Top News for January 7, 2014

Alcatel

Here are today's top stories from Tech News Today for January 07, 2014:

  1. Alcatel is privately showing at CES a prototype solar-powered smartphone, but with a difference. The solar panel is transparent and overlaid on the screen! The blog Pocket-lint says Alcatel hasn’t perfected the technology yet, and that both the screen quality and solar charging power are not ready for the consumer market, but could be as early as next year. Read more at pocket-lint.com.

  2. It's not a post-PC world, they're just getting really small. Intel CEO Brian Krzanich announced the Edison, a Pentium-class PC powered by a dual-core Quark system on a chip, and the size of an SD card. It runs Linux, has built-in Wi-Fi and Bluetooth, and Intel says an app store is in the works. Krzanich showed off the Edison with a bunch of prototype examples, like a “smart onesie” baby outfit with sensors and blinking lights to tell you whether the baby is happy or not. Because there's no other way to tell with babies. The Quark system on a chip was unveiled four months ago, and is designed for very small applications that don't need a lot of power. Read more at theverge.com.

  3. Garmin’s new Dash Cams automatically record your car crashes in glorious HD. The Dash Cam 10 and Dash Cam 20 stick to the windshield with a suction cup. They run and start recording automatically when you start the car. As they record, the cams constantly delete older video. When the Dash Cams’ accelerometer detects the G forces from heavy braking or a crash, the video footage leading up to the crash is saved, as well as the crash itself. They ship in February. The cheaper Dash Cam 10 model costs $219. The more expensive one is $249.99, and includes GPS to record “black box” like data such as date, time, speed, and direction of travel. Crash investigators are going to love this. Read more at garmin.com.

  4. Sony thinks you are really interesting. Yesterday the company announced a new life-logging app that tracks and records all your activities - like talking to your friends on your phone, or listening to music, on an interactive timeline. A companion bracelet called SmartBand knows when you’re walking, running, sleeping or driving in a car, and It even has what Sony calls a “Life Bookmark key.” You press it, and the bracelet remembers whatever it is you’re doing. .A separate Core device supposedly can handle more advanced tracking and can attach to clothing or even the SmartBand watch, but we don't know much else yet. No pricing or ship dates announced on either product. Read more at bbc.co.uk.

  5. Remember that Lytro camera that lets you shoot pictures now and focus later? Toshiba announced today a new camera module that does something similar for phones and tablets. The device has 2 five-megapixel sensors, plus a chip that processes image and depth data. The chip can also scale up the two 5-megapixel images to create a new, 13-megapixel photo. The resulting pictures can be re-focused as part of the editing process. Toshiba expects to have their new technology in devices you can actually buy some time next year. Read more at prnewswire.com.

  6. A billion devices isn’t cool. You know what’s cool? A billion point one devices. That’s how many phones and tablets will be running Android by the end of 2014, according to a new report from Gartner. Not only is 1.1 billion a lot, but it's a 26% rise over 2013. By comparison, Microsoft Windows will be on 360 million devices and Apple’s iOS and OS X systems will rise to 344 million by the end of 2014. Read more at businessinsider.com.

  7. The Wall Street Journal reported this morning that Apple has made the unusual move of opening an official store on China's Tmall for selling iPads and other Apple products. Tmall is an online store run by the Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba. That means Apple is paying Tmall’s annual service fee, plus a commission on each transaction. Apple already has its own online store for China, so Chinese Apple fans can take their pick. Read more at wsj.com.

  8. Sony's not done with wearables yet - at CES, the company announced a virtual reality headset designed to compete with Oculus Rift. It's called the HMZ-T3Q, which is a really great name and easy to remember, it has a virtual screen that can span up to 750 inches, it’s designed for gaming and handles head tracking with what Sony says is low latency. You know what Sony doesn't say? How much it will cost and when we can buy it. Read more at venturebeat.com.

  9. For insight, analysis, and discussion of these topics and more, check out Tech News Today for January 07, 2014.