The Smartphone’s Future: It’s All About the Camera – The New York Times

By 

SAN FRANCISCO — We all know the drill. For the last decade, smartphones have gotten thinner and faster and thinner and faster and, well, you get the picture.

But it’s too soon to write off our smartphones as boring. The gadgets are still evolving with new technologies. And for a clue as to what the smartphone of the future might look like, turn your attention to the device’s cameras and the software and sensors that make them tick.

Here’s a peek into how the camera may come into play: As soon as you pick up your gadget, it will see you and know you are the owner and unlock the screen. Overseas, you will be able to point the camera at a restaurant menu to translate items into your native language. When shopping for furniture, you can point your phone camera at your living room floor and place a virtual rendering of a coffee table down to see how it looks and move around and peek underneath it.

Some of this futurism is already starting to happen.

Next month, Apple plans to hold a special event to introduce a set of new iPhones, including a premium model that can scan 3-D objects — including your face. Samsung, the No. 1 phone maker, also recently introduced the Galaxy Note 8, highlighting its fast dual-lens camera as the signature feature. And rivals will soon work to catch up with Samsung and Apple.

“2018 will be the year where the smartphone camera takes a quantum leap in technology,” said Philip-James Jacobowitz, a product manager for Qualcomm, a chip maker that provides components to smartphone makers.

 

Mr. Jacobowitz added that emerging camera technologies would be the key to stronger security features and applications for so-called augmented reality, which uses data to digitally manipulate the physical world when people look through a smartphone lens.

Here’s a rundown on what this all means for how your next smartphone will work.

Face Scanning

For the last few years, we have become accustomed to unlocking our smartphones by scanning our fingerprints or entering a passcode. But when Apple shows its new iPhones next month, including a premium model with a starting price of $999, the company will introduce infrared facial recognition as a new method for unlocking the device.

How would the new iPhone do that exactly? Apple declined to comment. But Qualcomm’s Spectra, a so-called depth-sensing camera system, is one example of how face scanning works.

The Spectra system includes a module that sprays an object with infrared dots to gather information about the depth of an object based on the size and the contortion of the dots. If the dots are smaller, then the object is farther away; if they are bigger, the object is closer. The imaging system can then stitch the patterns into a detailed 3-D image of your face to determine if you are indeed the owner of your smartphone before unlocking it.

“You’re seeing the contours of the head — it’s not just the front of the face as you’re typically thinking about,” said Sy Choudhury, a senior director of product security for Qualcomm.

 

Because of the uniqueness of a person’s head shape, the likelihood of bypassing facial recognition with the incorrect face is 1 in a million, he added. That compares with a false acceptance rate of 1 in 100 for previous facial recognition systems, which had very poor security.

Older facial recognition systems worked by simply using the camera to take a photo of yourself and comparing that with an image that was stored on the device. All a thief would need to do to fool the system was hold a photo of your face in front of the camera — which some people already did with Samsung’s facial-recognition feature.

There are, however, limitations to infrared-scanning technologies. For example, objects that you wear, like a hat or a scarf, might throw off the camera, according to Qualcomm. In addition, experts said infrared light can get drowned out by bright sunlight outdoors, so face scanning might work less reliably on the beach.

It remains to be seen how exactly face scanning will work in the next iPhone. But Apple is well acquainted with depth-sensing camera technologies. In 2013, the iPhone maker acquired PrimeSense, a company that developed sensors for Microsoft’s Kinect, a depth-sensing camera system that let Xbox players control games using body movements. Analysts expect some rendition of PrimeSense’s technology to appear in future iPhones.

Source: The Smartphone’s Future: It’s All About the Camera - The New York Times

The beginners guide to creating mobile applications for your business

Introduction

As smartphone and tablet sales continue to rise, one thing is certain: Mobile computing is the future of business. Just as the personal computer revolutionized business, the era of smartphones and tablets will forever change the business landscape. If your business plans on creating mobile apps this year, this guide will tell you everything you need to start your project.

Overview

The first step in creating mobile applications for your business is a basic understanding of your options. Mobile applications come in two formats: Native applications and mobile web applications. While each looks and feels similar, they are quite different. Here’s a brief explanation of each:

 Native applications

A native mobile application is simply a piece of software for smartphones and tablets. Native applications are built specifically for each mobile platform and installed on the device itself. Just like PC software doesn’t work on a Mac, each native mobile app only works on the platform for which it was built. If you want native apps to work across all mobile platforms, you must build separate versions for each platform.

 Web applications

A mobile web application is a web application formatted for use on a smartphone or tablet and accessed through the device’s web browser. Since mobile web applications are accessed through the browser without requiring installation on each device, they are platform independent. The biggest difference between the two options: Native applications are installed directly on each device while web applications are served from a central location and accessed through a web browser. Both options come with their own unique drawbacks and benefits. Choosing between the two boils down to your company’s needs.

 

Questions to ask before creating mobile apps

 While the differences between the two types appear minor to the user, they are really quite substantial. In order to choose the appropriate app type for your business, answer these 5 questions:

How many platforms do you need to support?

 Right now, there are roughly 4 main smartphone and tablet platforms:

  • iOS
  • Android
  • Windows 10
  • Blackberry OS

Do you want mobile applications that work across all tablet and smartphone platforms? If so, you must create 8 different versions of each application. Even if your company only needs internal mobile applications for one platform, you must still ask yourself this question: Are you certain that this is the platform of the future? If you ever switch platforms, you must create brand new applications. If cross-platform compatibility is a concern for your business, mobile web apps are a better choice as they are completely platform independent.

Do you need to use hardware sensors?

 Native apps have access to more of the device’s hardware sensors, such as the camera and microphone. While mobile web apps can access certain sensors, like GPS, accelerometer, and gyroscope, they cannot access the camera or microphone. If you need a business app that uses these sensors, native apps are a better choice.

How important is security?

 Mobile computing’s biggest advantage, portability, is also its biggest weakness. Since tablets and smartphones are so portable, they are also more likely to get lost or stolen. Native mobile apps that access important data could pose a security risk. Since native apps store data on the device itself, a lost or stolen device could lead to a security breach. On the other hand, mobile web apps store data in a centralized location, not on the device itself. In this case, a lost or stolen phone/tablet doesn’t pose a security risk as no data is stored on the device itself.

What’s the purpose of your app?

 Mobile business applications generally serve one of three purposes: internal use, customer use, or revenue generation. If you’re building apps for internal or customer use, both application options are suitable. However, if you plan on selling your apps, you’ll need to build native apps and place them in each platform’s application store.

How important is data integration?

 Will your apps access your database(s) and integrate into your current systems? If your apps are accessing business data, integration is crucial. Integrating native apps is difficult, if not impossible depending on your current systems. If data integration is important, mobile web apps are a better choice.

 Requirements

 Requirements vary depending on the app format. Here are the requirements for creating both native and mobile web apps:

Native app

  1. Developer(s): You’ll need a developer familiar with the mobile platform programming language. Most platforms use different programming languages. Here are the programming languages required to create native apps for the most popular mobile operating systems.
    1. Android – Java
    2. Blackberry – Java
    3. iOS – Objective-C
    4. Windows 10

If you want to create cross platform native apps, you’ll need either one developer who knows each, or multiple developers.

  1. Join the developer program: You’ll need to join the developer programs for every platform you’re using. Each one requires a small entry fee.
  1. Team: Ongoing, you’ll need a team together to maintain these native apps. Whenever a mobile platform releases a new update, you’ll need to update your application, or risk it not working with the updated OS. Each platform releases a new update every few months.

 

Web app

  1. Web designer: You’ll need someone who is familiar with HTML, CSS, and Java script.
  1. Web developer: If you want full web apps that connect to a back-end database and include business logic, you’ll need a web developer. Unlike native apps, you’re not limited to one development language. You can build mobile apps in whatever language you wish, like Java, PHP, Python, etc…

Conclusion

 Mobile computing is the future of business. Smartphone and tablet sales are on the rise and businesses are finally jumping on board. However, choosing the right path is a challenging task for business just stepping out into mobile territory. If you wish to create mobile apps for your business, you have two options: Create native apps or mobile web apps. The decision largely hinges on your company’s needs. To summarize the information detailed above, here are 5 important factors that will impact your mobile application decision:

  1. If you want apps that work across multiple platforms, mobile web apps are a better option.
  2. If you want apps that access the device’s camera or microphone, native apps are a better option.
  3. If security is important, mobile web apps are a better option.
  4. If you want to sell your apps, native apps are a better option.
  5. If you want apps that integrate with existing systems and databases, mobile web apps are a better option.

Gino Ferrari BRINDISI 17 Inch LAPTOP BUSINESS BAG GF482

Gino Ferrari BRINDISI 17 Inch LAPTOP BUSINESS BAG GF482
Part No. GF482
by Modrec
In Stock

The Gino Ferrari Lavoro’s Brindisi is elegant, practical and functional. Ideal for the busy professional. A stylish alternative to the business bag.

PRODUCT DESCRIPTION

  • Lightweight
  • Padded laptop section
  • Padded iPad/Tablet section
  • Organizer section
  • Additional storage compartments
  • Easy access pocket

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

Weight 2.95 lbs
Dimensions 18.48 x 5.9 x 12.18 in