Take a look at the future of mobile virtual reality with the String Labs Augmented Reality Showcase app for the iPhone. This amazing new application is a tech demo from String Labs, celebrating the launch of their brand new augmented reality platform. Download the free app from the iTunes app store, and head over to the String Labs website to print out the five available image targets.
Choose from Pharaoh's Fury, Clayful, Scrawl, Proto, and Sneaker. When you launch the app, you can focus your rear camera on the image targets, and play with the games and utilities that show up in virtual reality. There are fun games, creative artistic drawings, and random virtual three eyed pets to play with. Check out our video, where we walk you through each one of the five image targets, and give you a taste of the technology. Take a look at the future of mobile virtual reality, and imagine all the possibilities.
What do you like about these new applications? Can you dream up an innovative way to use augmented reality? Share your idea's with us in the comments below.
Read More | String Labs
Aliph has made top-quality mono Bluetooth headsets for years, but the company has generally stayed away from the murky world of Bluetooth stereo. That changes with the Jawbone Jambox speaker set ($199.99 direct), the company's first foray into stereo. It's a small, battery-powered speaker that can play music from a wired or Bluetooth connection from your cell phone and also function as a speakerphone. It packs a surprising amount of punch for such a tiny device, and while it doesn't sound perfect, it's surprisingly good.
The Jambox looks like a cross between an Aliph Jawbone Icon ($69, 4 stars) headset and a brick. It's perfectly rectangular, with stark, straight lines. The top and bottom of the speaker are capped with hard rubber, and the metal grill between them wraps all the way around the body. The grill has a diamond pattern, evoking the look of Aliph's headsets. At 6 by 2.2 by 1.6 inches (HWD), the Jambox is a compact, if blocky, device. It's also surprisingly heavy, weighing 12 ounces.
The Beats Pro by Dr. Dre. at $399.95 (direct) is a serious pair of headphones designed for the modern DJ. The ear cups flip backwards to free one ear, the cable is detachable, and jacks on both ear cups act not only as inputs, but as outputs to send audio to a friend's headphones. The Beats Pro sounds excellent—there's plenty of bass, but the high frequencies are accurately reproduced, as well. The potential deal breaker for standard users and DJs alike: they're heavy and not comfortable when worn for long periods.
Weighing in at nearly a pound (15.2 ounces), the Beats Pro comes in black or white models that each feature healthy doses of brushed metal on the ear cups and headband. The lowercase Beats logo is emblazoned in red on each ear, and the interior of the headband and ear cups is a cushioned black material. There's a 3.5mm jack at the bottom of each ear cup—it doubles as both an input (from your sound source) or an output to send audio to another pair of headphones. The connection for other headphones, however, is loose and could easily detach if you move around (this is because the jacks both have a twist-to-secure feature that only seems to work with the included cable). The cable itself is the signature Beats red, thick, and coiled at the bottom. Not only is a ¼-inch adapter included, but it comes fastened to the coil so you never have to go looking for it; just snap it on to the 3.5mm tip whenever you need it. Also included with the headphones: a protective pouch and a cleaning cloth with "advanced Aegis Microbe Shield technology" so microbes will never come between you and your music.
A 10-inch slate tablet seemed imminent when news broke that Dell had an iPad rival on the way, but that turned out not to be the case. The 5-inch Dell Streak was their first attempt, but ended up being more smartphone than tablet. Its second attempt—the Dell Inspiron Duo ($549.99 direct)—isn't even close. Although it is a novel take on a netbook convertible tablet, it's anything but an iPad rival. It features a cleverly designed flip hinge that exposes (and conceals) a physical keyboard, and is one of the few netbook tablets that run on an Intel Atom processor and a full blown Windows 7 operating system. Although it sports one of the most innovative designs we've seen in a while, the Inspiron Duo is no threat as a touch device to any tablet and completely misses as a netbook.
It can charge up to four devices at once, while syncing one of the four with iTunes. The expandable rest area comfortably holds a BlackBerry (charging it over USB) or ebook reader, and the integrated cable management keep things looking tidy. The iPad gets its own stand on the device, which will hold it horizontally or vertically, whatever your preference.
Microsoft's latest foray into the mobile space, Windows Phone 7, is now for sale throughout the US. How do these new devices fare? Should you throw your iPhone or Blackberry out of the window for a brand new Windows Phone? Or is this just another device for the history books? Well, we've given you our Windows Phone 7 review (as well as a review of the HTC Surround!), but if you wanted a second opinion, here's a list of reviews to help make up your mind:
- Engadget has a very in-depth review, going point by point over every feature of the phone, along with pictures and commentaries. They refer to their initial preview, saying that "it finally has the fit and finish of a fully realized product" and "there's a lot to like or even love in WP7". At the end of their review are also links to more reviews on the individual Windows Phone devices.
- Gizmodo follows in with another slightly less extensive review, in which they conclude with their stamp of approval.
- The New York Times has a fairly short review that asks several questions such as "will these battle plans help catapult Microsoft’s latest smartphone attempt into a relevant standing in this important space" and concludes by saying that "so far the new AT&T phones seems to have everything going for them".
- Apart from the written reviews, what I typically prefer are video reviews such as this one from MobileTechReview in which they go over every feature in this very in-depth 27 mins 2-parts review. They also have videos about the individual devices.
We'd love to hear from anyone who's decided to pick up a Windows Phone 7 device - what do you think?
Kinect has been a product that Microsoft has been betting on and hyping for about a year and a half now, ever since revealing Project Natal at E3 2009. The motion sensing gaming peripheral is finally available, and despite some initial concerns, our minds are blown. Kinect definitely feels futuristic once you start playing around with it, but is it worth the $150 price? Read on for our thoughts and Kinect review.
Google launched into the TV arena last month with their very own platform, Google TV. With it, they hope to compete with the likes of Apple TV, Roku, and of course, your cable connection. Unlike its competitors however, they haven't made a hardware device, but instead a platform which device makers can integrate into boxes which you connect to your TV, or into TVs themselves. This platform boosts to bring the best of the web and TV together, into a system where you can add features, search for shows and do so much more. But does this Google TV deliver?
The folks over at AGF have worked with AT&T on bringing their Beetle case for the iPhone 4 to market. We were sent an assortment of them to play around with and test on our iPhone 4 model, and we wanted to report back to you guys with some of our thoughts on the case.
Gallery: AGF Beetle iPhone 4 case review
Microsoft Office 2011 for Mac ships tomorrow, and AppleInsider's got the scoop on how it performs. From their review:
If you’re an Office user already, the new Office 2011 is a no-brainer upgrade. It’s wildly faster, looks and feels much better, and delivers strong advancements in every app, particularly the vastly improved experience of the new Outlook over the pitiful Entourage.If you’re shopping around for a productivity suite on the Mac, the new Office 2011 delivers a much nicer experience than the rather quirky but free OpenOffice, and offers the advantages of a real desktop app over a web based suite like Google Docs.At around $120 retail for the Outlook-free individual version (you can install on one machine) or $150 for the family pack (which can be installed on up to three machines), the “Home and Student” Office 2001 for Mac suite is now affordable enough to compete against weaker free alternatives, and might attract some users eyeing Apple’s cheaper iWork package.However, Office 2011 for Mac—despite a sharp discount over previous editions—is still about the same price as Apple’s “Box Set” deal that includes a copy of Mac OS X Snow Leopard and iLife together with the full version of iWork.
Read More | AppleInsider
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