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Friday, February 21, 2014

Google announces Project Tango: a prototype 3D-mapping Android smartphone

Google says it’s produced a smartphone with a 5-inch screen, movement sensors and custom Android-based software that can track 3D motion of the device. Data from the phone can then be used to produce a 3D map of the surrounding environment

Potential uses could be for indoor location-based services, virtual reality gaming or simply measuring internal spaces.

200 devices are currently available for professional developers, although some have already been allocated, with all expected to be distributed by mid-March.

In a statement on the project’s web site, Johnny Lee and the Advanced Technology and Projects group (ATAP) ‘Project Tango’ team said “As we walk through our daily lives, we use visual cues to navigate and understand the world around us. We observe the size and shape of objects and rooms, and we learn their position and layout almost effortlessly over time. This awareness of space and motion is fundamental to the way we interact with our environment and each other. We are physical beings that live in a 3D world. Yet, our mobile devices assume that physical world ends at the boundaries of the screen. The goal of Project Tango is to give mobile devices a human-scale understanding of space and motion.”

[Project Tango web site]

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Opinion Articles

Smartphone innovation is slowing down, as Samsung struggles to differentiate

Lawrence Lundy of Frost & Sullivan writes:

While the Galaxy S5 is an evolutionary product, there is not enough in there to make people upgrade from the 4. It doesn't push the envelope in any real way; we are in a sort of stasis now when it comes to smartphone innovation.

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Welcome to the digitised city

M2M technology transforms parking in Pisa

Jürgen Hase of Deutsche Telekom writes:

The Smart City is on its way. All over the world more and more cities are connecting all areas of their infrastructure. Pisa in Tuscany, for example, aims to improve its traffic management with a machine-to-machine (M2M) solution and a Big Data service provided by Deutsche Telekom.

Author: The Fonecast
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Last week at The Fonecast: 31st March 2014

HTC goes One better

Mark Bridge writes:

“Hey, everybody, we’re releasing a new flagship smartphone that carries all the hopes of the company with it. If this sells well, we could be saved. If not, it could be disaster.”

“Great. What shall we call our new phone?”

“Oh, we’ll give it the same name as the previous model. That’ll be fine.”

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Last week at The Fonecast: 24th March 2014

The new iPhone no-one was expecting

Mark Bridge writes:

New Apple products! New Android smart watches!

You’d be forgiven for not having noticed either of those news stories last week. Apple did indeed announce a new iPhone – but it was simply a new iPhone 5c with just 8MB of memory.

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LTE fuels the race for the fastest network

Noam Green of Flash Networks writes:

The introduction and deployment of LTE networks offers real promise for both subscribers and operators worldwide. It brings the potential for revolutionary improvements in quality of experience for mobile broadband, and even faster downloads and video streaming.

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Recent Podcasts

Reviewing our 2015 mobile industry predictions... and looking forward to 2016

Podcast - 15th January 2016

Iain Graham, James Rosewell and Mark Bridge return to review their mobile industry predictions from last year. Which mergers, partnerships and developments did they forecast correctly... and which didn’t work out as planned?

Later in the programme, the team anticipates some of the topics that will be hitting the headlines during 2016.

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Podcast from Mobile World Congress 2015

Podcast - 6th March 2015

Mark Bridge learns about the mobile technology trends at Mobile World Congress 2015 by chatting to James Rosewell of 51Degrees, Dr Kevin Curran from the IEEE and Chris Millington of Doro.

They talk about wearable devices, wireless charging, mobile operating systems and much more... including some of their favourite products from the exhibition.

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Looking back at February: from security scares to multiple MVNOs

Podcast - 27th February 2015

We're taking a look back at the biggest mobile industry news stories from February 2015, including allegations that the UK's security service tried to breach SIM card security by hacking into one of the world's biggest SIM producers.

We also talk about the planned BT and EE merger, the creation of two new UK virtual networks, some acquisitions in the mobile payment arena and a new Ubuntu smartphone.

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Interview with Chris Millington of Doro about mobile retailing, wearables and technology for older consumers

Podcast - 24th February 2015

In today's programme Mark Bridge talks to Chris Millington, who's Managing Director for Doro UK and Ireland.

They discuss the state of mobile retailing in the UK, the future of wearable devices and - as you might expect - smartphones for seniors.

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A month of mobile: O2 counts on 3, Microsoft counts to 10 and Apple counts its profits

Podcast - 30th January 2015

We're back with a month of mobile industry news, including takeover talks and takeover rumours. O2 and Three are said to be discussing a merger... but is there any truth in the suggestions that BlackBerry could be up for grabs?

We also discuss Apple's record-breaking quarterly figures, the highlights of CES and the launch of Microsoft Windows 10, as well as saying farewell to the current version of Google Glass.

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