3D Systems was at CES 2013 to showcase their 3D printers, and their online 3D printing ecosystem called Cubify, where you can design your own model, order the object to be 3D printed, which is then shipped to your door.
They have 2 printers that are available for the home market:
Cube 3D printer ($1,399)
Print size: 140 x 140 x 140 mm / Resolution: 200 microns
CubeX 3D printer ($2,799 to $4,399)
Print size: 275 mm x 265 mm x 240 mm / Resolution: 125 microns. The CubeX can support 1, 2, or 3 printer heads in order to print objects with multiple colors and/or materials.
Charbax shot a video with the company, and I’ve learnt quite a few interesting things about 3D printing:
It’s been around for nearly 30 years, but only used by the industry until recently.
3D printing takes a lot of time. The small spaceship shown in the picture above takes 5 hours to print, a ring about 40 minutes, (designer) shoes take 7 to 10 hours to print in one of the industrial machines.
The body of drones are 3D printed, as well as hearing aid, and they produce 65,000 individually customized invisible aligners for teeth every day.
You can print in more than 3 colors, as 3D systems industrial machines supports up to 390,000 shades of color.
It does not have to be too expensive, as you can print even without a 3D printer, by sending your design to Cubify. The 3D samurai on the picture on the right (about the size of a hand) costs around $60 to print.
The 3D printed guitar (Atom 3D) in the video is also pretty interesting, but it costs between $3000 to $4000 depending on the customization options.
Cubify also have a developers’ page that let people monetize 3D printing when people order prints via 2 options:
AppCreate for modelers – No programming knowledge is necessary, and this piece of software allows designers and modelers to create web apps for 3D printing.
Cubify API for developers – SOAP interface using OAuth. The company also provides a reference PHP implementation that wraps all of the web calls, as well as a sample HTML app. You need to design an app that creates 3D models, then uses the Cubify API to connect to the Cubify.com platform so that 3D printed creations are printed by Cubify Cloud Printing service and shipped out.
WiMe (pronounced “Why Me?”), a Taiwanese company, showcased an Android watch that can also be used as a phone (a Nanophone as the company calls it) at CES 2013. The NanoWatch runs embedded Linux, and features a 1.54″ Touch screen display, 256 Mb ROM, a 4 GB internal microSD card, and a SIM card slot.
The package contains the NanoWatch, a headset, a wristband, a micro USB cable and a clipper. The device can be worn as a watch, but you could also hang it on your neck, or clip it on your shirt.
This is rather a low-end phone, but if you mainly listen to music (via a Bluetooth headset) and make/answer phone calls, this is less cumbersome than handling your phone. Alternatively, it can also be paired to your Android smartphone to sync emails and contacts, and make / received phone calls.
You can watch Charbax’s video shot at CES 2013 to get a bit more information and see the device.
The product is available now, and should sell for $99 retail. You can find more information on WiMe NanoWatch page.
I haven’t seen any quad-core set-top boxes on the market (if we exclude some Freescale i.MX6 mini PCs), but this is about to change with Huawei MediaQ M310 media player. The device is based on Hisilicon K3V2 SoC, and comes with 1GB RAM and 4 GB flash.
Audio I/O – 1x SPDIF, 3.5 mm stereo jack and mic (3-in-1)
USB – 2x USB 2.0 host ports
Connectivity – Wi-Fi 802.11n & Bluetooth 4.0
Huawei multi-screen (Pushing, mirroring)
Content aggregation / Voice Search
The box runs a customized version of Android with a user interface designed for the television.
CSilie, who tipped me about the MediaQ M310, saw the device at CES 2013, and a Huawei representative told him it could also function as a regular Android set-top box, it could stream content from your smart phone or tablet to your TV (I suppose that’s what “Huawei multi-screen” is all about, and that it should available in about 3 months for $70 to $80 US.
Huawei also showcased a larger set-top box based on the same platform called the MediaQ M810, but featuring 2GB RAM, 8GB flash, 2x Gb Ethernet, a DVB digital TV receiver, and 2x 3.5″ HDD bays for NAS applications.
Androidworld.it shot a video (in Italian) of both devices at CES 2013. If your Italian is a bit weak, don’t worry, because there’s also another video in Hungarian.
We’ve first heard about ST Ericsson NovaThor L8580 in July 2012, and the company demonstrated their new processor at CES 2013. This SoC features 4 (or is it 2?) Cortex A9 cores, and a PowerVR SGX544 GPU, but the real advantage of this processor is the new process technology called FD-SOI (Fully Depleted Silicon On Insulator) which, combined with some other power and performance optimization techniques, allows some fun stuffs such as:
2.8 GHz dual core operation
1 GHz operation at 0.63V instead of 1.1V when using bulk CMOS technology.
You can see those 2 use cases in the video demo. In the first demo, a phone prototype based on L8580 @ 2.8Ghz is clearly faster than the Samsung Galaxy S3 based on Exynos 4412, and the second demo shows power measurement of the prototype when ran at 1GHz.
Other key features of L8580:
Low-power eQuad processor clocked at up to 2.5Ghz based on ARM Cortex-A9 processor
Imagination Technologies POWERVR SGX544 GPU
Dual multimedia DSP for low-power, flexible media processing
High-bandwidth Dual LP-DDR2 interface
Full HD 1080p camcorder, multiple codecs supported (H264 HP, VC-1, MPEG-4), 3D HD video capture and display
High-resolution, touchscreen display support up to WUXGA
Simultaneous dual display support up to dual qHD
Dual camera support up to 20 Mpixel and 5 Mpixel
Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, GNSS (GPS+GLONASS), FM and NFC enabled platform
LTE FDD/TDD, HSPA+, TD-SCDMA, EDGE with rdio supporting up to 10 LTE/WCDMA/GSM bands.
InfoTMIC has recently launched the iMAPx15 SoC featuring 2 Cortex A5 and a Mali-400 GPU. Infotmic iMAPx15 is a low cost version of iMAPx820 that is cost optimized for tablets, and lacks features such as SATA and GPS.
Charbax interviewed InfoTMIC marketing director at CES 2013, where they discussed the new processor, and showcased a 7″ Android 4.1 tablet powered by iMAPx15 that is said to cost just $35. The device is not sold on Chinese websites yet, so I could not confirm this claim. At first, I thought it would be unlikely to be the retail price, but there are some 7″ Android tablets selling for about $40 on Aliexpress (Update: The sellers at this price don’t have feedback, so those could be scams). So the $35 price tag could either be the unit price for 1K orders or the retail price in China.
iMAPx15 is not listed on the company website, but I could still gather the specs from the video:
Processor – 2 Cortex A5 cores up to 1.2 GHz
GPU – Mali 400 GPU up to 400 MHz
FULL-HD (1080p) video decoder (multiple codecs)
FULL-HD (1080p) encoder (H.264)
JPEG Decoder & Encoder
Video Out – HDMI 1.4A, RGB / I80 / TV_IF
Memory Controller – DDR/DDR2/DDR3 & LPDDR
USB – 2x USB2.0 host & 1x USB OTG
Process – TSMC 40LP
Package – TFBGA 14x14mm 0.65mm pitch
InfoTMIC also plans to release a Quad Core Cortex a9 later this year.
Remote Solution, a small technology company based in Hong Kong South Korea, has shown off an Android 4.0 powered keyboard controlling an Android STB at CES 2013. The device is designed to be used as an advanced TV remote control, looks like a small tablet with 8 control button, and can be inserted into a full sized QWERTY keyboard for faster typing.
The specifications are as follows:
SoC – ARM Cortex-A8 processor @ 720 MHz (I’d guess a TI OMAP3 or Sitara processor at this freq)
System Memory – 512MB RAM
Storage – 2GB flash
Display – 3.5″ touchscreen display (480 x 320)
Connectivity – WiFi and Bluetooth
Misc – IR port to be used as a universal remote.
The touchscreen allows you to launch apps on your TV, move a cursor by using a virtual touch-pad, use an on-screen keyboard (when the screen is not connected to the keyboard), enter voice-commands via the built-in microphone, etc…
There’s currently no pricing or availability information availability. and the company does not appear to have a website. There’s no mention about this device in the company website, but this could be part of their TSR series.
Audi is currently showcasing an autopilot car at CES 2013, and more specifically “Audi Piloted Parking” which allows you to get out of the car before your enter the parking, run an app on your smartphone, and tap somewhere to let the car park itself, as you go shopping or attend a meeting. Once you’re done with your business, walk by the street, run the same app, and call your car back, sit on the driver seat and drive home.
The car is said to use 12 ultrasound sensors to navigate and avoid obstacles, and it can park itself using those sensors, as well as sensors in the garage & road, and information provided by the parking computer(s) to let it know where a parking space is available. The car is able to make turns on its own and knows how to maneuver around the garage with external laser sensors. All of this is still experimental, as PCWorld reports that people could not walk by the vehicle as it parked, because they may interfere the garage sensors.
It’s not only for parking, as Audi also achieved to drive an experimental car up to Pikes Peak on autopilot on 2010, completing the 156-turn, 12.42-mile Pikes Peak circuit in just 27 minutes.
Audi recently obtained a license from Nevada to operate self-driving autonomous cars, and you may see auto-piloted cars on the roads, or at least in parkings, within the next decade.