Author Archives: Chris Davies

Writing for R3 Media since 2006, Chris Davies is currently executive editor for SlashGear and Android Community. Based in London, UK, he's responsible for SlashGear's editorial decisions and covers all forms of consumer technology. You can follow him on Twitter.

HTC One M8 Dual Lens SDK unlocks bokeh camera for devs

HTC One M8 Dual Lens SDK unlocks bokeh camera for devs

HTC is allowing developers to tap into its depth data from the twin cameras on the HTC One M8 smartphone, releasing the Dual Lens SDK that Google has already relied upon to make the Google Play edition of the flagship. The SDK Preview allows access to the depth information the second lens on the back of the One M8 grabs with each shot, and will initially allow for bokeh-style refocusing and HTC's pseudo-3D DimensionPlus manipulation in third-party apps.

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Google Project Tango teardown exposes 3D camera secrets

Google Project Tango teardown exposes 3D camera secrets

Google's Project Tango 3D mapping phones are in short supply - only around 200 out in the wild for developers to try - but that hasn't stopped a teardown on the camera-smothered prototype to reveal its hardware magic. A non-functioning unit was loaned to iFixit to suffer its screwdrivers, exposing the various lenses which Google relies upon to create real-time 3D renders of the environment around it.

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For autonomous cars, driving dumb is key

For autonomous cars, driving dumb is key

Self-driving cars may need to show some self-restraint when it comes to their “better than human” reflexes and abilities, the Nokia HERE team working on autonomous vehicle technologies suggests, if their flesh and blood passengers are to accept an AI taking the wheel. HERE calls it Humanized Driving, giving computer-controlled cars similar characteristics to the people they’re replacing so as to preserve a feeling of normality, even potentially becoming a virtual twin with the same style as the car’s owner.

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I can finally recommend Windows Phone

I can finally recommend Windows Phone

It’s taken a while - two major generations and a couple of updates - but Windows Phone finally feels ready to take on Android and iOS with confidence. I’ve always had a soft-spot for the platform, and appreciated its minimalistic UI charms and quiet simplicity, even as I’ve been frustrated by its incomplete feature list and patchy third-party app support. Now, with Windows Phone 8.1, I feel like that quiet enthusiasm can spill over into actively recommending it Microsoft’s OS as a legitimate option.

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Glass KitKat update this week but video calling removed

Glass KitKat update this week but video calling removed

It's the eve of open Glass sales day, and Google has raised the stakes with news of a big update for the wearable due later this week that will bring Android KitKat among other improvements. The new Glass OS, which Google says will be pushed out over the next few days, brings the latest version of Android along with the promise of improved battery life and stability, as well as the potential for more Glassware apps.

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Countdown to Glass (but beware the attention)

Countdown to Glass (but beware the attention)

This Tuesday, Google will throw open the order books for Glass and start its first round of invitation-free sales. To many it's a hard sell - $1,500 worth of conspicuous face-jewelry without a clear use-case - whereas to others its the gateway to the new generation of wearables. Either way, those who flex their credit cards and join the Explorer program may have to face a growing push-back against technology.

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Titan Aerospace: These are the drones Google just bought

Titan Aerospace: These are the drones Google just bought

Google is adding a drone specialist to its roster of recent acquisitions, with startup Titan Aerospace set to bring its Solara solar-powered unmanned planes to the search giant's airstrip. Billed as "high altitude persistent solar-electric UAVs," the Titan Aerospace drones will theoretically fly for up to five years without needing to land, cruising more than 12 miles up and flying at speeds of up to 65mph.

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Google buys Titan Aerospace solar drone startup

Google buys Titan Aerospace solar drone startup

Google has acquired drone maker Titan Aerospace, the autonomous solar-powered flying vehicle company believed to be next in Facebook's sights, in a move it says will help Project Loon in bringing internet to developing markets. The deal sees Google snatch Titan Aerospace out from under Facebook's nose, after the social network had said earlier in the year that it was in talks around a potential acquisition.

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