Category : Gadgets

Microsoft’s HoloLens Platform is Open to Partners

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Microsoft took a leap this week, deciding to open it’s Windows Holographic platform to hardware developers creating virtual and augmented reality devices. Windows 10 partners can create their own mixed-reality worlds for users to both communicate and work, thanks to the same software that powers Microsoft HoloLens. Microsoft has invited it’s hardware partners to build PCs, displays and accessories with the Windows Holographic platform.

Microsoft wants users and partners alike to visualize using a VR device and being able to see their hands as they manipulate an object, or even bringing in a holographic representation of a person, object, or concept into a users personal virtual reality in order to collaborate on big projects. Microsoft is looking a the bigger picture by encouraging partners to take a jump  with their HoloLens platform. Already working with partners such as Intel, AMD, Qualcomm, HTC, Dell, Lenovo, and more, that jump doesn’t look so unimaginable. The Windows Holographic includes a holographic shell ans interaction model, perception APIs and Xbox Live services. The HoloLens 3D augmented reality headset is untethered and rather than taking a users entire field of vision like VR gadgets, the HoloLens adds 3D objects to the real world vision of the user. The newest version of the reality headset is already in the works, which will encompass even more capabilities such as multi-tasking, new voice commands, photo applications, Bluetooth for devices, and support for the Edge Web browser.

Personally, I can’t wait to get my hands on one of these even if just for a little test, and if Microsoft is successful in their efforts that shouldn’t be too hard to do.

 


 

If you would like to educate yourself in more detail about the information presented in this blog post please visit: Microsoft Opens HoloLens Platform to Partners

Whats Up HTC 10

The HTC 10 had no choice but to revamp their design in order to compete with the Samsung Galaxy S7. A mere 5.6 ounces the phone feels more solid than previous models especially the G5. The back of the phone is curved, even rocking when placed on a flat surface. The front has a 5.3 inch, 2,560 by 1,440 Super LCD 5 screen. There is a physical home button complete with a fingerprint reader below the screen.

The design may have improved but the hardware still the same as the S7 and G5 with  2.2 GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 820 processor and 4 GB of Ram. Although not wireless charging, the phone houses a USB-C jack on the bottom of the phone and supports Quickcharge 3.0.

What really makes the HTC 10 pop in terms of customer attraction is the audio. The 10 uses two speakers, a front facing tweeter at the top and toward the bottom an edge facing woofer. This combination leads to less distortion than you receive on many other smart phones on the market. The 10 comes with a “hi res certified” headset worth about $90. A pretty nice gift if you ask me. You can tune the headset to your hearing preferences and capabilities by listening to a series of tones. The headphone amp is one of the most powerful with 1v amp connected to a 24-bit DAC.

Different than other smartphones, the photo gallery app and calendar have been replaced with Google Photos and Google Calendar. In addition the phone is pre-loaded with Facebook, Messanger, and Instagram. Not a social media wizard? Don’t get your hopes up for a cleaner phone, these pre-loaded apps are not permitted for deletion.

The HTC 10 will be available in the next coming weeks for pre-order from T-Mobile, Sprint, and Verizon for about $699.

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If you would like to educate yourself in more detail about the information presented in this blog post please visit: Hands On With the HTC 10

Has Faxing become Extinct?

Here at BVA 90% of what I see coming into the office is advertisment. I was reading an article today about the upward momentum using fax machines have been getting lately. There are a couple of things that I either didn’t realize or I didn’t think about when it comes to using faxes.

For one thing it’s somewhat safer comparing it to e-mailing. There are more options now with faxing since when it came out over two decades ago. Companies can do cloud-based faxing, fax servers, and on-premise fax options. With on or off premise along with hyrid options the sky is the limit.

According to Davidson Consulting they state that FoIP market will groww possibly 10% in the next 4 years. So the next time you look at your fax machine collecting dust think about the possibilities.

The App for Families

I am one  of the many parents here at bva and I enjoy seeing apps that are a little more sophisticated then Angry Birds. Alert.us is a recently launched app that helps ease a parents mind regarding their children’s safety.

While their are some other apps on the market geared towards children’s safety, the creators of Alert.us have a different goal in mind, to have kids accept and recommend the app. This is a tough feet considering many kids out there old enough to have a smart phone want anything else but to be tracked by it.

This app’s key feature is the emergency alert system to tell a group of pre-selected list (i.e. family, friends, neighbors) when a child is in need of help. Aside from that it also alerts a parent when the child has reached the house or school via a geofenced alerting function.

Other than the solid safety features it also includes a battery monitoring function along with a family message board which seems like a great idea. Granted my daughter isn’t old enough for me let her go anywhere on her own, I know that phase of parenthood is only a couple of years away. This type of technology does not make up for a parent’s presence but I would feel better if we had this app when the time comes.

 

Computer “Deal of the Week”

If you’re looking for a great deal on a laptop, we here at bva have found one for you! If you use the coupon code located near the bottom of the picture on the left and go to this website you can save $300. The Dell Inspiron has some great reviews if you’re looking to compare some items for your next purchase.

Passthoughts?

Curious about what the future of inputting passwords into a computer are? Well, we here at bva just spotted something that takes electroencephalograms (EEGs) and turns that into password identification. A research team at UC Berkeley School of Information was able to take a Neurosky MindSet headset and identify themselves to a computer.

Click here to read the whole press release from Berkeley to get a better understanding of how this awesome device works.

 

What is Microsoft Surface’s fate?

With Microsoft Surface sales not reaching its expected quota it leaves us at BVA asking the question of what is next for the tablet? Since they have sold 1.5 million units in total which is a much lower number than they were expecting (roughing 2 million during the holiday season). Now comparing that to Apple’s numbers of 22.9 million iPads during the fourth quarter of 2012 you can see its like comparing apples to oranges.

What should we be expecting in the near future with this all too expected battle between Microsoft and Apple? Well, Apple has stated that they will be coming out with a 128GB iPad which is obviously competing with the Surface Pro. Then we have Microsoft paving the way for a smaller sized tablet to compete with the mini tablet market that has become quite popular over the last few months.

Whether the Surface sales start picking up or it goes into the history books next to the ill-fated Zune player, only time will tell. As always, the team here at BVA will keep our eyes on for you.

 

 

Google Glass

We here at BVA hear rumors about new wearable technology and taking it to the next level, Google Glass is one such item that we can’t wait to see for ourselves. Smartphones move over because it’s not about doing things from the palm of your hands anymore, soon all we will need is a pair of glasses and a voice command.  Visit this page to read all about the best parts of what Google Glass has to offer.

ThinkPad T431

BVA just caught sight of Lenovo’s new ThinkPad T431, and it seems quite impressive. This updated model has gotten a complete makeover from the new color to it’s improved graphic performance.The company took almost a year of research alone to create this new laptop and it looks like it paid off well. Click here to read the changes they made and how they got there.

Kyocera Torque

Are you looking for a 4G smart phone that is a durable enough to take a little beating every now and then? If so the Kyocera Torque may be the phone you have been looking for. It caught our eye here at BVA, so I did a little digging and this is what I came up with.

The Torque offers Android 4.0 and comes equiped with a impact resistant 4-inch LCD screen.

One downsize to the phone that is see is its 1.5 megapixel front camera and a 5.0 megapixel rear camera. For me, I have replaced my camera with my cell phone for it wouldn’t suit my needs, however that’s just a personal preference.

With that being said one awesome feature is it’s bragging rights in the battery life area. It hold a 19 hour battery lifespan which is pretty impressive when it comes to smartphones. It even has an Eco function where it will shut down certain features, like vibrating alerts when the power comes close to empty.

Considering the features it plays up like the battery life, the durability, and the speakers I can see who they are trying to target this phone to. It does not have the latest and greatest software but it sure has some awesome perks for people who want a smart phone but they don’t want to have to have to worry about breaking it every time they take it out of their pocket.

It will be available this spring through Sprint and will be $100 after a $50 mail-in rebate after signing up for a 2 year plan.