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Posted by on Nov 7, 2016 in Consumer Electronics, Semiconductor, Smart Devices, Wireless |

More Apps for the Wearable Ecosystem

More Apps for the Wearable Ecosystem

Most of us have gone through a phase of aggressively chasing the insect with a snake. Left, right, up, and down keys pushed animatedly to beat scores amongst our small circle of friends. With every new phone release, we have all waited in anticipation of a new, more updated version of the games with ‘edgier’ graphics. This was the era of Nokia and the game ‘snake’ that consumed everyone’s attention. Our expectations and imaginations were contained in the few apps that were preloaded on the phone. The world of phones has seen a rapid evolution in the last couple of years. Big players like Apple and Samsung, have revolutionised the way we interact with our phones. They have almost become an extension of our physical selves, making it almost impossible for most of us to live without them. With advancements in technology, they have made devices such as the camera and Tomtom GPS redundant. Compressing the functionality of these devices into one unit has simplified life and made content...

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Posted by on Jun 15, 2016 in Consumer Electronics, Enterprise Mobility, Semiconductor, Smart Devices |

Modular Smartphones in Market

Modular Smartphones in Market

Almost 18 month back, I had written a blog on Project Ara. Google (Motorola Mobility) launched Project Ara to develop modular smartphones with the announcement of Fairphone 2 (module/customizable) in December 2015. Neither Project Ara based phone nor Fairphone 2 phone are yet to hit the market, though the latter has sold 40,000 units of pre-ordered phones. LG has demonstrated its interesting modular smart phone LG G5 in MWC 2016 and launched it in February 2016. Similar to Module Developer Kit (MDK) of Google Project Ara, LG has released SDK and MDK for G5 to build its own market place for G5 modules [LG calls them LG Friends] Of course, LG G5 is not truly modular like expected Project Ara device. However, LG G5 is capable of morphing itself to another device such as digital camera and extending itself as a VR Control, Smart remote control through Accessories, “LG Friends”. Since there are details of LG G5 on Internet, I will not provide a complete review and details of...

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Posted by on Mar 21, 2016 in Consumer Electronics, Smart Devices, Wireless |

ZigBee in Smartphones

ZigBee in Smartphones

ZigBee has been around since 2003, the year of standardization, but is not as common as BLE which started in 2010. ZigBee is predominantly used in only home automation solutions as home devices such because lights, doors, windows, etc. have adapted ZigBee as a low connectivity solution. ZigBee will continue to be used for these solutions in near and medium term due to cost involved in switching to any other technology. But the question remains: Will it grow in home automation solutions and will it be able to enter smartphones? ZigBee has just remained in announcements and in academic activities. It has not gone beyond home automation solutions and has not come into smartphones. Is it because there is actually no need for it as smartphones can connect and communicate with devices at home through a hub? Whatever be the reason, fact is that ZigBee has not been adapted in smartphones for a very long time. Now, adaption will become difficult because of availability, adaption and growth of BLE....

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Posted by on Feb 25, 2016 in Consumer Electronics, Semiconductor, Smart Devices |

Vulkan: New Phase of Graphics Interfaces?

Vulkan: New Phase of Graphics Interfaces?

The 1970’s saw the birth of the specialized graphic chips to be used as part of the early video games hardware. The technology has been evolving since then. The need to use proprietary driver and interfaces for the software attached to the hardware Software on this hardware had to use proprietary driver with proprietary interfaces which was making maintenance expensive and causing delays in deployment. Some of the graphics chips launched in the early 1990s were Fujitsu’s MB14241, TI TMS34010, IBM8514, and Sharp X68000. Each of these chips had its own software interfaces and it was a time that saw an increase in the number of graphics hardware in the market. To enable easy migration from one hardware to another and for ease of maintenance of software, IRIS GL API was defined and developed by Silicon Graphics. IRIS GL API eventually became OpenGL APIs. IRIS GL API abstracted and supported only those features that were supported by hardware. IRIS GL API evolved to become OpenGL API that supported features...

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Posted by on Feb 25, 2016 in Consumer Electronics, Enterprise Mobility, Networks, Smart Devices, Telecom, Wireless |

Mushrooming Mobile Wallets and Payment Applications

Mushrooming Mobile Wallets and Payment Applications

First, plastic money replaced physical money. And now, digital money has taken over the role of the plastic credit and debit cards. We are talking about mobile wallets and payment solutions that have replaced the way we were handling electronic financial transactions. Though companies like PayTM and MobiKwik have been around for a few years now, they have recently become popular. Applications such as Momo and Ultracash have partnered with mobile wallets to help users to pay easily using their mobile phones at various partner places such as restaurants, malls and cinema multiplexes. These applications provide the option of registering credit cards, debit cards for payment to various merchants. These applications also provide net banking as an option for payment. Recently, many merchants – even local grocery shops – allow users to pay through these applications. All parties in the ecosystem that includes merchants, mobile wallets, and application vendors are providing attractive offers in the form of discounts and cashback to promote usage of these applications. How it works:...

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Posted by on Feb 17, 2016 in Consumer Electronics, Networks, Semiconductor, Smart Devices, Telecom, Wireless |

Narrowband-IOT: Enabling ultra-low cost IoT devices over cellular wireless

Narrowband-IOT: Enabling ultra-low cost IoT devices over cellular wireless

Cellular wireless communication is on the threshold of its 5th generation of evolution. From diverse region-specific standards in its 1st generation during the late 1970’s, the industry across the world has come together under the aegis of 3GPP for LTE as a unified 4th generation standard adopted today. The focus of services offered has evolved from being voice centric to pure packet data where voice is also offered over a packet network in VoLTE. With increasing relevance of Machine-to-Machine (M2M) communication enabling the Internet of Things (IoT), 3GPP has recognized the need to enable ultra-low cost wireless devices serviced by ubiquitous cellular networks. The result is Narrowband-IoT (NB-IoT), a variant of LTE technology that is being specified in Release 13 of 3GPP. LTE has been optimized for high bandwidth performance, during its evolution, till Release 12 of 3GPP specifications. Devices with capability ranging from 1 Mbps up to 450 Mbps of data throughput are supported but overheads are high for devices which should handle low data rates. Notable is the need for...

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