The Chinese company Onyx, which is mainly known by their Onyx-Boox ebook readers, announced these days to publish an Android smartphone that integrates an e-Ink touch display. To use e-Ink displays has several advantages as well as some major negative aspects too. As many e-Ink based ebook readers already proved, e-Ink displays offer great readability in direct sunlight. The perfect contrast of e-Ink displays is not comparable with traditional displays. Also the fact that e-Ink displays can show and persist scenes over days without using energy is a really cool feature that helps to run the Onyx smartphone for at least a week without reloading. Negative aspects of e-Ink displays are the low update frequencies and very reduced color capabilities at best, which makes it hard or even impossible to use e-Inks for multimedia applications. This Onyx phone is definitely not the best choice for multimedia evangelists but it could prove a valuable design for outdoor purposes, passionate e-book readers, travelers or elderly people with debility of sight.
Today i purchased the RealVNC VNC Viewer for Android based devices, in order to test the compatibility with my MobileVNC Windows CE based VNC server. RealVNC takes €7.55 for this piece of software, which is quite high compared to the typical prices within the Google Play marketplace. Despite my initial fears, the RealVNC VNC Viewer successfully connected to my Windows CE 4.1 embedded thin client device without any complains and i was able to remote control my embedded device by using the touchscreen of my Samsung Nexus Android smartphone. The movement of the remote mouse pointer is shown by a small pixel on the smartphone, according to the fact that every touch is converted to a relative mouse movement, which works really good. See some screenshot of my experiment with RealVNC Android Viewer App in combination with our MobileVNC server and a HP t5000 Windows CE 4.1 thin client.
Today, the new version 2.0 MobileVNC was released! MobileVNC now comes with full Win32 support and Websocket HTML5 client included (noVNC). MobileVNC implements a tiny, copy to install, VNC server that offers remote control for your Windows CE and Win32 based devices. The range of supported devices ranges from mobile barcode scanners, Point-Of-Sales terminals, industrial terminals and smartphones. The MobileVNC server offers tiny footprint and low prices (9.95€ for full commercial license/device). MobileVNC represents an easy solution for remote control and maintenance of a large number of distributed Point-Of-Sales (POS) or logistics terminals.
Over the last month we heard a lot about a new cool technology that allows your smartphone (iPhones and co) to easily accept all major credit cards. Even Wired published an entire article on Square within their actual issue. In fact, Square is a stylish card reader that can be plugged into the audio jack of a smartphone. Through that square reader and accompanied app it is possible to simply pay by using your credit card.
Square was co-founded by Twitter creator Jack Dorsey and Jim McKelvey. Dorsey also serves as CEO, Keith Rabois as COO. Square offers its reader for free and takes a little fee for each transaction you perform on your device.
In the last days Starbucks jumped onto the Square hype.
Starbucks will accelerate mobile payments leadership by choosing Square for pyyments.
Groundbreaking Partnership to Stimulate Small Business Growth and Enhance Payment Experience for Millions of Customers
SEATTLE and SAN FRANCISCO, – August 8, 2012 – Starbucks Coffee Company (NASDAQ: SBUX), with its leading mobile payment platform, and Square, the company revolutionizing everyday transactions between buyers and sellers, announced a broad innovative partnership to bring the best possible payment experience to both sides of the Starbucks counter.
Introduced by Microsoft some days ago, the Windows Phone 8 was introduced as the successor of Windows Phone 7. The actual version of Microsoft’s smartphone operating system will be updated to Windows Phone 7.8, which comes with some new features, such as a slightly modified startscreen. The widgets on the startscreen are a lot more flexible than before, as you can see in this video.
Windows Phone 8 will build upon the new Windows Core kernel, which means that it has the same core as the new Windows Tablet and as the upcoming Windows 8 desktop operating system.
At Google’s IO 2012 conference some new information about the further timeplan for the development and release of Android have been presented. The next release will be Android 4.1, called Jelly Bean, as an updated version of the actual 4.0 ( Ice Cream Sandwich) that is already installed on all high end Android hardware devices. Some features Google announced with the release of Android 4.1 are:
- Project Butter – A deep driving effort to improve performance and response time, by introducing 60fps framerate, which means in detail a slight improvement of responsiveness and reaction times of some milliseconds.
- Home Screen – the home screen now supports the dynamic resizing of widgets and it allows furthermore to flick widgets off the screen to remove them.
- Offline Voice Input – Its now possible to voice type your speech without having a solid network connection, for example if you are in flight mode, as the interpreter moved on to the phone. They support English and are going to support 18 language more in the future.
- Camera App and Gallery Improvements – Speeds up photo preview in camera mode.
- Improved Notification System with immediate preview
- Google Now and improved search and synth voice response – “gets to the right information at the right time… automatically” by analyzing your “search history, calendar, and past activities in order to find out what you might want.
The idea of this project is completely crazy, Deeper Smart Sonar enables your smartphone to detect fishes and any underwater objects, by using a Bluetooth sonar sphere. This waterproof sphere transmits fish depth and location info, along with temperature and floor depth to your Android or iOS smartphone or tablet within 150 feet via Bluetooth. One battery load lasts for at least six-hours which should suffice for a long relaxing fishing session.
Clement Storck has published his Arduino Notifying Doorbell Make project, which will help you to upgrade your doorbell to send out Push notification and an email with an attached picture to your smartphone when somebody’s at the door. It uses the free PushingBox service to delegate all the programming part and make things quite easy.
See following instruction guide to implement this smart solution to upgrade your own old doorbell.