Posts Tagged ‘puts’
Disney’s Hollywood Studios is giving you the opportunity to put your face on a 3D-printed Stormtrooper figurine as part of its Star Wars Weekends annual event. For $ 99.95 and 10 minutes of your time, Disney uses its high quality single-shot technology to capture a three-dimensional representation of your face — creating a 7.5-inch model that will be delivered 7-8 weeks later. The park’s Stormtrooper exhibit will be available on weekends between May 17th and June 9th, alongside its Carbon-Freeze Me experience — which launched last year to freeze park goers in carbonite like Han Solo in The Empire Strikes Back. Unfortunately, you won’t be able to eat this one.
Sure, we’ve seen game consoles modified for use beyond their original purpose, but this apparatus turns things up a notch. Pictured above is the Joysound Festa, a mobile entertainment system powered by the Wii U‘s hardware and software. Built by Japanese karaoke machine maker Xing, this beastly console mod is controlled from the system’s Gamepad and includes the gracelessly named Nintendo x Joysound Wii Karaoke U. Pre-loaded with 90,000 songs, this party starter also ships with a set of dance, exercise, yoga and brain training videos. Already reaching for your wallet? You should know that this unique setup is Japan-only, and headed to hotels and nursing homes at a hefty price of 1,580,000 yen (around $ 15,884). At that price, it may take around 25 years until we see one of these bad boys up for grabs on eBay.
Source: Joysound Festa (translated)
Nokia Puts WhatsApp Hard Key On $72 Asha 210 For Asia, Africa; Qwerty S40 Handset Gets Facebook Button In Europe, Latam
Nokia has announced another handset in its Series 40-based Asha portfolio of low end mobiles which compete with the budget end of Android and cheap BlackBerrys. The 2G-plus-Wi-Fi Asha 210, due to ship before the end of Q2, packs a physical Qwerty keyboard and comes painted in Nokia’s now trademark eye-popping colours (yellow, cyan, magenta), plus black and white. But the most notable addition to this BlackBerry-esque device is a hardware key on the front that short-cuts to messaging app WhatsApp — which, extending the BlackBerry comparison, is the phone’s BBM replacement.
As well as the ability to fire up WhatsApp by long pressing on this dedicated key, Nokia said Asha 210 buyers will get a free subscription to the messaging service for the lifetime of the device. On the Series 40 platform, WhatsApp normally charges a $ 0.99 annual fee after a first year of free use. Last week the messaging service said it now has north of 200 million monthly active users (this compares to BBM’s more modest 60 million). Tapping into the hugely popular social messaging craze is clearly Nokia’s aim here.
Nokia describes the Asha 210′s WhatsApp hardware key as a “world first”, although we’ve seen the mobile maker (and others) stick a Facebook button on a phone before. But before you start wondering how displeased Facebook is going to be with Nokia for two-timing it with a deadly messaging rival, the handset actually comes in two social messaging flavours, with a second variant having a dedicated Facebook key (shown below, on the black handset) instead of a WhatsApp button.
The two Asha 210 social flavours — which also each come in single SIM/dual SIM variants – won’t be offered together in the same market but will rather be region specific, presumably corresponding to where the respective services are most popular. Neil Broadley, marketing director for Nokia’s mobile phones division, told TechCrunch the WhatsApp device will generally target Asia-Pac and Middle East & Africa, while the Facebook flavour will mostly be heading to Europe and Latin America. He also confirmed that neither device will be sold in North American.
Both of our partners are hugely successful around the world.
“On a market by market basis we will have either WhatsApp or Facebook,” said Broadley. “Both of our partners are hugely successful around the world and as we go on a market by market basis, some of our market teams would like to have the WhatsApp variant, some would like to have the Facebook variant. And of course we already have the Nokia Asha 205 on a global basis with the Facebook hard key there as well.”
Broadley added that Nokia is looking at the possibility of making a third variant of the Asha 210 — specifically targeting the Chinese market — with another, as yet undetermined social service loaded on the hard key (China has a variety of homegrown social services that outstrip the popularity of global offerings, such as microblogging service Sina Weibo vs Twitter). Nokia certainly has work to do to win back buyers in China. In its Q1 results last week, China saw the biggest drop of any of Nokia’s regions in terms of sales by value and volume, with $ 334 million in sales in Greater China, down 56% on the year ago quarter.
Low end hardware + social software
Aside from differing social shortcuts, the Asha 210 variants have identical hardware and software, with a sub-1Ghz chip; 2 megapixel rear camera plus a dedicated camera key on the front of the device (in addition to the WhatsApp/Facebook key plus standard nav/call keys); Nokia’s Slam Bluetooth-sharing data transfer tech and its hot-swap SIM system; plus a rubberised full Qwerty keyboard which recycles the pillowed keys of 2008′s Nokia E71. The keyboard also includes shortcut keys for turning on/off Wi-Fi and Bluetooth.
On the software front, the device comes with WhatsApp, Facebook and Twitter preloaded; support for YouTube streaming and web apps; a ‘Games Gift’ of 15 free downloadable “premium” games & apps from the Nokia Store; plus Nokia’s neat voice-guided self-portrait feature, which gets around the lack of a front-facing lens by helping users align a self-portrait when they can’t see the screen.
Nokia’s earlier Facebook-button-packing phone, the full Qwerty Asha 205, was announced in November last year. At the time, the company’s decision to introduce a phone with a dedicated Fb button revived a 2011 trend which, for the majority of last year, appeared to have run its course — without, apparently, covering any of the device maker particpants (including HTC, Orange and Vodafone) in huge heaps of gold.
Asked about sales of the Asha 205, Nokia said it has not broken out any numbers for the model but added that the number of Facebook activations for the device is “significantly higher” than for the average Asha family device. Whatever the sales figures, Nokia clearly believes there is more gold to be mined from low end mobiles by associating its hardware with the biggest brands of the social messaging space.
Asha vs Android: Show me the money
The Asha 210 — along with the entire Nokia Asha range — targets developing markets and cost-conscious consumers, which explains its focus on seeking ways to reduce not just the initial outlay but also the total cost of ownership, while simultaneously amping up its core social offering by making sure it can provide access to big name apps and allow for easy social photo-sharing, as Android does.
The Asha 210 will have a $ 72 price-tag (before taxes and subsidies). The price-tag puts it in touching distance of budget Androids and while the S40 platform is not as user friendly, flexible or as app-rich as Android, Nokia has been working to strength its competitiveness against Android’s low end with additions such as its cloud-based data-compressing Xpress Browser, which ekes out up to three times as much data as non-compression browsers to help keep the user’s data costs down, plus offers such as ‘Games Gift’ and the free WhatsApp subscription.
As with other Asha devices, the 210 also boasts a long battery life — of up to 46 days on standby, and around 12 hours talk time. Nokia noted that it is using push notification technology to reduce battery drain caused by the Asha 210 checking for WhatsApp/Facebook updates. Update checking is done by Nokia in the cloud, with any new info pushed out to the user’s phone when it arrives.
One more thing…
Nokia and WhatsApp are about to hold an online Q&A about the launch of the Asha 2010 so we’ll be checking for any interesting tidbits that come out of the discussion to add as an update below. Currently, around the world, there is still plenty of regional diversity across messaging and social services – messaging apps are especially fragmented. Many of these apps inevitably compete with and come into conflict with social networking giant Facebook, which wants to own all the world’s chatter. And with Facebook having just launched its app-sidelining Android skin, social challengers such as WhatsApp are likely to be keen to find ways to increase their own visibility on mobile. Having your brand stamped on the outside of a phone sounds like a great place to start.
Updates from the Q&A, with Nokia’s Broadley and Neeraj Arora, business development, at WhatsApp:
On whose idea the WhatsApp hard key was, Nokia’s or WhatsApp’s… Broadley: “We have an ongoing relationship with WhatsApp that spans a range of Nokia Asha and other Nokia products. We are both really excited about this opportunity.”
On whether the WhatsApp hard key will be exclusive to Nokia devices… Arora & Broadley: “We are very excited to bring a dedicated WhatsApp button to Asha 210 and we will take consumer feedback for future consideration.”
On whether Nokia will bundle WhatsApp’s software with all Asha devices… Broadley: “We already bundle WhatsApp with many Nokia Asha family devices and are working on extending it to as many Nokia phones as possible.”
On what evidence there is consumers want social messaging hard keys on phones, or whether they just want easy access to lots of apps & services… Broadley: “With the Nokia Asha 210 we’ve worked hard to give people the best of both worlds. People have access to a dedicated hardware button, preloaded social networks ready to go right out of the box, and access to the Nokia Store to download and install more.”
On WhatsApp’s support for dual SIM devices… Arora: “The launch of Asha 210 does signify WhatsApp’s availability on Dual SIM devices. We are working on extending it to other Dual SIM devices.”
On the differences between the Asha 210 and Nokia’s earlier Facebook button phone, the Asha 205… Arora & Broadley: “There is WhatsApp deep linking into social share gallery and there is more to come.”
On the Asha 210′s battery performance… Broadley: “We have a really high quality Nokia 1200 mAh battery in the Nokia Asha 210. The software really helps get great battery life — for example we have something called Nokia Notifications which works in the cloud to check for your social network updates, then pushes them to the phone. This stops the individual apps having to continually check for updates — saving battery.”
On Nokia’s approach to phone design… Broadley: ”Starting with the Nokia 206 announced just before Christmas we’ve been progressively uniting the Nokia portfolio under a single, coherent design language… We have one stunning design approach across the Nokia range.”
On whether Nokia could introduce a Lumia product with a physical Qwerty to differentiate its smartphones from rivals’… Broadley: “We don’t comment on future plans.”
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Back in 2010, economists Carmen Reinhart and Ken Rogoff published a report that stated countries with a debt-to-GDP (gross domestic product) ratio greater than 90 percent would find it significantly more difficult to grow their economy. Their work was widely cited, and was used as a major part of Paul Ryan’s “Path to Prosperity” budget, but a new study shows that its data is flawed thanks to a mistake many office-workers are familiar with — an incorrect Excel formula. The study from three University of Massachusetts researchers claims a number of flaws in Reinhart and Rogoff’s earlier work, one of which is an Excel coding error that omits data from five countries in the analysis (Next New Deal shows an example of the mistake in its…
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Movement sensor-based golf devices are all popular these days, however they primarily target the complete swing. Can such electronic devices be exact enough to determine a much smaller stroke, particularly the necessary putt? Since golf season’s almost here, we chose to discover with the Putt from 3BaysGSA, a small, lightweight device that fits in the manage of a putter and relays stroke information through Bluetooth to an Android or iOS gadget. As Engadget’s citizen golf nut, yours genuinely put the gadget through its rates both objectively and in a less-than-formal means to see whether it might precisely track a stroke. Will it help you lift your putter in success, or make you cover it around a tree? Hit the break to see how we did. Gallery: 3Bays GSA Putt Hands-OnFiled under: Misc, WirelessComments
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More Problem For Mobile Maker HTC As Haptics Company Immersion Puts on Restart Patent Litigation & Push For Damages
As if smartphone maker HTC doesn ’ t have enough to bother with in an Android area so saturated with Samsung-branded hardware it ’ s driving HTC ’ s sales back to 2010 levels. However now the Taiwanese business is dealing with the prospect of needing to hand over for damages if haptics company Immersion gets its method. Immersion, which counts Samsung among the licensees for its “ touch feedback modern technology ”, had actually been content to remain a UNITED STATE suit against HTC — in order to await the completion of an International Trade Commission investigation into whether HTC has been infringing a few of its patents. However, provided HTC ’ s recent performance in the mobile area, Immersion has decided this method is not appropriate and today said it plans to request the stay of its lawsuit to be raised — so that it “ may prosecute its claim against HTC for damages right away ”. The ITC action was originally set up for “ last determination ” on October 28, 2013 — after which Immersion might have been able to secure an exemption order against HTC preventing infringing gadgets being imported into the United States. However with HTC ’ s fortunes in the doldrums, Immersion reckons it could get a better outcome via the U.S. Area Court path, where it could win damages, attorneys ‘fees, and potentially injunctive relief.” Offered HTC’s current performance in the mobile market, we believe an exclusion order preventing HTC from importing infringing devices would not be an impactful win, and we are turning our energies to seeking damages for past and recurring shipments of infringing gadgets,” noted Immersion CEO Victor Viegas in a statement. Immersion filed its initial problem against HTC (as well as Motorola)with the ITC on February 7, 2012, affirming infringement of 6 U.S. patents relating to using
haptics innovation — namely: 6,429,846(“the ’846 patent “); 7,592,999(“the’999 patent “); 7,969,288(” the’ 288 patent “); 7,982,720(“the’ 720 patent “); 8,031,181 (“the’181 patent”); and 8,059,105( “the ’105 patent” ). A multi-year license for Immersion ’ s haptics technology signed by Samsung last week consisted of a patent license covering
“ Samsung’s prior and future use of basic kinds of haptic results, often described as Basic Haptics, in its smartphones and various other mobile devices ”, according to the company. Immersion, which was established back in 1993, says it has more than 1,300 issued or pending patents in the U.S. and other countries.
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Nokia desperately wants Instagram for Windows Phone and it’s proving that this week. The Finnish company has just released #2InstaWithLove, a new Windows Phone app for Lumia devices that’s specifically designed to put pressure on the release of an Instagram app for Microsoft’s mobile operating system. “Many of you have asked when Instagram will be coming to Windows Phone, and the #2InstaWithLove app was created as a way for you to have your voice heard,” says Nokia.
The app simply lets users take a photo and it automatically applies a filter and turns the image into a polaroid-like result with the #2InstaWithLove moniker. “It’s all about showing Instagram just how passionate the Windows Phone community is,” claims Nokia, but it’s a very…
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All of us have that one ghost goal that stays buried in our subconscious, be it Frank Lampard in 2011, Luis Garcia in 2005 or, erm, Frank Lampard in 2010. However maybe such adversities will end with the news that the Premier League is following in the footprints of FIFA to institute goal-line technology from the 2013-2014 season. A Prem representative told BBC and Sky News that all 20 clubs need to have the hardware in place for the beginning of the period. While the governign body hasn’t revealed which two suppliers are bidding for the task, as it’s always either GoalRef or Hawkeye, we’re likely to see one of them announcing their success at some point throughout the summer season.
The Exynos 5 Octa was definitely one of the biggest things to come out of CES. Given how well the regular dual-core Exynos V performs in the Nexus 10 and Chromebook, devices containing the souped-up Octa version could be really special. As you probably know already, we’re looking at four Cortex-A15 cores for when you need raw performance for gaming or media creation, and then four energy-saving Cortex-A7 cores for less demanding tasks like surfing or watching video. We’ve just seen how fast and fluid this big.LITTLE core-switching technology is, courtesy of a Samsung reference tablet on show at ARM’s booth at MWC — check it out for yourself after the break.
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You’ve become aware of Instagram, right? Are you knowledgeable about Microsoft’s Photosynth and Google’s Image Realm on Nexus phones and tablets? How about Apple’s brilliant continuous-scan panorama mode on iOS gadgets? Well mash all this up and you get TourWrist, an app / social network for sharing photo realms. The app started life as a social network for virtual tourism and obtained one million individuals because launching in 2010. Right here in Las Vegas, the business just launched the most recent version of TourWrist with a focus on catching photos spheres. Unlike Microsoft’s and Google’s technique, which stitches 360-degree images from discrete images, the app makes use of continuous-scan like Apple’s panorama mode. The resulting image spheres are truly outstanding and look substantially much better than the competition, especially when captured in difficult lighting conditions. All 360-degree images could be shared with other TourWrist individuals, Instagram-style, and with other social networks by connecting to an HTML5-compatible customer. Have a look at our gallery below and peek after the break for our hands-on video and sample picture sphere captured on site.
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