At the Pepcom MobileFocus event at CTIA MobileCon, an unlikely underdog made a very big impression on me. It was the Kupa UltraNote, and it was my first hands on with a tablet that ships with Windows 8 installed. The Kupa impressed, from its modular design that allows for ample customizability, to its pen-based, pressure-sensitive input system that makes drawing on the tablet a pleasure.
The UltraNote isn’t Kupa’s first crack at a Windows tablet; the company also put out the X11, a Windows 7 device that received positive reviews from some quarters. But this is the first of its tablet products that has a truly compatible and suitable partner in the form of Windows 8, which is built from the ground up for touchscreen input. And the difference really shows in Kupa’s latest effort.
The UltraNote is an Intel Ivy Bridge i7, i5 or i3-based Windows 8 device, with a 10.1-inch 1920×1200 IPS display. It offers 10 points of multitouch input sensitivity, comes with digitizer pen input with 1024 levels of pressure sensitivity (on par with some pro drawing tablets), ships with 4GB of RAM and is expandable up to 8GB, and offers either 64GB or 128GB of SSD storage. It also weighs only 760g, has 7 hour battery life, or 12 hours with a docking station accessory, and even boasts a user-swappable battery that Kupa says will be inexpensive to replace.
There’s also a SIM card slot on that list of pleasant surprises, and Kupa CTO Yuan Xie explained in an interview that it will work with a modular handset extension to operate as a real, practical phone. It also has two USB 3.0 slots, an HDMI out, Wi-Fi 802.11a/b/g/n/ac and 3G/4G LTE radios, as well as Bluetooth 4.0, RFID and NFC.
Th modularity allows the Kupa UltraNote to dock additional accessories to one side, making it possible to add additional ports, additional hardware accessories and more.
Xie was also particularly proud of the screen, which avoids the typical 1920 x 1080 resolution for 10.1-inch displays Windows is pushing, and providers users with more usable screen real estate, which he says is better for productivity apps.
The UltraNote ships in November, the company says, and for a price that’s yet to be determined, along with a keyboard dock accessory that’s also still not priced. We’ll have more time with the device when it’s ready to ship, and let you know how it performs in longer trials, but for now it’s a very promising early look at Win 8 on tablet hardware.Related Posts:
Gamers are fickle creatures, demanding naught but the finest peripherals that are all but molded to hands at reasonable prices. The ambidextrous, nigh-unpronounceable Razer Ouroboros hits at least one of those marks. Announced today, the wireless mouse is designed to address both comfort and precision. To start, the mouse’s spine can extend up to .9 inches (a boon for those of us with large hands), while interchangeable side panels and an adjustable palm rest encourage total comfort for your hand. All of this is powered by a single NiMH AA battery — Razer promises 12 hours of juice, though normal AA batteries will also work and the mouse can operated in a wired mode if you’re willing to be tethered to your PC. We only have a few photos…
In some of the old science fiction stories I remember from Weird Tales and Ray Bradbury and the like, robots always figured. But they always came the way you might expect a new dryer or hot water heater to arrive. In a big box, packed in straw or foam, heavy and metal of course as they always were back in the day. But the world of robots is different from the way they imagined it then: the metallic golems of yore have given way to a sort of Cambrian explosion of potential robot types, imitating everything from worm to dog to bird.
A team of researchers hopes to both expand that robodiversity and change the way our future companions are delivered. Funded by the NSF, they’ve begun a 5-year-long project exploring the idea of on-demand robots.
MIT is leading the effort, specifically Professor Daniela Rus from CSAIL. They have researchers from University of Pennsylvania and Harvard on the team, and the object is to “make it possible for the average person to design, customize and print a specialized robot in a matter of hours.”
Imagine, just for a domestic example, that you have a crawl space that’s difficult to get into and possibly dangerous. You could hop online or go to your local robot shop and have them create an ambulatory, four-legged robot with a couple pincers in it, so you could easily get any tools or toys that happen to go under there, or check for mice, or inspect wiring and construction for damage.
A standard robot might do, but you might need it bigger or smaller, or with or without a camera, or with a magnet or insecticide dispenser instead of a gripper. Or maybe the robot you need is outdated or expensive, or requires assembly, or must be shipped from Korea. Why should replicating a copy of a product with the end user apply only to media? Have it made right in your neighborhood, ready for pickup in the afternoon after the resin body has solidified and the stock boards have been updated with the latest control firmware.
The project leaders sum up its scope thusly:
The capability to customize cyber-physical systems on-demand would change how we plan for contingencies. Rescuers engaged in humanitarian aid and disaster reliefs in remote locations could minimize their logistic needs on-site. Warehouses of spare and replacement parts that may never be used could be replaced by storing only their designs digitally, not the physical parts themselves.
Fundamental problems in computer science about what is computable by digital machines will change. The problems will be reframed in a larger context as what functional hybrid machines are constructable from cyber-physical primitives.
As for the research itself, it will encompass more or less the entire ecosystem: supportive tools and materials for design and engineering of the “mechanical, electrical, computing, and software aspects of the device,” algorithms for production and assembly, programming and operational environments, and more. A few prototypes show how functional robots can be created from a few parts and an “origami” type structure.
They intend to include K-12 students in the process as well and establish sub-programs at the universities participating in the project. The $ 10M in NSF funding could end up going rather quickly when all these things are considered.
Needless to say, the potential revolutionizing of product engineering and delivery could have enormous implications down the line, although at the moment it is mostly speculative. Notably, this is fully orientated towards consumer applications, not military, where one might reasonably expect on-demand robotics to be sought after. The results of this program’s research are sure to be interesting and influential, as anything with a pedigree like this with fabrication and decentralized design and engineering as a starting point is certain to bear fruit.
Droid 2 Global users, your moment in the Gingerbread sun has arrived. Verizon’s put up a page with download instructions for a 103MB update, taking your QWERTY slider from version 2.4.330 to 4.5.600. Updating isn’t the most taxing of activities, you just look for a system update in the About Phone menu and then give your blessing for the download to commence. VZW will also be prompting tardy users to take their OTA medicine in due course. So what’s new apart from Android 2.3? Well, the big change is that the previously static phone, contacts and apps icons at the bottom of the UI have now been turned into a user-customizable dock, with three links of your choosing sidling up next to the App Launcher. There’s also a freshened up UI look, a Download Manager App, user-definable App Groups, encryption for data both on the device and its SD card, improvements in battery life while using WiFi and Bluetooth, and the obligatory stability fixes. If all that sounds irresistible and you have the requisite phone in hand, go get it!
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I’m not exactly sure what this image is trying to stay – it’s evocative of the red red kroovy in Clockwork Orange – but I’m sure someone somewhere understands it. Anyway, this is the Carmazzi1 Bag. It is designed to be completely customizable and the basic set includes 12 different configurations for $ 89. You can buy extra pockets and straps and set it up to open from any angle. I’m not sure how many people will, you know, actively reconfigure their laptop bags but if you’re that kind of person then you’d best get to the Internet. The bags are available now and come in multiple packages of varying price.
iPad remote apps are the new Netflix streaming — any DVR worth its salt has to have one and DirecTV isn’t going to let Comcast, FiOS, Dish and TiVo lord over it anymore. It’s launched a preview page for a new remote app “coming soon” that looks like it could challenge for the title with plenty of customizable options and ability to display information from multiple sources at once. The home screen, pictured above can tell you about what you’re watching, what’s on your favorite channels and keep tabs on current sports scores all at once. All the usual remote control stuff comes natural, as well as local or remote DVR management just like its mobile app. We’ll wait until it comes out to pass judgement but clearly the company has been watching the competition and seeing where it can improve. Now, where’s that DirecTiVo?
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Google TV launched to a storm of piss-poor reviews and first impressions. It feels like a beta product and not something ready for living rooms. But that’s Google’s way. Two months have passed since the Logitech Revue and Sony Internet TV line launched and Google just rolled out the first major software update that at least seems to address some of the early concerns while bringing some new features to the platform like searching by voice.
Content discovery is one of Google TV’s strong points, but while the system can find just about any TV show online, big media blocked access. The updated Netflix app nearly solves this little problem by allowing access to the entire Netflix library. Now you can search, browse, and watch any of the shows in Netflix’s catalog without interaction from a PC. You can even select titles to be snail-mailed to you.
Dual-view was one of our favorite launch features. It’s basically PIP, but where one of the pictures is an internet browser. The new mode allows users to change the size and move around the smaller window. Yeah, Google TV finally has the same capability as your ’90s era Sony Trinitron.
Putting someones face on a dart board is so last century. Anyway, why do that when you can pee on them? With a customizable Urinal Cake Kit, you can piss on everything that you hate. The windows logo, your bosse’s face, your ex, whatever.
The kit includes a urinal cake, plastic cover, cake holder, clear plastic window, circle template and an all important latex glove. Only $ 6.98. It’s a real pisser.
But seriously, you have to have real problems getting your anger out in this way.
DrChrono.com iPad EMR Introduces Macros, Customizable SOAP Notes NEW YORK, July 12 /PRNewswire/ — DrChrono.com, the premier publisher of dynamic point-of-care and practice management software, recently announced version 1.5 of its world-renowned iPad EMR app, featuring the ability to build macros and customizable SOAP notes. DrChrono.com and its iPad EMR app have been featured in local, national and international news outlets, including the Wall Street …Related Posts: