XBMC 12.0 Frodo Stable Release

XBMC developers have just announced the release of XBMC 12.0 (Frodo) which is available for desktop platforms (OSX, Linux / Ubuntu, Windows),  Apple TV, iOS, Android (HW support limited), and even as a specific build for the Raspberry Pi. Other key features for this release include: HD audio support, including DTS-MA and Dolby True-HD, via XBMC AudioEngine Live TV and PVR support h.264 10bit (aka Hi10P) video software decoding for anime 64bit support in OSX to match the 64bit support in Linux Improved image support, allowing the database to accommodate numerous additional image types and more interesting and complex skins Improved AirPlay support across all platforms, including AirPlay audio in XBMC for Windows to match the other platforms Improved controller support in Windows and Linux Advanced Filtering in the library Video library tags to complement movie sets Advanced UPnP sharing Default video languages now match the language being used by XBMC Translations […]

Always Innovating MeCam is a $49 Voice-Controlled Nanocopter Camera

Earlier today, I’ve posted a list of some interesting sessions for the upcoming ELC 2013, and one of the talk entitled “Lessons Learned in Designing a Self-video Self-hovering Nano Copter” by Gregoire Gentil, Always Innovating CEO, caught my attention. In this presentation, he will talk about the technical challenges the company encountered when they designed MeCam, a self video nano copter to point-and-shoot yourself, that should sell for just $49 retail. The MeCam launches from the palm of a hand and hovers instantly. It streams video to an Android or iOS phone or tablet that can be easily shared on social media platforms such as YouTube, Facebook, Google+ and Twitter. There’s no remote control for the MeCam as it’s either controlled by voice commands, or it can be setup to follow you around thanks to the follow-me feature. It can also do panorama shots automatically. The products is still in […]

Lego Mindstorms EV3 Hackable Robots Run Linux

The LEGO Group has announced LEGO MINDSTORMS EV3, a new platform for consumer robotics designed for both younger generation and robotics enthusiasts, at CES 2013. MINDSTORMS system is powered by the new EV3 Intelligent Brick, that comes with more memory (64 MB + 16 MB internal flash memory) and a faster processor (ARM9 @ 300MHz), and runs a Linux-based firmware. EV3 Intelligent Brick also features an infrared port, a 178×128 LCD interface, a USB host port and SD expansion slot, and is now compatible with iOS and Android for remote control via Bluetooth 2.1. Thanks to 6 buttons present on the EV3, users can now program many functions directly, in addition to the ability to download programs from a desktop computer. Lego claims a simple robot can be built in 20 minutes without having to plug it into a PC. Beside EV3 intelligent brick, the set comes with 550 Lego Technic […]

Trakdot Tracks Your Suitcase in Real-Time with GPS

The Trakdot Luggage tracker is a small device that fits into a bag and reports city location in real time via email to any smartphone, or via SMS to any standard phone.  As long as a your luggage and phone are within mobile networks range, you can track your checked-in luggage anywhere. In case your luggage does not reach its destination (SITA reports 26 million bags are lost every year worldwide), you’ll still know the (approximate) location of your bag via GPS, and should be able to get it back. Once the device is registered on Trakdot.com, and placed inside a checked bag, it will deliver location information directly to the user’s mobile phone or SMS device via text or email.  It’s also possible to directly check the position on the website, or via Trakdot Luggage app. There will also be a separate app that can alert passengers as their […]

Belkin Wemo Light Switch Can Be Controlled by Android Devices

Wemo Wi-Fi-based home automation solution was announced at CES 2012 last year, and included products such as a control switch and a motion control switch, that can detect your presence and only turn on/off the lights or other electrical equipment when needed. At the time however, the only supported platform was iOS. At CES 2013, Belkin has announced a new product with the WeMo Light Switch, an Wi-Fi connected light switch to remotely control wired household lighting from anywhere, and support for Android. The WeMo Light Switch can replace an existing light switch and connects into your home’s existing electrical wiring. Once in place, you can turn a full bank of lights on and off from anywhere, put them on a schedule, or use other WeMo or online triggers to control them through a smartphone or tablet. The WeMo Light Switch is controlled via the same WeMo app as the […]

Qualcomm Vuforia SDK 2.0 Augmented Reality Development Kit Leverages the Cloud

Qualcomm has just announced their new Vuforia SDK 2.0 for Android and iOS to enable developers to create augmented reality applications for those platforms. Key new features include: Cloud Recognition Service – Up to now developers were limited to about 100 images on the target device due to limited storage space, but thanks to the Cloud recognition service, apps can “see” more than 1 million images, creating new mobile augmented reality (AR) opportunities for retailers and publishers. For example, every product (or image) in a store can bring associated content from the retailer’s website and render it directly on top of the product (or image). Watch American Apparel AR app video demo for an example of such app. The Cloud Recognition service requires a Vuforia Web Services account which is free for developers (Limited to 1,000 images, 3000 events per months), but is subject to fees for businesses. User-Defined Targets […]

StickNFind Bluetooth 4.0 Location Stickers for Android & iOS

Last year, Treehouse Labs unveiled BiKN Technology Platform, a 802.15.4 wireless sensor network that allows you to track objects fitted with Bikn tags within 60 m, and find your lost keys at home, your car in a parking lot, or track your pets location for example. A solution for the iPhone is available, and a kit with 2 tags and an iPhone case costs about $130. Since a case is required (for 802.15.4 support), this solution is unfortunately impractical for the variety of Android phones. Luckily, there’s now a new solution based on Bluetooth called StickNFind, by SSI America, which works both for Android 4.0 (and up) devices and iPhones. The StickNFind tags are based on Bluetooth 4.0 (Bluetooth Low Energy), have a line-of-sight range of about 30meters, and are powered by a replaceable CR2016 (or CR2020?) watch battery which can last up to 1 year for 30 minutes daily average […]

Metaio To Introduce Augmented City Platform at MWC 2012

Metaio has unveiled plans to add 3D Object Tracking and Visual Search to its free mobile Augmented Reality SDK for Android and iOS, part of the Augmented City platform. This  SDK is optimized by major ARM chipset providers, and assembles technologies necessary for creating interactive and immersive AR experiences, such as the overlay of virtual information on building facades, city streets and almost any 3D real world object or device, says the company. Metaio Mobile SDK is specifically optimized for Texas Instruments OMAP4460/4470 and ST Ericsson NovaThor processors using respectively PowerVR SGX540, SGX544 and Mali-400 GPUs. The metaio Augmented City platform consists of diverse mobile and web software packages that use computer vision technology to insert 3D and digital information into the real world. Whereas  many existing Augmented Reality (AR) platforms limit experiences to GPS mapping and the anchoring of graphics to simple, 2D surfaces,  metaio platform can deliver real-time […]