Архив метки: LCD

Oppo shows first under-screen camera in bid to eliminated the hated notch

Ever since the notch was first added to smartphones, everyone in the world except the deeply deluded and my editor have wished it gone. Oppo has done it — or at least shown that it can be done — with a demonstration unit at Mobile World Congress in Shanghai. iPhone users can console themselves that Oppo kind of sounds like Apple.
Oppo and Xiaomi both teased their upcoming under-screen cameras in recent weeks, but it’s one thing to put out a video and quite another to show a working model to the public. And Oppo’s device was unmistakably present in Shanghai.

Unfortunately, if you were hoping that the first device would knock it out of the park… not quite. Eyes-on photos and impressions from Engadget China show that the transparent LCD used to cover the camera assembly is, or can be, noticeably different from its surroundings. Of course the team there was trying to capture it, and from straight on when you’re not looking for it this effect may not be particularly pronounced. But it’s there.
The camera itself, since it loses a lot of incoming light to the LCD layer, has a larger sensor with bigger pixels on it to better capture that light. This suggests a lower resolution for the unit than other front-facing cameras, and obviously shooting through an extra layer will reduce sharpness and increase artifacting. Oppo says it is working on reducing these in software, but there’s only so much you can do. The sample photos don’t look so hot.
It’s not going to set the world on fire, but Oppo’s less visible camera is a step towards a notchless future, and that I can support. No word on when it’ll actually be available for purchase, or in what models — perhaps Xiaomi will take the opportunity to announce its under-screen camera with a few more of the relevant details.

Oppo shows first under-screen camera in bid to eliminated the hated notch

Make your own phone with MakerPhone (some soldering required)

There’s no shortage of interesting electronics kits out there to occupy an idle Sunday, but with this one you get a phone out of the bargain. The MakerPhone is a kit looking for funds on Kickstarter that lets you assemble a working mobile phone from a number of boards and pieces, and the end result looks about as wild as you’d expect.
For about a hundred bucks, you get a mainboard, casing, LCD, wireless module, processor, and all the other pieces you need to make a basic smartphone. You’re not going to be browsing Instagram on this thing, but you can make calls, send texts, and play Snake. Remember when that was enough?
This is purpose-built hardware, of course — you won’t be putting it together cap by cap — but it’s not exactly plug and play, either. You’ll need a soldering iron, snippers, and some Python chops. (Not delicious python meat — Python the programming language.)

The MakerPhone microcontroller is Arduino-compatible, so you can tweak and extend it, too. But the creators (who previously shipped a similarly DIY handheld gaming machine) say you don’t need any experience to do this. It takes you through the absolute basics and there are pledge tiers that get you all the tools you’ll need, too.
I love the chunky UI, too. I like big pixels and I cannot lie.

Sure, this probably won’t be your everyday device (it’s huge) but it’s a fun project and maybe you could make it your weird home messaging machine. I don’t know. Be creative.
The MakerPhone is already well past its $15,000 goal, most of which was people snapping up the early bird $89 deal. But there are plenty available at $94, and it comes with a toolkit at $119.

Make your own phone with MakerPhone (some soldering required)

Here’s A Sneak Preview Of The Pebble Smart Watch UI [Video]

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Following the disappointing news that the InPulse team — the clever folks that raised over $3 million on Kickstarter in a matter of days — wouldn’t bring their e-paper Pebble smart watch to consumers by September (as promised), the company has released a video with a sneak preview of the watch’s UI.

The Pebble will be able to connect via Bluetooth to your iOS or Android smartphone, and can be set to alert you of incoming emails, texts, calls, and other alerts through an app. This isn’t necessarily unprecedented, but since the display uses e-paper technology, the battery lasts up to seven days — way longer than your average LCD display would.

In the video you’ll see that Pebble’s UI designer, Martijn, has created a custom tool to allow any graphic design work he does on his PC to be displayed on a Pebble watch prototype display in real-time.

He also shows off a demo of email, incoming calls, and the music app. All seem to be quite beautiful and functional, but feel free to confirm that for yourself below.


Here’s A Sneak Preview Of The Pebble Smart Watch UI [Video]

Roccat Connects Your PC To Your Smartphone For Power-Gaming

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One of the more interesting PC accessories of the last few years was the now-infamous Optimus keyboard, which replaced every key with a tiny display that could be customized for games and software. At $1500, it was kind of a stretch. More recently, Razer’s Blade laptop and an unreleased keyboard have integrated a touchscreen and LCD keys, though also at a premium. But why haven’t we employed the high-resolution touchscreens we all carry around with us – our smartphones?

Roccat, a PC gaming brand that has been expanding into the states, has put together a free app that acts as a sort of window into your PC, letting you monitor your components, create custom key layouts for games, and more. It’s a geek dream.

They call it Power Grid. The smartphone app connects to a desktop client that hooks into Skype, Twitter, your PC’s basic stats like network throughput and drive space, and also lets you adjust stuff like audio and media playback. People who play games like WoW likely already have apps like this for calculating DPS, doing mapping, and so on. And serious power gamers will have their own separate displays for this kind of thing. But this looks pretty slick, and is apparently very versatile. And it’s also free.

Initially it will only be available for iOS, but they plan Android and Windows Phone 7 versions in the near future. The first version is being shown off at Cebit, and should be coming out later this month.

Free doesn’t make much money, though, so they’ll be selling accessories like this keyboard to pay the bills:

There will also be a special stand, though to be honest it seems like any dock will do. The data is sent over wi-fi, so it could be in your pocket for all that.

Unfortunately, the hardware won’t be out until late 2012. But the app will be out soon and that’s the important bit. We’ll give it a once-over as soon as it hits.


Roccat Connects Your PC To Your Smartphone For Power-Gaming

HTC One Lineup Revealed: The One X, One S, And One V

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The rumors were true, everyone. After months of anticipation and speculation, the device once known as the HTC Edge (or Endeavor) has been officially revealed here at MWC as the HTC One X. The One X (called a “multimedia livewire” in the press release) has an 8-megapixel camera, 4.7-inc LCD display, and 1080p video recorder. The new One X runs Android with the HTC Sense 4 UI overlay.

The 1.5 GHz LTE Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 processor delivers “unparalleled Web surfing.” It will be available on AT&T.

The One S runs on T-Mobile and has similar specs to the One X.

Finally, there’s the One V with a nice “unibody design” and 3.7-inch screen. It’s a lower end model and has no front-facing camera.


HTC One Lineup Revealed: The One X, One S, And One V