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Daily Nation : February 14th 2014
12 BE FAMOUS. daily NATION February 14, 2014 what’s up? TECHNO BYTE >> WITH KIUMBUKU MUCHUKU GLYPH: A MOBILE PERSONAL THEATRE WITH BUILT-IN PREMIUM AUDIO THE TECH— The Glyph uses Virtual Retina Display (VRD) which projects the image straight into your eye, no screen involved. Avegant have managed to implant two million micromirrors into the headset, which reflect light from its source into your eyes. TWITTER PLATEAUS, REPORTS LOSS The inevitable has finally come to pass. Twitter’s user growth has finally plateaued. By the end of its fourth quarter last year, timeline views had shrunk by 11 billion to 148 billion. Twitter’s revenues span from advertising with 75 per cent being mobile based and accounting for Sh14 billion of its revenue with the remainder coming through computers. Despite the numbers, Twitter reported Sh55.5 billion in losses, with a shrinking stock price. Despite being one of the most valuable and flexible data businesses around, Twitter is under pressure to realise profits, a challenge it may struggle to fulfill with slow growth and a slowdown of timeline views. SONY SELLS VAIO, SPINS OFF TELEVISION BUSINESS The PlayStation and Sony phones are currently the only two products keeping Sony afloat. Sony’s Vaio laptop business has not been profitable for years; neither has its television business. Its Vaio business has lost to competitors making more affordable it on their Kickstarter page perfectly describing one of the best multimedia experiences in the world. We have discussed the revolutionary Oculus Rift Virtual Reality (VR) platform in detail, with follow-on conversations on email about availability and pricing. The Rift is still not yet commercially available, T but it will be available soon. However, looking at the Rift and sharing from feedback, the most common query has been, “What if I am not into video games but would like something like this for other forms of entertainment?” Enter the Glyph. The Glyph is not even the first of its kind. Sony had its own version of a Head Mounted Display (HMD), released in late 2013. Sony’s HMD is clunky, big, not very good looking and barely has the ability of both the Rift and the Glyph. Also, Sony’s HMD is considerably more expensive than any other HMD in the market. The Rift will indeed dominate the gaming market, despite having many similarities to the Glyph, but the differences mean that the Rift will face stiff competition from the Glyph. The Glyph doubles as both a pair of good looking headphones and a HMD. Imagine sitting somewhere listening to music with what looks like an ordinary pair of headphones, their size may make you seem slightly eccentric, but then, you decide to watch a movie. All you have to do is flip the Glyph forward so that the band that was around your head now rests in front of your eyes and almost instantly, you start watching your movie. To many, this sounds over-hyped, but it is not. Here is where it becomes a game changer. The only experience that beats the Glyph is if you own an 80-inch HDTV and have found an easy way of taking it with you wherever you go. The differences in quality between the Rift and the Glyph come down to one thing, how the image is formed. The Rift has tiny micro-screens fitted in the viewing area using a Liquid Crystal Display (LCD). The Glyph however uses Virtual Retina Dis- play (VRD) which projects the image straight into your eye, no screen involved. Avegant have he title is as the guys at Avegant wrote managed to implant two million micromirrors into the headset, which reflect light from its source into your eyes. The advantages of this are numerous, for one, the images projected are crystal clear, making the experience feel like you are looking through a window. Secondly, it means that the Glyph consumes far less power than its competitors, and finally, the Glyph is smaller and less bulkier, looking more retro than the competition. With these advancements, the Glyph is cheaper to produce than any other HMD and more reliable due to less “moving parts”. The Glyph weighs a mere 454 grams, mak- ing it the lightest of the competition, packs a battery life of threehours on video and up to 48 hours on audio, has superbly built noise cancelling Premium Audio earphones, requires only one HDMI cable to connect it to the source device, comes with a built-in microphone and is charged via a microUSB cable. The display is to die for. The Glyph has a pulverising 1,843,200 pixels to add to is glowing reputation, which adds up to 1280 x 720 (WXGA) per eye resolution. The Glyph supports headtracking through Bluetooth, and the most beautiful bit, if you wear glasses or contacts, with the Glyph, you do not need either of them, as you simply adjust it to match your lens. But the winning does not end there. The Glyph is HDMI enabled, meaning it sim- ply displays the output of any device capable of pushing out a HDMI signal. It could be HD player, a Tablet or even a mobile phone. The only requirement is that it should have a HDMI port. The strict HMD approach also means that the Glyph is expected to have more support than any device it is competing with. With its VRD, issues like nausea, delirium and fatigue are eliminated making it more user-friendly and tolerable to the eye. Avegant started a Kickstarter campaign hop- ing to raise Sh21 million to help bankroll the business but has blazed past Sh87 million, a week before its campaign ended. Kickstarters will receive a more compact and light device by the end of the year while customers can expect the device sometime next year. The device is expected to sell for Sh43,000. and reliable brands while relying on competitors hardware to build its television units has made it lose out on quality and price. Therefore, Sony has decided to sell the Vaio business to an investment bank while its television business has been spun off to operate independently of its parent company, giving it more flexibility and an opportunity to return to profits. SNAPCHAT STILL FACING SECURITY CHALLENGES Evan Spiegel, co-founder of Snapchat must be kicking himself for rejecting the Sh258 billion offer from Facebook. Snapchat is yet to generate any revenue and has recently fallen victim to hackers. Its recent attack involves a Denial of Service (DOS) attack on mobile phones. The attack involves hackers sending hundreds of messages almost simultaneously to a specific user, clogging their account, crashing the app and eventually the phone. Their response to the problem however was more bizarre, blocking the account of Jaime Sanchez, a cyber-security consultant for Telefonica in Spain who discovered the bug. Snapchat is now beginning to face criticism for its poor handling of security and feedback to its users. MICROSOFT’S CORTANA POWERED BY FOURSQUARE Microsoft’s Windows Phone and Foursquare were facing uncertain futures despite Microsoft buying Nokia’s mobile arm to boost its mobile division and Foursquare raising another round of capital amid potentially non-recoverable losses, including Sh12.9 billion from Microsoft itself. Microsoft is currently building a Personal Assistant application, powered by Foursquare in a collaboration aimed at deliver- ing tips, discounts and location suggestions for end users, using Foursquare’s data. The app will rely on Bing for mapping and will eventually help improve localised searches giving users better results for their locale. The app is expected in April on Windows Phone 8.1.
February 13th 2014
February 15th 2014