Microsoft recently released a new app for Android called Path Guide, which allows you to easily create and follow custom routes for indoor areas that exist as linear instructions separate from a map. Think of a children's treasure hunt where each goal shows the next step, toss the whole thing on your phone, and that's the concept. Even more interesting, it makes the process of creating those directions literally as easy as taking a walk. When you want to make a path just fire up the app and go for a stroll. By pulling data from your phone's sensors as you move to your destination it handles everything for you. Read More
Android has always made use of location services in various ways, including recent innovations like location-based smart lock. What if your phone could truly understand what's going on in the world around it with a simple API? That's Google's new Awareness API, which was just announced at I/O. Read More
The Nexus 5X and Nexus 6P are packed with a number of cool hardware improvements over previous generations, like a shockingly fast fingerprint reader and a fast-charging USB Type-C connector. During today's presentation, Dave Burke spoke about a brand new piece of hardware dubbed Android Sensor Hub that can significantly extend battery life and allows even more inventive features to these phones. It's a dedicated low-power processor designed to efficiently manage sensor data so the main processor can go to sleep for longer periods of time. Read More
Samsung's forays into Wearable technology for the consumer market haven't been very groundbreaking, and a few never even touched down. Perhaps the secret was to aim higher than heart rate trackers and smartwatches. A small team at Samsung has been working in the company's Creativity Lab (a.k.a. C-Lab) developing a headset capable of observing brainwave patterns for signs of a stroke. Not only could the system help millions of people each year to prevent a crippling or fatal stroke, but the technology may have applications for monitoring the heart and brain for many other conditions.
The project began two years ago when the project lead, Se-hoon Lim, and 4 other engineers from the smartphone and washing machine divisions came together with the goal of an early warning system. Read More
At Google I/O, we heard a little bit about Google Fit - Google's renewed effort at quantified, managed health data. We heard that multiple partners had signed on and got a taste of what Google Fit would be able to accomplish, but beyond that details were a little hazy.
We were however told a preview SDK would be made available in "coming weeks," (a dreaded phrase to any Google user) and today that promise has been fulfilled. In a post to its Developers Blog, Google has announced the Google Fit preview SDK, explaining that Fit provides a "single set of APIs for apps and device manufacturers to store and access data from fitness apps and sensors," making it easy for apps to provide not just raw fitness data, but useful insights based on those data. Read More
It's no mystery that Google has been poking around wearable gadgets for quite some time. The list of projects seems to keep growing as we hear about rumors of an LG-made smartwatch, another prototype watch designed by Motorola, and of course, Google's own Glass. Earlier today at SXSW, Sundar Pichai took to the stage to announce plans to release a brand new SDK for Android-based wearable devices in about two weeks.
Pichai explained that the the SDK will focus heavily on better access to sensor data and improving the way devices can communicate with each other. Read More
Another day, another Kickstarter project. This one actually looks like it could have potential, though. Ubi is an Android-powered speaker system that connects to your local WiFi network. The small black box plugs into a power outlet and is controlled primarily via voice. It comes equipped with colored LEDs for notifications, and an array of sensors including temperature, humidity, air pressure, and ambient light. To round out the specs, the box packs a full-size USB port and a 3.5mm audio jack. Couple all that with an open development platform and the potential is nigh on limitless.
The device appears to be built largely around Google's voice actions and search. Read More