January 18, 2018

Super-affordable Lumia Is a Good Play for Microsoft

How-much_feat

 

Microsoft have teased through Lumia Conversations about super-affordable Lumia Windows Phone(s), via post titled: The Lumia story continues.

Intrigued? Come back tomorrow, March 19th, at 8am UK time to find out more.

I have been an advocate for low cost Windows Phone all along. With high end phones are skipped all together last holiday season. There hasn’t been a flagship phone since Lumia 930. However, lower end devices continue: Lumia 63x, Lumia 53x, Lumia 435.

Microsoft has insisted same experience from low end to flagship. My opinion is there are some flaws in this kind of thinking. The market is like everything else: There is a balance between user experience and affordability. There are more people in the world are willing to sacrifice user experience for money than the ones who are willing to sacrifice money for user experience. It is not just developing world. It’s the same thing in developed countries. I have applauded the release of Lumia 435, but lets go lower, how about this:

Lumia 340!

We will know tomorrow afternoon.

Two Important Questions About HoloLens

HoloLens: Future Is Months Away

 

In 2019, You May Not Need a Smartphone, Or a Tablet

vision

Imagine, there will be no screen.

Clearly, I have touched this topic more than once(here, here, here). I have wrote about using Hololens as a display for Xbox, PC and gone as far as fascinating a miniature HoloLens on the phone and a giant HoloLens on the wall, but I have never put things together to imagine what it is like when there will be no screen on a phone, a tablet, a laptop or a PC.

Some Important Information About HoloLens

Lets watch a video created by Microsoft Office Lab, called Microsoft Office Labs Vision 2019. There are different versions, this version was made in 2009, the original title states Vision 2019. No explanation required.

Now forget about whether this will be true in 2019, for a second, think about what it’s like if computer screens are gone. If there is no screen, then any surface can be a screen: the coffee table, the desktop, the cubical wall, the office wall, the teacup, the newspaper. No, that’s not good enough, that’s so 2009. Today, in the context of HoloLens, a screen can exists in the air, or even in the vacuum, the whole concept of screen is gone.

HoloLens: Release Date (Updated)

The essence of the HoloLens is NO SCREEN. If you still don’t get it. Lets continue. With HoloLens, the new law of existence is:

M{your world} = I{yourself} + R{the real world} + D{the digital world}

In the terms of Windows Holographic, M is called mixed reality, I is called Human, R is called World, D is called Holograms. And remember R and D are almost indistinguishable,  I didn’t make this up, this is real.

I’d like to quote Craig Mundie’s talk in 2011 from The Sydney Morning Herald,

When the user looks at the phone, instead of seeing a screen it can beam individual rays of light into your eyes right on your retina … [so] you can look at your phone and see HDTV. I don’t know whether the big screen tablet pad category is going to remain with us or not.

Standing in the spring of 2015, a few months before HoloLens launch, when we look back at what Mundie said in 2011, you know what he said is starting to be realized: The only difference between a phone, a tablet, a laptop is the screen size. When the screen no longer exists, what’s the difference between them? Nothing. Well, CPU, the computing power, you might argue. In the world of cloud computing, more and more computing power are consumed on the cloud, and you don’t have to carry it with you. For the local computing, I am sure HoloLens is a more powerful computer than any smartphones, and majority of tablets. For office computing or home computing, you can have a powerful PC on the desk, HoloLens works as a display.

What Is Mixed Reality, Really?

The only problem is the size of the HoloLens. But remember, HoloLens has two Kinects inside, an entire computer, a light engine, lenses, sound systems and a bunch of sensors, it weighs 400grams. Who can imagine this two years ago, when you can’t even wear one Kinect on the head? We heard an entire Intel computer can reside in a thumb sized stick. Could HoloLens turn to a mere eyewear in 2019? I am hopeful.

In 2019, you may not need a smartphone, or a tablet.

(Just for argument’s sake, some say, ODG already got AR glass as small as an eyewear. Lets me say this, they are miles away from HoloLens, I will talk about this later.)

Some Business Ideas with HoloLens – (15) Holo-Rock Star
Some Business Ideas with HoloLens – (14) Holo-Classroom, Holo-Conference
Some Business Ideas with HoloLens – (13) Holo-Home Design

 

 

Does HoloLens Have to Be Worn on the Head?

hololens3b1

 

About 4 years ago, I wrote an article for Yahoo about Windows Phone, 3D display and Kinect. What would happen if the three things worked together? Unfortunately, at the time, 3D display technology wasn’t enough to give user a great experience. Kinect was too big to fit in a phone. When Hololens was announced in Jan. 21st, I revisited the same idea: All of a sudden, things seem possible and realistic now. I am asking myself,

Does HoloLens Have to Be Worn on the Head?

HoloLens: Release Date (Updated)

I have realized HoloLens has brought three things that make it HoloLens: gesture recognition, world map and holographic display (including eye tracking). Of course, it needs a computer to power it up. The first two are provided by Kinect. Now we have got something very interesting here.

Windows Phone is a computer itself. Some new CPUs and GPUs running on the phone are very powerful now. Most of all, Windows 10 Holographic will be running on Windows Phone later this year. This provides all the intelligence needed for hand gesture recognition, speech recognition, and holographic algorithms. It also powers the light engine. The question is: Can the Kinect be made small enough to fit the phone? Probably not. Does it have to be? Maybe not either. This is my hope: Is there a scaled down Kinect, that only deals with hand gesture, not to worry about the depth info of its surroundings, but can be made small enough to fit a phone? To me, the answer is positively yes.

HoloLens: Price Estimation

The only question left is the size of the light engine. I don’t know, but I know this: In 2011, former Microsoft Chief Strategy Officer Craig Mundie has said in an interview that Microsoft was working on something that eliminates the Windows Phone screen by beaming lights directly to the eyes, so that you look at the smartphone, you see HD movies.  Part of what he said has turned to HoloLens, but he has specifically mentioned smartphone. Is that still under cooking? Remember he said that in March 2011, now it is 4 years later.

Some Important Information About HoloLens

What does it mean if a Windows Phone does have a mini HoloLens in it? It means you can see and do same when you wear a HoloLens on your head, only the field of view is smaller, but if you put the phone close to your eyes, you get the same field of view as the HoloLens.

I am excited. Why shouldn’t I?

Some Business Ideas with HoloLens – (13) Holo-Home Design
Some Business Ideas with HoloLens – (12) Holo-Newspaper, Magazine, Book
Some Business Ideas with HoloLens – (11) Holo-Concert

 

Why Nokia Lumia 920 Is the Most Advanced Smartphone on Earth

920-Hero-1-jpgHere is quick run down as to why the Nokia Lumia 920 is the most advanced smartphone on earth.  I am not getting into any details, just a list. However, I only write what I am sure about. I am responsible for that.

1. PureView Camera with OIS.

Still Image – In low light conditions, there is no competition so far. No other phone comes close. In daylight condition, Nokia 808 is better. However Lumia 920 is still top notch for daylight images.

Video – with OIS, Lumia 920’s optical stabilization is totally amazing. There is simply no other phone comes close.

2. PureMotion HD+ screen. Pixel density 332 ppi, which is highest of smartphones. 60fps refresh rate, which is fastest of all smartphones. Not stopping here, the screen has the high contrast ratio of all smartphones.

3. Audio. HAAC recording. I don’t know if it is THE best, but it is among the best.

4. Amazing Design. I can only say it is the best. There is no other way to say it.

5. Outstanding build quality. Try search “Lumia 920 torture test”, see what you find. There is no one phone comes anywhere close to this one.

I don’t have to mention wireless charging, Nokia Drive, City Lense.

 

 

 

 

 

What Is a Phablet?

When started this website, I planed a lot of big topics. Where to start from? I decided to start with small things, like…

What is a phablet?

“Phablet” is word made up by technology writer Mary Jo Foley, freshly, referring to 5″ (or larger) screened smartphones. Take no guess, it is phone + tablet. If you go to mobile stores, you may see some extremely large screened phones, they are phablets. People start using this word more and more on the internet. There is a good chance it will be common word soon. I wouldn’t be surprised if you see in the dictionary one day.

Speaking of phablets, I never found them look attractive. Maybe because the OS they are running on. That kind of ugly interfaces never look good on any device. More like people’s face, an ugly face better be smaller. Maybe phablets can be good looking if they have Windows Phone 8 running on. Lets hope.

Now, a bonus question: what is a smartphone?

“Smartphone” was one version of Windows CE that runs on phones. The other version was called “Pocket PC”, which would run on PDAs. The concept of PDA no longer exist but the concept of smartphone grew. Why Microsoft didn’t patent the term smartphone, I always wonder.