Okay I’ll admit it, when I am out in public I secretly think to myself when looking at random people, “pew pew, got you.” What I mean by that of course is that if I had a Nerf gun or laser tag device I’d run around and shoot them at random folk. Now before you look at me like I am weird and all, you can’t admit that you wouldn’t do the same or at least think about doing the same. When I saw the XAPPR AR idea I got excited about this becoming a reality. Well AppTag Laser Tag looks to throw their hat into the ring as well. As they put it:
“Imagine over 1,000 people all playing together across an entire city, or 10-20 friends battling it out in a park! AppTag will allow for Real World First Person Shooter Games…it’s like Call of Duty in the real world!”
How can anyone not like a “real world” Call of Duty-esque experience? Well much like the Laser-etchedGalaxy Nexus backplates there is a campaign to make this a reality and all they want is some help from us folk in the form of a donation. Their goal of $30,000 has already been reached but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t continue to donate. Those who pledge money from now until the end of the campaign (9 days from now) will get a guarantee of delivery from the first batch and at a discounted price to boot! It will come with a free app so that you can play immediately when the gun is delivered. You can get it all for $39.99 for a single unit or $74.99 for a two pack and it will be available in June online and in stores.
The company is also releasing the SDK for the developers to build their on augmented reality app that takes advantage of these guns. You can hit the source below to donate and get in on this augmented reality laser tag campaign. Like I said you have nine days to get in on the discount pricing and first-batch shipments. I know I’m going to. Enjoy!
We talked plenty about Sony’s Xperia line of phones over the past couple months, the Xperia P and U, Xperia S, Xperia Ion, Xperia Play2 and the Hayabusa(?). Now, it’s time to see what the Xperia name can really do… on the racetrack. The Reckless Racing 2 racetrack. In real life even!
The crazy people behind the Xperia Studio have taken a couple of MGF cars and completely automated them to be driven entirely by the physical buttons of the Xperia Play and the touchscreen of the Xperia S. I don’t suspect this is anything that you think about when shopping for a smart phone, let alone will attempt to do, but it’s pretty bad-ass nonetheless. What you are about to see is a couple of grown men playing with some seriously cool toys. Check out the video below and let us know what you think.
If you want to see more on this Xperia Studio experiment and others, be sure to hit up the source link.
I am sure many of you are familiar with Dr.Dre’s Beats Audio line and that HTC bought exclusive rights to integrating the audio improvement software in their devices. I’ve heard people say that their HTC/Beats device provides a sound that is unmatched to other devices they have owned and I’ve also heard folks say the improvement isn’t even noticeable. While I am still on the fence on whether or not this software actually makes a noticeable difference, at the same time I have yet to couple the experience with a quality pair of headphones. Either way, the Beats Audio software is no longer tied to just HTC devices and is now flashable for non HTC owners to enjoy. Now you can be the judge on whether or not HTC spent their money wisely.
Since Beats Audio is nothing but software, thanks to XDA members fuss132 and willblake13, we now have an easy way to flash Beats Audio to any rooted device running a Gingerbread ROM. It’s pretty simple really, all you need to do is hit up the XDA link at the bottom of this post, download the .zip file, and flash through CWM. Not much to it. The real question is whether or not you will notice a difference. Although fuss132 takes a similar stance as I do and says “I think at some ponts beats audio is only a audio marketing strategie,” he also claims “The sounds will be more natural, playing with more clarity.” However contradicting that may sound, he includes some test results that clearly show that there is some level of improvement to be gained. So if you’re the flash-happy type of person I think you are, you should check it out and decide for yourself. Test results after the break.
Beat on my friends… Beat on
Update: It looks as though this didn’t bode well with someone (most likely HTC) and the thread has been removed from XDA already. If you have more insight please let me know, I am curious.
Qualcomm’s upcoming Snapdragon S4 processor already makes our mouths water, but there’s yet another reason why we can’t wait to get our hands on an S4-based device. The current WiFi standard is about to get just a smidge faster. Qualcomm Atheros has officially launched the 802.11ac WiFi ecosystem by unveiling the WCN3680 module, which attaches directly to the Snapdragon S4 chip. The WCN3680 module will feature high data transfer while having fairly low power consumption– we can expect to see data transfer speeds of up to 433Mbps. Yeah, this puppy looks like it’s ready to stream high quality content.
Now that Qualcomm Atheros has placed it’s new wireless standard into the limelight, we expect to see the technology in action and perhaps a device or two featuring the technology at MWC next week. Hit the break to see the full press release.
Finally! ASUS has officially released the Transformer Prime bootloader unlock tool that they have been talking about for what seems an eternity. Just as they promised, ASUS has delivered the tool in the month of February so now the development side of things is about to get exciting. Before today, the Transformer Prime was blocked from doing any major tinkering, like flashing custom ROMs, kernels and those oh so fun MODs. Once a major deterrent to many perspective buyers, the availability of an unlock tool will now give users the option of customization, probably my most favorite thing about Android.
Available now, the bootloader unlock tool doesn’t come without warning. ASUS makes it clearly known that if you decide to unlock your TP’s bootloader, you will knowingly forfeit your manufacturers warranty and all future OTA updates. Although ASUS claims this method is irreversible, I give it a couple weeks before the development community figures out a way to re-lock the device.
If you’re ready to get your home-brew on, head over to the source link you see below for the full run-down and harrowing warning from ASUS. As always, Talk Android takes no responsibility for what you do to your own device so don’t blame us if something goes awry. That being said, who’s ready for some flashin’ action!? I know I am!
We’ve all had issues with cell phone reception at one point or another. Sometimes there’s just not enough cell towers to blanket an entire area, or the antenna on our phone is just too weak. If you’re sure you’re not holding it wrong, then perhaps you could use Chamtech Enterprise’s just unveiled spray-on antenna.
At Google’s inaugural Solve For X conference, the Utah-based company revealed their nanotechnology, which can be sprayed on to trees, walls, the ground, people… just about anything, to increase and improve signal reception for any variety of uses. Currently, Chamtech is working with government customers, but plans to eventually take the technology to mobile phone and medical device makers. They say it uses organic elements to tinker with magnetic and radio-frequency fields, improving mobile energy efficiency by 10 percent.
Motorola has long been pushing their Webtop-enabled phones, allowing folks to use their phones as a pseudo-desktop or laptop, complete with keyboard, trackpad, and monitor. YouTube user Christian Qantrell decided to see if he could replicate something similar using only his unrooted Galaxy Nexus, Apple keyboard and trackpad, and computer monitor.
His goal was to do this using only standard equipment with no hacking. Connecting his phone to the monitor using an MHL adapter, and using his Bluetooth connected keyboard and trackpad, he manages a surprisingly smooth experience. Having a large trackpad helps replicate finger swipes and gestures, allowing for a more natural feel. Other surprise features that just work are Alt-Tab bringing up Android’s native task switcher, and the Esc key acting as a back button. Check out his video after the break.
Android runs on everything! Though, it’s admittedly tougher to run on some things, of which the most common target are PCs. Those of us wanting to experiment in that department have typically found our way to projects like Android x86, which by the way has ICS development builds underway (Yes, I’m one of the experimenters). However, here’s another solution I hadn’t known about until today. It’s so far called “PunkThis” from CUPP Computing. Essentially what we have here is a PCB board attached through either SATA or PCI express. So yeah, stick this thing in your laptop’s hard drive bay and you’ll be running Android. The board is a great improvement over Android x86 in terms of compatibility. Most of the typical phone guts are part of the board, including a 1GHz TI OMAP processor, 512MB of RAM, MicroSD card, and even a WiFi chip. This should pretty much guarantee that any app should run unless its simply too taxing for the allotted processor speed and RAM. As for the rest of what makes a smart phone, the board is able to magically interact with the laptop’s display, keyboard, touch pad, and speakers.
Now that the push into HD displays, quad-core processors and 4G LTE radios is in full swing a lot of manufacturers are looking into ways of making their device’s battery life last more than a couple of hours. We told you about how Samsung was going to look at tweaking radios for better battery life, Motorola is releasing phones with giant 3300mAh batteries and so on. Well others are looking into more efficient smartphones in a completely different direction.
All those fancy features in your 4G LTE phone are amazing. A dual-core, soon to be quad-core processor, with 8+ MP cameras, huge HD displays with the added speed of 4G LTE in a tiny frame is something sought after in today’s phone market. However, having these state of the art parts in our handheld device comes with a high price; dismal battery life. Well it appears that some folks are starting to catch on that this is an issue and they are making strides to combat this. Motorola for instance is releasing the RAZR MAXX, the first smartphone to boast a 21-hr talk time with a 3300mAh battery.
Water, the precursor for all life on Earth and yet, incidentally, looming doom for the gadgets we can’t live without.
It really doesn’t even make sense when you figure Earth is 70% covered by water. So why aren’t are gadgets water proof already, or at the very least safe from sweat and rain. Alright so there are a few of those devices, but realistically every electronic device should be impervious to water. Up until recently the best way to accomplish this feat has been to take rigorous measures to seal the device, but seals wear and impair wireless usability. There’s got to be a better way. Enter Liquipel.
Liquipel repels water at the molecular level. Now we’re talking! The process entails placing your device in a vacuum chamber then subsequently pumping it full of Liquipel formula as a vapor, allowing it to permeate all aspects of the device. After which the vapor is molecularly binded to your device’s materials and what you’re left with is a device not unlike any other of the same type, to the naked eye. The Liquipel treatment is only visible under a microscope.
Trust me, as cool as that sounds, its even more fascinating on video. Take a look at this.
The makers of the best scratch-resistant material around are set for an encore. Corning, the developers of Gorilla Glass, will be at CES 2012 next week to highlight its newest creation– Gorilla Glass 2. It looks like Corning is set to have one heck of a follow-up too. Here are their own words:
“Corning Gorilla Glass has been a tremendous success for Corning, enjoying excellent market acceptance across mobile device industries. Handset and tablet device manufacturers are clearly driving toward higher functionality from thinner designs. Corning’s latest innovation in Gorilla Glass technology is very well positioned to meet these challenges and enable broader touch technology penetration”.
Looks like we have a lot to look forward to from Corning. Considering we’ve seen the first Gorilla Glass withstand even the harshest of scenarios, it’s safe to say that Corning is ready to take us for a wilder ride with Gorilla Glass 2, which Talk Android will be at front and center. Hit the break to see the full press release.
NTT Docomo, one of Japan’s largest mobile operators has announced that the company will take part in a joint venture along with several other partners like Samsung, Panasonic, Fujitsu Lt, Fujitsu Semiconductor and NEC to take on the chip making giant, Qualcomm. The joint venture will manufacture, sell and distribute the new chips for mobile devices once all of the details are ironed out by the joining parties. The group is looking to create LTE connected products and successfully mass produce them to as large as a global market as possible. NTT Docomo has stated that it will initially invest $5.8 million to create Communication Platform Planning Co. and will announce one of its very own exec’s as CEO. As of now, we all know Qualcomm is the biggest player in the game, however, it looks like they’ll have to work extra hard to stay ahead of the game now. Check out the presser and all of the details after the break.
It seems that developers are becoming more and more interested in bringing the Android operating system to more devices than just smartphones, tablets and recently TV’s. You can also find car stereos that operate on a specialized version of the OS and even in a self contained, dual-core USB stick. Currently there is an open source project going on named, Android-x86, that aims to get Android up and running on your laptop or PC. People are already successfully running Android 3.2 Honeycomb on their computers via this new project.
Most people are reporting easier success with ASUS products and is as simple as downloading the Android ISO and by using UNetbootin you can install the image to a USB stick or SD card. Once complete, just throw that puppy in your computer and you can now run Honeycomb from the comfort of your desk or lap. Most hardware is fully functional, including Wi-Fi, and you can even download the Android Market and various apps. Jump past the cut to see some guy’s rather lengthy, sometimes comical, Youtube video showing Android 3.2 running on his Eee PC netbook. With the recent release of Android 4.0 I can only imagine that developers will soon try and climb that mountain as well. Super exciting!
I an attempt to dabble in gender specific marketing, Samsung has announced a new pink version of the Galaxy S II for the ladies and a Lions baseball edition Galaxy Tab 10.1 for the fellas. This isn’t the first time we’ve seen such an attempt by a manufacturer, HTC did so with the