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3D Map with Realtime Shadows

Posted by Sam Churchill on

The F4 Map is a 3D map where the shadows on the map are displayed in real-time and reflect the position of the sun. The shadows move throughout the day. The map includes 3d buildings and trees.

Dynamic Holland Shading is another map that includes dynamic hill shading based on the date and time of day. Move the date and time of day sliders and you can see the hill shading update instantly on the map. The dynamic hill shading is powered by a combination of MapBox’s dynamic hillshading and the SunCalc library.

You can view 360 degree imagery shot by Photo Sphere posted on Google Maps and Views. With an Android Jelly Bean 4.2 Nexus device, you can contribute your own photo spheres.

Google photo tours, a feature of Google Maps, guides you through a 3D photo scene. Photo tours are available for more than 15,000 popular sites around the world, from famous landmarks such as St. Mark’s Basilica in Italy to scenic treasures like Half Dome in Yosemite.

Google’s new Camera app, available today for KitKat (4.4), features Lens Blur, a new mode that lets you take a photo with a shallow depth of field using your Android phone or tablet.

Google’s 3D Smartphone: Project Tango

Posted by Sam Churchill on

Google’s Project Tango is putting 3D Point Cloud capture into a smartphone, reports PhoneArena. Using an advanced custom-made processor and Kinect-like infrared cameras, the smartphone can make 3D indoor maps quickly and easily.

iFixit got their hands on a Project Tango device and gave it their usual teardown treatment to expose its internals. They found it contained:

  • Snapdragon 800 quad core CPU with 2 GB RAM
  • 64 GB internal storage, expandable by microSD
  • 5″ LCD screen
  • 9 axis accelerometer/gyroscope/compass
  • The depth-sensing array: an infrared projector, 4 MP rear-facing RGB/IR cameras and a 180º field of view fisheye rear-facing camera

An infrared projector creates a grid of dots. The IR cameras sense depth by dot size.

Perhaps 3D photography and 3D printing will soon become common with computational photography. It may also indicate a working relationship between Google and Amazon, which is rumored to be developing a similar 3D phone.

It may be especially useful for the robot revolution and killer cyborgs. But whether their Cisco and Huawei routers could be freely hacked by anyone is still unknown.

Google Play Revenue Growing Fast

Posted by Sam Churchill on

Google’s application marketplace, Google Play, saw 45% more downloads that Apple’s App Store in Q1, according to a new report from App Annie. However, Apple continues to still be “comfortably ahead” in terms of worldwide revenue“, reports TechCrunch, generating a whopping 85% more revenue than Google Play.

However, Google Play is now narrowing that revenue gap, according to App Annie. Growth in Google Play downloads was driven by explosive growth in emerging markets, with Mexico and Turkey particularly strong. According to IDC, smartphone adoption has grown rapidly in Mexico, increasing around 75% in 2013 and expected to grow by approximately 40% in 2014. Over 65% of these devices used the Android OS, and this proportion is expected to increase in 2014.

Quantenna: 8X8 MIMO WiFi

Posted by Sam Churchill on

Quantenna Communications, a high-performance Wi-Fi chipmaker, today announced that it is developing an 8×8 MIMO architecture with adaptive beamforming that promises significantly higher throughput. Using 8 receive antennas and 8 transmit antennas, Quantenna says up to 10 Gigabits/second are possible using their Wi-Fi chipset and 160 MHz channels.

Quantenna claims to be the first to deliver 4×4 chipsets for the 802.11n and 802.11ac Wi-Fi standards, and the first to support Multi-User MIMO (MU-MIMO), for transmitting data to multiple devices at once. Multiuser MIMO can increase transmission speed by increasing the number of antennas at the base station, without consuming more frequency bandwidth.

“This architecture will also significantly enhance the capabilities of MU-MIMO, allowing it to support interference-free transmission to many more devices simultaneously,” said Andrea Goldsmith, Stephen Harris Professor of Electrical Engineering at Stanford University.

Quantenna’s 8×8 MIMO is not going into smartphones or USB sticks anytime soon. But 8×8 MIMO Wi-Fi could be useful for applications that require solid, ultra high-speed wireless performance.

Of course bonding 8, 20MHz channels to achieve 160MHz of bandwidth will leave just two non-overlapping channels in North America – presumably one for Comcast and one for AT&T.

Mimosa is using Quantenna Wi-Fi to deliver innovative outdoor wireless solutions.

Qualcomm this month launched three-and four-stream 802.11ac MU-MIMO chipsets for routers and gateways, and will launch two separate chipsets for enterprise access points. The company also announced new Wi-Fi/Bluetooth chipsets for end user mobile devices. MU-MIMO requires an enabled chipset in both the Wi-Fi access point and the client.

Broadcom today announced the company’s 5G WiFi XStream chip platform, which will include what they said is the industry’s first six-stream 802.11ac multiple-input, multiple-output (MIMO) offering.

Broadcom says it delivers data rates up to 3.2 Gbps. The new platform is designed to double the performance of current WiFi devices for high-definition streaming and data, and has twice the bandwidth of existing (3 stream) 802.11ac routers and gateways.

But Ruckus explains that a network needs to have client devices that all support 80/160 MHz channels (in 5 GHz) and 3/4 spatial streams.

In reality nearly every WiFi network will have:

  • Some single-stream client devices, like mobile phones and tablets.
  • Some two-stream client devices, like tablets and many laptops.
  • Some 11a/g/n devices that don’t support 11ac maximums.
  • Some clients in the service area that aren’t 3 meters from the AP—and thus subject to lower data rates.

If your WiFi network has any of these client types (and it does), then you can kiss any gigabit dreams goodbye.

WiFi Guru Tim Higgins explains Why 802.11ac Will Kill The 5 GHz Wi-Fi Band. Still, 8×8 MIMO might be useful on drones 12 miles up or as a tractor beam for nearby asteroids.

Related Dailywireless articles include; Ruckus Goes AC with ZoneFlex R700, Quantenna: 802.11ac Chipset, Marvel 802.11ac: Now with 4×4 Beamforming, Buffalo 802.11ac Routers, Ubiquiti 802.11ac Outdoor Access Points, Large 802.11ac Installs by Aruba, FCC Authorizes High Power at 5.15 – 5.25 GHz

Ruckus Announces Cloud-Based WiFi Services

Posted by Sam Churchill on

Ruckus Wireless today unveiled a Cloud-based Smart Wi-Fi Access Management Service (SAMS) that gives organizations the power to manage and monetize Wi-Fi services from a ‘point-and-click’ Cloud-based portal.

Ruckus says SAMS delivers a simple, Web-based portal that allows highly customized Wi-Fi access services to be created in a matter of minutes.

Instead of requiring WLAN controllers, authentication servers, captive portals, advertising engines and content filtering, Ruckus puts it all into the Cloud.

The Ruckus Smart Wireless Services combines all the infrastructure and service elements. It can create single or multiple sites, layering Cloud-based control with Ruckus SPoT™ location services, as well as virtualized management. It also allows easy migration to revenue-based service.

Ruckus is targeting organizations and venues offering managed public wireless access, such as shopping malls, stadiums, convention centers, airports and retail outlets.

At the heart of SAMS is the Ruckus SmartCell Gateway (SCG), hosted within the Cloud in partnership with Global Reach, a carrier-class wireless management platform. It works transparently with Ruckus ZoneFlex Smart Wi-Fi access points and/or on-premises Ruckus ZoneDirector WLAN controllers.

Unlike other Cloud-based Wi-Fi services, if the access points can’t reach the Cloud controller, local access services are not disrupted.

Once the service is configured through a wizard driven setup, Ruckus Smart Wi-Fi access points automatically “phone home” to register with the Cloud controller.

Customers have complete control over service branding and functionality, such as the ability to enable authentication with popular social media sites like Facebook and Twitter. Service can be limited by length and number of sessions, bandwidth consumption or filter access to specific content.

Ruckus says their Cloud-managed system also represents a new managed services opportunity for channel partners.

Available worldwide beginning in May, the Ruckus Smart Access Management Service (SAMS) is priced on a yearly subscription basis per access point (for either a 1, 3 or 5 year subscription period), with 24/7 customer support included.

As a fully public access Cloud service, where WLAN management is required, SAMS is priced at $265.50 (USD) per AP per year. For environments where local WLAN management is already provided, SAMS cloud-based public access services are priced at $180 (USD) per access point per year.

Ruckus Wireless has patented a specially designed dynamic RF propagating antenna system with beamforming.

Tikona Digital Networks built the world’s largest self-organizing outdoor Wi-Fi mesh network, using over 40,000 Ruckus ZoneFlex™ access points across more than 30 cities in India.

IDC estimates that the worldwide enterprise market for Cloud-managed WLAN infrastructure and managed services is expected to reach $2.5 billion by 2018.

Related Dailywireless articles include; Ad-Sponsored WiFi Initiatives from Gowex & Facebook, Comcast Creates Hotspot 2.0 National Network, WiFi & Hotspot 2.0 at MWC, Hotspot 2.0 Moves Out, NYC & Cable Provide Hotspot 2.0 Service, Cities of San Jose and Santa Clara Get Free WiFi, Free Google WiFi for NYC Chelsea Neighborhood, Cloud4Wi: Cloud-Managed, Geo-enabled Hotspots, Cloud-based WiFi: $100 a Pop , Meraki Cloud Managed Security, Cisco: 200 Mobile Providers Delivering Wi-Fi, Time Warner Cable to Double WiFi Hotspots in 2013, AT&T: 40,000 Small Cells, Microsoft Sponsors Free WiFi in NYC & SF, Chicago Announces Free WiFi in Parks, Hotspot 2.0, Cellular/WiFi Roaming Gets Real, Street light Provides Wi-Fi, Cell Coverage, Hotspot 2.0, Intel: Basestation in the Cloud, Clearwire: On the Hot Zone, Sprint to use LightRadio for Small Cells,

Amazon Phone: 6 Cameras?

Posted by Sam Churchill on

Amazon plans to sell its own-brand of smartphone with a 4.7″ touchscreen, 6 cameras and a 3D display, according to BGR. The Wall Street Journal reported last week that the company’s cell phone will be announced in June and released in the third quarter.

BGR says Amazon’s first phone will be powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon processor, will include 2GB of RAM and will run a heavily customized version of Google’s Android operating system similar to the version that powers Amazon’s tablets.

The handset’s 4.7″ display will have comparatively low pixel density, featuring 720p HD resolution compared to 1080p HD resolution on many rival devices. But it’s got a 3D display without the need for 3D glasses.

The Amazon phone is rumored to include six cameras. It includes a standard high resolution camera on the back and a medium resolution in the front. In addition, the device is rumored to house an additional four front-facing cameras to facilitate the software’s 3D effects. Situated in each of the four corners on the face of the phone, the infrared cameras track the position of the user’s face and eyes. This allows Amazon’s software to make constant adjustments to alter the perspective of visuals on the screen.

It probably also allows image recognition in lieu of fingerprint readers. 2-D cameras can often be tricked with a picture of a face. Fool-proof identity matching would be necessary for any Amazon transactions.

Computational Photography may be the next big thing.

Core Photonics has developed a family of camera reference designs for single, dual and quad aperture cameras for computational photography. They enable a variety of benefits such as true optical zoom, low profile cameras, high dynamic range, refocusing, gesture control and other features.

Dual, fixed lenses coupled with “computational photography” are expected soon in smartphones. Immersive games could be next.

Amazon is rumored to be readying a second, lower-cost smartphone that will debut at a later time.

Perhaps the Amazon Phone, Facebook Phone and Google Phone could play in new spectrum owned by Dish (at 2.1 GHz) and Google (at 600MHz) with Dish’s 14 million rooftop satellite dishes providing local small-cell coverage. All they need is a tower partner to fill in the blanks.