The window of the future is truly insane

Over the past few years Samsung has well and truly worked its way up to the top of the electronics Manufacturers market and with new innovations they seem to add in interesting and intriguing possibilities into the world of the future. This one well, is a bit over the top. However, having invested as much as they have in the past few years on Television screens, and just screens of every type, it seems like a natural progression that they will try to include screens anywhere and everywhere possible.

There’s a lot of buzz around the Samsung Transparent Smart Window, the full touch TFT (thin-film transistor) LCD display that turns any household window into a prop from Minority Report. The 46-inch, 1366×768 resolution display won the CES 2012 award for innovation and, from what we see in the demo below, it’s not hard to see why. A video from Samsung video gives a nice overview.

The device is really a transparent touchscreen LCD that can be fitted to any window, so long as it’s no longer than some 46 inches. Resolution is 1366 x 768 pixels, reportedly. During the day, illumination is provided from outside. At night, built-in lights kick in.

At first glance, the window, while cool, isn’t necessarily innovative: it just brings all the apps and widgets we’ve come to love to your window. But Samsung has included a few unique touches. My favorite is the “blinds” feature, where with the swipe of your finger, you can open and close virtual blinds that will actually blot out the light. A video report from MobileNations says that mass production will begin “in the coming months.” Samsung has indicated an intention to put the thing out by the end of the year. No word on price yet.

The window is considered to be working as a one sided glass when viewed from outside, making it like ordinary windows. Additionally, the window can also work as a screen for Augment Reality to see overlaid information on the outside world. So in what can be described as a double stroke, Samsung has not only opened another market for the screens they make but also have taken on the window covering world, from Blinds to Curtains.

10 Future Concept Phones – The future is really interesting

If you have been reading my blog for a while now you will know that I just love Future Concepts, and Mobile Phones is something that excites me. So it was natural that you would see a roundup of some of the awesome concepts of Mobile Phones from around the world. Wondering why I am excited about things like this, well there is an awesome statistic that says, more than 70% of jobs today did not exist 10 years ago, the type of work we might do in 10 years or even the lifestyle we might have 10 years later are going to be in a way a result of these advancements in technology.

Sometimes it not just about the Mobile Phones themselves, its the applications that lead to more improvements in the hardware and vice versa. If you have noticed these days not only are the ads about the mobiles but also about the Applications for example the advertisement for Layar the Augemented Reality Browser and the Aircell Pocket App Store. Well here is a look at these concept phones, please do let us know what is the most favorite one that you want to use in 5 years time.

1. Nokia Morph Concept

Every day Nokia sources 329 million parts and builds a million phones in 100 plus handset models and distributes these phones in 70 different languages to 150 countries. But as phones become less about making calls and more an extension of our connected lives, Nokia is transforming itself from a hardware company into something more converged. It’s not the parts that matter but what use those parts are put to. The Morph touches concepts from Nanotechnology to clean energy all in one breath. This is an older concept but still might hold good today.

2. Nokia 888 Concept Phone

Made by the winner of a challenge of Nokia challenge to design future concept phones, rumor has it that Nokia is working on this phone actually. It might be a really interesting concept phone when it comes to reality. Nokia trying to make phones wearable as a small standard as seen in the above two videos, it might just be a growing trend.

3. Mozilla Seabird Concept

Crowd Sourced phone from the guys that crowd sourced and took the browser to the next level, the Mozilla Firefox. The design was actually put together by inputs from the community making it special. More about it here.

4. Nokia Kinetic

The Nokia Kinetic was design student Jeremy Innes-Hopkins’ answer to a Nokia-set brief for a “playful phone for 2012.” In addition to those curvaceous looks, the Kinetic offers the rather unusual ability of “standing up” when a call or text is received by “converting digital information into kinetic movement.” Under the hood, the “visual clue” of the phone standing up would be carried out by an electromagnet shifting a weight, while the same position could be employed for a video call or even watching media. Should you want to dismiss the “spontaneous, magical and undirected” alert, you could just gently push the phone to lie back down again.

5. Kinneir Dufort Revive

UK design and innovation company Kinneir Dufort came up with the “Revive” concept after working with the electronics remanufacturing specialists at Regenersis. The concept is simple: Many of us are tired of the excessive energy used and waste produced during the never-ending product cycles of the consumer electronics industry. The idea is that instead of trading in your old handset for a new one, you upgrade elements of your phone as they wear down (e.g. the battery) or as better parts become available (e.g. the camera).

6. Notcia X35-HOLO -Holographic Cellphone With a 22 MP Camera

Created by Nicholas Moffat, Notcia X35-HOLO is a phone that comes with holographic imagery support, holographic maps and a 22 megapixel camera. It’s got a battery that will provide 90 hours of functioning time, a touchscreen display, user programmable side buttons and cross platform app functions. Web browsing and email are also supported. Keep in mind that this is a phone mockup, not a real device, so there’s really no point in asking about the price… We think that the Notcia X35 is a pretty cool device, with a slim design, specially considering how huge the camera sensor should be.

7. Kyocera Concept Phone

The Japanese company has come up with some cool concept mobile phones, including one with a huge screen and movable see-through keypad. Kyocera has a history of creating concept phones and we hope it continues to create them because we can’t get enough.

8. HTC 1

Andrew Kim’s design for the HTC 1 encompasses both the handset and elements of the user interface in order to “create a harmonized hardware and software design.” What both elements have in common is a fantastic simplicity, with a smooth, seamless phone design complimented by a much more minimal “mono edition” of HTC’s existing Sense UI.

The wow factor for HTC 1’s design comes in with the simple, yet brilliant idea of offering a twist out kickstand across the entire bottom of the phone, which doesn’t ruin the device’s clean lines when not in use, and provides a useful way to stand the phone up, either for watching media or to set the phone on your nightstand as an alarm clock.

9. Synaptics Fuse

The Synaptics “Fuse” concept is remarkable if for nothing else than for how many companies were involved in its design. TheAlloy provided product design efforts, the UI was from both TheAlloy and TAT, which also enabled the 3D environment, Immersion added the tactile feedback, and the phone — that exists as a real-life prototype (unlike others on this list) — is powered by Texas Instrument’s OMAP 3630 processor. But of course that’s not the only remarkable aspect of the concept or it wouldn’t have made the cut. The Fuse has been designed for single-handed usage, and boasts multi-touch capacitive sensing, haptic feedback (that tiny feedback “buzz”), and 3D graphics, as well as force, grip and proximity sensors.

10. iPhone 5 Concept

A very clever video from WaterWorks that imagines what the next-generation of iPhone would be like if it boasted holographic functionality. Is that something that would even appeal to you? Have your say in the comments below.

Bonus

If you’ve seen Minority Report, Surrogates, Gamer (the movies) and played a Final Fantasy title with futuristic setting, you know what to expect from the following video. We’ve discovered it on Mac Funamizu’s blog, as he was the one who designed the user interface for a future computer, in the SoftBank Information Revolution video. Here’s how it looks like:

More of these are floating around the Internet, but I am waiting for some of these to leave the concept videos and turn into reality, sometime soon. Use the comments below and maybe we can vote on which is the most awesome.

Save the Tiger – Augmented Reality Campaign

One of the most fascinating and magnificent cats of all of the animal kingdom is the Tiger. However, we all know that this beautiful beast is on the verge of getting pushed into the extremely endangered species list. Tigers world wide are facing precarious conditions when it come to basic survival. In this effect it was quite apt when NDTV and Aircel in India launched an awesome campaign to try and save the tiger. We have gone down to only 1411 tigers in the country and no amount of campaigns and public support is enough to bring this species back.

What was even more saddening was a friend of mine had an opportunity to visit a home of someone high up the social ladder in UAE; the person was also a UAE national who had immense wealth.  Interestingly, the person had along with his collection of gazillion expensive cars, and other collectibles; Indian Tigers, both white and the normal ones, a few lions, some hippos and even some alligators. My first reaction was this is depressing, then I thought that they are at least keeping these beasts safe. My next reaction was also that of depression thinking what has the world come to, if tigers need to be caged in other countries to keep them safe from us. Not to mention that its really utterly and completely wrong.

I started looking at the campaigns of “Save the Tiger” and although there has been a lot of progress with a lot of people signing up to getting up  and doing something for the campaign, it was imperative that the feeling of loosing these tigers be bought to the foreground. They worked on amazing commercials which were aired on TV, but still had that one element missing. The efforts need to be absolutely increased, these ads are just not enough. Have a look at some of them here below :

So after the campaign in India, I thought it might be worthwhile checking out the other efforts. And I stumbled on the second campaign this time with the cousin of the Indian Tiger, the Siberian Tiger. The campaign of the Siberian Tiger went to technology to be able to achieve the punch factor in the campaigns, not only have they made the campaign interesting but also really powerful, with the power of guerrilla marketing. And we all know how good the guerrilla marketing techniques work.

Trying to make a point, the WWF Tiger T-Shirt shows what it is to be hunted down by poachers like the Siberian tiger. Incredibly graphic, it relies on an augmented reality to show you what it would be like to be shot. Reaching to Augmented Reality to achieve the effect, the campaigners provided T-Shirts to a lot of people which triggerd a shooting animation (complete with blood) when worn in front of a special mirror.  The campaign was launched with collaboration of WWF and Lookatme.ru. Check out the website at lookatme.ru/tiger.

I think we need to start looking at bringing this campaign to India.

Your wallet may soon disappear into your phone

Personally being involved in many discussions, I believe that mos people interested in technology have at some time or the other wondered about the integration of your wallet into your mobile. I am talking about payments to be done through the mobile, or use he mobile as your ID card ? Well if the tech giants of the world have anything to say, it might happen more sooner than you might think. After replacing many of the small gadgets that you might use, and provide additional functionality into the phone like, camera (Check out 18 innovative uses of that phone camera here) , FM Transmitter and receiver, gaming device and many more; the phone giants staring with Apple are now looking to completely replace your wallet into your mobile.

This magic technology is called NFC or near field communication. Although the possibility of doing this has been evident for a long time using RFID tags, its just now. But NFC is coming over in a big way to a mobile near you; all courtesy to Apple. Yes, we know people are suckers for anything Steve Jobs seems to be making and selling including the ridiculous iPad. Getting back to Near Field Communication …

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Why I think 3D TV’s might never work

and a few reasons why I might be wrong

While I was browsing the Internet I found this giant 3D TV screen from LG, and 84 Inch ultra high definition TV with a jaw dropping resolution of 3,840 x 2,160, LG have just launched their 55 and 47 inch displays as well, but this is the mother ship of all 3D displays. Still the adoption of the 3D TV Screens into the homes has been rather slow. The industry seems to be trying to push the technology on all of us, but is the content really there or do people really want it ? these are questions that might need investigation by the companies that are introducing them.

3D is apparently the USP by all the companies pushing the technology but will it really make an impact in the consumers home? Almost every major TV maker including Sony, LG, Panasonic and Mitsubishi showed big screen 3-D TVs at the Consumer Electronics Show this year. Even content providers such as ESPN, DirecTV and Discovery have promised 3-D channels that will begin broadcasting in 2011. Before you start saving for your 84 inch 3D display, Here are a few reasons why I think that that should really consider just getting a large HDTV screen

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The Wii, Move and Kinetic making your living room a playground

It was the year 2006, and the gaming industry was in the grasp of the PlayStation and Xbox along with the PC, but Gaming on these devices was not for everyone and the games were getting really monotonous with similar themes and functions, then came the Wii, Nintendo’s answer to Sony’s PlayStation and the Microsoft Xbox, the Wii bought with it the controller that could very well define the next stage in man machine interface for gaming. The simplicity of using a controller to interact physically with your TV was something that even newbie gamers could not resist. The success of the Wii is not only clear from the sales but also in the fact that the 2 biggest competitors in Sony and Microsoft decided to give a shot to their own versions of the Wii Controllers.

If it was Apple, they would have patented the control technique and not let competition, rather Nintendo fuelled competition by letting their competitors come up with alternate versions as they perfected and improved on the controller and the games and offering for the Wii Console. Starting from tennis, boxing, to fitness application with the Wii Fit, Nintendo has changed the ‘fat boy’ look of the traditional gamer into a normal person who likes any sort of physical activity. This in itself is a feat matching no other. The Control adopted in the gesture controllers might be taken a step ahead based on what Intel is trying to achieve, with the new remote controller for the TV. But, before we go there, here is a small preview of the 3 gesture controllers available in the market today.

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The magic of Projection Mapping at the Jai Ho Concert

One of the first Oscars for the Country came to A.R Rahman, and it was more than welcomed by the people of India, more ironically his millions of fans and followers in India did not get a chance to see his masterpiece concert “Jai Ho : The Journey Home World tour” which was on in the US, until there was a problem when a part of the set collapsed damaging the kit. But the question to ask is this, what set was broken and could not be repaired to such an extent that the show was completely put off until the rig is fixed ? Well its the awesome new world of projection mapping.

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Now control your computer just with thought

If there is one technology that I am backing really hard for the future it is Augmented Reality, and with Augmented Reality there is a host of applications that are available today in the market. Well one of the break off technologies from the emergence and popularity of such applications is definitely going to be input interfaces. Gesture based inputs like Minority report are being trialled at the moment but we can safely assume that with the advancements that are happening with Mind Control technologies, that would be the next big thing. What do I mean by Mind Control ? Well the human brain receives and sends signals based on electrical signals that it receives through the nervous system. If we could tap into that resource then we would be able to pick up the thoughts of the person and have actions based on it. René Descartes said “I think therefore I am”, this use of technology will take that quote much further.

Thus was the theory so far. Doctors and Scientists have been working on EEG to check brain patterns of the subjects, to know if they are thinking straight or have any mental disorders. But now another set of Engineers and Scientists have worked out headsets that can read brain input and preform functions on computers. The Brain activity being the basis of input, this would enhance the experience of gaming, doing mundane tasks on the computer. Imagine having to shoot that game bot faster than your hands to respond, or tweet about your latest thought without having to type it out. Well here is a look at what is available today :

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The Google phone and how it is made

When I heard rumors of the Nexus One, or the then Google Phone I thought it would be so cool. But then Google did not really admit to making one of these. I guess the Nexus One had to come, considering that the Google Android Platform for Mobiles really took off really with the announcement of the Android Phone. I guess the Nexus One gave the manufacturers the confidence that Google was behind the phone and the Operating software, so the Software must be worth implementing. I have said this before, the future operating system for the Mobiles is not the blackberry or the iPhone Os, but the Android. Anyway here was the video that demoed the Nexus One for the first time.

Moving On, I don’t think most of us imagine how big an effort it takes to actually manifest a phone from concept to actual production. I had thought about the manufacturing process as something of using multipurpose machines that would churn out different phones, but having to program and make robots purpose built for each phone types makes the whole process so much more mind Blowing.

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Tech from the future helps us go to the past

Augmented Reality, remember those two words as this technology is going to be everywhere in the future. The applications of this technology are really astounding and something that can really overwhelm you with information at times and also amaze you every so often. Today’s application is something that will amaze you for sure. Today’s application comes from the Museum of London who have decided that in order to experience the history of London, you really have to walk around and look at it, quite literally. They have come up with an iPhone App that will for sure make your journey within London, memorable to say the least. The app overlays four hundred years of historic images on today’s city streets.

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The most Technologically advanced Hotel in the world

Its not something that you hear of every day, Technologically advanced. But when my boss came up to me and asked me to work on a design for a hotel in Abu Dhabi, it was something that we wanted to make. Being in construction especially in the Middle east always involves trying to make the biggest, largest, most complex, most interesting structures and landmarks when it comes to facilities.  It is a part of working in the middle east I guess, and the word Dubai itself inspires wow into people. Getting back to the Hotel, the development of the most technologically advanced hotel in the world is something we were attempting, and definitely we had to check out the competition. Competition when it comes to exuberance and abundance comes only from one part of the world, Las Vegas. And it is there, we found our formidable opponent. The Aria Resort and Casino in Las Vegas to be precise. It is not yet in the list of the most famous hotels, but trust me you will hear it very soon.

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