Google's self-driving car program has been one of the company's most visible and high-profile "moonshots" over the last few years. When Google showed off the primary development stages, the self-driving vehicles were basically production cars (like the Toyota Prius and Lexus SUVs) stuffed with huge amounts of robotics, communications, and processing equipment. Now the first self-driving "Google Car" prototype, built from the ground up to demonstrate the autonomous system, is complete and ready to roll out.
Google has been working on this unique prototype since before May of this year. The company plans to test its curvy new vehicle on an official Google test track, followed by tests on public roads after New Year's.
Project Ara stirred up plenty of excitement when it was first announced, and it continues to entice people with its promise of a modular and upgradeable phone. We recently learned that users will be able to hot-swap modules (excluding the CPU and screen) while the device is on thanks to a modified version of Android Lollipop.
Now Phonebloks has shared a video of Ara's porgress at NK Labs, a Massachusetts-based contractor doing a great deal of work on the project. In it, we see an updated version of the prototype demoed at Google I/O.
Towards the end of this presentation, we hear that a second prototype, known as Spiral 2, will provide more of the device's space to developers and resources.
Google's newly announced Project Tango phone is packed full of sensors to give it a three dimensional understanding of its surroundings. Just how good is it at creating a 3D map? Well, now there's a video showing off what the prototype can do.
The test video comes courtesy of computer vision firm Matterport, which is one of the few companies Google chose to give an early prototype to. In the video you can see the phone being swept around the room, and it's not some perfectly designed test space – there's a bunch of junk all over the place. Project Tango still does a pretty good job, especially considering it is only equipped with a 4MP camera right now.
In South Korea, there's a never-ending war between Samsung and LG for display superiority. The latest salvo fired comes from the latter, which announced an astonishing new smartphone IPS-LCD panel yesterday. The 5.5-inch prototype screen uses a WQHD resolution of 2560x1440 (seen elsewhere on 27-inch monitors). The density is 538 pixels per inch, the highest of any mobile screen to date.
And the density isn't the only record that this screen sets. It's also the thinnest mobile screen in the world at 1.21mm, beating LG's own record of 2.2mm set just last month. They've managed to shrink the bezel as well, down to just 1.2mm.
We're all eagerly awaiting the arrival of the Ouya and the one question we need to have answered is whether or not the platform will be able to acquire enough interesting games to be worthwhile. One of the ways the company is generating interest and content is with a 10-day developer competition. Keeping in mind that the entire programming process occurred in a little more than a week (and in some cases, less than that) and all the titles are unfinished, here's a look at some of the games that may end up on the console.
This might just be one of the most visually-polished games to come out so far.
We've heard quite a bit about Samsung's prototype flexible OLED display over the past couple of years, and it looks like the company is starting to mature the tech, as it showed off the most practical phone design we've seen yet.
Just to get this out of the way up front – this phone is not flexible. It's just using the flexible display inside of a rigid case, so it's no different than current phones in that respect. When it comes to specs, Samsung wouldn't give up details, only telling The Verge that it's "about 5-inches across" with a resolution of "about" 720p.
If there's one downside to the proliferation of touchscreen technology, it's the lack of tactile feedback. Tactus is one of many companies that aims to alleviate this problem. This week, at SID 2012, the company demoed a product that offers disappearing physical touch keys. As seen in the demo video here, these buttons can raise on command and disappear when they're not needed. Which sounds like something out of science fiction.
At the moment, the display can only be configured for preset layouts. Meaning, you configure it for a landscape QWERTY layout, that's all you'll get. No gaming controls, no dialer configurations.
I will never quite get the Japanese consumer electronics market, but hey, NEC has done pretty well for itself occupying just that niche. Their latest creation? A weird super-thin (9.9mm, to be precise) Android laptop:
Yes, that is Android 1.6 you see running on this "cutting-edge" piece of technology. Seriously, they couldn't even get Gingerbread? And yes, the screen is supposed to be that aspect ratio (it's 7 inches). But hey, at least it's a touch display (we think), and you can rotate the hinge on it all the way back, so then it's like a tablet (how's that work with a keyboard on the backside...?)!
While the announcement everyone was expecting Andy Rubin to make at today's D: Dive Into Mobile conference was already made earlier today, the head of Android operations still had a few things hidden up his sleeves, not the least of which was a dual-core Motorola tablet:
If that didn't catch your attention, consider this: the man himself said that it will run Honeycomb, will feature video chat, and will be powered by a "dual-core 3D NVIDIA processor." Additionally, Engadget, whose editor-in-chief was sitting at the event,noticed that the tablet has no buttons at all, for better or for worse.