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Posts Tagged ‘ios’

Lingmo Translate One2One Earpiece Can Interpret 8 Languages with IBM Watson Natural Language & Translation APIs

June 21st, 2017 2 comments

Automation are greatly reduce the number of workers requires to perform manufacturing, and now technology is moving forward with artificial intelligence applications writing financial & sports news, analyzing medical imaging or other data to speed up and improve accuracy of diagnostics, and more. Yesterday, I found out that pair programming, which normally combines two human programmer working together on the same program, may soon pair a human programmer with an AI programmer helping selecting the best code, and today I found out live interpreters may get some competitions with products like Lingmo Translate One2One earpiece that can interpret 8 languages nearly in real-time.

The device was unveiled at the United Nations Artificial Intelligence (AI) for Good Summit in Switzerland, as it combines IBM Watson’s Natural Language and Language Translation APIs, together with Lingmo’s proprietary hardware and machine learning applications. It’s said to be working as an independent device without the need for Bluetooth or WiFi connectivity, which is a little confusing since it surely must rely on IBM Watson servers, unless everything is embedded in the device itself. English, Japanese, French, Italian, Spanish, Brazilian Portuguese, German and Chinese languages are supported, both users must wear an earpiece, translation takes between 3 to 5 seconds to process, so not quite as responsive as a human translator.

Machine translation has been available for a while though services like Google Translate, but depending on the languages you use, the results are not always pretty. We’d have to see how it performs, as so far I have not seen any independent reviews. One way to be might be to run the company’s Lingmo app for Android and iOS that supports 45 languages with voice to voice, voice to text, text to voice, and text to text support. The app is demonstrated in the video below.


Lingmo is taking orders for $179.00 for one Translate One2One, and $229.00 for two with delivery scheduled for July.

Nordic Thingy:52 Bluetooth 5 IoT Sensor Development Kit Targets Mobile & Web App Developers

June 4th, 2017 No comments

Some developers may be interested in providing solutions for the Internet of Things, but they may not have the skills or interest in making their own hardware, and/or develop firmware, and just want to create demos or prototypes quickly, focusing on app development instead. Nordic Semiconductors has recently launched Thingy:52 IoT Sensor Kit with Bluetooth 5 & NFC connectivity, and various sensors for those developers.

Nordic:52 IoT Sensor development kit (nRF6936) hardware specifications:

  • MCU – Nordic Semi nRF52832 ARM Cortex-M4F Bluetooth 5 System on Chip (SoC)
  • Connectivity – Bluetooth 5 LE and NFC
  • Sensors
    • Temperature,Humidity, Air pressure, Air quality (CO2 and TVOC), color and light intensity
    • 9-axis motion sensing – Tap detection, orientation, step counter, quaternions, euler angles, rotation matrix, gravity vector, compass heading, raw  accelerometer, gyroscope, and compass data
  • Audio
    • Speaker for playing prestored samples, tones, or sound streamed over BLE (8-bit 8 kHz LoFi)
    • Microphone streaming (ADPCM compressed 16-bit 16 kHz)
  • Expansion Headers (all unpopulated)
    • 20-pin header with GPIOs, I2C, Analog inputs
    • 2x 4-pin I2C headers
    • 4-pin analog/digital header (2 I/O)
    • 4-pin analog/digital header (1 I/O)
  • Misc – Configurable RGB LEDs and button; programming & debugging connector
  • Power Supply – 5V via micro USB port, LiPo battery connector (A battery is already included in the devkit)
  • Dimensions – 6×6 cm plastic & rubber case

Click to Enlarge

Nordic provides example apps for Android & iOS with cloud connectivity for the devkit, as well as a web application relying on Web Bluetooth API. Thingy:52 kit supports secure Over-the-Air device firmware upgrade (DFU). While the company promote the kit to app developers, the application firmware source code and hardware design files are also available for download. You’ll find all info on Nordic Semi’s Infocenter. A Node.js library is also available for the board on Github.

Nordic Thingy:52 can be purchased for around $40 via distributors such as Mouser, Digikey, and Arrow.

Thanks to Jan for the tip.

$59 HDFury Universal PSU Doctor Supports Power Monitoring via iOS or Android

May 3rd, 2017 4 comments

We’ve recently covered Cambrionix PowerPad 15S, a high-end 16-port USB hub that can deliver 5V/2.1A on each port, integrates power monitoring function, and an API to control and monitor each port individually. That’s a very cool device, but it’s also expensive at around $600, and even the cheaper PowerPad 15C without data pins, come at $200. If you don’t need the complete set of features offered by Cambrionix devices, but you’ll like to get a reliable multi-port USB charger with power monitoring function, HDFury Universal PSU Doctor could be an interesting option.

HDFury Universal PSU Doctor specifications:

  • MCU – Renesas RL78 16-bit MCU
  • USB – 3x USB ports with 2x 5V ports up to 5V/2.14A, 1x USB QC 2.0 port supporting 5V/2.14A, 9V/1.6A or 12V/1.2A output
  • ADC – Up to 11 channels, 10-bit resolution for power monitoring
  • Sensor – n-chip temperature sensor
  • Power Supply
    • Built-in 100 ~ 240V AC with US, EU, UK plug types (Sorry Australian readers).
    • Ripple and Noise: 80mV
    • Efficiency: 80%
  • Power Consumption @ 5V?
    • Stop – RAM retained: 0.23 μA; LVD enabled: 0.31 μA
    • Snooze – 0.7 mA (UART), 1.20 mA (ADC)
    • Operating: 63 μA /MHz
  • Dimensions – 8.9 x 5.3 x 4.2 cm.
  • Weight – 142g
  • Certifications – Rohs, CE and FCC (no UL / ETV / TUV?)

Click to Enlarge

The first two USB ports (1 & 2) can handle 5V, and the first one can connect to a smartphone audio jack to report the voltage, current, and power for all three USB ports. The third port also supports Quick Charge 2.0.

Power monitoring is done through DrPSU app available for Android and iOS, but note that it’s expected to work only on branded smartphones such as Samsung, LG, Sony, Xiaomi, Apple… and obviously this feature won’t work on the most recent models without an headphone jack since it is required. The app cannot control the USB port individually, for example to turn them on and off, it only displays the data. The video below demonstrates well how it all works.

HDFury Universal PSU Doctor is sold for $59 with free shipping on HDfury website. There’s a 5-year warranty, but you’d have to return the charger to China, and I could not find the warranty’s terms and conditions.

Kudrone Nano Drone Shoots “4K” Videos, Follows You With GPS (Crowdfunding)

March 24th, 2017 6 comments

Kudrone is a palm-sized drone equipped with a 4K camera that can follow you around for up to 8 minutes thanks to its 650 mAh battery by tracking your smartphone location via GPS. You can also take matters on your own hands by piloting the drone with your smartphone.

The drone also includes various sensors such as an accelerometer, a gyroscope, a magnetic compass, a sonar, and a vision positioning sensor enabling features such as auto hovering. Some of the specifications include:

  • Storage – Up to 64GB (micro SD card)
  • Connectivity – 802.11 b/g/n WiFi up to 80 meters
  • GNSS – GPS / GLONASS
  • Camera
    • Sony CMOS 1/3.2 image sensor (13MP)
    • F2.8 / H100 V78.5 / D:120 lens
    • Image resolution up to 3280 x 2464
    • Video resolution 4K, 2.7K, 1080p, 720p
  • Flight Parameters – Max altitude – 30 meters; hovering accuracy: +/- 0.1 meter
  • Battery – 650 mAh LiPo1S battery good for up to 8 minutes (but lower when the camera and GPS are on)
  • Dimensions – 174 x 174 x 43 mm

It’s a little odd that it records 4K videos, but image resolution is limited to 3280×2464, so there may be some extrapolation here and the video quality is unlikely to match what most people would consider “4K”. You can see a video shot with drone – but apparently not while flying – here, and it is limited to 1080p60 on YouTube.

Kudrone Team  provided a comparison pitting their drone against some other cheap nano drones, and some higher end drones by DJI and Parrot.

iPhone or Android mobile apps will allow you to control the drone, enable/disable features, and sync your photos and videos with your  smartphone. The preview is shown at 720p with a 160 ms delay.

The drone launched on Indiegogo several days ago, and has been pretty popular having raised close to $700,000 with 21 days to go. All very early bird rewards at $99 are gone, but you could still get the drone for $109 with two propeller sets, a charger, a 16GB micro SD card, two batteries, and a pair of propeller protector. Shipping adds $9 to the US or China, and $25 to the other countries I checked. Delivery is scheduled for July 2017. The drone is made by a company called Fujian Ruiven Technology, and Kudrone is not their first drone. However, you may want to check out the update section on Indiegogo to see pictures and video samples, as well as videos of the drone in action to get a better idea of the drone current capabilities.

Categories: Hardware Tags: Android, drone, indiegogo, ios, wifi

Texas Instruments CC3200 WiFi SensorTag is Now Available for $40

March 15th, 2017 No comments

Texas Instruments launched SensorTag in 2013, and at the time there was just a Bluetooth 4.0 LE version with 6 different sensors. I bought one for $25 at the time, and tried it with a Raspberry Pi board and a BLE USB dongle. Since then, the company has launched a new multi standard model (CC2650STK) supporting Buetooth low energy, 6LoWPAN, and ZigBee, and has just started to take orders for CC3200 WiFi SensorTag for $39.99, which seems expensive in a world of $2 ESP8266 modules.

But let’s see what the kit has to offer:

  • Wireless MCU – Texas Instruments CC3200 SimpleLink ARM Cortex-M4 MCU @ up to 80 MHz, with up to 256KB RAM, Hardware Crypto Engine, DMA engine
  • Storage – 1 MB serial flash memory
  • Connectivity – 802.11 b/g/n WiFi with on-board inverted-F antenna with RF connector for conducted testing
  • Sensors – Gyroscope, accelerometer, compass, light sensor (OPT3001), humidity sensor (HDC1000), IR temperature sensor (TMP007), and pressure sensor (BMP280)
  • Expansion – 20-pin DevPack SKIN connector
  • Debugging – Debug and JTAG interface for flash programing
  • Misc – 2x buttons, 2x LEDs, reed relay MK24, digital microphone, and a buzzer for user interaction
  • Power – 2x AAA batteries good for up to 3 months (with 1 minute update interval)

So it has plenty of sensors to play with, and rather long battery life for a WiFi evaluation platform. The kit ships with one CC3200 WiFi SensorTag, two AAA batteries, and a getting started guide.

WiFi SensorTag Mobile App – Click to Enlarge

Resources includes hardware design files (schematics, PCB layout, BoM, etc..), iOS and Android apps and source code, IoT Device Monitor for Windows, Code Composer Studio, and cloud-based development tools. Note that there’s no embedded software for the Wi-Fi SensorTag, it is only a a demo platform, while you can modify cloud-based applications, you can’t modify the firmware. If you want an embedded development platform, you’d have to go with CC3200 LaunchPad board. You can still have some fun SensorTag using Android or iOS app, or connecting it to IBM Watson IoT Platform.

Visit SensorTag page for further information.

Omron Project Zero 2.0 is a Thinner Wrist Blood Pressure Monitor & Smartwatch

January 11th, 2017 3 comments

Omron Project Zero BP6000 blood pressure monitor & smartwatch / fitness tracker was unveiled at CES 2016. The device was due to be released at the end of 2016 pending FDA approval, but the launch has now been delayed to spring 2017, and it will be sold under the name “HEARTVUE”. The company has however showcased a new version at CES 2017, for now just called Omron Project Zero 2.0 that has the same functions but is more compact and lightweight.

omron-project-zero-2-0-1-0

Omron Project Zero 2.0 (left) vs Project Zero BP6000 “Heartvue” (right)

The watch will also work with Omron Connect US mobile app, and can record accurate blood pressure, as well as the usual data you’d get from fitness trackers including activity (e.g. steps) and sleep, as well as smartphone notifications. Blood pressure measurement can be activated by the user by pressing a button and raising his/her wrist to the height of the chest. The goal is the same as the first generation watch: to make people who need it measure their blood pressure in a more convenient fashion. The second generation device looks much more like a standard wristwatch as the company reduced the size of the inflatable cuff.

blood-pressure-smartwatchThe new model will also have to go through FDA approval, a time consuming process, and Omron Healthcare intends to release the device in 2018 for around $300. More details about the new model may eventually show up on the company’s Generation Zero page.

Via Nikkei Technology

You Can Buy AirPods-like Wireless Bluetooth Stereo Earbuds for $16 and Up

November 30th, 2016 9 comments

Most Bluetooth headsets on the market actually come with some sort of wire or holding mechanism, which may not always be convenient, for example I can’t use mine comfortably while lying down on the bed. But that to electronics miniaturization, companies have recently started to offer truly wireless Bluetooth earbuds, including Apple’s yet-to-be available $159 Airpods. This morning I noticed two similar products in new arrivals list, first with $59.99  QCY Q29 mini Earburds on GeekBuying, and then even cheaper, but not quite as good looking (and likely not so good sounding), “FreeStereo Twins Wireless Bluetooth v4.1 In-Ear Headset w/ Mic” on DealExtreme going for just $22.25 including shipping.

qcy-q29-earbudsLet’s start with QCY Q29 earbuds specifications:

  • Connectivity – Bluetooth 4.1 with HFP, HSP, A2DP, AVRC protocols support; up to 5-10 meter range
  • Built-in Microphone
  • Charging port – pogo on earbuds, micro USB to storage/charging box
  • Battery – 45mAh for up to 12 hours per charge; Charging time: one hour
  • Dimensions – Earbud: 17 x 25 x 29mm
  • Weight – 5.3 grams per earbud

QCY Q29 earphones ship with three pairs of silicon earcups, a charging cable, a charging box, and an English manual. You’ll be able to answer/reject call, lsiten to music, and all the things you’d normally do with a Bluetooth headset. The earbuds are also available on other shops such Banggood (now with 18% discount coupon), and Amazon US where you can also buy individual earbud for $13.5 in case you lose one. Reviews are generally positive on Amazon, but one person did mention that “Was ok but don’t stay in the ear well“, so I’m not sure it’s suitable for running for example…

cheap-airpods-clone

The cheaper noname version shown above with all accessories has a shorter battery life:

  • Connectivity – Bluetooth 4.1 with support for SP / HFP / A2DP / AVRCP; up to 10 meter range
  • Embedded Microphone
  • Charging port – pogo on earbuds, micro USB to charging dock
  • Battery – LiPo battery for up to 3 hours talk time, 5 hours music , 55 hours in standby mode; Charging time: 3 hours
  • Misc – Not waterproof
  • Dimensions – Earbud: 2.7 cm x 1.8 cm x 2.7 cm
  • Weight – 9 grams per earbud

The earbuds also ship with three pairs of silicon earcups, a charging cable, a charging dock, and an user’s manual in English and Chinese.

You’ll also find various “true wireless stereo earbuds” on Aliexpress for various prices, and one pair that could be interesting is X1T earbuds selling for $15.99 and up.

x1t-true-wireless-earphone

Sevenhugs Smart Remote is a Universal Direction Aware WiFi, Bluetooth and IR Remote Control (Crowdfunding)

November 25th, 2016 2 comments

You may have all sort of remote control devices around your home from the traditional IR remote control for your TV, air conditioner, audio system etc.., as well remote control apps for WiFi or Bluetooth objects such as smart light bulbs or water pumps running on your smartphone. Sevenhugs Smart Remote promises to replace them all, and all you have to do is to point the remote control to your devices, or setup virtual actions to your door or window to order a Uber drive or check the weather.
sevenhugs-remote-control

Sevenhugs Smart Remote specifications:

  • MCU – ARM Cortex-M4 @ 200 MHz
  • System Memory – 32 MB RAM
  • LCD – 3.43″ touch screen IPS display; Dragontrail damage ans scratch resistant cover glass, anti-fingerprint & anti-glare
  • Wireless Connectivity – IR transceiver, 802.11 b/g/n WiFi and Bluetooth 4.1 LE connectivity
  • USB – USB C port for charging
  • Sensors – Indoor positioning sensor, accelerometer, gyroscope, compass, ambient light sensor
  • Misc – Small speaker
  • Dimensions – 135 x 41 x 9.7 mm

The remote comes with a charging base including a lost & found button to make the remote control ring in case you can’t locate it, as well as three room sensors to place close to the object/service your want to control, for example one close to your TV, the other on your door, and the last one next to your window. You’ll still need a smartphone running Android or iOS to install an app to configure the remote control for your devices, and currently 25,000 devices using Wi-Fi, Bluetooth or Infrared are supported with more being added daily.
smart-remote-room-sensorsOnce this simple setup is complete, simply point to remote to the device or service you want to control, and the screen interface will adapt to the objects pointed with for example volume control for an audio system, and weather forecast when pointing to a window. If you have several objects in a zone for example a TV with set-top box and AV receiver, you can use the carousel on the remote control to switch between each of them. This also means you can control other WiFi devices from any room in your home.

The company will also release a Lua SDK based in C/C++, first allowing to add new devices to be released in June 2017 but with an early release already available in github, and then allowing much more control over the remote such as developing custom gesture, screens, and menus. The Level 2 part of the SDK is scheduled for release at the end of 2017.

The remote control has been launched in Kickstarter, and have been very successful so far having raised over $700,000. Most early bird rewards are gone, but you can still pledge $149 to get  Smart Remote Kit including the charging base and 3 room sensors. Shipping is free to the US and western Europe, but for other countries it will cost you $20 to $35 extra, and delivery is scheduled for July 2017. More details may be found on Sevenhugs Smart Remote microsite.