Archive for the Hardware News Category

VR unit Google Cardboard is still alive in Google’s eyes

December 11, 2014 by Tom in Accessories, App News, Hardware News with No Comments.

What seemed like a daft gimmick, the makeshift VR unit Google Cardboard is still being taken seriously by Google itself, meaning us consumers can still get some cheap VR antics on the go for the foreseeable future. Google continues "working to improve" Cardboard and has launched a dedicated collection page on Google Play for Cardboard apps. App highlights include a Paul McCartney concert and a trip to Middle Earth. Developers are also encouraged to get involved, with a new Cardboard software development kit (SDK) released for Android and Unity. 2015 will also see a viewer calibration tool for developers and no doubt a fresh batch of apps. Via techradar

Youku – the Chinese YouTube – to launch Android tablet and media streamer in China

December 11, 2014 by Tom in Android Tablet, Hardware News, Tablet with 1 Comment.

YouTube's international but the video service of choice in China is Youku Todou. Youko is capitalising on its success with the launch of a tablet, smart TV box and WiFi router in January 2015. The Android tablet will have a 15.6-inch screen (all the better to see you with, Youku). It'll run on a Rockchip RK2388 processor and have a 10-point capacitive touch screen at the unconventional 1366 x 768 pixels. It'll have 8GB of storage, which means it's probably going to be touted as primarily a viewing device. The WiFi router will use peer-2-peer technology for video delivery and the TV box will offer 4K streaming. Via liliputing

Samsung Gear VR virtual reality headset available now

December 9, 2014 by Tom in Accessories, Hardware News, Samsung with No Comments.

Samsung has made its Gear VR virtual reality headset available at the user-friendly price of $200. As this is burgeoning tech there are a few caveats: you'll need a Note 4 Smartphone to hook into it as its screen and it's sold as the "Innovator Edition", the product description of which hammers home the fact it's "a device targeted specifically to developers or early adopters of technology." If you're curious and have the right phone, $200 isn't too big a wad to drop on something potentially really cool, especially if you're looking to pioneer VR tech and make your own projects. Via engadget

Tommy Hilfiger Solar Panel jacket charges phones and looks crazy from the back

December 4, 2014 by Tom in Accessories, Hardware News with No Comments.

If you're walking towards somebody you'll look pretty swish in the new Tommy Hilfiger solar panel jackets that harness the sun to charge mobile devices. Turn around, however, and you're stand-up Eddie Murphy in the Beverley Hills Cop in the future film that was never made. See! The jackets are limited editions and cost $599 (50% of which goes to Fresh Air Fund). When fully charged they can recharge 1,500mAh devices up to four times, so they pack plenty of power. Via ubergizmo

Huawei announces 64-bit octacore Kirin 620 processor for next year’s smartphones and tablets

December 4, 2014 by Tom in Hardware News with No Comments.

2015 will see the implementation of the new 64-bit octacore Huawei Kirin 620 processor in the Chinese company's smartphones and tablets. The Kirin 620 is based on ARM's CortexA-53 architecture and is most likely going to land in mid-range devices. On the connectivity front, the processor supports 4G LTE cat 4 with speeds up to 150 MBps. Also onboard the chip is the tried and tested ARM Mali-450 GPU, 1.2GHz CPU cores, LPDDR3 memory and support for 13MP cameras, HRD photography and 1080p HD video. Via liliputing

Bluetooth 4.2 details: safer and direct web connections and better battery life

December 4, 2014 by Tom in Hardware News, Software / OS with No Comments.

The Bluetooth Special Interests Group has released details of the connectivity standard's update. Bluetooth 4.2 will bring faster transfer speeds, direct connections to the web and better battery conservation. Version 4.2 will allow devices to connect to the internet directly through IPv6/6LoWPAN without a go-between, doing away with the need for specific access points or hubs. Data transfers will run 2.5x faster too with a big packet capacity increase. Battery consumption will also be improved. Privacy is also big here - the government-grade connection will mean that when using beacons users can't be tracked unless specific permission is given. Via androidcentral and bluetooth

Xiaomi and Mediatek ‘consciously uncouple’

November 26, 2014 by Tom in Hardware News with No Comments.

It's not just Gwyneth and Chris breaking up this year, it seems Xiaomi and Mediatek's love affair might be coming to an end too. The latest Xiaomi tablet will carry a Qualcomm Snapdragon processor but Xiaomi have got their own ideas for the future. The Redmi and Redmi note were originally released with Mediatek chips but were replaced on a later run by Qualcomm chips. Xiaomi has bought big stakes in the Chinese SoC maker Leadcore so will no doubt move to making its own processors, cutting out the need for outside components. Via gizchina

Mophie Powerstation Plus with built-in cables and wide range of sizes

November 22, 2014 by Tom in Accessories, Hardware News, Other with No Comments.

Mophie portable batteries have a reputation for reliability and now the Powerstation Plus line combines that with convenience thanks to the built-in charge and sync cables. The Plus model is available in four sizes - 3000, 5000, 7000 and 12000 mAh - and range in price from £51-£95. They're available with both Lightning cable and micro USB options and it can be a middleman for syncing too. Via gizmodo

Corning Gorilla Glass 4 is double tough when faced with concrete

November 22, 2014 by Tom in Hardware News with No Comments.

Smashed displays are a part of modern life. Corning's been fighting the good fight against this with its Gorilla Glass and now Gorilla Glass 4 is slated to be twice as tough as any other when faced with rough surfaces. With version 4, the odds of a sigh of relief are up - it'll withstand a drop from a metre 80 per cent of the time. Manufacturers are said to be behind it so we might have Gorilla Glass 4 in our pockets sometime soon. Via pocket-lint

Upp emissions-free hydrogen battery gives a week’s worth of charge

November 19, 2014 by Tom in Accessories, Hardware News, Other with No Comments.

Intelligent Energy has launched Upp, a hyrdrogen-powered clean energy source that will recharge devices for a week. Available from the Apple Store and the Upp website, the battery pack starter set costs £149. For future top-ups, replacement energy packs will be needed because it can't be plugged into the wall for recharging. Refilling the cartridges costs £5.95 and each additional cartridge is £49.95. While they are available at the Apple Store, they have a regular USB output so any device can be charged, from smartphones to digital cameras. Via trustedreviews

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