‘OK Google’ Now Available on Chrome Desktop

Google Voice Search now works in Chrome for desktop , not only just in Android and iOS.

Now you can bypass the microphone icon. Just use the hotword “OK Google” when you’re using Google search. You need to install this extension first.

Chrome will listen for you to say “Ok Google” and then send the sound of the next thing you say, plus a few seconds before, to Google. By default, Google stops listening after 5 minutes to reduce battery consumption on a laptop.

Here’s Google Now vs. Siri: The rematch.

Apple TD-LTE Phones to China Mobile

China Mobile will be the first carrier to offer 4G LTE in China on Dec. 18, followed by China Unicom and China Telecom, bringing the most advanced telecommunications technology to the country’s more than 1 billion mobile users. The news was confirmed by Xinhua, the Chinese government’s official mouthpiece, reports TechCrunch.

The TD-LTE standard is used by China Mobile, the world’s largest mobile carrier with 760 million subscribers. China Mobile said in April that about a quarter of the (USD $30 billion) it will spend on its networks has been earmarked for TD-LTE.

Apple and China Mobile will likely launch their TD-LTE phone on December 18 and may enjoy a significant boost in sales by offering iPhones that support TD-LTE. But low cost of 4G phones, according to Li Yue, China Mobile’s president, are expected to be priced below 1,000 yuan (US$162) and will appear in the second half of next year.

The frequency bands used by TD-LTE are 3.4–3.6 GHz in Australia and UK, 2.57−2.62 GHz in the US and China, 2.545-2.575 GHz in Japan, and 2.3–2.4 GHz in India and Australia. The technology supports scalable channel bandwidth, between 1.4 and 20 MHz. A typical range is up to 200 metres (660 ft) indoors on a 2.57–2.62 GHz radio frequency link, according to Wikipedia.

China plans to complete broadband coverage in both its urban and rural areas by 2020. China Daily reports the strategy aims at rolling out Wi-Fi coverage in key public urban areas by 2013 and fixed broadband coverage for half of Chinese households by 2015.

Qualcomm supplies chips to the likes of Huawei, Lenovo and ZTE in China. Qualcomm reports that customers in China generated 49 percent, or $12.3 billion, of its total consolidated revenue for fiscal 2013 through the end of September.

China has started an anti-monopoly probe against Qualcomm, according to the company. Analysts say the investigation could be an attempt to slow Qualcomm’s business in the world’s largest smartphone market. Neither Motorola’s Moto G nor Moto X are sold in China, a result of the Chinese government’s ban on Google services, which flow into its phones.

Broadcom, Marvell and Intel all claim that they’re well positioned to be the No. 2 player in LTE modems. Intel claims that its XMM 7260 modem will handle TDD-LTE and FDD-LTE, as well as TD-SCDMA support, in first half of 2014. But Qualcomm is still the most comprehensive “one-stop-shop” for mobile apps processors and modems.

Related Dailywireless articles include; Ericsson Wins Big China Mobile TD-LTE Contract, China Mobile Getting iPhones?, China Mobile Awards Initial TD-LTE Contracts, TD-LTE Hits the China Fan, The Next Trillion, Bharti Airtel Activates TD-LTE in India, LTE-Advanced: Upsetting the Apple Cart?, China: 1 Billion Mobile Activations, India: HSPA King by 2016, India’s Broadband Auction: It’s Done,

HomePlug Gets A Standard

The HomePlug Alliance, the worldwide industry group for powerline communications networking, today congratulated the industry on approval of the IEEE 1901.2 Standard for Low-Frequency Narrow-Band Powerline Communications.

HomePlug is the family name for various power line communications specifications that support networking over existing home electrical wiring. The HomePlug Powerline Alliance is a certifying body for IEEE 1901 products.

Certified products that meet the new 1901.2 standard can interoperate and use existing transformers in the electricity distribution network. They use frequencies below 500 kHz, and support data rates up to 500 kbps.

The HomePlug standard doesn’t use wireless transmission. It uses RF over wires, similar to cable TV (but slower). The tricky bit has been getting the signal through transformers and agreement on a standard.

HomePlug’s OFDM technology can turn off any sub-carriers that overlap previously allocated radio spectrum in a given geographic region, thus preventing interference. The technology is also said to facilitate communication privacy and secure networks, and enables IPv6 Smart Grid solutions with a new benchmark of performance and reliability.

As the certification and marketing program for the 1901.2 standard, the Netricity program will leverage HomePlug Alliance’s certified powerline networking products. Customers such as utilities and energy companies will benefit from having a broad interoperable product portfolio to choose from.

Finalization of this global standard is a major milestone for low-frequency narrow-band powerline networking, as it will bring unification for applications in long-range powerline networking for outside-the-home, smart meter-to-grid, and industrial controls.

GPS Tracking for Kids

A Swedish-based startup has launched Trax: GPS Tracker for Children & Pets, a smart device and application that lets users locate their children and pets. Trax combines GPS and sensor fusion technology to provide indoor navigation capabilities with more precise, real-time outdoor tracking.

The waterproof Trax tracker sends push alerts when a child or pet leaves a designated area, the battery is low or the device is dropped or exceeds a pre-determined speed.

The Trax GPS tracker can be located through a free Apple or Android App that features real-time tracking, safe zones, and augmented reality.

The App also gives others access to Trax GPS tracker during a specific period of time, for example when a dog is with a dog walker or when a child is with a nanny.

They are partnering with Telenor Connexion to bring the Trax GPS tracker to over 30 countries in 2013, including the UK, France, Germany, Spain, Benelux and the Nordics. Trax will launch in additional countries in 2014. Trax is available for €199 (£169), which includes two years of data and free roaming in over 30 countries.

Several new devices use GPS, Wi-Fi and other location-tracking technology to allow tracking of kids, pets or other things.

A watch from Filip Technologies tracks a child’s location and lets him or her get voice calls from up to 5 people authorized by the parent. It can be linked to apps on a parent’s phone. The watch also has a red panic button that children can push if they suddenly become separated from their parents in a crowd.

StickNFind is a Kickstarter project that uses your phone and a small tag to find lost items, using Bluetooth. Stick-N-Find stickers, about the size of a quarter, have a buzzer and light, so that you can find stuff also in the dark. Stick-N-Find Stickers have a Range of about 100 Feet, with a Battery that lasts for over a year.

StickNFind is now promoting their BluTracker, a “StickNFind on steroids,” according to its creator.

The BluTracker has a range of over 2500 feet, has a rechargeable battery that lasts two months, and there are no service fees (since it uses Bluetooth). It works with free iPhone and Android Apps.

BluTracker adds GPS and more power, for more range. The water-resistant device uses a Bluetooth module and WiFi to boost the range, along with GPS for providing realtime location information.

On Google Maps you will see yourself as a blue dot and BluTracker as a red dot. You can also draw a circle to create a Virtual Fence around you. Any time the BluTraker moves outside this Virtual Fence, your phone will alert you.

It requires Bluetooth 4.0 (found on iPhone 4s, iPhone 5, new iPad, New Touch, mini iPad) and Android devices supporting Bluetooth Low Energy, running Android 4.0 and newer.

Tile sells for $18.95 each in a KickerStarter-style pre-order system. The price will jump to $25 dollars when it officially goes on sale in Spring of 2014. One of the cool features includes a crowdsourced search that enlists the help of others to retrieve items that have been lost or stolen. Battery life is about a year.

The $25 Proximo Starter Kit includes a key FOB and a Tag so you can track your iPhone, keys, and one additional item.

Texas Instruments has a new Android 4.3 app that enables anyone to create Bluetooth LE-powered sensor applications.

Related Dailywireless articles include; Bluetooth Tracker, Nike+ Accelerator Program for Startups, Bluetooth LE: Running for Certification, Real-time Running and Biking Apps, Bluetooth Bike and Fitness Sensors Get Smart , Polar Ships Bluetooth 4 Heart Monitor, HTC One S: Android 4 & Bluetooth Low Energy and FCC Okays Medical Body Networks,

Blimp In A Box

Lighter Than Air Systems, a wholly owned subsidiary of World Surveillance Group, a developer of lighter-than-air aerostats, has entered into a distributor agreement with U.S. Government prime contractor ADS, to distribute Blimp in a Box aerostat systems and related sustainment equipment.

ADS is in the business of selling operational and tactical equipment to or for use by customers such as the United States Government and and other non commercial customers. ADS customers include the U.S. military, Federal agencies, defense contractors, law enforcement & public safety, foreign military and governments.

Lighter Than Air Systems, developed and manufactures the BiB aerostat. They are intended to provide semi-persistent surveillance and intelligence.

Each BiB system can provide low cost, mobile ISR for days, weeks or months with the BiB only requiring a 15 minute recovery and re-launch between top-off every 24-36 hours.

ExactEarth Launches 5th AIS Satellite

ExactEarth, a provider of satellite AIS data services for vessel tracking, announced the successful launch of another AIS satellite that will extend its constellation and increase the capacity of its global vessel monitoring service.

The spacecraft, built by SpaceQuest of Fairfax, Virginia, was launched from Russia last Thursday aboard a Dnepr rocket. The addition of this spacecraft will increase the exactEarth constellation to five satellites and improve exactEarth’s AIS message detection performance from space. ExactEarth is based in Cambridge, Ontario.

“The satellite is performing to expectations and we are confident of quickly bringing the asset into operational use,” said Philip Miller, VP of Operations and Engineering at exactEarth.

Automatic Identification System is an automatic tracking system used on ships. It sends GPS, heading and vessel ID to nearby VHF radio towers. When satellites are used to detect AIS signatures, vessels can be tracked in the open ocean, beyond the reach of traditional VHF radio towers.

ORBCOMM’s Next Generation – OG2 satellite is launching 18 OG2 satellites on a SpaceX Falcon 9, in December and early 2014. Sierra Nevada Corporation (SNC) is building 18 OG2 satellites, with an option to purchase up to 30 additional satellites to augment and upgrade Orbcomm’s existing satellite constellation.

Orbcomm’s 27 current-generation satellites operate for the most part in an 825-kilometer orbit inclined 45 degrees relative to the equator. The second generation will be placed into a 52 degree inclination, an orbit that gives better coverage of northern latitudes to enhance Orbcomm’s AIS maritime coverage.

Each OG2 satellite will be equipped with an enhanced communications payload designed to increase subscriber capacity by up to 12 times over the current Orbcomm satellites. In addition, all OG2 satellites will be designed with Automatic Identification System (AIS) payloads to receive and report transmissions from AIS-equipped maritime vessels.

The current Iridium satellite constellation consists of 66 active satellites and additional spare satellites in case of failure. Each satellite can have four inter-satellite links: two to neighbors fore and aft in the same orbital plane, and two to satellites in neighboring planes to either side.

Iridium NEXT, their second-generation platform, is expected to launch beginning in 2015. It will also consist of 66 satellites, with six in-orbit and nine on-ground spares.

Iridium NEXT will host payloads. Space is now fully allocated to two entities, Aireon for its space-based aircraft surveillance application and Harris Corporation for additional auxiliary payloads. Customers can use a whole satellite’s payload capacity, or just share that capacity with other applications and customers that Iridium brings together.


Satellites purchased under the Iridium Prime program would fly in the same 700-kilometer orbit as the Iridium Next constellation, thereby profiting from Iridium’s intersatellite links and ground infrastructure, explains SpaceNews.

Thales Alenia Space is leading the design and construction of the satellites for the Iridium NEXT constellation and will partner with Iridium to provide and produce a new satellite bus for Iridium PRIME, maintaining the inter-satellite crosslink functionality and the ability to fly within the NEXT constellation.

Aireon will use the Iridium NEXT hosted payload space to develop the world’s first space-based global aviation monitoring system.

ADS-B will be replacing radar as the primary surveillance method for controlling aircraft worldwide. Enabled by Harris’ 81 space-qualified ADS-B receivers, the system relies on two avionics components—a GPS navigation source and a datalink (ADS-B unit). This allows controllers to guide aircraft into and out of crowded airspace with smaller separation standards than it was previously possible.

In related AIS news, small, lightweight JIB antennas from Northrop Grumman’s Astro Aerospace will help provide Canada’s three RADARSAT Constellation Mission satellites planned for launch in 2018, as part of an Automated Identification System. The new RADARSAT Constellation is being designed for three main uses: Maritime surveillance, Disaster management, and Ecosystem monitoring.

In other space news, SES and SpaceX have announced that the Falcon 9 mission to launch the SES-8 satellite has been delayed to November 28. SES-8, with up to 33 Ku-band transponders, will be co-located with NSS-6 at the orbital location of 95 degrees East to provide growth capacity over Asia-Pacific.

Related DailyWireless stories include; Orbcomm: World’s Largest Container Tracker, ExactEarth Launches AIS Satellite, Space-Based Vessel Tracking, AIS Space Race, Orbcomm’s Space-based AIS Fails, Hackerspace Satellite, Shipboard AIS Fused with Radar, Small Satellite Conference Celebrates 25 Years, Arctic Technology, Tracking Roz, the Ocean Rower, Geosync Spies