Meet the Illum, Lytro’s futuristic new light-field camera | The Verge

Lytro’s innovative way of capturing a complete, 3D “light field” version of a scene instead of just quickly snapping a 2D photograph. It’s what lets you refocus a picture after the fact, or convert it to 3D, or subtly shift the perspective of the shot without ever having moved the camera.

Some very interesting tech at play here. The Lytro Illum will not revolutionize photography right now, but give it a few iterations and it just might. The innovative way of capturing an image also brings other benefits such as for example a more effective lens design. The Illum has a 30-250mm zoom lens with an impressive f/2.0 fixed aperture. Other specs include a 1 inch sensor, a Qualcomm Snapdragon 804 processor and a 4 inch touchscreen. Oh, and a $1,599 price tag.

Meet the Illum, Lytro’s futuristic new light-field camera | The Verge

Lytro’s innovative way of capturing a complete, 3D “light field” version of a scene instead of just quickly snapping a 2D photograph. It’s what lets you refocus a picture after the fact, or convert it to 3D, or subtly shift the perspective of the shot without ever having moved the camera.

Some very interesting tech at play here. The Lytro Illum will not revolutionize photography right now, but give it a few iterations and it just might. The innovative way of capturing an image also brings other benefits such as for example a more effective lens design. The Illum has a 30-250mm zoom lens with an impressive f/2.0 fixed aperture. Other specs include a 1 inch sensor, a Qualcomm Snapdragon 804 processor and a 4 inch touchscreen. Oh, and a $1,599 price tag.

PS4 sales surpass 7 million globally | The Sony Playstation Blog
7 million units is not bad at all. We have to wait and see how smartphone/tablet gaming and casual Android/iOS console gaming will affect PS4’s total sales during the entire lifespan of the product, but so far things look really good, even in relation to PS3 sales. The PS3 sold 9 million units in 2007 which was the first year it was widely available. In 2010 – PS3’s top selling year – it sold 15 million units.

PS4 sales surpass 7 million globally | The Sony Playstation Blog

7 million units is not bad at all. We have to wait and see how smartphone/tablet gaming and casual Android/iOS console gaming will affect PS4’s total sales during the entire lifespan of the product, but so far things look really good, even in relation to PS3 sales. The PS3 sold 9 million units in 2007 which was the first year it was widely available. In 2010 – PS3’s top selling year – it sold 15 million units.

Amazon Fire TV 
Amazon has just released the Fire TV, the company’s Apple TV, Google Chromecast and Roku competitor. In short, it’s a $99 Android based set-top box for streaming movies and TV shows as well as playing games with the dedicated Fire Game Controller (sold separately for $ 40). The Fire TV has integrated voice search and being an Amazon product, extra care has been taken in order to make the company’s Prime Instant Video streaming service run smoothly on the device. The other usual suspects such as YouTube, Hulu and Netflix are also available. HBO Go is however currently missing from the lineup.
Update: In it’s first impressions, Android Central writes that the Fire TV makes for a compelling experience, and yet another great way for Amazon to have its content in front of as many people as possible.
On streaming content:

With or without [Amazon] Prime, you’ll be greeted by a bevy of Fire TV-optimized Android apps that are set up to use the full screen and work properly with your remote. Pandora, Hulu Plus, Netflix, YouTube, Plex, WatchESPN and the like are offered to you front-and-center, and while it’s clear that Amazon can (and will) do more to grow the number of Fire TV developers, its out-of-the-box app catalog is quite full-featured. Apps run well, and we’ve yet to encounter any weirdness that would make you think these are simple Android mobile apps ported to a larger screen. The interfaces, buttons and experiences seem like they were made natively for the TV.

On gaming:

Amazon boasts that over 100 games in its Appstore are already compatible with the Fire TV, with thousands more on the way. The couple of games we’ve tried play perfectly with the controller, and seem to have been customized appropriately for the larger screen and controller experience — a tough feat that other Android consoles have struggled with. There aren’t many similar cheap consoles to choose from, but right now the Fire TV looks to be a leader for casual Android games on your TV at a low price.

If sideloading apps from Google Play is as easy as it is on Kindle Fire tablets, the Fire TV looks very promising. 
Photo: The Verge

Amazon Fire TV

Amazon has just released the Fire TV, the company’s Apple TV, Google Chromecast and Roku competitor. In short, it’s a $99 Android based set-top box for streaming movies and TV shows as well as playing games with the dedicated Fire Game Controller (sold separately for $ 40). The Fire TV has integrated voice search and being an Amazon product, extra care has been taken in order to make the company’s Prime Instant Video streaming service run smoothly on the device. The other usual suspects such as YouTube, Hulu and Netflix are also available. HBO Go is however currently missing from the lineup.

Update: In it’s first impressions, Android Central writes that the Fire TV makes for a compelling experience, and yet another great way for Amazon to have its content in front of as many people as possible.

On streaming content:

With or without [Amazon] Prime, you’ll be greeted by a bevy of Fire TV-optimized Android apps that are set up to use the full screen and work properly with your remote. Pandora, Hulu Plus, Netflix, YouTube, Plex, WatchESPN and the like are offered to you front-and-center, and while it’s clear that Amazon can (and will) do more to grow the number of Fire TV developers, its out-of-the-box app catalog is quite full-featured. Apps run well, and we’ve yet to encounter any weirdness that would make you think these are simple Android mobile apps ported to a larger screen. The interfaces, buttons and experiences seem like they were made natively for the TV.

On gaming:

Amazon boasts that over 100 games in its Appstore are already compatible with the Fire TV, with thousands more on the way. The couple of games we’ve tried play perfectly with the controller, and seem to have been customized appropriately for the larger screen and controller experience — a tough feat that other Android consoles have struggled with. There aren’t many similar cheap consoles to choose from, but right now the Fire TV looks to be a leader for casual Android games on your TV at a low price.

If sideloading apps from Google Play is as easy as it is on Kindle Fire tablets, the Fire TV looks very promising. 

Photo: The Verge

Facebook Buys A Virtual World | Techcrunch


Today, in a somewhat surprising move, Facebook purchased virtual reality company Oculus VR. The buy elicited visceral reactions from people dismayed that Oculus sold out so early to snarky comments about what Facebook might do with it.

The price for the startup was $ 2 billion, with $400 million in cash and $ 1.6 billion will be paid with 23.1 million Facebook common stock shares. An additional $300 million can be earned in cash and stock based on future performance.
Between the recent $ 19 billion acquisition of Whatsapp and this Oculus VR deal, the $ 1 billion purchase of Instagram, now with more than 200 million users, is starting to look like a bargain. If it’s even possible to call a $1 billion deal a bargain. I wonder how many stock shares Facebook have left to buy companies for? Remember that since such large portions of these deals are paid in stocks, it’s not “real” money until someone cashes in. If the Facebook stock plummets, so do the the sizes of these deals.

Facebook Buys A Virtual World | Techcrunch

Today, in a somewhat surprising move, Facebook purchased virtual reality company Oculus VR. The buy elicited visceral reactions from people dismayed that Oculus sold out so early to snarky comments about what Facebook might do with it.

The price for the startup was $ 2 billion, with $400 million in cash and $ 1.6 billion will be paid with 23.1 million Facebook common stock shares. An additional $300 million can be earned in cash and stock based on future performance.

Between the recent $ 19 billion acquisition of Whatsapp and this Oculus VR deal, the $ 1 billion purchase of Instagram, now with more than 200 million users, is starting to look like a bargain. If it’s even possible to call a $1 billion deal a bargain. I wonder how many stock shares Facebook have left to buy companies for? Remember that since such large portions of these deals are paid in stocks, it’s not “real” money until someone cashes in. If the Facebook stock plummets, so do the the sizes of these deals.

Android Wear — Android for wearables

Google today announced Android Wear for wearables together with two smart watches using it, Motorola’s Moto 360 and LG’s G Watch.

Here’s a few features of Android Wear from the the official Android blog of what basically looks as Google Now functionality on your wrist:

Useful information when you need it most. Android Wear shows you info and suggestions you need, right when you need them. The wide variety of Android applications means you’ll receive the latest posts and updates from your favorite social apps, chats from your preferred messaging apps, notifications from shopping, news and photography apps, and more.

Straight answers to spoken questions. Just say “Ok Google” to ask questions, like how many calories are in an avocado, what time your flight leaves, and the score of the game. Or say “Ok Google” to get stuff done, like calling a taxi, sending a text, making a restaurant reservation or setting an alarm.

The ability to better monitor your health and fitness. Hit your exercise goals with reminders and fitness summaries from Android Wear. Your favorite fitness apps can give you real-time speed, distance and time information on your wrist for your run, cycle or walk.

Your key to a multiscreen world. Android Wear lets you access and control other devices from your wrist. Just say “Ok Google” to fire up a music playlist on your phone, or cast your favorite movie to your TV. There’s a lot of possibilities here so we’re eager to see what developers build.

Very cool. The combination of Google Now and Android’s very effective built-in voice-to-text functionality can make this rather useful as well. And the round Motorola watch doesn’t look half bad.

Neil Young’s PonoPlayer is live on Kickstarter

Neil Young’s high quality mobile music player PonoPlayer is not your ordinary run of the mill Kickstarter project. 12 minutes of music superstars praising your product… That’s a kickstart if there ever was one. The future of dedicated mobile music players is uncertain, but Pono is up for a good start as the project’s $800,000 funding goal was reached almost instantly.

iPhone 6 component photo may reveal major design overhaul | BGR

An image showing the purported digitizer of the iPhone 6 seems to reveal the size of at least one upcoming iPhone version, although the image can’t be confirmed yet. The photos first appeared on Chinese forum WeiPhone, but it’s not clear exactly how the original poster obtained the images.

True or false — It looks pretty cool. 

via thenextiphone

Fitbit app auto-pauses Netflix if you fall asleep

A cool, but somewhat ironical, use of a fitness tracker. I could definitely use such functionality for when listening to podcasts or audiobooks.

via TechCrunch

Avarage Time Spent Per Person By Platform in December 2013 | Nielsen

…it’s not just smartphone penetration that’s growing. Consumers are also spending more time using them, as time spent using smartphones now exceeds Web usage on computers in the U.S., U.K. and Italy.

Mobile is eating the world. But we do love our TVs.

Avarage Time Spent Per Person By Platform in December 2013 | Nielsen

…it’s not just smartphone penetration that’s growing. Consumers are also spending more time using them, as time spent using smartphones now exceeds Web usage on computers in the U.S., U.K. and Italy.

Mobile is eating the world. But we do love our TVs.

Samsung Unpacked 5 event highlights

Samsung released this year’s edition of its top of the line smartphone — the Galaxy S5 — as well as a slew of wearables at the company’s Unpacked 5 event earlier today.

Samsung Galaxy S5 hands-on and initial review | Android Central

Let’s start with the basic Galaxy S5 specs:

  • 5.1-inch display. Android 4.4 KitKat.
  • 16-megapixel rear camera.
  • 2 gigabytes of RAM.
  • Storage options of 16 or 32 gigabytes.
  • MicroSD card storage.
  • Waterproofing with a IP67 rating.
  • 802.11 ac Wifi, with MIMIO (2x2).
  • Bluetooth 4.0 LE
  • USB 3.0.
  • NFC.
  • IR port.
  • 2,800 mAh (removable) battery.

All high-end phones should have some kind of water-resistance.

Meet Samsung’s new smartwatch family: the Gear 2, Neo and Fit | Engadget

Samsung’s new crop of Gear smartwatches are no longer card-carrying members of its Android Galaxy. That’s because Tizen, the company’s open-sourced OS, has taken over the reins for the line begot by the barely five-month-old Galaxy Gear. And, in typical Samsung fashion, the company hasn’t released just one new Gear, but three with very specific areas of focus: the fashionable Gear 2, the functional Gear Neo and fitness-focused Gear Fit.