Category: Gadgets

Gadgets startup creates futuristic mobile devices

This new company is coming up with products that you’d expect James Bond to carry.

A startup company called Thalmic Labs, from Waterloo, Ontario, Canada, has started taking pre-orders for some of its gadgets which have been described as futuristic and have been compared to the types of devices that 007 would be seen using in his movies.

Among the products receiving the most attention is the Myo armband that it has had available for pre-order for a few months.

This particular gadget from Thalmic Labs picks up the forearm muscles’ electrical activities – particularly the movements for the control of the wrist and fingers as they gesture and perform various tasks – in order to translate those signals into commands. Stephen Lake, the co-founder and CEO of Thalmic, said that the advantage of the Myo armband over motion capture devices – such as Kinect from Microsoft or the Leap Motion Controller – is that users are not required to wave their hands around in front of a camera.

This gadget requires a smaller amount of workspace and less dramatic movements.

Lake explained that when cameras are used by gadgets, they need a larger workspace in which to function, and they are able to detect only exaggerated movements, or on the other hand, require a very tiny workspace with the fine type of movements that exist only in areas such as surgery. But the Myo is capable of detecting large arm motions as well as more subtle gestures of the fingers, moreover the user is not required to remain in one place and face a single direction.

He stated that what the company is most interested in achieving in terms of the gadgets that it produces, “is the next evolution of smart devices–in getting away from sitting in front of a computer.”

At the moment, the applications for the Myo have to do with using the armband as a replacement for other types of controllers, such as to control a tool or weapon in a video game, to turn up the volume on a computer, or to flick the wrist in order to move to the next slide in a presentation. Lake also added that “We’ve also played with things like the Sphero robotic ball and a remote-controlled helicopter drone.”

Gadgets and mobile devices from Samsung halted at the border

An import ban has now been imposed on wireless products from the manufacturer by the U.S.

Samsung Electronics, from South Korea, has just lost a massive legal battle against one of its main rivals, Apple, over a case regarding a patent violation, following the order of a ban made by the International Trade Commission (ITC) against the import of its mobile gadgets into the United States.

This is only the most recent in a huge basket of patent infringement cases among the leaders in mobile.

The largest mobile gadget makers in the world have all been tied up in dozens of patent infringement suits against one another. In this particular case, Samsung was deemed to have been infringing on two patents that belonged to Apple. These patents had to do with the headphones and the technology for the touch screens.

When the final verdict was made in Apple’s favor, it meant mobile gadgets violating the patents had to stop coming into the country.

U.S. Border and Samsung gadgetsThis means that Samsung mobile gadgets that use the touch screen technology and the headphones that are involved in the patent violate can no longer be imported, distributed, or sold in the United States. This doesn’t meant that all of the devices made by the company cannot be sold, but it does involve all of those found to be in violation of the patent.

At the moment, it is not yet known exactly how many gadgets from Samsung will be affected by this ban. The orders, themselves, have been sent to the desk of President Obama in order to receive his review. If he does not choose to veto the bans, then they will be put into effect and Samsung will be out of luck.

There are a number of different patent cases that remain pending between Samsung and Apple in several countries, as both of these companies work to broaden their market share in the sector of electronics and mobile devices and gadgets. These brutal battles have been going on for years and are expected to continue, if not worsen, along with the growth in popularity and complexity of the technologies.