Archivi giornalieri: 06/05/2011
Android devices give you the freedom to enter text by simply speaking to your device.The xSpeechKit is a Google Chrome extension that gives you the same feature for all input boxes appearing in pages that you open using Chrome. The extension automatically recognizes most input boxes on a newly opened webpage.
Once installed, a small mic icon appears in the input boxes that the extension is built to recognize. Simply click on the mic and wait for it to prompt you to speak. Once ‘Speak now’ appears, speak the text you want to enter and it will appear in the box. It uses your Windows audio settings to recognize which mic you’re using (in case you have more than one mic plugged in and available).
The extension recognizes input fields like search boxes (in Google, Bing or Yahoo). It also recognizes form fields like the ones that usually appear when you’re signing up for a new email account. It will recognize search bars in Wikipedia and YouTube, however, it may or may not recognize the Wikipedia and YouTube search bars that appear in Google Search results. Only fields that let the user input text are recognized; it does not allow the user to speak options from dropdown menus. The extension also recognizes email input fields, however, character support for common symbols like the comma (,), Period (.), and (@) and dash(_) symbols are not available. It’s best used to enter text in search fields. It does not recognize password input fields.
If you are in the market for a new bluetooth headset then the Nokia J might be worth a look. The newly launched Nokia J headset has already won a number of design awards. Including the red dot Design Winner 2011, iF Product Design Award 2011, and International CES Innovations Design and Engineering Showcase Honor 2011.
The new Nokia J headset has a very sleek design and has stand-by time up to 3 months and talk time up to 5 hours. The headset need not be worn all the time and is provided with a holster which allows you to store the device until an incoming call is received. Watch the Nokia J headset promotional video after the jump.
The Nokia J is equipped with active background noise cancellation with Digital Signal Processing (DSP) technology and wind noise reduction, together with Automatic Echo Cancellation (AEC).
Another great feature of the new Nokia J is that it can be charged to 2.5 hours of tak time in just 15 minutes using the supplied fast Micro-USB Carger AC-10.
Creative has launched a new line of headphones to add to its range named the WP Series, designed for mobile phone users who want the best voice quality for calls and the best audio playback quality for music, and which will be arriving in stores both this month and during September 2011.
The new Creative WP Series headphones are Bluetooth compatible and features three models the WP-450, WP-350 and WP-250. All of which can be folded for easily storage and transportation, and will provide around 8 hours of playback and 9 hours of talk time according to Creative.
The Creative WP350 incorporate and invisible microphone and the WP-250 are a sports in-ear design which sit behind-the-neck. The WP350 are priced at £89.99 and will be arriving in May, the other models will arrive in September for WP450 £119.99 and WP250 £59.99
Following its pledge to make 3D TV experience more affordable, Samsung’s just announced a price drop on the rest of its active shutter glasses lineup. As you probably already know, the entry-level SSG-3100GB went from $129.99 down to just $49.99 last month; and now we have the better-looking SSG-3300CR plus SSG-3300GR reduced by $50 down to $129.99, along with the swanky SSG-3700CR (pictured above) getting a $70 discount to just $149.99. Of course, these premium spectacles are still far from affordable compared to their passive counterparts, so it’ll be interesting to see if Samsung’s attempt to lure more 3D viewers will work at all. Ultimately though, we’d love to see other manufacturers follow suit — bring on the 3D price war!
Sony’s “Welcome Back” package of free software and PlayStation Plus subscriptions was a nice gesture, but it won’t help you if your credit card gets fraudulently charged in the aftermath of the PlayStation Network debacle. That, however, is exactly what Debix is for. Sony’s announced that it will provide a complimentary one-year subscription to Debix’s “AllClear ID Plus” identity theft protection service to all PlayStation Network and Qriocity account holders in the United States, which will attempt to protect your personal data from harm, by both monitoring known criminal activity for your private digits and providing up to $1 million in ID theft insurance coverage. We’ve never used Debix, so we can’t vouch for its reliability, and this particular plan admittedly doesn’t look quite as comprehensive as the one Debix offers regular customers for $10 a month. Still, some peace of mind is a heck of a lot better than none, so we think we might take Sony up on its offer and sign up by the June 18th deadline. If you’d like to join us, you should find an activation code in your inbox before long.
Google Earth gets optimized for Honeycomb tablets, interior photos hit Google Maps next week (Video)
There may have been a slight shortage of Honeycomb-optimized apps to go along with the first round of tablets, but things are now starting to pick up a bit, and Google has now filled in one more gap itself. It’s just released a Honeycomb-optimized version of Google Earth, which brings with it support for fully textured 3D buildings that you can view from street level, as well as a new action bar on top that lets you jump between layers and other options. What’s more, Google has also now announced that its new Business Photos feature for Google Maps (Places, specifically) will begin to roll out next week, offering what’s effectively Street View for the inside of retailers and other buildings — with the owner’s permission, of course. Head on past the break for a demonstration of how it will work.
We’ve seen it powered down and had it dangled in front of us and now, four months after its launch, we’ve finally had a chance to play with a real, working Samsung Infuse 4G. This 4.5-inch superphone — the biggest Sammy has made to date — feels surprisingly light in the hands, despite its width. That’s largely thanks to its crazy-thin 8.99mm profile, along with a subtly textured backside. The Super AMOLED Plus display — the same kind found on the smaller Droid Charge — which promises to be brighter than Super AMOLED as well as easier to view in direct sunlight, is simply stunning. We were seriously impressed by the punchy colors and deep blacks, although that outdoor test will have to wait for another day.
Blessedly, Samsung lets those vibrant colors speak for themselves — it loaded the phone with Android 2.2 and abstained from saddling it with its TouchWiz UI made its TouchWiz UI less intrusive out of the box. The handset packs a single — not dual — core 1.2GHz processor, but you won’t notice or care how many cores it has unless you’re a benchmark junkie — the phone launches applications briskly, while the touchscreen is responsive and always precise. We noticed nary a delay as we swiped among the seven home screens and three application pages. Speaking of speed, this is AT&T’s first device to promise max speeds of 21 Mbps. Samsung held its press event in a New York City restaurant with poor reception, alas, and we have a feeling the crawling rates we observed off-camera don’t do this phone justice. We’re walking out of here with one of these bad boys, and we’re stoked to fully put it through its paces over the next few days. We’ll be back with an in-depth review.
We’ve known Samsung’s Infuse 4G was coming to AT&T since the day we got our grubby mitts on one at CES, and now it’s finally here. Samsung’s svelte superphone with the dazzling 4.5-inch Super AMOLED Plus display is launching May 15th on AT&T for $200 on a two-year contract. Keep it locked right here, as more pics and a hands-on with Sammy’s hot new handset are on the way.
Behind that sizable screen real estate, the Infuse 4G packs HSDPA Cat 14 and HSUPA Cat 6 radios, a 2GB microSD card, 1.2 GHz processor, and Android 2.2. Sammy also gave it an 8-megapixel camera in the back that does 720p video and a 1.3-megapixel front-facing shooter — all in a handset that’s 9.24mm thick in the bulge at the bottom and 8.9mm thin most everywhere else. Full details are in the PR after the break.
We’ve just gotten to grips with Sony Ericsson’s new compact smartphones, the Xperia Mini and its keyboard-equipped sibling the Xperia Mini Pro, and have a gallery of shots for you below. Hit them up now and we’ll have hands-on impressions and video coming shortly.
The Xperia Mini has wonderful size when it comes to width and height, but we have to ask: why so thick? The Mini Pro is only slightly thicker despite having a fully-fledged slideout keyboard, so it would have been nice if the keyboard-less Mini was more svelte. Sony Ericsson is clearly going after the pocket- and handbag-conscious demographic here, who might not be all that receptive to the Mini’s girth. SE also made some bold claims about the finger-friendliness of the Mini Pro’s keyboard, which we were told were backed by usability tests against rival phones. Those trials were isolated to devices “in its size class” (of which there aren’t many), but our first response was still very positive, at least once we turned on auto-correct. This will be a matter of personal preference, but we found ourselves enjoying not having to take care of every little slip of the finger. Anyway, settings adjusted appropriately, we bashed away on the Mini Pro rather speedily and would rate it right up there with the BlackBerry Bold 9700 in terms of our typing rapidity. Browser rendering has its flaws, there’s a stuttery quality to zooming in and out of a page, but at least it’s done quickly and Flash playback seems to work without a hitch.
What’s that, an alien egg? Nope. Memory foam iPillow? No, silly, it’s a Zeppelin, a Zeppelin Air more specifically. Bowers & Wilkins brought us the first iPod-centric Zeppelin in the middle of the great iPod dock flood of ’07. A few years later they downsized and brought us a mini version. The logical extension after the advent of AirPlay is here: a Zeppelin that does its thang without wires. We’ve been beaming music to it for a few weeks now — wanna find out how our relationship has been? Click through, captain.
Wander through MIT’s Killian Court and you’ll spot something distinctly modern nestled amongst its classical buildings — a set of solar-powered lounge chairs called SOFT Rockers. These curved, solar-panel-covered seats rotate on an axis to keep them facing the sun, generating additional energy from the rocking motion created when people climb inside. All that harvested electricity can be used to recharge gadgets plugged into the three USB ports and to illuminate a light strip on the inside of the loop. The teardrop-shaped charging stations were created by professor Sheila Kennedy and a team of students for the Festival of Art+Science+Technology (FAST) as an antidote to “conventional ‘hard’ urban infrastructure.” Plus, they seem like a great place to charge your phone while evading Dean Wormer and riding out double secret probation.
It took ‘em long enough, but it seems as if The Now Network has managed to snap up Motorola’s Droid Pro… just seven months after Verizon Wireless did so. For whatever reason, Sprint’s dubbing its version the XPRT, with the same 3.1-inch HVGA touchpanel, full QWERTY keyboard, 1GHz CPU and Android 2.2 loaded. It’ll go for $129.99 on a two-year contract starting June 5th, but giving that the Pro hit the bargain bin long ago, we’re having a hard time believing anyone will pony up for Sprint’s iteration. Moving right along, the Titanium gets off on the wrong foot by shipping with Android 2.1, and while it’s hailed as the first iDEN device to combine Nextel Direct Connect and Eclair, the G’zOne Commando has somehow managed to show its brawn while stepping up to v2.2. For those interested nonetheless, there’s a 3.1-inch touchscreen and a chassis that’s built to MIL-SPEC 810G for dust, shock, vibration, low pressure, solar radiation, high temperature and low temperature. She’s unpriced for the moment, but the full release can be found just after the break.
It may not look like it, but that sleek black thing pictured above is actually a microscope. Designed by engineers at Germany’s Fraunhofer Institute for Applied Optics and Precision Engineering IOF, this little guy boasts a 5.3mm optical length, rendering it slim enough to fit in the palm of your hand, yet powerful enough to deliver images at a scanner-like resolution of five micrometers, over a wide surface area. Fraunhofer’s researchers achieved this balance by essentially tossing out the manual on traditional microscope design. Whereas most devices slowly scan areas and construct images on a piecemeal basis, this handheld uses several small imaging channels and a collection of tiny lenses to record equal sized fragments of a given surface. Unlike conventional scanner microscopes, all of these 300 x 300 square micrometer imaging channels are captured at the same time. With a single swipe, then, users can record 36 x 24 square mm shots of matchbox-sized objects, without even worrying about blurring the images with their shaky hands. The prototype is still two years away from going into production, but once it does, engineers say it could help doctors scan patients for skin cancer more easily, while also allowing bureaucrats to quickly confirm the authenticity of official documents. We can only imagine what it could do for Pac-Man. Full PR after the break.