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Logitech and Skype have jointly announced the new Logitech TV Cam HD. The new device features an HD camera that sits on top of your TV and outputs the video via an HDMI cable. This device should make it easier for families to share everyday moments from the room that a large amount of time is spent in.
"Amazing connections happen when the video calling experience moves to the TV in the living room: the most popular and comfortable place in the house," said Joerg Tewes, vice president of Logitech's digital home business group. "Because of the size of the TV screen and the quality of the video, the new Logitech TV Cam HD with Skype brings a whole new social element to the living room, helping you feel like your family and friends are right there with you. It's a transformative experience."
All that is required to make calls is the device and an Ethernet or Wi-Fi connection. Users operate the device using the included remote to sign in and make video calls to other Skype users on any Skype-supported device. Users can also call mobile or landlines using their Skype credit straight from the device.
Back in December of 2010, India's richest man, Mukesh Ambani announced through a 36-page handwritten memo to executives that he planned to build one of the world's most advanced telecommunications networks.
The Wall Street Journal has reviewed his memo, which describes a 4G wireless service with "99.999%" network availability, "integration with an app store, ours or others" in order to help smartphone users order fast food, or buy a movie ticket, sourcing of mobile divisions from China and Taiwan, content deliver to "3 screens", cellphones, laptops and TV, and two 300,000-square-foot data centers.
Well, then. Just two years later, Ambani, chaiman of the energy conglomerate Reliance Industries Ltd., looks to be putting these plans into action in the hopes of throwing India into the forefront of wireless broadband technology, all while bringing millions of Indians online for the first time ever.
A storm is coming in the form of a battle between Thunderbolt and USB 3. With non-Mac computers just starting to get access to Thunderbolt's 10Gbps transfer speeds, USB 3 has taken the upper hand in power delivery with a newly approved specification for both USB 2 and USB 3 that allows up to 100W of power draw.
At 100W, USB 2 and USB 3 can deliver 10 times more power than what Thunderbolt can. Furthermore, 100W is enough to satisfy most devices' requirements for charging, including several laptops. This means that almost any peripheral should be able to be charged via USB. It's almost time to say "bye" to proprietary connectors.
"USB Power Delivery enables a path to greatly reduce electronic waste by eliminating proprietary, platform-specific chargers," said Brad Saunders, USB 3.0 Promoter Group Chairman. "We envision a significant move toward universal charging based on this specification, most notably for charging notebook PCs using standardized USB power bricks or when connected to USB hubs and desktop displays that integrate USB Power Delivery capabilities."
TP-LINK has announced a new pocket-sized wireless router that is affordable and useful. Measuring up at just 2.5" square and a depth of less than 3/4", the micro-sized router really can be taken with you while on the go, whether that be traveling or just running across town. The device is smaller than a credit card.
The device is said to provide 150Mbps wireless access speed and can be powered by a USB or external power supply. It is said to be powerful enough to deliver that speed inside an average-sized room. While you won't be winning any performance awards, it's perfect to get a smartphone, tablet, or other device onto a single, wired internet connection.
The TP-Link Nano can be used to create an instant Wi-Fi hotspot by plugging in an Ethernet cable from your existing network or modem. It also functions as a Wireless Router, Range Extender or Wireless Bridge. The stylish cube design is small enough to fit into your pocket and plugs right into an electrical outlet without the hassle of using a power cord.
Thunderbolt may not be everywhere yet, but we are still waiting on mechanically-driven hard disk drives to die their mainstream death, for speed reason anyway, but it looks like Thunderbolt has a future filled with speed.
Intel isn't slowing down their rampage of Thunderbolt, with the company already planning more than one new controller, including a Falcon Ridge part that is said to double the current throughput from 10Gbps per channel, to 20Gbps per channel.
Current-generation controllers, codenamed "Cactus Ridge", arrived earlier this year starting with Apple's latest Mac products. Cactus Ridge-based parts combined DisplayPort and either two or four PCI Express lanes (depending on the chip used) over a single cable, with 10Gbps of bidirectional bandwidth per channel.
Falcon Ridge is a fourth-generation controller and is set to be unleashed in 2014, offering 20Gbps per channel. At the moment, it's not clear whether Intel will be able to hit those speeds while using the current copper cables, or if they'll need to bake in some more expensive optical variety.
Western Digital, a manufacturer known for their hard drives and not networking gear, has entered a new market today with the release of a new line of home networking gear called My Net. The new family of products contains a Gigabit switch, three dual-band Wi-Fi routers, and one dual-band router with 1TB or 2TB of network attached storage.
First off, the new N900 Central is a router that features built-in network attached storage. Speeds of up to 900Mbps are possible thanks to the dual-band connectivity. It features the typical 4+1 Ethernet connections for wired networking and comes with a USB for printers or additional storage. The basic N900 is almost the same except it trades the storage for an extra USB and 3 more LAN ports.
The N750 and N600 both feature 5 GigE ports but that is where the similarities end. The N750 can manage 750Mbps and features 2 USB ports. Meanwhile, the N600 can only reach a combined speed of 600Mbps and only features one USB port. The My Net Switch doesn't have any storage, router, or wireless functions, but instead provides 8 GigE ports.
The My Net Switch runs $70 and the N600, N750 and N900 routers are going to set you back $80, $120 and $180, respectively. The N900 Central with 1TB of storage goes for around $300 and the 2TB version is $350.
Computex 2012 - Over in the Intel suite yesterday afternoon we got a chance to check out a few cool things that Intel are working on at the moment. Once that really grabbed my fancy was the Intel WiDi technology or Wireless Display technology.
Using a prototype Intel Ultrabook we saw them hook a external monitor to the device to give us a dual screen setup.
What we then saw was via the WiDi technology, a third screen which in this case was a large TV monitor, be added into the array of monitors to give us a three monitor display setup all off a single Ultrabook.
There's no denying that the combination of multi monitor setups and ultra portability that the Ultrabook brings opens us to a new world of productivity on the go.
I got a chance to speak with the Director of Marketing over at Marvell and got the scoop on their new wireless chip. What can only be described as the way of the future, the new Avastar 88W8897 is an incredible chip. Marvell is often the wireless provider for smartphones, gaming consoles, and other embedded systems, but is targeting the PC market with this new chip.
The new chip is the world's first MIMO 802.11ac wireless solution. MIMO is used on products which feature multiple antennas. The 88W8897 features two antennas and two spatial streams which provide an incredible 867Mbps transfer rate. The new solution also provides Bluetooth support and near-field communication (NFC).
The Director of Marketing explained to me the usefulness of having NFC support in a wireless chip. In case you don't know, NFC is what is being used in those credit cards that don't have to be swiped or in phones that allow you to pay by waving them over a sensor. I won't bore you with how it works, but I will explain the usefulness in having it in a wireless chip.
Basically, Marvell envisions a world where a wireless device can be swiped over an access point to authenticate and join the network. The same idea goes for Bluetooth in that a device can be swiped over the other to be paired. This makes it so people don't have the tedious process of pairing or the need to remember wireless keys.
Intel has inked a deal with Devicescape which could see the inclusion of Devicescape's virtual network into Intel-powered Ultrabooks and tablets. While Intel doesn't actually build these devices, they provide the silicon and software to manufacturers who design and assemble them and then sell them to the general public.
Devicescape has crowdsourced an entire network of open access points around the globe. However, not every access point gets added to Devicescape's network. First, the access point has to pass Devicescpe's standards for speed, reliability and availability. Only then will it be added. Of the 100 million or so access points seen, only 8 million have made the cut.
"Smart Connect will work on lid open and lid closed scenarios," Devicescape CEO David Fraser said via email. "So, you'll be automatically connected no-matter the state of your PC." The connection is completely automatic and works even with the lid closed. Imagine walking into a store and sitting down to find all of your email and RSS feeds synced. The future looks great.
No word on whether or not Intel or its partners would charge for the service, but it is highly unlikely that they would for a couple of reasons. First, the access points are free to Intel and would be accessible by the users without the service. Second, INtel is facing competition from ARM so this would be a way to differentiate their somewhat similar products.
Is your current home wireless fast enough? No? Well, maybe you should pick up a new router based off of the technology that some researchers in Japan are working on. They have smashed the current record for transfer speed by double. Last November, chipmaker ROHM transferred data at 1.5Gb/s using a frequency of 300GHz.
The researchers have smashed that, however, by managing an incredible 3Gb/s. Unfortunately, due to the super high frequency, the farthest the data can travel before being affected by interference is about 10m, or 30ft for us Americans. The researchers managed this feat by using 542GHz radio waves which oscillate faster, hence can carry more data.
The technology required to operate in the terahertz region (300GHz-3THz) has always been too bulky and expensive to be of any value. It would have been near impossible to tuck inside a smartphone due to its size and power draw. This new work uses a 1mm^2 resonant tunnelling diode, or RTD, which significantly reduces the size and power requirements.
It's not likely to be coming next year, but this new wireless technology could eventually find its way into devices. As long as the distance doesn't need to be far, utilizing the terahertz spectrum could very well allow for large, direct file transfers at incredibly high speeds. This could also work very well for home theater systems.