Both Samsung and Apple may be eyeing a new waterproofing technology for the companies’ next-generation smartphones. The technology, called HzO, creates a nano-scale film barrier with a special water repelling properties that is applied to the inside of a device. Rather than having consumers use a case or sealant, the technology is applied during the manufacturing process. At this year’s Consumer Electronics Show, ZAGG, the company marketing the technology, applied HzO to a number of devices and repeatedly dunked them into a fish tank full of water. ZAGG is looking to sign big deals with all leading manufacturers, and according to Pocket-lint, the company is in the process of signing deals with a major smartphone partner and a headphones maker in the very near future. “We showed the Samsung Chairman the technology with a Samsung Galaxy S that we had coated with HzO and he couldn’t believe his eyes,” a company representative told Pocket-lint. “Samsung is really excited by the tech.” The company is also in the process of talking to Apple, hoping the Cupertino-based company will make future versions of its iPhone waterproof. “We expect HzO to be in next season’s phones,” said a ZAGG representative. Videos of HzO in action follow after the break. More →
At the Consumer Electronics Show on Thursday, Texas Instruments showed off the company’s OMAP 5 chipset in a reference platform running Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich. The 28nm system on a chip (SOC) features a dual-core ARM Cortex A15 CPU, 2MB L2 cache, a PowerVR SGX 544MP2 GPU and a dual-channel LPDDR2-533 memory interface. The OMAP 5 supports 24 and 20-megapixel cameras for front and rear 3D HD video recording. It also supports up to 8GB of dual channel DDR3 memory, and includes 3 USB 2.0 ports and a SATA 2.0 controller. “This is the greatest platform on Earth right now… way ahead of Apple, and it’s the first Cortex-A15 (which runs 2x faster than the Cortex-A9) product on the market,” Texas Instruments vice president Remi El-Ouazzane told Engadget. “When running two Cortex-A15 chips at 800MHz, it’s more or less the same performance as running two Cortex-A9s at 1.5GHz. We’re working on multiple form factors — tablets, thin-and-lights — and we think ARM is going to bring tablets to the masses.” The first devices featuring the OMAP 5 chipset aren’t expected to ship until late 2012 or early 2013. More →
The Consumer Electronics Show is one of the biggest technology trade shows in the world, and this year’s CES was as big as it has ever been. It was estimated that between 140,000 and 150,000 people attended the show in Las Vegas this week — CES’s record stands at 149,529, achieved last year — and the show was as busy as we’ve ever seen it. Hundreds of companies touted thousands of gadgets and all of the big names were there showing off their upcoming wares. As is always the case, however, a few products managed to outshine the rest. Here, we provide a quick rundown of our favorite tech from CES 2012. More →
Samsung and Sony each brought their A-game to the Consumer Electronics Show this year when it comes to high-end HDTVs. If there was one other brand that could easily give these tech giants a run for their money though, it was LG. The South Korea-based company had a handfull of other devices to show off at CES 2012, but televisions took center stage in the firm’s booth and sets on display ranged from entry-level offerings to high-end stunners that were absolutely beautiful. Of all the TVs LG had on display at CES, our clear favorite — it’s not even close, really — was the company’s new 55-inch OLED model. The gorgeous panel on this HDTV gives Samsung’s Super OLED displays a run for their money, and we would be hard pressed to say which screen produces deeper blacks and more vivid colors. No pricing has been announced and we’re sure this set will cost a pretty penny, but it could very well find its way to BGR headquarters once it hits the market. Pictures can hardly do LG’s new OLED HDTV justice, but several photos can be found in our LG booth tour, which follows below.
Last summer, Huawei’s MediaPad was one of the first manufactures to ship a device pre-loaded with Android 3.2 Honeycomb. The Chinese company is now attempting a similar strategy with the release of Ice Cream Sandwich. Existing models of the MediaPad will receive an Android 4.0 update by the end of the first quarter, and new MediaPads will come pre-loaded with the software beginning some time the first quarter. Additionally, the tablet will be offered in the current color scheme, and will add shadow black, classic brown, and passion pink to the mix. The MediaPad features a 7-inch 1280 x 800-pixel display that supports 1080p full HD video playback, a 1.2GHz dual-core Qualcomm processor and six hours of battery life. Read on for the company’s full press release. More →
Google TV continues to make a decent impact at the Consumer Electronics Show. On Wednesday, Google and OnLive announced that the company’s streaming game service was coming to Google TV devices. OnLive delivers console-quality games that are synchronized, rendered, and stored on remote servers and then are streamed over the Internet. The service launched in 2010 and is available on Windows, OS X, Android and iOS operating systems. “With OnLive, the latest high-performance video games stream just as instantly as videos or movies,” said OnLive’s chief executive Steve Perlman. As the company does with most new platforms, the service will launch as a “Viewer” on Google TV, allowing users to watch and use OnLive social features. However, OnLive is working closely with Google to enable full gameplay with gamers from around the world. Vizio will be the first manufacturer to incorporate the service into its Google TV devices. More →
Microsoft had a massive booth at the Consumer Electronics Show this year. It was home to brand new laptops, a huge array of Windows Phone devices, demo stations for Xbox 360 and SkyDrive, and plenty more. Sadly, however, there were no Windows 8 devices on display to give show-goers a closer look at Microsoft’s next-generation operating system. We love Windows Phone in its current state and it seems like we aren’t alone; there were tons of people gathered around the phones playing with them and it looked like plenty of people were impressed, too. Whether or not this new wave of enthusiasm will translate into sales remains to be seen, of course. There were plenty of other sights to see in Microsoft’s booth, so be sure to check out our full gallery below.
Toshiba had a ton of products on display this year at the annual Consumer Electronics Show. The booth was chocked full of stunning new technology and we were blown away by several of the 3D products on display. Toshiba had its new line of Qosmio laptops with glasses-free 3D screens, glasses-free 3D TVs that were more impressive than the models we saw last year, and its Thrive and Excite X10 tablets were on display as well. We even had a chance to play a 3D game on a huge HDTV that was hooked up to a Qosmio laptop, which was a ton of fun. Check out all the highlights from Toshiba’s booth in our gallery below.
There is no clear cut winner or loser at the Consumer Electronics Show but if there was, Samsung would easily be a top contender for the crown. The South Korea-based consumer electronics giant came to CES 2012 with guns blazing, showing off everything from new televisions, ultrabooks and smartphones to a revolutionary new washing machine. Yes, a washing machine. Samsung had a gigantic booth packed to the brim with cutting-edge tech, but the stars of this year’s show in our eyes were Samsung’s new Super OLED HDTVs. The only word that can possibly describe them is gorgeous. They’re unbelievably slim, incredibly bright, and they produce colors unlike anything we’ve seen on a TV before… but we’ll let the pictures do the talking. Our CES 2012 booth tour featuring Samsung follows below.
At the Consumer Electronics Show, Google’s executive chairman Eric Schmidt spoke about the idea of fragmentation in Android. Schmidt argued that while there is a “differentiation” between Android devices, it isn’t the same as fragmentation. “Differentiation is positive, fragmentation is negative,” said Schmidt. “Differentiation means that you have a choice and the people who are making the phones, they’re going to compete on their view of innovation, and they’re going to try and convince you that theirs is better than somebody else.” Schmidt defined fragmentation as having an app that runs on one device but not another, with Android this is not the case 99% of the time. The differentiation between devices comes from the various skins that manufactures lay over the Android operating system. “We absolutely allow [manufacturers] to add or change the user interface as long as they don’t break the apps. We see this as a plus; [it] gives you far more choices,” said Schmidt. While everyone who buys an iPhone receive the same user experience, Schmidt doesn’t think the same is necessary with Android. “It’s not required that everyone use the same interface,” Schmidt said. “People are free to make the necessary changes. What’s great is if you don’t like it, you can buy the phone from someone else.” Android is all about choice, not every consumer is looking for a slide-out keyboard, a 4.65-inch display, or a dual-core processor, the different manufactures allow you to find a device that is perfect for you. Though those specifications sounds pretty good to me. More →
Sony had a big presence at the Consumer Electronics Show this year but we were expecting a more impressive showing from the technology giant. The company had a handful of exciting prototypes on hand including its vision of the tablet of the future, but we were expecting more in the way of innovation where TVs are concerned, especially when companies like Samsung and LG really pushing into new territory this year. Sony did unveil next-generation Google TV-equipped HDTVs with motion control and voice recognition capabilities, but its integration of these new features weren’t quite as impressive as similar offerings from some of its competitors, namely Samsung. Sony had some new phones on hand of course, including the Xperia S and Xperia ion, and there where plenty of other gadgets to gawk at in the company’s booth. CES is especially crowded this year with more than 140,000 attendees, but those of you who couldn’t make the show should check out our tour of Sony’s monstrous booth, which follows in the gallery below.
Imagination Technologies announced at the Consumer Electronics Show on Tuesday that the company’s next-generation PowerVR Series6 GPU core family will offer 20 times more performance over the current generation. Apple is a major shareholder in the company, and have used its chips in the iPad, iPhone, iPod touch, and the Apple TV. The PowerVR G6200 and G6400 GPU are the first in the Power VR Series6 GPU family and stand as a new benchmark for achieving high performance with low power consumption. The Series6 GPU will provide “ultra-realistic gaming” and enable more complex applications, while delivering 20 times or more of the performance of current GPU cores through an architecture that is five times more efficient than previous generations. “Based on our experience in shipping hundreds of millions of GPU cores, plus extensive market and customer feedback, we have been able to set a new standard in GPU architecture, particularly in the areas of power, bandwidth and efficiency — the key metrics by which GPUs are now judged,” said Imagination Chief Executive Hossein Yassaie. “We are confident that with the Rogue architecture we have a very clear technology advantage and an exceptional roadmap for the PowerVR Series6 family which our partners can depend on.” While there hasn’t been any indications about Apple’s next-generation mobile processor, the rumored “A6″ chip that could appear in the iPad 3 may feature Imagination’s Series6 GPUs. Apple’s next-generation iPad is rumored to be announced and ship in March. More →
Motorola is known for the company’s rapid refresh rate on smartphones and tablets. Last fall, the DROID Bionic was released, two months later the DROID RAZR was released, and this week the DROID RAZR MAXX and DROID 4 were announced. Motorola has flooded the Android market with more releases than almost any other manufacturer, however things are about to change. During a roundtable event at the Consumer Electronics Show on Tuesday, Motorola CEO Sanjay Jha announced that the company plans to release fewer new models this year, in an effort to focus on its marketing dollars. Jha noted that it was the Bionic’s delays that caused the product’s debut to be so close to the RAZR. Additionally, he said the company plans to pursue fewer new ideas in an effort to make more things stick. With the release of Motorola’s Bionic and ATRIX came the Lapdock, a feature to add a full keyboard and larger screen to your smartphone. Unfortunately, the dock was pricey and didn’t perform as consumers had hoped. Although it has yet to become a commercial success, Jha believe in the Lapdock feature and hopes to continue it in the future. Let’s just hope you don’t have to buy a new dock for each Motorola phone they release. More →