There has been a lot of hype over one of Google’s latest gadgets – Google Glass. The multi-billion dollar company never fails to create huge excitement around their products, which is evident in this case by their impressive video trailer “How It Feels [through Glass]”
It’s easy to get really excited about Google Glass after watching something like this. The song alone almost makes you want to go ski-diving and start living a fuller life.
However, since Google Glass became available to more ordinary folk (at a price tag of $1500), several videos have since surfaced that highlight the inherent flaws in this technology. A Google Glass review by Engadget mentions some of these shortfalls.
Google Glass Review: Functions & Flaws
First and foremost, there are MAJOR concerns about privacy. Google Glass wearers could be filming you while in the bathroom or recording your daily movements. Stalking would be taken to a whole new level.
It is also not mentioned that Google Glass requires a wireless connection to your smartphone (which comes at an additional cost). Users have also reported that battery-life is really only a few hours and that the device needs to be charged often via a micro USB.
Functionality also seems to be quite limited with this early edition of Google Glass. You can’t browse webpages or make use of any apps at this point. What Google Glass does allow you to do is check weather forecasts, take pictures and videos (and share these), do basic searches, read and reply to emails or messages, hang out on Google+, get directions, tell you the time and respond to voice prompts. I’m sure there are a few more functions of Google Glass, but at this point, it is essentially a low-end smartphone for your face.
There’s no doubt that Google Glass will evolve into something more impressive over time, but it is also most likely that credit for this will be due to non-Google developers and rather users of the technology – a cheap and effective method of outsourcing. But at least Google has planted the seeds for a possible future behind a screen.
Article originally posted on cDs Global Blog
Posted in Gadgets & technology, Reviews
Tagged Engadget, gadgets, glass, google, Google Glass, Google Glass Engadget, Google Glass Flaws, Google Glass Functions, Google Glass Review, Google Glass Reviews, Google Glasses, latest gadgets, Sergy Brin, Technology
Free smartphone app alerts you of nearby deals
Targeted advertising has always been the major goal of advertisers, who have to try damn hard these days to grab our attention. Amassing a target audience has lead to abuse in the past, such as the selling of personal info to 3rd parties.
Posted in Cellphones, Gadgets & technology
Tagged Android Market, App Store (iOS), blackberry, BlackBerry App World, Blackberry apps, cellphone applications, DialMedia, DialMedia App, DialMedia Deals, DialMedia Deals App, DialMedia Deals Download, Download DialMedia Deals, free applications, Free Apps, google, Groupon, smartphone, Smartphone Applications, smartphone apps, smartphones
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SSIC: The super energy efficient SSIC building
THE Vodafone Site Solution Innovation Centre (SSIC) is said to be the greenest building in the southern hemisphere. It houses techies who are working on solutions for the future in the fields of construction, design, electrical and mechanical engineering and wet services. The SSIC is the first 6 Star Green Star SA accredited building in South Africa.
Posted in Gadgets & technology
Tagged absorption chiller, energy, Energy Efficiency, Gabion Rock Store, Green Star SA, green tech, Green Technology, photovoltaic panels, solar absorption chiller, solar energy, solar power, Southern Hemisphere, SSIC, sustainability, Sustainable living, Thermal Rock Store, Vodacom, Vodafone Site Solution Innovation Centre
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“BEAUTY is in the eye of the beholder”, they say. To someone more cynical about love: beauty is in the eye of the beer holder. To the advertiser and product designer, beauty is in the limbic system of the beholder.
Beauty is intrinsically tied in with advertising and new technology. I was intrigued to recently discover that the marketing of motor vehicles is not so much about shapes but reflective surfaces. The recent motor show illustrated this well, with each car shimmering more than the next in the strategically placed lighting. This has the effect of making stationary objects come to life.
Posted in Gadgets & technology
Tagged advertising, Apple, beauty, Beauty is as beauty sells, blackberry, BMW, design, Product Beauty, Product Design, Richard Seymour, Seymour, Steve Jobs, TED
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TECHNO TALK: Hair today, gone tomorrow
SINCE I was a child I’ve had this fantasy of dressing up in a medieval suit of armour and having an all-out sword fight with someone also clad in medieval metal. The only problem is that people were a lot shorter 1 000 years ago.
The human race has evolved to be a lot taller than our flail-wielding ancestors. Squeezing oneself into a genuine suit of knight’s armour would be near impossible now — especially if you’re a beer drinker. This may make one wonder if we are still evolving today.
Most evolutionary biologists would argue that if we haven’t stopped evolving, our evolution has at least slowed down to a glacial pace. The main argument is that we have created and adapted our urban environments to best suit our current shape and form.
We have taken to sitting down a lot — whether behind a desk, on a sofa or in a car seat. When it’s too cold we take comfort behind our walls and cover ourselves with blankets. And now that things are heating up, we may blast air conditioners to keep comfortable. Human evolution doesn’t stand a chance.
Fortunately, evolution is technology’s best trait. Air conditioners have become more efficient and eco-friendly and can now be used to heat and cool a building thanks to a variety called a heat pump. Heat pumps are typically used to pull heat from the air or ground into a building to raise the temperature, but can also be put into reverse to cool a building.
How heat pumps work
Liquid refrigerant is pumped through the outside coils of an air-source heat pump. A fan pulls outside air over the coils, which absorbs the heat in the air and expands it into hot vapour. The vapour enters a compressor, which increases the temperature and pressure of the gas. The vapour then flows to indoor coils. The refrigerant condenses the vapour back into a liquid as it cools and flows outside to gather more heat. Meanwhile, the heat is pumped through the air ducts of your home and distributed throughout. This process can be reversed to cool the air inside your home. (Diagram: howstuffworks.com)
Heat pumps operate in a very similar manner to standard heating and air-conditioning units but without the need to install separate systems. They are also far more efficient than their ancestors as they do not burn fuel to condition the air but rather transfer it from one place to another. Heat pumps can also be used to heat swimming pools and can even fire up a hot tub.
I’m proud to inform that heat pumps are widely available in South Africa. A couple of good places to start perusing these are www.itssolar.co.za and www.heatpumpssouthafrica.co.za By providing your name, contact details and nearest city, a heat pump specialist will contact you within 24 hours. Prices for domestic heat pumps range from R10 000 to R15 000.
Heat pumps should of course be used in conjunction with other energy-saving techniques. Using fluorescent light bulbs and turning appliances off when not in use are the obvious ones, but it is also a great time to utilise the spring sunshine. Phantom loads are the less obvious energy drainers. When something like a cellphone charger is plugged into a live socket, but not into a cellphone, this actually drains more energy than would be used if a phone was charging.
So let’s all do our bit this sunny season to help the planet fend off global warming by being energy savvy and by using green devices such as heat pumps. I really don’t want to have hairy grandchildren.