The 41 Megapixel Nokia PureView

At MWC, one of the more interesting phones was the Nokia 808 PureView which features a 41-megapixel sensor. The sensor really is 41 megapixels. No tricks.

Full frame DSLRs have about half that resolution. How does it work? The pixels are combined for better low light. It enable continuous zoom from the sensor. The graphic (below) shows the size of the Nokia image sensor in relation to other camera sensors.

Most point and shoot cameras have smaller sensors (between 1/1.7″ and 1/2.3″). The Nokia 808 PureView features an ultra sharp glass lens. Nokia says the big sensor also enables 4 x loss-less zoom as fast as your finger can move. You can also shoot smooth Full HD video at 30 frames per second at 4 times zoom.

Nokia’s chief camera experts Damian Dinning (above) has a walkthrough of the technology. The 808 doesn’t try to create an image of the same quality, 5 times bigger than normal camera phones. Instead it oversamples the image and then interpolates down to a smaller size, explains DP Review, though there is a special ‘creative’ shooting mode if you want the full resolution. It has a dedicated graphics chip.

SmugMug’s Awesome Photography App and the Lytro lightfield camera have different takes on mobile photography.

Skype for Windows Mobile

It’s been almost a year since Microsoft bought Skype, so it’s no surprise that the companies have been working on a Skype voice and video chat for Windows Phone devices. Now the first public beta is available.

You can download the app for free from the Windows Phone Marketplace. You can make and receive voice/video calls and instant messages to anyone else using Skype, whether on a Windows Phone, iPhone, iPad, Android phone, Mac, PC or television.

It lets you make audio or video calls for free over WiFi, 3G, or 4G connections. You can also purchase Skype credit to make calls to phone numbers for international calling rates that are lower than those offered by your phone company.

Clearwire: Riding the TD-LTE Wave?

Clearwire’s planned move to LTE means Apple wouldn’t have any difficulties in building an iPhone that is compatible with its network, according to Clearwire CEO Eric Prusch.

Clearwire plans on moving to TD-LTE, and is working with China Mobile and India on global TD-LTE harmonization. A Qualcomm executive told CNET that there were three TD-LTE deployments as of January, and 20 ongoing trials. Major international carriers committed to the standard, including China Mobile, India’s Bharti, and Japan’s Softbank, which currently offers the 3G version of the iPhone.

In fact, the move to TD-LTE outstrips that of FD-LTE, according to Prusch, who said that 2 billion subscribers will be on TD-LTE by 2014. Clearwire intends to launch 5,000 TD-LTE cell sites by June 2013, and it recently raised $1.1 billion to help fund the buildout.

According to Credit Suisse analyst Jonathan Chaplin, it would only cost an extra $3 to $4 to add Clearwire’s 2.5 GHz spectrum to a handset. “If it really doesn’t cost the carriers much we don’t see why AT&T and T-Mobile wouldn’t sign wholesale deals with Clearwire and order 2.5 GHz capable handsets just in case they need the additional capacity,” he wrote.

Qualcomm’s newest chipsets support both Clearwire’s TD-LTE network and Verizon/AT&T’s FD-LTE with just a software switch. Their MDM9225 and MDM9625 LTE modems support both LTE Advanced (LTE Release 10) and HSPA+ Release 10, and are backward compatible with other standards including EV-DO Advanced, TD-SCDMA and GSM. China Mobile uses the TD-SCDMA standard.

If an existing LTE carrier signs up with Clearwire, its phones will be able to do soft handoffs, flipping between the two LTE networks without breaking a call or dropping a connection, says John Saw, Clearwire’s CTO.

Sprint CEO Dan Hesse will speak tomorrow at Mobile World Congress. Don’t expect any major announcements, but Qualcomm’s MDM9225 and MDM9625 LTE modems would go a long way for world-wide LTE and 3G compatibility and may make Clearwire’s spectrum a more viable option for carriers like AT&T who need spectrum.

It would be no big surprise if the LTE-enabled iPhone, expected this fall, supports the same TD-LTE standard used by China Mobile and Clearwire. Sprint would likely offer the “global phone” on both their FD and TD Networks. AT&T may have to go with the flow.

Related Dailywireless articles include; Google Pulls Out of Clearwire, AT&T: On the Couch, China Mobile Announces TD-LTE Rollout, FreedomPop: Free Internet Access on Clearwire?, Canada to Get Apple’s iTV?, Dish Clarifies LTE-Advanced Plan, China iPhone Projections, Clearwire and China Mobile Announce TD-LTE Testing Plan, LTE Situation Report, Vendors & Spectrum Fund Clearwire TD-LTE, World’s First TD-LTE Service Launched by Mobily, Clearwire Chooses LTE Advanced, China Mobile + Clearwire + Apple?, India: TD-LTE Next Year?, China Mobile Talks Up TD-LTE iPhone, Will Sprint Go TD-LTE?, WiMAX to TD-LTE: Everybody’s Doin’ It, Clearwire: Dead or Alive?, Dish LTE-Advanced Called “Ollo”, Sprint’s Network Vision Detailed, India’s Broadband Auction: It’s Done, Qualcomm Gets Indian Partners, Vendors Scramble for Indian Backhaul, TD-LTE: It’s Alive!

Windows 8 Consumer Preview

Microsoft has announced the release of Windows 8 Consumer Preview, available to download now for anyone interested in trying it out. Microsoft says it’s a preview of what’s to come and represents a work in progress (FAQ), but it basically is what you’ll get when the product ships this fall.

Windows 8 may be one of the most important launches in Microsoft’s history, notes the Washington Post, as the company doubles down to keep its core business successful.

Windows 8 is designed to work on a wide range of devices , from touch-enabled tablets, to laptops, to desktops and all-in-ones. You can move between Windows 8 PCs easily and access your files and settings from virtually anywhere. You can navigate with touch or with a mouse and keyboard.

C/Net says the workflow is easy once you learn it, but not necessarily obvious at first blush. Second, more of your Windows 8 experience will be dependent on your hardware, because it will work on both desktops and laptops–as well as ARM-based tablets.

Microsoft unveiled the Windows 8 preview at Mobile World Congress, where they are also pushing Windows Phone. The five features that Microsoft highlighted are: Integration of touch, keyboard and mouse control; the Windows app store; Skydrive cloud services that link PCs and Windows Phone; Internet Explorer 10; and new hardware capabilities.

“Our goal with Windows 8 is to deliver PCs without compromise,” said Windows chief Steven Sinofsky, which means that the OS scales with you depending on how you want to use the OS and with what gadget – tablet, PC, or touch-based PC.”

The company also demoed an Acer ultrabook that booted up in about eight seconds. Sinofsky also talked up the Windows 8 system-on-a-chip (SOC) architecture. Windows on ARM (WOA) PCs will roll out at about the same time as Windows 8 PCs running on AMD or Intel processors, with beta software rolled out on parallel but separate tracks.

Consumers who want to run legacy Windows apps will be best served with a traditional Windows 8 PC running on either an AMD or Intel processor. Those seeking a clean break can migrate to new ARM-based devices. WOA will only ship preloaded on PCs. ARM-based test computers, featuring chips made by Qualcomm, Texas Instruments and Nvidia, will go to partners and software developers in the next several weeks.

The test version of Windows 8 has mail, calendar and messaging apps, but no evidence of Office, Microsoft’s dominant suite of work applications. Sinofsky said earlier this month that a version of Office would be included in Windows 8 for ARM tablets.

Windows 8 for PCs requires a 1GHz processor, 1GB of RAM (or 2GB for 64-bit), 16GB of storage (or 20GB for 64-bit), and a DirectX 9 graphics card with WDDM 1.0 support. But you won’t be able to take advantage of all the new features of Windows 8 without a few more specs, notes The Verge.

As with x86 machines, Windows 8 on ARM will let users choose either the new Metro design, which features tiles that update with new information, or revert to the current Windows design.

It’s mobile companion, Windows Phone 8, is expected to be available later this year with Skype fully integrated at the OS level.

Sprint released its first Windows Phone, the HTC Arrive, in March last year, but Qualcomm’s new MSM8960, a dual-core 1.5GHz system-on-chip, might enable both flavors of LTE on a “world phone”

Morgan Stanley analyst Mary Meeker previously predicted the shift to mobile (above). IDC predicts worldwide shipments of smartphones and media tablets will reach 284 million in 2010. In 2011, makers will ship 377 million of these devices, and in 2012, the number will reach 462 million shipments, exceeding PC shipments, says IDC.

Tablets at MWC 2012

At Mobile World Congress, Android 4.0 phones and Android tablets were popping out with Quadcore processors, LTE, 5″-23″ screen sizes, docks for phones and tablets, and innovative clamshell designs. Apple, the game changer, didn’t make an appearance. Their big iPad 3 event happens March 7th.

At MWC, Android tablets were chock-a-block:

  • NEC’s Medias W: It has two 4.3-inch screens and closes like a book — like Sony’s new tablet. It’s joined by a 4.3-inch Medias X (ultra slim and waterproof) and the Medias Z, a five-incher revealed in Japan last week.
  • Asus PadFone: A smartphone embedded in a tablet. The tablet works as a docking station for the phone. The 4.3″ phone is the brains of the tablet, as well as the communications infrastructure. That means that you only need one 4G account instead of two. There’s also a Bluetooth device that lets you use the phone while it’s inside the tablet.
  • Samsung’s 5″ Galaxy Note: The stylus-equipped mini tablet has been a surprising hit for Samsung. Now they’ve got competition.
  • LG’s Optimus Vu: A 5-inch screen with a 4:3 aspect ratio. This makes it a good e-reader, but a clumsy phone, given the width of the device.
  • BLU Products Studio 5.3: A less expensive competitor, which promises a lot but is hobbled by running Android 2.3. The BLU Studio 5.3 ($260) and BLU Touch Book 7.0 ($230). It’s powered by a MediaTek MT6573 800MHz single-core CPU and may be targeted at the South American market.
  • Panasonic’s Eluga Power: A 5-inch (1280 x 720) device running ICS on a 1.5GHz dual-core Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 CPU. It has NFC, an 8-megapixel camera, a front-facer for video calls, 8GB storage and a microSD slot.
  • Asus Transformer tablet: Asus started the trend in dockable tablets with the Tegra2 Transformer TF101. It’s expected to get Android 4.0 on March 1. The new Tegra 3 tablet is getting a partner, a lower priced Transformer Pad 300 tablet. No word yet on availability or pricing. Both will run Android 4.0 and feature Tegra3.
  • Acer Iconia Tab A700: Crams 1925 x 1200 pixels on to the screen for 1080p playback, with a Tegra3 processor. It’s 9.8mm wide but it is packs a punch.
  • Acer Iconia Tab A510: A compromise between the economic Iconia Tab A200 and flagship A700 Iconia Tab. It has a Tegra 3 with a more traditional 10.1-inch display capacitive touch 1,280 x 800 pixels (instead of a screen fullHD 1080p).
  • Galaxy 7.0″ Tab 2: Now with Android 4.0, and the same 1024 x 600 PLS TFT display, 3MP rear camera, 4,000mAh battery and dual-core setup.
  • Samsung’s Galaxy Note 10.1: An S-Pen toting variant of the similarly sized-and-named Galaxy Tab. It’s running Touchwiz-infused ICS on a 1.4GHz dual-core CPU with 1GB of RAM.
  • ViewSonic 10.1-inch dual-OS tablet. It operates both Windows and Google’s Android. The 7-inch ViewPad G70 — to be sold alongside the E70 — features Android 4.0, 1GB RAM, 4GB storage, microSD expansion, a two-megapixel imager and a 0.3-megapixel front-facing camera, a mini HDMI, micro-USB and mini-USB.
  • Snapdragon S4 PCs: Windows-on-ARM developers are getting PCs powered by Qualcomm’s Snapdragon S4 MSM8960 this week. The Snapdragon processor includes LTE, camera and sensor gear.
  • Ultrabook Touch from Acer, Asus and Lenovo: These tablets will be equipped with Windows 8 and will have a new design to better exploit the panel and touch gestures. Manufacturers are expected to launch ultrabook touch convertibles from July to August 2012.
  • ZTE’s PF 100: The Android 4.0.3 slate packs a Tegra 3 CPU and 10.1-inch 1280 x 800 display. All of the ports and hardware keys are relegated to the top edge of the device with slots for both SIM and microSD covered by a single flap.

Engadget, C/Net, Fierce Wireless, Laptop Mag, Phone Arena, Phone Scoop, Arm Devices, Mashable, Tech Radar, and The Verge have more.

Eric Schmidt: What’s Next

“Technology is a leveler. The weak will be made strong, and those with nothing will have something,” said Google Executive Chairman Eric Schmidt today at a Mobile World Congress keynote, sounding downright biblical, notes C/Net.

Schmidt spoke to a packed house of true believers and took questions for about half of his time on stage.

“Next year’s $100 phone is this year’s $400 phone,” he said. “Many people are working on [smartphones] in the $100 to $150 range. When you get to the $70 point you get to a huge new market,” especially because those phones are resold used for $20 or $30.

About 850,000 Android devices are activated every day, reaching a total of 300 million so far, and there are 450,000 apps in the Android Market, according to project leader Andy Rubin.

Schmidt is bullish on the growth. “Do the doubling every month, eventually it’ll be a trillion,” he said. “We need to produce more people.”

Schmidt was speaking at the “What’s Next in Consumer Electronics” event at the show. He was followed by Tim Baxter, president of sales and operations for Samsung of America, which is a major partner with Google in the smartphone and Google TV markets.

In Schmidt’s vision, societies will be split into three strata in the future. The privileged few, the hyper-connected, will have access to unlimited processing power and high-speed networks and use technologies like driverless cars.

Another group, less well connected, will form the new global middle class that use technologies like telepresence for work.

A third group will have no or only limited access to the Internet. This “aspiring majority,” as Schmidt calls them, will likely have some form of access to technology, but it will look different from what we expect today.

Schmidt warned of the dangers imposed by the regulation of the Internet and proclaimed that an interconnected world leaves little room for autocratic and dictatorial governments to hide. He cited the outpouring of support and communication during the Arab Spring, the earthquake in Japan and the violence in Syria as examples. “In times of war and suffering, it will be impossible to ignore the voices that cry out for help,” he said.

Schmidt said the controversial Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) would punish Web firms, including search engines, that link to foreign websites dedicated to online piracy. He said implementing the bill as written would effectively break the Internet.

The Google CEO said he’s not familiar enough with an alternate piracy bill, dubbed the OPEN Act, to offer an educated opinion on its impact.

That bill, sponsored by Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) and House Oversight Chairman Darrell Issa (R-Calif.),would rely on the International Trade Commission (ITC) to handle online copyright claims and stick to the “follow the money” approach Schmidt advocated, which would focus on forcing payment processors and online ad networks to cut ties with rogue websites.

In other news, Narus, a leader in real-time network traffic intelligence and analytics, today announced the results of its annual cyber security survey, sponsored jointly with Converge! Network Digest and Government Security News, as this year’s RSA Conference 2012 ramps up.

Critical infrastructures that support banking, finance, healthcare, utilities and government are just a few that are vulnerable to attack, and without them entire nations can be devastated, says Narus. Unprotected networks are literally inviting cyber mayhem, and the livelihood and security of the world’s citizens, according to Narus.

Cyber Crime and Cyber Terrorism pose increasing threats to economic activity and public infrastructure, says Glimmerglass, the leader in optical splitters for monitoring.

Their CyberSweep platform enables the dynamic selection of optical signal sources, the extraction of relevant data via security appliances, and the monitoring of actionable information.

According to The Wall Street Journal the the “lawful intercept” industry is a $5 billion business, developed mainly in Western nations such as the United States but sold all over the world with few restrictions.