Author Archives: JC Torres


Mi Bunny, Xiaomi’s first smartwatch, is for kids

Mi Bunny, Xiaomi’s first smartwatch, is for kids

You've got to start them young, right? Or so goes the saying, which probably applies to anything but gadgets. But that's not stopping device makers from trying to tap into this young, quite literally, market and it seems that Xiaomi isn't immune to its allure. The Mi Bunny might not be the first Xiaomi smartwatch that grown ups have been, and still are, waiting for, but for kids, it might be the next best thing to that kid-unfriendly but cool Apple Watch. And, like any Xiaomi product, it's dirt cheap, too.

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Sony patents a contact lens that houses a camera

Sony patents a contact lens that houses a camera

OK, this is bound to raise some red flags among privacy advocates, even more than Google Glass ever did. It is also going to make sci-fi aficionados drool and wish they would still be alive, not to mention capable of wearing this smart contact lens, when it actually becomes a product. Smart contact lenses are nothing new to our ears, but what Sony has tried to patent is incredible in both senses of the word: a contact lens that crams enough camera hardware to make it both useful and dangerous.

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BlackBerry Hamburg & Rome prototype renders explained

BlackBerry Hamburg & Rome prototype renders explained

In this business, dealing with leaks and unofficial sources is a risky afair. Sometimes you bump into dead ends. Sometimes you end up with red herrings. Of course, in the absence of real deal, which may or may not come, we take what we can. It seems that some did more than just take, in the case of some supposedly leaked renders of BlackBerry's two upcoming Android devices. BlackBerry Central's Dylan Habkirk went public to claim those images as his, but with one important correction: they aren't leaks but actually renders based on prototypes he has seen himself.

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YouTube is testing new Material look, you can test it too

YouTube is testing new Material look, you can test it too

Back in 2014, in preparation for what was then still codenamed "Android L", Google revealed the new Material Design language that would permeate not just Android but the rest of its products, both on the Web and on Chrome. Two years later, Google is still having a go at it, refining Material Design and implementing it in bits and pieces. The latest to get that incremental face lift seems to be YouTube, as the video streaming service is now semi-secretly testing a slightly new look in line with the newer nuances of Material Design.

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Samsung Gear 360 launches in Korea, app, video guide now up

Samsung Gear 360 launches in Korea, app, video guide now up

As hinted before, Samsung has indeed launched the Gear 360 camera in South Korea. Sadly for those wishing to get a whiff of more international news, the Korean OEM has remained mum on the subject of market availability in other countries. For now, interested buyers will have to content themselves with the knowledge that, at least, the camera has truly arrived in the market. They could also prepare by downloading the Gear 360 Manager app or see how the camera works in a brief walkthrough video.

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Volvo UK to test autonomous cars with real families, real roads

Volvo UK to test autonomous cars with real families, real roads

Last week, Volvo banded together with Google, Ford, and Lyft to form a coalition that will push for safer streets in the US via autonomous driving technologies. In the UK, Volvo is making a similar, perhaps even more aggressive push, also with self-driving cars. Calling it "Drive Me London" the campaign aims to introduce self-driving cars on public roads by putting real-life families inside the cars, and behind the wheels, in what could be both the most ambitious and perhaps most dangerous test of self-driving cars in both continents.

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Intel kills Atom, smartphone, tablet future in limbo

Intel kills Atom, smartphone, tablet future in limbo

Has Intel finally thrown in the towel in the smartphone market? It seem so. As part of the company's comprehensive reforms, which also saw 11% of its worforce get pink slips, Intel has revealed the immediate cancellation of two of its current and still coming products: the SoFIA platform and the next gen Broxton chips. While those names might not ring too many bells, these basically means that Intel has effectively killed off the future of its Atom processors, putting into question the very future of its smartphone and, more importantly, low-cost tablet dreams.

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BMW i3 (94 Ah) boasts of a higher battery at the same size

BMW i3 (94 Ah) boasts of a higher battery at the same size

Normally, a battery with a bigger capacity occupies more space than one with lower figures, which usually means having to adjust physical designs to accommodate the larger packs. BMW, however, has managed the rare feat of cramming higher capacity batteries in the same amount of space. That's what the 2017 BMW i3 (94 Ah) boasts of. Don't let the rather unusual name fool you. The BMW i3 (94 Ah) takes all the great things about the previous BMW i3 and takes it further, literally, with a 94 Ah, 33 kWh battery, all the way up to a 114 mile range.

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LG’s fingerprint sensor hides under glass, eschews button

LG’s fingerprint sensor hides under glass, eschews button

LG might have just taken one step towards the envisioned future where the fingerprint scanner merges seamlessly with the display. Well, somewhat. LG still hasn't been able to throw away the bezels, but it is at least throwing away the home button. It is proudly announcing that it has successfully designed a buttonless fingerprint sensor module that can conveniently hide under the cover glass. This innovation allows not only for more freedom in terms of design but also better ingress protection for the sensor.

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Galaxy Note 6 won’t be a compelling upgrade at this rate

Galaxy Note 6 won’t be a compelling upgrade at this rate

When you're as popular as Samsung, you really can't escape scrutiny, whether you fail or you succeed. When your earnings are sloping down, all eyes are on whether your next big product can save your coffers. When that flagship turns out to be a superstar, however, they're going to check if the one after it will be able to live up to that new standard. Such is the fate that awaits the Galaxy Note 6, even while it's still a good 5 months away. But if the recent leaks are any indication, it might have a harder time than its predecessor to enamor consumers.

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Microsoft Flow to be an IFTTT for very serious business

Microsoft Flow to be an IFTTT for very serious business

Although not exactly a household name among consumers, IFTTT has become the darling of power users of all shapes and sizes, platforms, and devices. The web-based service basically takes inputs, triggers, and other events that can send a sort of signal and ties it with any other action. Taking a page from that strategy, Microsoft has silently launched Flow, a service that sounds and looks almost like IFTTT. But, as they say, looks can be deceiving, and that's because Flow is only available for Microsoft's business and education customers.

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Apple Watch market share fell to almost half in Q1 2016

Apple Watch market share fell to almost half in Q1 2016

Good news: smartwatches are actually a hot item in the tech market, growing by as much as 223% compared to the first quarter last year. Bad news: compared to the last quarter of 2015, however, the number was actually sliced in half. Depending on your brand loyalty or preference, the mix of devices and platforms might be good or bad news for you as well. While the Apple Watch still has majority of the market, it has shrunk to just half, with Android Wear and Tizen making up the other half.

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