When Matias Duarte tried to unlock his Nexus Galaxy on-stage at today’s Samsung event things didn’t go so well. Some combination of his makeup and the lighting conspired to keep him from getting into his device, but after spending a little time with one ourselves we can confirm that it does indeed work — and quickly. To program the feature, go into the settings and it’ll train itself to recognize your mug. As it locks in a ring of circles frames your face and, hey presto, it’s ready. After that you set up a backup form of identification and you’re good to go.
Once it’s ready we found it takes only a second or two to recognize and unlock the phone, meaning this should be even faster than swiping or punching in an unlock code. But, you still will need to do that from time to time, either when the lighting conditions are less than optimal or, apparently, when you weren’t born with it and were relying a little too much on the Maybelline.
Continue reading Ice Cream Sandwich face unlock demo (video)
Ice Cream Sandwich face unlock demo (video) originally appeared on Engadget on Wed, 19 Oct 2011 02:23:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.
Samsung’s quest for transparency won’t end with laptops, apparently. Today, the Samsung Advanced Institute of Technology announced that its engineers have successfully created “single crystalline Gallium Nitride on amorphous glass substrates” — an achievement that would allow the manufacturer to produce jumbo-sized LEDs from normal glass, including window panes. Samsung says this scaled-up approach will allow them to lower production costs relative to most LED manufacturers, which rely on sapphire, rather than glass substrates. And, whereas most Gallium Nitride (GaN) LEDs on the market measure just two inches in size, Sammy’s technique could result in displays about 400 times larger. “In ten years, window panes will double as lighting and display screens, giving personality to buildings,” a Samsung spokesperson told the Korea Herald. Unfortunately, however, it will likely be another ten years before the technology is ready to hit the market. Until then, we’ll just have to do our late night window coding the old fashioned way.
[Image courtesy of Columbia Pictures / The New York Times]
Samsung breakthrough could turn your window pane into a big ol’ LED originally appeared on Engadget on Mon, 10 Oct 2011 09:56:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.
, gallium nitride
, gan led
, window pane
Four hundred and fifty dollars. Made out to Lumiotec, please. Really, that’s all you need to know — this tiny purposeless OLED lamp costs nearly half a grand. But hot damn does it look good. If you have the cash and don’t mind shelling it over, Lumiotec’s OLED Hanger lamp is a mighty cool gadget to own. Until you realize that you’re not really sure what to do with it. Do you hang it in a closet? Do you hang it over the door? Can you hang it anywhere at all? It is a hanger, after all. Even representatives from Rohm, which manufacturers the OLED panel used in the Hanger, were unable to explain the lamp’s purpose at the company’s CEATEC booth. Some variation of “use your imagination” was the final response. Well, our imagination has concluded that we’ll pass on the Hanger, but we’d like a few dozen of those gorgeous OLED panels, please (we’ve already set aside several hundred square feet of wall space).
If you’re still into the Hanger, we can confirm that it’s not only bright, but also very thin and very light. The panel gives off roughly the same amount of light as a 60-watt bulb, yet it consumes just 9.6 watts of power. Sadly, that doesn’t mean it will eventually pay for itself in electricity cost savings, since, again, you’re still paying $450 for what’s essentially a (very slick) light bulb. We’d be far more impressed if the Hanger were more portable. You’ll have many feet of cord to work with, but you’ll still be tethered to an outlet — there’s no flat battery magic implemented here. These are available now in limited quantities, if you’re ready to pull out the checkbook and sign on the dotted line. Or, if you’d rather spend that dough on a truckload of traditional fixtures, you can get your Hanger fix for free in the video after the break.
Continue reading Rohm and Lumiotec create $450 OLED Hanger lamp, we go hands-on (video)
Rohm and Lumiotec create $450 OLED Hanger lamp, we go hands-on (video) originally appeared on Engadget on Wed, 05 Oct 2011 12:34:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.
, lumiotec hanger
So you’re tres
green chic with your solar-charging jacket
, and that Ralph Lauren backpack
keeps your gadgets energized even off the coast of Martha’s Vineyard. But what about stylish photovoltaics for your home, dear earth-friendly aesthete? We humbly submit the Electree, by French designer Vivian Muller. Shaped like a bonsai tree, each of its 27 leaves is a solar panel that helps charge a 13,500mAh battery. A concealed USB connector and A/C outlet will feed your gadgets while minimizing unsightly wires, and rotatable branches let you customize the look. Muller’s looking for 400 presales to make the Electree a reality: for early birds, the price is €269 (about $370). If this sounds like the sort of thing you’d put on your windowsill, hit the source link to commence with the purchasing.
Continue reading The Electree: finally, a bonsai tree that uses solar power to charge your gadgets
The Electree: finally, a bonsai tree that uses solar power to charge your gadgets originally appeared on Engadget on Mon, 19 Sep 2011 09:01:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.
, vivian muller
Logitech isn’t exactly new to the gaming peripheral scene, but the company knows its strength lies not in pleasing hardcore FPS fans, it’s in delivering solid consumer products. The G300 isn’t a gaming mouse for the twitchy virtual gun slingers out there, it’s for folks that fire up the occasional shooter, but want better performance than they get out of the pointer packed with their PC. The nine programmable buttons and 2,500dpi laser aren’t jaw-dropping, but they’re certainly respectable for only $40. It does pack one interesting feature — gaming profiles that are stored on the mouse’s internal memory. This way you can set up different configurations for particular games and even move the mouse across PCs without any hassle. And, the lighting on the side will glow different colors to identify which profile you’re using. While you wait for the G300 to land in September, check out the PR after the break.
Continue reading Logitech G300 mouse delivers gaming friendly features on the cheap
Logitech G300 mouse delivers gaming friendly features on the cheap originally appeared on Engadget on Thu, 18 Aug 2011 14:47:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.
It’s a busy week for Vizio. The budget TV manufacturer flaunted its flashy new tablet in front of our cameras yesterday, and had us hopping across town this afternoon for a chance to go hands-on with its latest entrant into a mysterious brand-new product category (for Vizio, at least). Reps were mum on details, so we had no choice but to return to the CEA LineShows in NYC to see what was up. We walked around the booth, looking for signs of that Vizio Android phone we saw at CES, only to find co-founder Ken Lowe cradling the new goods: a line of light bulbs. We laughed. Then asked to see the real product that Vizio insisted would be worth the trip. Nope, that was it: a LED light bulb — four of them, in fact, arranged in height-order on a chrome bathroom vanity fixture. Lowe then proceeded to introduce his product as he has any other, so we hit record. They’re bright, round, and standards-compliant, and will be coming to a screw-in fixture near you in Q3. How much? “A Vizio price.”
Continue reading Vizio, your favorite low-cost TV leader introduces… a light bulb (video)
Vizio, your favorite low-cost TV leader introduces… a light bulb (video) originally appeared on Engadget on Wed, 22 Jun 2011 16:54:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.
, led light bulb
, led lighting
, light bulb
, vizio light bulb
Look closely at that blue blob up above and you’ll realize it’s made up of 500 butterflies, each one meticulously cut from photovoltaic cells. The hundreds of insects collect the sun’s rays as they flutter around a giant glass bulb that turns into a churning mass of light after dusk. The Virtue of Blue chandelier is a stunning work of art by Dutch designer Jeroen Verhoeven that draws connections between the beauty and power of nature and the importance of sustainable energy… or, you know, just something trippy to stare at while you sip a few cocktails at the Blain|Southern gallery in London.
Solar-powered butterfly chandelier is a fluttering mass of art and light originally appeared on Engadget on Tue, 24 May 2011 07:52:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.
, solar powered
Despite the looming IPv4 apocalypse, a new lighting system coming out of NXP Semiconductors promises an “IP address for every light bulb.” The GreenChip “smart lighting solution” incorporates NXP chipsets into both LED and compact flourescents to enable dimming, extended lifespans, quick start times, and IP connectivity — via IPv4 or IPv6. Proprietary network software allows users to control their bulbs from smartphones, PCs, and other devices, enabling them to fiddle with mood lighting — including adjusting color — via a specific IP address. So at least when IPv4 doomsday finally descends someone will have their lighting just right. Video and PR after the break.
Continue reading GreenChip lighting lets you flip the switch remotely, thumbs nose at IPv4 depletion
GreenChip lighting lets you flip the switch remotely, thumbs nose at IPv4 depletion originally appeared on Engadget on Tue, 17 May 2011 01:02:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.
, compact flourescent
, lighting solution
‘Tis amazing what a partnership with Google can do. Unless you’re a frequent patron of Home Depot, there’s a slim chance you’d ever heard of Lighting Science prior to this week’s opening I/O keynote. Now, said company is leading the Android @ Home charge, and based on what we learned yesterday at its booth, we’re feeling better than ever about home automation’s chances in the mainstream market. Company representatives noted that this Google-led mesh networking solution — which beams out commands on the 900MHz frequency band — is the first HA solution that’s truly designed to be ultra-low-cost and easy to implement. Compared to Z-Wave and Zigbee, there’s far less technical expertise needed to start automating things in your home, and there’s no need to take out a second mortgage to open your garage door with your handset. Oh, and there’s zero chance anything fails due to congestion on the 2.4GHz band.
We pressed the company on pricing details, and it stated that the wirelessly enabled light shown above would be priced “at parity” with the non-wireless counterpart available today. At last check, that puts a single bulb at around $30. In order to make these kinds of devices compatible with existing Android phones and tablets, a couple of WiFi-to-900MHz adapters will be available. From Lighting Science alone, you’ll soon see a light switch, security lamp and a regular wall wart on sale to handle the transfers. In other words, you can pick up a dirt-cheap plug, toss it in your guest room, and immediately give your Nexus One the ability to dictate Android @ Home products. Not too shabby, but what does this mean for the broader industry?
Continue reading Lighting Science demos Android @ Home bulbs, promises dead-simple home automation (hands-on)
Lighting Science demos Android @ Home bulbs, promises dead-simple home automation (hands-on) originally appeared on Engadget on Wed, 11 May 2011 06:20:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.
, google io 2011
, home automation
Microsoft’s Kinect has become quite the hacking hotbed — the fields of medicine, music, and even shadow puppeteering have all benefitted from the peripheral’s incredible versatility. And now, to the delight of home automation nerds everywhere, an enterprising young hacker has rigged a Kinect to automate the lighting in his home. By positioning the camera bar in a corner to track his movements, connecting it to the automation controller, and coding on / off commands, he’s able to control the lights throughout his geektastic domicile. The automation logic then turns on the lights when entering the room, localizes them according to location, and turns them off upon leaving. One less thing to worry about — here’s hoping a method for spotting our perpetually misplaced keys is in version 2.0. Vid’s after the break.
Continue reading Kinect hacked for home automation, does your mood lighting for you (video)
Kinect hacked for home automation, does your mood lighting for you (video) originally appeared on Engadget on Fri, 11 Mar 2011 11:04:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.
, home automation