Archive for the ‘Gadgets’ Category

News Article
Posted on 2009-09-03 14:16:00  |  by: Daimaou

Category:  AUDIO |  Tags: CREATIVE, DAP, PMP, ZEN, VIDEO, RSS, RADIO, TUNER

Creative’s Zen X-Fi2

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Here’s Creative’s latest DAP, the Zen X-Fi2. Available in 8GB, 16GB and 32GB and sold in Japan for 13,800, 19,800 and 24,800 Yen. This 3” touch screen DAP (400×240) features an FM tuner, and supports WMV, MPEG4-SP, DivX 4/5, XviD video and WMA, MP3, AAC, FLAC audio files.If 32GB of internal memory isn’t enough, the X-Fi2 supports microSD and microSDHC cards.

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Finally we will get more cool WiMo devices in the near future, no offence to HTC which happen to do a pretty good job, but competition is important for innocation.. And Today LG announced that they will release 3 new WiMo 6.5 devices by the end of this year and 10 more to come in 2010… Sweat ! Read full story on Akihabara News.

 

News Article

Posted on 2009-09-01 14:37:00  |  by: Daimaou |  Comments 0 Comments
Category:  AUDIO |  Tags: SAMSUNG, R1, BEAT, DAP, DIVX, MP3, TOUCHWIZE

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Here you are the R1, the latest DAP from Samsung. With just a 50g total weight, a 8,9mm thickness our little R1 is a fully capable little PMP. Thanks to its 2.6” touch screen you will be able to use Samsung TouchWize UI and easily access to your media. The R1 is also, according to Samsung, the World first DivX certified MP3 player, and also offers to its owners the joice of Drag & Drop in order to move data from your PC to your 8 or 16GB DAP as painlessly as possible.

Seoul August 31, 2009 — Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd today announced the launch of new portable multimedia player – the R1. The Samsung beat player R1 is the slimmest and lightest multimedia player compatible with DivX, enabling users to play content without the need to convert files.

The Samsung R1’s mere 8.9mm thickness and 50g weight is slight enough to enable users to put the device in their wallets, without compromising on user-friendliness, durability and performance. It is also the world’s first DivX-certificated MP3 player with a dynamic, 2.6-inch touch screen.

The R1 incorporates the TouchWiz user interface, the popular UI from Samsung full touch screen mobiles. Easy “Drag and Drop” operations give users the freedom to enjoy audio/video libraries anywhere, anytime. Samsung’s DNSe 3.0 (Digital Natural Sound Engine) also ensures the highest possible sound quality.

Samsung’s new multimedia player also comes with a “Beat DJ” feature, which allows users to add their own voice and sound effects to their favorite songs. With this unique application, users can also ‘scratch’ records on the super-clear 2.6” display to create personalized music.

“Samsung’s R1 beat player provides a rich multimedia experience for users who prefer a small form factor but don’t want to sacrifice quality,” said Joo Ho Song, Vice President, Mobile Communications Division, Samsung Electronics. “Samsung is committed to launching additional multimedia players with advanced features and designs.”

The R1 will be available with a choice of 8GB or 16GB of memory. The player will be showcased at the IFA trade show in Berlin from September 4thto 9th. The R1 will be available in Europe in September, with other markets including Russia, China, Singapore, Hong Kong and Taiwan to follow.

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The Art of Motion Control: Beyond the Hype

By Hubert Nguyen, Posted on Jun 4, 09 12:22 AM PDT

The Art of Motion Control: Beyond the Hype

[E3 2009] I don’t think that anyone had envisioned a post-E3 motion controller war, but that’s what’s happening in the forums and elsewhere right now. After the cool on-stage demos from Microsoft and Sony, gamers are split on what’s “better”, Sony’s Motion Controller magic wand or Microsoft’s full body project Natal. Our first take was that Project Natal was “better, but let’s try to go beyond the hype to review how each technology works, how it could be used and which might ultimately win.

The Nintendo Approach

Let’s establish some facts with the precursor: the Wiimote. Wiimote is a two sensor system made of one 3-axis rotation sensor and one optical (IR) sensor located in the pointer lens that tracks where on the screen the Wiimote is pointing at, relative to the sensor bar that comes with the console. An additional Nunchuck that also contains a motion sensor can be connected by a cable to the Wiimote. The recently introduced Wii Motion Plus is an add-on to the Wiimote that contains an angular rate sensor that can help differentiate between “twisting” and linear (movement) motion, thus making the overall motion sensing and interpretation more accurate.

Note that all these sensors only know what’s happening (rotation, acceleration) relative to their own position. They are the center of their small universe. Because of that, every Wii game is using some sort of context to “guess” how to interpret the data. They often need a “start position” that will tell them what the point of origin is (archery or golf are good examples) or games like Tennis sense simple swings and mostly adapt themselves, depending on the player’s position on screen. It’s robust because there are no external factor that can interfere and it’s arguably an efficient way to tackle the problem.

The Sony Approach

The Sony Motion Controller also use a motion sensor but it is augmented with visual information fed by a camera that can see a tracker (the glowy end of the remote). The presence of the motion sensor in Sony’s product is significant because that’s what propelled the visual motion tracking from “relatively bad” to “really cool”. Why? Because optical (color) tracking alone was simply not good enough. But when combined with a motion sensor, it actually surpasses the Wii Motion Plus.

Thanks to the internal sensor, the Sony Motion Controller knows exactly what orientation/acceleration it currently has but it also knows exactly where it is in space and what kind of motion the controller is really doing in the real world. Unlike the Nintendo solution, Sony has much less “guess work” to do because it can “see” what’s going on, although we think that games will still have to make some assumption about the current activity.

Optical tracking is not without challenge. Some external factors such as strong lights or sensor occluders might be problematic, but overall, Sony has done a good job of demonstrating the capability of their concept. We will know for sure when this will be an actual product but Sony’s motion sensing solution is theoretically superior to Nintendo’s. The controller itself will have buttons, so it is something that players should be accustomed to.

The Microsoft Approach

In short, Microsoft senses more: color, depth and voice. From a high-level, takes a visual approach to the problem, but the additional depth perception helps Microsoft overcome the barrier onto which Sony’s EyeToy color-based approach crashed. That makes it less prone to color interference, except for occluders (too much junk in your place) and even then, a simple subtract operation can probably wipe out the static object (including you, if you’re a couch potato). Anyhow, by using a virtual skeleton of the player (created once, then stored), Natal is capable of figuring out the body’s motion, including its position in space. Microsoft’s Natal greatest strength is that it can scan full body motions, something that neither Sony or Nintendo are capable of doing with their motion sensing solutions. Natal should, in theory, be much better for a boxing/fighting game or for the next Dance Dance Revolution type of products. It could also teach you to swing perfectly by comparing your skeletal motion with Tiger Wood’s…

It is however far from being a product and while we think that it mostly works, we wonder how much setup is involved. The video footage that shows how Natal works in the living room

is a concept, Microsoft warns, and while we hope that it will be as good in reality, we are cautiously optimistic.

Theoretically, with Natal you could also hold a rolled-up magazine and use it as a “sword” – no accessory needed. In its promotional video, Microsoft hinted that you could use any objects with Natal and it depends entirely on the application. We have heard that Microsoft has already approached game developers, and that so far, it is “very usable”.

Conclusion

We thought that Sony and Microsoft would have come up with something to counter the Wiimote years ago, but “late” is be better than “never”. Both companies have realized that non-hardcore gamers represent their future growth – that’s what Nintendo itself said too- and if they want to cash on this new manna, they have to have motion-based games that seem so popular.

On the paper, Microsoft’s solution looks to be the most flexible one, but as always the content (and pricing) will dictate its success. In our view, the lack of button is a problem (do you believe in gestures for everything?) that is easy to solve with a cheap, small, wireless controller. But, because it is so different (superior?), developers might take a wait-and-see approach before creating games that cannot be ported to PS3 and Wii even if we expect an initial rush to be bundled with the hardware when it launches.

Sony’s solution is factually better than Nintendo’s and uses relatively known and proven concepts. It looks close enough to be a product, so we don’t expect bad surprises at this point. Sony’s Motion Controller might not be as “cool” as Microsoft’s Natal, but it might be enough to get new gamers on-board, and that’s what counts in the end. We think that because it is closer to Nintendo’s solution, game developer might port their Nintendo titles to the PS3 easily.

Nintendo seems to be the “loser” of this story, but the low price of the Wii will protect them in the short term, and they have another year before competitors have real products. Conceptually, they too could come up with a vision-based solution, although the weakness in processing power would probably come back to bite them in the butt. Another non-negligible fact is the incredible branding credit that Nintendo has acquired in non-gaming (aka new customers) circles. Finally, the Wii might be just “good enough” for these games – at least for this round of consoles. For sure, Nintendo will have to find another trick for its next-generation console.

The gaming world just entered into a new motion sensing arms race. Prepare for sweating!

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8 Comments  

  • dqbeast 1 month ago

    First I would like to state that I own a ps3 and that I think its a pretty good console with great games. I believe xbox’s natal will be fun. It will be a good add on to the 360 to play fighting and some sports games. But in the end I believe that the ps3 motion sensing controllers have more potential due to having a controller and buttons. This will make it easier for game companies to make more in depth like the wii has. Natal on the other hand will have fun mini game style games that will be cool to pick up and play. In the end though, hard core gamers like myself wont really care about the motion sensing and would like to play re5 or lp with their normal controllers.

  • john prince 1 month ago

    ps3 has most potancal

    natal sucks i tryed it

    wii will lose this war in the end

  • It would be interesting to compare how much profit each company has generated from their respective consoles.

  • Jerome 2 months ago

    Not a bad article, but you messed up on a big point.

    The Wii’s control system does allow for absolute positional tracking. The PS3’s scheme achieves this with a fixed-position camera tracking mobile round shapes of a particular color, while the Wii uses a mobile infrared camera to track two fixed points of infrared light. The Wii’s method will entail the reference points not being visible to the camera at times, but this will also happen, though less frequently, with the PS3’s. With either system, internal sensors alone will be relied on for measuring position and orientation until the reference point(s) is/are visible again. In fact, the Playstation Eye camera only has a resolution of 640×480, nowhere near enough, by itself, for the “sub-millimeter accuracy” claimed in the demo. This shows that the internal sensors can track motion and orientation with a higher degree of accuracy than the camera, and mainly rely on it to prevent drift, or accumulated error. This would also hold true with a Motion Plus-equipped Wiimote. The only thing standing in the way of a Motion Plus game tracking absolute position would be the lack of proper calibration options in software.

  • Thanks for the comment. I believe that the Wii’s infrared system can be used only as a pointer (mouse, lightgun), not to track the absolute position of the controller in space. I’m not sure how much credit I would give to the sub-millimeter accuracy claim, if any, although do we need sub-millimeter accuracy for gaming?

  • Facebook User 2 months ago

    Porting Wii titles to PS3 ? You gotta be kidding. Audiences, prices, hardware, differ so wildly that ports between those two are more than unlikely.
    No buttons to Nadal a problem ..? What about those on the 360 controller !? Games will most likely let you use both. I see much more potential in {controller+body motion} control schemes than the latter alone.

    I agree with the bulk of you analysis though.

  • Smartq7.com 2 months ago

    I like it. All games company are innovating. I think that is a good thing!

    ———————
    get Smartq7 at “www.smartq7.com”

  • strider_mt2k 2 months ago

    Good stuff!
    I was wondering about that stuff!

    I just gave my wife a Wii for her birthday, so motion sensing been a topic of discussion.

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    By Jason Chen, 4:00 PM on Tue Aug 25 2009, 53,355 views (Edit, to draft, Slurp)

    The single largest roadblock that prevents most people from picking up a PlayStation 3 is the price. Sony’s just taken that roadblock and shrunk it. You’re now $100 more likely to buy a PlayStation 3.

    The Difference

    The PlayStation 3 Slim is actually more similar to the current PlayStation 3 fat than you’d think. Sony has been slowly phasing out features in the PS3 for a while, dumping USB ports, dumping card readers and dumping the PlayStation 2 backward compatibility. So the step to a Slim, now, isn’t actually that steep, compared to what you’d get if you switched from a launch PS3.

    What you do get with the Slim is a smaller size, a reduced power consumption rate and a lower price. The lower power usage partially comes from the 45nm manufacturing process, and provides a 34% decrease in power consumption. (It’s also 32% smaller and 36% lighter). And, the Slim adds the ability to bitstream Dolby TrueHD and DTS-HD audio, which only matters if you’re an audiophile with a modern sound system. You also get a new matte finish, which makes the console look less “premium”, but eliminates the crazy fingerprint and dust problem the original had. Overall, it’s a net gain in goodness.

    The Experience

    Because it’s basically the same console, the only differences you’re going to notice are audible ones. Like we said in our hands on, the disc drive in the PS3 Slim is louder than in the original PlayStation 3. Think of it like a laptop optical disc drive vs. a desktop optical disc drive. When you’re seeking around, it makes a louder grinding noise than its larger counterpart. This noise makes no difference in Blu-ray movie watching, since it’s all sequential, and is only occasionally encountered in games, especially since many game install bits and pieces to the hard drive.

    Other than that, yeah, it plays the same PS3 games, and it watches the same Blu-ray movies.

    The Takeaway

    Think about the PlayStation 3 and the PlayStation 3 Slim like this. You have two wives (I don’t know, imagine you’re Bill Paxton). Ninety-five percent of the time, they both do pretty much the same things. One is slightly chubbier, the other is slightly svelter. The skinnier one is quieter most of the time, but can get yappy when she can’t find something. The thinner one also costs you a little less money, and…has a matted finish? This metaphor isn’t going anywhere good, but you get the point. They’re basically the same console, except now it’s thinner and cheaper.

    So the only question now is whether or not you should buy a PlayStation 3 now, or wait until September for the PS3 Slim. Both options are $300, but if you want the ability to install Linux, you’ll have to get the PlayStation 3 fat. Then again, the three of you who want that probably already have a PS3.

    By lowering the price and making a more economical console, Sony’s finally more or less evened the hardware landscape with Microsoft, and continued to ensure that the PS3 is still the best-value-for-your-money Blu-ray player. Now all that’s left is getting some more games on there. [Amazon]

    Lighter, thinner, less power hungry

    Way less fingerprinty

    Matted finish and new “squarer” styling might appeal to some, repulse others

    Needs a $24 stand to be stable in the vertical position

    Continues the tradition of removing features (USB ports, backward compatibility, Linux support) in the PS3 to lower the price

    By matt buchanan, 5:00 PM on Tue Aug 25 2009, 17,660 views (Edit, to draft, Slurp)

    With the Sony Reader Daily Edition, the 3G-enabled ebook reader battle is pitched. At the end of this year, it’ll fight Amazon’s Kindle 2 and DX and Plastic Logic‘s eReader to the death. Here’s how they all stack up now:

    Aaaand we can’t not do a proper sizemodo, naturally:

    pr_zune_hd_f Since launching its answer to the iPod in 2006, Microsoft has tantalized us with a combination of the sublime (great music subscription service, built-in FM tuner, wireless syncing) and the profane (awkward hardware, a stubborn unwillingness to play nice with the Xbox 360). But the Zune HD, due this fall, will finally step up the game by integrating into your home entertainment system. You’ll be able to buy and watch videos on your Xbox 360, and, for no extra charge, they’ll download to your Zune HD the next time you plug in. A 3.3-inch OLED screen will make sure those vids look their best. Throw in the first HD Radio receiver on a portable player, and Zune is starting to look like a contender, not a punch line.

     

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