Friday, June 7, 2019

5G vs. 4G: How 5G Will Improve the Formula

4G debuted in the late 2000s, and it was an immediate technological game-changer. At the time, some people found it difficult to imagine that anything could surpass this sort of monumental achievement. However, as time progresses, so do our expectations. It’s for this reason that we’re seeing a new frontier in the technological world as 5G creeps into view.

What Makes 5G Different?


In a word, everything. At the moment, 4G is a bit tied up in terms of how much bandwidth our modern devices require. 5G provides a clean slate, as its bandwidth isn’t as cluttered as that of the 4G network. This will allow us to move selected data at a much more efficient rate.

4G peaks at a speed of 1GB per second, averaging at 10MB in terms of everyday speed. 5G, however, peaks at an average speed of 20GB per second, or 100MB with everyday speeds—meaning it’s 20 times faster than its predecessor. It’s estimated that, if it performs as expected, 5G will be able to download a 3D movie in a mere six seconds.

5G is projected to drastically improve our Internet experience. We’ll see improved Internet reliability, and the cleaner bandwidth will allow us to connect more devices to our routers without affecting their efficiency.

Will I Pay More?


Phone plans themselves may not increase in price, but our wallets may still take a hit in other respects. For one, the cost of devices could jump by $200 to $300. Also, the increased speed and quality of our Internet connections could cause greater data consumption. Higher data usage means higher costs.

However, for technology enthusiasts, this is a welcome exchange. As the production of movies and other digital media continues to grow, we need the ability to support this growth. There may certainly be an adjustment period for Internet carriers and devices, but we can expect to see an improved online experience over the next couple years.

Sink or Float? The Google Glass Takes a Second Voyage

In 2013, Google released the Google Glass, a computer in the form of eyeglasses. Sporting a $1,500 price tag, it was a highly anticipated release—a taste of the future, before merely a concept used in sci-fi films. Unfortunately, while innovative, the product did not perform as expected. In 2015, Google withdrew the glasses and placed them back on the drawing board.

Now, four years after the first iteration of this product fizzled from our memories, Google revived the Glass in a new and improved form. They’ve named this version the Google Glass Enterprise Edition 2, and we hope to see a higher level of success.

What’s New with Edition 2?


The revitalized edition of the Glass sports a lower price tag than its predecessor, rounding out at $999. According to Google’s website, “As our customers have adopted Glass, we’ve received valuable feedback that directly informed the improvements in Glass Enterprise Edition 2.”

The product is not available for sale to general consumers, as it has been designed and marketed toward corporate buyers. The glass is equipped with a miniscule 8MP camera that boasts a 640x360-pixel display, as well as a small prism above the right eye, and three microphones. It also features a longer battery life in conjunction with a shorter charging time. A full list of specs is available on Google’s website.

Along with technological feats, the Glass also sports classic practicalities. Users utilizing the Glass for manufacturing types of work will find the glasses water and dust resistant.

Has Google Found the Right Formula?


The future of the Enterprise Edition 2 has a positive outlook, but we have to wonder how this newest version will fare. It certainly seems like it should earn itself a spot in the world of useful tech, but we thought the same for the first version—we know how that ended.

Google has taken their time improving the product and narrowed down its audience to those in business, so we may see a more positive reception this time around. It may be too early to determine victory this early in the game, but Google seems to have made welcome changes to the Glass. If this venture proves successful, the world of wearable technology may be edging towards a new future.

Friday, May 31, 2019

How Does Virtual Reality Work? A Simple Rundown

Virtual reality is a hot topic nowadays, with new uses for it cropping up daily. From gaming to education, virtual reality’s potential applications are almost limitless. But how does virtual reality work? To truly grasp this, you need to know everything that goes into these complex systems.

What is virtual reality?


Virtual reality allows users to immerse themselves in an alternate reality in a virtual world. This world can take on a plethora of forms. Sci-fi games, for example, tout impressive landscapes filled with neon lights and super-powered androids. Medical simulations, on the other hand, feature realistic renderings of a medical environment. Each form may look different, but the main components are immersive screens and settings that take you into another world.

How does it look so real?


There’s a reason that watching something on TV and seeing something in VR are two totally different experiences. Virtual reality tricks your brain into believing you’re in the world being projected before your eyes. The key to this is the use of a stereoscopic display. In a nutshell, this means that the same image is projected to each of your eyes at two slightly different angles, subtly and effectively simulating depth. When this is paired with clever programming and expert graphics, you get an experience that might as well be real.

Using the senses


Sight is, of course, necessary when it comes to effective VR, but it’s not the only sense at play. Immersive audio is essential to how virtual reality works. Spatial audio—or 3D audio—emulates sounds coming from different angles. If a monster crept up behind you in a VR game, for example, you’d hear the sound of its movement coming from behind. This amplifies your heightened senses, bringing you even further into the virtual world.

Movement within the system


Simply gawking at an impressively rendered, lifelike environment isn’t enough—you’ve got to be able to interact with it, too. This movement is achieved through a hand-held controller, which interacts with infrared sensors to give players the ability to interact with the virtual world. This allows the user to move freely about the room they’re in, making the virtual experience a truly lifelike one.

The future of virtual reality


Virtual reality has come so far, but there are still many innovations and changes on the horizon. As the technology continues to develop, it will become far more accessible. How virtual reality works is through the melding of many expert technologies. Combing impeccable visuals with surround sound audio and clever tracking creates an experience that cannot be replicated. As virtual reality technology advances, these experiences will only get better.

Upgrade Your Nursery with the Best Tech Products for Parents

As a parent, you want to provide the very best for your little ones. Take your parenting into the 21st century with these awesome tech products for parents. Just short of a robot babysitter, these products provide the very best in childcare and will make you the savviest parent on the block.

Video baby monitors


Gone are the days of monitoring your baby’s cries with a glorified walkie talkie. Recent developments in technology have made it much easier to stay on top of what your kids are up to. Video baby monitors allow you to watch your baby in real time. They can be synced to your smart phone or tablet so that you can view your baby wherever you are. Some video baby monitors can even record sound and video or emit soothing white noise.

Smart cribs


Smart phones and tablets are great, but they can only do so much for a fussy baby. Enter smart cribs. These cribs use state-of-the-art technology to lull your little one back to sleep so that you can get some much-needed shut-eye as well. Smart cribs like the SNOO Smart Sleeper can sense when a baby is getting restless, using a combination of white noise and rocking motions to soothe them back to sleep. This crib also provides parents with a sleep log for their child and has multiple settings for every stage of growth, from preemies to weaning babies.

Security systems


When your child outgrows a baby monitor, you can continue to keep them safe by installing a high-tech security system in your home. Security cameras can help you keep your eyes on your rambunctious toddler and make sure they don’t stir up too much trouble. You can also place a camera in your child’s bedroom to make sure they’re actually sleeping during nap time. Install systems near exits to alert you whenever a door opens and help stop your toddler’s great escape in its tracks. Many security systems are supported by mobile apps, making your security measures even more airtight.

Health monitors


Health monitors are the perfect tech product for parents who are constantly checking in with their pediatricians. Products like the Braun No-Touch + Forehead Thermometer can take temperatures up to two inches from the forehead, allowing you to check your child’s health without waking them from their slumber. Other health monitors, like the Owlet Smart Sock 2 Baby Monitor, function more like a Fitbit for babies. This device wraps around your baby’s foot and accurately tracks their heart rate and oxygen levels. The mobile app will alert your phone if anything is wrong.


Friday, May 24, 2019

Will There Be Flying Cars in The Future? Signs Point to Yes

Flying cars have been staples in science fiction for decades, believed to be the ultimate stamp of the future. From The Jetsons to Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, there’s been no shortage of fascination with the concept. When it comes to the question of will there be flying cars in the future, many companies answer with a resounding yes.

The flying cars from fiction are quite a departure from what they’ll actually look like. Many imagine them as cars that can simply fly, but current iterations are more nuanced. From the AeroMobil 5.0 VTOL, which resembles a sports car crossed with a helicopter, to Dubai’s police hoverbike, which mimics a motorcycle, the landscape of flying cars is varied. There may not be a singular flying car “look,” but a few different types and styles may hit the scene.

Technically, we have the technology to craft these vehicles now. The United States already has a long history of aircraft innovation with airplanes, drones, and helicopters. There are, however, major concerns with flying cars, mostly related to space and safety.

Users will need ample take-off space, as well as large, designated zones on which to land. In crowded, urban spaces, vertical takeoff is a must to avoid crashes. Without the proper amount of space, takeoff and landing simply isn’t possible. The space requirement would make flying vehicles less than ideal for those without a lot of land, or without access to adequate space.

While space is important, safety is the biggest concern you see raised regarding this mode of transportation. For traditional cars, if something goes wrong you can simply pull over, but this isn’t an option for flying cars. The concern is for the safety of the driver and the bystanders on the ground in the event a mechanical failure occurs. These concerns must be addressed before flying car manufacturers can hope to bring these vehicles into the mainstream.

All in all, the question of if there will there be flying cars in the future is more a question of when. A slew of vehicles are already in development, and Uber hopes to offer flying rideshare services by the mid-2020s. Though these goals are lofty, with the current research and technology, it certainly isn’t out of the question. You may not see a flying car parked in every driveway, but within the next couple years, you may hear them buzzing over your head.

Friday, May 17, 2019

The Benefits of Facial Recognition Software in Business

Fun Snapchat filters are just the beginning of advancements resulting from facial recognition software.  Many companies are starting to recognize the many benefits of facial recognition software and the ways it can benefit their business. This technology is continually developing—more and more companies are utilizing the software as a cost- and time-efficient alternative to standard practices.

Increased security

Unlike passwords or access cards, which someone can easily lose or steal, facial recognition software poses little threat in the way of stolen identity. With advancements such as 3D mapping and deep learning capabilities, facial recognition technologies are becoming increasingly harder to trick, making them much safer than alternate security practices. Samsung and Apple have already implemented facial mapping as a means of cell phone security; however, some companies are now considering the use of facial recognition software on a larger scale. For example, using it in place of traditional building security. Utilizing facial recognition software in this way would allow building managers to supervise all workers and visitors that come into the building and ensure maximum security for their employees.

Increased accuracy

3D facial mapping uses distinguishable facial pinpoints, such as the distance between eyes or the length of the nose, to accurately recognize the user. These advancements will make identification much quicker and easier and will have major impacts on several industries. Law enforcement will be able to utilize these technologies to more accurately identify criminals. Similarly, airports can integrate facial recognition into their security processes to recognize individuals that may be on a no-fly list. Furthermore, facial recognition software helps create a database that officials can use to identify images obtained via security cameras.

In addition to the benefits of facial recognition software in law enforcement and security practices, some companies have started using this technology to improve their sales and marketing strategies. Companies can also use facial recognition software to detect differences in emotion. Using this software, companies can attempt to understand consumer’s emotions when using their products or viewing their advertisements. This information allows advertisers to more accurately predict the buying patterns of consumers and adapt accordingly.

4 of the Major Financial Technology Trends in 2019

Each year, tech trends reinvent the way we interact with the world—including financially. From increased customer consent over data sharing to AI-driven financial advisors, these four of the many financial technology trends expected to emerge in 2019 may impact your life.

Mobile banking

Mobile apps are redefining the banking industry in 2019. From depositing checks to applying for loans, almost anything that required a visit to the bank can now be accomplished from your phone. Banks are expected to focus on creating a seamless and user-friendly digital presence and not so much on the appearance of their buildings.

AI-driven wealth managers

Automated wealth managers driven by artificial intelligence are expected to play a huge role in the investment industry this year. These bots are designed to help people make the best financial decisions with algorithms that calculate optimal investment opportunities, interest rates, and the best loan providers.

Open banking gives customers more consent over data sharing

Banking data can be shared with third parties without a customer’s consent or knowledge, but this is expected to chance in 2019. Banks will begin to implement application programming interfaces that provide customers with options to control which third parties can access to their data. These open banking APIs will also increase collaboration in the banking industry, and will likely lead to further improvements in customer service and financial transparency for account holders.

Voice-first banking

Voice-first devices are expected to completely alter the way traditional banking interactions take place in 2019. Rather than having traditional conversation, many financial institutions will allow customers to complete account transfers, establish account alerts, and make payments using voice commands.

Whether you work in the financial industry or simply have a bank account, these financial technology trends will likely have a huge impact on your life in 2019.

Friday, May 10, 2019

Dark Mode News: The Apps Driving the Dark Screen Trend

Over the past few years, dark mode has become a popular smart phone setting because it dims the background of any window’s background on your screen. People rave about dark mode’s ability to improve text readability and reduce eye strain. But many people enjoy dark mode because, well, it simply looks better.

Let’s take a look at the apps propelling the dark mode movement forward.

Apple

macOS Mojave currently offers a dark mode option that features soothing grays to replace any jarring bright colors on your screen. Many users love it, which is why many people are also confused why dark mode doesn’t exist for iPhones yet.

People are speculating, however, that Apple will soon release dark mode for iOS devices. The iOS 13 update, which is anticipated to arrive in the coming weeks, should finally bring consumers the popular dark mode theme. iPhone users will have the ability to access dark mode from the Control Center. Best of all, they can also expect the theme to conserve battery power.

Google Chrome

Google Chrome has been at the forefront of dark mode news this year, starting with its desktop applications. First, Google released Chrome 73, which supported Apple’s beloved dark mode for macOS. Essentially, if a user enabled dark mode on their Mac, Chrome browsers would also be dark. Then, Google revealed Chrome 74, which included a dark mode feature for the Windows 10 browser. Just a few days ago, Google rolled out Chrome 75 Beta;, which features an improved dark mode.

On your desktop, you’ll find dark mode in Chrome’s flags interface. You can also access dark mode on Android devices; the theme is known to save your phone’s battery life.

Facebook

At its most recent annual F8 conference, Facebook announced a site redesign across all platforms. The new interface, which the company calls FB5, will feature faster speeds and a cleaner look. Plus, the redesign puts a greater emphasis on community.

In addition to these features, FB5 will have dark mode for the web version of the social media platform, which users will certainly prefer for video experiences. This past April, Facebook also gave users the opportunity to darken their chats in Messenger. With a simple toggle, you can change the aesthetic from white to black.

Facebook recently made these changes live on U.S. and Canada mobile apps, but the desktop version should arrive in the next few months.

Other Popular Apps That Support Dark Mode

Although it seems like dark mode has gained most of its traction recently, Microsoft has spent years perfecting dark mode for Windows 10. What makes Windows 10’s dark mode stand out is that the theme is a pure black.

Twitter also has dark mode—to switch to the theme, go to your profile and select the blue lightbulb icon. YouTube has caught onto the dark mode trend as well; it has released a dark theme for both iOS and Android. We really look forward to which other apps adopt dark mode in the future.