It’s concept time again, this time a slider, but not in the way we’ve seen from BlackBerry before. I strongly suspect we won’t ever see a BlackBerry in this form factor, although it is always nice to check out concepts.
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While the now-Google-led Project Ara promises us a future filled with modular smartphones that can easily be upgraded as you go, the idea of modular technology can just as easily be extended to other mobile efforts like the smartwatch. With that in mind, a UK team has recently went public with its “Blocks” concept, which it says they have been working on since their founding in November of 2013.
The idea behind Blocks is simple: you have a smartwatch strap that can contain multiple blocks that can be swapped out and upgraded in order to bring you the ultimate smartwatch experience. The display is also theoretically swappable for e-ink, LED or perhaps even technologies like mirasol.
Like Project Ara, the idea is to eventually allow just about any developer get involved with creating “Blocks” for the watch. Just as Ara, Blocks also has a long road ahead of it before it reaches commercial status. The big difference, however, is that Google has much deeper pockets and the developer connections needed to get Ara off the ground and running. Not to mention that Ara’s module developer kit is on its way in April.
The idea behind Blocks is certainly an intriguing one, though likely it will come down to just how practical it is to develop such a platform, and how much it costs.
So when might we see Blocks move past the theoretical and into the realm of reality? According to the Blocks team, they already have a functional prototype that proves the concept, and are planning to start crowdfunding for the project in not-too-distant future with a commercial product launch aimed for mid-2015.
We currently have a functional prototype that proves the concept. More specifically — that the connections are reliable enough to send data from block to block, and that the communication protocol can support the data rate at which the information is being transferred around the device.
Member of Blocks team
As for what OS Blocks will run on? Although the team has yet to make its final decision — considering the project is still in the conceptual stages — they have reportedly ran tests using Android.
The idea behind Blocks is certainly an intriguing one, though likely it will come down to just how practical it is to develop such a platform, and how much it costs. Speaking of the latter, Blocks’ Serge Vasylechko says the goal is for a base model (with processor, battery and display) to cost about the same as Pebble, with the actual modular component prices ranging depending on the functionality they provide.
What do you think, could a smartwatch that is upgradable and truly customizable through modular blocks be what’s needed for the smartwatch market to really explode in popularity? Or do you feel that this is nothing more than a pipe dream?
Samsung unveiled a variety of Pro-branded tablets at CES 2014, but the company may work on a completely new sub-family of tablets in the future, as its flexible display technology matures and becomes available for mass-production.
The image above shows us what a Galaxy TabROUND concept could look like in the future, assuming the company will be heading that way with tablet design.
The device looks like a big Galaxy Round smartphone – nothing surprising there – the company’s first flexible display, which we have thoroughly analyzed already, although it’s also based on Samsung’s Pro tablet user interface shown in the Pro devices we’ve seen earlier this week in Las Vegas.
As MovePlayer, which posted the concept image, reminds us, Samsung has already been awarded several design patents in which a tablet with flexible display is shown – check out the following gallery.
Furthermore, Samsung has demoed its flexible display plans for mobile devices quite a few times so far at previous CES events. The following video recorded during CES 2013, shows us (starting at around the 2:16 mark) a couple of other tablet designs the company may be considering for future years – yes, we’ll also note the sexist nature of the commercial Samsung is presenting, which is very much in line with another not particularly spectacular ad released just a few weeks ago to promote the Galaxy Gear, although that’s beside the point.
Getting back to the concept above, we can’t but notice that while the Galaxy TabROUND’s design’s makes sense when compared with the Galaxy Round handset, the curvature of the screen heavily contrasts what Samsung (and other companies) are doing with big screen TV’s. Will flexible tablets with such a curvature be useful? Or would you rather buy a tablet with a curved display similar to what the LG G Flex smartphone is proposing?
For the longest time, the Android community seemed fixated around the idea of Android 5.0 Key Lime Pie, and all the amazing changes it was rumored to be bringing to Google’s OS. Fast-forwarding to today, we now know that the next version of Android will actually be 4.4 Kit Kat, but that’s not stopping some folks from still dreaming about the future of Android.
In a new concept video by a fellow named Craig Tuttle, we get a glimpse at one man’s vision for Android 5.0, and we have to admit his ideas are pretty cool. The video primarily focuses on bringing deeper Google Now cards integration, including introducing several changes to the notification bar. You will also notice that the concept video shows a new opaque white look, as opposed to the more traditional Android blue colors we know and love today.
Finally, the video also mentions multi-tasking stacks, which look absolutely amazing.
Okay – so everything seen in the video is essentially made up (or based on rumors), but we still have to applaud the effort here. It’s also worth mentioning that none of the features shown in the video seem all that far-fetched.
What do you think, would you like to see any of these features make their way to Android?
Brisbane, Queensland – Game enthusiasts now have access to a never-tried-before concept with Avatari, the game that signifies the victory of good over evil.
Avatari is a completely new concept that is unique to gaming. The game offers unusually high levels of interaction that forces the players to actually think unlike other game apps where mindless moves provide little scope for education or learning of values.
The developers have done a marvelous job of blending the contemporary with the traditional by brilliantly using the gaming approach to create interest in the philosophy of good over evil. The legendary story of Hiranayakashipu and his son Prahlad is used with telling effect in this adventure game, which comes with a powerful background music for a superb impact.
“Avatari offers ground-breaking levels of interactivity and fidelity and operates on a grand scale,” according to the developers of the app. “The Avatari platform can be scaled easily to support thousands of simultaneous gamers in a region. We have provided state of the art graphics, game-play, and social engagement to deliver a whole new gaming experience, which actually forces the players to think.”
The game is based on a famous story in the Ancient Vedic History in which the king of demons Hiranyakashipu tricks Lord Brahma to grant him, what he believes is eternal immortality, using the powers of which he can conquer the universe from the powerful Gods.
The demon king, however, fails to get his son Prahlad to support his evil idea. Hiranyakashipu also realizes that he could lose his powers because of his son’s righteousness. The enraged father then orders the demons to kill the saintly son. The brilliantly designed game with its high quality graphics captures this exciting story in vivid detail with some stunningly creative animation that is guaranteed to keep children engrossed for hours on end.
According to the developers, the players in this app assume the role of Prahlad. Players have to overcome a host of obstacles in the first of this two-part game. In the second part, the actual fight takes place in the warrior zone. The actual fight with its unique graphics is certainly one of the highlights of the Avatari app.
* The game is compatible with iPhone 4, iPhone 5, iPhone 4S, iPod touch (4th generation), iPod touch (3rd generation), iPad and iPod touch (5th generation).
* Requires iOS 4.3 or later
* The app is optimized for iPhone 5.
* 147 MB
Pricing and Availability:
Avatari costs .99 (USD) and is available through the App Store in the Games category.
Avatari Games was founded by Michele Elkan and Michael Elkan, two interactive entertainment whiz kids, to provide a state-of-the-art virtual world platform that can be used by gamers across the globe simultaneously. Their brilliant choice of the medium – spiritual games – has helped them achieve this objective on a spectacular scale. Founder CEO, Michele is a business management expert and President Michael is a professional naturopath, yoga massage therapist and transcendentalist. Copyright (C) 2013 Avatari Games. All Rights Reserved. Apple, the Apple logo, iPhone, iPad, iPad mini, iPod touch, and Mac are registered trademarks of Apple Inc. in the U.S. and/or other countries. Other trademarks and registered trademarks may be the property of their respective owners.
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