Category Archives: Camera Phones

Digital Downtown

Digital Downtown

New York held its new annual Digital Downtown, a consumer technology showcase at the World Financial Center Winter Garden this past weekend.  It featured the latest innovative trends on consumer electronics, from high definition televisions, mobile devices, audio, to energy saving and gaming devices.

Flat screen HDTV’s dominated the majority of the atrium with the new ultra thin 1.5 inch Hitachi standing out. The images were so clear, consumers stood for minutes admiring the image quality.  But, Roland, the world’s leading manufacturer of electronic musical instruments had the most amazing demonstrations of what the future brings.  One demonstration that stood out is known as “the parent’s dream” the silent drum set made of rubber, is attached to headphones that allow each hit, tap, snare to be translated to the original instrumental sound.  Another demonstration that stood out was the double keyboard with a microphone attachment that allowed you to sing into the microphone out of tune as it translates your tone perfectly into pitch. The instrument allowed the demonstrator to sing orchestral back up to Mariah Carey’s a cappella. With this new product soon to be in consumer hands, can anyone be the next Mariah Carey?

Technology is redefining our future and the way we communicate. New York, now being apart of the CEA (Consumer Electronics Association) can now spread the innovative developments through its global entertainment and media.  HANNA

Digital Downtown

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Apple Wages War Against Android

In 2007, tech giant Google caused quite a stir by announcing the development of a new open-source software for mobile devices, called Android. Google’s new project was dubbed the gPhone and has been eagerly anticipated as a better alternative to Apple’s iPhone.

However, Google does not actually intend on releasing an exclusive gPhone. Instead, they are offering their new Android software to existing cell phone companies, such as Samsung (picture above). Google hopes to compete against software companies that utilize Microsoft and Macintosh operating systems, the predominant choice for mobile devices. Android powered phones will run on 3G wireless networks, which allow for high-speed internet connections. They will be seamlessly integrated with Google’s computer-based communication services, and offer GPS and a seamless interface. Most importantly, they will be affordable, and available outside of the US.

This week, Apple officially unveiled its own new iPhone, which has all the features that Google advertises for Android. The iPhone 3G is also fast, features GPS, a new MobileMe system, is relatively affordable, and will be available in over 70 countries.

Google started with a great concept, but Apple beat them to the execution. Currently, Android powered phones are in the works for 2009, while Apple’s new iPhone will be available in stores July 11th. WU

Dior and Everybody

Dior and Everybody

Dior’s new line of luxury will be put to the test when they follow along with Armani, Dolce & Gabbana, Versace, and Prada, in fusing the ubiquitous cell phone with an exclusive luxury brand.

Does a newly diamond-studded alligator casing capture the idea of luxury? Cell phones are a mainstream item that everyone owns. Whether or not it is encased in diamonds or uses alligator skin, they all have the same functionality.

Dior will maintain exclusivity by selling the cell phones at a higher price than its competitors. The company expects the phones to sell best in brand hungry Russia and China. The starting price is $5,100, priced to rival Nokia’s Vertu phone.

Dior is expecting to sell between 30,000 to 60,000 units within the next year; however, competing designer luxury brands sold around 500,000 units. We found that many thought the Dior design resembles floor tiles.

There is a new market being created, one very similar to the high-end industry of sunglasses and handbags. Which ubiquitous item will be next in-line for a brand upgrade. HANNA

Phones of the Future

design-futurist-android2-natalia-allen-032608.jpg

We were eagerly awaiting the G-Phone. Instead Google surprised us with Android, an operating system for mobile devices (http://code.google.com/android/).

More than 30 technology and mobile companies including T-Mobile and Motorola have come together with Google to create an innovative mobile platform that is more user-friendly. The new platform allows for seamless access and movement of data.

Android is an open-source software and runs on Linux version 2.6 and Java. It includes typical applications such as: contacts, maps and a web browser, but with more of the Internet’s efficiency and usefulness.

Android software stack
1, Optimizes multiple virtual machines to run at once with Dalvik
2, Accelerates graphics by combining both 2D and 3D graphics based on OpenGLS
3, Faster Internet with 3G networking and WiFi technology
4, Streets views, pan around, and zoom in with GPS
5, Open source WebKit, enables you to view a screen as it would appear on a desktop

Researchers are expected to improve and add to the Android Software Development Kit (SDK), leaving the possibility for endless innovation. Phones containing the Android platform will be available later this year.

Google does not want to sell us a phone, they want to revolutionize the way phones operate. They won’t sell us an operating system, they want to provide it to every phone for free. So how will Google make its investment back? Ad revenue of course. Now that’s clever. NATALIA ALLEN

Instant Gratification

ZINK Digital Camera (with Interior Printer)

During the height of its popularity, in the mid-1970’s, Americans reportedly spent more on Polaroid film than on toothpaste. Dental hygiene aside, the appeal for instant pictures hasn’t waned in the digital age. With massive scrap-booking options, wallets awaiting familial snapshots, and the ubiquity of the camera phone, some images simply demand a place in the analog world of glossy photo paper. Bridging the gap between technology and nostalgia is ZINK (www.zink.com). ZINK (or Zero Ink), in association with printing mainstay Konica Minolta, has developed paper embedded with reactive crystals, that when heated, activate and colorize to create full color prints. A tentative launch date for the all-in-one printer/camera device and a mobile printer (which can sync to your camera phone) is set for January 2008.

In the meantime, you can pilfer a few photo composition tips from The Art of the American Snapshot exhibit currently at the National Gallery of Art in Washington, DC (http://www.nga.gov/exhibitions/snapshotinfo.shtm).

Imagine– no toner, no cartridges; just crystals and captured memories.

Kenya Robinson for DESIGN FUTURIST