2013 key technology retrospective

Here are some of the developments in technology that caught my attention in 2013.

iOS 7

Featured fantastic advances that brought iOS to the forefront of mobile OS market. (Can you tell that I am an iOS developer:)?). The design aesthetic, the ability to easily and reliably (finally!) integrate with iCloud especially for developers, Airdrop to share with data with people around you, iTunes radio, a more advanced Siri, Core Motion advances including M7 and camera advances including face and smile detection.

iPhone 5S and iPad Mini Retina

This phone rocked with its 64bit capable A7 processor and the M7 motion co-processor with fast networking and LTE along with a better camera. The Touch ID was a bold attempt in finally bringing fingerprint based technology to the mass market and it works quite well. With the iPad Mini Retina, Apple did the impossible – pack the same processor and power as an iPad Air with the Retina display into the mini iPad footprint. Need I say more?

M7 Motion Coprocessor

The M7 deserves separate mention because of its step counting features and activity monitoring in the iPhone 5S without burdening the A7 and draining too much battery. No additional devices to purchase for these features. New iPad Air and iPad Mini Retina have the M7 but only Activity monitoring is enabled in them.

If you own an iPhone 5S, you may support the author(me) by checking out these 2 cool new apps designed exclusively for the iPhone 5S utilizing the M7 motion coprocessor. They track your steps indoors and outdoors without GPS, record your walking history and enable you to reach your daily step goals with no other devices to buy other than your iPhone 5S. Read about them by clicking the links below

BeWalking

10k Steps

Glass from Google and wearable technology

It is undeniable that the Google Glass is a fantastic technology and will be more available to the masses in 2014 and beyond. Sure, there will be privacy concerns etc. but wearable technology is IN! Lets also get more bags with solar panels and jackets with lightning connectors and start using them, really!. I worry a lot about the EM fields that these devices(phones, computers) generate and look forward to innovative devices that provide protection from these fields like the Pong cases for iPhone.

Pebble

Pebble did it ! They started as a Kickstarter project and they were able to mass produce a full-featured smart watch for a reasonable price. Sure, there are more apps and upgrades desired but nevertheless it is a fresh and innovative product. The last release of the Pebble OS supports iOS7 notifications and more features.

4k Displays

With the new (and powerful) Mac Pro supporting upto 4 4k displays, this is quickly becoming the new standard for advanced graphics displays. 4k tvs from Sony, Samsung and LG were out there and personally, I am waiting for their prices to come down a bit in 2014 and beyond. 8k displays soon? Believe me there is a spec out there.

Full frame DSLR within the reach of the prosumer

With the Canon 6D and Nikon D610 priced as low as in the 1500s (body only), there is hope that this was the year these cameras are putting this technology within the grasp of the consumer. 2014 may usher a sub $1000 full frame DSLR? Maybe:)

Mac Pro

Amazing features like compact design, graphics, 4k display support out of the box. Pricey but worth it if you need the graphics and processing features that this machine uniquely offers in a durable, compact design backed by Apple.

Voice Recognition becomes standard and more useful

Google voice and Siri as well as Xbox One all deserve a mention.

Other notable tech events/happenings in 2013

First lab grown meat burger was “produced” and eaten.
3D printers became more mainstream and cheaper.(esp. when a Makerbot store openend near my apartment).
Crypto currencies like BitCoin accompanied with all the advanced mining hardware and volatility were certainly more in the public eye.
Smart gadgets including the Nest learning thermostat, Jawbone speakers and Philips app enabled bulbs etc. More devices with built in smarts coming our way in 2014.
Sony Playstation PS4 and Microsft Xbox One put gaming on a new level but with limited available games. I played Call of Duty: Ghosts on PS4 and it was quite an experience. On a 4k display (note PS4 does not support 4k yet) it would be out of this world. Maybe in 2016:).
Ouya Android based gaming console(another Kickstarter project) broke into a market dominated by Sony, Microsoft and Nintendo.
Lastly, crowd funding stood out (again) as a force in 2013 and will continue too in 2014 and beyond.

Happy holidays and a happy new year!

And thank you for your support! See you in 2014!

–Gary Saggu

Select fall, winter and holidays new gadget(tablets, gaming consoles) release dates

Note: This list will be updated frequently…

iPhone 5S, 5C – Available now

iPad Air – Available now

iPad Mini 2 with Retina display – Available NOW (update from Nov 12, 2013)

Ouya Gaming Console – Available now

Pebble Smartwatch – Available now

Sony PS4 – Release date November 15, 2013

Microsoft Xbox One – Release date November 22, 2013

Nikon D610 – Unbelievable full frame DSLR – Available now

These are great choices that any techie or not would love to find as a holiday gift.

– Gary Saggu

http://www.garysaggu.net

http://www.garysaggu.com

Google Glass the specifications demystified from the hype (Part 1)

I am highlighting some of the cool tech features of this new, cool gizmo. 

Fit and form

As per Google, it has adjustable nosepads and durable frame to fit any face.  Since I have been wearing glasses for over 30 years I think they will have have more options for a custom fit.  Personally I will like to buy the attachment to fit my Dior Homme frames if possible and available.  I did read about this being a possibility but not confirmed yet.

Display

The high resolution display is the equivalent of a 25 inch high definition screen from eight feet away.  Reminds me of the dvd watching personal glasses that projected (privately) on a virtual 60inch screen.  Nothing new here as this technology has existed for at least a decade in the consumers hand.

Front Camera

For Photos, a 5 MP resolution is enough but low compared to the standards of today.  Samsung S4 has a 13MP rear camera.  So not to excited about this feature.

For Videos, a 720p HD but not full HD which is the new norm for all the latest mobile devices.

Networking and Wifi/Bluetooth

Wifi 802.11b/g protocols supported.  No support for 802.11n or newer protocols in this release.  Bluetooth support but I dont know the version. Will post when I do more research here but the definite capability to communicate with an Android based smartphone Android 4.0.3 (Ice Cream Sandwich) or higher indicates Bluetooth 2.0+. More on this later.  With a mobile phone connected, SMS and GPS is enabled.

Memory and Storage

12 GB out of 16GB of usable memory which by itself is not much but since it is synced with Google cloud storage – this becomes a powerful option.  This is one of my favorite features but more memory will be needed for this to be useful.  Being on the road in Asia with no access to the cloud might hinder some of the usability of the device.  Also, networking has to be fast to upload data to the cloud. 

Battery and charging

Google claims one full day of typical use. Not sure what typical use is but I am sure the batteries offer ample use for the day.

Uses a standard micro-USB port for charging with a Glass charger(recommended by Google).  This is a relief as there is not a new lightning like connector adding to the list of non-standard non-generic connectors out there.

Processor

Will update asap

Speech Recognition and Audio

Will post my findings

 I have not got my hands on it yet but a lot can be deduced from its published technical specs as shown above.  I will definitely buy this when availble to the public and am ready to play with it as a developer.  New era of games and apps await us with this fantastic device.

 Happy Glass-ing,

 – Gary Saggu

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