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Qualcomm has just teased the next generation of wireless technology with its new LTE Direct technology, something the company has been working on for close to a decade. LTE Direct is built upon the foundations of the LTE protocol, which allows LTE Direct-powered devices to communicate with one another without requiring a cell tower.
LTE Direct will also work at distances greater than 500 yards, which means we have signal ranges that far exceed that of Wi-Fi and Bluetooth. Better yet, LTE Direct uses very little energy, meaning a device can be on the look out for another LTE Direct signal without draining the battery. Then there's the other side of the LTE Direct coin: it's not just limited to handsets, as beacons can be set up to communicate directly with anything nearby.
Mahesh Makhijani from Qualcomm has said that this is somewhat of a sixth sense, which is constantly aware of the environment around you. With the world filled with information, LTE Direct can help people use their phones to better their lives. But, with retailers jumping on board, and you being blasted directly in places where you'd normally not get cell signal, it could get annoying, fast.
USB Type-C is on its way, but what else will the USB connector have to offer us? With a new agreement struck between the USB 3.0 Promoter Group and the Video Electronics Standards Association (VESA), we will see USB Type-C supporting DisplayPort, and video.
VESA explains that this new feature is being called the DisplayPort Alternative Mode, or Alt Mode: "Using the DisplayPort Alt Mode, a USB Type-C connector and cable can deliver full DisplayPort audio/video (A/V) performance, driving monitor resolutions of 4K and beyond, SuperSpeed USB (USB 3.1) data and up to 100 watts of power-over a single cable. The DisplayPort Alt Mode can also drive adaptors that support the huge installed base of existing DisplayPort, HDMI, DVI, and VGA displays".
Better yet, the cables and connections can also connect a DisplayPort device using a reversible USB Type-C to DisplayPort converter cable, which will open up a slew of doors for connectivity options.
With Google's recent acquisition of Titan Aerospace, many have wondered what it would do in our skies - well, now we have somewhat of an idea what the Mountain View-based giant will do. Google has asked the Federal Communications Commission for permission to take to the skies with experimental drones that would provide Internet access to remote areas.
Google wrote to the FCC on Friday, asking it to keep most of the testing details under wraps, but it did write: "Google recently acquired Titan Aerospace, a firm that specializes in developing solar and electric unmanned aerial systems ('UAS') for high altitude, long endurance flights. These systems may eventually be used to provide Internet connections in remote areas or help monitor environmental damage, such as oil spills or deforestation. The STA [Special Temporary Authority] is needed for demonstration and testing of [REDACTED] in a carefully controlled environment".
Starting on October 6, 2014, Google wants to start testing out its drones for 180 days. We should see the site of these tests "in a square east of Albuquerque and south of Santa Fe, New Mexico, centered roughly on the unincorporated community of Stanley", according to consulting engineer Steven Crowley. Google will transmit at frequencies between 910MHz and 927MHz, and from 2.4GHz to 2.414GHz. What will Google be transmitting at those frequencies? No one knows, as this information was redacted from the document, with the company refusing to comment on its application.
Apple introduced a new feature for its iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus and previous models with iOS 8 called Wi-Fi calling, of which only T-Mobile and EE will be providing at the time of launch. AT&T on the other hand plans to roll out Wi-Fi calling support, but as late as next year.
Despite AT&T's attempts to ensure that Wi-Fi calling will work without interruptions hinted as a reasons for a slow rollout, Ralph de la Vega, president and CEO of AT&T's new Mobile and Business Solutions group said that there's no urgent need to roll out Wi-Fi calling for now.
"We're very focused on making sure it's a great experience for customers, but we see it as a complement, not a replacement," Ralph de la Vega said. "We feel good about a great nationwide network with unlimited talk and text." He added that Wi-Fi calling will serve only as a complement to voice-over LTE AND 3G voice.
We knew it was coming, but VESA has just announced an update to the DisplayPort standard, bringing it up to version 1.3. DisplayPort 1.3 will enjoy bandwidth of 32.4 Gbps, a 50% increase on the 21.6 Gbps that DisplayPort 1.2 offered.
DisplayPort 1.3 will be capable of driving 5K at 60Hz, or better yet, 4K at 120Hz. Thanks to DP1.3 now offering 4K at 120Hz, this can be split into two 4K displays at 60Hz each, which is damn impressive for a single cable. Not only that, but DP1.3 will offer support for HDCP 2.2 and HDMI 2.0 with CEC. It doesn't even stop there, as it will support 8K, which runs at 7680x2160, all at 60Hz.
The new standard isn't just good for video, as it will also feature improved protocols for sharing display and data signals over the single cable. Thanks to the increased bandwidth and these tweaks, things like DockPort will handle DisplayPort and USB 3.0 on the same interface, being able to pump out data to various displays and devices at once, without feeling like its drowning.
Dropping prices in connected devices, and increasingly tech savvy families in the United States, will help drive the Internet of Things (IoT) in the future ahead. In a mature and affluent market, for example, there could be hundreds of "smart" objects in a single household by 2022, according to the Gartner research group.
Large domestic appliances aren't replaced often, so average households will grow their collection of smart objects slowly over the next decade. However, a mature smart home will not take place until 2020 to 2025, as smart domestic products continue to be released.
"We expect that a very wide range of domestic equipment will become 'smart' in the sense of gaining some level of sensing and intelligence combined with the ability to communicate, usually wirelessly," said Nick Jones, Gartner VP and distinguished analyst, in a statement. "More sophisticated devices will include both sensing and remote control functions. Price will seldom be an inhibitor because the cost of the Internet of Things (IoT) enabling a consumer 'thing' will approach $1 in the long term."
Thanks to our friends at Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment, we have copies of this week's Blu-ray release of 'The Muppets: Most Wanted' up for grabs for three lucky readers!
'Muppets: Most Wanted' takes the entire Muppets gang on a global tour, selling out grand theaters in some of Europe's most exciting destinations, including Berlin, Madrid and London. But mayhem follows the Muppets overseas, as they find themselves unwittingly entangled in an international crime caper headed by Constantine - the World's Number One Criminal and a dead ringer for Kermit and his dastardly sidekick Dominic, aka Number Two, portrayed by Ricky Gervais.
To go into the running to take one Blu-ray copy home, simply correctly answer the following question:
Name the legendary puppeteer who created The Muppet franchise and many of its characters
To enter, simply 'like' this post and share via Facebook or Twitter and send your answers, along with your postal address to ben at TweakTown.com before the competition closes on August 15th.
'The Muppets: Most Wanted' is available on Blu-ray and HD Digital Copy combo pack Blu-ray, DVD and Digital Copy combo pack and Digital from Australian retailers on August 13th.
Whatever Internet access you've ever used, be it personal or professional, probably doesn't even begin to come close to what the Technical University of Denmark (DTU) is playing around with in their labs.
A team at DTU has just set a record for the fastest ever data transfer speeds, at 43 terabits of data in a single second - this equates to around 5.4TB of data, or 1GB of data in a barely-there 0.2 milliseconds. This technology uses a single laser down a single line of fiber, the same fiber lines that are used in fiber-optic connections.
London's mayor Boris Johnson is expected to announce a super speedy 5G network for the UK capital this week.
According to a report in Britain's Telegraph, the eccentric mayor will promise 5G connectivity in the capital by 2020, pledging that Londoners will have access to a super quick network capable of downloading movies in just seconds. The University of Surrey will work in partnership with the city to deliver the network. "London is earning a reputation for being the tech capital of Europe and that is why we need to ensure every Londoner is able to access the very best digital connectivity," Johnson will say. "Rapidly improving the connectivity of this great city is a key part of the Infrastructure Plan for London."
As part of wider plans, Johnson is also expected to commit to improving connectivity across the entire capital, as well as making sure information about this connectivity is generally available. For example, tenants moving into new houses will be able to check against a data set to see what internet speeds they will be able to get access to. Additionally, the mayor will work with telcos to use this data to pinpoint exactly where improvements need to be made across the city.
There will be double the amount of connected TV devices in the United States when compared to U.S. Internet households by 2017, according to the NPD Group. There will be an estimated 204 million connected TVs using the Internet over the next three years, double the figure of estimated Internet growth.
The adoption of connected TVs and streaming media players, along with lowering costs, have provided consumers with a wide selection of product choices. More consumers are using their connected living room technologies to stream Netflix, Pandora, YouTube, Hulu, and other popular entertainment services.
"The evolution of hardware and digital content distribution is constantly changing the TV viewing experience," said John Buffone, NPD Connected Intelligence executive director, in a press statement. "Over the coming years, the consumers' preferred device for apps on TV will be shaped by the next generation of video game consoles, Smart TVs, and a new wave of streaming media players."