Top Cell Phone Technologies

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The way we use our phones is rapidly changing and it is uncertain anybody is really noticing. Phone technologies are plethora of new information, and dissecting all the madness should be left to the pros. But here are some seriously deep phone technologies to consider:
Flexible screens and the “internet of things”
Imagine a phone which could be folded and unfolded. This technology is here with Organic Light-Emitting Diode (OLED) technology. The Flexphone smart-phone could expand to replace all four screens (phone, tablet, PC, TV) in your house? It created a new take on e-paper easily turning a phone into a gaming device, tablets PC, or fully fledged media-player. You can also flip photos from one screen to another, shifting form-factors and easily morphing the phone into whatever device you need it to be.
If a Flex phone isn’t your flavor, then how about the little item called the ‘Round Phone’? This is the future, a phone that can connect to the “internet of things”, and becomes a part of everyday life by how it interacts with us. The Round phone connects and adapt to a huge variety of items. Connect it to the fridge and to find out what food items you are missing, or connect it to a shower for the temperature of the water. It is like having a tiny round robot in your pocket.
Holograms and “The Minority Report” interactions
When Round phones have lost their novelty, how about a smart phone which moves into 3D territory with holograms loaded and ready to go? It may seem a bit far-fetched but holographic projections are not too far behind. Apple’s ‘Retina Display’ provides a resolution sharper than what a human eye can perceive. Using elements of movement to pull, compress, or grab holograms with a Smartphone is a concept recently showcased in an ongoing development program. Holographic projections through user interaction are the next bus stop for 3D phones.
Gaming consoles on the run
Then there is always the in-built projector concept. Why not include a projector within? In 2010, Samsung Galaxy Beam was released. It features Digital Light Projection (DLP), a WVGA which projects at up to 50 inches in size at 15 lumens. Interactive gaming consoles just got better. Similar to Kinect, your voice and movements are captured and commands are issued to interact with the Smartphone. Some kinks will have to be worked out first, like the immense drain on battery life and the amount of light it outputs.
This is technology which has landed already into laps of development. With that, where else could cell phone technology go? We see Smartphones interacting with drones. Smartphones with augmented reality capabilities; how could it all possibly get better?
Hold your horses…
How about a self-powered cell phone? This is a dream come true for those that are continually running to charge their phones. The latest research in nano materials looks promising with super ultra efficient systems that would power your device using the vibrations of your voice or the tapping of your fingertips on a touchscreen. Piezoelectric materials generate a tiny electric current from mechanical movement. Microphones are just one of the many items which use this effect to turn sound into an electrical signal. Harnessing this current at a nano scale produces piezoelectricity.
It is always exciting to see unfolding and innovative new ideas in cell phone technologies. There is an anticipation and inner applause when we rush off to try out the new merchandise. The future outlook is a giddy one into uncharted territory, ideas from futuristic films brought to reality.

Eye on the 5, and the Internet of Things

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This week in Las Vegas was an unveiling of network intelligence to deploy a higher speed of 4G wireless networks to the next generation 5. Vestberg, a CEO for the industry stated the 5G network will be smarter not just faster. The conference called “The Internet of Things” shared Vestberg’s vision of a network intelligence connection to every object and to each other. He holds the idea of changing lives for the better. In an interview, Vestberg stated “We are seeing the biggest transformation ahead of us.” Ericsson, which is known as the world’s largest telecom vendor along with Vestberg have been discussing the ideals of a connected society for many year. Ericsson is already ahead in working on the technology, especially for the 5G, although he doesn’t see this happening until 2020.

4G has always been about speed, but imagine a 5G being not only about speed but also which thinks. Vestberg said as a result of 5G, service-aware networks will be springing up; networks with understanding context, almost like a personal connection to that device. Using a self-driving car as an example, he said a 5G network will have the intelligence to recognize the driver will need a higher connection speed for their smartphone, yet the car will need a lower connection to speed up response time. If the device is running low on power, then radio pings will be reduced to save energy.
This concept will only work if every car is connected. Many car manufacturers are already on board. Subaru stated they would bring a 4G LTE connection to select 2016 model automobiles. Volvo has been involved in this project from the early stages. General Motors and Audi are expected to follow suit in the near future.Mobile communications 1G-5G infographics LANDSCAPE 400px

In other scenarios of connectedness would be the medical field. Remote surgeries performed from different areas are fast becoming a reality. At ” The Internet of Things” Ericsson also demonstrated a connected bike helmet which when paired with connected cars, lead the cars to sense the bike and automatically braked in order to avoid a collision. Samsung has pledged loyalty to this all-things-connected concept and states everything they sell will be able to connect to internet within 5 years.

Looking ahead to 2020, the world will be connected, 85 percent will have at least a 3G connection. Sixty percent will be on to 4G. Vestberg said “the key to a fully connected society is getting everyone up and running on a consistent network. Once the connections are in place, that’s when the fun starts. People will come up with ways to innovate,” Vestberg added, “It’s a total paradigm shift.” All in the world we live in today…the internet of things.

Mobile What? Mobile Wallets?

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Over three years ago the Google Wallet was introduced as a mobile app which lets consumers transfer money, pay for their purchase and redeem valuable coupons all with only a tap on their phone. The app also allows users to store all their credit and debit information. Riding along on this concept is Apple as well as startups like LevelUp and Loop. Even Amazon is in testing stages of Amazon Wallet now. But herein lies the problem…consumers are not interested. The promise of convenience has lead only 16 percent of consumers to use their phones to make in-store purchases. In 2011, Square Wallet, a mobile app which does the same thing as Google Wallet came out and now has been killed off due to lack of interest.
The only answer to the reluctance must be around security and privacy. It is easy to store a coupon or a loyalty card to a phone, but to demand a consumer to trust a rather unpredictable system with their personal financial information is asking too much. Phones can be stolen. In fact, the small little device is a prime target for theft, especially when the phone carries a substantial value on a resale. Loss of access is another big hesitation. Lose your battery power or carrier in that precious minute of a sales transaction, and it becomes kind of like kin to public speaking embarrassment. To top all those fears off, nobody wants their cell phone carriers to have access to their financial information or to know what they are doing with their money. All of these scenarios automatically give one the shivers.
Let’s say you are one of those progressive consumers who dive right into the new Google Wallet, the fastest way to jump out is to find out only some merchants take the technology and others are yet to accept it for point-of-sale transactions (back to the public speaking embarrassment feeling). Most people will be able to fend off the rejection with a physical wallet, but then what is the whole point of even having a Google Wallet? A PwC survey discovered people might use the virtual wallet if at least 75 percent of retailers accepted them.
In defense of the Google Wallet concept, consumers had the same paranoia when credit cards first appeared. Older generations stuck to a cash or check policy, shucking the credit card marketing. Perhaps the idea of not paying cash and grabbing credit was too proud of notion for some. Then debit cards gradually creeped in and nobody noticed. Privacy hysteria was created when hackers and criminals proved the ability to steal anyone’s financial information. So how is storing all this on a Google Wallet going to be any safer, lest it be worse? Technology is pushing hard at consumers to rodeo up on every new concept presented. The problem is, not every idea is a good one. There is an old saying which goes “just because you can, doesn’t mean you should.”

Is GPS Always A Sure Thing?

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The Global Positioning System, or GPS, is a vital service embedded deep into the lives of modern civilization. No one could have known how imperative this design would be across all areas of life. We have everything from self-driving cars to geofencing to finding a safe route home. The problem with GPS however, is it can be jammed by ill seekers. GPS relies on weak signals from about 12,600 miles above our Earth. GPS service is easily interrupted by underground tunnels, mountain ranges, and high rise cities. So how reliable is GPS? Well, there are pocket-sized GPS jammers available to buy online for cheap. The range is small and only shoots a radius of a few meters, yet someone with a little know-how could actually build a device to encompass large areas.
The consequences of not having it together with GPS technology are more difficult than simply not being able to find a nearby Starbucks. Failure of GPS can mean complete loss of control, especially for a force such as an airplane or sea vessel. Do we have a GPS backup? So far, our GPS system consists of global coverage of just 32 orbiting satellites. You can see nine satellites at any given time. The distance between the satellites and us means the signals are very easy to jam. The solution to a potential threat with GPS would be to consider other alternatives to GPS, or even building ground-based alternatives in lieu of worst-case scenario would occur.blockedsignal
Unintentional interference has already occurred without most even noticing it. You can be in your car driving and the navigation system drops out for maybe 30 seconds or less. Reports have that this has already happened with huger risks such as jets barreling through the sky.
It is explained that since GPS has been around for awhile, and seemed dependable, many other navigation systems (some used as a backup) have been removed now, making us solely dependent on GPS navigation system. They were considered expensive to maintain and only covered local areas. Yet, perhaps this is the exact reason we need to keep those other navigation systems in place. Researchers say critical infrastructure can be impacted by GPS failure to the extent of ‘loss of life’. Interference can include plane and airport navigation systems, ships and security vans, and emergency service vehicles.
For now, no one seems to want to discuss this as a problem. One researcher even said it is a touchy subject everyone is afraid to talk about. This in and of itself, is a huge problem. We are basically setting ourselves up for a target. Never mind the electrical grid, worry about devastation from a cheap jamming into our GPS system. Next time, when you are deep in your GPS routing a cycle path home and your GPS blanks out for a minute, consider the consequences of this on a large scale. Maybe people should talk about it.

Security 101: Keep Hackers Out

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Learning to protect your devices and data can be frustrating and sometimes, too late. We seem to do what we are told in ways of malware protection, and antivirus programs uploaded. Yet, the truth is we are not really that much protected. Hackers will confess this over and over to anyone listening, and sometimes even taking the time to prove it to you with a simple sample of their hacks. Below are four areas hackers don’t want you to know about. Drink it in wisely.

Did you know a mediocre hacker can take out your WEB encryption within minutes? The Wired Equivalent Privacy (WEP) –based security is providing users with a false sense of security. When people set up their wireless routers years ago; they never bothered to change the wireless encryption to newer and stronger types of WPA2 security. Lesson one: Update your router.
If you are using your wireless router’s MAC filter to prevent unauthorized devices from accessing your network…this is ineffective and for a hacker, easily defeated. Hackers can and do spoof or forge a fake MAC address that matches an approved one…such as yours. They use a wireless packet capture program to eavesdrop on the wireless traffic and pull the MAC addresses traveling the network. Lesson two: you may be sharing your ip address with a hacker.security

At your favorite public hotspot? Then you are an easy target for a session hijacking attack. Hackers use tools like Firesheep and AirJack to pull off a man-in-the-middle attack where they can easily put themselves into the wireless conversation between receiver and the sender. It is during this time they begin to harvest your account passwords, read your email, view your IM, and basically anything else they may be wanting. They can also use SSL Strip tools to obtain passwords for all those secure websites you visit. Lesson Three: Spend the money to use a VPN service provider to protect all of your traffic. They provided an additional layer of security which hackers find difficult to penetrate. Costs range from $7 and up per month. Let the hacker find an easier target.

Another point of entry for hackers to get into your security setting and change them is when you disable your wireless router’s remote administration features. This means you avoid being plugged into the router using an Ethernet cable. This may be convenient for being able to administer the router remotely, but remains a portal to hacker friendly. Many people never even change the factory default admin passwords which is an absolute no-no. Lesson four: Change your passwords, and turn on the “allow admin via wireless” feature so only those with physical contact to your computer connection to your network can administer the wireless router settings.
Don’t let the hackers get the best of you…including all of your computer data. Stay ahead and stay smart in technology. Be sure they are.

What Can You Do With 3G?

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In the ever-changing universe of cell phone technology, there are people who actually don’t know a whole lot about the ‘science’ behind their phones. The fascination for the latest phone brings such exhilaration, that unless you’re a tech nerd; it is easy to overlook how your phone got to where it is today.
When speaking of 3G phones this is simply a 3rd Generation Mobile Telecommunications. This technology suggests there have been two previous generations of phones before the 3G (known as 1G and 2G). Each generation comes with improvements in terms of data transfer speed and reliability. Sometimes the advancement also means new little tweaks and features. There is an increased need for faster internet and apps so each generation of mobile technology brings the solution. A 3G phone is your broadband mobile device which opens up a whole range of services available to you. Once you learn how your phone functions, you will discover the endless possibilities of owning a 3G mobile.

In this technology, this 3rd generation device has between 144kb/s up to 2mb/s. Simply, this is about connectivity and download speed. Having a 3G device allows you to access the internet through the mobile from almost anywhere. It also allows for data and voice to be transmitted at same time (think of video calls). As with any mobile device remember your transfer speed can be interrupted or slowed down due to numerous interruptions such as network traffic, locations, and weather. Another important factor to consider is your data plan. Unless you have a large data allowance, it is easy to use up your data quickly for the time period between payments, and charges could apply for extra data usage. Always know your data plan, and what your data limit is set at. Your internet surfing will also drain your battery quicker, particularly on a 3G or newer 4G Smartphone.There are advanced versions of the 3G which will connect faster to networks. If the letter H appears on your Smartphone screen, this means you have used this technology. It is an enhanced version of 3G called HSDPA, like a 3.5G but not yet a 4G, still it is a significant boost in speeds.

110510_iphone_ap_328There is a great selection of mobile devices available with 3G. These cell phones and tablets provide a superior connection and fast download speeds. Even with the introduction of the 4G now, which boasts of potential download speeds of at least 100mb/s, the 3G still is perfect for the average user. Acquiring a 3G is ultimately less expensive too, as with each new generation of technology there is the high purchase ticket with it. Sometimes it is better to familiarize the abilities of this technology on a less costly device. The 3G technology is so nice; you might even decide to stick it out for awhile with your personalized device.

Mobile Data Plans

Wireless Data Plans

Mobile Data Plans

Your first thought when considering mobile computing and data plans should be how much data you will be using. Most of the big cell phone companies offer 5GB of data for around $60 per month. While this may seem like a lot of data on the surface, overage charges can rack up fairly quickly as you use your laptop. With an unmetered data-using device such as a computer, many users can quickly find themselves over their data limit when they are using their computer and cell phone with as much frequency as they once did with their home wireless.

Wireless Data Plans

Wireless Data Plans

If your plan is to use your mobile data plan only while traveling, or just when your home Internet is down, even 5GB may be too large of a plan for your needs. If you want to use some data each month, as may be the case if you are using a mobile computing data plan as a back up to an unreliable home internet, a monthly smaller plan may be just the ticket for you. Smaller data plans can range from 75MB to 500MB and are more affordable than the larger plans. It may be just what you need.

Still other people opt for a pre-paid mobile computing and data plan. The reason for this is that they may only need mobile computing when they are on vacation, for instance. Pre-paid plans can get pricey fairly quickly for heavy users, but for those who may just want to get their email while on the road, for instance, a pre-paid plan is very affordable and will provide everything the user needs in a data plan without being excessively costly. For light users, or those who will only use a data plan a few times per year for a short period, pre-paid plans are perfect.

So, how do you know if you’re getting the plan you need? The best thing to do is to talk to your wireless provider, the company through whom you will be getting your data plan. Tell them what you will be using your data plan for and how much mobile computing you plan to do. They will have the best idea how big of a plan you may need. Then monitor your usage either through a downloaded mobile app, or through your providers Website to ensure you have the right plan for your mobile computing lifestyle.