Goodness packed into little devices [New Straits Time (Malaysia)]
(New Straits Time (Malaysia) Via Acquire Media NewsEdge) STREAMING STICKS
WHY buy a Smart Television when you can get a little streaming stick to make your current flat panel TV smart
Wireless streaming sticks are set to make an impact, say industry observers, as the devices can add streaming features to a HDTV without a set-top box, gaming console or PC. With a USB-based stick device plugged into your HDTV, you can access Web video, music, apps and games minus the wires and remote controls. A California-based set top-box company, Roku, recently announced the availability of its streaming stick for RM300 (US$100).
For now, the Roku stick works only with certain certified televisions with a Mobile High Definition (MHL) port.
WiFi SD CARDS
You can add wireless capabilities to SDHC-compatible digital cameras with a WiFi SD card. With this card on board, you can then stream photos and videos to portable devices without cables, card readers or computers.
WiFi SD cards are available from several media technology manufacturers such as Eye-Fi, SanDisk, Toshiba and Transcend.
The latest WiFi SD card from Transcend is available in 16GB and 32GB capacities. The card allows direct sharing mode, which connects the camera directly with up to three other mobile (Android and iOS) devices to share pictures, video and Internet mode which links via a hotspot.
The card is also supported with a free WiFi SD App which automatically organises data on the card.
The 16GB card is available for approximately RM210 (US$69) and the 32GB for RM300 (US$99).
The world's thinnest watch, the CST-01, measures 0.88mm in thickness. It is made by laminating thin, flexible components into a 0.5mm unit and put together into a single piece of flexible stainless steel.
A base station is provided for charging and setting the time. Powered by a Thinergy Micro-Energy Cell battery, it can be charged in just 10 minutes from an external source.
The watch is expected to be able to function for a month between charges. The operation can be repeated 100,000 times and has a life- span of 15 years.
Preorders for the watch, designed by Central Standard Timing in partnership with E-ink, starts at about RM390 (US$129).
E-books in demand
A study by Bowker Market Research on consumer attitudes and the purchase of e-books in major world markets showed that e-book use is getting hotter.
India, Australia, the United Kingdom and United States take the lead in adopting this technology.
The study revealed that in most countries, men were more likely than women to buy an e-book.
In Asian countries like Japan and South Korea, the purchase rates were higher among those between 18 and 24 years old.
Although the research did not include Malaysia, a similar trend is brewing here.
E-books are especially popular among students and academicians, said Poh Swee Hiang of Universiti Malaya's eBook Research Group.
Speaking at the first Asean eBook Conference in Kuala Lumpur last month, he said e-books were between 20 to 30 per cent cheaper than printed books.
"About 40 publishers in the country have committed to move from printed books to e-books.
"We estimate that 10,000-15,000 e-books will be sold this year (2012).
" Also, there are already 70 authors who have self published their titles in the local e-book market.
"This saves them the hassle of having to go through publishers if they were to print their work."
iPhone 5 users top data consumers
Tablets might be popular, but when it comes to data usage, smartphones seem to be the platform of choice for consumers, stated a 2012 study by Arieso, a provider of intelligent and location- aware solutions.
The study showed that the hungriest data consumers (of the 125 devices studied) were iPhone 5 users.
Users of the iPhone 5 demand four times as much data as iPhone 3G users and 50 per cent more than iPhone 4S users.
Samsung Galaxy S III users generate networks.
Design for the future
The Electrolux Design Lab competition is calling on design students worldwide to submit ideas for a design solution for the future.
This year's theme, which focuses on urbanisation, calls on participants to choose from three focus areas - social cooking, natural air and effortless cleaning.
The first prize is a six-month paid internship at an Electrolux global design centre and Euro5,000 (RM20,050).
The second prize and third prizes are Euro3,000 (RM12,030) and Euro2,000 (RM8,020) respectively, with the public favourite, chosen by online votes, to be awarded Euro1,000 (RM4,010).
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