Smart speakers are quickly becoming standard across U.S. households. My grandmother recently floored me when she demonstrated how she uses her JBL Link to play 60s music with Google Assistant. I was impressed because she was still learning how to Google, but here she was jamming out while making breakfast. That’s the moment I knew smart speakers were here to stay. Research from Nielsen now confirms the sudden rise of this market category. Read More
It's hard enough for us to keep track of who's talking in a loud or crowded party, imagine how difficult it is for automated systems to follow. Speech recognition at a reasonable quality is really only something that's been mastered in the last decade or two, add in conflicting sounds as people talk over each other, and an already tricky problem becomes much harder.
Fortunately (or unfortunately) for us, researchers at Google have been working on isolating sources of audio like speech in videos, and the results they showed off yesterday are kind of incredible and simultaneously terrifying. Read More
It was bound to happen eventually. Global smartphone sales have fallen year-over-year for the first time since 2004. Research firm Gartner reports that industry-wide, sales in the fourth quarter of 2017 dropped 5.6% from the same time period in 2016.
While Samsung and Apple maintained their leads in units sold, both showed declines in year-over-year sales. Samsung's sales decreased by 3.6% for Q4, and Apple dropped a somewhat surprising 5%.
Gartner attributes some of the slowdown in Q4 to the aging of the Galaxy S8 and S8+, with the S9 set to debut at the Mobile World Congress, as well as some confusion over Apple's release of three new models of iPhone and supply shortages for iPhone X. Read More
Google is constantly working on projects with interesting potential, but we rarely get to hear about them at such an early stage in development as this latest one. Google researchers Hee Jung Ryu and Florian Schroff have been developing software on a Pixel phone that uses the front-facing camera to spot someone looking over your shoulder at the screen. Read More
If there's one major technological limitation that's slowing progress in a number of areas, including smartphones, it's probably batteries. More efficient power delivery in smaller cells would no doubt lead to some interesting advancements, and there are plenty of academics and companies around the world working towards better battery tech. You hear about potential new breakthroughs all the time (taking most with a pinch of salt), but Samsung believes it may have come up with a promising new battery material. Read More
It may seem unthinkable that the much maligned 'selfie,' a photo of oneself taken by oneself, could be used in any meaningful, useful way. That's exactly what is being proposed by researchers from the University of Washington. They've developed an app called BiliScreen which could utilize selfies, as well as computer vision algorithms and machine learning tools, as a method of screening for pancreatic cancer. Read More
Smartphone cameras have come a long way, but can you ever take images that rival a "real" camera? According to Google software engineer Florian Kainz, the answer is yes. Using a custom camera app and some post-capture editing , Kainz shows what the camera sensors in the Pixel and Nexus 6P can do in low light situations. Read More
As a student, I have written a lot of papers. Considering that I still have a long way to go until my education is complete, research papers and essays are not going away any time soon. The best part about all of those is citing my sources, which can get tedious when some classes want MLA and others want APA (because who wants Chicago anymore?). Sure, there are citation machines that are immensely helpful, but what if you could just get what you need straight from the Google Docs web search? Well, El Goog has students covered. Read More
You probably know as well as I do that the internet is littered with low-resolution images, either a limitation of a device's camera or purposely-downgraded for faster loading on slow connections. Unfortunately, enlarging an image many times over while still preserving detail is something only possible in episodes of CSI. But thanks to the magic of machine learning, Google has been developing a solution - RAISR, short for Rapid and Accurate Image Super-Resolution. Read More