Saturday, 26 January 2013

Samsung's new fridge runs on Google's Android

Refrigerators are getting smart. A new model released earlier this month runs apps to help users browse recipes, create shopping lists and manage the expiration dates of items like yogurt and milk.

The T9000 refrigerator by electronics company Samsung has a 10-inch Wi-Fi-enabled touchscreen and includes apps such as Epicurious for recipes and Evernote for note-taking.

"The fridge, because it's the hub of the family and the kitchen, is now another access point without having to drag around your tablet or have your phone with you in the vicinity of where you're cooking or entertaining," said Warner Doell, a vice president in the home appliance division at Samsung Canada.

The display enables users to keep up with the news, weather and even Twitter from the fridge door. It can also replace hand-written calendars with Google Calendar integration, and run slideshows of photos, according to Doell.

Shopping lists can be created on the fridge with the Evernote app, which will sync to smartphones and recipes can be found at Epicurious.

"You can say, 'I have these ingredients in the fridge -- what can I make?' and it will show you recipes that you can prepare," said Doell.

For people who have trouble keeping track of expiration dates of food items, there's an app for that, too.

But with smartphones and tablets are already ubiquitous in homes, does the smart refrigerator offer more than novelty?

Doell said it does.

"I get asked a lot why do you need a screen on a refrigerator? And it's a good question because we're inundated with technology today," said Doell.

The main reasons, he explained, are ease-of-use in managing settings, such as the refrigerators' temperature, and for convenience because consumers are demanding pervasive connectivity.

"This isn't only about today -- it's about what will the next five to ten years look like," he added.

The T9000 is geared towards the young-minded consumer who turns to technology for convenience, according to Doell.

Whether it's to control heating, air conditioning, lighting or window coverings, Doell said that apps for home automation will be increasingly penetrating the home.

"The technology is converging across all product categories. With appliances being the traditional staid industry, it has not been fast to adopt it," said Doell, adding that Samsung plans to take a leadership role in the area.

The refrigerator runs the Android operating system, but it is not possible to install other Android apps. It will be available worldwide in the spring for a suggested retail price of $3,999.

Sony Xperia Tablet Z

Sony has officially announced its new flagship tablet, the Xperia Tablet Z. Believed to be a significant upgrade over the Xperia Tablet S, the Tablet Z runs Android 4.1 Jelly Bean OS and has a thickness of just 6.9mm.
The Xperia Tablet Z, recently leaked online, comes with a 10.1-inch display with a resolution of 1920×1200 pixels augmented by Sony's Mobile Bravia Engine, as well as Qualcomm's 1.5GHz quad-core Snapdragon S4 Pro chip, and an 8.1MP Exmor R camera.
The device has 2GB of RAM and 32GB of storage. The Sony Xperia Tablet Z has a microSD expansion slot and features Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, NFC and LTE support. The tablet is also said to be both waterproof and dustproof.
At just 6.9mm, Sony's Xperia Tablet Z is slimmer than the iPad Mini which is 7.2mm. The Sony tablet weighs 495 grams. Another notable feature of the Xperia Tablet Z is the “S-Force Front Surround 3D” which is said to improve the sound from the tablet. The tablet is likely to come with a 6,000 mAh battery.

Acer Liquid E1 Android 4.1 Jelly Bean

Acer has officially added the Liquid E1 to its smartphone portfolio. Acer is positioning the device as a mid-range smartphone. Acer hasn’t yet announced the pricing and availability of the device.
Under the hood, the Acer Liquid E1 has a 1GHz dual-core processor, 1GB of RAM and runs on Android 4.1 Jelly Bean straight out-of-the-box. It has a 4.5-inch display with a 960x540 pixel (qHD) resolution. The rear of the device has a 5MP camera with an LED flash whereas the front has a 0.3MP camera for video chat.
Looking at the specs, this could very well be the Acer V360 we'd heard of in December, a device that was supposed to be the company's first Jelly Bean handset.
The Liquid E1 weighs 130 grams and has dimensions of 132 x 68.5 x 9.9 mm. It also has a 1760mAh battery, and Acer claims that the battery should last for 8 hours of talk time and 400 hours of standby. The Liquid E1 has 4GB of built-in storage expandable via a microSD card. It also features an FM radio, a feature that is surprisingly absent from most high-end smartphones today.
It has been a while since Acer launched a mobile device in India, after a series of Liquid devices in 2011. The company's tablets, such as the Iconia family, have continued to make their presence felt in the Indian market however.

Latest: IPad 5 Info & IPhone 5S

Specifically, the new iPad will be "a lot smaller than one would guess was possible," he said. When held in portrait orientation, the bezels to the left and right of the 9.7-inch screen will be practically nonexistent. The space above and below the screen will be just big enough to accommodate the camera up top and Home Button down below.
"Beyond that, it's noticeably thinner, as well, which is to say the fifth-generation iPad will be smaller in every dimension than its predecessors," Gunjan said. The report notes that it's actually so much smaller and thinner than the current iPad that Apple is likely working on a full redesign of the interior.
"It wouldn't be a surprise to see the new iPad remain roughly on par with the fourth-generation model in processing capabilities, with the improved screen, dramatically lower size, and reduced weight becoming the key selling points," he added.
As for when the fifth-gen iPad will make its debut, Gunjan said Apple was originally targeting a March launch, but it now appears we'll have to wait until October, possibly because some components are limited at this time.
Meanwhile, Gunjan's sources claim the next-gen iPhone, to be called the iPhone 5S, will look near identical to the iPhone 5, but with a larger rear flash. The iPhone 5S, as well as the much-rumored low-cost iPhone with a plastic shell, will both be released at some point this year.
In addition, the rumored "iPhone Math" phone, which we first heard about earlier this week, is currently in "early prototyping stages," but will not arrive this year.
"It supposedly has a 4.7-inch screen, at least for the time being,"  Gunjan said. "It might never make it to market, and plenty could change before it does. Consider it Apple's 'just in case / Plan B' hedge against ever-growing Android phone screen sizes."

Latest : Huawei’s Ascend P2 Info

The Ascend P2 is expected to have a 5-inch 720p HD IPS display, 1.8GHz quad-core Hi-Silicon K3V2 processor along with 2GB of RAM. It has 8GB built-in storage and runs on Android 4.1 Jelly Bean straight out-of-the-box. A 3,000mAh Li-on battery is supposed to power it.
The device is expected to be 6.45mm thin, so it’s a little surprising to see that the device is so thin and yet houses a 13MP camera.


The Ascend Mate has a 6.1-inch display with a 1280x720 IPS+ display and has a 1.5 GHz Hi-Silicon quad-core processor under the hood combined with 2GB of RAM. It runs on Android 4.1 Jelly Bean straight out of the box and is powered by a 4050mAh battery. The Android OS is skinned with Huawei’s Emotion interface. It has an 8MP AF rear-facing camera with HDR and 1MP HD front-facing camera for video calls.

The Ascend D2 will sport a 5-inch IPS display has a resolution of 1920x1280p and runs on Android 4.1 Jelly Bean straight out of the box. The OS is skinned with Huawei’s Emotion interface. In terms of specifications under the hood, the D2 has Huawei’s K3V2 1.5 GHz quad-core CPU along with 2GB of RAM. It has a whopping 13MP BSI rear-facing camera along with a 1.3MP front-facing camera for video calls. It also sports a 3000mAh battery.


'World’s first 3D-printed building coming in 2014'

A Dutch architect plans to construct the world's first 3D printed building inspired by the Earth's landscape. Janjaap Ruijssenaars hopes to create the buildings, which he estimates will cost £3.3million- £4.2 million.
The 3D buildings — a more direct way of constructing — will resemble a giant mobius strip — a continuous loop with only one side, 'BBC News' reported. Ruijssenaars is working with large-scale 3D printing expert Enrico Dini on the project. The industrial sized 3D printer uses sand and a special binding agent to create a "marble like material" stronger than cement.

However, the 1,000-sq-m buildings would still require concrete reinforcements , he said.
"For me as an architect it's been a nice way to construct this specific design — it has no beginning and no end and with the 3D printer we can make it look like that. In traditional construction you have to make a mould of wood and you fill it with concrete and then you take out the wood — it's a waste of time. You can print what you want — it's a more direct way of constructing ," he said. He said the first "landscape house" should be in position by 2014.

Friday, 25 January 2013

Indian insurers to spend Rs 101 billion on IT in 2013

Indian insurance companies will spend Rs 101 billion on IT products and services in 2013, an increase of more than 9% over 2012 revenue of Rs 92.5 billion, according to Gartner Inc. This forecast includes spending by insurers on internal IT (including personnel), hardware, software, external IT services and telecommunications.

IT services has overtaken telecommunications to become the biggest spending segment, and is forecast to reach Rs 30.6 billion in 2013, up from Rs 27 billion in 2012. IT services is achieving the highest growth rate amongst the top level IT spending segments - forecast to exceed 13% in 2013, with growth of 23.4% forecast for business process outsourcing services. Consulting is also a high growth segment at over 18.2% in 2013.

"We are continuing to see Indian insurers lead the charge to outsourcing and business process outsourcing," said Derry Finkeldey, principal analyst at Gartner. "The Indian insurance industry is experiencing huge growth in transaction volumes, and Indian consumers are quite progressive in terms of seeking online and mobile services. Insurers are turning to experienced IT vendors to help them navigate the inevitable complexity this is producing."

"The Indian domestic market for IT services is dynamic and highly competitive - with many of the leading names focused on the insurance sector and offering their own proprietary solutions for the industry. This competitiveness is ultimately great for insurance buyers," he added.