Apple had a couple of new patent applications published by the USPTO today (spotted by AppleInsider), including one detailing how internal fans could be made to fit mobile devices to help dissipate heat, and another for headphones that become speakers for when listening goes from private to shared scenarios, which even describes how in-ear models could work that way.
The patent for internal fans includes a design that combines device physical feedback along with cooling powers to save space compared to when those components are separate. In one permutation, there’s also a design for taking air in through existing holes like a headphone or connector port, and expelling excess heat through the same mechanism. That would also help with space-saving efforts.
In terms of its likelihood for actual use, I’d guess that it probably won’t be employed in a shipping product, but instead represents one line of Apple’s thinking about how to cool mobile devices, but not the one they ended up spending much time on. The more logical path seems to have been to work on processor efficiency, which Apple is clearly committed to with its in-house processor design and engineering efforts.
Headphones that do double duty as external speakers is a much more practical and likely invention, looking at Apple’s product release history. It describes methods for turning both external on-ear type headphones into speakers with rotating ear cups, and ways to make even in-ear headphones like Apple’s own EarPods into speakers powerful enough for multiple people to enjoy. The headphones in all cases can detect their orientation, and even their proximity to a user’s ear to determine in which mode they should be operating.
Apple is clearly still interested in evolving its headphone design, since in introduced the new EarPods alongside the iPhone 5. And external speakers for iOS devices are consistently strong performers in terms of accessory categories. The main concern would be quality: making drivers small enough but powerful enough to sound good at any decent volume would be a significant engineering challenge.Related Posts:
A frequent gripe of Lytro camera owners has been the hands-off nature of the photography, with that signature infinite focus about the only real fine-tuning that’s on tap. As of a fresh firmware upgrade, the light-field camera is much friendlier to demanding shooters. The unconventional point-and-shoot now lets owners manually adjust the ISO sensitivity (80 to 3,200) and shutter speed (1/250th of a second to 8 seconds) as well as lock the exposure or invoke a neutral density filter. Regardless of their precision demands, anyone who was already sold on the concept still gets a few perks with today’s refresh: the 8GB model now comes in Seaglass green and a Target-exclusive Moxie Pink, and there’s both a $ 30 sleeve as well as a $ 60, accessory-friendly case for those who’ve fully committed to the Lytro lifestyle. Neither upgrade will bring higher resolutions or video, but they’ll go a long way towards accommodating those who were at least on the fence. Check out an interactive sample of the shutter speed control’s benefits after the break.
Filed under: Cameras
Gartner is the latest of the big analyst houses to release its numbers for smartphone and overall mobile sales in Q2. The picture it paints is one of a market that has, effectively, one winner at the moment: Android — and more specifically Samsung — with growth for Apple’s iPhone “paused” as users hold out for the next iPhone and ride out the tough economy.
Worldwide, there were 419 million phones sold to end users, is down 2.3% compared to a year ago, Gartner says. Just over one-third (36.7%) of all devices sold were smartphones, which continued to grow well even as the wider market (which includes feature phones) declined. Sales of smartphones were up by 42.7% to 154 million units, with Apple and Samsung together accounting for 83% of all smartphone sales.
Within the smartphone category, Android, led by Samsung, is reaping the most benefits from that growth at the moment. With nearly 99 million units sold, Android devices captured 64% of the smartphone market for the quarter (compared to 43.4% a year ago). Samsung’s Galaxy line of devices accounted for more than half of all Android sales, reaching 45.6 million devices sold.
And as a testament to the power of a good, new product launch, the new S3 sold 10 million units in its first two months of its release. “The Galaxy S3 was the best-selling Android product in the quarter and could have been higher but for product shortages,” Gartner notes.
Apple’s iOS-based iPhone devices, meanwhile, also saw growth, selling nearly 29 million units, but this was only in line with overall smartphone market expansion, so its share remained largely the same: it captured 18.8% of the smartphone market (versus 18.2% the year before). Gartner notes that sales of the iPhone fell by 12.6% compared to Q1.
Both Symbian and RIM saw big drops and are both hovering between 5% and 6% market share for sales last quarter, while Samsung’s bada and Microsoft saw modest, single-percentage gains to be level at 2.7% shares (equivalent to around 4 million devices).
Incidentally, do you remember when Nokia said it sold 4 million Lumia devices in Q2? That paints a particularly bad picture for how well the other OEMs are doing with WP7: between the rest of them they sold only about 87,000 devices, according to Gartner’s numbers. Ouch.
Apple’s Tim Cook told us in its Q2 earnings last month that the company was seeing lower iPhone sales in the quarter because of economic presssures, particularly in Europe, as well as a general lag due to people waiting for the new iPhone to hit the market (which by many reports it will do come September). Gartner essentially agrees with this assessment:
“The challenging economic environment and users postponing upgrades to take advantage of high-profile device launches and promotions available later in the year slowed demand across markets,” wrote Anshul Gupta, principal research analyst at Gartner, in a statement.
But he added that there is a converse to this, too, if the iPhone does in fact launch: “The anticipated Apple iPhone 5, along with Chinese manufacturers pushing 3G and preparing for major device launches in the second half of 2012, will drive the smartphone market upward,” he noted.
That growth, he says, will be primarily in smartphones. Lower-end devices will “continue to see pressure”, even if they continue to sell well in emerging markets.
Indeed, at the moment, it is feature phones that seem to be keeping Nokia alive in terms of phone sales (yes, the platform is burning, but it’s still standing up). While Nokia saw big declines in its smartphone stature — Symbian market share dropped by nearly 17 percentage points, and Windows Phone 7 saw only modest gains — the impact of that was only saw a small decline in overall world rankings, where Nokia now stands at just under 20% market share compared to 23% a year ago. It has feature phones to thank for that.
The picture is different for the world leader: buoyed by its strong sales in smartphones (over half of all devices sold by Samsung) and feature phones, Samsung is playing the game perfectly. It improved its market by nearly five percentage points to 21.6% marketshare, working out to over 90 million units sold. The distance between Samsung/Nokia and the rest of the pack is big at the moment. Apple comes in third but a ways behind with 29 million units. That shows how challenging the mobile market, which needs to operate at scale to be profitable, is at the moment for the majority of the industry.
Google’s Motorola is among the challenged ones. Yesterday the company set out a long-term plan to move away from feature phones to smartphones; it will be worth watching to see how that impacts the company’s standing in the wider rankings — perhaps very little since Motorla has been relying less on feature phone sales than companies like Nokia and Samsung. It took 2.2 percent share of sales in Q2, down 0.2 percentage points from last year.Related Posts:
Given #thescope with which Twitter has #invadedpopularculture, it may come as a shock to realize that the company hasn’t really ventured too far into the world of television advertising — but then, it seems that it’s been doing a pretty good job getting enough #freeadvertising as is. Clearly the folks at Twitter saw an untapped resource in the form of the #NASCAR audience, using the weekend’s race to launch its first TV #adcampaign, revolving around fittingly pithy spots capped off with the TWITTER.COM/#NASCAR URL, which redirects to a landing page for the weekend’s festivities. Relive the #thrilloftherace with a slew of Twitter ads #afterthebreak.
No matter what country you’re in, you’ll find at least one body-painted sports nut willing to act a fool in the name of fandom. To figure out what makes these hooligans tick, Sharp’s setting up trucks outside EuroCup 2012 matches to measure fans’ brainwaves using biometric technology. Once inside these mobile FanLabs, volunteers will watch the game while wearing the company’s NeuroSky headsets — a super sensitive EEG that uses dry electrodes to measure cerebral activity. By looking at brainwaves, along with heart rate and vocal excitement, scientists hope to reveal what levels of attention, stress, relaxation and excitement a fan goes through while supporting a specific team. Even if you’re not lending your melon to science, you can still join in the fun online, and see how you stack up against fans from around the world. So, bust out the body paint, grab your foam fingers and check out the video after the break.
Continue reading Sharp FanLabs goes inside soccer fans’ minds, measures loyalty with brainwaves (video)
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Over the past few months, we’ve peeked Intel’s roadmap more than once, but all told we’ve been treated to scant few details about its high-end desktop line, Sandy Bridge E (that’s “E” for enthusiasts). Today, though, VR-Zone is reporting that the next generation of these CPUs will ship without fans or heatsinks — a tacit acknowledgment, perhaps, that Intel’s home-brewed cooling system will be inadequate in the eyes of hobbyists anyway. We reached out to Intel for comment, and while the company stayed mum on the topic of cooling, it did go out of its way to clarify another point the folks at VR-Zone made in their report. The outlet had said that the forthcoming 3820, 3930K and 3960X CPUs will be rated at 130 watts, but will consume closer to 180W and draw up to 23 amps from the 12V2 supply rail — all without overclocking, mind you. An Intel rep writes: “TDP expectations for the 2nd Generation Intel Core i7 processor family for socket LGA-2011 are in line with previous generations of high end desktop products.” In other words, built-in cooling system or no, the TDP should be in line with what we’ve seen from other Extreme-branded processors. As for the cooling, it’s unclear when, exactly, we’ll get the full spill — the CPUs are rumored to launch before the end of the year, with the quad-core 3820 arriving after the six-core 3930K and 3960X.
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Looking to enhance that in-person baseball experience with one more technological distraction? Well, the wait is over, thanks to T-Mobile and its new tablet rental program at Angel Stadium in Anaheim. The company will not only offer the slates to patrons, but it’ll also push out customized content to enhance the superfan’s game-day stat overload — something we’ve seen before over at Safeco Field. Fans get to choose between a T-Mobile G-Slate or a Samsung Galaxy Tab, and the rental will only set you back a cool Hamilton, which is likely easier on the wallet than a decked-out hotdog. In addition to the tablet, you’ll also get your game-day program, a library of magazines for browsing between innings, T-Mobile TV and network access. So if you’re the casual baseball fan who scored free tickets, you can work on your Cut the Rope skills for a few hours… looking up to catch the home run jacks, of course.
Continue reading T-Mobile looks to go back-to-back, offers Angels fans tablet rentals
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Question by Emily! is an Astronaut: Any fans of Sia ? I guess I’m an on and off listener. I really like her music yet haven’t got an album. I’ll get “Some People Have Real Problems” one of these days.
Anyways I recently came across her cover of “Paranoid Android” and thought it was really good. What’s your opinion of it?
BQ: What are some songs that you must listen to in the car?
Answer by Starla DearI’m the same way. Don’t Bring me Down is my favorite from her.
Know better? Leave your own answer in the comments!Related Posts:
If you’re deeply into Minecraft, as I know many of you are, you might find this grass block texture mousepad fulfilling (there’s a Creeper one as well). Etsy seller DesignNoy has a ton more of iconic game graphics, if blocks and building aren’t your thing.
That is all.
Verlander fans 10 as Avila, Tigers top Mariners Alex Avila hit two triples and Justin Verlander pitched eight strong innings as the Tigers beat the Mariners 4-1. Read more on ESPN
Apple Is Largest Chip Buyer A research firm said Wednesday that Apple Inc. has become the world’s largest buyer of chips for computer and phones. IHS iSuppli said Apple bought $ 17.5 billion worth of chips last year, surpassing computer maker Hewlett-Packard Co. This was an increase of 80 percent from the year before, which directly reflects Apple’s continuing sales surge. According to iSuppli, an iPhone contains about $ 80 … Read more on redOrbit
US Uncut, Yes Men to Bust Corporate Tax Dodgers in Cayman Islands The Nation — The activism groups behind a widely circulated (and false) AP report stating GE would return its entire 2010 tax refund of $ 3.2 billion to the US Treasury appear to be getting the band back together. Read more on The Nation via Yahoo! NewsRelated Posts: