News digest No. 19. Smart - so smart

This time we will talk about the trend for this year – all sorts of "smart" devices. Among which there are not only "smart" glasses and watches, but even the robotic couch. Let not all these devices are by themselves, they can be regarded as early prototypes of really smart machines we will receive in the near future.

I Originally planned to devote this edition of IFA, briefly telling about all the new products. However, this success did Eugene Vildyaev writing Navigator IFA.

IFA 2014. Navigator exhibition

Announcements Motorola

Recently, the manufacturers has become fashionable to give new smartphones old names. As example is The New iPad or HTC One. Now they added another smartphone Moto X, which recently received its updated version.

Honestly, I'm not a big supporter of this approach. In the first place, because it is simply not very convenient. The same The New iPad is still called the iPad 3. And by the name HTC One must be added to the index M8. Which causes users a lot more questions than clear the digit "2" in the name of the smartphone. Why 8? And what does "M"? Trying to keep a nice and concise name of the flagship, the company only created unnecessary complexity.

Perhaps, in the case of the HTC One called "HTC One Two" really would look a bit silly. But the Moto X such a problem is clearly not. Why create extra complexity for users that are not very clear. After all, those who want to see reviews smartphone or find deals on the Internet sales that will not be easy. The search engines do not care about what Moto X is about. And the difference between the two generations of this smartphone is quite significant.

The Screen of the new Moto X is slightly higher than the last model – 5.2-inch instead of 4.7. but most importantly, increased the resolution now is 1080p and not 720p, pixel density — 423 ppi. The signature curved back of the smartphone, on the contrary, became thinner around the edges its thickness is only 3.8 mm. in addition, the smartphone has an aluminium frame on the sides of the body.

The Main feature of the smartphone, as before, is the proprietary service MotoMaker, which allows each customer to get exactly the smartphone, of which he had dreamed.

Characteristics of the second generation Moto X are as follows:

  • Dimensions: 140,8x72,4x9,97 mm
  • Weight: 144 grams
  • CPU: 2.5 GHz, Quad core, Qualcomm Snapdragon 801 (MSM8974-AC)
  • Platform: Android 4.4.4 KitKat
  • Display: 5.2-inch, OLED, resolution 1920x1080 pixels, protective glass Corning Gorilla glass 3
  • Camera: 13 MP
  • Front camera: 2 MP, support Full HD video recording
  • Memory: 2 GB of RAM, 16/32 GB internal
  • Communications: Wi-Fi, Bluetooth v4.0LE, USB, audio Jack 3.5 mm
  • Battery: 2300 mAh

Special mention deserves the software part of the smartphone. Despite the fact that it is used almost "pure" Android, there are several interesting branded "chips"

First and foremost, it's a voice assistant Motorola Assist, which learned a few new tricks. For example, on hearing the command "Take a selfie", it will automatically switch to the front camera and start a countdown. And after the words "Good morning" will come out of sleep mode and tell you about upcoming scheduled events and meetings. It is possible not to be afraid of that the smartphone may not be able to hear your voice among the noise of the city to four additional microphones will easily filter out all unnecessary sounds. It is worth noting that the standard command "Ok, Google" can now be changed to any other phrase.

The Second interesting moment – a gesture recognition system called Moto Actions, which uses four infrared sensor on the front side of the smartphone. The alarm clock rang, but you decided not to get up? Just swipe your hand over the display, the alarm will be delayed. Similarly, you can "Wake up" the smartphone to view the current time and the last notification.

The cost of the smartphone in the US is $499 without a contract. In Europe and Asia, the device will appear till the end of the month.

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In Addition to the new Moto X, the company introduced an updated version of another of its popular smartphone – Moto G. the smartphone was the old, $179.99 for, but the specifications have changed:

  • Dimensions: 70,7x141,5x10,99 mm
  • Weight: 149 g
  • CPU: 1.2 GHz, Quad core, Qualcomm Snapdragon 400 MSM8226
  • Platform: Android 4.4.4 KitKat
  • Display: 5-inch, a resolution of 1280x720 pixels
  • Camera: 8 MP with autofocus
  • Front camera: 2 MP
  • Memory: 1 GB RAM, 8/16 GB internal, slot under the microSD memory card
  • Communications: Wi-Fi 802.11 ac, Bluetooth v4.0LE, USB, audio Jack 3.5 mm
  • Battery: 2070 mAh
  • Others: dual frontal stereo speakers, dual microphones

As the older model, the Moto G supports service MotoMaker. Other special features worth noting front-facing stereo speakers and a guaranteed upgrade to Android L.

Unfortunately, I have not had the opportunity to hold the original Moto G in hand. But according to owner reviews, this device came out very good. Despite the modest price and not the most impressive specifications, it was truly a pleasure to use. Many manufacturers during the development of budget models forget about the emotional side of their product. This smartphone is almost always a hard compromise and feels exactly like a cheap phone and unequal replacement flagship device. "Premium Chinese" things on that front are better – specifications of even the low-end models is usually very good. But their design is no frills to be expected in most cases not necessary. Most likely it will be just a faceless plastic block. About any unique materials and unusual design, there is no question. Motorola proved that a budget phone can be really interesting, bright product. And can give the buyer not less joy than the flagship.

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Smart watches

In addition to smartphones Moto X and Moto G, Motorola has announced the start of sales of smart hours Moto 360.

Remind their essential characteristics are:

  • Display of 1.56-inch with a resolution of 320x290;
  • Processor TI OMAP third generation;
  • 512 MB RAM
  • the
  • 4GB of internal memory;
  • Battery 320 mAh battery.

Among the characteristics of the watch include protection against dust and splashes according to IP67, heart rate sensor, pedometer and wireless charging. And, of course, a good design of the device. Almost all journalists had the opportunity to see the watch in person, I emphasize, that in life they look no worse than the official rendering.

the basic version of the Moto 360 will cost $249,99. The choice of available bands of black and gray leather and suede. Until the end of autumn in the sale will be a special version of the watches with a metal strap. It will cost a bit more expensive of $299.99. However, such a strap can be purchased separately, in this case, the price is $79.99.

In the end, we can say that Moto 360 is looking pretty good buy. As you may remember, Google began seriously thinking about how to ban producers set on smart watches of their own shell. So at the moment differ from each other the hours will be primarily design. And the Moto 360 it is, in my opinion, on top. Here are just afraid that the inhabitants of the CIS countries to buy them is not so simple.

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The Main reason Google is struggling with the change of "pure" Android Wear, is the need to quickly upgrade the system by adding new functions to it. And, apparently, to develop this Android version will be really fast, because Android Wear 2.0 will be the 15th of October.

With a new version of the OS clock to learn without the mediation of the Android smartphone to play music, driving built-in GPS sensor and connect a wireless headset. A little later, users will be able to customize the main screen to your taste. Around the same time it will be the first branded interface options from manufacturers. However, apparently, it is still not about firmware but about the launcher that is freely downloadable through Google Play.

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Smart glasses

Smart watches is not the only form of wearable electronics, which has bet the search giant. In addition Google is actively working on "smart" glasses Google Glass. That's just these glasses, unlike the Android Wear watch in the free market is not found.

But market enough counterparts from other manufacturers. And the idea of "smart" glasses manufacturers sometimes creatively and at the end of the development such devices are often not much resemble ordinary glasses. As an example, you can reset the device Baidu Eye, which is a kind of hybrid "smart" wearable devices, wireless headset and camera. Although the name Baidu Eye glasses at all desire will not work (device no lenses), in function they resemble Google Glass. Here only the information is not displayed on glasses and on the screen of the smartphone. According to the developers, this is much better than trying to put all the necessary information on a tiny display glasses. Especially in their case, this information will be really a lot.

Baidu Eye is able to recognize human speech, to analyze caught in the frame objects and people's faces. For example, the device can tell you where you can buy the same dress or handbag, like a passing girl.

Like Google Glass, Baidu Eye can be controlled using gestures. For example, to circle a finger on the object you want to recognize. Or zoom the camera image using "pinch".

Unfortunately, details on Baidu Eye is a little bit, as long as the public were shown only a prototype. The timing of commercial production and the price of the device is still unknown.

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In words the idea sounds good. But how this accessory will be useful in practice? Image recognition is a very complex process, and existing algorithms are still far from perfect. On the other hand, in the near future the situation may radically change, because on this issue a number of companies. Google, for example, recently introduced a new recognition system that is able to correctly identify even those objects that are partially hidden or obscured.

The basis of the system formed a neural network which "on the fly" specifies search criteria, without spending major computing power. This gives you the ability to quickly and accurately discriminate a whole group of objects at one time. Despite the fact that this technology recently came to light, the system can easily recognize most of the items in a typical living room.

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While Baidu left points from only one ear, the American company Daqri, on the contrary, turned them into real "smart" helmet. Externally, it strongly resembles a Bicycle, but has a transparent flap with a sliding display that protects the face. It displays all the necessary information.

Unlike the "smart" points Google, Daqri Smart Helmet is a highly specialized device created for the needs of builders and engineers. And, in theory, will completely deliver them from paper drawings and weighty instructions. Helmet will be able not only to recognize who came to the attention of the user of a technical device, but will show his scheme to put the drawing directly into the real picture. And in some cases, it is impossible even to determine the cause of failure and provide recommendations.

Do Not forget that the main function of any helmet is to protect the user. And Daqri Smart Helmet is no exception. And in his case we are talking not only about physical protection. Thanks to the "smart" stuffing, he will draw the user's attention to a potentially dangerous situation. And, if necessary, will automatically give a signal of distress.

a dozen years ago about something like you could only dream of. Today such opportunities do not look fantastic. Although perform all conceived at a good level will obviously be very difficult. However, Daqri not afraid of difficulties. In an interview with the Wall Street Journal the President of the company emphasized that you will not regret to create such a device no resources. However, this will have an impact on its price. According to preliminary estimates the cost of the helmet will be close to the cost of a good laptop.

It is Worth noting that although Daqri Smart Helmet is quite capable of working offline, if desired, it can be easily sync with your smartphone, tablet or even smart watches.

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A Little about the robots

Undoubtedly, wearable devices can greatly simplify life of the user. But to perform the work for him at the house they are still not. But with this case people can help domestic robots. For example, such as Dyson 360 Eye.

The Company Dyson is considered one of the leaders in the market of vacuum cleaners. Not surprisingly, the release of their first robot vacuum cleaner she approached responsibly. Its development took the company 16 years and cost about $ 47 million. Apparently, the leadership of the Dyson was satisfied with the result, because according to the company, Dyson 360 Eye is the most powerful robotic vacuum cleaner all that presented in the market at the moment.

Due to the special tracks, the robot can easily move across any surface. A camera and a set of infrared sensors allow him to easily navigate the terrain, at the same time determining the degree of soiling.

Interestingly, when necessary, you can manually give the robot commands using Android smartphone. To connect to the robot using your home Wi-Fi network.

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However, the robotic cleaners nowadays are nothing new. It used to be they were considered the same impossible thing as seven-League boots, self-propelled stove or carpet. And in our time they can buy anyone.

By the way, soon it may well be that self-propelled oven with carpet is also not a fiction. In any case, the self-propelled robot sofa in the world is there.

was Created by students of the University of New South Wales. In the beginning of its development they started just as a joke, but soon got serious about this project. And a year later received the first working prototype, which can be controlled by a conventional joystick for the Xbox 360.

All-wheel couch can work independently from each other and rotate in all directions. The "heart" of the robot is a mini-computer Raspberry Pi, located in one of the armrests. And special software allows the sofa to easily overcome bumps in the road and the steepness of the slopes. Waiting sofa running Android?

Currently, the creators of the robot couch thinking about developing a robot fridge that he would bring them food.

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Despite warnings from experts and occasional users ' complaints on forums and social networks, we tend to think Android is relatively secure OS. After all, it would seem, everything is under full control of the device owner. And to infect your smartphone with some muck, it is necessary not only personally download and install a dubious application from an untrusted source, but also personally give him permission to collect personal information, network access or send SMS. For most users the actual installation of application from third-party source would be too complicated.

However, according to the report, research labs Kindsight Security Labs of Alcatel-Lucent, the situation is much worse. About 60% of infected devices on mobile networks, working on Android. And on smartphones running Windows Phone, iPhone and BlackBerry accounts for only 1%.

The Number of infected Android devices exceeds even the number of infected Windows-based computers. But most worryingly, perhaps, is that it continues faster and faster to grow. And only for the first half of this year, the number of such devices increased by 15%.

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