Science & Technology

By July 14, 2015 Read More →

The world’s first mind-controlled electric car created by MoneySuperMarket!

Carol Vorderman

MoneySuperMarket have debuted world’s first mind-controlled electric car this morning. Carol Vorderman was on hand to take the car for a spin using her big brain! Video footage has been made available for all to see of Carol working her way around the track.

On Thursday the track is empty and waiting for some lucky members of the public to be brain trained and drive the car themselves, in a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. All they need to do is register before lunch time tomorrow at midday following this link: http://www.moneysupermarket.com/hubs/car-insurance/mind-drive/ .

 

Eighty years since the first driving test and with more distractions on our roads than ever before, MoneySuperMarket is reminding people to keep their brains in gear when behind the wheel with a truly epic motoring experience – the world’s first mind-controlled electric car.

The Car Insurance Epic Mind Drive gives drivers the opportunity to negotiate this ground-breaking vehicle around a futuristic track using brainwaves alone to turn left, right, move forward and stop.

The car is controlled with an electroencephalogram (EEG) neuro headset, using sophisticated software algorithms to translate raw EEG data into mental commands. Each user must train with the headset so it can decipher their thought patterns and learn their unique mental topography. The software is then able to recognise distinct thought patterns and using some complex electronics, wirelessly sends these commands to the car’s controls.

The Car Insurance Epic Mind Drive track

Those selected to take the driver’s seat will be judged on the track by a series of variables. This includes statistics fed back by a telematics box in the car reporting on how safely and accurately they drive, a technology system used to calculate fair premiums and save drivers money on car insurance policies. Accuracy, smoothness and lap time will all be fed into a bespoke formula to generate a score that they can take away with them, along with the pride of being one of the very first mind-control drivers.

The experience highlights that driving with your brain in gear not only keeps you safe but also saves money on your car insurance.

David Harling, Digital Marketing Director at MoneySuperMarket commented: “Driverless cars are currently being road tested but until they’re an everyday reality, we know it’s as important as ever for motorists to use their heads while driving. Our customers are great at using their heads to find the best car insurance quotes and have inspired us to launch the Car Insurance Epic Mind Drive, a once-in-a-lifetime, truly epic experience.”

Carol Vorderman

The Car Insurance Epic Mind Drive experience is live now. Drivers should go to http://www.moneysupermarket.com/hubs/car-insurance/mind-drive/ and register before 12 noon on Wednesday 15th July for the chance to drive the world’s first mind-controlled electric car on Thursday 16th July.

Visitors to the site will also be able to register for the chance to play the exclusive mobile driving game, using their heads in a live video call to drive by facial recognition and gesture alone. 

By June 9, 2015 Read More →

Checking in with easyJet

EASYJET  NEW PLANE LIVERY Pix.Tim AndersonThis last week easyJet has taken the opportunity to share some of their recent developments with the public in what seems to be becoming a yearly tradition. For select group of the press an event in an aircraft hangar in Milan contained a demonstration of some of the research alongside a positive attitude and some beaming pride in what easyJet has achieved.

EasyJet has the reputation of being a better quality of low end travel providing something of a bus service to popular areas in Europe. Whilst maintaining a steady and commendable reputation easyJet has a lot of interesting developments happening behind the scenes to reduce time for which their planes are out of action and efforts to reduce costs across the board to pass on to the customers.

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One of the first innovations easyJet are proud to demonstrate is a simple but cost efficient inclusion. Oculus Rift can help engineers determine problems by posting virtual notes to areas in need of repair around a virtual aircraft. There was also reference made to cabin staff receiving training via the wearable goggles. This does not seem to be a massive stride however from easyJet’s internal point of view there is potential.

EasyJet are upgrading their application. Throwing in a few new features to keep their app fast and easy to use, not to mention a handy tool to cover everything you might need from your flight experience. For starters the app has been reformatted for 64 bit architecture to keep it running lightning fast.

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Secondly, a new feature will allow the user to receive updates about their flight including notifications from the likes of Periscope if there has been a disruption. A helping hand has been extended to the user to guide them through the airport to find their gate, at the moment this only works in Gatwick however the are rolling it out to their busiest 10 airports and they hope to have it in place by launch in July.

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Whilst it sounds alarming easyJet demonstrated their ability to print parts for their aircraft. Rather than having to pay for costly replacements a process is being finalised whereby easyJet can utilise some cutting edge 3D printing technologies and first class materials to manufacture their own parts. Whilst this is a time consuming process the cost implications will be notable without any impact on safety.

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Two years ago easyJet demonstrated their drone scanning ideas to scan a plane in minutes to access damage that would normally take a the human eye a few hours. The drone technology is constantly evolving and new developments are being made at a refreshing rate. Safety seems to be the focus this year with collision detection being a new addition. Not only for the drone to keep a close yet safe distance from the surface of the plane but for Engineers who might be working within close proximity to the plane and drone at the time of scanning.

It is refreshing to see a company that may not have a reputation for innovation, yet easyJet has become an example of proactive development, not only in cost saving but technological advancements. Their model is interesting and somewhat commendable.

By June 3, 2015 Read More →

Five products you didn’t know needed rechargeable batteries

duracell rechargeable batteriesRechargeable batteries are often the most cost-effective and energy efficient way to power your personal and office appliances.

When you think of rechargeable batteries you may automatically think of the traditional AA batteries and the charger that you plug into the wall.

However there are many products you probably use which you perhaps don’t realise rely on rechargeable batteries.

 

Mobile phones

Almost everyone owns a mobile phone in this day and age. It will be used daily whether it’s for business or social reasons. You probably haven’t ever thought about it, but your mobile phone relies on a rechargeable battery in order to work. Like any other rechargeable battery, mobile phone batteries are charged using mains electricity but through a cable. Mobile phone batteries can be repeatedly charged many times but may eventually lose power and need to be replaced. You can buy mobile phone batteries from Buy A Battery when their ability to retain charge eventually diminishes.

 

Cordless phones

Most homes no longer have a house phone that is tethered to the wall with a cord. Cordless phones allow the user freedom to move around their home. This freedom means that they rely on rechargeable batteries which negates the need of constant mains electricity use. These batteries are usually charged though a base unit but they can have batteries which need to be removed and put into a charging unit plugged into a wall outlet. Just like with mobile phones, eventually these batteries will start to lose power and their charge time will continue to reduce, but replacements are available.

 

Laptops

Another product that you might not realise uses rechargeable batteries is a laptop computer. Again, it may be something you’ve never really considered having a rechargeable battery. A laptop’s power comes from its battery, which, just like a mobile phone, can be charged using mains electricity. This battery then has the ability to hold that charge, making the laptop portable. It is charged through a mains cable when the battery runs low. Like all rechargeable batteries, it has a long lifespan but will eventually need replacing as time goes on.

 

Power tools

For DIY enthusiasts or workers in any manual trade, you’ll know it’s extremely convenient to own a power tool that has a rechargeable battery. While some drills and other tools can run on mains, this can leave you tethered to a wall or having long extension cords trailing after you. Most modern power tools come with rechargeable battery units, which, once fully charged in a base unit, give out maximum energy to make your life easier. Often, these battery units are interchangeable between many different products, such as drills, saws, sanders and torches, which are of the same brand.

 

Wireless technology

Wireless technology is a very convenient and sought after commodity. While they may connect to your computer wirelessly, wireless keyboards and mice use batteries to draw their power. It’s definitely beneficial to use rechargeable batteries for these, as running out of power half way through an important piece of work or during the office day is a serious inconvenience.

By May 21, 2015 Read More →

A look at Archos Fusion Storage

vlcsnap-2015-05-20-15h10m09s283Several new device in the Archos range feature the exclusive Archos Fusion Storage system that seamlessly combines the memory of any MicroSD card* with the internal storage. This gives the user even more space for your apps, games and multimedia, anytime the device’s internal memory is running low, this smart storage system automatically migrates data, optimizes memory balance and splits and combines extra-large files so the user never has to worry about storage space or transferring files.

Here, we have a look at the system and attempt to work out just how it works and what changes to Android Archos have made.

 

By May 20, 2015 Read More →

Denon announce new addition to HEOS range, HEOS 1

Screen Shot 2015-05-19 at 12.14.10Denon, a leading manufacturer of premium home and personal audio products, is delighted to unveil its HEOS 1 and HEOS 1 Go Pack, the latest additions to the HEOS wireless multi-room music system. The portable HEOS 1 wireless speaker is the first product in the series intended for both indoor and outdoor use. The HEOS 1 Go Pack extends the usability and features of the HEOS 1 for consumers who want to take their music anywhere. These latest additions to the Denon HEOS series will be available in June.

The £199 HEOS 1 packs all the best features of the HEOS series into a diminutive yet powerful package. Implementing Denon’s extensive knowledge of digital sound processing the HEOS 1 is finely tuned to deliver clear and expansive audio. Furthermore, the HEOS 1 has been specifically designed to incorporate audiophile-level synchronization, so that two units can be combined to make a powerful stereo pair with no echo between the two speakers. The £79 HEOS 1 Go Pack is an accessory pack consisting of a rechargeable battery, a Splashguard, and a Bluetooth®-USB adapter. The HEOS 1 can provide up to 6 hours of music and entertainment, with the Go Pack’s rechargeable battery. The HEOS 1 speaker itself is humidity resistant, yet with the addition of the Splashguard it becomes splashproof for added protection at outdoor events that may occur in the rain or poolside. And for those who enjoy Bluetooth capability, the Go Pack’s Bluetooth-USB adapter allows the user to stream Bluetooth audio directly to one HEOS 1 speaker. In addition, when Wi-Fi is available, the Bluetooth audio can be shared with other HEOS devices.

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Denon®, a leading manufacturer of premium home and personal audio products, is delighted to unveil its HEOS 1 and HEOS 1 Go Pack, the latest additions to the HEOS wireless multi-room music system. The portable HEOS 1 wireless speaker is the first product in the series intended for both indoor and outdoor use. The HEOS 1 Go Pack extends the usability and features of the HEOS 1 for consumers who want to take their music anywhere. These latest additions to the Denon HEOS series will be available in June.

We are thrilled to introduce HEOS 1, our entry level wireless multi-room sound system that combines great design and Denon sound,” said Brendon Stead, senior vice president of product development for Denon. “Also, when combined with the HEOS 1 Go Pack, the water-resistant design and added Bluetooth capability allows users to listen to their HEOS 1 in the garden, at the park and anywhere a Wi-Fi connection is not available.

Benefiting from Denon’s revered class-leading sound quality, the £199 HEOS 1 packs all the best features of the HEOS series into a diminuitive yet powerful package. Implementing Denon’s extensive knowledge of digital sound processing the HEOS 1 is finely tuned to deliver clear and expansive audio. Furthermore, the HEOS 1 has been specifically designed to incorporate audiophile-level synchrinisation, so that two units can be combined to make a powerful stereo pair with no echo between the two speakers.

With the easy to use free HEOS app, set-up means great sound within minutes for indoors or outdoors. It is the perfect speaker for a smaller room or any smaller space in a home. And with the Go Pack, HEOS 1 expands into a fully wireless speaker that takes multi-room listening outdoors.

The £79 HEOS 1 Go Pack is an accessory pack consisting of a rechargeable battery, a Splashguard, and a Bluetooth®-USB adapter. The HEOS 1 can provide up to 6 hours of music and entertainment, with the Go Pack’s rechargeable battery. The HEOS 1 speaker itself is humidity resistant, yet with the addition of the Splashguard it becomes splashproof for added protection at outdoor events that may occur in the rain or poolside. And for those who enjoy Bluetooth capability, the Go Pack’s Bluetooth-USB adapter allows the user to stream Bluetooth audio directly to one HEOS 1 speaker. In addition, when Wi-Fi is available, the Bluetooth audio can be shared with other HEOS devices.

HEOS brings Denon-quality audio to any – or all – rooms in the home by easily connecting to an existing Wi-Fi network via the HEOS app, which is available for iOS, Android™ and Kindle Fire™. The­­ system delivers users’ favorite music from the world’s leading music services like Spotify®, Deezer, Napster and TuneIn, as well as smart devices, PCs, Macs or NAS drives on any home network. It instantly gives users multi-room audio control at their fingertips. Command music in every room from any device, by grouping several rooms together to play the same song or a different song in every room for a true wireless multi-room audio experience.

 

You can PRE-ORDER HEOS 1 now and receive 50% off the HEOS Go Pack, from participating stores. For more information please ask in store.

 

HEOS 1 – Key Features

  • Best-in-Class Sound

  • Humidity Resistant

  • Play any source from any smart device via the HEOS app: streaming cloud music services, directly from phone and tablet, USB, network storage, aux in

  • Dual-band Wi-Fi

  • USB input directly to speaker

  • Bi-amped two-way system with custom active EQ and crossover

  • Custom woofer and high dispersion tweeter powered by a two-channel Class D amplifier

  • Easy set-up

  • Intuitive industrial design for portability

  • Audiophile grade synchronization

  • Great stereo imaging – use two HEOS 1 speakers as a stereo pair

  • Easy-to-use app with three tabs – one-touch access to most-used features

  • Optional HEOS 1 Go Pack available

  • Available in black and white

 

HEOS 1 Go Pack – Key Features

  • Optional accessory pack for use with HEOS 1 wireless speaker
  • Bluetooth – play any audio from your phone or tablet when Wi-Fi is not available
  • Rechargeable battery – 6 hours of playback from the custom battery fitting perfectly to the base of HEOS 1
  • Splashguard upgrades HEOS 1 from steam-resistant to full IPX4 protection
  • 4 LED battery indicator
  • Available in black and white

Besides the HEOS 1 and HEOS 1 Go Pack, the Denon HEOS series includes three other wireless multi-zone music players: HEOS 3, HEOS 5, and HEOS 7. The HEOS Amp and HEOS Link allow you to integrate legacy systems into the HEOS eco-system. Also part of the series is a Wi-Fi range extender HEOS Extend. The Denon HEOS series is available at select Denon dealers in-store and online.

In the future, the Denon HEOS series will continue to expand with new and innovative products. For more information visit www.denon.co.uk. 

By May 6, 2015 Read More →

Archos Fusion Storage is here

af2Some months ago we mentioned Archos were designing a new range of tablet that could combine various storage solutions in one larger resource, all under Android. Meaning that a 16gb model became a 80gb model if a 64gb SDcard was added. Pretty fantastic solution to a problem that has more than likely annoyed who has a low storage phone or tablet. Archos have pioneered the technology and it is rolling out to a few of their devices over the next few days. We will host a video showing our experiences this week.

Archos Fusion Storage, a software innovation, recently unveiled by the French brand at MWC 2015, will be available via update (OTA) from May the 5th, 2015 on the Archos 101 Oxygen, Archos 50 Diamond, Archos 52 Platinum, and the Archos 50 Oxygen Plus.  It merges the internal memory capacity of the equipment itself with that of the Micro SD card in order for users to enjoy more applications or content.

A long-awaited feature by Android users

With over 25 years of experience in software development, especially on the Android platform, the R&D team of Archos worked on the lower layers of the operating system from Google and its Kernel core. It thus provides a much-needed storage option for users of Android tablets or smartphones. This feature automatically reconciles the memory allocation problem between the internal storage and microSD card while providing increased capacity.

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Key elements of Archos Fusion Storage

  • The main advantage for the user is that significant space is gained to hold more applications and content. Upon activation of the merged storage, data is automatically accommodated in the internal memory of the tablet or smartphone and is then sorted. The application files will be sent primarily to the internal memory of the tablet or smartphone, while data, photos, videos, and more will be directed to the memory card. The space of the device is thereby increased and optimized considerably.
  • Another advantage is a reversibility of the process. The fusion of internal storage with the external storage SD card is seamless: the user can choose to return to the original separated settings at any time.
By April 23, 2015 Read More →

Google launches a slick promo for something Fi

Screenshot 2015-04-23 07.35.41A new, beautiful promo has been launched by Google to … advertise (?) Project Fi. A promo that actually contains no information about the service, merely a hint of what they are doing. According to the website “Project Fi is a program to deliver a fast, easy wireless experience in close partnership with leading carriers, hardware makers, and our users.” A statement mirrored in the promotional video and leaving the average viewer somewhat bamboozled by what they have just seen.

So what is it? Essentially this is a new approach to a mobile network. Project Fi automatically connects to more than a million free, open WiFi hotspots that have been verified as fast and reliable. This technology helps keep speeds high and data bill low. Starting at a $20 per month base plan for 3GB, with a flat $10 per for every additional GB of data. This same rate is applied even if you have over used what you planned for, and you get roll-over data that could lower your next month’s bill. An interesting tactic is that Project Fi utilises WiFi calling where no LTE is available.

Also merges all devices for calling/texting purposes much like we have already seen for Google Voice and Pushbullet text facilities already. Using public WiFi is usually a concern for some as it’s not the safest, apparently this data/voice over WiFi part of the service is encrypted and this will be achieved by Google pushing the traffic through a VPN service keeping you more secure.

By March 12, 2015 Read More →

Meet the of Piper nv the all-in-one home security system

image001Icontrol Networks, a leader in connected home technology and innovation, today announces general availability in Europe for Piper nv, the only security system that can be easily tailored to what matters most. Building on the launch of the original Piper last year, the all-in-one home security, video monitoring and automation device has been engineered for reliability and built frustration free, making it easier than ever to connect via mobile device for peace of mind.

Over the last year, Piper has ushered in a new approach to home monitoring, security and automation and continues to deliver users a new and smart way to interact with their homes. With the DIY smart home market projected to reach $7.8 billion in the US alone by 2019, according to NextMarket Insights, the connected home is becoming more easily accessible to consumers than ever before and Piper continues to be at the forefront of the movement with Piper nv. In addition to the already comprehensive Piper feature set, Piper nv boasts:

●        Night Vision: Featuring the widest field of view available in the market, Piper nv’s 180-degree day/night vision offers a clear and complete view of your home no matter the time of day. Night vision kicks in automatically once the room starts getting dark.

●        Advanced camera resolution: The 3.4 megapixel camera sensor ensures you don’t miss any details!

 

“Being aware of events in your home has never been easier with Piper,” said Russell Ure, creator of Piper and an executive vice president and GM at Icontrol Networks. “Piper nv provides homeowners with unsurpassed visibility into their homes and ensures places and loved ones are always protected and safe. It sets a new standard for the optimal video experience in the smart home marketplace.”

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Piper has been recognised for its innovative technology and broad consumer appeal, and is powered by Icontrol Networks, a leader in the connected home marketplace.

 

In addition to night vision and advanced camera resolution, Piper nv has been designed for maximum customisation and includes the core Piper features:

●        Security: Customise three security modes (home, away and vacation), motion detector and piercing, 105-decibel siren.

●        Automation: Integrate Z-Wave accessories into Piper’s security modes, control them remotely, on a schedule, or using environmental data.

●        HD Panoramic camera: 180° fisheye lens, electronic pan, tilt, and zoom, 1080p camera sensor.

●        Customised alerts: Phone call, text message, email, and push notifications to users and their trusted circle when security rules are triggered.

●        Environmental sensors: Monitor and control home temperature, humidity, ambient light and sound.

●        Elegant Design: Simple, intuitive app. Stunning, compact, two-toned form with brushed metal legs.

●        Smart Hardware: ARM processor, battery backup, internal memory for video storage, 802.11b/g/n Wi-Fi.

●        Android & iOS support: Available on Android and iOS smartphones and tablets.

●        Two-way audio: Talk directly to occupants through Piper through its app on your mobile device.

●        Multi-Piper functionality: Support up to five different Pipers within a home so you always have visibility and control over your different spaces.

●        Bedside mode: Featuring an active panic button, Bedside mode lets users manually turn on a siren in case of an emergency. Easy to reach and quick to access for fast action, users can now set Piper to Bedside mode before going to sleep for a more secure environment at night.

Piper nv can now be purchased at getpiper.com starting at €299.00 (£217.00) and Piper will continue to be sold for €199.00 (£145.00)*. The free Piper application is also available for download in the iTunes App Store and in the Google Play Store. 

By March 6, 2015 Read More →

Firefox OS expanding to 28 countries

FirefoxOS_for_press_releaseRecently we found that Firefox OS was hitting the new range of Panasonic Viera televsions, now Mozilla are announcing that Firefox OS is now available on 14 smartphones offered by 14 different operators in 28 countries worldwide. The phones will soon expand over to Africa, taking the OS to a total five continents. Mozilla earlier announced agreements with African telecomms companies Airtel, MTN South Africa and Tigo for expansion throughout Africa.

Other recent launches include the Ace smartphone from Cherry Mobile in the Philippines, which Mozilla claims is the most affordable smartphone in the world. The Japanese operator KDDI recently launched a Firefox OS phone in December. A few weeks ago Alcatel Onetouch also launched a new low-cost Firefox OS smartphone in Bangladesh, adding to the Go Fox 15 already in the market.

“When the flexibility of the Web meets the ubiquity of mobile, the boundaries of what can or cannot be done are erased,” said Li Gong, president of Mozilla. “Firefox OS has proven this by re-defining the ultra-low-cost category, now including the lowest-ever priced smartphone. On the other end of the spectrum, we have seen mid-range and will soon see high-end Firefox OS smartphones. This year, Firefox OS has successfully brought different experiences for different people, but has introduced choice for everyone.”

Like it or not, Firefox OS is laying out a rather strong foundation in the budget world to build upon and we will soon see this OS arriving on our shores with the strength behind it to make some noise.

By March 1, 2015 Read More →

HTC Grip sees gripe

B_BYtXoWwAAKDMTHTC are entering the wearables market this year with a dip stick. Much like the HTC Flyer years back HTC are not taking any chances with an emerging market without testing the water first. Their first wearable, like many other companies, is a fitness band. Simple, rubber, black and safe. Working closely with Under Armour the Grip is know as a sport band connecting with Bluetooth to and Android device. GPS is inbuilt and a 100 mAh battery that will see only 5 hours of life, unless you turn GPS off. There is a soft touch material inside to keep sweat at bay.

The lack of battery life will no doubt put people off, Samsung’s option lasts a good deal longer however that exists entirely within the Samsung eco-system. Huawei and Acer have similar devices on their roadmap and if they drop a better battery in then there is little reason to recommend the HTC Grip.

Honestly this feels like an afterthought and with HTC announcing two big devices in Barcelona, this is likely to be ignored however it will hopefully not put HTC off working on wearables.

 

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