Microsoft dumps Windows Mobile to unveil surprisingly awesome Windows Phone 7 Series

Posted by Simpur | Posted in , , | Posted on Wednesday, February 17, 2010


The annual Mobile World Congress in Barcelona has always been an avenue for mobile developers to showcase their new products, and as much as they've all tried to compete with Apple's iPhone - arguably the most popular phone in the past three years - they've usually failed. Until now.

Apple's desktop computer rival Microsoft on Monday officially waved goodbye to their arguably un-user-friendly Windows Mobile OS by unveiling a brand new, fresh operating system called the "Windows Phone 7 Series", which will appear on major phones towards the end of this year.

Windows Phone 7 is surprisingly different from what we're used to seeing from the usually boring, complicated interfaces that come from Microsoft. Gone are the hard-to-read tiny fonts - all of which have been replaced by beautiful, oversized text and graphics that flip, pan, scroll and zoom from screen to screen when you interact with them - producing a kind of cutting edge crispness that makes it look incredibly modern.

Animations aside, Windows Phone 7 features a very useful, and seemingly very usable interface that among others, provides the stuff that's important to you right on the Start screen - which can easily be customized with "live tiles".

Your contacts, photos, games and music are easily accessible, and perhaps more importantly now, you're easily connected to your social networks - the phone lets you view a real-time stream of updates from the likes of Facebook and Windows Live, and hopefully Twitter by the time it gets released.

Gamers too will welcome the phone's integration with Xbox Live where they'll be able to show off their achievements and gamer points for the games that they play on the phone, which will be tied back to the games on their Xbox 360.

Hardware-wise, Microsoft will be "taking more accountability" for people's experiences - a move that hopefully will prevent us from having to deal with Windows Mobile-like crappy experiences.

Unlike what they did with Windows Mobile, this time they've given phone hardware manufacturers a strict set of minimum requirements: a capacitive, multitouch screen with at least four points of touch, an accelerometer, a 5-megapixel camera, FM Radio, etc. There are even serious benchmarks that have to be met.

Microsoft have announced that they're working with Qualcomm, LG, Samsung, Garmin Asus, HTC, HP, Dell, Sony Ericsson and Toshiba, so expect some great phones from them come the end of the year.

Windows Phone 7 Series Features

Article: Gizmodo
Product Page: Windows Phone 7 Series

Google launches Twitter-ish, Facebook-ish 'Google Buzz'

Posted by Simpur | Posted in , , | Posted on Friday, February 12, 2010


The tech world was buzzing before Google's mysterious and bizarrely secret product unveiling event on Tuesday, with rumors that they'd be launching a Twitter-like product - and yes, they were spot on - in some ways.

If you're feeling overwhelmed with the different types of social networking sites, then get ready digest yet another one with Google Buzz - another way for people to tell other people what they're doing, thinking and feeling.

So what exactly is Google Buzz? After checking it out and playing around with it for ourselves, one way to describe it is that it's a Twitter-ish, Facebook-ish application, with a hint of Google Chat, built right into Gmail.

Gmail users can now write status updates (not limited to 140 characters like Twitter) that other users can see, which can include links videos (which can be watched inline) and photos (which can be scrolled through and viewed fast) too.

Buzz features automatic friend lists (friends who you've emailed on Gmail are added automatically) and public and private sharing (choose to only share with a few, or with the whole world).

A great feature is inbox integration - instead of emailing you with notifications like Facebook does, it features emails that update dynamically with content.

Buzz will also let you follow status updates from people that you always email and chat, but will also let you dismiss status updates that might be boring due to the small number of comments.

Google Buzz will appear as an option to about 1 percent of Gmail users first, but will roll out to all users over the course of the week.

Articles: The New York Times, Gizmodo
Product Page: Google Buzz

Breathe new life into old, ugly buildings with Tower Skins

Posted by Simpur | Posted in , | Posted on Wednesday, February 10, 2010


Architectural company LAVA believes old buildings can look good again with these Tower Skin concepts.

Acting like a 'transparent cocoon', Tower Skins are made from mesh textile and are capable of being lit up in the evening, transforming eye-sores to icons.

Tower Skins will also generate energy with the addition of photovoltaic cells, collect rain water, and even improve ventilation for the buildings.

Article: DesignBoom, Gizmodo
Product Page: LAVA

Transfer files onto SD Cards from your iPhone with ZoomIt

Posted by Simpur | Posted in , , , | Posted on Wednesday, February 10, 2010


This handy ZoomIt dongle is the first SD Card reader for the iPhone and iPod Touch, letting you load photos, music and other files onto them.

Used together with the ZoomIt application, the dongle connects via the iPhone / iPod Touch's dock connector.

The device, available in April, lets you easily increase the storage space of your iPhone by simply saving your movies and photos onto your SD Cards.

Articles: iLounge, Gizmodo
Product Page: ZoomIt

Bounce down from the top floor to the bottom of a building

Posted by Simpur | Posted in , | Posted on Tuesday, February 09, 2010


JDS Architects explores the possibility of bouncing from the top floor to the bottom of the Guggenheim Museum on a trampoline net.

Unfortunately for thrill-seeking visitors of the museum, it's just a concept idea, and is part of the "Contemplating the Void: Interventions in the Guggenheim Museum" exhibition, which explores different ideas to fill the open space in the middle of the building.

Now just imagine how fun (and probably dangerous) that would be!

Article: DesignBoom, Gizmodo

Check your weight while you're wiping your feet dry

Posted by Simpur | Posted in , , | Posted on Sunday, February 07, 2010


This red dot design award concept device lets you check your weight in the bathroom while you're wiping your feet dry, and also shows you how much weight you need to lose or gain until you've reached your ideal weight.

The 'Rug with Scale', created by designer Kwan Sunman, features a small red tag that illuminates your current weight, previous weight and goal weight. Your current weight will be saved until you weigh yourself again to let you track your progress.

Article: Yanko Design, Gizmodo
Product Page: Red Dot Online