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Apple iPhone 7 -This much we know

Apple iPhone 7 -This much we know

They've done it again haven't they. They've graced the world with another spectacular example of design, except as always, it's more than just that. Never have Apple made an announcement which hasn't been exciting, and that's part of the joy of their work, the hype, the anticipation, the big reveal. 

As per, the rumours regarding this announcement have been gaining traction for months... though basically it's been since the last Apple iPhone launch. We heard that the new iPhone will come in a few different colours, and blue would be one of them - they were wrong about the blue, and i'm glad, because i'm way too excited about the double black versions that have been announced. We heard that the headphone jack would become obsolete - they were right and there's these super sleek looking AirPods taking their place (though in the box there will be lightening connection headphones). We heard that the screen would stretch around corners - they weren't right (but for that one, personally i'm glad). 

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Let's clear up a few of the other rumours and see if they were correct - 

Waterproof - 👍🏻

Dual 12MP cameras on the plus - 👍🏻

Increased storage models - 👍🏻

Replacement of home button - 👍🏻

Plus sized version - 👍🏻

Stereo speakers - 👍🏻

3D screen - 👎🏻

Longest battery life ever - 👍🏻

I've never been disappointed with an iPhone launch, but I have felt slightly underwhelmed in the past, and even as a complete Apple user, I have even been tempted to leave and try something new, but they always manage to reel me back in! I've got high hopes for this new camera technology, i'm impressed by their claims and I want to try it out! There's a few new features, including the waterproofness and the stereo speakers which has made this an exciting launch. 

iOS 10 definitely does not disappoint. Much the opposite. It's bigger, bolder and more exciting than ever. 

Just a few things to look forward to - 

  • Send a message in your own handwriting
  • Hide a message that can be swiped to reveal it
  • Send a 'reaction' back to a message
  • Draw over videos and pictures
  • Replace words with emojis 
  • Make table reservations through OpenTable or book an Uber all through Maps
  • Control your smart tech with the new Home app
  • Raise your phone to wake it
  • Apple pay in browser

Thanks Apple, you've given us lots to look forward to and it's exciting to see where the developments lead.

The new iPhone will be released on September 16th and you can pre-order on the 9th.

Tweet us and let us know what features you're most excited about. 

Written by 

Katherine Thomson 

 

Happy New Year

Happy New Year

It’s 2016, the future is here.

It doesn’t feel like it though does it?  It’s just a regular day! It’s the first Monday back and the UK is back behind their desks, catching up on the Christmas emails and asking their co-workers how their break was.

One question, which crops up a lot, is ‘did you make a New Years resolution?’ and about 80% of the time, the answer is yes. The most startling realization is that only 8% of people actually achieve their resolution. The truth is, that 2016 is just a continuation of 2015, the days of the week continue the same, and the clock still ticks on and nothing has changed except the date, however it’s the feeling of a new year which promotes this feeling of a ‘new you’. The New Year feels like a catalyst for change, and although it’s just another day, it feels like the start of something.

How do we possibly join the elite 8%? These 8% of people are so motivated and so committed to their goals and I too want to be able to share in the sense of satisfaction and achievement that they feel at the end of a year!

The trick to sticking to these resolutions are apparently as follows –

1.    Define your goal

2.    Track your progress

3.    Be patience and persistent

4.    Tell people about them (to get support)

Whether you’re trying to lose weight, get in shape, further your career, quit smoking, drink less alcohol, eat healthier, travel more, save more money, be more organised, spend more time with family, learn a new language, take an evening class, get out of debt or spend some of your time volunteering, those four rules above can be applied to all!  

Technology can play a big role in helping us to stick to our goals as there are apps out there which can help us achieve the goals which we’ve set for ourselves. Here’s some examples for you which might help you become part of the 8%.

Want to lose weight? Why not track your calorie intake and exercise using ‘MyFitnessPal’. Want to drink less alcohol? Try the ‘Drinkaware’ app and calculate your units. Become more organised? Perhaps try ‘Timeful’.  Save more money -  ‘Spending Tracker’. The digital world is designed to aid us and enhance our lives and we should take full advantage.

We wish all of you a prosperous and happy 2016. 

 

Written by

Katherine Thomson

What can we expect to see in 2016?

What can we expect to see in 2016?

1 – Mobile Shopping via TV and connected devices

 

This year, we saw Amazons Dash buttons capable of ordering household favourites at the touch of a button when connected to the users Prime account through an app. The device works by instantly placing an order and sending an order confirmation to your phone so that you don’t have to go to the hassle of logging in, finding your product and ordering it. Some would argue this is sheer laziness, and others would argue that it has been made with convenience in mind. Which ever is closer to your view, this kind of shopping shows no slowing down in 2016 and in fact, it seems like it will increase! Programmatic video is probably going to bring mobile shopping to TV, from customised ad experiences to being able to watch your shows and purchase outfits that the characters are wearing or products that they’re using.

 

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2 – Hyperloop

 

Elon Musk unveiled in 2013 that he had been working on a design for a Hyperloop solar-powered supersonic pod-train, capable of accelerating to 335mph in as little as 2 seconds. In Summer2013, it seemed like some sort of futuristic dream, but fast-forward a mere 2 and a half years and Musk has announced plans to start work on an open-air test site in Nevada. The aim for 2016 is that the 2-mile long tube track will levitate a pod and accelerate it to over 700mph.

 

3 – Batteries

 

This might not sound like the most exciting development, but when you take in to consideration that we use batteries in some form every day, this could have a big impact! In particular I want to talk about Sodium-ion batteries and foam batteries. Sodium-ion batteries that use salt have been used in laptops following the creation of a prototype by French network, RS2E. The battery is one that would be suitable for use in electric cars as well as laptops and the 6.5cm battery can manage 90 watt-hours per kilogram. The other exciting development comes from Prieto who is the first company to develop a battery, which uses a copper foam substrate. There are multiple benefits to these batteries including their longer battery life, faster charging ability and safety, which is due to having no flammable electrolytes. There’s a good chance we will see these developments in 2016, but if not, they’re not far away!

 

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4 – Drone Delivery


Amazon have already announced ‘Amazon Prime Air’, which is a new delivery system designed to get packages to customers within 30 minutes using unmanned aerial drones. This form of delivery has not been done before and if implemented will change our expectations of ordering online forever. This isn’t something, which is going to happen overnight. The testing for Amazon Air has already begun in the UK, USA and Israel, but more development is required and this will not launch until all safety features are 100% complete. Amazon is not the only company interested in developing this feature; Google, Alibaba and others including a burrito company are also experimenting with this form of delivery. The initial deliveries to be made via this method will be of low value due to the delivery from the drone to the ground…


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5 – Smart Clothes

 

Yep, that’s right, Smart clothes. Let’s look at Project Jacquard for instance; this is an exciting and rapidly developing project. We live in an increasingly interactive world, and there are many items, which have remained the same for hundreds of years, such as clothing. Sure, the styles change, the colours vary and the materials fall out of fashion, but the overall principle stays the same. Project Jacquard changes that and makes it possible to weave interactivity into any textile using standard industrial looms. These new conductive yarns have been created in collaboration with industry partners and combine thin, metallic alloys with natural and synthetic yarns. The end result of doing this is to create garments, which have gesture sensitive areas or sensor grids, which can create interactive surfaces. The electronic components are engineered to be as discreet as possible, and intend to be no larger than a button and make it possible to capture the gesture data to wirelessly transmit to mobile phones or other devices. This is a very exciting step for developers, designers, and consumers and adds a whole new level to the connected world. 

Written by

Katherine Thomson

The world of Virtual Reality

The world of Virtual Reality

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Google gave a glimpse into virtual reality when they gave away ‘Cardboard’ at a conference in 2014. Stunned by the simplicity of the giveaway, people assumed it to be a joke. Were they mocking VR giant 'Oculus', or pulling a prank on attendees who were expecting something more along the lines of a free smartwatch? The reality was that Google had just equipped everyone in that room with a device, which would turn their smartphones into a DIY, low-cost virtual reality headset.

Virtual Reality is meant to be a big game changer, likely to have influence over film, gaming, travel, communication and education. VR technology feels very futuristic currently but the era has already begun developing and shows no sign of slowing down. People who try Google Cardboard are never disappointed, and even such a simplistic device, seems to prove to skeptics that Virtual Reality is on the way, and it really will be as good as it says it is going to be.

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Here in the G2 office, we have a couple of Google Cardboard headsets kicking about; the pretty basic app features are amusing enough when taking a virtual tour of museum artifacts or Google street view but are not overly impressive and the novelty soon wears off. That is, until now. If you were feeling underwhelmed by the Cardboard apps, then fear not, as things have started to get a lot more exciting indeed. 

In early November, Google announced that you won’t only be able to use your phone to view the specific VR content, but also YouTube content in new theatre mode. There are so many new free VR offerings out there, which make Google Cardboard much more exciting, it’s just a case of finding them. Available already, are a selection of apps designed to make you feel like you’re walking with dinosaurs, at a theme park, on a rollercoaster or travelling through space. My personal favorite is the Insidious VR app as it is almost like being in a game where you travel through different levels, however it can get pretty scary when you’re on your own with your headphones in.

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Content developers are taking this technology to new levels, allowing users to get up close and personal with Paul McCartney performing Live and Let die in full immersive 3D sound and a 360 degree camera rig or taking a glimpse into the world of watchable VR with developer VRSE who are offering a growing amount of content ranging from on set experiences to documentary material.

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With Oculus Rift expected to launch in 2016, we’ve had a glimpse into the world of Virtual Reality, and it’s likely to live up to expectations. Google Cardboard has allowed the world to see what can be possible with £10 and a smartphone, so imagine what is going to come next!

 

 

 

 

Written by

Katherine Thomson 

 

Welcome to the Future

Welcome to the Future

It’s the 21st of October 2015, which might just sound like a regular day to most, but I’m here to tell you, that it’s not!

Today is ‘Back to the Future Day’!

In Back to the Future II, the Doc and Marty crash into the future on this very day, (at 4.29pm if we’re being precise).

Let’s take a look at what they got right and what they got very wrong!

 

-       Fashion

Okay, so in BTTF 2015, Marty McFly is wearing a self-drying jacket, self-lacing trainers and jeans with the pockets pulled out, but if you look past those tech features, (10/10 for channeling wearables though), his bomber jacket is actually pretty on trend (if you ignore the fact that it comes with an inbuilt hairdryer). The trainers, although self-lacing, are not dissimilar to a pair of Kanye West’s Adidas high top Yeezy Boosts and Nike filed a patent for the automatic lacing system in 2009.

-       Transport

"Where we're going, we don't need roads..." Well, not quite, we don’t have flying cars just yet. Though there were some predictions, which weren’t too far from our reality. Vertical takeoffs aren’t the norm, and we don’t throw our rubbish into a car’s ‘Mr Fusion Energy Converter’ to create fuel but converting waste into power for vehicles isn’t completely unheard of. In Bristol and Bath, efforts have been made to power busses with treated waste from sewage and food.

Another similarity is when Biff pays for his taxi fare using his thumbprint, which isn’t too dissimilar to how we pay for things now, with cashless touch paying systems like contactless and Apple pay.

We don't have hover boards though, which I personally think is a huge disappointment. But we do have smart balancing electric scooters, so it's swings and roundabouts I guess. 

-       Jaws 19

Thankfully, they’ve not made 19 Jaws films. That’s all there is to say about that, just be happy about that one. 

-       Technology

Throughout the film, almost every character uses some high tech specs, which can take photos, access an information database and magnify objects. Google glass, which is going through a bit of a reinvention right now, has the ability to display data from the Internet to the viewer through natural language voice commands, take photos and record HD video. 

When it comes to home entertainment, BTTF was closer to the mark. The roll-up flat screen shown in McFlys home is similar to the flexible panels LG showed off at CES this year, and voice controlled televisions are a reality thanks to Smart TV’s and Amazon and Apple boxes. 

BTTF didn’t give a fully accurate prediction of the future, there are some similarities and many differences, though non of that really matters when you consider how excited everybody is about it today.

What a time to be alive. 

Written by

Katherine Thomson