Technology

  • CES Technology 2017

    Posted on 15th February 2017 by admin.

    The recent CES Technology Show in Las Vegas was THE place to see and learn of, the very latest trends in all things 'tech'.

    The 2017 presentations didn’t disappoint; from self-balancing Honda motorcycles, through the latest TV and computer developments, to Lynx - the humanoid robot powered by Amazon’s Alexa virtual assistant.

    We’ve been told for years now, that ‘this will be the year of the automation of things’ and from the CES highlights that have made the news, 2017 certainly looks to be the year home automation gains credible traction.

    Whether you yearn for connected fridges, microwaves, vacuums, or robotic personal assistants that will fill your fridge, cook your food and keep the home clean, it now seems no longer the stuff of science fiction - the future is here, now.

    But if an addition to the family in the shape of a robot is one huge step too far and you’d prefer to remain very much in control, yourself, the home automation systems that Controliss battery powered and mains powered electric blinds can be integrated into, may be the perfect solution for you.

    Powered by technology from market leaders Somfy, all Controliss electric blinds are compatible with the systems that are leading this revolution in home automation.

    Whether your interest in joining this revolution comes from the security benefits of remote control blinds; the elegant practicality offered by wireless fitment; or the sophisticated functionality of programmable control, Controliss has the perfect solution to your needs.

    This Post was posted in Technology and was tagged with automation, control, home, powered

  • Wearable tech tops trends for 2014

    Posted on 8th February 2014 by Ben.

    Google Glass is nearly here for the regular consumer while Samsung’s Galaxy Gear SM-V700, a watch that connects to your phone so you can use it to answer calls, texts and email, has been out for a while. But now it seems like everyone is launching their own wearable tech, with the most interesting are these focusing on health and fitness. Wearable wristbands that monitor your daily activity have been around for a while, with many sitting somewhere between a fitness band and more sophisticated smart-watches.

    Jawbone-UP

    Jawbone for example dominates the market with a stylish wristband that monitors physical activity, calorie intake and sleep patterns to help you stay to your fitness goals.

    Basis Carbon Steel Edition

    Another leading maker of fitness bands is Basis, its new Carbon Steel Edition can monitor sweat output, heat dissipation, blood flow and heart rate as well being able to detect if you’re running or walking. It also offers advanced sleep analysis to help you get a better, healthier night time routine.

    Sony recently announced its entry into the market, the SmartBand SWR10, which tracks movement and activity and it records on a lifelog app on your smartphone. The interesting angle that Sony have taken is that it also records your digital life, so the photos you take, the music you listen to, the places you go and your online social activity is all recorded as well. While it may be a bit too Orwellian for some people it will give you a good measure of how your daily routines break down. Maybe even inspiring you to change your ways.

    Google Smart Contact Lens

    Google recently revealed they are working on a contact lens that will allow its wearer to monitor their glucose levels. The lens, which has a small chip inserted into it, will help diabetics to easily track their condition without needing to resort to needles. Google are working on including tiny LEDs so that updates can be displayed directly to the user. As this kind of tech gets more sophisticated it will be able to monitor and predict your behaviour while being able to make suggestions about sleep, fitness and eating in a way that you can maintain your health. It’s only a short leap then for this kind of tech to start talking to each other or even to your home gadgets. That way they can work alongside your fridge for instance, to monitor your food intake, or your lighting and electric blinds to send you to bed or gently wake you up.

    This Post was posted in Technology and was tagged with activity, fitness, Google, monitor, smart, tech

  • Iron Man's gestured control on the horizon

    Posted on 14th January 2014 by Ben.

    Displair-Display

    The kind of gesture-controlled, floating computer interfaces that Tony Stark uses  in the Marvel Comics inspired Iron Man movies have long been a goal for many tech developers. Displair is one company that has managed to create a viable ‘floating interface’ that it aims to put into production. The system works by producing a curtain of fine vapour on to which a computer interface is projected. Custom-built gesture recognition is then used to detect the movement of your hands as it touches and passes through the mist, allowing you to interact with the items in the display. So it can be used to manipulate objects that are rendered in 3D on the screen or to produce visual effects that ripple and burst as you put your hand into the mist.

    At the moment the price makes it prohibitive for home use but Displair is aiming at getting it into wider commercial use during 2014. But it does begin to show the way in which gesture-recognition and screen technology are combining to remove any need for physical computer interfaces. Find out more: http://displair.com/

    This Post was posted in Technology and was tagged with computer, Displair, gesture, interfaces

  • 3D printing from your desktop

    Posted on 22nd November 2013 by Ben.

    Windows 3d Builder

    The fashion for 3D printing has been growing significantly in the past couple of years with the technology behind it becoming compact enough to fit into the average home. The idea of downloading and printing out objects from the internet is now a reality and set to become common place in the next few years. At the moment you’ll find 3D printers in some specialist businesses while a handful of entrepreneurial ‘copy stores’ are opening on high streets across the globe. But now Microsoft has released a 3D printing app for Windows 8.1 meaning you can design and print your own objects at home. The free 3D Builder app comes with a library of pre-defined objects and shapes, which can be easily combined and changed to produce new objects. The best thing is you don’t need a degree in CAD to use it although access to a 3D printer would be helpful. Find out more: 3D Builder app for Windows

    This Post was posted in Technology and was tagged with 3d, app, microsoft, printing

  • Conran has designs on the future of 3D

    Posted on 22nd October 2013 by Andy.

    Beagle-Holo Forget about your brand new 3D TV, that’s yesterday’s news. A new 3D experience is on its way and it’s straight out of science fiction movies. Designer Terence Conran has teamed up with innovation company Beagle to develop a holographic device called the Holo. It promises to turn everyday objects and people into holographic images that can be viewed in 360 degrees. Intended as a sales or presentation tool it also allows you to interact with the image through simple hand gestures - effectively letting you turn an object round to view it from other angles. The diamond-shaped device uses Samsung hardware to produce a phenomenon known as Pepper’s Ghost. It is a 400-year-old theatre illusion that is used to make people appear and disappear on stage, and was recently used to ‘resurrect’ the rapper Tupac Shakur at a concert. It is commercially available now, but don’t expect one in your living room just yet as Beagle are targeting high-end brands, conferences and exhibitions. Find out more: http://www.beagleholo.com/

    This Post was posted in Technology and was tagged with 3d, beagle, device, holo, holographic

  • How to turn your coffee table into a tablet computer

    Posted on 7th October 2013 by Andy.

    As a number of tech companies race to be the first to create technology that can turn any surface in your home into a touchscreen it looks like Ubi Interactive has got there first. Ubi’s system couldn’t be simpler as it uses Microsoft’s Kinect motion detection hardware, a projector and an app running on a Windows 8 computer. The system even calibrates itself. So, just by connecting equipment that can be found in most electronics stores and pointing it at a suitable surface you can have a multimedia touchscreen. Any wall or table in your home can quickly become a sophisticated computer that responds to the same gestures that you operate a tablet or a smart phone with, such as swiping or double-tapping. The app is available now in the US with prices starting at just $149 for a single 45-inch projection and going up to $1,499 for a 20-user 90-inch one. Find out more here: https://www.ubi-interactive.com/

    This Post was posted in Technology and was tagged with app, computer, surface, touchscreen, UBI Interactive

  • The future is curved

    Posted on 8th August 2013 by Lee.

    Samsung-Curved-oled-TV Samsung has just launched what it claims to be the World’s first curved TV in the US. The 55-inch curved OLED TV, which is already available in Korea, will set you back $14,999. Samsung has dubbed it the ‘Timeless Arena’ design and claims the flexible OLED tech prevents the screen developing ‘dead’ or defective pixels. Samsung also claims the curve design is intended to enhance the viewing experience as by keeping all parts of the screen an equal distance away from the viewer. The TV also supports other state-of-the-art features, such as multi-view, which allows two viewers to watch two different channels on the same screen thanks to a pair of 3D glasses. Many other electronics companies, including LG, are lining up their own curved OLEDs so it looks like this tech will eventually filter down to become essential piece of kit in your living room.

    This Post was posted in Technology and was tagged with curved, oled, samsung, TV

  • The competitor aiming to smash Google Glass

    Posted on 18th July 2013 by Andy.

    Recon-Jet

    With Google Glass, the US giant’s bid for the wearable computing market, now not due until early 2014 Recon Instruments is hoping to get a headstart with its own wearable computer coming out in time for Christmas. The Recon Jet heads-up display is a pair of sunglasses designed specifically for sporting enthusiasts. It has a similar spec to Google Glass including a 1GHz dual-core processor, 1GB of RAM, 8GB of storage and a 720p camera, and even runs an adapted version of Android. It’s packed with all kinds of sensors including accelerometer, gyroscope, altimeter, barometer and ambient temperature sensor to give the wearer real-time data while doing their favourite activities. You can even connect it to a heart rate monitor while you exercise.

    Recon Jet seems to be a more practical application to wearable computing than Google Glass, which arguably offers very few benefits above what you can get from your smartphone. Plus it is currently available to pre-order for less than Google Glass is expected to retail. Pre-order one today: http://jet.reconinstruments.com/?gclid=CKKohKvMp7gCFdMQtAodQgsAnw

    This Post was posted in Technology and was tagged with google glass, jet, recon instruments

  • What is the Apple iWatch?

    Posted on 4th July 2013 by Andy.

    iWatch

    Yrving Torrealba's iWatch Rendition

    The internet has been awash with news that Apple have applied for the iWatch trademark in Japan. The first official sign that the tech giant is seriously considering wearable tech. This would be a sensible move as a wristwatch would easily incorporate many of the tech and functions currently available. It could connect to other mobile devices such as a smartphone to allow you access to more apps. It would also fit well into a control method for home electronics as it would always be with you. However, there is some uncertainty over what exactly the trademark application could be for with some reports suggesting it could be a TV product. Although Apple already has AppleTV but it is thought that they want to develop smaller devices that could work with their other products. Currently Apple’s biggest problem seems to be that the European trademark for iWatch is currently owned by an Italian company. Although this may be a minor issue for a company with Apple’s might.

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    This Post was posted in Technology and was tagged with apple, iWatch, technology

  • Console Wars III

    Posted on 15th June 2013 by Andy.

    Xbox-One

    The war to own your living room is beginning to heat up again as Sony and Microsoft gear up for the launch of their new games’ consoles at the end of the year. At E3, the annual entertainment and electronics show in LA this week, both revealed more details about the forthcoming consoles, including the prices. Sony’s PS4 also made its first proper appearance, and it’s not a million miles from the styling of Microsoft’s Xbox One, as both have favoured black boxes with minimal detailing. Things don’t change much on the inside either as both have similar hardware specs, including 500GB hard drives and Blu ray drives. Both also offer a wide selection of internet and streaming options so that you can access a range of media on your TV.

    Playstation-4

    While the PS4 is rumoured to have better graphical clout the Xbox One looks like having a better line up of exclusive games at launch. Microsoft are also bundling its motion controller, Kinect, with every machine, making it a more rounded package. Its latest version promises greater sensitivity and accuracy as well as the ability to determine your heart rate. On top of that the Xbox One will respond to voice activation and instructions. But this all comes at a price, namely £429 (€499), while the PS4 is much cheaper at £349 (€399). The price isn’t the only chink in Microsoft’s armour either. It is required to be always on in order to authenticate the games being played. Some people have raised security concerns with the Xbox needing to always be online since it has an active webcam permanently mounted in the Kinect module. Existing Xbox 360 games and second-hand games aren’t playable on the Xbox One either. Something that will make it popular with games publishers, but not so much with games fans. Sony has taken the opposite stance by allowing the PS4 to always be played offline and for second-hand or borrowed discs to be playable. It could just be enough to give Sony the upper hand as both hit the market. But with so many variables at play time will tell who the real winners are. Find out more: http://www.xbox.com/en-GB/xboxone/meet-xbox-one http://uk.playstation.com/ps4/

    This Post was posted in Technology and was tagged with console, games, microsoft, one, playstation, ps4, sony, xbox

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