Apple TV Prototype with Siri and iSight Camera

Submitted by lalit on May 7, 2012 - 11:18am.

Cult of Mac is reporting that they have heard from a reliable source who has seen the Apple TV prototype in action featuring current Cinema Display like design along with Siri and iSight camera. The website claims “Our source is well placed and has provided us with great tips in the past.” Leander Kahney wrote on Cult of Mac:

Our source claims to have seen a working prototype of the exact device Steve Jobs was talking about when he said he had “cracked TV.”

According to our source, the Apple TV looks a lot like Apple’s current lineup of Cinema Display monitors.

“It resembled an Apple monitor, only much larger,” our source said.

The Apple HDTV makes FaceTime calls using the built-in iSight camera. The camera is sophisticated, with facial recognition and the ability to zoom into the user’s face and follow them as they walk around the room. This allows users to make video calls from the couch across the room, rather than having to stand smack in front of the TV.

In addition, calls are initiated by Siri, the iPhone 4S’s virtual assistant. “[Apple] used Siri to make a FaceTime call,” the source said.

Cult of Mac didn’t get any other information about specs, user interface, pricing or launch schedule from their source. It will be really interesting if Apple bring FaceTime to the living room with their upcoming/rumored Apple TV.

 

HTC Droid Incredible 4G LTE Coming to Verizon

Submitted by lalit on May 7, 2012 - 10:37am.

Verizon and HTC announced today that the new Droid Incredible 4G LTE featuring the new HTC Sense 4.0 UI on top of Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich will be available in coming weeks. The main features of the LTE powered handset are:

  • 1.2 GHz dual-core Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 processor
  • 4-inch super LCD qHD display
  • 8 megapixel rear-facing camera with autofocus, LED flash, BSI, f/2.2 and 28 mm lens
  • Front-facing camera for video chatting with friends and family
  • Integrated Beats Audio
  • Mobile Hotspot capable to share 4G LTE connection with up to 10 Wi-Fi enabled devices
  • Support for up to 32 GB microSD memory card
  • 1,700-mAh lithium ion removable battery

No word on pricing yet, but Verizon says Droid Incredible 4G LTE will soon be available in Verizon Stores and on Verizon’s website.

 

AT&T Announces Digital Life Wireless Home Security and Automation Services

Submitted by lalit on May 7, 2012 - 8:09am.

AT&T today announced IP-based home security monitoring and automation services called AT&T Digital Life that offers customers control and security of their homes using any web-enabled device, PCs, tablets and smartphones, regardless of wireless carrier.

“The AT&T Digital Life service has the potential to take home monitoring and home security solutions to another level,” said Larry Hettick, Research Director, Consumer Services, for Current Analysis. “The service promises to be as robust as anything in the marketplace today backed by the trusted AT&T brand. I am particularly impressed with its IP-based wireless platform, plans for a nationwide offering, and a wide range of devices that can be monitored and viewed from any carrier’s wireless or wireline Internet connection. These consumer-friendly capabilities will help grow this industry.”

AT&T Digital Life will have connected devices and sensors like cameras, window/door sensors, smoke sensor, carbon monoxide sensor, motion sensor, glass break sensor, automated door locks, connected thermostats, moisture detection and appliance power controls. The main features and benefits of the new service according to AT&T are:

Professional installation of the platform, sensors and other devices

Integrated, wirelessly enabled platform that combines home security and automation capabilities

AT&T owned and operated 24/7 security monitoring centers

A state-of-the-art user interface application, which allows customers to customize a solution based on individual needs, and the ability to manage and control their services from the U.S. or while traveling abroad

AT&T will begin trial run of the Digital Life services in Atlanta and Dallas this summer and will require subscription of AT&T’s wireless home service for it to work. You can get more information about the Digital Life services by signing up on AT&T’s website. Also check out the introductory video of the Digital Life service below.

 

LG HDTV Featuring Google TV Coming by End of May

Submitted by lalit on May 7, 2012 - 7:40am.

LG is planning to launch Google TV based HDTVs in US in the week of May 21, according to Reuters. Initially the Google TVs from LG will only be available in US and after seeing their sales performance LG will decide whether to expand the offering to Europe and Asia. The TV will be based on second version of Google TV, which many analyst says is better than the failed first attempt by Google last year.

"Production of Google TVs will start from May 17 from our factory in Mexico and U.S. consumers will be able to buy the product from the week of May 21," Ro Seogho, executive vice president of LG's TV business unit, told a small group of reporters.

From the report by Reuters, it looks like LG is just testing waters with small Google TV launch, as they will have Google TV support on a very small number of HDTVs, In fact, some analyst say that it will be just one model series with three screen sizes. Over 60 percent of all LG HDTVs will still use their own NetCast platform with rest 30-35% percent having no Internet capability.

 

Apple Plans to Release $799 MacBook Air in Q3?

Submitted by lalit on May 7, 2012 - 6:45am.

Digitimes is reporting that Apple will release a lower price model of MacBook Air in Q3 to compete with low end Ultrabooks from other PC makers. According to Digitimes this MacBook Air will be in response to aggressive push by Intel and other PC makers to bring down the cost of Ultrabooks to $699. Monica Chen posted:

Apple is reportedly considering responding to the upcoming second-generation ultrabooks by launching a US$799 MacBook Air in the third quarter of 2012, according to sources from the upstream supply chain.

Although Acer has recently reduced its ultrabook shipment target, Intel continues to aggressively push ultrabooks and is aiming to have the devices priced at US$699 in the second half of the year. However, if Intel is unable to bring down ASPs to its goal, the price gap between ultrabooks and the US$799 MacBook Air may further postpone the time ultrabooks become standardized, the sources noted.

Currently, Apple's 11-inch 64GB MacBook Air is priced at US$999 with a 128GB version priced at US$1,199. The 13-inch 128GB version is priced at US$1,299 and 256GB version is US$1,599. If Apple decides to launch a US$799 MacBook Air, the sources believe the strategy will damage ultrabooks allowing Apple to continue to press its advantage.

We seriously doubt that Apple will launch a $799 MacBook Air to compete with other PC maker in a race to the bottom of profit margins. Apple has never bothered to compete in low-end market where profits are almost zero, DigiTimes was one of the publications that kept on claiming few years back that Apple will release $799 white MacBook, but Apple simply replaced the MacBook lineup with MacBook Air. We believe Apple will add more features to $999 MacBook Air (bigger storage, more RAM) rather than bring the price down, like they have been doing with other Apple products.

 

Samsung Galaxy S III First TV Commercial

Submitted by lalit on May 3, 2012 - 10:25pm.

 

Although the new Galaxy S III has excellent specs, today’s Samsung launch event made it sound like boring and uninteresting. Even their press release for Galaxy S III was completely laughable. And the trend continuous with the first TV commercial for Samsung Galaxy S III, it’s a weird touchy feely ad, check it out above. Also, I seriously don’t understand what is with “Samsung Galaxy S III Designed for Humans”. Are other smartphones designed for aliens or animals? Samsung’s marketing department is destroying an excellent handset.

 

Samsung Unveils Flagship Galaxy S III Smartphone Featuring 4.8-inch Screen and Quad Core Processor

Submitted by lalit on May 3, 2012 - 6:33pm.

Samsung today announced the much anticipated Galaxy S III smartphone, which they claim is designed for humans and inspired by nature (I don’t know for whom Samsung was designing their previous generation Galaxy S handsets, but this one is for us humans). Samsung’s press release aside, the new Galaxy S III does have some class leading features including 4.8-inch Super AMOLED 720p display (its still PenTile based), 8-megpiaxel back camera, 1.9-megapixel front camera and Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich.

Samsung has also added some innovative new features like ‘Smart stay’ and ‘S Voice’ to the new handset. The Smart stay feature detects your face, voice and motions to recognize how you are using your phone - reading an e-book or browsing the web for instance – by having the front camera identify your eyes; the phone maintains a bright display for continued viewing pleasure.

On the other hand, ‘S Voice’ is an advanced natural language user interface like Siri on iPhone that listens and responds to your words. Samsung says “In addition to allowing information search and basic device-user communication, S Voice presents powerful functions in regards to device control and commands. When your phone alarm goes off but you need a little extra rest, just tell the GALAXY S III “snooze.” You can also use S Voice to play your favorite songs, turn the volume up or down, send text messages and emails, organize your schedules, or automatically launch the camera and capture a photo.”

Other features of the new Galaxy S III are Samsung Exynos quad core processor (dual core Snapdragon S4 in US), 1GB RAM, up to 64GB storage, S Beam support, WiFi Channel Bonding, Bluetooth 4.0, GPS, microSD card slot and 2,100mAh battery.

The Samsung GALAXY S III will be available from the end of May in Europe before rolling out to other markets globally. The handset will come to US by end of June and no word on pricing yet. Check the introductory video of Galaxy S III below.

 

iPhone 5 Rumors: Longer, Thinner with Metal Panel for Central Back

Submitted by lalit on May 3, 2012 - 10:16am.

iLounge has a mixed record about Apple rumors, but they have been right more times than wrong about upcoming Apple product. The website now reports that the iPhone 5 won’t be teardrop-shaped as was rumored before. However, it will be longer and thinner with a bigger screen. Jeremy Horwitz posted on iLounge:

What we’ve learned: the new iPhone will indeed be longer and thinner than the iPhone 4 and 4S. Approximate measurements are 125mm by 58.5mm by 7.4mm—a 10mm jump in height, nearly 2mm reduction in thickness, and virtually identical width. According to our source, Apple will make one major change to the rear casing, adding a metal panel to the central back of the new iPhone. This panel will be flat, not curved, and metal, not ceramic. Our artist’s rendition (image above) provides a rough idea of what this change will look like; it echoes the current-generation iMac design, to be sure.

Note that the new iPhone is expected to be made partially from Gorilla Glass 2, which can be manufactured thinner with identical strength to the earlier iPhones’ Gorilla Glass, or at the same thickness with greater strength. The change in height will include a lengthening of the prior 3.5” screen to roughly 4” on the diagonal.

Apple will also introduce its new Dock Connector on the new iPhone. The new port will be a little larger than the bottom speaker or microphone hole on the iPhone 4/4S. It’s believed to have fewer pins than the prior 30-pin Dock Connector, perhaps only 16, and the shape of the hole is apparently closer to a pill shape than the prior rounded rectangle.

 

TSMC’s 28nm ARM Cortex A9 Chip Reaches 3.1GHz

Submitted by lalit on May 3, 2012 - 6:10am.

TSMC today announced its 28nm high performance ARM Cortex-A9 dual-core processor test chip achieved 3.1GHz performance under typical conditions.

The TSMC 28nm HPM (high performance for mobile applications) process technology that achieved these results addresses applications requiring both high speed and low leakage power. TSMC says, using various design signoff conditions, ARM A9 at TSMC 28HPM delivers performance speed range from 1.5GHz to 2.0GHz, suitable for mobile computing, and up to 3.1GHz for high-performance uses.

The ARM Cortex-A9 silicon implementation and validation is part of TSMC's ongoing technology benchmarking effort to demonstrate performance, power and area (PPA) capabilities at the system-on-chip (SoC) level for each process technology node.

"At 3.1 GHz this 28HPM dual-core processor implementation is twice as fast as its counterpart at TSMC 40nm under the same operating conditions," said Cliff Hou, TSMC Vice President, Research & Development. "This work demonstrates how ARM and TSMC can satisfy high performance market demands. With other implementation options, 28HPM is also highly suited for a wide range of markets that prize performance and power efficiency."

 

Samsung’s Series 9 Ivy Bridge Ultrabook Revealed

Submitted by lalit on May 3, 2012 - 2:54am.

Intel hasn’t yet announced Ivy Bridge processors for Ultrabooks, but that isn’t stopping Samsung from revealing updated 15-inch Series 9 Ultrabook featuring next generation 1.7GHz Intel Core i5-3317U processor. Other features of the new Series 9 Ultrabook are 15-inch SuperBright 400 nit display (1600 x 900), 8GB DDR3 RAM, 128GB SSD, Intel HD 4000 graphics, 1.3-megapixel webcam, WiFi, Bluetooth 4.0 and multi-card reader. No word on price or shipping date yet, but you can get other information about the laptop on Samsung’s UK website.