Tags Posts tagged with "gadget"

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At their press conference last night here in Las Vegas, NVIDIA announced Project SHIELD, a gaming portable for open platforms, designed for gamers who yearn to play when, where and how they want.

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Created with the philosophy that gaming should be open and flexible, Project SHIELD flawlessly plays both Android and PC titles. As a pure Android device, it gives access to any game on Google Play. And as a wireless receiver and controller, it can stream games from a PC powered by NVIDIA GeForce GTX GPUs, accessing titles on its STEAM game library from anywhere in the home.

“Project SHIELD was created by NVIDIA engineers who love to game and imagined a new way to play,” said Jen-Hsun Huang, co-founder and chief executive officer at NVIDIA. “We were inspired by a vision that the rise of mobile and cloud technologies will free us from our boxes, letting us game anywhere, on any screen. We imagined a device that would do for games what the iPod and Kindle have done for music and books, letting us play in a cool new way. We hope other gamers love SHIELD as much as we do.”

Project SHIELD combines the advanced processing power of NVIDIA Tegra 4, breakthrough game-speed Wi-Fi technology and stunning HD video and audio built into a console-grade controller. It can be used to play on its own integrated screen or on a big screen, and on the couch or on the go.

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Tegra 4 at Its Heart
At the core of Project SHIELD is the world’s fastest mobile processor, the new NVIDIA Tegra 4, which delivers enormous power from its custom 72-core GeForce GPU and the first quad-core application of ARM’s most advanced CPU core, the Cortex-A15. These, combined with its battery-saver core and energy-saving PRISM 2 technology, deliver hours of gameplay on a single charge.

Windows and Android Games
Windows and Android are the world’s most successful computing platforms, with massive ecosystems of system and software developers. While not specifically designed for gaming, both open platforms have drawn gamers by the millions. Project SHIELD is designed to allow them to enjoy Android and Windows games in a new, exciting way.

Project SHIELD can instantly download Android games, including Android-optimized titles available on NVIDIA’s TegraZone game store, which has already delivered more than 6 million downloads to gamers. It can also be used as a wireless game receiver to a nearby PC equipped with an NVIDIA GeForce GTX 650 GPU or higher.

Console-Grade Controller
Project SHIELD’s ergonomic controller was built for the gamer who wants ultimate control and precision.

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Retinal Gaming Display
Brilliant gameplay and video are provided by Project SHIELD’s integrated 5-inch, 1280×720 HD retinal multitouch display, with 294 dpi. Plus, Tegra 4 with Direct Touch technology gives it touch responsiveness that is a more consistent, accurate and smooth-flowing touch input experience than a standard touch device.

Tuned Port, Bass Reflex Portable Speaker System
Deep, rich audio is critical for a great gaming experience. And Project SHIELD provides fidelity and dynamic range never before available on a portable device, through its custom, bass reflex, tuned port audio system — with twice the low-frequency output of high-end laptops.

Project SHIELD can also access Android apps such as Hulu, Netflix and Slacker Radio, so users can enjoy their movies and music anywhere without expensive, clumsy wired or wireless speakers.

More information is available at shield.nvidia.com.

When I first saw the short video NVIDIA played I thought “oh, its a controller with a screen on it” and it really didn’t get too excited, that was until they showed the PC streaming part and I decided that I had to have one!

What do you think of SHIELD? Let us know by leaving a comment below.

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TomTom has released a new update to the app that makes it available to more Android owners. The latest version is optimised for use with the latest and most popular smartphone handsets including the Samsung Galaxy S3, HTC One X and Google Nexus 4.

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As well as supporting more than 200 of the newest Android devices, the update brings other improvements.  The download manager has been improved and maps are now stored on the phone’s SD card (if available) to save valuable phone memory. The Driving View has also been updated, making the journey information clearer at a glance.  In addition, postcode entry is more flexible and the app can find locations from the phone address book more reliably.

TomTom Navigation for Android v1.1 is available to download now from the Google Play Store.

Back at IFA we spoke with Charlotte Saayman from TomTom who gave us a demo of the app:

Do you have an Android device and want the TomTom app? Let us know what you think of it by leaving a comment below.

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Are you looking for some Bluetooth headphones? Then you might want to take a look at our two minute review of the Arctic P311 Bluetooth headphones.

CDW review of the Arctic P311 headphones - 9

Enjoy your music and answer phone calls with just one click. The P311 Bluetooth headset is ideal for people on-the-go. The P311 works seamlessly with any gadget that supports Bluetooth technology such as mobile phones and notebooks.

Who are Arctic?

From their website:

As an internationally active company, ARCTIC’s expertise ranges from noise suppression for PCs, audio, peripheral equipment and power supplies, right through to entertainment products. ARCTIC is the umbrella brand for the COOLING, SOUND, EQUIPMENT, POWER, HOBBY and Living product ranges.

Specifications

Specs

What’s in the Box?

The headset and a carry case, a manual and a charging cable.

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A Closer Look

The carry case is very useful and fits the headphones, manual and charging case very well an keeps them safe and secure.

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Final Thoughts

There are five functional buttons integrated into the right earcup. You can use these to start/pause/skip music tracks, answer incoming phone calls and control volume levels. These work very well.

Pairing the headphones with whatever audio device you want to use was easy.

The microphone works very well and the sound quality was good. They can be used with Skype, Messenger and anything else that uses a microphone.

The battery life is great too – you can easily get a few days use out of them without having to worry about recharging.

Personally I think these headphones are aimed more at children than adults, primarily because they are quite small, but kids will love them.

The P311 headphones come in black, blue and white and would make a great Christmas present.

Price wise you can find the Arctic P311s for around £20, which is a really good price.

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[button link="http://www.arctic.ac/en/p/sound/headphones/564/p311-blue.html?c=2187"]Learn more from the Arctic website[/button]

If you are a fan of RISC OS then you will be happy to hear that you can now run RISC OS on your Raspberry Pi with RISC OS Pi.

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This is what was posted:

RISC OS Open are very pleased to announce the official release of RISC OS for the Raspberry Pi, “RISC OS Pi”. This is a watershed moment for RISC OS and represents the culmination of many months of hard work from a whole community of developers, testers and other contributors. It also means the Raspberry Pi can now boast support for the quick, compact, original ARM-based operating system.

This is the first ‘official’ release of RISC OS for the Raspberry Pi. It is intended to be programmed onto an SD card (2GB or larger) and can be downloaded free from the Raspberry Pi download site, as an SD card image or as a torrent. Alternatively, you can buy a specially-branded SD card already programmed and tested direct from RISC OS Open.

Eben Upton, from the Raspberry Pi Foundation, had the following to say about the RISC OS release: “Having spent a lot of time in my youth pining over Acorn Archimedes and RiscPC products, it’s a great moment for me personally to see an evolved version of the original ARM operating system brought to the Raspberry Pi. From the Foundation’s point of view, we welcome the arrival of an alternative desktop environment, offering a rich suite of applications, and with BBC BASIC only a few keystrokes away.”

Steve Revill, from RISC OS Open, added: “We’re proud and excited to have achieved this milestone in the development of RISC OS. It’s so good to see some great British software engineering to complement the fantastic British Raspberry Pi hardware.”

[button link="http://connecteddigitalworld.com/2012/05/20/eben-upton-talks-raspberry-pi/" style="info"]Check out the videos we made with Eben Upton[/button]

[button link="http://connecteddigitalworld.com/2012/05/26/unboxing-the-raspberry-pi/" color="silver"]Check out our unboxing of our Raspberry Pi[/button]

Have you ordered one? Let us know if you get yours and what you do with it.

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Twonky have just updated their Twonky Beam Browser for the iPhone and iPad.

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Twonky Beam Browser provides you with a simple and familiar way to discover and enjoy Internet videos with your tablet or phone and beam them to your TV or other media players on your home network.

When you visit your favorite websites, or discover new ones, Twonky Beam Browser will display a Twonky Beam button over the media files that you are able beam to your TV or sound system. The home page of Twonky Beam Browser contains links to popular websites with great content you can beam. Browse many pages at once through tabs, with the home page always available to you as the main tab. You can also create and manage bookmarks, so that you can easily find your favorite sites.

A simple tap of the screen will beam the chosen content to your selected player, such as your Airplay enabled, UPnP or DLNA certified device. The beaming mode in Twonky Beam Browser can be toggled on and off, allowing you to use the application to discover and enjoy content locally on your tablet or phone.

One of the best ways to use Twonky Beam Browser is with Internet video, but it also works with audio and photos. You can also create playlists with a queue of multiple selections that will play continuously in the order you added them, or you can change the order and delete items from your queue. It is always possible to continue browsing, either on the current site or another site, while your media plays on the device.

What’s New in Version 3.2.1

• Improved address bar (provides visual cue that address bar can also be used for entering Google search terms)
• Improved accessibility of side panels (configurable option to show buttons at the edge of the screen for accessing side panels)
• Automatically select “This Device” as the renderer when it is the only renderer available
• Improved reliability playing long DTCP-IP encrypted videos
• Resume playback automatically when interrupted by screen lock/unlock
• Added support for more languages (in addition to English and Japanese): French, Italian, German, Spanish, Chinese (simplified), and Chinese (traditional)

[button link="http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/twonky-beam-browser/id445754456?mt=8" style="download"]Download now from the Apple App Store[/button]

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Twonky have just released an update to its Beam Browser app for Android.

Twonky Beam Browser

Twonky Beam Browser provides you with a simple and familiar way to discover and enjoy Internet videos with your tablet or phone and beam them to your TV or other media players on your home network.

When you visit your favourite websites, or discover new ones, Twonky Beam Browser will display a Twonky Beam button over the media files that you are able beam to your TV or sound system. The home page of Twonky Beam Browser contains links to popular websites with great content you can beam. Browse many pages at once through tabs, with the home page always available to you as the main tab. You can also create and manage bookmarks, so that you can easily find your favourite sites.

A simple tap of the screen will beam the chosen content to your selected player, such as your Airplay enabled, UPnP or DLNA certified device. The beaming mode in Twonky Beam Browser can be toggled on and off, allowing you to use the application to discover and enjoy content locally on your tablet or phone.

What’s in this version:

• Improved address bar (provides visual cue that address bar can also be used for entering Google search terms)
• Improved accessibility of side panels (configurable option to show buttons at the edge of the screen for accessing side panels)
• Automatically select “This Device” as the renderer when it is the only renderer available
• Improved reliability playing long DTCP-IP encrypted videos
• Resume playback automatically when interrupted by screen lock/unlock

[button link="https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.pv.twonkybeam&feature=more_from_developer#?t=W251bGwsMSwxLDEwMiwiY29tLnB2LnR3b25reWJlYW0iXQ" style="download" window="yes"]Download from Google Play[/button]

If you want to make your Raspberry Pi run faster you need Turbo Mode.If you want to make your Raspberry Pi run faster you need Turbo Mode.

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This is what was posted on the Raspberry Pi blog by Eben (its only the start of the article so do click and read the full thing):

Since launch, we’ve supported overclocking and overvolting your Raspberry Pi by editing config.txt. Overvolting provided more overclocking headroom, but voided your warranty because we were concerned it would decrease the lifetime of the SoC; we set a sticky bit inside BCM2835 to allow us to spot boards which have been overvolted.

We’ve been doing a lot of work to understand the impact of voltage and temperature on lifetime, and are now able to offer a “turbo mode”, which dynamically enables overclock and overvolt under the control of a cpufreq driver, without affecting your warranty. We are happy that the combination of only applying turbo when busy, and limiting turbo when the BCM2835′s internal temperature reaches 85°C, means there will be no measurable reduction in the lifetime of your Raspberry Pi.

You can now choose from one of five overclock presets in raspi-config, the highest of which runs the ARM at 1GHz. The level of stable overclock you can achieve will depend on your specific Pi and on the quality of your power supply; we suggest that Quake 3 is a good stress test for checking if a particular level is completely stable. If you choose too high an overclock, your Pi may fail to boot, in which case holding down the shift key during boot up will disable the overclock for that boot, allowing you to select a lower level.

What does this mean? Comparing the new image with 1GHz turbo enabled, against the previous image at 700MHz, nbench reports 52% faster on integer, 64% faster on floating point and 55% faster on memory.

[button link="http://connecteddigitalworld.com/2012/07/15/a-slice-of-raspberry-pi-with-the-foundation-at-the-cambridge-raspberryjam/"]Check out what happened at the Q&A session with the Raspberry Pi Foundation[/button]

Have you tried Turbo Mode yet? Have you noticed a significant difference? Let us know by leaving a comment below.

Great news for us Brits – the Raspberry Pi is now officially made in the UK!

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This is what Liz posted:

If you’ve been following us for a while, you’ll remember the time last year when we had to make the decision to manufacture the Raspberry Pi in China. The Raspberry Pi is a British enterprise, and as well as improving things in the computing industry’s future here by educating kids, we wanted to improve things in the present too, by actually doing our manufacture here in the UK.

Last year, when nobody had heard of the Raspberry Pi, we had been unable to find a British manufacturer whose prices per unit (especially at a point where we were thinking of sales in the tens of thousands, not the hundreds of thousands you’re seeing now) would work for us, and who believed that the project would be enough of a success for them to risk line space for us. There was just no way to make the Raspberry Pi in the UK and keep the price at $25 for the Model A (which will be released before the end of the year at the promised price) and $35 for the Model B.

Happily, things change.

Back at the beginning of April, Eben and I paid a visit to Sony’s UK manufacturing plant in Pencoed, South Wales. Several meetings, a factory tour, a lot of phone calls, some PowerPoint and sandwiches, and an up-close-and-personal with a wave soldering machine later, we were able to introduce our manufacturing and distributing partners to Sony’s Welsh facility, where, as well as making Sony products, Sony’s team undertakes contract electronic manufacture (CEM). It’s an incredibly impressive affair; the quietest, pleasantest plant I’ve ever been in, all comfortable lighting, ergonomic workspaces, cool air and relaxed staff. Sony’s quality control system is legendary, their ability to manufacture fast and cleanly is superb, and they’ve already invested in adding PoP (Package on Package – the fiddly stuff where the Broadcom chip at the heart of the Raspberry Pi is stacked beneath the RAM chip) hardware manufacture ability and expansion capability just for us. They’re also able to take on the huge task (currently undertaken by RS and Farnell) of ensuring the parts used are sourced ethically and to the highest ecological standards – every component has to pass standard compliance via Sony’s Green Management programme.

The upshot of all this? Element14/Premier Farnell have made the decision to move the bulk of their Raspberry Pi manufacture to South Wales. Moving manufacture like this is an enormous undertaking; from the start of the process, it’s taken us (especially Pete), Farnell and Sony nearly six months to get all our respective ducks in a row. The initial contract will see the Pencoed plant producing 30,000 Raspberry Pis a month, and creating around 30 new jobs.

How do you know if you’ve got a UK-made board? Easy. Look next to the power jack; you’ll see the words “Made in the UK”. We couldn’t be prouder.

That is great news, and even better that it creates 30 new jobs in the UK – so well done guys!

[button link="http://connecteddigitalworld.com/2012/05/20/eben-upton-talks-raspberry-pi/" style="info"]Check out the videos we made with Eben Upton[/button]

[button link="http://connecteddigitalworld.com/2012/05/26/unboxing-the-raspberry-pi/" color="silver"]Check out our unboxing of our Raspberry Pi[/button]

Have you ordered one? Let us know if you get yours and what you do with it.

Details of the upcoming Raspberry Pi board revision have been released – read on for details.

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This is what was posted on the Raspberry Pi blog:

Update: A lot of people are asking when revision 2.0 boards will appear in the wild. They’ll be filtering out over the next month as the last stocks of the revision 1.0 at each distributor and in each geography are exhausted. I’m aware of at least one person who has received a revision 2.0 board already (from Farnell, in the UK).

We don’t believe that the changes are large enough to make it worth “holding on” for revision 2.0, unless you have a specific requirement to add an audio codec or you need mounting holes for some industrial application.

In the six months since we launched Raspberry Pi, we’ve received a lot of feedback about the original board design. Over the next few weeks, we’ll be gradually rolling out a new revision 2.0 PCB which incorporates some of the most popular suggestions. You can determine which board revision you have by typing cat /proc/cpuinfo at the command line and looking up the hardware revision code in the following table:

MODEL AND REVISION    CODE(S)
Model B Revision 1.0    2
Model B Revision 1.0 + ECN0001 (no fuses, D14 removed)    3
Model B Revision 2.0    4, 5, 6
There has been a small change to the GPIO pin out of revision 2.0, to add ARM JTAG support and to present a different I2C peripheral from that which is (heavily) used on the camera interface. Users wishing to produce portable GPIO code should either avoid using the these pins, or add code to check the board revision and behave appropriately.

Reset

A reset circuit has been implemented, although in the standard build the required header is not fitted. Users wishing to use this circuit should fit an appropriate header to P6. Shorting P6 pin 1 to P6 pin 2 will cause the BCM2835 to reset.

USB Output Power

The resetable fuses protecting the USB outputs have been removed. This feature was implemented on some later revision 1.0 PCBs by replacing the fuses with links; revision 2.0 permanently implements this modification. It is now possible to reliably power the RPI from a USB hub that back feeds power, but it is important that the chosen hub cannot supply more than 2.5A under fault conditions.

JTAG Debug Support

Two GPIO pins have been interchanged to allow a missing debug signal (ARM_TMS) to appear on P1 pin 13.

Originally the connections were:

CAM_GPIO [BCM2835/GPIO27] routed to S5 pin 11
GPIO_GEN2 [BCM2835/GPIO21] routed to P1 pin 13
The new connections are:

CAM_GPIO [BCM2835/GPIO21] routed to S5 pin 11
GPIO_GEN2 [BCM2835/GPIO27] routed to P1 pin 13
I2C Support on P1/P6

The primary and secondary I2C channels have been reversed.

Originally the connections were:

SCL0 [BCM2835/GPIO1] routed to P1 pin 5
SDA0 [BCM2835/GPIO0] routed to P1 pin 3
SCL1 [BCM2835/GPIO3] routed to S5 pin 13
SDA1 [BCM2835/GPIO2] routed to S5 pin 14
The new connections are:

SCL0 [BCM2835/GPIO1] routed to S5 pin 13
SDA0 [BCM2835/GPIO0] routed to S5 pin 14
SCL1 [BCM2835/GPIO3] routed to P1 pin 5
SDA1 [BCM2835/GPIO2] routed to P1 pin 3
Version Identification Links

The four GPIO signals originally used for version identification have been removed. These were never read by the system software and were redundant.

Additional I/O Expansion

To utilise GPIO signals released by the removal of the version identification links, a new connector site P5 has been added. This carries the four GPIO signals [BCM2835/GPIO28 – BCM2835/GPIO31] named GPIO7 – GPIO10 respectively, along with +5V0, +3V3 and two 0V. Currently this connector is not populated.

This GPIO allocation provides access to one of:

SDA0, SCL0 (Operating independently of P1 SDA1, SCL1); or
PCM_CLK, PCM_FS, PCM_DIN, PCM_DOUT or I2S; or
Four GPIO signals.
This connector is intended to be a suitable attachment point for third-party clock and audio codec boards, and is pinned to be mounted (ideally) on the underside due to connector clash. Pin 1 is marked with the square pad (top left – looking from the top).

+5V0 Leakage from HDMI

Some users have found that connecting an unpowered Raspberry Pi to an HDMI television interferes with the correct operation of CEC for other connected devices. This was fixed on some later revision 1.0 PCBs by removing the ESD protection diode D14; revision 2.0 fixes this issue by connecting the top side of the diode to +5V0_HDMI.

SMSC +1V8

The SMSC 1V8 power has been disconnected from the system supply.

Mounting Holes!

Two 2.5mm (drilled 2.9mm for M2.5 screw) non plated mounting holes have been provided to assist with ATE test mounting. Positions of these holes relative to the bottom left of the PCB (Power Input Corner) are:

Corner: 0.0mm,0.0mm
First Mount: 25.5mm,18.0mm
Second Mount: 80.1mm, 43.6mm
Warning: If used to permanently mount the PCB – do not over tighten screws or drill out to fit larger screws, as this will lead to damage to the PCB.

LED Marking

Two minor changes have been made to the silk screen:

D9 (Yellow LED) graphic changed from the incorrect 10M to 100
D5 (Green LED) graphic changed from OK to ACT (Activity)

[button link="http://connecteddigitalworld.com/2012/07/15/a-slice-of-raspberry-pi-with-the-foundation-at-the-cambridge-raspberryjam/"]Check out what happened at the Q&A session with the Raspberry Pi Foundation[/button]

Let us know if you get a revision 2 board by leaving a comment below.

Raspbmc for Raspberry Pi has just been updated again, this time with PVR support, easy codec installation and more.

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This is what was posted:

A few days ago I announced MPEG2 hardware decoding support for the Raspberry Pi. Prior to this announcement, there was little point in pushing out a PVR build, as only H264 broadcasts would be playable. Now we’ve got an MPEG2 decoder, it seems fitting to allow PVR support.This PVR build is custom and I have implemented it into the Raspberry Pi XBMC branch itself, so it is technically an unsupported platform. Thanks to empat0 for OMXPlayer patches. Don’t expect a lot of support on this for now!

What does PVR offer?

  • You can view your TV schedule, watch TV channels and schedule recordings.
  • Works with TVHeadend backend, MythTV, yaVDR, MediaPortal and will soon work with ForTheRecord
  • Works with IPTV / DVB-T (known as Freeview in the UK), and DVB-S (satellite), and in some regions DVB-C (cable).

This means you can now watch live TV on any Pi from a single antenna / dish / cable connection.

Easy codec installation

Now it’s easier than ever to enter your license keys you got from the foundation as you can do it right from the Raspbmc Settings addon.

New XBMC release

This PVR functionality is now available in the form of a new XBMC update. This update brings bug fixes and enhancements as well. To get this functionality, you need to install it from the Nightly build list in the Raspbmc Settings addon. It’s being kept separate from the standard XBMC Raspbmc offers for reasons of stability and maintainability.

Known issue: CEC

CEC support is broken in this build. I can resolve this later, but haven’t had much time to look at it as I’m a little busy for now working on the next release.

Many thanks and enjoy

[button link="http://connecteddigitalworld.com/2012/05/20/eben-upton-talks-raspberry-pi/" style="info"]Check out the videos we made with Eben Upton[/button]

[button link="http://connecteddigitalworld.com/2012/05/26/unboxing-the-raspberry-pi/" color="silver"]Check out our unboxing of our Raspberry Pi[/button]

Have you ordered one? Let us know if you get yours and what you do with it.

This week TomTom announced that their Navigation app was coming to Android, and yesterday at IFA we got a closer look at it.

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The Android version works in both portrait and landscape modes.

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There is also a special mount coming for use with Android devices. And don’t worry about the size of your device because the mount has moveable holders. It also has a built in charger for the phone or device and a microphone on a cable that can be placed anywhere in the car for better and clearer speech.

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And here talk to Charlotte Saayman from TomTom who gives us a demo of the app:

Do you have an Android device and want the TomTom app? Let us know what you think of it by leaving a comment below.

We just told you that you can now buy an MPEG-2 and VC-1 licence for the Raspberry Pi, and the developer of Raspbmc has said it will work with Raspbmc.

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This is what was just posted:

Will this work out of the box in Raspbmc?

Yes — after your purchase, you will be given line entries for config.txt. When you add this, XBMC’s omxplayer will start playing the codecs that you have paid for.

Does this mean Raspbmc will get PVR support?

Yes — Raspbmc will soon have PVR support

Are additional codecs coming?

I can’t comment on whether they’re coming, but if you check the VLLs, there’s more than meets the eye!

[button link="http://connecteddigitalworld.com/2012/05/20/eben-upton-talks-raspberry-pi/" style="info"]Check out the videos we made with Eben Upton[/button]

[button link="http://connecteddigitalworld.com/2012/05/26/unboxing-the-raspberry-pi/" color="silver"]Check out our unboxing of our Raspberry Pi[/button]

Have you ordered one? Let us know if you get yours and what you do with it.

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