Tag : iPhone

Tiny Lenses Turn Smartphone into Microscope


Smart Micro Optics, a spin-off from the Italian Institute of Technology (IIT), has developed two lenses called Blips, that for the small price of $17 transform a mobile device’s camera into a digital microscope that can magnify subjects up to 30 times, or 80 times using the zoom of the camera.

With these lenses, the average user is introduced to a new world of teeny tiny things. The magnification allows one to take high-resolution pictures or videos of insects as small as a dust mite. With the help of a prepared slide, one can even count the red blood cells in a blood sample. Insane! These are the thinnest microscope lenses for smartphones and tablets in the world, adding a mere 1.5mm to the thickness of the device. I mean the camera is the size of a lentil. I don’t think anyone is going to complain about how much space it is taking up.

“Our dream is to put a high-performance microscope in everyone’s pocket, opening up opportunities for people to learn science or simply having fun in discovering firsthand the world at the micro-scale,” Andrea Antonini, who co-founded Smart Micro Optics with his former IIT boss Tommaso Fellin, tells ZDNet.

Of course since the technology is patent-pending, I couldn’t get much information about the construct of the lenses. We do know that the lenses are made of various kinds of plastic, providing better refractive index than silicone, as used in much of the products on the market today. The top surface of the lenses are designed to be non-sticky, to fight dust problems. The lenses adhere to the camera glass through electrostatic attraction. You can keep the lens attached permanently to the camera, or attached with mobility, ready to use when needed.

Before turning to investors the creators really want to see how customers react to the product, and create some buzz. At $17, I think they will get more than enough buzz to support crowdfunding.



If you would like to educate yourself in more detail about the information presented in this blog post, please visit : www.zdnet.com


Apple it’s about time you retire the 16 GB iphone

The Wall Street Journal reported this past week from an inside source that Cupertino is retiring the 16GB iPhone. The base model of the iPhone 7 is expected to double to 32GB. Currently Apple offers the iPhone 6s in 16GB, 32GB, and 128GB models. The 16GB version of the iPhone was long overdue to be retired. Lets be honest, the iPhone can do way more than 16GB can hold. It has been long advised that consumers buy a higher storage iPhone rather than a less expensive 16GB model. I now have a 64GB iPhone 6 and after nearly two years and 11,706 photos, I still have 14GB of storage free on my device. Plenty of room to install future OS updates, and add to my collection of cat photos. Well worth the money in my opinion.

That being said, if I had skimped on the storage model when I bought my iPhone 6, I would have ran out of space long ago seeing as I have used 41.4 GB of storage to date.

“Hallelujah!” writes the Journal‘s Joanna Stern. “I’ve long said that keeping the 16GB iPhone was just a ploy for Apple to get people to buy the 64GB model—for $100 extra.”

Apple rumors are still in full swing as we approach the release of a new model this following year. Reports have been made that Apple plans to incorporate only minor changes to the new iPhone 7, such as the removal of the headphone plug  which should make the device thinner. We have also heard that Apple will keep the same screen size as released with the iPhone 6, the 4.7 inch and 5.5 inch models. However, the iPhone’s 10th Anniversary is fast approaching in 2017 which leads many to speculate that big changes are in the works. Guess we’ll just have to wait and see!


Apple approaches enterprise and partners with SAP

apple-sap-1200x520Apple is making headway in the enterprise market, adding another major partnership to their resume, SAP. Apple will work alongside to develop more native iOS apps as well as an SDK for SAP’s HANA cloud platform. The SDK element is meant to open the door for the more than 2.5 million SAP users to develop and build native iOS apps that can access real time data through SAP systems. The agreement between Apple and SAP also includes a new “SAP Academy for iOS” in which SAP customers and partners are invited to meet face-to-face, learning how to design apps for iPhones and iPads.

Apple CEO Tim Cook relays his excitement about the deal by saying, “With 76 percent of business transactions touching an SAP system, SAO is the ideal partner to help us truly transform how businesses around the world are run on iPhone and iPad,”Cook said this week. Apple has said that roughly 310,000 businesses and public agencies use SAP applications and services.

During the past two years Apple has made some major deals. IBM, Cisco, and now SAP, many in the industry are predicting Oracle is next on the list for Apple. This would be a good move for Apple, as Oracle is one of the last pieces to the enterprise puzzle.


If you would like to educate yourself in more detail about the information presented in this blog post please visit:Apple’s SAP deal means more iOS enterprise apps


The Almighty Apple finally falls!…well sorta


Apple released financial reports this week that revealed a decline in quarterly revenue, something that hasn’t happened since 2003. In terms of product, Apple sold 51.2 million iPhones compared to 61.17 million iPhones sold in the same quarter last year.

As Jason Perlow, writer for Tech Broiler states, Apple sits on billions of dollars in cash assets. However, the core product of the Apple corporation is the iPhone, making up 68% of revenue. Perlow points out that the smartphone market is beginning to resemble that of the PC market. What has been done, is being done again and again. Smartphone innovation  is almost to the point of little advancement, and will eventually give up shares to more price-aggressive Chinese products.

Aggressive prediction, but he has a point. Most of the model advancements we witness on the latest editions of smartphones are standard, improved battery life, sharper display, faster downloads and cloud storage. Nothing too major.

As Perlow writes, “Apple does not play by the same rules the rest of the industry does. This is both an advantage and a disadvantage.” One of Apple’s best skills is creating brand loyalty within its customers. Much of how Apple sustains itself is due to repeat customers, buying their products over and over again. How many of us are filled with excitement and joy at the hint of a new Apple product release? I’ll speak for myself here, I am a shining example of the usual Apple consumer. I have two Apple smartphones, both the 6 and the 5c, an iPad, and a Macbook. I began with one device and once I learned how to navigate the Apple “language” so to speak, I was hooked.

But is this enough? Perlow doesn’t seem to think so. He makes a valid point that once someone creates something that capitalizes on the Apple magic, but for a much cheaper price, most of Apple’s loyal fan base will probably jump ship. Once the displays, the RAM, flash, batteries and so on can be manufactured in China, Apple and Samsung are going to have some major competition.

Are we worried? Not really. Apple has close to 200 Billion dollars in cash assets just sitting, and they have braved lows like this before. Usually a downturn like this one leads to a peak innovation cycle for Apple.

Go figure.


If you would like to educate yourself in more detail about the information presented in this blog post please visit: Here comes the iPhone apocalypse and the end of Apple as we know it


Your smartphone may be dumping Gorilla Glass for Sapphire Glass?

Currently sapphire is the second hardest material behind that of a diamond and is currently used in certain military armor. If some sapphire creating startups have their way, they will be able to make it cheap enough to put into many other products, such as tablets, smartphones, and TVs. Really the uses are endless. This material is a little weaker than a diamond but it is much cheaper and abundant than that of diamonds.

Sapphire is a transparent, crystalline form of aluminum oxide that is extraordinarily hard, scratch-resistant, a melting point of 2,030C, and almost completely impermeable and impervious to caustic chemicals. Essentially 10 times more scratch resistant than glass used in windows.

Although sapphire costs about $30 compared to the $3 Gorilla Glass costs for you iPhone per say, but it will also prevent us from seeing those shattered iPhones screens that come around every now and again. If they are able to make the stuff cheap enough I say why not, but our smartphones already come at a pretty penny and I would hate to see that go up even more but I guess the costs of staying on the cutting edge might be well worth it.

Check out the vid…


Google now hits iOS devices

Google now has been on android devices for over a year now and just today it was announced that it is now available on iOS devices. Google now basically helps you manage your day to day tasks. From boarding passes, to appointments, weather, reservations, and more.  It essentially syncs with your desktop as well and you can see it on your phone for hours to come.

Check out the short video.


Siri Data Storage

Just like other companies that hold on to your data from devices for a certain length of time, Apple is no different. Tracy Muller, an Apple spokesperson has clarified how Siri stores its data. It caught our attention here at bva since our company phones are iPhones.

One thing that Muller described that I liked is that Apple doesn’t save your Apple ID or e-mail address along with the data, instead the company generates a random number for the user and that is what is associated with the voice files. She continued to explain that after these voice files are separated from voice clips after six months. Then they can sit for another 18 months. Muller went on to explain that the data can be deleted if the voice-assistant is turned off at any time.


Use Apple Configurator to deploy iPhones and iPads

Apple’s Configurator tool allows you to configure and deploy up to 30 iOS devices at a time.  The free app allows you to configure settings like Wi-fi and Exchange ActiveSync, and well as restrict access to features like the webcam and even internet browsing.


Apple support: http://help.apple.com/configurator/mac/1.0/#cadf1802aed

Download here:  http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/apple-configurator/id434433123?mt=12

4Sync – Syncing Files so you can access them virtually anywhere

I wrote a blog previously about Dropbox. An application that allows you to sync a folder so that you can access it over the internet, or on whatever PC you have dropbox installed on. I love the application, the only pitfall is that it only gives you 2gb of free space, after which you need to start paying a monthly fee to get more space. I found another application today called 4Sync, its basically the exact same $9.95. Not too bad. I decided to try it out today and I was able to sync a folder and have the folder replicated on two different PC’s. I can also access the files logging into the 4Sync website at www.4sync.com or there is even an app for my iPhone that works very well. I was able to open various files and documents with no issues.

Near Field Communication (NFC)

Something promising that i read up on recently was the concept of Near Field Communication. Essentially near field communication or NFC for short, consists of a close-range radio chip that is in your phone or other personal electronic devices and it will allow you to access different devices or rooms based on the settings. The current interesting use is for turning your cell phone into a key for a hotel, or a key-card lock. Personally I would love to just walk up to my house or hotel room and put my phone in front of the door which would allow me to access my room. Consolidating everything into one would be a great accomplishment.

This could also be potentially used for a variety of things. It wouldn’t necessarily have to be put into a cell phone but it could be in other devices as well. Maybe a car key or something of that nature. The nice thing is that they can be reprogrammed for anything.

If you lose your device, your access can easily be revoked through the management system. It is currently being pioneered in Sweden by a lock maker company Assa Abloy.

I think this is pretty neat and would love to see it in action.