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news from around the web from people addicted to tech

Why you *might* care about NFC (near field communication)

by Savan Thongvanh March 14, 2011

There’s been a good amount of talk lately about what will be included in the iPhone 5. Just as much talk about that has been going on as there has about whether the iPhone 5 is even going to be released this year. Based on Apple’s other iPhone releases, it will. One of the most talked about features is near field communications or NFC.

What is NFC you ask?  Well it’s actually a pretty cool way for radios to communicate with each other with electromagnetic fields.  Since these fields have some energy they can transmit they can wake up another NFC radio just by being next to it.  Pretty cool eh?  The radio doing the transmitting is said to be the active and the other is the passive radio.  Both can be active but I think the active/passive model is the cooler one because it means one of the devices can run with lower power.

Great, one radio can wake another radio up.  Why do I care about that you might ask.  Well, ever since phones started to do more than make calls people have been using the term “convergence device” to describe them.  Meaning that many every day functions done with different devices or on paper have converged on the phone.  Calendar, contacts, calculator, radio…you get the idea.  This is just another step in that direction.  Some uses that have been prototyped are payment systems, social networking applications, medical monitoring devices, electronic ticketing, and more.  Imagine checking in at the airport and checking in by just waiving your phone over the kiosk, AMEN!

The jury is still out on whether NFC will be included in the iPhone5 and only time will tell.  However there are some devices that already have it.  Unfortunately until there’s a big push of implementations of payment systems, kiosks, or ANYTHING it’s basically vaporware.

Hopefully we’ll see some cool stuff soon tho!  What cool ideas have you seen for NFC?

Android Augmented Reality Integrates GPS

by Jason Patocka May 24, 2010

Top Gear enthusiasts and Android fanboys alike will get a kick out of Wikitude’s slick new platform that integrates GPS and augmented reality. Its apps like this that drive home Android’s uncanny ability to suck on some serious Apple milkshake. One of the greatest Android criticisms was its scant supply of apps, and now by every metric I’ve seen to date, its gaining ground on the iPhone at record speed.

Safety concerns, carbon footprint, and local law enforcement withstanding – I kind of want to see a guitar hero / geocache overlay on that AR navtrack. That my friends, would take road trips to an entirely new level.

Meet Geminoid F

by Jason Patocka April 5, 2010

Robo-media darling Hiroshi Ishiguro recently held a press conference in Osaka demonstrating his latest android, aptly named Geminoid F. As Japan’s population ages there is great concern over who is going to care for the elderly. One proposed approach that has garnered considerable public attention is to create robots that can provide companionship and care for seniors. To this end, Ishiguro has listed the price for the Geminoid F model at 10 million yen or $110,000 USD.

HTC Evo 4G Android phone coming to Sprint this summer

by Savan Thongvanh March 24, 2010

Sprint has announced that this summer it will be releasing the HTC Evo, a 4G Android phone. It seems like people have given up on an “iPhone killer” but this is quite a powerful phone.

Amid Apple lawsuits and controversy HTC keeps pushing on

by Savan Thongvanh March 4, 2010

HTC announced today that they would push the reach of the beloved Desire smart phone even further. HTC will how offer, exclusively with Telstra Corp, their HTC Desire in Australia.

According to HTC, Telstra is Australia’s largest and fastest 3g network. The Desire will be available in April and pricing has not yet been announced.

See the full release from HTC

AT&T joins the Android game with Motorola’s BACKFLIP

by Savan Thongvanh February 18, 2010

Today Motorola announced another offering with AT&T.  Motorola’s BACKFLIP will be AT&T’s first phone with Android.  The phone will be available March 7th.


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