- Snapdragon 820-Powered LeTV Le Max Pro Gets a Best of CES 2016 Award
- Ruggie Alarm Clock Shuts Off Only If You’re Up and Standing
- Sony Classical Reissues the OSTs of Star Wars Episodes I-VI
- ONAGOfly Smart Nano Drone Took Indiegogo and CES 2016 by Storm
- CES 2016: Wulian’s Latest IoT and Smart Home Devices
Posted: 10 Jan 2016 10:00 AM PST
It has become a tradition for Chinese smartphone manufacturers to be the ones premiering devices based on new Qualcomm chipsets. This time it’s LeTV with the Snapdragon 820-based Le Max Pro, a monster of an Android smartphone that took home a Best of CES 2016 award.
LeTV, a Chinese company that started as a content creation platform, has made a goal out of dethroning Xiaomi, and that not only in their home country, but also globally. Being a somewhat new player in the smartphone industry, that’s a pretty lofty goal, but LeTV seems to have what it takes to succeed. This is the first time the company is present at CES, and for one of the devices exhibited there, it has managed to take away a Best of CES 2016 award already.
Each major online publication has given awards to the tech companies attending the event, so it’s no surprise than Samsung went home with more than 100 awards and LG with a bit over 50. Android Authority has decided to name the LeTV Le Max Pro the Best of CES 2016, and given the numerous revolutionary technologies that have been implemented in this device, their decision makes sense entirely.
“We couldn’t be more pleased with the enthusiasm for Letv,” said Eric Mika, senior vice president of open ecosystems, strategic alliances and partnerships at Letv. “To walk away with an award from Android Authority in our debut CES appearance reflects all the hard work our team has put into making extraordinary products that create extraordinary experiences."
“As the first Snapdragon 820-powered device, the Letv Le Max Pro ushers in an exciting future for smartphone performance,” responded Joshua Vergara, video producer and host, Android Authority.
That being said, the LeTV Le Max Pro is quite a beast, not only in terms of design, but also as far as its technical specs are concerned. The LCD display measures 6.33-inch in diagonal and comes with a QHD (2560×1440 pixels) resolution. With such features, the Le Max Pro steps firmly into phablet territory. Under the hood it sports the previously mentioned Qualcomm Snapdragon 820 chipset with a quad-core CPU clocked at 2.2GHz and an Adreno 530 GPU. The 64-bit Kryta CPU is said to offer twice the performance of the Snapdragon 810, and the AnTuTu benchmark more than confirms that, with scores upwards of 130,000.
To make sure that users are able to run as many apps they want, LeTV has included 4GB of DDR4 (!) RAM. It certainly is great that this RAM tecnology is finally finding its way to smartphones. As for the storage, there will be 3 models available, with 32, 64 or 128GB of internal memory.
The dual-SIM Le Max Pro is also among the first devices to come with 802.11ad Wi-Fi, which is a standard that features higher speeds and longer ranges than Wi-Fi ac.
Camera-wise, the phone is equipped with a 21MP rear-camera with optical image stabilization, while the front sports a 2 Ultra Pixel camera. Not at last, Le Max Pro comes with a 3,400mAh non-removable battery and runs LeTV’s EUI on top of Android 6.0 Marshmallow. These end the long list of features that make the Le Max Pro one of the best devices on the market.
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[Source and Image Credits: Android Authority]
Posted: 10 Jan 2016 09:04 AM PST
The success of modern alarm clocks seems to depend on how challenging it is to turn them off. Ruggie lacks a snooze button and requires you to apply pressure to it to shut it off, so it might actually be effective.
Apply pressure to it? Are we still talking about an alarm clock here? Well, yes, we are! Ruggie was designed, as its name might imply, too look like a rug that you place just beside your bed. The Canadian eponymous company that produces this alarm clock thought that requiring people to place their feet on Ruggie for a predetermined amount of time might prevent them to go back to sleep. The lack of a snooze button increases the effectiveness of this device.
By default, Ruggie is set to stop after standing with your feet on it for 3 seconds. The manufacturer claims that that duration can be customized, so if you’re a heavy sleeper, you know what to do. Instead of featuring a metal cold surface that would surely cause you to be grumpy from the beginning of the day, Ruggie comes with a memory foam that feels extremely comfortable. You know what else will prevent you from being grumpy all day long? The motivational speeches that are played back by Ruggie once it stops ringing.
The following video includes a couple of examples of motivational messages you could have Ruggie play back to you each morning. Having Arnold Schwarzenegger telling you to have a nice day right after you wake up can definitely help you start the day on the right foot. Keep in mind that these are just examples, and that you can customize the messages you want Ruggie to play back. If you need something extra to get you going, you might want to try Shia LaBoeuf’s Just Do It motivational speech. It would have been great if Ruggie had a weight sensor, so that it stopped only if it felt your entire body’s weight sitting on it.
Ruggie is currently featured on Kickstarter, where its developers have been looking to raise $50,000 CAD so that their product enters mass production. Luckily for them, the funding goal was exceeded in just five days, and the final amount might actually be a multiple of that goal, since the campaign still has 53 more days to go.
Early birds had the chance to reserve a Ruggie for themselves for $82 CAD, but the 500 spots are long gone, so if you want one, you’ll have to back the project with at least $110 CAD (around $79 USD). Included in the package are the Ruggie motivational speech alarm clock itself, a USB cable and a free eBook titled How to Wake Up Early and Build Successful Morning Routines. Assuming that the crowdfunding campaign ends well, Ruggie will start shipping its motivational speech alarm clocks in September 2016. Is it worth the wait? Will other companies launch innovative alarm clocks by then? Well, only time can tell.
Be social! Follow Walyou on Facebook and Twitter, and read more related stories about the SensorWake alarm clock that fills the room with scents, or the Ramos smart alarm clock that prevents oversleeping.
Posted: 09 Jan 2016 03:56 PM PST
Soundtrack lovers, rejoice! Sony Classical announced that it has reissued some the most important OSTs composed by John Williams, the scores of the first Star Wars episodes, in newly restored audio collections.
As Nice Peter and epicLLOYD pointed out in the Steven Spielberg vs Alfred Hitchcock episode of Epic Rap Battles of History (which btw, is not only one of my favorite episodes, but also one their best ever), half of Spielberg’s billions should go to John Williams, and while this isn’t a valid point in the case of George Lucas (Star Wars Episodes I-VI being the only movies directed by Lucas that the American composer has scored), it stands to show how great Williams really is. After all, his name was attached to more than 100 film scores, for five of which he even received the Academy Award (hint: Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope is one of those five).
Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens is full of nods to the episodes that were directed by Lucas. Some say that there are a tad too many references to the previous films, while others think that this has been a strategy all along to create a bridge between what was and what will be. We’ve seen familiar faces (Harrison Ford as Han Solo, Carrie Fisher as General Leia Organa, and Mark Hamill as Luke Skywalker), and we even got to hear a soundtrack that sounded like it was tailored for the film. The feeling of familiarity is caused by the fact that the composer of Episode VII’s score is the very same John Williams.
Since the launch of the newly restored audio collections comes after the theatrical release of Episode VII, some might wonder why that one hasn’t been included. My guess is that Sony Classical wanted to reissue only the ones that are tied to George Lucas, even though many claim that J.J. Abrams’ Episode VII is far better than the prequels (some even claim than all of them combined).
Sony Classical offers the six soundtracks in three editions: Star Wars: The Ultimate Vinyl Collection (11 LPs), Star Wars: The Ultimate Soundtrack Collection (10 CDs plus DVD) and Star Wars: The Ultimate Digital Collection (hi-resolution download). The physical editions feature the posters of the movies on the covers, and the CD version even comes with a bonus CD that includes a new audio interview with Harrison Ford, plus an interview with the master himself, John Williams. The DVD features Star Wars: A Musical Journey, a one hour special hosted by actor Ian McDiarmid (Chancellor Palpatine).
Star Wars: The Ultimate Vinyl Collection is already available on Amazon as of yesterday, and it can be yours for $199. On the other hand, Star Wars: The Ultimate Soundtrack Collection is less than a third of that, as it only costs $63.98. Depending on the audio equipment that you use and on the medium that you prefer, you can go for one or the other. Regardless of your choice, one thing is certain: the reissues are worth being in the collection of every Star Wars fan out there!
Be social! Follow Walyou on Facebook and Twitter, and read more related stories about GoGlove, a wearable that lets you control music with your fingertips, or the Earin wireless earphones.
Posted: 09 Jan 2016 01:27 PM PST
Companies looking to crowdfund their drones should learn a thing or two from ONAGOfly, a Delaware, US-based startup that has already raised nearly 10 times their funding goal, and all that nearly a month before the campaign’s end.
The ONAGOfly smart nano drone is getting a lot of attention these days, due to the extremely successful Indiegogo campaign on one hand, and with a lot of exposure at CES 2016 on the other hand. There are so many factors that contribute to this success that it’s hard to decide which one to describe first.
When it comes to the manufacturer’s priorities, they like to advertise the drone’s size, along with its GPS functionality and hi-res video camera. Palm-sized drones seem to be preferred by a lot of people, especially if they are equipped with a high resolution camera. ONAGOfly scores points in both departments, as it measures only 125x125x46mm, weighs just 140 grams and carries a Sony 15 MP camera that’s capable of shooting video in 1080p at 30 fps. Oh, and on top of that, it also has a GPS “follow me” function that enables it to maintain the distance between itself and the controller.
ONAGOfly also packs an IR sensor that helps it to intelligently avoid obstacles such as walls and trees. The ONAGOfly app can be used not only for controlling the drone, but also for syncing photos and videos as they are being recorded. P2P streaming functionality enables users to watch on smartphones or tablets whatever the drone is filming.
Not at last, the ONAGOfly smart nano drone includes a 1,000mAh battery that permits flight times of up to 15 minutes. Considering that the competitors struggle to get past the 10-minute mark, what ONAGOfly has managed to do is rather impressive.
To reserve the ONAGOfly smart nano drone for yourself you need to head over to Indiegogo, where the company’s crowdfunding campaign is hosted and pledge $199 or more + $25 for shipping, if you don’t live in the US, Canada or China. Assuming that nothing goes wrong within the next 27 days, when the campaign ends, you should receive your ONAGOfly mini quadcopter in March. At the time of writing, backers had pledged $1,399,294, which is 933% of the $150,000 funding goal, fact that certifies the awesomeness of the drone. Besides the drone, there are plenty of other perks, including ProKit packs and carrying case that make the entire campaign so much more appealing.
That being said, people who commented on the above YouTube video are very skeptical, claiming that the whole thing is a scam, and that the actual promotional video is full of lies. The memory of the Zano drone, Europe’s biggest Kickstarter project that went bust after raising $3.6m is still fresh, so it’s easy to understand why they’re making such comments. On top of that, Indiegogo has a history of rejecting projects that get banned on Kickstarter (remember the Skarp laser razor?), so their crowdfunding platform is not always seen with good eyes. I guess we’ll just have to wait a few more weeks to see if ONAGOfly shares the same fate.
Be social! Follow Walyou on Facebook and Twitter, and read more related stories about AEE Technology’s new quadcopters unveiled at CES 2016, or the EHang 184 human-carrying drone that’s more of a personal helicopter.
Posted: 09 Jan 2016 11:07 AM PST
Besides drones and various computer parts, another segment that has really picked up steam at this year’s Consumer Electronics Show is IoT and the smart home industry, in general, thanks to such exhibitors as Wulian.
Chinese company Wulian is a member of the ZigBee Alliance along with other such big players as Philips, Samsung, Logitech, Bosch, and Comcast, and it’s great to see that actual tech titans have converged on creating a standard for smart home devices, which is known as the ZigBee protocol.
Just to give you an idea about how many products Wulian has exhibited at CES 2016, the company had to set up seven exhibit areas: Smart Lighting, Access Security Control, Electrical Appliances Control, Wireless Monitoring System and Environmental Monitor. All of these are related one way or another to IoT and smart home systems, which are exactly the industries Wulian activates in.
The Dream Flower smart vase, picture above, represents the perfect combination between elegant design and technology. It’s very stylish and unobtrusive, so many of your guests will have no idea that it actually has more than just an aesthetic role. In fact, the Dream Flower smart vase acts as a comprehensive environment detector. It connects to dual-band Wi-Fi and provides information about the levels of PM 2.5, CO2, VOC gases, and even noise. On top of that, it comes with voice broadcasting capabilities and can light up in one of 16 million colors.
Secondly, the company has unveiled the Cylincam, a multi-function HD cam that features IR night vision and two-way communication. While this sounds great for a device meant for protecting your home, I can also see it working as a baby monitor. The 720-degree rotation enables it to be great for home monitoring, as well.
Up next is Wuilan’s Mini Gateway, which amazes with its small dimensions that actually qualify it for the title of the smallest gateway in the Smart Home Industry. It has numerous functions, and among many other things, it can work as a night lamp or a signal repeater for Wi-Fi networks. The built-in infrared sensor enables it to pick up movements that in turn trigger the night lamp function. Much like the Dream Flower smart vase, the Mini Gateway can let you know when someone is at the door, assuming you have it connected to a doorbell.
Home security is an aspect that couldn’t have been left behind. The Wulian Smart Door Lock features infrared intrusion detectors snaps photos when people approach the door, so you know at all times if there are any invited or uninvited guests in the neighborhood. The lock even sports a Stress mode that can be activated when family members feel threatened. Upon entering a PIN code, an emergency number is dialed, and the problem is solved, one way or another. The Smart Lock enables access based on fingerprint, password, NFC and remote keys, so it’s very versatile.
Not at last, Wulian has developed a Smart Home App that manages all of the above devices, and even lets you control them using an Apple Watch. Besides that, the app features such functions as remote control, time setting, scenes control, interactive communication, NFC and even GPS.
This is the last day of CES 2016, so if you haven’t checked Wulian’s exhibit areas, head over to Sands Expo Level 2, Hall A, 71531 and see some of their ZigBee devices with your own eyes.
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