News digest №96. Beautiful far away

Smart cities, flexible tablets, the dangers of augmented reality, the prospects of the Project Ara modular smartphone and other news …


Android has long become a popular brand, which is why Google I \ O attracts the attention of many people who are quite far from mobile technology. From year to year, they expect some kind of WOW effect from this conference, comparable to the announcement of a new one iPhone. And from year to year they remain disappointed, because instead of demonstrating the 'killer iPhone' they are told about some boring things for a long time and tediously, periodically showing incomprehensible prototypes and unfinished workpieces.

Despite being broadcasted globally, Google I / O is not so much a beautiful show for the public as a 'for the insiders' event. First of all, this is a conference for developers. Secondly, it is a significant event for those who are often called 'geeks' – people who are sincerely passionate about mobile technology, such technology enthusiasts. Such conferences are not very interesting for those who live in the present day, but they provide an opportunity to imagine what awaits us next. VR, 'smart' voice assistants, wearable electronics, self-driving cars – these things now work at random, but this is the future of mobile technology. A brood of ugly ducklings, many of which will turn into amazing swans in a few years. The only pity is that some of the ducklings may not survive until this moment, but such is life.

As for bright and colorful presentations, then one day the time will come for them too. But they will no longer be held by Google, but by the manufacturers themselves. There, the public will be shown ready-made devices, along the way explaining on the fingers why it is so cool, why exactly they need it, and at the same time unobtrusively prompting where it is worth starting to gasp and applaud.

The presentation of the finished product is not even the tip of the iceberg, but rather a flag waving at the top of the highest mountain. Many will want to see how it flutters beautifully in the wind, but only a few will decide to watch the long and tedious ascent of climbers to the mountains. And this is absolutely normal.

News digest №96.  Beautiful far away Google I / O Conference 2016

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With Microsoft, the situation is exactly the opposite. The sale of the mobile unit is also the crown of many years of efforts, but only a few are interested in it now. I don’t see much point in commenting on this news separately – it was already clear to everyone what was going on for a long time. The only thing that remained unclear was what was the point of arranging a multi-part show from the funeral of Nokia, and even from time to time publicly declare that the dead man is more alive than all living things and is about to crawl out of the coffin and show everyone where the crayfish hibernate. Money, perhaps, does not smell, but some of the participants in this action will never wash off bad smell.

News digest №96.  Beautiful far away Spillikins # 382. Inglourious End Microsoft Mobile

Of course, it does not plan to 'tie' with mobile technology Microsoft in any case, just this time the company will try itself in a slightly different direction. Obviously, a lot of MS hopes are associated with HoloLens, which can be both a small revolution and another puff. Of course, augmented reality (AR) is an extremely promising direction, and the words the developers say are correct, but here's how it all will look in practice is still a mystery. For example, Google has already burned itself with their Google Glass, although in some respects it was even less daring and ambitious project.


Thousands of words have been written about the fabulous possibilities of AR and hundreds of colorful videos have been shot, but what if in reality everything turns out to be completely different? The developer Keiichi Matsuda suggests thinking about the fact that every medal must have a downside. The video below shows a typical day for an ordinary girl in the near future, more like a real digital hell. Not very positive, but quite vital.

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Despite the fact that the LG G5 is doing relatively well, the prospects for modular smartphones in their original sense are becoming more and more dim every year. Connecting an extra module to a smartphone or temporarily replacing some of its components with a more powerful (but at the same time, more voluminous) can be useful to many users, but how about assembling a phone from a heap of different parts in the manner of Lego? ..


Nevertheless, Google is not giving up and is in no hurry to close its Project Ara. Recently, a new official video about this modular smartphone has even appeared on the network, in which you can see several new components: speakers, camera, E-Ink display and others. It also became known that Harman will be engaged in the production of speakers, and the commercial launch of the device may take place early next year.

Although some changes were made to the initial concept of the smartphone, and users will not be allowed to change the main components like the processor. As the developers themselves say, most users expect the device to 'just work', and are not at all eager to get a set of completely incompatible components with each other. So it was decided to guarantee at least a more or less comfortable level of performance from the very beginning.

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Much more excitement is caused by the idea of ​​not modular, but foldable and rollable devices. Samsung has been teasing us with something like this for years, drawing exciting concepts and filming videos. It is expected that the Korean company will present the first commercial versions of foldable tablets as early as next year, but how everything will actually turn out is still unclear.

In any case, the light did not converge on Samsung, and at least several other companies are now engaged in something similar. If you believe the latest leaks, then Oppo already has a fully working prototype of a folding tablet on hand, although its specifications are not given.



The device looks scary, but do not forget that this is not a commercial version and the design of the final product will obviously be different.

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The Koreans themselves are clearly more busy developing the concept of the Internet of Things for a smart city – a nationwide network that will unite smart urban infrastructure. Many companies have dreamed of something like this for a very long time, but for the first time we are talking about commercial use. To begin with, it is planned to launch a network in the city of Daegu, with the telecom operator SK Telecom acting as Samsung's partner.


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At SID Display Week 2016, E Ink showcased a new kind of colored e-paper. It is called Advanced Color ePaper and can display up to 32,000 colors, which is 8 times more than its counterpart called Triton. It is reported that the maximum ppi value can go up to 300 dots per inch, although the samples shown at the exhibition were twice lower. As before, the main advantage of such a screen is the extremely low power consumption, and the disadvantage is the rather solid time for a full refresh, which at the moment is about 2 seconds.


You can check the picture quality in a short video shot by SlashGear.

At first, the company plans to use Advanced Color ePaper displays for outdoor advertising like all kinds of billboards and shop windows, but in the future they will probably reach mobile technology as well.

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