GPS Business News: This week at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, mobile navigation provider Route 66 introduced ¨Follow Me¨, an augmented reality feature available on Android phones. Follow Me shows video of the street in front of you using the camera of the phone or tablet and adds a virtual 3D car driving in front of you. Indicator lights flash to tell you where to turn left or right.
The solution is already integrated into “Drive & Walk”, the Samsung turn-by-turn navigation app developed by Route66 for the Android handset of the brand.
Watch the video clip below to better understand the concept of this augmented reality mode.
Cnet UK: Until last year, we all agreed that a computer without a keyboard was as useful as a wicker soup bowl. But this year the touchscreen wonder-windows poured out of CES like ants from an overturned log. Never fear, though — we won’t let you flail around with the fails. Here’s our pick of the best tablets from Las Vegas.
The Motorola Xoom could be the 10.1-inch iPad-smasher that Android fans have been waiting for. This sleek but heavy tablet sports a dual-core processor, cameras front and back, and a mini-HDMI port for hooking it up to your telly.
It’s also the device that Google used to show off the tablet-centric version of its Android software, Android 3.0 Honeycomb. Android’s user interface has received a refresh that means it should take full advantage of the Xoom’s big screen. We loved the Samsung Galaxy Tab, a 7-inch tablet that runs on Android 2.2, so the Xoom should be even better.
The Xoom could prove something of a shock to the wallet, though. It’s early days, but a listing on UK site Handtec offered the Xoom at the eye-watering price of £720, although the price has since been removed from the listing.
Check out the hands-on photos in our Xoom preview, which we’ll be updating with a full review just as soon as the tablet zooms into our office.
Asus Eee Pad MeMo
The Asus Eee Pad MeMo runs Android 2.3 Honeycomb and is a more portable package than the Xoom. This 7-inch tablet looks classy and elegant, and, at 389g, the MeMo is considerably lighter than the 730g Xoom too.
Its 1,024×768-pixel resolution makes the MeMo’s relatively small screen as sharp as the edge of an oatcake, and we found we could use the tablet with one hand. But, despite its diminutive dimensions, the MeMo is still packed with features, including a stylus that works with the capacitive touchscreen to allow pressure-sensitive writing and drawing.
Hold your mitts up to the screen against our hands-on photos to see how the MeMo could look in your hands, and read our Memo preview to get all the gory details on this upcoming gadget.
RIM has ducked out of the Android and Windows 7 tablet battle, instead chucking its own operating system onto its first tablet, the BlackBerry PlayBook. This could prove especially handy if you also use a BlackBerry phone, but we’re reserving judgement on the fledgling software until we can put it through its paces properly.
The PlayBook’s dual-core processor is all about multi-tasking. An all-new browser that supports Flash and HTML5 should help repair BlackBerry’s reputation for supplying out-of-date surfing software.
Like the Xoom, the PlayBook eschews buttons on its face — there’s no big home button, as there is on the iPad, or multiple menu buttons, like on most Android tablets. Instead, there’s a power button on the top, along with some media-control buttons.
Take a look at our hands-on photos of this bloated ‘Berry and read our extensive PlayBook preview for all the details you can stomach.
Windows tablets haven’t exactly set the world on fire, and now the world’s biggest OS is running scared, what with the rise of Android and iOS on big screens. But, for some people, staring through Windows is the only way they can get any work done.
The Samsung TX100 could be the solution for Windows fans who aren’t ready to abandon the Land of a Thousand Menus in favour of a mobile phone on steroids. This 10.1-inch tablet packs a cunning surprise — it has a slide-out keyboard that transforms it into a touchscreen netbook.
When we copped a feel of the TX100, we found it felt slim, despite its Qwerty keyboard, and its USB and HDMI ports should help it compete for bag space with your laptop. With a claimed 9 hours of battery life and an Intel Atom CPU, we’ve got high hopes that the TX100 will represent the best of both worlds, rather than the horrific result of a cross-breeding exercise that should have been exposed at birth on an ice flow.
Engadget: One-upping yourself, eh Samsung? Just a year after the BD-P4600 claimed the title of world’s slimmest Blu-ray player, the outfit has introduced the BD-D7500 to take that crown and waltz all over Las Vegas. Introduces here at CES, the D7500 measures just 1.1-inches deep, and also includes 2D-to-3D conversion capabilities, 1080p upscaling, inbuilt WiFi, touch sensor control, DLNA streaming and support for Samsung Apps / Hub. (more…)
T3.com: If you have a new 3D TV, you probably ought to consider a new sound system – come on, it’s only money; you can’t take it with you. There are plenty of audio options out there, from all-in-one systems and soundbars with built-in Blu ray decks, to speaker combos for those who own a Blu-ray player. Here are five of the best.
Best: Pure quality
Love: Innovative design. Audio and visual prowess
Hate: Very expensive
Love: Convenient and quick to set up
Hate: No on-screen menus. Cheap design
Best: Sound quality
Denon AVR-1911 & KEF KHT8005
£1,400 (£400 + £1,000
Love: Awesome sound quality. Feature packed
Hate: High total price
Best: Internet content
Love: Internet extras. Streaming. Clear audio
Hate: Dull looks. Poor sub
Best: Extra features
Love: Space-saving design. Wireless sub. Wide range of features
Hate: No surround sound. Lacks a certain punch
Newlaunches.com: The new and finally official Android running Galaxy Tab from Samsung is going to be something to very seriously consider if you’re a European. Germany’s Amazon has posted the price as $1,030 (€799) which suddenly makes me think… iPad. What you get for that price, in case you don’t already know is a 7-inch Super TFT touchscreen display equipped tablet that runs on the Android Froyo platform and will be loaded up with a 1GHz Hummingbird processor to run all of its functions. You’ll also get Bluetooth 3.0 and Wi-Fi with an unlocked HSDPA/HSUPA modem. That does seem like quite a lot but at that price, I’m a little overwhelmed. I think I’ll stick to the Galaxy S, it may be the smaller version, but it’s a whole lot cheaper. However there will be variants lunched for different regions. The weirdest part is that it was yesterday that we heard the US price was just $300, go figure.
Samsung releases Galaxy Tab: The hype has finally ended as the Samsung Galaxy Tab was unveiled this morning at IFA. All eyes were on the stage as Samsung ran the press through the Tab’s many (already leaked) features, for the full experience check out T3’s hands-on images. Next on its agenda was the Samsung UN65C8000 the world’s largest 3D LEDTV which was also released today boasting a near £5000 price tag. Ouch. Finally Samsung have also released its HD HMX-T10 1080p camcorder with a 20-degree lens angle which is designed to making shooting that glorious HD footage less strenuous.
Philips gives customers the ‘cinema’ experience: Philips today announced its Cinema 21:9 Platinum 3D TV, which although having a very long name, is actually incredibly cool. Boasting a cinema-esque 21:9 aspect ratio and Full HD 3D this TV was the flagship among Philips many 3D releases of the day.
Loewe enters the 3D market: German company Loewe has unveiled its 3D concept TV at IFA, and what a concept it is. Looking quite simply like a piece of high art rather than a LED HD 3DTV the concept was just one of three new products launched by Loewe.
Sharp adds a pixel to 3D: Sharp’s HD Quattron series has been given the 3D treatment in the form of their first 3D HDTV the Sharp 3D Quattron TV. Utilising an extra yellow pixel Sharp is able to make images seem brighter and clearer, which can only be a good thing in terms of 3D. We like.
Toshiba launches iPad rival: Toshiba has released the Folio 100 Tablet which it hopes will give it a firm stake in the tablet market. Running Android 2.2 and measuring 10.1 inches the Folio is larger than the other Tablet rival the Samsung Galaxy Tab. Toshiba has also released another first for the company in the form of the REGZA WL 3D series; its first 3D HD LEDTV. REGZA series also now includes the VL range which is a high-end HD LED range based around the WL 3D TV’s but without 3D compatability, instead aiming for high spec 1080p display quality.
Engadget: Don’t be surprised to see a couple of new Samsung Blu-ray players on the shelf at local or online retailers while shopping, as it’s rolling out new 3D capable models in the BD-C5900, BD-C6800 and BD-C7900. The $399 (MSRP) BD-C7900 updates the older BD-C6900 with two HDMI outs, useful for those with an older receiver that isn’t HDMI 1.4 compatible, while the $279 BD-C6800 seems to have all the features of the BD-C6900 except for that porthole on top, and comes in at a lower price. Last up is the BD-C5900 with an MSRP of $229 which puts it within reach of two bills at retail, but means losing the 1GB of internal storage featured by the other two players. The product pages aren’t all fully updated on Samsung’s site yet, but the BD-C5900 has already arrived at Amazon and Best Buy and the others shouldn’t be far behind. Of course, if 3D’s not your thing, we’d still keep an eye out for their arrival — a price break on the older 2D-only models that were released earlier this year shouldn’t be too far behind.
Techwatch: The arrival of 3D television has been fairly slow and it seems that at the moment there are those consumers that love it and those that hate it. But despite this slow take up and the lack of content available, production of the 240 Hz LCD TV panel, which is essential for 3D TV, is to go into production, as the market anticipates significant sales of 3D Ready TVs this year.
According to a digitimes.com report, the main players in 3D TV technology are expecting big sales for the 240 Hz based TV during this year, with Samsung being the most optimistic with 3.6 million units, Sony 2.2 million, Panasonic 1.1 million and LG 1 million. With half the year gone there is little time left for the market to drastically change.
Übergizmo: Fancy purchasing a TV pretty soon, but do not know where to start? Perhaps you might consider a Samsung LED or LCD TV after reading this post – after all, selected models from either line from Samsung will be incorporated with InstaPort technology from Silicon Image, where it will change HDMI input within one second – basically, this removes the time of waiting for the input to look for a source, giving you instant change in the blink of an eye. This is something nice to have but not essential, then again who are we to say in this world that has a “I want it now!” attitude? Perhaps it might end up as a common feature in all TV brands sometime down the road, who knows?
Engadget: Hope you’re ready to see the make believe world in a new dimension ’cause Samsung’s first Full HD 3D set is now shipping Stateside. Amazon shows a pair of 55-inch UN55C7000 TVs with 3D 240Hz motion technology in stock with a $3,299.99 price tag and free delivery.
Yeah, that’s a day earlier than expected but we doubt anyone’s complaining. Remember, you’ll still have to drop another $150 or so on the shutter glasses if you ever plan to flip the switch from 2D to 3D mode; something you might want to do when actual 3D content starts to arrive.
Update: Looks like Sears is shipping now as well, including the 46-inch UN46C7000 little brother for $2,600.
Electronista: Shin Jong-kyun, head of Samsung’s mobile division, announced the company’s goal to ship more than 18 million smartphones this year.
Recognizing the shift away from hardware features, Samsung will change the way its smartphones are marketed by emphasizing content, applications, and services.
The company is the world’s second largest cellphone manufacturer with about 20 percent of the market but has only about 3 percent of the smartphone market, a deficit the executive feels Samsung needs to address.
The company’s goal of shipping a total of between 260 and 270 million phones this year would represent an increase in shipments of more than 14 percent from 2009 and require faster growth than the overall market.
Samsung actually increased its share of the overall cellphone market last year. The company’s dominant position has not carried over to the smartphone market, losing ground to newer offerings from Apple, Blackberry and Android-based devices.
Its launch of its Bada open development platform for smartphones late last year was partly ignored by handset vendors and developers, though the open OS is intended primarily for Samsung’s own devices.