Archive for ‘Qualcomm’

August 7, 2011

Augmented Reality – find it on your mobile device!


Augmented Reality is one of the exciting technologies around and has already made its way to apps on iPhone and Android.

Layar, a free App has got a great concept and a lot of potential, although I think it has some issues with the implementation. It allows you to progressively ad new layers like games, hotel, coupons, concierge etc. WordLens, another free augmented reality app, that we featured recently, translates between languages when you focus your camera lens on the text. Some paid Apps include Golfscape GPS rangefinder, Cyclopedia, SpotCrime (this one is freaky – it shows you what crimes have happened around you recently)
Qualcomm recently released Augmented Reality Software Development Kit (SDK) which will make it easier for developers to use virtual content with real content. Qualcomm also held a Developer (geek) challenge. Check out the winning entries in the video below. 
Apple is hopefully not far behind intergrating augmented reality features into the iPad or the iPhone. A recently filed patent indicates augmented reality integration into the iPad where the top half of the screen shows a live video of whatever the camera is pointing at and the bottom half shows the augmented version such as pointing out building names etc. It probably doesn’t sound useful to you right now, but its only a patent. 
If you haven’t yet checked out the Microsoft Kinect, you should. It’s basically a motion sensing input device by Microsoft for the Xbox 360. I have to give it to Microsoft for this one. Well done Microsoft 😛 Since the Kinect has been out there have been several hacks. One of the hack turns the 3D data which has been recorded using Kinect into augmented reality video and audio for the iPad.  Isn’t that cool?
Qualcomm Augmented Reality Developer Challenge

Augmented Reality with Microsoft Kinect and iPad
Apple Patent Application

Here are couple of kool augmented reality apps which I like.

Google Goggles allows you to use a picture to search the web. Simply take a snap of what you’re interested in searching whether it’s a book, picture etc. It can even solve Sudoku puzzles. Check out the video below, it’s pretty awesome!

Another really neat app is the Wikitude augmented reality navigation reality app. It overlays the directions over a live view of the road which allows for you to always have visibility to the road even when you’re looking at the map! Unfortunately, it’s not available in the US. Hopefully, it’ll be available in the near future. 

There are also some funny AR games. SpecTrek is an AR ghost hunting game LOL. The goal is to run around hunting for ghosts. I bet it’s a pretty funny sight running around the neighborhood with your phone 🙂 If someone is playing this, please upload a video of it to YouTube. I’m dying to see it!


July 17, 2011

Wireless Charging – A thing of the future?


Have you ever wondered why we haven’t gotten rid of wires to charge our phones and other devices? Don’t you think It’s time someone big jumps into the wireless charging pool? HP did it 2 years ago and introduced the Palm Pre with wireless charging built-in, such that placing the phone on a special charging mat would automatically recharge the phone. Unfortunately HP didn’t seem to create too many ripples in the phone industry.

A recent report by Wall Street Journal stated that Apple is working on new way of charging the iPhone. Recently Apple filed a patent, “Power Utilization in a Local Computing Environment” which describes your iMac creating a virtual charging area where wireless devices such as mice, keyboards and mobile devices such as iPhone, iPad could simply be charged if present in 1 meter proximity to the computer. Isn’t that cool? Well, the possibilities with wireless charging are endless – cars that can be wirelessly charged, a central wireless charging system at homes etc.

WiTricity, a 2007 start up company has made significant advances in wireless charging where you can transfer larger amounts of power wirelessly over more practical distances than traditional induction (used by Palm Pre and other wireless charging systems like PowerMat where the device has to be in contact in order to transfer the power). See the video below for WiTricity CEO demo’ing the solution at TED.

Recently Qualcomm announced alliances with Duracell and PowerMat to explore wireless charging possibilities. Qualcomm’s wireless approach called WiPower, that was on display at CES this year, allows for transferring energy wirelessly  between a charging pad and devices containing built-in devices (aka Qualcomm ASICs). Interesting? I can’t wait for all the wireless charging solutions to materialize in the consumer market!
Source: MacRumors, Wall Street Journal

I’ve never understood the need for a wireless charging pad. Powermat, Energizer, Palm and LG all offer the same type of “wireless charging” solution. The wireless charging station is suppose get rid of the clutter and there’s no need to hassle with the cables.

Well, the way I see it, is that you still need to plug in the “pad” to an outlet. Not to mention, there’s an ugly pad on your nightstand or desk.  Hmm, is that really getting rid of the clutter? Not to mention, you’ll need to buy a special case for your phone and you’ll need to make sure that it’s aligned correctly on the pad before it’ll charge! I say just plug the dang phone in, it will take you 2 seconds 🙂

However, I’m super excited the type of wireless charging that AppleGirl is reporting. It sounds like there will still be some type of “pad” device, but you’ll be able to hide it and there’ll be no need to place your phone directly on it 🙂 As long as you can place it within a certain vicinity it’ll work! Hey, I did say it’ll take 2 seconds to plug in the phone, but sometimes I do forget 🙂 If I can place it on my nightstand and have it automatically charge it’s a plus. Not to mention, us gals like to have big purses these days. If I can just leave it in my purse and bring it close enough to have it automatically charge it’ll save me another 5 mins 🙂

P.S: Google, I hope you have something in the works. If AppleGirl gets this before I do, I’m not going to be a happy camper! 


%d bloggers like this: