The Lenses of Tomorrow p. 11
A New Dimension of Printing p. 16
The 4K Revolution p. 20 The Watch of the Future p. 24 The Truth about Electric Cars p. 12
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Table of Contents Contributors
Letter From the Editors
Through the Looking Glass
Effiency Through Electricity
Printing the Future
Put the Pebble to the Metal
Contributors: Devon Nelms was born and raised in Austin, Texas. One of his favorite hobbies is playing video games on his desktop computer such as World of Warcraft or League of Legends. He also enjoys physical activities such as rowing or long distance biking. Three times a week Devon goes to the Texas Rowing Center to row with his friends. Sometimes during the weekend he goes fishing with his family. Devon is very interested in developing future technologies.
Gavin is a gentleman and a scholar. He was born in Austin, Texas. He is a trombone player in the LBJ band, along with his other friends. He has played trombone since the 6th grade at Kealing Middle School. His favorite part of being in band is when they are in the stands.
Shawn Tan was born in San Jose, California in 1999. He then moved to Albuquerque, New Mexico at the age of 3. In 2012 he moved to Austin and attended Kealing Middle School in 8th grade. During his time at home he spends his time studying and playing video games. In addition, he is a clarinetist in the LBJ band and is a competitive tennis player. His favorite piece of technology is his computer which he keeps at home. He also carries around a laptop in his backpack which he uses for school work and video games. He enjoys looking at new technologies.
Alexander Wlezien, or Alex for short, was born in Houston, Texas in 1998. He has lived in Oxford, England, and Philadelphia, Pa. before moving to Austin, Texas in 2013. When Alex was young, he was very engaged in chess, and he competed nationally against the top players in the nation. In his free time, he enjoys playing chess and video games. He also plays soccer on a team during the fall and the summer. His favorite piece of technology is his laptop, and his favorite video game is Pokemon Showdown.
Kincaid was born in Austin. He is in the LBJ percussion and hopes to be in drumline next year. A technology for the near future he is excited about is Google Fiber, and for long term he is excited for artificial organ transplants. He wants to be a Neurologist.
Letter From The Editors
s people change technology changes. Cars become greener, more efficient. You can check facebook on your glasses or your watch. People are even printing food! (Albeit itâ€™s pretty nasty.) In Next you can learn about new improvements and inventions in technology. We here at Next we are all very interested in new technology and stay up to date with new releases. It can be hard to keep up with all the advances, so we have narrowed them down to the things we find most interesting. Thanks for reading, Alex, Shawn, Devon, Gavin, and Kincaid
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Through The Looking Glass By Kincaid Leonard
Seeing through. Seeing beyond. A vision ahead. This phrase is optical company Lumus’ motto, and defines their goal for their products. Their main project, the Lumus DK-40, is a new smartglass brand. Smartglasses are a new technology that was introduced by Google in 2011. They are a pair of glasses that are a computer in of themselves, allowing for programs and, more commonly, pictures. Lumus was created in 2000 by Dr. Yaakov Amitai, and they conduct their work entirely in Israel. They are a relatively small company, as their management consists of nine people. Lumus has mainly manu-
factured military products, including their Professional Series of Personal Displays, or PD-18. The DK-40 is their first public consumer product, along with the DK32. Lumus was featured at CES 2014 along with Google Glass, Pivothead, Epson and GlassUp. Lumus is seen as one of Google Glass’ main competitors. Google Glass opened the market for smartglasses, and there have been many new additions to the genre since then. Of course, each device varies on functions and properties. “I think it was a good call to make [Lumus] selfsufficient, because Glass will no doubt own the market for smartglasses that work as
”Google Glass may not have entranced the planet’s populace to the extent the company might have hoped, and analysts expected, but it definitely set the foundation for a new market, which Lumus is now joining.” -Sebastian Pop 8
The New Lumus DK-40
extensions of the phone,” said CNET reporter Sebastian Pop. “Sure, Google Glass can do some stuff on its own, but it’s still meant to expand the demand for ALL Android devices, in a way.” There have been many new smartglass companies stepping up to the plate, including but not limited to GlassUp and Pivothead. Lumus takes a step beyond most by making their programs unique. Most smartglasses focus on pictures, communication, and fitness programs. Lumus brings more of a media sense by focusing on the internet. Lumus started working on the DK-40 in 2012, and they have made many improvements since. One of the major improvements is their conversion to a VGA image. A VGA image is a lower resolution image that takes up less memory, allowing for more photos to be taken without extracting them to a different memory source and erasing them from the smartglass’ memory. It can also be converted to a higher quality later on to yield more impressive pictures. Google Glass puts a small notification at the right
corner of the screen while Lumus puts a Video Graphics Array image across the screen. “It’s less distracting than having both eyes covered, though it might cause issues to people whose right eye is the dominant one,” Pop said. This isn’t the only improvement Lumus has over Google Glass. Lumus also replaces Google Glass’ 15-degree field of view with a 25-degree field of view. “This would allow Lumus to have a wider area for displaying notifications, more room to have apps/ widgets running side-by-side and the like. You could hold a video call and read tourist pop-up info at the same time, for instance,” Pop said. There are many ways that the Dk-40’s frame is superior to the Google Glass’, one of which is the weight orientation. Although Lumus is heavier all around, it has a more balanced structure by evening out the weight, compared to Google Glass, which has most of its weight on the right side. Another improvement fixes one of every smartglass company’s main problems; prescription glasses.
Smart Glasses of CES 2014 New smart glass brands are popping up frequently, and each one deserves an honorable mention. With features from heartbeat monitors to email, theres a multitude of choices. Here is a breakdown of each smart glass brand that was featured at CES 2014.
As the most popular smart glass brand, Google Glass sits at 44 percent popularity. It opened the market for new smart glasses, but isnâ€™t considered by all the best. Google Glass offers a range of features, from exercise trackers to music programs. Google Glass would be the best choice for people with a focus on fitness.
Epson comes in second at 23 percent popularity. The Moverio BT-200 have a focus on health, with heart rate and pulse monitors. Little do people know, Epson came out with their first model, the Moverio BT-100, in 2011. It was not popular, as peopleâ€™s focus was on Google Glass. The BT-200 is now in progress. Epson would be the best choice for people with a focus on personal health.
Lumus takes bronze at 17 percent. The DK-40 is a balanced pair of spectacles with a focus on computing. Most smart glasses focus on fitness programs or health, but Lumus implements many more technical programs, ranging from a highdefinition camera to wireless. Lumus would be the best option for people looking for a technical experience.
GlassUp just misses the medal by grabbing 9 percent of the votes. GlassUp programs range farther than any of the other smart glasses, but it doesnâ€™t have one single focus, and none of the programs are that in-depth. It still is a great source formedia and internet. GlassUp would be a reliable choice for someone interested in a casual pair of smartglasses.
Pivothead comes in last with 7 percent of the votes. Pivothead has the least amount of features, but is very balanced and good for anyone. It comes with a USB port, a camera and 8GB of memory. It is the most casual but reliable smartglass brand.
http://www.google.com/glass/start/what-it-does/ http://reviews.cnet.com/wearable-tech/lumus-dk40/4505-34900_7-35833970.html http://reviews.cnet.com/wearable-tech/pivothead-smart-colfax/4505-34900_7-35833963.html http://www.cnet.com/products/glassup/ http://www.cnet.com/products/epson-moverio-bt-200-smart-glasses/
Google Glass, Competitor of Lumus
The History of Glasses
The first discovery of magnification was in the first century, when a tutor of the Emperor of Rome said “Letters, however small and indistinct, are seen enlarged and more clearly through a globe or glass filled with water.” The first eyeglasses were made in Italy in 1286. They consisted of thin pieces of glass placed on the eyeballs.
Coutesy of Gottabemobile.com
Future Glasses Smartglasses are the newest addition to the glasses family.We see new brands popping up left and right. With newer programs and features each year, who knows what will come next?
Courtesy of Sir Hubert von Herkomer
Photo Courtesy of Mikepanhu Photo Courtesy of Mikepanhu
everyone the best. “Sure, Google Glass will be great for certain people, but not all. Google Glass could be a good choice for people who don’t have jobs that require constant technological connection because it allows for pictures and programs like fitness tracking but not the complete internet. Lumus is a better choice for the kind of jobs that do require complete connection,” Pop said. The market for smartglasses will soon be spread far and wide, and Lumus may just reach in the top few brands. Google Glass is by far the most popular, but is barely the most effective. “Lumus has a good chance at grabbing one of the best spots in the market. We just need to sit back and watch until the fog clears and we can see which brands rise in popularity,” Pop said.
Photo Coutesy of Taeytan
“The DK-40 is more prescription glasses friendly because they were conceived with the right shape and have lenses for both eyes, even though only the right eye lens is a screen,” Pop said. “That means it should be easier to install prescription lenses on them. Google Glass is basically a monocle with a double frame and won’t work with prescription frames except the few that were made specifically for it, and those are pretty hideous from what I’ve seen,” The DK-40’s interface isn’t seen as particularly superior to that of Google Glass, but it definitely rivals it. Along with the VGA image, the DK-40 is has the ability to switch from color to clear to monochrome images. “The lens display can show pop-ups and videos, or whatever else, in color, or it can do it in black and white, which can be extremely useful to some,” Pop said. Each different brand of smartglasses is good for a different type of people. Google Glass may be the most popular, but that doesn’t mean that it suits
Mandell Creighton Wearing and Older Pair of Glasses
Google Glass, Most Popular Smartglass Brand
The Lumus DK-40 11
efficiency through electricity
A Nissan Leaf at the Tokyo in 2009. Photo credit of Tennen-Gas
How electric cars are great By Devon Nelms
allas Dunlap sits in his silent car as he drives down I-35. The car is calm and the enginge makes no sound. He smiles at a passing gas station, thinking about how normally he would have to stop there. Instead of stopping for gas, Dunlap simply drives to his house and plugs his car in. Dunlap drives a Tesla Model S, a car powered by solely electricity. Many people are beginning to make the switch to electrically powered vehicles with the releases by Tesla Motors and Nissan. Say you want to buy a Tesla. A 60 kWh (killowatts per hour) Tesla Model S costs $71,070. but the financial rebates by the federal, state and city governments help. If you live in Texas you will be given $7,500 to ubuy the car. When you buy a Tesla you have to buy a charger along with the car. In total the charger costs $1,200. “It [The Charger] was like $1,200, but the City of Austin payed for half of it and the Federal Government pays for 30 percent of it, so really it only cost me and couple hundred dollars.” said Dunlap, a researcher at UT. Although the cost of the car may be daunting to most don’t let it bring you down. There are incentives to buying an electric car. If you buy a Tesla Model S the US Department of
Energy will grant you a $7,500 tax credit. Also if you live in some states they state government will grant you incentives.Also due to not having to stop at gas stations you save money. ‘The idea of having a car that could go 100 miles equivalent per gallon is pretty appealing.” said Dunlap, “My old car got 18 miles a gallon premium and so now I go 95 miles a gallon equivalent, so it costs a fifth to drive and I drive a lot.” With the cost of gas going up buying an electric car can save lots of money in the long run. According to the Tesla website you can save a $261 a month if you drive approximately 15,000 miles a year. This saved money can pay for the car eventually as well. People who drive a lot should consider getting an electric car because not having to stop at gas stations saves time and money. “The more you drive, the more the Tesla is in your favor because it is cheaper to own. If you don’t drive very far on an electric car, it doesn’t pay for itself. If you drive it a lot then the car becomes relatively inexpensive.” Also electric cars have much less maintenance. There is no engine so many of the repairs that are necessary in a gas vehicle aren’t necessary in an electric car.
“I’ve had the car now one year and 24,000 miles and its been flawless except for a little camera that had to be replaced and a squeaky door,” said Dunlap. Dave Johnson, an Austin dad, drives a Ford F-150. He has driven over 100,009 miles in it and drives everyday. His maintenance is quite different from Dunlap’s. “The only problems have been normal maintenance issues such as brakes, radiator, oil changes, tires,fuel and electrical system problems,” he said. Most of these normal maintenance issues don’t happen in electric cars. In the market today there are all kinds of cars: huge “manly” trucks, small efficient cars and sleek sports cars. Typically having fun while driving car is associated with going fast and doing things that may be frowned upon. Dunlap said multiple times in his interview that the Tesla is fun to drive. “[I] taking the long way home cause its fun to
drive” Going on road trips in electric cars can be a challenge. Electric cars don’t have as long of a range as gas vehicles. So in order to go on a road trip a driver has to plan his route based on charging stations and places where he can plug in. Dunlap finds this to be a positive though. “To go to Corpus Christi in a day takes more planning,” Dunlap said. “That really isn’t a negative, its quite fun actually, to do the planning so ‘Oh cool, I’m going to go to this part of Houston so theres a restaurant right here with a Super Charging Station right next to it, so I can park over here and go eat and do the planning.’” People who drive Teslas are lucky. Tesla Motors has been creating supercharger stations across the country. There is currently one in between Austin and Houston as well as multiple in between Austin and Dunlap. These superchargers make Tesla cars able to go on road trips and traverse you over far distances due to the quick and convenient charging.
The Battle for the Roads Electric cars run off of pure electricity. But due to this they have downsides to gasoline cars. They have much less range than gas cars as well as not having the luxury of gas stations at every corner. But electric cars also have many qualities superior to gasoline cars.
Electric cars have approximately a one hundred mile range.2
Gas cars have a three hundred plus mile range.2
Electric cars cost $.02 per mile on average.2
Gas cars cost over $.12 or more per mile.2
Electric cars have no tailpipe Electric cars have no tailpipe emissions. emissions.
Electric cars can get a full charge overnight.
Gas cars can get a full tank of gas in a few minutes.
1. http://www.dailyfinance.com/2013/06/24/gas-vs-electric-cars-cost-comparison/ 2. http://www.plugincars.com/electric-cars 3. http://www.greencarreports.com/news/1072774_drive-a-solar-charged-electric-car-save-263000-on-fuel-over-50-years 4. http://greeneconomics.blogspot.com/2011/05/more-on-race-between-electric-cars-and.html
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Havey, a stay at home Austin mom, saw only one way to solve this. “We can’t go on road trips in the Leaf so we bought another Honda Odyssey,” If 200 miles was the range and many quick charging stations existed then a road trip could happen.” Electric cars will hopefully overcome gas cars in the market someday but
Photo credit of Steve Jurvetson
Unfortunately if you own anything besides a Tesla you won’t have the courtesy of the stations. The Nissan Leaf is one example. A Leaf has a range of 85 miles on a full charge. A Tesla has 230 or over (depending on what battery you have) in comparison. This is a problem for Nissan owners. Its hard to go on long road trips in a Leaf if possible at all. Keturah
A Tesla Supercharger Station in Gilroy, California.
what needs to change for that to happen? “Letting people know that its safe, its fun, performance is great and the cost of the ownership is not that bad over the life of the car,” Dunlap said. “The only thing you have to repair is a battery every 15 years or so.” Dunlap believes its all about the word of mouth. Many people may not know about all of the advantages of owning and electric car. In order for electric cars to continue their growth people need to be informed about them and their advantages over gas cars. “I think the city infrastructure would need to change to enable quick charging stations in many more convenient locations.” Havey says there needs to be more charging stations. If you own a Leaf traveling can be a challenge. “The one issue that disallows me to have an electric car is the cost. If
the cars could become less expensive, or have a low cost adaption system to current gas cars I would make the change.” Johnson says its about the money. This is the same for many people. As of now electric cars cost lots of money compared to your average gas car because it is harder to produce them. Overtime this will change because electric cars will become more and more easily produced as technology . The number of Electric cars are grew by 228.88% in 2013. People are making the switch to electric cars. “You know after driving one for a year I would never think about going back to gas powered vehicles.”
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The 3-D printer village Photo courtesy of Jhon Biehler
printing a future A new way to print
By Gavin Key
3-D printing stocks of gone up a considerable amount. According to Mr. Villavicencio “Three years ago their stocks were about $10 and now the stocks are at $30 or even $90 dollars a share.” For Mr. Villavicencio’s students this is a great opportunity to learn and experience a new device. In his class the build things like a missing part of a tape dispenser, rings with names carved in to theme or parts of a rubik’s cube. However this is not the only use for 3-D printing. There are even en-
tire companies devoted to 3-D printing such as Solid Prototype. According to it’s CEO, Charles B. Bollfrass, they print anything a customer could immagine. “We print everything like toys, car parts, medical
equipment, movie props, etc.” said Mr. Bolfrass. According to Mr. Villavicencio they are “creating synthetic organs like the ears or the scaffolding of the heart.” This is called Organ Printing or BioPhoto courtesy of Peabodybore
“5 or 10 years from now the job changes for you.” said Victor Villavicencio. He is a science and engineering teacher at LBJ high school. ”Going into this school, I knew that I needed to really think about what the kids career will look like.” The future of science and engineering is changing and he is trying to adapt. “I knew my kids needed to get a 3-D printer because it is the next generation of tech they will be using it in a science or engineering job” The first thing you know get an understanding of 3-D printers, is how they work. “3-D printers are like a hot glue gun. On a hot glue gun the nozzle is pretty large,” says Mr. Villavicencio. However on a 3-D printer “the nozzle tip is the size of a pinhead.“ It gets heated up to 450°C and unlike a hot glue gun it only squeezes out very little dots at a time. If you were to make a cube, it would start by filling in a square shape on the base. “Then the platform drops the width of a hair and then it drops some more drops.” Eventually when all the dimensions are equal it will make a cube.
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How to 3-D Print without a 3-D printer 3D printing is a easy way to make things. Its almost as simple as imagine it then create it. However there are three easy steps that must be followed.
Design your idea in Autocad, Blender, 123D Creature,or Maya. All of these programs are for 3D modeling. Even if you canâ€™t do it your self, you could hire someone else to design it for you.
Export the design as a .obj file. Obj is short for object and it is a near universal file type for 3D modeling software.
Send it to a 3D printing company or a bring it local department store and they will print it for you.
2 Photo courtesy of Thejoshmeister
An object being printed Photo courtesy of Eye-Fi
high prices. In the end whether 3-D printing is a small niche or is used in almost everything, it is a creative outlet for artists, engineers and anyone with an idea that is likely to be around for a long time. As said by Mr Villavicencio “[3-D printing] is whatever you can imagine and you can sketch is what you can print”
be some growth in China because their population right now is over 1 billion people and it is looking to double in the next generation.” However in the US, there will probably be less growth due to genetically modified food restrictions. Currently it is very expensive to print food, but as the technology improves the cost will fall. The future of 3-D printers is bright. There are many possibilities in both the consumer industry and the commercial industry. And everyone has a different opinion on how it will be used. Mr Villavicencio says “ I see about 30 percent on consumers and 80 percent on industrial.” He believes they will be used for short term fads and knickknacks. On the other hand Mr Bollfrass says “We will all
have one in our homes in 10 years.” He thinks that they will be used for printing things like lost keys and remotes. 3-D printer currently cost anywhere from several hundred dollars to hundreds of thousands of dollars. The “ink” that they use is also fairly expensive. This is because there is not any competition so the manufacturer can have Photo courtesy of Katie Laird
Printing. Laura Bosworth, CEO and co-founder of TeVido(™) BioDevices, uses similar technology to create artificial organs. ”Most of what is used today follows traditional 3-D printing using plastics and metals,” said Ms. Bosworth. However “What is truly novel and is in the earliest stages of research is the use of ‘living’ cells.” This is not very practical so far as the tissue needs a blood source to stay alive. Another potential use for 3-D printers is food. Although many foods would not work when printed some could work. Mr Bollfrass thinks that the only things good to print are “Sugar, chocolate, and tofu…. Everything else is gross.” According to Mr Villavicencio “there might
A 3-D printed robot
This picture captures the beauty and detail of a 4k TV Photo by Stephen Cannon
4k revolution: Should you join it? by Alexander Wlezien
he TV, something almost every family has, was a revolutionary invention when it first came out. At first they only had low quality video to watch. Soon, high definition was invented, and that looked much better on TVs. High defintion is now mainstream and widely used today. “I used to own an old 1080p TV,” said Clara chang, an LG public relations representative. That is, she owned one until she heard about the next generation of TVs. 4k TVs are a new revolutionary product that provide for improved video quality for consumers. These giant 4k TVs (they can get up to 65” across) have completely changed the standard of a modern day TV. TVs have a certain amount of pixels on their screens that define the im-
age quality of what people are watching. The more pixels on the screens, the clearer the image will be. This is because each pixel takes on a different color, and if there is many different slight changes in the color of the image, the screen with more pixels can deal with it better. The way to define the number of pixels on a screen is through a resolution. Resolutions are in the form of ____x____. The first number will define how many pixels there are horizontally, and the second will show how
Photo by TRauMa
Comparing past resolutions to 4k shows the huge difference.
many vertically. After multiplying these together, it gives is the total number of pixels on the screen. Back in the early 2000s, 1280x720 (720p) was the most common resolution, but nowadays it’s 1920x1080 (1080p). Though it may not seem like it, there is a huge difference between 720p and 1080p. 720p produces only a little under 1 million pixels on the screen, while 1080p contains a little above 2 million. the difference is especially noticeable on very large TVs where pixels have to be larger to fill up the screen. 4k tvs have taken us to a whole new level. Their resolution is 3840x2160 (4k, or 4000 resolution, which refers to the first, horizontal dimension), which produces 8x the amount of pixels as 1080p Tv, or a little bit over 8 million. Although 4k TVs are new to the consumer market, the resolution has been used filming business for recording for some time. When someone goes to the movie
theater, they’re watching a 4k resolution projection. This is the reason movies at cinemas at cinemas can look so good. 1080p just won’t cut it for that. The first camera able of capturing 4k resolution was the Dalsa Origin. It was originally released at the 2003 National association of Broadcasters show and was put on rent for $3,000 a day. Now, it’s possible to order a 4k tv or camera online for around $3,000 (that’s the cheapest one), or go all out and spend $10,000 on an 84-inch TV that also has 3D capabilities. These 4k TVs are not affordable for most people, and Daniel Lee has decided to for prices to drop until he goes out to buy one: “I’m guessing that 4k TVs will become a lot more popular in the future. Prices should drop, so people like me can afford them. That’s when they’ll become more mainstream,” Lee said. 4k TVs are currently much too expensive for the average consumer.
A Timeline of Television A look at TV through the Ages
Since the first TV was made in 1906, to now, when 4k TVs are entering stores, this will educate you on how the TV has evolved over the ages. This timeline analyzes the changes that have been made over the years and how TVs have evolved into what they are now.
The first camera that is compatible with a TV is invented by John Baird.
There are about 40,000 television sets in the United States.
AT&T launches the first sattelite, Telstar, to broadcast TV around the world.
Max lines of reso- 50% of home TVs lution on a TV was were color televisions. This is 525. This is tiny small compared if compared to to 99% today. 1080p TVs today.
Photo by Andrew Vaccaro
First working mechanical TV is made. It was on display at the 1900 World Fair.
First color TV is released. This is the first major technical advancement.
Photo by Karakatsanis
NHK shows HD TV to the public. It has 1125 lines in its resolution.
900 million TV sets were in use around the world.
98% of American households have 1 or more TV sets.
Panasonic releases the first flatscreen TV with 720p resolution.
Sources: 1. http://www.datesandevents.org/events-timelines/08-televisioninvention-timeline.htm 2. http://www.softschools.com/timelines/television_timeline/31/ 3. http://screencrave.com/2011-09-27/eight-ways-television-haschanged-from-the-30s-to-today/ 22
Major retailers 4k TVs are resuch as Samsung leased in major and Sony release retailers and 1080p TVs in able for the their store. public to buy.
United States starts the switch from analog to digital TV.
Photo by Karlis Dambrans
A panoramic curved 4k TV catches the glare on it’s huge screen.
This situation seems similar to 720p TVs in the early 2000s when 720p was the new consumer resolution. These TVs were selling for a few thousand dollars and people were buying them everywhere. A few years later the prices of these TVs had dropped dramatically and 1080p was leading the
possibility of watching 4k resolution. That also brings up a problem with 4k tvs. There isn’t anything like a blu-ray disc that can store the amount of information 4k resolution requires on a disc. This means that for now,streaming will be required to watch anything on a 4k tv at native
“Right now, I probably wouldn’t [buy a 4k TV], because there isn’t enough to do on it. However, in the future I’d probably reccomend it because there’ll be lots more content and it’s higher detail will make it the obvious pick over old TV’s.” - Richard Bell way. The same situation could occur with 4k TVs. One question that might come up is: what can people do on their 4k TVs. For now, the answer is not a lot. Netflix announced that they are developing streaming capabilities for 4k TVs at CES 2014, and youtube has also recently added the
resolution. Streaming will require a high speed internet connection to have a good experience, so that may affect people that don’t have access to fast internet. Most of the problems 4k TVs have relate to the fact that most people still own normal TVs and so most companies will target them.
For example, most movies won’t be relased for 4k TVs most likely because the audience is so small.These problems will most likely be solved after the transtition to 4k TV. The Playstation 4 and Xbox One recently came out and brought better video gaming with them. They also have the capability to play games in 4k resolution. So for any video gamers that are looking to buy a 4k TV, the new Playstation and Xbox will allow many games to be played in native resolution. Also, the obvious pro is that 4k TVs just look so much better. Finally, 4k resolution of course allows for much bigger TVs and much more screen space. “It depends a lot on the friend. Right now, I probably wouldn’t [buy a 4k TV], because there isn’t enough to do on it. However, in the future I’d probably reccomend it because there’ll be lots more content and it’s higher detail will make it the obvious pick over old TV’s. I guess it’s a
fair amount of money too, so it depends on how much the friend would be willing to pay for a TV,” Richard Bell, an owner of a 4k TV, said. The choice of whether to get a 4k tv comes down to personal preference There’s an even newer, experimental resolution called 8k, that is 7680x4320 and donations a little over 33 million pixels. This resolution is only used in the digital filming business and is extremely rare according to Clara Chang: “8k tvs are a very resolution only used in the digital filming business, so no, LG is not developing 8k tvs currently.” Clara Chang said. It would be interesting to see 8k become like 4k in the next decade. but that cannot be foretold. Lee said, “Probably not. I wouldn’t [buy a 4k TV] because they’re far too expensive. Like I said earlier, once they drop in price they’ll be worth it. They sound amazing and I really want one, but I can’t afford it right now.”
A Pebble is displayed next to the Samsung Galaxy Gear. Photo by Karlis Dambras
put the pebble to the metal A smartwatch’s quick rise to fame By Shawn Tan
ames Caras, surfs the Internet, looking for a website that will satisfy his boredom. While looking, he notices a funding site called Kickstarter and, without a reason, he decides to click on the blue link. On the website, he immediately notices a product which appears to look like a piece of plastic with a wrist strap and a screen. Curious, Caras clicks on the product, and is completely shocked by what he sees. “I was looking in the most funded section of the design category, and I saw that [it] was the most funded with over $10 million.” says James. The little piece of plastic that left Caras speechless with its success is called the Pebble, a smart watch released in 2013. Already, it has encouraged over 60,000 people to fund its production. The watch allows a person to view texts, emails and phone calls right from their wrists. In addition, apps with various features can be downloaded and used at any time. Comparing it to other smart watches that have already been released, it is hardly the latest piece of technology, but it’s low price and “old-fashioned” style make it arguably one of the innovative, first pieces of technology that will slowly make wearable technology familiar to everyone.
“Wearable technology is still a new sector of the market and many people are still skeptical,” Caras said. “Pebbles look very much like old fashioned watches, so they blend in. This means that people will slowly become accustomed to the technology.” When Pebble was still first trying to find funding, it looked to traditional investors for support and money. According to Ashok Gupta, an expert in the field of wearable technology, they were not very successful. “ In their early stages, Pebble failed to attract attention under the name of inPulse, so the company looked to crowdfunding on Kickstarter as an alternative,” said Ashok. “By using Kickstarter, Pebble became the [website’s] fastest-ever funded project, and their company hit their $100,000 target in a very short amount of time.” In fact, Pebble went on to increase that amount to around five million dollars over the next 30 days, and they eventually ended up with a total of $10,266,844 pledged by 68,928 people when they closed funding on May 18, 2012. With their newfound wealth and popularity, Pebble began mass production in the January of 2013, and as of
July 4, 2013, the company has sold over 85,000 units. After the first edition of Pebble was released, various customers gave mixed reviews on it after using the smart watch for a short period of time. Caras, an owner of the smart watch himself, also had some problems when first using the Pebble. “My first view on the Pebble was that it could potentially be a great product, “but it fell short in a few key places.” he said. “For example, there could be many more apps and more bug testing.” Smart watch critic Michael Banks, in response to the mixed ratings by many customers, has also stated that Pebble should improve on the many flaws that the watch has. “Though Pebble has become exceedingly popular, there have been some mixed reviews when the product was being produced,” Banks said. “Most consumers didn’t like were the unimpressive battery life and the limited
number of apps that the watch was able to support when first released.” In addition, the Pebble, despite its success in the past year, is starting to face opposition from various companies that are also in competing in the wearable technology industry. According to Banks, Pebble is going to face lots of opposition in the upcoming years. “Though the Pebble has become very popular, other companies have already released or are releasing smart watches that rival the Pebble’s design,” Banks said. “Some of these companies include Sony, Qualcomm, and Samsung.” There are also rumors of Apple and Google designing smart watches that may dominate the smart watch industry at a later time, but as of now, Pebble needs to find ways to make their watch stay competitive with the others that are in production. There are many owners of a Pebble who
Looking BEYOND the TIME: By Shawn Tan
Photo by jmilb
Since the Pebble’s introduction into the wearable technology market, it has gained extreme popularity and fame in a relatively short amount of time. Though there are many other smart watches that in production or have already released, the Pebble has been upheld as an innovation because of unique design and concept. Here, you will take a look at the various features that are the reasons for Pebble’s success.
allows for easy reading when looking at the Pebble, even in direct sunlight.
allow for an easy replacement when the previous one breaks and enables further customization with personal straps.
The Waterproof Design
allows the Pebble to go everywhere. Whether you’re at the pool, on the beach, or in the shower, your Pebble will be able to function perfectly down to 5ATM.
let a person change their watch’s theme to match their mood and personality. With hundreds of watchfaces to choose from, the possibilities are endless.
Photo by Matt Beckwith
makes time-keeping easy when in the dark. It is activated with a quick flick of the wrist for easy activation.
The Battery Life
of the watch allows for the Pebble to run for 5-7 days at a charge, making it a reliable timekeeper when on the road.
Photo by Matt Beckwith
With an estimated 500+ applications on the Pebble app store, the Pebble allows a user to do more than just keep the time. These apps allow you to check the weather, get directions, play games, and much more.
Photo by toyohara
or software development kit allows for owners of a Pebble to create their own applications for others to use.
allow for a person to get texts and important notifications directly from a personâ€™s wrist.
allow for quick, reliable reminders without disturbing the crowd.
with both Android and iOS allows for use with almost all of smartphones on the market.
The Price Tag
is supreme compared to the costs of other smart watches. With the Sony Smartwatch Two priced at $250 and the Samsung Galaxy Gear hanging at $299, the Pebbleâ€™s price tag of $150 makes it one of the cheaper smart watches on the market.
Photo by Michael Cerwonka/Wired
Pebble Founder, Eric Migicovsky, shows off the latest protype circuit board for the smart watch.
gave mixed reviews on their watch. To explain some of the positive features of the Pebble, Banks states that, “From an average customer viewpoint, I’d think that the Pebble’s durable and simple design targets a wide audience.” According to Banks, a big advantage that the Pebble has over other smart watches in the market is its ability to be used by many types of people and its resistance to damage. This allows many people to use it because not all people are familiar with “complex” technology. In addition to the design, Michael has also explained the watch’s compatibility and relatively cheap price tag as one of its strong points. “Its doubled iOS and Android compatibility make it one of the more useful smart watches,” he says ”and its cheap price attracts many customers as well.” The cheap price tag of around $150 to $249 is another one of the Pebble’s
biggest advantages. Because of its inexpensive price, the watch can target a wide audience of consumers, which allows for many people to afford to use the smart watch. In addition, the watch’s compatibility with iOS and Android is a huge pro of the Pebble. The feature makes it one of the most adaptable smart watch on the market because when every other person has a different type of phone, smart watch versatility is essential. Gupta has criticized the battery life and the limited number of apps compatible with the Pebble. In addition, he has also stated that, “Others criticized the lack of touch-activation, which makes the watch less appealing.” According to Gupta, the battery life of the watch is a big disadvantage when being compared to other watches in general because a watch’s main purpose is
the tell the time, which is not possible if the watch “dies” at least once a day. In addition, the limited number of apps in the Pebble app store make the watch seem less worth the money that another smart watch that does because of the limited number of actions it can carry out. Also, the lack of touch interaction with the Pebble makes the watch seem less sophisticated, and not as modern as other watches, which can be a deciding factor for many people looking to buy a smart watch. Pebble is predicted to become even more successful onward. According to some owners of the watch, however, the estimates seem hardly accurate when the watch still has many problems with its hardware and software, but despite the flaws, others and Banks think otherwise. “According to various estimations, Pebble may be able to increase their
value to $400 million by 2020,” said Banks. “I think that with their company becoming increasingly popular, they might just be able to live up to these expectations as long as they continue to improve and listen to their customers.”
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