Ben Logan

Ben Logan
14 October 2013

Following from the success of their beta testing mode for the Android application earlier this year which saw users drafted in as usability guinea pigs to try out experimental features that could become a part of the final release, Facebook is now set to ask the public to take part in a much earlier testing phase. Facebook announced their new Android alpha testing programme in a recent blog. Christian Legnitto, Mobile Release Engineering lead at Facebook, commented: “We started out with beta as we knew it would be a good balance between testing and usability, but we’d love to get…

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Ben Logan
10 October 2013

3D viewing is yet to make the impact on home entertainment that many predicted, but the Disney Company have had another big idea in the evolution of television with the development of Texture TV. Technology developed by researchers at Disney is said to simulate textures on a flat screen and bring the images to life. The texture effect is accomplished by applying an electrical field across a flat screen, which creates friction through electrostatic forces on the skin when a finger is dragged across it. Disney Research Interaction Group Director, Ivan Poupyrev, explained further: “Our brain perceives the 3D bump…

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Ben Logan
8 October 2013

Having already pioneered gesture-based user interfaces with the Windows 8 in 2012, Elliptic is new set to release several Android models with this type of UI in the second half of 2014. The technology uses ultrasound, which is considered superior because a user doesn’t have to be as close to the ultrasonic sensor as an infrared one. It brings a number of advantages compared to existing touchless or hands-free interfaces – for one, ultrasonic sensors permit 3D interaction with smartphones as well as touchless interfaces. Secondly, ultrasonic sensors are better than webcams because they can control the interface without a…

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Ben Logan
2 October 2013

NASA is gearing up to launch a 3D printer into space next year – a move that could very much establish a significant change in how space flight is approached and undertaken. Rather than having to load up with a large supply of tools and spare parts, as well as in extreme cases having to abort missions due to missing equipment, a 3D printer would serve as a factory in space that can reproduce an infinite amount of crucial objects. Dave Korsmeyer, Director of Engineering at NASA’s Ames Research Centre, commented: “If you want to be adaptable, you have to…

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Ben Logan
1 October 2013

The sharpness of the iOS 7 screen and the motion of its icons are being blamed for cases of motion sickness amongst certain users of Apple’s new operating system. Headaches, nausea and vertigo are being reported on Apple’s support website from users who have upgraded to iOS 7, which includes dynamic backgrounds and animations that were not present on previous versions of the software. All the icons displayed on screen are constantly in motion, albeit in a subtle fashion, but this movement against the background is being blamed by experts for causing the vertigo effect, as well as the zoom…

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Ben Logan
27 September 2013

This week’s launch of Samsung’s new smartwatch, called the Galaxy Gear, unfortunately seems to have failed to live up to the expectations of many consumers. Having gone on sale this week in over 1000 territories, the smartwatch device is currently only compatible with the Galaxy Note 3 and Galaxy Note 10.1, while support for the S4 is due within the next month. Curiously, an unnamed company spokesman has been reported as saying that “We’ve acknowledged that our Gear lacks something special. With more investment for user interface and user experience, Samsung devices will be better in terms of customer satisfaction.”…

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