allow you to turn your tablet into a second monitor. The app will essentially confuse your Mac or PC into thinking that the tablet it just an external monitor. Perhaps you have an external monitor or two already. There is nothing wrong with adding another. Keep four different windows or apps up on four different screens. Contrary to popular belief, having extra monitors can actually help increase productivity. I should know, it helps me out!

All in all, there are many different ways to help get your tablet to where you want it to be. You don't have to necessarily get rid of every game you've ever loved, but cleaning up space can really help. The external keyboard can help a ton as well. The ability to have an extra (slightly smaller) monitor is also a big plus. It doesn't just have to be an Angry Birds machine anymore. So get to work!