Tag Archives: tablet

Let a robot take a sightseeing tour in a tourist destination for you

2015-09-15

So little time, so many places, and so limited travel budget. It is impossible to visit every interesting destination on earth personally. What if there was a robot that could visit some of the destinations for you, would you pay for the service? Teletrip is trying to do exactly that: the company is building a network of remote controlled devices that are located in popular tourist spots.

teletrip remote controlled device in new york

Here is how Teletrip works. Teletrip sets up tablets on wheels in popular tourist destinations. The tablets come with special software, and they are connected to the Internet. If you want to see how Avenue des Champs Élysées in Paris really looks like, and a Teletrip device is available on the spot, you can hire it. Teletrip charges you by minute. You logon to the Teletrip site, and control the device that is actually on Champs Élysées. You can move it (it has wheels), rotate and tilt it. The tablet camera shows you the surroundings.

Teletrip is a startup at its early stages, but the concept and a couple of remote controlled devices are ready. The company is asking people around the world to become hosts for Teletrip devices in their neighborhoods. Plans for drones and underwater devices are being sketched as well.

We have traveled a lot, and we will travel a lot. A remote controlled device like Teletrip could help us with planning and researching a trip, but it can’t replace the experience. Google has great tools, like Earth and Street View Maps, making basic research from our own couch convenient. Of course Teletrip gives you a bit more because you can tell it to peek around the corner that Google Street View has missed, but still we are not convinced. Teletrip may have created a technology that works, but it may have better applications than travel.

Introduction video by Teletrip:

Via tnooz.

Apple iPad Pro is both an ebook reader and a computer for some serious work

2015-09-10

Tablets became an instant hit product category in 2010, when the original Apple iPad was introduced. Five years, and several iPad models later, Apple has decided to make the iPad bigger. The iPad Pro has a 12.9- inch display which promotes the tablet into the same size category where laptops such as the MacBook and Macbook Air already are.
apple ipad pro, man on a beach
The starting price for the iPad Pro is $799 (models with higher specs are $949 and $1079), making it a bit cheaper than the MacBook or Macbook Air. As the name implies, the iPad Pro is targeted to professional use: enterprises, entrepreneurs and artists.

If you want to use the iPad Pro as an ereader, you can load your EPUB and PDF ebooks to the included iBooks app. The large screen is well suited for reading PDF-books and documents. Also fixed layout multimedia books created in iBooks Author shine on the large high-resolution display.

Because of its price, using the iPad Pro solely for reading and web surfing, however, may not justify the investment.

If you want to use the iPad Pro also as a computer where you write your next bestseller, you probably want to buy a detachable keyboard from Apple or from a accessory manufacturer, like Logitech. Apple’s keyboard for the iPad Pro is a protective case that can be folded and used as a stand and as a keyboard. The Apple keyboard for the iPad costs $169.
apple ipad pro, pencil drawing
Authors, artists and graphic designers may find a stylus that Apple has developed specifically for the iPad useful. It is called the Pencil, and its price is $99. A reason for the high price of the Apple stylus is that it comes with embedded electronics. The Pencil can sense the angle how it is held in the hand and the pressure it is pushed against the screen, and the tablet app behaves accordingly.

iBooks Author is not on the list of applications that are available for the iPad Pro. iBooks Author is an application that runs on Mac computers (OS X). It is used for creating fixed layout multimedia ebooks, such as books about movies or travel guides.

A similar product with Apple’s large tablet is Microsoft Surface Pro. It has a 12-inch display, and a stylus is included in the product package. Incidentally, the Surface Pro prices start at $799. Microsoft introduced a soft case that doubles as a decent keyboard for the tablet already two years ago.

Other large screen ereaders and tablets are, for instance, Sony DPT-S1 ereader with 13.3 inch black-and-white E ink screen and Samsung Galaxy Pro Android tablet with 12.2-inch screen.

View a hands-on video of the iPad Pro where you can see the keyboard case and pencil as well:

Apple iPad Pro key features and technical specifications

– iOS 9 operating system software with multitasking.
– iBooks ebook reading app pre-installed.
– 12.9-inch LED-backlit display.
– Resolution 2732 x 2048 at 264 pixels per inch (ppi).
– Fingerprint-resistant oleophobic, antireflective coating.
– 8 megapixel camera.
– Camera features: autofocus, ƒ/2.4 aperture, face detection, exposure control, panorama images (up to 43 megapixels), timer, geotagging.
– Video mode: 1080p HD video recording (30 fps), slow motion (120 fps), time-lapse video, image stabilization, geotagging.
– Front camera: 1.2 megapixel photos, 720p video recording.
– Two microphones for video calls and recording.
– Wi‑Fi (802.11a/b/g/n/ac).
– Bluetooth 4.2.
– Models with mobile network: 3G and LTE.
– GPS in models with mobile network.
– 64‑bit processor A9X. M9 motion coprocessor.
– Apple Pay.
– Siri.
– Battery life: up to 10 hours of surfing the web on Wi‑Fi, watching video, or listening to music.

Analyzed: the best travel apps for smartphones

2015-08-24

Travel related activities are dramatically changing thanks to innovations in digital technology. GPS-assisted maps on a smartphone or travel guidebooks on a tablet are essential tools for all travelers today. A new wave of travel applications has disrupted established industries, like lodging and car rental. Probably because of the phase of change at the moment, however, only few travel apps are truly useful and easy to use.
booking.com screen shot
Applause, an enterprise that tests and evaluates mobile apps, analyzed travel apps that had been rated more than 150 times on Apple App Store or on Google Play Store. Only 8 of those apps earned high quality scores according to Applause’s own rating system. 8 high quality travel apps were:

Booking.com – hotel reservations and reviews.
Alaska Airlines – flights.
Kayak – hotels, flights, car rentals.
TripAdvisor – hotels, vacation rentals, flights, restaurant reviews.
TripIt – travel organizer.
Hotels.com – hotel booking.
Zipcar – car sharing.
Orbitz – hotels, flights, cars.

All these applications have been developed by established organizations. A large number of startup businesses that have entered travel business recently may need more time and effort to finetune their great ideas and vision into truly usable apps.

One thing we hope travel app developers should really take seriously is offline use. Recently, we made a tour in a remote area where mobile network connectivity was patchy at best, sometimes we couldn’t connect to a network at all for most of the day. None of the apps from big brands, like Here, Google Sheets or Google Docs, that had offline functionality actually worked in offline mode. We used them on a smartphone and on a tablet. Naturally, an app that makes hotel room reservations requires it is connected to a network, but many other apps should work when the mobile device is offline.

Ereaders, Tablets and Smartphones Are Adopting Solar Power

2015-03-05

Ereader devices that come with greyscale E ink displays are so energy-efficient that they can go without recharge for weeks. If you are trekking in wilderness or staying in a remote village without electricity, you can still read ebooks on an ereader. Tablets and smartphones, however, need a recharge after a couple of days of moderate use. Solar energy would be the obvious solution for charging our mobile devices even in remote areas, but affordable solutions have been missing until now.

worldreader solar panels, charging station
Two new solar energy solutions have been introduced recently: Bboxx solar panel and Wysips Crystal display technology for mobile devices.

Bboxx solar panel is a product package that includes two panels and a USB hub. The solar panels can stand on the ground where they catch sun rays. The USB hub is connected to the panels, and mobile devices can charge their batteries simply by plugging in to the hub.

Worldreader organization that provides ebooks and reading devices to regions with low literacy rate has adopted Bboxx system as their solar power solution for ereaders.
bboxx bb17 solar power product package
Wysips Crystal display technology that can be used in ereaders, tablets and smartphones has been developed by SunPartner. In this solution, the solar charging capability is built in to the display. The technology adds a transparent layer into a display that catches solar rays, and converts them into electricity that charges the device battery.
bookeen muse ereader
Ereader manufacturer Bookeen and electronics company Kyocera have announced that they are going to use Wysips Crystal displays in their future products. Bookeen will create an ereader that can charge itself via its own display (in 2016) and Kyocera has demonstrated a smartphone that can charge itself from light.

Here is a video where Kyocera’s solar-powered smartphone is demonstrated.