Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Orange Power Wellies Keep Your Phone Charged If You're Willing To Walk

While there are many ways to have your device juiced up while you're on a camping trip, these Power Wellies from Orange look quite different, not to mention bulky. The idea behind this is to generate electricity from the heat in your feet, which more or less requires you to trod around for a good twelve hours to generate enough power to charge a mobile phone for an hour. 

Orange teamed up with GotWind in order to come up with this interesting eco-charger, though it's quite hard to imagine anybody walking around the forest just to be able to charge their mobile phone for an hour. Still, maybe it can be improved upon, and if it only needed an hour's walk...

Via  GizmoDiva

Monday, June 7, 2010

Apple retakes the lead

With today's announcement, Apple has taken the lead back in a big way. Did Apple ever lost the lead will you ask? It depends. First, Blackberry is still a huge player, although they certainly don't look like they are "the future". Android is (or was) gaining a lot of mindshare and momentum - which culminated at the Google IO smartphone keynote (a must-see). It is also clear that Apple was starting to get behind in terms of display resolution, and even battery life - two things that every single user care about.

Today, Apple is striking back with a vengeance. The battery seems huge, and if it holds as well as Steve Jobs says it will, we're very impressed. Note that Steve Jobs did not use any marketing gimmick when the said that the iPad can play video for 10hrs. It can. Secondly, the display improvement is massive. Of course, Android phones had high-res displays for more than 6 months now, so that's about time. If Apple's IPS display manages to do OK in bright conditions, they will strike a big win (the 3GS display does fairly well).

iPhone OS 4 introduces a form of multitasking that should be good enough for 95% of users, although expect pro-Android to criticize it because it comes with some caveats. I don't much that regular folks will pay attention.

Of course, there's the industrial design… Despite all the new improvements (faster, longer life, more pixels) the iPhone 4 is smaller than its predecessor. More importantly, it feels much better in your hand, and I epxect the back to be quasi-imprevious to scratches. The iPhone 3GS now seems like a plastic toy. On the industrial side, Apple benefits from economies of scale that no one else has, so the barrier of entry for using quality materials will stay incredibly high for competitors. That is the advantage of building only a handful of designs.

Finally, there's the cool factor. Most people might not use the video call daily but the video demo was extremely well done, and pretty much everyone was floored by the sign language part - it's true it has never been done by a consumer phone before (in a meaningful way), and this was a powerful moment in the speech.

Competitors are not going to stand still: you can expect Android to come out with more features that use more open standards. Android 2.2 is impressive and all, but overall, whatever mindshare was harnessed in the past few months has been largely lost today, maybe only temporarily because Google can also deliver good stuff.

But there's no doubt that Apple has just regained the "cool" that it had lost during the past 6 months and it is obvious that iPhone developers are going to get out of WWDC pumped up and ready for more apps, paid - or free, thanks to iAd.

It's not really hard to predict that the iPhone 4 is going to be a massive commercial success. Already, a bunch of low-tech people with crappy phones have told me that they will get it. It's a done deal.

Via iPhone homepage

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Zomm wireless leash for phones now available


Zomm is a weirdly named device that functions as a leash without wires for your Bluetooth-enabled handset. Pairing it to your phone takes a single button click, and should your handset stray 30 feet away from you (or vice versa), the Zomm will vibrate, flash, and sound an alarm. Perfect for those who are always forgetful whenever they get up and about. The Zomm also doubles up as a Bluetooth speakerphone and personal safety alarm, while pressing the center button for nine seconds will enable it to let out loud panic alarm that ought to capture the attention of folks around. The Zomm will come in either black or white colors, retailing for $79.99 a pop as it hits Best Buy stores from next month onwards.

Via GearLog

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Microsoft Windows Embedded Compact 7 Tablet Prototype Pictured

While we don't expect to see any Windows Phone 7 tablet devices anytime soon, Microsoft has demoed a few tablet devices at Computex that are powered by its Windows Embedded Compact 7 OS, which more or less looks like Windows Phone 7. This device supports Silverlight for Windows Embedded, Flash 10.1 and multi-touch within the browser. If you had a dream of a Zune/Windows Phone 7 tablet device, check out the video after the jump to see if they match up. The technical specifications of the device probably aren't too important, since the main story here is about the OS, but if you're interested, it's powered by an NVIDIA Tegra 2 chip and sports an 8.9-inch display.

Via Engadget

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Microsoft Project Natal up close and personal

The Engadget folks came across the much anticipated Project Natal from Microsoft, where it could very well be the retail version for all you know, despite being obviously marked as a developer unit. It looks pretty huge, measuring more than half the length of the Xbox 360 console itself (when the latter is lying down on its side) from the image you see above. We hope that the final product will function as planned – after all, should it end up as a decent competitor to the Wii, it will certainly keep Nintendo on their toes, making us gamers the real winner as all parties up their game to produce better consoles and titles.

Via Engadget

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Fujitsu LifeBook LH520 decked with multimedia friendly features

Fujitsu's LifeBook brand is still going strong after all these years, where the latest version is the LH520 model which will be powered by the energy efficient AMD Athlon II Dual-Core processor, offering an ATI Mobility Radeon HD 5430 graphics card which is capable of handling DirectX 11 with aplomb, making sure you will be able to enjoy high quality High Definition movies without dropped frames, while folks who wind down after a hard day at work will find that the LifeBook LH520 is equally adept at gaming as well. You can choose from matte black or matte red colors depending on your taste, where the Fujitsu LifeBook LH520 also offers a balance between work and play with its integrated 1.3-megapixel camera and dual built-in stereo microphones which lets you communicate easily with family and friends worldwide without having to purchase additional accessories. Hopefully this will be priced right as it seems to strike a decent balance regardless of your mobile computing needs.

Via FarEastGizmos