Canesta, a company specializing in motion-sensing and 3D gesture controls, have just announced that they are being acquired by Microsoft; a deal that is expected to be finalized by the end of 2010. Canesta was founded in 1999 and they specialize in “NUI’s” or natural user interfaces. Their technology allows users to do away with the traditional mouse and keyboard combo for most of their computing needs. They are also experts in 3D tracking; a very useful purchase for the future development of the Kinect platform. The Silicon Valley company holds 44 patents with regard to 3D sensing technologies, which will protect Microsoft in any patent litigation they may find themselves in. The acquisition could usher in a new revolutionary GUI/NUI for Windows 8. Minority Report computing might be around sooner than you think. Hit the break to watch Canesta’s technology in action. More →
For the first time since July, when an Android project manager let slip Google’s intention to launch a music store alongside Android 3.0, details surrounding the next major Android release have emerged. While these new details aren’t quite as firm, they’re sure to please Android fans waiting for some serious forward progress. First off, the OS is said to have undergone a good amount of UI retooling, which is news that will certainly be welcomed by critics of Android’s less tailored look. Unfortunately, most of the graphics-related changes mentioned in the post are relatively minor, such as a reworked notification bar, new icons, new scroll effects and more green accents. Even still, the report seems to suggest there will be more significant changes to admire when Gingerbread starts rolling out — especially within individual Google apps.
Beyond changes surrounding the GUI, Android 3.0 is also said to introduce two pretty major new functions. The first, video chat, will supposedly be added as a core element of the OS. While video chat still hasn’t gained mass appeal, it was almost a foregone conclusion that Google would implement it quickly to compete with Apple’s FaceTime. The other big news is that Google is apparently (finally) preparing to add VoIP calling to its Google Voice service. The report plays it down, but the addition of integrated VoIP calling features to Android phones would obviously be pretty major… if carriers let it through. And it will also be big news for Android tablets, which will be able to tout a polished, fully integrated voice calling solution that doesn’t rely on cellular connectivity.
Hit the break for a blurrycam shot to end all blurrycam shots that is said to depict Android 3.0 running on a Nexus One. We doubt it will instill any added confidence in the aforementioned Gingerbread details — but it’s something, we suppose. More →
We’ve already talked about some of the news from the first day of the 2009 BlackBerry Developers Conference, but another blast of PR from RIM has hit out inboxes, and wow, are we ever excited. The biggest news of the day is that developers will finally be able to unlock the full potential of the latest generation of BlackBerry smartphones — OS 5.0 and hardware permitting, of course — with the latest beta of the Java SDK 5.0 thanks in part to its OpenGL ES support. Still, there’s a lot of things to cover and we don’t want to clutter up our newly redesigned site with a bunch of text, so join us after the jump.
Meizu first got our attention by churning out a laughable iPhone ripoff and getting tossed out of CeBIT because of it. Ever since then, the company has been working hard to transform the Meizu M8 from a painfully blatant ripoff into a, well, slightly less painfully blatant ripoff. Fair enough. So our guess is around the same time webOS screenshots began hitting the web — coincidentally of course — Meizu began work on its new M8 UI. These images, according to reports, show the fruit of that labor. The new iPre UI, sorry Meizu M8 UI, and associated firmware update are rumored to be reaching market sometime this month or next, and won’t M8 owners be excited. Congrats Apple and Palm; imitation, they say, is the sincerest form of flattery. Hit the jump for more shots.
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By way of a Korean press release, Samsung has announced that its popular dumb phone UI for use on its touchscreen devices is getting a makeover. TouchWiz, or “wait is that a smartphone or is that just TouchWiz?” as you may know it, is present on a handful of Samsung handsets and is an evolutionary step based on the Croix UI from Sammy’s Armani phone. Designed with the finger in mind, Samsung developed the UI to have its own OS supplement for handsets that wouldn’t quite make it to smartphone status. In preparation for next week’s MWC kick off, Samsung just sent word through the vine that TouchWiz went and got its hair did in preparation for a whole new look to be shown off in Barcelona. Ok, so the screen shots it provided along with the press release aren’t too great a departure from the TouchWiz of old, but there are some sexy new elements that will make Sammy’s touchscreen dumb phones even more desirable to many. More haptic features, 3D effects, downloadable widgets and a widget dock along the bottom of the screen are among the new features you can look forward to. The best part about Samsung’s announcement? Current TouchWiz handsets will be able to install the new UI via an update. Woo! Expect plenty of hands-on love with the refreshed TouchWiz build to hit all corners of the internet next week.
Since the first iPhone was announced two years ago today, manufacturers of pretty much anything and everything electronic have been trying to cash in on the insatiable consumer demand for anything with a touchscreen. They’re definitely convenient, but a lot of times they seem to be more of a hassle than a benefit due to bloated GUIs that give some people, such as the legally blind, great difficulties. It was because of this that music legend Stevie Wonder went to CES yesterday to ask electronics manufacturers to consider those with visual ailments when designing devices. It might seem like a bit of a strange move considering that less that 0.5% of Americas are legally blind, but good ol’ Stevie raised a good point as to why his plea could benefit all. “We don’t want to hold up technological progress. What we’re saying is, think about the interface and set it up in such a way that it’s simple. The simpler you make the user interface of a product, it’s going to reach more people sighted or blind.” Well, it’s hard to argue with logic.
First things first… It’s no TouchFLO 3D. Ok, now that we have that out of the way we do have to say that we’re happy to see another company making an effort to tidy up the Windows Mobile UI a tad. Who knows how far away we really are from Windows Mobile 7 becoming a reality and in the meantime, even many Windows Mobile die hards seem to be losing patience with the very dated look of the OS. Samsung, HTC and Sony Ericsson aren’t the only companies attempting to bandage their mobile OS of choice however, as i-mate has just announced its “i-mate Go” UI. No, it’s not the catchiest name in the game, but those of you looking for high visibility and simple design for your i-mate UI should be pleased. i-mate Go is powered by VITO Winterface of course, a Windows Mobile UI enhancement that essentially started as an iPhone rip off and evolved into a slightly less obvious iPhone rip off. Apparently that subtle change was enough to get the i-mate folks to bite, so job well done. The i-mate Go UI is available for the JAMA 101 along with the Ultimate 6150, 8150, 8502 and 9502, and can be downloaded for free from the i-mate website.