WHAT’S THE GAME, ANDROID?

What’s in a game? With more than a billion people using the Android operating system, we wonder what the future holds for gamers on this ubiquitous platform. With a 75% share of the market and a billion users, Android is the MVP player in the mobile game.

The latest iteration of the Android OS continues the list of alphabetical confectionary. Marshmallow was officially released last October and improves the Lollipop experience. A new version – Android N (nougat?) – is due in May. What can we expect?

FE FI FO FUM

On the official Android blog, there is a lot of talk about Project Fi. Project Fi is all about affordable, all-encompassing, wireless connectivity. By partnering with both networks and hardware providers, Project Fi promises an even more connected experience.

For gamers, this means never having to quit that winning streak or pull out of that poker tournament. Described by Google as the ‘network of networks’, there’s a good chance Project Fi will be a ‘promoted option’ on the Android OS of the future. Google will try to consolidate the world’s networks to benefit its users.

ID ME

In a connected world, we can be exactly what and who we want to be. We think the new Android OS will enable gamers to create truly unique online identities that can be used across multiple applications and websites.

Rather than access your favourite online casino or gaming site with a specific user name and password, unique to that particular client, you will use your generic Android Gamer ID.

The advantages of this could be both simple ‘one-stop’ banking and community-based play. It will be easier to find friends and be discovered. You can also develop an online reputation for your avatar and ID. Online casinos and gaming sites would need to sign up to the system.

GAME ON THE MOVE

Mobile gaming follows the hardware. As mobile devices get more complex, and more central to people’s lives, mobile gaming follows suit and gains in sophistication and ease of access.

Android will facilitate online casino gaming and support the shift from land-based to online action. As the hunger for tax revenues increases, more and more territories will give online gaming the green light.

AND FINALLY…

Significant jumps in mobile OS technology are far and few between. What is unrelenting – however – is ‘improvement’. All the recent Android updates have been mainly about enhancing and improving what’s already on offer.

Our prediction is an evolution of all aspects of the mobile gaming experience, from better online IDs, an environment with no disconnects, and more flexible access to the gaming experience you want. That’s what we’re betting on…

How Tech Changed Sport

Image Credit  http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/e/e2/Sports_divers.jpg

Image Credit
http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/e/e2/Sports_divers.jpg

Technology, as one might safely imagine, continually changes our cultures, societies and lives, thanks to the continual upgrading and innovating that go hand in hand with new ideas and ways of doing things. Everywhere we look we see the signs of new technologies' reach- smartphones, televisions, automobiles- although sports fans may often wonder where and in what ways technology impacts their favourite pastimes. Sports can be sometimes viewed as unchanging, rules having been passed down for centuries, often, although this opinion is far from true.

Live
Live sports are a relatively old phenomenon, although true live is a relatively recent advancement. 'Live' sports ten or twenty years ago could be received often a few minutes later compared to when the actual events took place, compared to nowadays when enormous increases in internet bandwidth and satellite coverage mean that images are broadcast to television sets seconds after they take place!

Betting
Millions of people worldwide enjoy placing a little wager on the results of their favourite sports, and the internet has massively improved both the ease and availability of bets for punters. A fan sat in the stands during a game can now turn on their smartphone, head to bookies.com, check out the odds and team news, then make their bet during the game. It's added a heck of a lot of fluidity to the betting world, and fans are ecstatic.

Equipment
Kits and pieces of equipment went largely unchanged within many sports throughout the twentieth century, however with the advent of materials technology many sports and their players have undergone an enormous change. Today, kits are thinner, lighter and stronger, acting as less of an impediment to the players wearing them and boosting the performance of people using them. Footballs are now equipped with sensors hidden inside that notify referees if they pass past the goal-posts, eliminating messy arguments and fan anguish, and in sports such as hockey, strong, lightweight plastics are now used for sticks instead of traditional woods.

Social Media
Once, having a discussion about the prowess of sportspeople and teams was done mainly in bars and pubs across the world, but with Facebook and Twitter now incredibly popular, sports discussions are on every news feed and profile. Teams can now create their own pages, posting interesting info, behind the scenes footage and other titbits that massively increase the feeling among fans that they too are part of the team.

Author - Catherine Bush.

Why Wouldn't You Share Your Own Videos?

Technology changes very quickly and I remember back to when I published that first video on my YouTube channel recorded with my 4 megapixel Canon PowerShot camera. The video quality in comparison to what is possible nowadays was very poor, but the content was more than acceptable. 

My first YouTube camera … the Canon PowerShot A80

My first YouTube camera … the Canon PowerShot A80

That was over eight years ago and the advancements in technology, during such a short time, is simply quite amazing. I experienced compact cameras that gave us 720P video, soon followed by the same small photo snappers delivering 1080P video. Conventional camcorders giving up the ability to not only record in full HD, but also in 3D. Tiny little action cameras, that one could mount to a car, surf board, your body or even your pet dog. If we fast forward to the current day, all of these wonders of technology can now dazzle our visual senses with even more detail in 4K resolution. 

Throughout my journey of creating visual content to share online, I have helped many others with questions and product recommendations. One of the most common questions, or for want of a better term, "excuses" is that many people want to create videos, but use their lack of "expensive" camera as an excuse.
Emails I receive are often like this (what follows is part of an actual email I received)… "Hello Dave, I really want to start my YouTube Channel but need an amazing camera and microphone setup. Can you suggest something around the £1,000 to £1,500 mark. Once I have saved enough money I can then start producing videos like you". 
The perceived need for the so-called "best camera" could not be further from the truth. Look at how I started … with just the family point & shoot compact camera. Also, consider how smartphone technology has also evolved, with many capturing awesome 1080P and some even managing to deliver a crisp 4K experience too. So why wouldn't you share your own videos. Now is the time to use the technology you already have in your pocket or bag and share your story. We can no longer make the excuse that we do not have a great camera, 

Throughout December, Intellicig are running a competition to give away a £200 Red Letter Day experience for two. Check out their #WhyWouldntYou campaign here.

Written in collaboration with Intellicig.

Which e-cig model is the future of the electronic cigarette industry?

Electronic cigarettes come in all shapes, sizes, colours and have different levels of technology within them, but where does the future lie for them? What kind of product will be the most successful?

As with all industries, there are many different options for the consumer. The main product that people are familiar with is similar in appearance to tobacco cigarettes. They generally have a 220 mAh battery which has a life of around four hours, they are also lightweight, convenient and very discreet. Then there’s also a tank style option. Not in a military vehicle sense, but a fairly sleek device which is larger, with a more powerful 650 mAh battery which lasts around 48 hours between charging.

Finally, there’s the mod style e cig. This is generally used by seasoned ‘vapers’ and they come in all different shapes and sizes with many different battery options, some with digital displays for voltage output control. 

The electronic cigarette market is expected to reach £285 million in 2014 in the UK and many outlets now stock the models that look like tobacco cigarettes. However, walking down your local high street you are more likely to find people using tank style options, such as the Freshcig eVolve.  Extremely reliable, they allow the user to save more money by refilling them with e-liquid and they have fantastic vapour production. And compared to the mod style e cig, the tank options are less intimidating and less complex. 

Electronic cigarette company Freshcig, based in Marple, have seen a huge increase in sales of their tank electronic cigarettes. They sell around five times the amount of eVolve’s compared to their ‘original’ products which look like a tobacco cigarette. This is a complete reversal of the original sales figures which the company believes is down to increased consumer awareness around the devices.

Whether it’s an e-cig that looks like a tobacco cigarette, a tank or a mod device, the demand for products is continuing to rise sharply. Which device will come out on top? Only time will tell, but in the meantime let us know what you think by commenting below. 

3D Technology In Casinos

There’s a theory that the entertainment industry tries to foist 3D technology on the public once every generation. It happened in the 1950’s, then again in the 1970’s, and it’s been happening again in the last few years. Not everyone’s a fan, and some complain of headaches and fatigue while watching modern 3D material, but recent movies like Gravity have shown how far it’s possible to push the format this time around.

3D Slots

Now casinos are getting in on the action. Slot manufacturer IGT developed a 3D machine recently that doesn’t require glasses. This is a sensible marketing move, as one of the issues with 3D technology generally is that if you’re not wearing the glasses, the material is unwatchable.

Therefore if someone’s unwilling to wear them to play a slot machine, they’re simply going to walk away. In the case of IGT’s machines, the effect is produced by a double layer of screens, so anyone playing will be experiencing a sort of forced 3D effect. Whether they enjoy it and stay, or dislike it and leave, is at least no longer dependent on whether they want to wear the glasses.

Online 3D

In fact IGT’s machines have proved a hit with punters, and it seems that while the gimmick of 3D draws them in initially, it’s the quality of the gaming experience that keeps them playing. With this in mind, the obvious next step is to take the 3D casino experience online.

In theory it should be easier than introducing 3D to real world gaming, as it would be quite straightforward for operators to offer both 3D and traditional sites side-by-side online. On a site where, for example, live casino roulette is available, incorporating a 3D element to gameplay could be a very attractive upgrade if carried out thoughtfully.

Poker V Roulette

Some games are likely to benefit more than others. Many poker players would find too much gimmicky 3D usage distracting, but the possibility of running two simultaneous sites should take care of that objection. In fact some operators advertise 3D online poker already, but the fact that not all do tells you something about how the technology’s been exploited so far.

If online casinos are to realise fully the potential of 3D technology, they’ll have to recognise that not all punters will embrace it, and also that not all casino games may be suitable. It’s the flexibility of the digital universe, however, that will allow the savvy operators to deliver some amazing experiences to customers in the next few years.

By Simon Fitzpatrick

(Images courtesy of amcnetworks.com, howinmoney.blogspot.com, telegraph.co.uk)

So How Do Fingerprint Scanners Really Work?

The launch of the new iPhone 5S has brought fingerprint scanning back to the forefront of security technology, but this isn’t the first time that we’ve talked about fingerprint security and smartphones. Remember that the fact that the Motorola Atrix shipped with a similar piece of technology all the way back in 2011.

Anyway, let’s take a look at how the technology works. There’s two main ways that you can digitally capture your fingerprints, either via an optical scanner or by using clever capacitor circuits...

Read the full story here... Source: Android Authority

Revolutionary E-Cigarette Technology

The electronic cigarette market is expanding rapidly with new products and brands launching all of the time. There is one new e-cigarette which looks different and stands out from the crowd.

New premium e-cigarette brand Vype have released a range of realistic disposable electronic devices. Designed to both look and feel like a traditional tobacco cigarette, they are completely different to the first generation of electronic vaping devices, which were large and bulky to carry around. Aimed at current smokers, Vype have produced a lighter and more realistic looking device.    

There are many different types of electronic cigarettes on the market, but research shows that many people when they first start to use electronic devices prefer those which look more like a tobacco cigarette and less obviously like an e-cigarette.

Vype have used the latest technology to provide a lightweight electronic cigarette with a soft tip, making it similar in look and feel to a conventional tobacco cigarette. Vype e-cigarettes are the same size as a king-size tobacco cigarette and contain ECOpure e-liquid, which is manufactured and tested in the UK. It is one of the cleanest and purest e-liquids and gives users a real nicotine hit. There are currently three different flavoured Vype electronic cigarettes, these are menthol, classic regular and classic bold.

Electronic cigarettes are battery powered vaping devices containing a water based e-liquid which is available in varying strengths of nicotine and different flavoursUsing the same hand to mouth action as a tobacco cigarette you inhale the e-liquid through the soft-tip filter. When you begin inhaling the e-liquid is heated until it turns into a vapour which can then be inhaled.E-cigarettes do not contain tobaccoand are not affected by the UK smoking ban.

With new revolutionary technology, Vype offers a genuine alternative to smoking while looking and feeling like a tobacco cigarette but without the tobacco. Visit http://uk.govype.com/ to find out more.

Electronic Cigarette Technology

Electronic cigarettes have received a large amount of press recently with a number of studies researching the increased use of e-cigarettes in the UK. The BBC published an article at the beginning of the year predicting that e-cigarette use in the UK is set to reach 1 million users this year. But what exactly are electronic cigarettes and what is the technology behind these devices?

E-cigarettes are battery-powered devices which heat a water-based nicotine e-liquid until it becomes a vapour that can then be inhaled by users, this is known as vaping. The physical action of vaping is similar to smoking a traditional tobacco cigarette. E-cigarettes contain significantly less of the known harmful chemicals produced when burning tobacco. There are no second hand smoking dangers associated with them as they only release a water mist or vapour.

There are two types of e-cigarette products – disposable throw-away devices and rechargeable battery-operated models. E-cigarettes are made up of three major technical components: the battery, vapour device and refill capsule or e-liquid holder.

The batteries developed and used to power e-cigarettes are usually lithium ion batteries. Intellicig, a leading e-cigarette company based in Manchester are at the forefront of e-cigarette technology. They have designed a 10 second cut-off feature within their products. This additional feature means that if the battery is activated for longer than 10 seconds, the microprocessor will register that and automatically turn off the device to prevent it from overheating. Cleverly, it also allows a few more seconds for the device to fully cool down before it returns to normal standby mode. At one end of the device is a coloured LED light which illuminates when it is in use. The coloured light highlights that the device is an e-cigarette and not a traditional cigarette.

The vapour device is a consumable piece of technology designed for heating the e-liquid solution. An atomiser inside the vapour device heats the e-liquid solution until it becomes a vapour which can then be inhaled by the user. The vapour device is repeatedly heated and cooled during use and it is recommended that you purchase spare vapour device components if you are using a rechargeable model.

The refill capsule holds the e-liquid. In a rechargeable e-cigarette device these capsules can be replaced. E-liquid is available in a range of different nicotine strengths and flavours. The capsule part of the device also acts as the mouthpiece through which to inhale the e-liquid. Refillable models are a cost-effective vaping option. Once a capsule is empty, simply unscrew and discard, before replacing with a new capsule. The disposable refill capsules or cartridges are sometimes referred to as cartomisers and they connect to the battery and vapour device.

The majority of electronic cigarettes are designed and manufactured as three piece models. E-cigarette technology is constantly been improved and developed. It is a fast-paced and continually changing industry with new products and accessories been introduced all the time. It will be interesting to see what the next step is in the e-cig market and what products will be released, with companies investing a huge amount of money into developing new technology to offer users an enhanced vaping experience.

The technological future of clothing

Electrical and wireless technology has progressed massively in the past decade and all of us are excited about what the future will bring. Few associate clothing with high-tech, though recently there have been developments in the field of material technology which could soon affect us all! If scientists get their way, in the future your kids’ outfits could be very different from simple boys sandals and polo shirts. Intrigued? Check out how far our threads have come with these predictions for the future…

Woollen bullet-proof vests?

Most of us are more used to wearing this natural fibre in the form of a cosy cardi, but wool could have more beneficial properties. Many bullet-proof vests are made from Kevlar, a synthetic fibre, though wool could soon be added to this to improve their energy and water absorption making bullet-proof vests lighter and cheaper.

Spray-on clothing

Body-con clothing and jeggings have been on-trend for a number of seasons, but for a really skin-tight look how about spaying on your clothing!? One Spanish designer has managed to create spray-on clothing which can be removed, washed, worn again or dissolved. This innovative fashion idea is courtesy of Spanish designer Manel Torres, a former student of the Royal College of Art. He collaborated with a professor of particle technology at Imperial College London in order to provide a unique way of dressing, as well as hoping to contribute to the future of the medical, transport and chemical industries.

Eco-conscious garments

Being environmentally-friendly is an aim for many of us, and in the future this could easily extend to our clothing too. Scientists and designers are looking to developdevelop textile which do not harm the environment, using polymer chemistry which doesn’t depend on non-renewable energy-sources. Producing and using more manufactured fibers is also a goal for the future, as well as looking for more unconventional clothing fabric, like recycled products. Designer Anke Domaske has used milk to create a new fabric called QMilch and US-based clothing company StaWarm has created a line made from recycled coffee beans.

Keeping warm

Keeping warm in sub-zero temperatures whilst wearing clothing that allows easy movement and mobility has been a tricky dilemma. A new material developed by sportswear company Hanesbrand aims to solve this, and provide the ultimate in cold weather insulation. Zero-Loft Aerogels is a thin, silica material that is made up of 90% air. It offers almost three times the insulation of traditional down, without being bulky.

Active smart-wear

Smart clothing involves building computing technology into clothing which allow more comfort for the wearer. Just innovations include fabrics which sense the environment and react accordingly. Clothing that changes density depending on the temperature, jackets which store solar energy to be used as power and built-in sensors may all be arriving at a high-street near you at some point in the future!