Wednesday, April 20, 2011

New Trimentional app turns iPhone into a 3D scanner

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Here’s one we missed last week: Georgia Tech Research Scientist Grant Schindler has turned an iPhone (or iPad 2 or new iPod touch) into a 3D scanner.

The concept is relatively simple. The subject or object is photographed in a dark room with light from different part of the iOS device’s screen. Those images are sewn together to form the image in 3D. From there, you can either email a movie of the subject or print it out on a 3D printer.

“There are professional, $40,000 3-D scanners out there; this won’t perform like those do, but for anything under $100, this is your best bet,” added Schindler.





*thanks 9to5Mac*

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Real Racing 2 HD with native 1080p output now available through Apple HDMI mirror cable

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As developer Firemint promised a month ago, racing game Real Racing 2 HD is now live on the App Store with support for real 1080p video output that lets you enjoy action on your big screen in native 1920-by-1080 pixel resolution, without upscaling. It’s a first for iPad 2 and a testament to the power of the A5 chip. TouchArchade got a chance to test out this feature and they walked away impressed with the overall polish and frame rates. Check out a video demo right after the break…




According to the publication, Real Racing 2 HD, a ten bucks download, runs at thirty frames per second in 1080p “without any borders”. When you turn on the 1080p output mode, the game displays a track map and real-time racing telemetry on the device which also doubles as a steering wheel controller. This transition is seamless and automatic, meaning you can disconnect the device during play and it’ll automatically change the video mode and allow you to continue playing right where you left off. I have a feeling this will be a pretty big selling point and a popular feature among gamers that will convince other developers to support 1080p video output in their titles.

Of course, in order to enjoy racing action on your big screen TV, you will need a $39 Apple Digital AV Adapter to connect your iPad 2 to your tube via HDMI.
*thanks 9to5Mac*

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A New App that checks retailers for iPad 2 availability

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Even though estimated iPad 2 shipping times are better than they were following the gizmo’s launch, the online Apple Store still has a three-week wait on the iconic device. Buying it from third-parties is a time-consuming process as a lot of calls need to be made in order to figure out best iPad 2 availability at your nearby retailers. Why not save yourself valuable time and let an iPhone app search for the device for you? Yes, there’s an app for that.

Debra L. Orton figured there’s an untapped market for such a program so she wrote FindOne, an iOS app whose only purpose is to help you find an iPad 2. It combs through third-parties inventory and presents you with the list of options for your chosen iPad 2 model that include store locations, opening hours and even distance from your current location.

The app currently supports Target and Walmart and the developer is already at work adding Best Buy and Toys ‘R’ Us. FindOne is a free download from the App Store and it supports the iPhone, iPod touch and iPad.

via Cult of Mac & 9to5Mac








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Apple granted key patents for on-the-go wireless device activation and RFID interaction, iWallet?

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Just as China approved eleven iPod nano design patents, Apple’s had a field day today with the United States Patent & Trademark Office awarding the company eighteen new patents. Patently Apple got the hang of them all (here and here) and we’re highlighting two key inventions. Before we dig deeper, Steve Jobs and Jonathan Ive are credited among the inventors of the iPhone’s stainless steel band. There, now you know who to blame for the death grip non-issue. The creative duo was also behind the design of the 2007 iPod touch.

Apple also won a design patent for the iOS Maps and Compass apps, another one for reducing wait times in a call center plus the polycarbonate MacBook patent. More interesting than that is a patent describing methods for reprogramming your iPhone on the go, over-the-air, for use with any carrier.

This will come in handy in roaming situations when traveling abroad. Say you’re an AT&T user on a vacation in France. Rather than pay high roaming fees, you’d simply buy a SIM card from a local carrier and slap it into the device which would then wirelessly activate itself for use on that carrier’s cellular network. When you’re back home, swap the AT&T or Verizon SIM card and the device would re-activate itself for your home carrier.



Another patent describes a RFID mobile device capable of interacting with RFID-tagged object by swiping or shaking your device.

RFID, an acronym for Radio-Frequency Identification, is a technology that uses radio waves to exchange data between a reader built into a device and electronically tagged objects. In theory, this would allow an RFID-equipped iPhone to interact with a desktop computer or open up a keyless car door with a swipe, as vividly demoed in a pair of clips at the bottom.

Patently Apple notes this could “likely play a role in Apple’s forthcoming iWallet feature set”. One patent win describes a touch display that doubles as an RFID tag reader, the publication explains:

In particular, the RFID antenna could be placed in the touch sensor panel, such that the touch sensor panel could now additionally function as an RFID transponder. In this manner, no separate space-consuming RFID antenna is necessary
*thanks 9to5Mac*

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iPhone 5 production begins in July, ships in September; looks like the iPhone 4 – Reuters

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Reuters reports that the iPhone 5 will begin production in July and ramp up for a September release. This fits in with a lot of the chatter out there over the last few months. It isn’t certain why Apple chose to deviate from its previous June/July schedule, but perhaps iPhones are the new back to school items…or are going to be grouped with iPods from now on. Apple typically holds a fall media event at the beginning of September. This would be the perfect place to showcase their new iPhone.

The new smartphone will have a faster processor but will look largely similar to the current iPhone 4, one of the people said. They declined to be identified because the plans were not yet public. The companies would begin production either in July or August before shipping components to Hon Hai Precision Industry Co Ltd, flagship of Foxconn Technology Group, for assembly, they said.
The next-generation iPhone is rumored to include the dual-core A5 processor and graphics enhancements found in the iPad 2, possibly 64 GB of storage, a larger screen, a metal back, and new cloud-based functionality through Apple’s upcoming iOS 5. We will most likely learn Apple’s thinking behind their fifth-generation handset at the upcoming World Wide Developers Conference (WWDC) in early June. This is the event where Apple is promising the introduction of iOS 5.

*thanks 9to5Mac*

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iMac supplies tighten ahead of forthcoming refresh

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A good indication that an Apple product refresh is coming soon is when the respective product’s supplies begin tightening up. Most recently, this process happened with the iPad prior to the iPad 2 launch and with the MacBook Pro prior to the MacBook Pro refresh with Thunderbolt and quad-core processors. Now, it’s the iMac’s turn for a refresh. We have been told by three people familiar with the matter – all in different countries including the U.S. and an Asian country – that iMac supplies are tightening.




First, we have our friend Mr. X who provided us with the above screen shot and the following information. Mr. X says supplies for the iMac have tightened significantly, and this has never happened during the current model’s life-cycle. The data chart above shows that all four iMac models are “constrained” with no ETA for new shipments in a particular region; a very large one.

Tipsters in the United States have informed us that their iMac shipments are also very constrained. That’s not the full story though. Although actual iMac shipments are lacking, our U.S. tipsters report that actual iMac components are also very constrained. The most constrained pieces right now are the current iMac’s graphics processors and hard drives. A lack of replacement components is also a good indication of an upcoming refresh.

Next, our source in a major Asian country reports that the 21.5 inch iMacs are very constrained, more so the 3.06 GHz base model, and the other three models are very close to the constrained state. So, when are the new iMacs coming? Previous reports claim that new iMacs with faster, Sandy Bridge processing chips and Thunderbolt I/O ports are launching between late April and early May… bring them on! Thanks, Robert!

Update: Readers are asking about Mac minis and white MacBooks. Although those products are approaching the end of their life cycles, there are plenty of them still around.
*thanks 9to5Mac*

We are waiting for the Mac Mini Server edition to be upgraded, we will let you know if more develops on this story or on and further Mac hardware refreshes.


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Survey shows that Apple’s iOS reaches 59 percent more people than Google’s Android

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The WSJ points to a new comScore survey detailing who’s buying iPads. The most interesting piece to note is that iOS still trumps Android with 59% more people being exposed to iOS than Android.

The finding is incredible because it shows that Android being the most popular smartphone is not the whole story, said Mark Donovan, the senior vice president of mobile at comScore. Publishers, developers and advertisers are trying to understand how to reach audiences, and the study shows that users are using a range of devices.
56.1% percent of iPad owners are male and 49.4% of iPad owners have an income greater than $100,000 per year. 27% of iPad owners are between the ages of 25-34 and 41.4% of iPad owners do not have a college degree. Something interesting to note is that 6.2% of iPad owners are senior citizens. Even more interesting is the accompanying smartphone that iPad users carry: 27.3% of iPad users rock iPhones, 17.5% have Blackberrys, and only 14.2% have Android phones.

*thanks 9to5Mac*

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Portal 2 lands on the Mac via Steam

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After teasing the press with a puzzle poster ahead of the official April 19 launch date, Valve Software has released their first-person action puzzler Portal 2. The game was released on the Mac and PC via digital distribution service Steam, in addition to versions for Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 that are available through their respective stores. More details after the break.




The $49.99 game follows the same formula that made the original Portal so popular. You are still in a futuristic world, making your way through vast labyrinths and huge rooms that puzzle with seemingly impossible designs. You can move objects and open so-called portals between rooms by using your portal gun.

According to MacRumors, early impressions by the users of their forums are impressive and the games is said to run smoothly with maxed out details (except antialiasing) on a 2011 15″-inch MacBook Pro with the AMD 6750 graphics.

*thanks 9to5Mac*

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- Posted using my iPhone 4