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How Curved Screen Technology is Making its Way Onto the Market
In the world of consumer electronics, it seems like there are new innovations all the time that make their way onto the market. In screen technology, the most recent innovation is curved screens.
Of course, if you are familiar with going to the movies, curved screens is nothing new. Cinema screens are often curved due to the way the picture is projected onto the screen. Curved screens are now making their debut on a much smaller scale, like the television and smartphone market.
How Curved Screen Technology Works
On a curved television, the image projected onto the screen is obviously rear projected and provides a much wider field of view than a standard flat screen television. The goal of a curved television is supposed to be to provide a cinema-like experience on very large televisions, like th 78-inch UHD TV from Samsung.
The curves bend outwards on the side of the screen. The further you are away from the television, the less you even notice that the image you are watching is being emitted on a curved screen. The actual curves are only noticeable when you are within a few feet of the screen, but from any viewpoint, the picture quality is extremely sharp. On some of the television screens, there is a way you can switch to a flat screen if you prefer, by simply pushing a button.
While smartphones certainly do not fall into the category of “very large” screens, there are certainly benefits to having curved phones or tablets. The curvature on a smart phone reduces any reflections that diminish from the screen’s brightness, contrast and color. The curvature also directs ambient light outside of your line of sight.
Curved Screen Devices Currently Available
Samsung and LG have led the way when it comes to curved screen technology. Both companies released curved television screens at the Consumer Electronics Show in January. The two companies also released curved phones within the last year. One of the most prominent curved smartphones out on the market right now is the LG G Flex from T-Mobile, which is indeed flexible. This phone’s screen quality is pinpoint sharp.
When you first look at it and hold it in your hands, you might think it’s a broken or fake phone, but it’s not. According to LG, the phone may be bent flat up to 180 degrees and you have to be careful not to bend it inward or twist.
You may be thinking that it might be too difficult to hold a curved phone or find a case for it or even store it flat. A curved phone might actually fit into your pocket easier than a flat phone because it can use the curvature of your leg to sit. And if you store it in your purse, it would be a lot easier to find than a flat phone due to the probable amount of flat accessories you keep in your purse as it is.
Electronic manufacturers know that this is the year for curved screen technology. The next time you walk past a television or smartphone display, you might need to take a second look. An electronics device with a curved screen is no joke, it’s actually one of the latest developments in technology.
Does Google Glass Have a Place Behind the Wheel?
Who would have thought that a speeding ticket could have such a large impact on the tech community?
When a California judge recently dismissed a ticket that was handed out to a driver wearing Google Glass behind the wheel, eyes were opened. While the ruling is limited to this particular case (and there is still much to be debated on the legality of utilizing Google Glass while driving) such a decision could potentially open the door for a number of integrated applications on this and similar platforms. We will touch on a few interesting developments and highlight some differing opinions on whether this new technology is a distraction or step forward for driver safety.
An Optimistic Outlook
According to a story from DigitalTrends.com, Google Glass could be “the most beneficial gadget to ever enter the vehicle.” While it could certainly be argued that increased connectivity for a vehicle operator might lead to increased distraction (checking email, internet browsing, watching videos), the flipside is that some applications could be likened to a highly sophisticated heads-up display (HUD).
Navigation, weather conditions and car functionality could all be fed to the driver without their eyes ever leaving the road. When you compare this to turning knobs, pressing buttons and averting your focus to a smartphone, it is definitely seen as an improvement. What will still be debated, however, is whether “eyes on the road” directly correlates to increased concentration. Studies have previously shown that, even with a hands-free device and focus straight ahead, talking on the phone is still a dangerous distraction.
Backlash and Debate
While Google Glass is still only the hands of developers, the impending release to consumers will certainly drum up a lot of debate on how safe it really is for you to operate a vehicle and this device at the same time. Several states and the United Kingdom have already hinted at banning Google Glass while behind the wheel. Like anything else, the technology could and certainly will be abused, but along the same vein as cell phone blockers and other add-ons, ways to restrict use while operating a fleet vehicle could be made available.
Potential for the Future
The potential is obviously huge for what could be done with this increased connectivity, especially when it comes to business applications and a fleet of vehicles. Just as companies today have been in a rush to utilize smartphone applications in their daily routines, we could soon see custom apps for the connected driver.
You can use your imagination when it comes to the possible uses for a HUD that is easily controlled with eye movement. Routing instructions could easily be updated on the fly. Vehicle diagnostics and trouble codes could be sent directly to your vehicle maintenance software and the right mechanic could be found in seconds. When it comes to the potential for added safety, there is already an app available for Google Glass that keeps drivers awake and alert. Hyundai has even gone as far as adding a Google Glass app that allows for advanced interaction with their 2015 Genesis model.
What will the long term impact be for consumers, companies and fleets? Only time will tell…
Gaming in 2014: the Year of Mobile Games?
While the majority of young people and gaming fanatics will be asking Santa for the Xbox One or PlayStation 4 this Christmas, it’s worth remembering that there are plenty of other gaming platforms out there that are serious contenders to the console for the title of the “King of the Gaming Platforms.”
Over the years, we’ve moved away from the traditional King, the arcade game, especially in the UK where there are very few arcades left and those that are still around offer simulators such as Gran Turismo as opposed to the more traditional games like Pac Man. The console remains popular right around the world with new titles released across the range of genres on what seems to be a weekly basis, but online and mobile gaming have come to the fore front in recent months, with the meccabingo slots and Angry Birds, to name just two examples, proving to be among the most popular.
The Internet and mobile devices have changed how we perceive gaming. No longer is the perception of geeky teenage boys playing in their bedroom all alone with multiple screens, a bowl of popcorn and the lights turned off reality. Sure, they might be sitting alone in their room, but thanks to the web, they can now play with and against their friends, communicating via live chat features or head-sets.
While everything we could possibly want from a game is a possibility – the enjoyment factor, the latest innovations, and the ability to play with friends – the ability to play anytime, anywhere is possible thanks to the development of mobile devices and the number of games made with these features in mind. Smartphones and tablet computers are everywhere, and the quality of the processors and graphics have made them the ideal platform for gamers to get their quick-fix of lunchtime or evening-commute gaming.
Throughout 2013, the top of the download charts on smartphones and tablets have been regularly taken up by games, in the free and paid-for categories. Titles such as Temple Run, and even the FIFA series have made topped the charts, keeping children entertained on long journeys for hours, as well as helping us to find out few minutes of relaxation with a quiz app that we’ve downloaded to get away from everyday life.
In 2014, mobile gaming will explode further… Yes this is possible!
Live Mobile! Congress Reveals Massive Growth in Mobile Markets
Russia’s largest mobile conference reveals year-on-year 40% smartphone growth, 140% tablet growth, and projected 71% growth in mobile gaming by 2016.
Moscow and San Francisco – November 22, 2013 – The largest mobile conference in Russia—and one of the largest mobile events in Europe—Live Mobile! European Mobile Congress has revealed surprising new insights into mobile marketing, mobile hardware, carrier services, and applications.
Speaking at the event, Alisa Chumachenko, founder and CEO of Game Insight — the event’s subject matter expert — said, “For the second year in a row, we’ve acted as an organizer for this conference. And considering the incredible growth of mobile in Europe — especially in Russia — we feel that such events are very important for the development of the industry. Events like Live Mobile! are essential, because we all need to be aware of current changes and share our experiences with each other. Game Insight is happy to be the organizer and subject matter expert for Live Mobile!, and we hope that the event will be even more successful next year.”
A point reiterated by many experts at the conference was the increasing use of smartphones and tablets among younger audiences, and how these users are open to incentivized in-app or cross-promo advertisements. Representatives from mobile analytics agencies, AppAnnie and Flurry, reinforced this point, stating that games are now the leading category driving app store revenue, having increased some 125% in revenue year-on-year since 2012 by way of the now market-dominating in-app purchase business model.
In addition, the Russian mobile application market is projected to see rapid and continued growth in the next three years, with tablet applications projected to grow 109% between now and 2016 (compared to just 86% worldwide). The Russian gaming market in particular is projected to grow 71%, between now and 2016, from 38 million players to an estimated 65 million. And as of September 2013, Russia has become third in combined iOS and Google Play game downloads, only being surpassed by the United States at #1, and China at #2. Specifically, Russia appears to be an extremely desirable market for iPad game developers — some 40% of all iOS games downloaded in Russia were for Apple’s tablet computer, with the Russian mobile game market overall being dominated by strategy and arcade game titles.
Key Insights from Live Mobile! 2013:
- More than 50% of Russian tablet users consume mobile video, daily
- More than 50% of Russian smartphone/tablet users access mobile internet, daily
- More than 50% of Russian mobile users play mobile games, daily
- More than 50% of Russian mobile users are not opposed to incentivized in-app ads
- More than 60% of Russian mobile users access social media via a mobile device- Social network VKontakte is twice as popular as Facebook in Russia among mobile users
Past Twelve Months (2012-2013):
- Russian mobile internet growth: +2.6% iPad, +5.7% iPhone & Android
- Russia’s mobile internet penetration increased 55% overall
- Russian smartphone penetration increased from 12.3M to 17.4M (40% growth)
- Russian tablet penetration increased from 2.5M to 6.0M (140% growth)- Russia has moved up over the past year to become the #3 country in combined iOS and Google Play game downloads
Past Three Years (2010-2013):
- Russian mobile video audiences have grown tenfold, from 2M to 20M
- In comparison, USA mobile video audiences have grown 2.5x, from 30M to 80M
- Russian Java games have decreased in market share 3x; mobile games increased by 20x
Additional: Worldwide Mobile Usage Among Young People:
- 18% of children 8-11 years of age use or have access to a smartphone or a tablet computer
- 62% of children 12-15 years of age use or have access to a smartphone
- 26% of children 12-15 years of age use or have access to a tablet computer
- 42% of children 5-15 years of age user or have access to a tablet; only 14% did in 2012
Does Technology Create Behaviour or Does Behaviour Create Technology?
The relationship we have with technology is symbiotic. If you have ever been deprived of your smartphone for 24 hours or lost signal on your GPS in the depths of the countryside, you might believe there is some truth to this!
This interdependence raises an interesting question — do our gizmos and gadgets dictate the way we behave? Or do the way we behave dictate their creation and evolution? Below, you will find a handful of examples that demonstrate both.
Technology Creating Behaviour
Timeshifting - We no longer watch TV in the traditional manner. Instead, we catch up on demand, whenever and wherever. For example: Sky+, iPlayer, Apple TV, Google TV, etc.
Showrooming - The high street has become our showroom; we used to browse, touch, and try on what we wanted. And, then, out comes the smartphone, connecting us to the web where we can get the same for less. Some examples include: Amazon, Google Shopper, mydeco.com, CloudTag, StreetHub, etc.
Transient ownership - Our cars, houses and bicycles were once big, costly decisions we had to live with long term. Now we no longer need to invest and own the burden, instead, renting them for the time we need, or owning short term and selling on when finishedZipCar, eBay, AirBnB, Zoopla, Rent the Runway, etc. are a few services that contribute to this category.
Just-In-Time living - We can truly curate and control our lives on the go and book just-in-time, whether it be restaurants, hotels, holidays, trains, taxi’s and planes. Our mobiles now enable us to do all this on the fly. Some companies that made this possible are: OpenTable, Hailo, Uber, Travel Apps, etc.
Revealing - We are sharing and revealing more of ourselves online — both in mind and body! Our audience scales from one to the world — intimate family photos shared with select circles and our thoughts and observations open to whomever wants to read them. Created by: Facebook, Twitter, Google+ Snapchat etc
Growth of the internet - The abundance of searches has created a need for answers. We are seeing an increasing trend towards the growth of the internet, where a specialist or dedicated group exists for your every interest. Some examples include: Facebook fan pages, Ning, Glopho, PlatterHQ, etc.
Behaviour creating technology
Connecting - It’s our nature to be social — to form connections and relationships with those around us. Due to this, multiple apps and sites have sprung up over the years to facilitate this behavior, resulting in: Badu, Tinder, etc.
Overloading - If we’re good at one thing, it’s keeping busy — Work, chores, to-do lists, kids, or hobbies. It’s becoming increasingly difficult to make time for the little tasks we keep putting off, like painting the wall, clearing the shed, and getting to the pet store to pick up supplies. Services like Taskrabbit and Zaarly allow us to pay someone else to do this.
Talking - As the devices in our pockets have evolved, the hands that hold them and the minds that control them have not kept up. Ever tried tapping that fidgety on-screen keyboard for directions or information while walking or driving? It can be incredibly frustrating, which is why we often revert to calling on the run rather than texting or emailing. In what seems like a step back in terms of interface (remember Nokia’s attempts many phones ago?) and a leap forward in terms of technology, companies are harnessing the power of vocal control and command, resulting in: Siri and Google Now
Gesturing - Gesture based interaction is another example of creating natural interfaces between user and device. When we do things like talk to people or interact with objects, we do so through physical movements. We cease these movements the moment we connect to a device, until now. The Kinect, Wii, Move, iOS, Leap Motion, etc. takes advantage of gesturing to maintain a more natural way to virtually access things.
Hoarding - Looking at nearby desktops, it’s clear that we like to hoard stuff, no matter how unimportant: documents, folders, photos, music, and notes piling and tiling across the screen. Whether it’s a dusty Renoir reproduction or a compilation of funny cat gifs, we need places to keep these files safe online and offline. This resulted in the development of numerous digital and physical storage services, such as Dropbox, Drive, Boxbee, etc.
The relationship we have with technology is interdependent, and mutually influential in the way we co evolve. Think about the devices and services you use and how you have influenced and been influenced by their design and functionality.
The Gadget Lover’s Amazon
Love can be crazy, and when it is for gadgets, it couldn’t be crazier! “The Gadget Flow” understands your immense attraction for gadgets and that is why it has come up as an online platform to keep you updated with the coolest gadgets on the web.
Founded in 2012 by Cloudie Co. The Gadget Flow is the ultimate buyer’s guide for gadgets. Its goal is to enhance everyone’s online shopping experience by discovering and showcasing the coolest gadgets available on the web in one location.
Included in The Gadget Flow is the wish list option. The feature allows you to keep track of your favorite gadgets by creating a private wish list for future reference. The team behind the scenes is constantly optimizing and enhancing the UI of the website and app in order to convert simple website visits or app downloads into unique and engaging experiences.
The initial idea came to us in August 2012. We were struggling to find some cool gift ideas and realized that we weren’t the only ones. Within 2 days we managed to launch the first version of The Gadget Flow and more than 5,000 people visited our website within 24 hours; clearly it was a sign that people loved the concept.
We are obsessed with great design and quality content. That’s one of the reasons why Gadget Flow became successful in the first place. Each gadget we publish goes through quality control and has to be approved by at least four to five people in order to get showcased. By following this strategy, we’ve managed to have a collection of more than 2,500 handpicked gadgets.
We’ve helped entrepreneurs and innovators turn brilliant ideas into real gadgets and are proud of that. We are dedicated in finding you the coolest gadgets of the web and in making your life easier. That’s our goal, that’s our passion, and 14M visitors per year prove that we are doing it right.