When we saw the first video of Google’s augmented reality, full vision glasses all we wanted to know is when we could get ahold of a pair. Now it seems that the full vision dream that we all see in videos may not become a reality. The glasses are now being described a bit differently as floating above the user’s line of vision like the brim of a hat.
This can be seen in the concept drawings of the Google glasses as a small bar about eyebrow height on one side of the glasses. The design alone shows that the glasses would not completely cover your line of sight. Google has already submitted patents with the design above for both prescription and non-prescription to confirm this will be the near final design.
While we are a bit disappointed in the actual design there is still a good use for glasses that don’t cover your full vision. While we wont be playing the first person shooters that we have seen using the full line of sight earlier concepts we will likely see some useful features like facial recognition and navigation.
Near Orbit Vanguard Alliace 3 which is the sequel to Gameloft’s 2012 title N.O.V.A 2: The Hero Rises has been officially announced. N.O.V.A 3 should prove to have much better graphics and some added features. The N.O.V.A series has thus far been praised as one of the best First Person Shooter’s available on mobile devices.
There is little information available about the new N.O.V.A title although is said to be powered by the Unreal Engine. This being said we can go ahead and assume that the hardware requirements will be up there (dual-core or better we suspect). Gameloft has promised to release more information shortly so only time will tell.
The video above shows Kal Wardin the lead character in N.O.V.A crash landing as he enters Earth’s atmosphere trying to get to San Fransisco. It shows us nothing of gameplay features although Gameloft does tend to do a very good job with action trailers. N.O.V.A 3 will be releasing for both Android and iOS.
The LG Optimus Vu is being teased by LG on its blog as the video you see above. While LG hasn’t really gone into any detail about the Optimus Vu we do see that it has a 5-inch display on a 4:3 aspect ratio. Some other features that have been reported but not verified are below.
LG Optimus Vu Reported Features:
Android 2.3 Gingerbread
1.5GHz dual-core processor
8GB internal storage
We aren’t sure yet if we will ever see the Optimus Vu in the US but will probably get more information at Mobile World Congress this year. We will update you on the Optimus Vu as more information comes available.
Since the Android 4.0.3 source code has been made available via the Android Open Source Project we can expect many new ports of Ice Cream Sandwich to devices. One device that has already seen some action from the development community is the Motorola Xoom seen above.
Since the Motorola Xoom was the first Honeycomb tablet we knew it would be early on the port list. Running Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich on the Xoom makes it not only feel like a brand new device but also runs as smooth as if it was meant for it.
While Motorola has already stated that the Xoom will get an official update to Android 4.0 those of you that want it ahead of schedule may get it unofficially. The video above comes courtesy of DroidNerd via YouTube. We will let you know when the port is available for public consumption.
Asus promised everyone that their new Transformer Prime would run Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich soon after release. This seems to hold true since NVIDIA has already posted a video of the Transformer Prime running ICS on Youtube. The Prime will come out of the box with Android 3.0 Honeycomb at release in December.
There is no special features revealed in the video although it is the first time we’ve seen an official Ice Cream Sandwich build on an OEM tablet. This is of course a very early build with many bugs and slow moving although shows promise that the device will get the Android 4.0 update quickly.
Its nice to see Asus diving into the future as fast as they are. We expect to see the OTA update on the Transformer Prime early January although could see at as early as Christmas … wouldn’t that be a nice present.
We have all dropped our phone or tablet at some time of another and many times had them break depending on the device. The Amazon Kindle Fire and the Barnes & Noble Nook Tablet are both new highly purchased devices already. So which one of these devices can handle a little abuse?
We have seen a few other drop tests on phones but this time its a much larger device and brought to us by Gizmo Slip. As you can see above they are dropping the devices from various heights on carpet and concrete to see how they hold up. You can clearly see that when dropped face down on concrete which one wins the test.
Last month in Hong Kong one of the biggest new features that was announced with Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich was the “Face Unlock” feature. This feature allows you to secure your phone by scanning your face and unlocking it the same way.
Tim Bray had stated that the new face unlock feature could not be tricked with a photograph by saying “Come on give Google a little Credit”. Of course if you look at the video above you can see that he was wrong. Not only does a photo trick the face unlock feature but it does it almost flawlessly 3 times in a row.
While the video does not seem to support its claims completely since the entire process is not documented. It does look to trick it rather well. It would be good to see the picture being taken from start to finish.
Lockitron is in the process of creating door locks that are controlled by your NFC (near field communication) enabled Android phone. This could create an atmosphere where nobody would ever need a set of keys to get into their homes. One of the most notable features is the ability to remotely let someone into your house and lock the door behind them when they leave without ever getting up.
The system that Lockitron is working on would be a set of hardware that talks with your router for the “mobile keys” to lock or unlock them. The system will allow a user with an NFC enabled Android device to lock and unlock their doors from anywhere they have an internet connection. The new app driven set of keys will also allow you to text message someone with a one time unlock code to unlock your door as well so that you never have to worry about people getting into your house more than the one time.
It looks like the system will come in at around $300 and of course will require your phone to have the NFC chip in it to function. So currently the only devices that will work with this cool new technology would be the Galaxy Nexus and Nexus S although we are sure to see many more over the next few months.
Samsung announced its Galaxy Note a while back and AndroidPolice recently posted a commercial that Samsung released. While Samsung was trying to create a hybrid phone tablet they did a pretty good job. Im not sure how many people are in the market for such a large phone but it does what its supped to. Its a hybrid tablet phone that has a built in stylus and very nice display.
There has been a lot of talk about the release of the Asus Transformer Prime (Transformer 2). Asus has released a teaser video for their new quad-core Kal-El tablet seen above.
This new Transformer will be thinner and lighter than its predecessor and with the announcement of Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich it can be expected on this new device. There are actually discussions that show this as the first tablet to be released with the new ICS Android OS.
We have heard a lot about NFC (Near Field Communication) over the past year although haven’t really been able to figure out how it would be used until now. We did however know that it was primarily for making payments with your mobile device but there is so much more to this new little technology.
NFC has been brought to Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich in the form of “Android Beam” allowing people to not only make payments from their enabled device but also transfer information. All you have to do is simply tap two NFC enabled devices to share almost any information on the device. Some of the items that can be shared are youtube videos, contact information, maps, websites, and even apps.
We are excited to test out this new feature and are glad that Google also released the SDK (software development kit) along side this feature to allow developers to get creative with it from the start.