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10 April 2013

Nokia Lumia 520–A Phone for the Masses

Nokia-Lumia-520-2

Nokia has been striving hard to get their Lumia series bang on target but somehow seemed to fail until now. The newly launched Lumia 520 hopes to set right the wrong that Nokia was said to have done to its loyal customers. Nokia that was known for its Series 60/Symbian series was cursed and abused for jumping the bandwagon and joining hands with Microsoft for the software. It had been termed as the Dell of the mobile industry. In fact, rumours were rife that Nokia may be bought over by Microsoft as an investment opportunity.
We were privy to the launch of the Nokia’s Lumia 520 in Bangalore a few days back and had an opportunity to touch and feel the device. Available in flashy colours that are no less than a rainbow themselves, the handset is aimed at the masses or to be precise, College crowd. People who have a limited budget available to themselves yet want the best. Priced at a range of Rs. 10,000/- to 10,499/- the phone is now available for sale at all leading outlets both online as well as offline.
The phone made entirely of plastic, though may appear cheap at the first look makes up for the impression when taken in hand. A texture of velvety finish makes the phone a pleasure to hold. This velvety feel also ensures the phone is anti slip when in grip. The raised plastic buttons allow for easy access as well as give an assuring feeling when being touched and depressed. I am slightly from the old school of thought where buttons attract me. Specifically when there is a button for the camera. I prefer the half press for focus and full press to click. Also I love it when depressing the camera key allows me to bring up the camera app.
With a specification having a Dual Core Snapdragon S4 CPU clocked at 1 GHz, 512 MB RAM and an Adreno 302 GPU, the Windows Phone 8 OS complements the hardware well. The phone feels snappy to use and also offers a wide array of customisation options. I particularly liked the red colour on the handset and a matching red theme for the tiles. Available from Nokia as a standard accessory, Nokia Drive and Multiple lenses in the Camera App are sure to be picked up as a favourite among the crowds.
The phone offers Nokia music subscription with 80 Lakh DRM free songs available for download. In addition also available is Nokia’s primary offering of 150 Ad free streaming music channels. Nokia has also partnered with BigFlix to offer 3 months of subscription consisting of unlimited movie streaming.
The phone is available in five eye catching colours – Yellow, Red, Cyan, Black and White.
Nokia Lumia 520 - Specs
The entire list of specifications can be found here.

Contemplating another series.

It’s been a while since I gave the thought of the series a serious look. I have still neither finalised nor decided on the story line. The inspiration is lying some place waiting for me to pluck it! I am letting it take it’s own time. However, I am also sceptical about it. I have received no feedback for the earlier series. Either it was really that bad or may be no one read it really. This has put me off guard. I know it was my first series but then… I hope you understand.

Samsung transforms television viewing experience with its 2013 Smart TVs



§ New Smart TVs offer an even easier and intuitive way to discover content with a new Smart Hub and advanced Smart Interaction
§  Unveils its UHD TV – the ultimate blend of technology and craftsmanship
§  New LED TVs series developed for India

Bangalore, April 09, 2013 – Samsung Electronics has reinforced its technology leadership through the introduction of its new Smart TV lineup that responds to consumer demand for premium design, smarter features,
superior picture quality, and larger screen sizes. Samsung’s new flagship Smart LED and Plasma television series allows users to enjoy seamless navigation, intuitive control and personalized user experiences. A new ‘Made for India’ LED television series too is being launched in the Indian market. 

“In the Year 2013, we will strengthen our legacy of introducing televisions that have the best in class design, superior performance as well as feature innovations that our customers have grown to love us for. Consumers require innovation and Samsung has responded to this need by launching televisions that are clearly category defining products. These products have given our consumers a reason to upgrade and what we are witnessing in India is a dramatic transition from CRT to Flat Panel TVs and now to Smart TVs,” said Mr. SK Kim, Sr. Vice President, Consumer Electronics, Samsung India.
Samsung today announced the introduction of 20 new television models across its flagship Smart TV Series 8, 7, 6 as well as the LED TV Series 5500 and 4500. Designed to deliver the ultimate lean back experience to
consumers, the F8000 and F7500 are the first Samsung televisions to feature a quad-core processor. Available in 46”, 55” and 65” class screen sizes, the F8000 and F7500 feature an ultra-thin profile, a quarter-inch thick
bezel and stands that are truly spell binding. Both the F8000 and F7500 offer brighter, more vibrant pictures with richer colors, deeper black levels and higher contrasts. The ultra-thin design profile and Arc style stand in
F8000 makes it appear to be floating in the air. The F8000 is also among Samsung’s first line of Smart TVs equipped with Intelligent Viewing, which creates an optimized picture quality dependent on the source of
content, and a quad-core processor – making it even easier and faster for consumers to toggle between apps, online services and on-air TV.

Also, the F8000 and F7500 provide advanced Smart Interaction that responds to your motion and voice in a more intuitive way making it easier for you to navigate and control your TV. With the newly improved smart
interaction, users can now rotate images, or simply zoom in and out with two hands. Voice control capabilities have also been enhanced. Samsung Smart TV is now able to understand more than 300 commands with much better language recognition rates. In addition, a new Smart Touch Control is provided with the Samsung’s new Smart TVs, wherein all number keys have been replaced by a touch pad, on which users can simply write the channel number they want and flip and scroll the screen. It can also control devices made by other manufacturers through a very simple set-up.

Samsung is providing consumers with a simpler way to embrace the discovery of new content and experiences with a completely redesigned Smart Hub. The 2013 Smart Hub provides consumers with an easy way to organize and navigate personalized content through an updated interface and dynamic thumbnail previews within three newly designed panels: Apps; Photos, Videos & Music; and Social. The new Apps panel of Samsung’s Smart Hub allows users to display up to 30 app icons on one page, which users can customize so that their favorite apps are easy to access. Combined with Samsung’s enhanced Motion Control – which allows users to swipe, pinch to zoom, or use a flip motion to easily move between Smart Hub panels – consumers can now navigate and control their TV like never before.

This advanced TV user experience has been expanded to smartphones and tablets, thanks to Samsung’s leadership in connectivity. Viewers can use their devices as a remote control or simultaneously enjoy two different pieces of content from a TV or Blu-ray player on a second screen. They can also mirror their Smart TV content on a tablet to take it with them around the home.  “Our 2013 Smart TVs offer effortless, intuitive ways for consumers to discover and share more of the content they love while creating the ultimate home entertainment experience,” said Mr. Kim.    

Samsung also is delivering on its promise of bringing evolutionary capabilities to its TVs with the introduction of its Evolution Kit. Available on select 2012 Series 7, 8 and 9 Smart TVs, the Evolution Kit provides both software and hardware updates that include access to the 2013 Smart Hub and other Smart features, and transforms the set’s dual-core CPU to quad-core, resulting in faster internal processing speeds. Samsung’s 2013 Smart TVs will also be equipped with slots for Evolution kits. Samsung current Smart TV range is available in screen sizes between 32” to 65” priced between Rs 37,900/- to Rs.367,500/-.
Samsung today also showcased its first Ultra High Definition TV (UHD TV), the 85S9. The 85S9’s stunning Timeless Gallery design sets a new standard for TV craftsmanship, with the TV appearing to float within its frame and juxtaposing its classic minimalism with the striking 85-inch display. Both aesthetically pleasing and functional, the 85S9 includes Samsung’s “One Connect” feature, which eliminates cable clutter by requiring only one cable to connect to the TV and creates a perfect “Clean Back” look. The UHD TV’s larger screen size is part of Samsung’s efforts to meet consumer demand for larger-screen TVs – the fastest growing TV segment in the region. 

Blending technology excellence with fine craftsmanship, the 85S9 offers four times the resolution available on existing Full HD displays to deliver beautiful detail, unmatched clarity and vivid picture quality. The 85S9 also includes Samsung’s proprietary up-scaling engine which can up-convert HD or Full-HD to UHD-level picture quality by restoring information details to create greater precision for real-life picture quality. In addition to the up-scaling engine, Samsung is addressing current conflicting UHD content industry standards in several other ways to ease purchasing concerns and to ensure that users will be able to view UHD content for years to come. 

Five new Plasma televisions across 43”, 51”, 64” screen sizes were introduced in Series 8 priced between Rs  35,500/- to Rs 209,900/-.
“Even as we work towards enhancing the Indian consumers’ experience by introducing India relevant applications for televisions, we are also introducing new models that have been especially developed basis feedback received from Indian consumers,” said Mr. Mahesh Krishnan, Sr. Vice President, Consumer Electronics, Samsung India. Samsung LED TV Series F5100, F4800, F4100 provides easier connectivity options through its key feature – ConnectShare Transfer – which allows consumers to share content between devices via USB, eliminating the need for a computer. These LED TV series offer two USB ports on the side of the TV to plug in pen drives, smartphones or other storage devices, resulting in a more convenient, and efficient home entertainment experience. SRI, Delhi and Samsung R&D center in India especially developed this feature keeping in mind the feedback received from Indian consumers. While these LED TV series are scheduled to be launched globally, India is the first market where they have been introduced.

Designed to delight, these television Series offers amazing picture quality created by Samsung wide colour enhancer and clean view that deliver richer colours while deleting digital noise. They also feature Triple Protector that ensures protection against electrical surges, lightning as well as humidity. Samsung LED TV Series F5100, F4800, F4100 are available in screen sizes between 22” to 46” across Series 4 and 5 priced between Rs.15,900 to Rs 76,500/-.The F4800 series of LED TVs is sound oriented with Front woofer and speakers with an output of 800 PMPO Sound.
“With the launch of our 2013 Smart TV range, we are looking to consolidate our leadership in the Panel TV market in India. We expect LED TVs to drive our Panel TV growth, with Smart TVs contributing atleast 20% of our Panel TV volumes this year,” said Mr. SK Kim. Samsung’s entire Flat Panel TVs product portfolio has 43 models across LED, LCD and Plasma technologies with screen sizes ranging from 22” to 75”, priced between Rs. 14,500/- to Rs.750,000/-. 

About Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd.
Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd. is a global leader in technology, opening new possibilities for people everywhere. Through relentless innovation and discovery, we are transforming the worlds of televisions, smartphones, personal computers, printers, cameras, home appliances, LTE systems, medical devices, semiconductors and LED solutions. We employ 236,000 people across 79 countries with annual sales of US$187.8 billion. To discover more, please visit www.samsung.com.



04 April 2013

Ricoh Innovations Teams up with Disney UTV to launch their middleware Occutag

Ricoh Innovations, a company known for its mastery in the printing business has developed an image recognition and matching solution that allows the developers and stores alike to provide customized information regarding their products by using the Occutag APIs. The solution available as a limited period free trial would have to be paid for after the end of trial period. The APIs make use of the phone’s camera hardware and query back the database with the results as a response.

Ricoh claims that the software has a latency of less than a second and works all kinds of devices. Currently solutions making use of the Occutag APIs are available for the Windows, Android and iOS platforms.

Philips Healthcare Innovations–Made for India, by Indians

Philips Innovation Campus (PIC), a Division of Philips Electronics India yesterday showcased it’s made for India, by the Indians, revolutionary Healthcare solutions. These solutions targeted mainly at bridging the healthcare gap between Tier 2 or 3 cities and Tier 1 Cities aims to work at bringing the patients better healthcare facilities with better qualified medical personnel. Showcased among the many innovations were some of the firm’s new and existing equipment. Speaking at the event, the CEO, Philips Healthcare Innovations, Dr Wido Menhardt said that there is a major shift in the way things are working out of Bangalore now. He went on to further say that while in the past Bangalore was merely the executer of the work, today the roles have changed and people here are not only successfully executing but ideating and making decisions as well. The campus here in Bangalore has come up with some exciting innovations through its R&D and the same have been put down to working machines as well. These are running successfully at many of the hospitals in India. Among the showcased innovations, five held the primary interest.

Addressing a major area of concern about the lack of ICUs in the country where the existing infrastructure needs a scale up of at least 10 times what is already available, PIC innovated with a combination of hardware as well as a software solution known as eICU. eICU aims to provide the patients in the ICU facilities the care of an Intensivist by the means of Video Conference as well as remote monitoring. Based on a Hospital to Hospital tie up model, the eICU provides the Intensivist the capability to interact with the patients on a one on one mode through the video conferencing method. The entire setup is divided into the hardware at the Intensivist’s place as well as a cart designed with the norms required to be met for ICU equipment. The cart consists of a remotely as well as an onsite adjustable mounted HD camera as well as a laptop. At the head of every patient is a screen containing a chart of the latest readings, instructions as well as other details. We were told that in order to minimise the cost, the cart was expected to be present in a ratio of 1:3 i.e. one cart per three patients in the ICU. The system requires an existing broadband architecture in place, however as a fall back mechanism, the same would work on a modest 3G network as well.

Addressing another area of increasing the success rates in the cardio vascular operations in India and the world, PIC’s next innovation, a software product known as the Heart Navigator system aims at providing doctors and analysts alike a system of measuring, simulating as well as using in real time for all heart related operations and ailments. PIC has associated itself with major manufacturers of valves and vents and has incorporated their wireframe design in the product. This allows the doctor to view in 3D model the placement, the fit as well as the final look of the system when placed into operation.

PIC also showcased its Tumour Tracking application which integrates with the image repositories containing the previous as well as recent images from a CT/CAT scans. It allows the physicians to identify and track the response of a tumour to medicine. Based on a standardized algorithm, the system allows the physician to plain mark the location of the tumour on one image. The rest of the images are automatically fetched matched and the related calculations are performed. The system shows the output in customizable tabular as well as graphical format allowing much better understanding of the progress.

PIC has constantly been trying to innovate on the amount of X-ray exposure that a person receives from undergoing CT Scans from the current levels to something that is roughly a tenth of it. As a part of it’s this innovation, PIC has launched a set of new machines as well as a software solution known as iDose4 which performs iterative analysis and reconstructing on the images obtained from the scan thereby reducing the noise as well as reducing the X-ray dose that the person undergoing would receive. This is dictated up on by the rules of radiation which mandate it to be As Low As Reasonably Achievable (ALARA). This would mainly help expecting women as well as children who may be required to undergo the scans.

As a part of giving back to the community and a CSR initiative, Philips has associated itself with Udupi district’s Manipal Kasturba hospital. As a part of the initiative, PIC on a non-profit mode has gone ahead and implemented an app, Sanjivini, on the Android platform in order to reduce the paperwork required to be carried by the community workers who track everything right from birth to death to pre and post natal care of women in villages. The system works by reducing the rework as well as paperwork by updating and synchronizing familial data from a mobile device depending on the last mile connectivity available. This ranges from SMS, GPRS/3G usage to direct offline sync when the device is connected with the computer. This solution includes both a client side app installed on an Android device as well as a web application that resides at the server in the hospital.