Japan Display Inc. (JDI) has unveiled its latest display technology, a 5-inch 1080p TFT LCD display with integrated touch functionality. Called “Pixel Eyes,” the display offers certain advantages including slimmer modules and lower optical reflections.
JDI is a joint venture between Sony, Hitachi and Toshiba, and its panels have already been used in Xperia Z handsets, however a problem noted by many reviewers was the poor viewing angles. JDI has noted that displays need to improve in some aspects and offer “higher resolutions, wider viewing angles, higher picture quality, lower power consumption, and thinner module thickness.”
The improvements this new technology will bring to the table include a 10 to 30% slimmer module, clearer picture quality and increased module brightness. At this point in time, it appears as if Pixel Eyes is not using the recently announced triluminos display tech.
When it comes to specs, the Pixel Eyes will feature a “transmissive IPS” display mode and offer a resolution of up to 1080p, 445 pixel per inch (ppi) density, 450cd/m2 brightness, contrast ratio of 1000:1 and a viewing angle of 160 degrees.
JDI says that displays in resolutions of 720p (720 x 1280 pixels) and qHD (540 x 960 pixels) will be mass produced starting with June 2013, with the 5-inch Full-HD displays being produced soon after. JDI will exhibit the display at the Society for Information Display (SID) Display Week 2013, in Japan this week.
Are you interested in this new display tech? Hope to see the screens in Sony’s next flagship devices?
Remember that web browser that was found hiding in the Nook’s search function? It’s time could be nigh. According to a leaked memo acquired by TechCrunch, Barnes & Nobel will be updating the Nook Simple Touch and Simple Touch with Glowlight with an email app, web browser and an updated store next month. The update will reportedly be sent over the air starting on June 1st and rolling out to all devices in the following weeks. The idea isn’t too far fetched — the Simple Touch is running a skinned version of Android. Nook owners not willing to wait for the official patch can always root the device of course, which comes with some peripheral advantages. Check out TechCrunch for a look the full memo.
Ubuntu Touch on Android has been a slow but steady mystery. Canonical currently offers plenty of pre-release beta or even alpha builds of their software for Android devices like the Galaxy Nexus, Nexus 7, and others. However, today Canonical’s own Rick Spencer promises to have stable “daily-driver” builds of Ubuntu Touch for smartphones by the end of the month.
So what exactly does that mean? Well, the current builds of Ubuntu Touch available now aren’t quite something you can use on a daily bases. Well you can, it just won’t be much of a functioning smartphone. The project is still in the early stages and Canonical has been working hard at improving their new smartphone and touch UI for multiple devices.
When we got our own hands-on with Ubuntu it wasn’t really something you could use daily, and is still a long ways from being a fully functional OS. In February Ubuntu Touch developer previews were released, and they announced a tablet version too, but today they’re all about the smartphone flavor of Ubuntu. Here’s what Ubuntu promises to be working by the end of the month.
•You can make and receive phone calls
•You can make and receive sms messages
•You can browse the web on 3g data
•You can browse the web on wifi
•You can switch between wifi and 3g data
•The proximity sensor dims the screen when you lift the phone to talk on it
•You can import contacts from somewhere, and you can add and edit contacts
•When you update your phone your user data is retained, even if updating with phablet-flash
So instead of offering developer builds that are rough around the edges, and not useful for daily smartphone activities, we’ll have stable builds good enough for many developers to use as their actual OS of choice. One important aspect, aside from making calls and texts, is the ability to update to the latest version without losing user data and having to restart all over. Something many developers will be happy to see.
As usual head to the Ubuntu site for more details and downloads, and expect some builds coming soon with a greater emphasis on stability and usability moving forward.
The verdict’s still out on whether or not androids dream of electric sheep. But their ability to feel? Well, that’s about to approach levels of human sensitivity. We’re of course talking about the sense of touch, not emotions. And thanks to work out of Georgia Tech, tactile sensitivity for robotics, more secure e-signatures and general human-machine interaction is about to get a great ‘ol boost. Through the use of thousands of piezotronic transistors (i.e., grouped vertical zinc oxide nanowires) known as “taxels,” a three-person team led by Prof. Zhong Lin Wang has devised a way to translate motion into electronic signals. In other words, you’re looking at a future in which robotic hands interpret the nuances of a surface or gripped object akin to a human fingertip and artificial skin senses touch similar to the way tiny hairs on an arm do.
What’s more, the tech has use outside of robotics and can even be levereged for more secure e-signature verification based on speed and pressure of a user’s handwriting. And the best part? These sensors can be manufactured on transparent and flexible substrates like the one pictured above, which allows for various real-world applications — just use your imagination. Pretty soon, even robots will have the pleasure of enjoying the touch… the feel of cotton and maybe even hum that jingle to themselves, too.
The folks from LG have a few smartphone in the works, and today we’re getting some hints and details on what is expected to be the successor to last years popular Optimus G flagship. Yes, they’ve already announced and released the Optimus G Pro, but apparently a super-thin and impressive Optimus G2 is coming later this year to rival the Galaxy S 4 and beyond with some never seen features.
We’re going to take this rumor with a “thin” grain of salt. Because apparently this new smartphone will be so sleek and thin LG had to rethink the design of a smartphone. In the end they decided to put the power and volume buttons on the back of the device – it’s that thin. That’s the rumor according to MyDrivers.
Apparently the Optimus G2 has been confirmed for a Q3 launch around October, which lines up nicely to replace the original G, and now these new reports have our interest piqued to say the least. We’ve seen many super-thin smartphones that still have the power and volume buttons on the side, so perhaps the lines are just getting a little blurred here. Instead we’re thinking they’ll have a capacitive touch section on back that will do these things, and not actual buttons.
We’ve heard reports and rumors that Moto will have a touch-sensitive area on the back of upcoming smartphones. Google themselves even patented something called “backside touch controls” too. So, it sounds like LG might be launching an impressive next-gen Optimus G2 later this year with some never before seen features. Here’s the rumored specs.
The Optimus G was the first smartphone to ship with Qualcomm’s new Snapdragon S4 Pro quad-core, and we’re hearing the G2 will be the first with their Snapdragon 800 series. Which is even faster than the chip in the HTC One and Galaxy S 4. Reports state the G2 will have a 5-inch 1080p display, the 2.3 Ghz quad-core Snapdragon 800 series with 2GB of RAM, 13 megapixel rear and 2MP front cameras, impressive battery life, and Android 4.2.2 (or higher) at launch.
If this launches with those specs, the latest version of Android (possibly KLP) and adds backside touch controls and wireless charging all in one package it might be quite impressive. LG Nexus 5 anyone? Stay tuned for more details.
Samsung may not have shaken up its mirrorless camera line with the very evolutionary NX1100, but there’s hints at the FCC of bigger things in store. A filing at the US agency has confirmed the existence of an unannounced NX2000. On the surface, it’s similar to its ancestors: labeling and tests point to a 20.3-megapixel CMOS sensor, an overall familiar body design and the presence of 802.11n WiFi. However, there’s talk that the real focus for the NX2000 may be the interface, not image quality. A purported photo making the rounds at Photo Rumors (after the break) lines up with the FCC listing while showing an unexpected back that includes both a touchscreen and a hardware home key — although nothing is definite, it suggests Samsung could bring a smarter, possibly Android-based interface to its mirrorless series. We’ll only know just how clever a camera the NX2000 is when it’s more official than a mix of regulatory clearances and rumors.
Touch Bionics’ i-limb prosthetic hand has advanced quite a bit in recent years, adding features like Bluetooth connectivity and upgraded fingers. Now the company has made available its latest revision, the i-limb ultra revolution, which offers powered thumb rotation for some added dexterity, as well as a new “biosim” app (iOS-only for now) that gives the wearer quick access to 24 different grip patterns in addition to diagnostic and training modes. Of course, the hand isn’t only controlled using a phone; as with previous models, it relies on muscle signals to shift into different pre-set patterns, which let the wearer perform a wide variety of actions. You can get a glimpse of some of those capabilities in the video after the break.
In addition to announcing pricing for its 55- and 65-inch 4K TVs at its NAB press event, Sony unveiled updates to its Anycast studio-in-a-box. Sony has been offering its live broadcasting all-in-one for quite some time, but the Anycast Touch (AWS-750) unveiled today features several updates, including sliding dual touch displays. (The product looks more like a beefed-up Duo 11 than a bulky suitcase, which can’t be said about earlier models from the Anycast line.) A tilt-screen function lets you split audio- and video-editing functions between the two panels, and you’ll be able to bring up video sources just by tapping their thumbnails on-screen.
Aside from the new touchscreen design, the Anycast Touch offers all the A/V essentials: a video switcher, audio mixer, a special effects generator, an encoder and a scale converter. Video output tops out at 1080p with 10-bit processing, though other specs, such as display size, are TBA. Sony hasn’t discussed pricing yet, but it did reveal that the Anycast Touch will go on sale in September — we imagine additional details will surface before that far-off date.
Product placement is nothing new, however at the same time we don’t always see press release announcements, contests and promotional offers built up around it. Enter Alcatel, who have recently announced that the One Touch Idol smartphone is going to be featured in Marvel’s upcoming Iron Man 3 movie. For those curious about the movie, you can expect it to be in theaters as of May 3.
Aside from the product promotion, Alcatel really appears to be pushing the weight of the phone. Or maybe more accurate in this instance, the lack of weight. The Alcatel One Touch Idol weighs in at just 3.88 ounces, which is said to make it the “lightest smartphone in its category.” That bit of useless knowledge aside, the One touch Idol sports a 4.7-inch qHD IPS display, dual-core 1GHz processor, 1800 mAh battery, 2 megapixel front-facing camera, 8 megapixel rear-facing camera and Android 4.1 Jelly Bean.
The handset is also on the thin side at just 7.9mm and ships in a variety of colors to include Silver, Slate, Cranberry Pink, Red, Magic Blue and Mint Green. As for the promotion behind this product placement, Alcatel has a contest available that could score someone a paid trip to see the movie premier in Hollywood on April 24. Perhaps more realistic though, Alcatel also has a special offer available for those considering a purchase.
The purchase promotion is in conjunction with Radio Shack and runs from April 14 through May 11. This one is simple — buy the One Touch Idol and get a pair of tickets to see Iron Man 3 in theaters. Otherwise, the One Touch Idol was originally unveiled in January along with the One Touch Idol Ultra. You can see a bit of the hands-on with the One Touch Idol Ultra in the above video.
Bringing touch interfaces to real-world objects often involves putting hardware either inside the item or in front of it, neither of which is especially natural. Fujitsu has developed a control system that could eliminate those obstructions and bring digital interaction to many surfaces, even to old-fashioned paper. Its multi-camera approach can distinguish between objects on a table and the exact positions of a user’s fingers, right down to fingertip outlines; it’s accurate enough to scan text from a book as you drag your finger along the page. The system really comes alive, however, when its projector is involved. Besides providing visual feedback, the image overlay allows for both control of purely digital objects and interfaces tailored to real-world items. The company imagines brochures or maps that pop up extra details, among numerous other examples. While we wonder how long the technology will remain useful when there’s an ongoing push to go paperless, Fujitsu sees enough practicality that it’s anticipating a product in its fiscal 2014. That doesn’t leave long until we can get a very literal hands-on.