By Deneb R. Batucan and Patricia May P. Catan
OUR world is constantly emerging and continuously driven by technology that brings about a renewed and transformed world dubbed as the digital age. This virtual environment allows us to connect and communicate worldwide paving way for learnings and opportunities through the use of digital devices.
This new digital world that co-exists with the human world is forever innovative, thus providing a digital platform that enables man and technology to work hand-in-hand in this current era. With the ever-evolving digital world, SunStar Weekend has rounded up upcoming innovations that will later change the virtual scene.
Android Wear 2.0
Google divulged its second installment of its wearable operating system, Android Wear, last February 8, 2017 and has been released to manufacturers in February 15, although tests has to be made before the companies could send the OS as an update for existing devices, which is why some devices still doesn’t have the upgrade.
Android Wear 2.0 now has Google Assistant, which means your smartwatch can now respond to an “OK Google” command. Making reservations, weather reports can be done hands-free and you can also connect Assistant to certain smart home devices. Turning off the lights at home would be a lot more exciting great feature for Android Wear 2.0 feature is the introduction of complications. In traditional watch-making, a complication is an added feature on the watch face that gives added information besides hours and minutes. This means that with Android 2.0, fitness and music—data from companies like Fitbit or Spotify—or knowing when your next appointment is or stock price updates will be integrated on your watch face.
The notifications will also get a new look too. With the new upgrade, notifications will now come in small icons, which can be tapped open to expand. Aside from that, Google has now made standalone apps for Android Wear, which also means there will be a standalone Android Wear Play Store.
The upgrade would be available for Asus (Asus ZenWatch 2, Asus ZenWatch 3), Casio (Casio WSD F10), Fossil (Fossil Q Founder, Fossil Q Wander, Fossil Q Marshal), Huawei (Huawei Watch, Huawei Watch Ladies), LG (LG G Watch R, LG G Watch Urbane 1st gen, LG G Watch Urban 2nd gen), Michael Kors (Access Bradshaw Smartwatch), Motorola (Moto 360 2, Moto 360 Sport), New Balance (RunIQ), Nixon (Nixon Mission), Polar (Polar M600), and TAG Hueur (Connected).
Samsung Galaxy Note 8
It’s bigger and definitely better. The Galaxy Note8 boasts of its design and S Pen which creates a bigger picture and allows the user to communicate in a whole new way. With its 6.3” screen, the largest ever screen on a Note device, there is more space to do great things right in the palm of one’s hand. The Infinity Display that’s larger than life will reinvent the way one communicates with the help of the S Pen. It will give one the freedom to express himself in ways that make a difference.
As if those mentioned are not alluring enough, Galaxy Note8’s camera won’t be the last to show off its new and improved features. The Galaxy Note8’s dual camera has a wide-angle camera that produces crisp photos even in low light while the telephoto camera gives one two times the optical zoom to capture the near and far. Overall, with the Galaxy Note8 in one’s hand, bigger things are just waiting to happen.
Samsung Foldable Smartphone
Now this would be a very cool gadget. Imagine having a tablet-sized screen that could be folded to smartphone size. The Korean company has been on track to creating its first foldable display, which has been called the Galaxy X. There have been rumors for its limited release in the second half of 2017 for the company to test the waters for its newest and, without a doubt, the coolest design, but the actual release date is yet to be determined.
The foldable phone is described to have two OLED display panels with a hinge in the middle. Other companies like Lenovo, Oppo, and JDI have also made progress in making dual-screen and foldable smartphones, yet not one has been release commercially. Samsung has high hopes to beat its competition and be the first to release a foldable smartphone. It’s definitely something worth looking out for.
This year marks the 10th anniversary of iPhone and to celebrate this momentous occasion, Apple has something major planned. Adding to its roster of high quality smartphones, the iPhone 8 is set to launch this month. With an abundance of rumors circulating around, this new iPhone is definitely going to exceed expectations. The iPhone 8 is expected to feature a radical redesign. Its edge-to-edge display will do away with the top and bottom bezels where features such as the Touch ID fingerprint sensor and the front-facing camera are housed. Instead, rumors suggest that the Touch ID could be eliminated entirely and be replaced by facial recognition technology.
As for the body, Apple is finally moving away from the aluminum frame and is adopting a glass body similar to the body that was used for the iPhone 4. The glass will be built around a polished stainless-steel frame that’s similar in design to the Apple Watch. The iPhone 8 is also expected to be water resistant, its front-facing camera will include advanced 3D sensing capabilities with a vertical rear camera for improved pictures and better AR functionality.
HTC Vive 2
While it had a tricky start since the first generation first launched it, HTC Vive has had great reviews with its accurate room-scale tracking technology and motion controllers that offers a unique spin with the virtual reality experience. It has been in the market since last year, and HTC is set to have an upgrade late this year or early in 2018.
With Vive 2, it is expected that there will be improved based stations. In the current system, it uses two rotors that sweep lasers in the play area and pick up the headset and other peripherals. The lasers are used to gauge the relative position in the physical space, which allows room-scale tracking. With the new Vive 2, it will have a much simpler design, using only a single rotor, but will the same level of accuracy.
The Vive 2 controllers are getting a revamp as well as they are equipped with a strap that attaches the controller to the user’s wrists and allows a complete let go of the grips to simulate “dropping” a virtual object. It will come in handy also to rest your hands when controllers aren’t required.
Xbox One X Project
Every gamer who assesses performance above all else would want to pre order this limited edition Xbox One X. The Project Scorpio edition is not at all unlike the Xbox One X, and it doesn’t cost more either. But fans who have followed the console since the beginning would love the engraved codename, Project Scorpio, at the front of the console and on its matching controller. It also comes in a matte black with subtle grid pattern (even the controller’s buttons are blacked out), instead of the space gray that the Xbox One X comes in. Supplies are, of course, limited so it’s on the first-to-get basis.
Now for the specs. Xbox One X is said to defy the standards of the gaming console with an ultra-powerful GPU in its slim plastic shell. It will pack six teraflops of graphical performance. Its GPU is 4.6 times more powerful than the original Xbox One.