Thursday, February 28, 2013

Allwinner reveals quad-core chip for phablets

Over the past few days, we have reviewed two of the top phablets (for more information on phablets click here) on the market today. First was the Samsung Galaxy Note 8.0. Then, we reviewed one of the Galaxy Note's biggest competitors in the LG Optimus Pro G. Today, you are in for a change of pace. Allwinner, a Chinese-based chip manufacturer, unveiled quad-core processor targeted at phablets. So, what does this mean for you?

Mobile Infrastructure: Rethinking Roles

Swisscom CEO, Carsten Schloter (Credit:

As this year's Mobile World Congress wraps up, it's important to consider the ever changing roles that providers, phone manufacturers, app companies -- and yes, even consumers -- will find themselves in. This holds true for long term developments, but for most of us, more importantly, it's the short term developments that are important to consider.

A new rugged smartphone

CAT announced the new CAT B15 Android Smartphone that could possibly be the most durable smartphone yet.

This new smartphone has an aluminium and rubber exterior that can survive about six foot drops, stays under shallow water for thirty minutes and stays functioning in temperatures between -4F to 122F. Even with all the protection, the phone feels surprisingly light. Even with a strong outside, the inside also has some solid features; CAT B15 runs Android 4.1 Jelly Bean, has a 1GHz dual-core MediaTek processor, 5-megapixle camera, 512MB of RAM and 4GB of memory.

CAT (Caterpillar) is construction design and manufacturing company that drives around the yellow construction vehicles. Designing a smartphone is a first for the company.

This smartphone is clearly not geared toward the average Joe. It's for workers in extreme environments who need the military grade protection. The phone is decently priced at $392 (300 euros). CAT B15 will debut in Germany in March, then make its way to the United States by the end of April. For more information, see the below sites:

Which one? Which one?

We've had the iPad, the tablet, the "phablet," and now the Fonepad.

One big reveal at this year's Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Spain was the Android-powered Asus Fonepad - both a phone and tablet.

The Fonepad will give consumers 3G capability to surf the web, as well as make calls on demand. I would think this would come in handy for most users.

Personally, I have an iPhone and a WiFi only iPad -- as well as a Macbook Pro and iPod Classic-- but that's beside the point. I definitely see the value in having essentially an all-in-one device. It's one less thing to carry around and one less thing to charge.

But in the event that my phone dies, I still communicate with my mom on my Ipad via iMessage or FaceTime. I can do this as long as I'm connected to WiFi or a personal hotspot - it really makes me want to upgrade to 3G capabilities, but that's another bill.

Perhaps that just might be the reason for some to switch to using this Fonepad or any other "phablet" for that matter. A user won't have to worry about a bill being tacked on to an already-existing one.

The Fonepad is about 7 inches - just a few inches smaller than the iPad 2, and is reported to rest comfortably in consumers' hands.

I guess what this boils down to is would a customer rather have a slightly larger, but just as capable, Fonepad or would they prefer separate devices? It's up to you to decide. If you're in the United States, the timetable for this device reaching you has not yet been revealed, so you still have time.

Watches Big Trend at MWC

When you think Mobile World Congress does your mind tend to go to watches? Well, it should because it turns out watches are a huge trend this year! But we aren't talking just any watches. These are super sleek and perfect for any tech guru.

Introducing smart watches!

Sony's SmartWatch
This cool watch offers a 1.3 inch color touchscreen, weighs about 6 ounces and runs Android 2.1 So what does that mean? It means thanks to Bluetooth, you can use the watch to make (or refuse) calls, read texts and emails, and control music from an Android-compatible smartphone, according to Tech Hive. What's even better is the device only costs about $130! Not too bad!

i'm Watch
Just like the Sony SmartWatch and other smartwatches at MWC, the i'm Watch uses Bluetooth to allow users to deliver"deliver calls, text messages, emails, social network notifications, agendas and calendars, weather forecasts, news, stocks, music, and pictures (including Instagram feeds) directly to your wrist," according to Tech Hive. For more information visit the Tech Hive website.

Massimiliano Bertolini, chief executive of Italian firm i'm said that these watches are, ""The future in general is wearable devices."

Samsung and Apple are rumored to be jumping on this tech trend by creating their own watches, as well.

No worries... It's Waterproof!

When someone's unprotected phone falls to the ground, I believe it's safe to say that every beating heart that's present stops functioning for a moment. Now imagine the terror if it were dropped in water.

I've had this happen. My iPhone wasn't fully submerged, however, water did get into the headphone port causing the phone to experience several glitches. I learned the importance of using my phone case at all times that day. Fortunately, it's still in working order, even though I didn't rely on the remedy of a bag of rice.

I haven't had any major issues with my tablet when it comes to water damage. Although, even having a protective covering for my iPad, and carrying it in rain, sleet or snow, there's a possibility of it there. Plus, the heavy case, negates the lightweight feature.

But never fear -- a waterproof tablet is here! Or at least, that's the message hailing out of the 2013 Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Spain.

The Xperia Tablet Z, made by Sony, claims to be the thinnest and lightest 10-inch tablet that can be dunked in water -- a triple threat.

If this is true, the Xperia could be beneficial for those who are interested in underwater photography, as well as protecting their tablet from Mother Nature. The camera for this tablet is reported to work in low lighting.

The ports on this new tablet are covered which allows it to be waterproof. 

If you'd like to learn more, and see the Xperia put in water for yourself, you can check out this CNET video review here.

The Attack on Cash

We've covered how Foursquare and MasterCard and Visa have partnered to create new incentives for consumers to use their credit cards instead of cash. And then today, we have this exciting or disconcerting quote (depending on your point of view) from MasterCard executive Hany Fam:

"MasterCard is addressing mobile payments that will replace cash in the day-to-day life of millions of people and drive financial inclusion across the globe.”

This is in reference to MasterCard's announcement of new partnerships Vimpelcom, Ezetap, and Equity Bank in order to broaden its reach into new global markets like Europe and Asia. A steady move away from cash worries the traditionalist in me. For my generation (college students), this move will likely be hailed as a huge leap forward. But paper money is so ensconced in our culture, I'm afraid that older generations will struggle to make the change (even more so than they have with other technological innovations). What do you think? Comment below!

The Future of Bluetooth

Nordic Semiconductor announced a new "blank" bluetooth module. This blank version is not only a battery saver, but it can be modified by anyone. Well, any developer; a development company can easily code their product onto this module.

By blank I mean that any developer can use this bluetooth module to add any software to it and create a new product that includes bluetooth. This is a revelation because developers can easily get bluetooth for their products now.

The "blank" bluetooth module will lead to a series of new app-cessories. This module can be used for bluetooth headphones, speakers, and other phone related products. This module was designed primarily for these type of accessories.

This type of product will lead to an easier way of connecting to not only a phone but other people as well. This module, when developed into other products, will be useful to people all over the world.

The bluetooth head phones will make listening to music, watching videos, and making phone calls easier. These possible products could also be essential to up and coming journalists, making it easier to blog, tweet, and share stories and news.

The options of products to be made from this "blank" bluetooth module are endless. Now it's just a waiting game to see what developers come up with.

Click here for more information about this "blank" module.

Health on the go


Healthcare data is going mobile. At the Mobile World Congress this week, Orange and Morpho are announcing a self-described "world first" identity management system for the healthcare sector.

Orange, through its healthcare service subsidiary, Almerys, and Morpho (Safran), a world leader in identity management solutions jointly created this system, which enables secure access to patient data anytime, anywhere, on any device.

A test run is currently underway at Clermont Ferrand University Hospital Center in France, and it will be demonstrated this week in Barcelona.

In terms of set-up, the system uses SIM authentication to establish a link between the device’s SIM and the doctor’s unique ID number via Morpho’s identity management platform, according to Once a SIM card is registered, an applet is loaded onto the mobile device or tablet containing the SIM. The doctor can then access patient files patient files through a secure website by entering his or her phone number. A pop-up message requests the doctor’s ID again, which completes the authentication process.

This could greatly impact the way healthcare is handled in developing countries. If doctors in the field, without the computer system previously needed, could access the information to patient's healthcare by simply using their smartphone or tablet, suddenly a whole new array of possibilities opens up. 

This identity management system will be one to watch, especially in countries where healthcare mobility is desperately needed. 

Stay healthy with a Watch & a Phone

Kickstart plans to launch a wrist watch that can not only tell time but track ones heart rate. The Mia Alpha watch uses LED lights to get a more accurate measurement of heart rate. These LED lights shine green or red if you are under or over your desired heart rate.

This watch isn't meant for those looking to get in shape nor those needing a boost to get to the gym. This watch is meant for athletes who work out often and plan to put a lot of hours on this watch. The silicon wristband is meant for comfort and endurance. Its designed for long term usage.

One capability of this watch is its ability to connect to bluetooth. If you have a smart phone and download a workout app (Mymaprun,) you can connect the watch to bluetooth and transmit your heart rate averages to app as well as your other workouts and rates saved on the app.

Many college students and athletes could find serious use for this watch. Students who run and work out often could use this watch to assist their workouts. Athletes, particularly cross country, can use this watch to monitor their heart rate during long runs.

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Samsung Unveils Wallet, No NFC Integration

COLUMBIA, Mo. -- Samsung, most noticeably in Apple’s footsteps, unveiled their ticket and coupon-keeper Wallet app for Android. The announcement came during MWC’s Developer Day and offered the media a chance to revel in its open-ended comparison to Apple’s Passbook app for the iPhone.

The app will let Android users store coupons, membership cards, boarding passes and tickets in one place, while also offering notifications of flight changes, updates or booking details.

But one such app is only as good as its partners, right? Samsung’s lineup of third-party providers includes Walgreens, Major League Baseball, Expedia,, and more. What consumers need to know is whether or not Wallet has the ability to attract a longer list of partners.

To encourage adoption by third-party supporters, Samsung is launching its Wallet app in May with an open API for developers looking to make their apps compatible with Wallet. Samsung is in hopes that Android-favoring developers will take the bait in order to expand the list of supporters to exceed that of Apple’s Passbook.

Where Samsung truly has me stumped is its decision to avoid integrating near field communication (NFC) features. This comes after the announcement of Samsung’s partnership with Visa and tap-to-pay e-commerce, the intention of this being faster adoption of NFC interactions. The advantage (and then some) would have slanted Samsung’s way should they have integrated the technology, but the app will instead employ barcodes when consumers make a purchase or use other membership features.

So, why not feature NFC for Wallet consumers? TheVerge reported that Samsung believes traditional barcodes will be more infrastructure-friendly for retailers and third-party supporters.

The company says that a version of the app will be made available soon.

LG Reveals Optimus G Pro

Yesterday, we looked at Samsung's Galaxy Note 8.0. Today, we are evaluating a competitor of the Galaxy Note 2 (the smaller version of the Galaxy Note 8.0)- the LG Optimus G Pro. Both are phablets, that is a tablet and a phone combined. Click here for more information on phablets.

This is LG's second Optimus G model. So, what's new about this Pro model? The device itself remains similar 6 inches high, 3 inches wide and .37 inches thick. This provides the same sleek and light design. For those looking for a lighter phone, the Optimus G Pro is just half a pound in weight.

3D Printing Now Reality

Lester and Perry from the novel Makers would be pleased to know that 3D printing is now a reality. At the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Nokia introduced 3D printers that allow customers to fully customize a phone case. Talk about the ultimate accessory!

According to Tom Hall from Nokia conversations, "Your design can be simple or an intricate pattern, or you could use unicorns and rainbows - it's entirely up to you!"

To show off this incredible, new technology, Nokia has two MakerBot Replicator 2 Desktop 3D printers set up at their station in Barcelona at MWC!

Blogger Hayden Manders compares this create-your-own accessory idea to Nike's customizable shoes.

"The project is kind of like the NIKEiD of phone accessories," she writes. "Like Nike, the MakerBot x Nokia partnership provides users with a selection of colors and patterns from which to choose. The turnaround time is minimal."

Currently, cases can be designed for two phones: the Nokia Lumia 820 and the Nokia Lumia 520 (which was just recently announced.)

Global News Writer writer Jenifer Howard makes a good point when it comes to the technology that Nokia is bringing to the table.

"Nokia is the first major phone company to release 3D templates for its hardwares that can be printed on a 3D printer. It not only allows Nokia Lumia owners to personalize their phones, but brings Nokia into a whole new spectrum of innovation in the mobile phone category."

Foursquare to Partner with MasterCard and Visa

I wrote about MasterPass earlier this week ( but today, the news was about Foursquare. When you see someone "check in" at a location, odds are he's using Foursquare. It was only a matter of time before the credit card companies got involved. Foursquare has announced new partnerships with Visa and MasterCard, which will give users discounts when they use their credit cards at certain locations. It's a clever marketing venture by all parties involved. It's a very low cost maneuver that will encourage customers to use both Foursquare and their credit cards.

"The first deal debuting today for all three credit cards is being offered at 8,000 U.S. Burger King locations: a $1 discount to those who check in and spend at least $10."

Other retailers such as Nike and Dunkin Donuts are expected to follow suit.


Here's the question, though: Foursquare users invariably use credit cards. But will Foursquare be able to infiltrate fully the much broader category of credit card users? I could see this relationship turning into a one-sided affair in which the credit card companies benefit at a higher rate than Foursquare does.

Another source:

New mobile payment system will expand first in Europe

South Korean mobile commerce company MoCa Pay will expand into Europe this year, Jai Jang, vice president for MoCa Pay's Service Division, told New Europe today at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona.

How does a mobile payment system work? Instead of paying with cash, check, or credit cards, a consumer can use a mobile phone application (storing debit card, credit card, loyalty card or gift card) by simply tapping the phone on any Pay Pass-enabled terminal at checkout. In the case of MoCa Pay all card and other personal data is stored in the cloud and access is protected by a six digit PIN.

European mobile companies call for harmonized global spectrum

Franco Bernabe, chief executive of Telecom Italia, wants to see mobile phone carriers merge into one global wireless network. 

Telecom Italia's Franco Bernabe called on governments to harmonize wireless spectrum availability to make it easier for carriers to operate globally.
(Credit: Stephen Shankland/CNET) 

Bernabe notes how having so many competing electromagnetic frequencies that vary from country to country and carrier to carrier is hard on the mobile industry.  He believes that a harmonization of networks would increase "cost efficiencies" greatly. 

Every year at the Mobile World Congress, mobile operators have called for broader spectrum, less taxation, and less regulation.

The current 4G LTE (Long-Term Evolution) standard offers quick response and faster data-transfer speeds.  If mobile operators all over the world were to start investing in this type of spectrum, harmonization would be a more realistic goal.

Cooperation from other countries to make this transition will be quite difficult since they have already built these complicated networks.  In addition to that, finding proper funding is also an issue. 

China Mobile Chairman Xi Guohua at Mobile World Congress 2013
China Mobile Chairman Xi Guohua at Mobile World Congress 2013
(Credit: Stephen Shankland/CNET) 

Guohua calls it competing with an entire ecosystem, rather than a single company.  

Mobile Infrastructure: Cloud Systems

(Credit: Stephen Shankland/CNET)

One of today's keynote speeches comes from Dropbox's CEO, David Houston, and it concerns one of the most important developments in mobile infrastructure: operating within new mobile cloud platforms.

HP rises... again?

COLUMBIA - After attempting to compete with Apple's iPhone in July 2011 with the TouchPad, HP has announced at the Mobile World Congress that it will release a new tablet this year that may help it return from its ashes.

According to a 2011 Apple Insider  article, HP was the top seller of tablets that weren't Apple-produced. Tim Stevens wrote an online review on Engadget mentioning that the TouchPad was heavier than three of the leading tablets as well as costing a few pretty pennies.

On the other hand, the Slate 7 - the new HP tablet out on the market - has a few key differences:

1. Slate 7 will weigh about 13 ounces; the TouchPad weighed 1.65 pounds
2. Slate 7 will use the Android operating system; the TouchPad used WebOS interface
3. Slate 7 will have both front and rear-facing cameras; the TouchPad only had front-facing

And those are just a few. Usability for the Slate 7 is also predicted to be easier and offers more applications etc. to consumers. 

If you're on a college campus, carrying textbooks across campus can be quite a chore along with a heavy laptop. Limited checkout of campus laptops in different locations are helpful, but if you could have a personal, and much lighter, multi-tasking tablet at your disposal, that would be much more efficient.

Europe will have the first look at the new tablet, but it will be in a store near you soon enough!

Photo credit: 

Slate 7
Photo credit:

Mozilla Firefox Announces Firefox OS

Mozilla Firefox announced that Firefox OS will be featured in Firefox’s first smartphone. This smartphone is the first smartphone in the world to have an Open source Web Device. This will allow for more opportunity and control for developers and consumers.

You can expect all the usual features of a smartphone in the Firefox smartphone. Firefox OS features unique search options and the phone will have Firefox marketplace. You will be able to find Firefox HTML 5 apps in the Firefox marketplace. 

Firefox OS Developer Handsets Peak Credit:

How will smartphone users react? Will they continue to buy Samsung and Apple smartphones or switch to a Firefox OS smartphone?

The first wave of the Firefox OS smartphones will not be available in the U.S but will be available in Brazil, Colombia, Hungary, Mexico, Montenegro, Poland, Serbia, Spain and Venezuela.

Bango to help with carrier billing

Mozilla launched its first phones to be made using the new Firefox OS smartphone platform. Right now apps are purchased either using apple or android markets.

 The Firefox store is going to become a popular choice for mobile carriers because it allows things the others cant. Mozilla is teaming up with Bango to power mobile payments.

The app store will allow carriers to have more customization to the homepage. It will also allow mobile advertising. Carriers are interested because it means they can share the profit of the app and make things more localized. Carriers believe they can then bill people for virtual goods and directly make profit, unlike android and apple app stores that don't link to any specific carriers.

 I believe this will greatly help advertisers because people can buy things and it will be directly linked to their phone bill. It will require less hassle than having to enter in your credit card information separately. Phone carriers will be able to bring people in by offering certain apps that other carriers cannot provide much like apple does with its system.

Here is the full story

Huawei Ascend P2, a powerful shooter

Huawei brought its Ascend P2 to the Mobile World Congress 2013. The Huawei Ascend P2 flaunts a big 4.7-inch screen that looks larger than it is thanks to an edge-to-edge design. Besides offering ways to edit images after you take them, the Huawei Ascend P2 also has numerous shooting modes, 

      Tuesday, February 26, 2013

      Mobile Infrastructure: Problems and Solutions at MWC 2013

      The Mobile World Congress has kicked off and while much of what people will be consuming in their news are the latest phone or app innovations, one of the more unheralded fields is how these things will be delivered to consumers in the first place. highlights some of the major upcoming issues in mobile infrastructure in a recent article:

      • The rapid move to 4G and LTE systems require massive amounts of investments, something many foreign companies, particularly in China are apt to do. According to the article China has over 200,000 operational LTE stations, a figure which Daily Wireless says puts the U.S. at a significant disadvantage in terms of LTE subscribers and infrastructure.
      • The move from the mobile generation to a fully integrated 4G/LTE cloud-based generation is imminent, even though it doesn't have a name yet. The Register notes that CEOs of 5 of the biggest telecoms - AT&T, Telefonica, Vodafone, Telecom Italia and China Mobile - got together to discuss this very issue in a MWC keynote address. They spoke at length about how national regulators should treat spectrums - that precious, semi-unlimited data stream that provides all of our internet browsing needs - and they all agreed, a 75,000% jump in data usage from 2000 to 2006 (in the U.S.) is representative of the need for greater allocation of spectrums by governments.
      • Perhaps the most exciting development, however, was Viber's CEO, Talmon Marco defending his company to the telecoms and carriers that bash services like Viber or Skype. CNET reports that many carriers are unhappy with the data usage associated with over-the-top apps like Skype or Viber: these are apps that use the existing data infrastructure of carriers to provide, essentially, free calls, messaging and other benefits. Networks, of course, are put off that the money they put into improving their infrastructure is providing workarounds for people not to pay for calls or messaging plans. And just for full disclosure, this blogger hasn't had a texting plan in over 3 years. Thanks, Google Voice!
      As you can see, the Mobile World Congress represents viewpoints from every end of the industry: from the hotshot telecom CEOs who believe that innovation can only come through further investment in infrastructure, to the upstart app developers who are using the infrastructure they are granted to provide a better, cheaper experience for their users. Keep checking back for more mobile infrastructure coverage, including tomorrow's keynote about operating in the cloud!

      Doro reveals user friendly senior phone at MWC

      Doro unveiled PhoneEasy 622 at the Mobile World Congress today.  Doro is a Swedish phone company that creates handsets for seniors, but what makes this new handset so unique is that it's Doro's first device to have video recording capabilities and a mobile ecosystem.  

      A mobile ecosystem is a feature that allows the phone owner and family members to log in and access the calender app, where they can add information or schedule appointments such as a doctor's appointment.  It also includes a weather widget app that displays the current temperature on the main desktop.  

      PhoneEasy 622 has a 2.4 inch screen and a 2-megapixel camera with an LED flash.  The keys' numbers are large and fairly spaced out for easy viewing and pressing.  There are also two notification lights that flash for missed calls and text messages. 

      Doro PhoneEasy 622
      Photo credit: Lynn La/CNET

      PhoneEasy 622 holds up to 500 contacts and includes shortcut keys for text messages, the camera, and two phone numbers.  It runs on a 800mAh battery which allows for ten hours of talk time.

      CNET's editors expect the phone to be a success because Doro has been extremely conscious of the senior market.

      This mobile device is not yet available in the US and pricing for PhoneEasy 622 is currently unknown.

      Fixed latency allows more Bluetooth opportunities

      Problems relating to audio and video synced over Bluetooth due to an aptX coding algorithm may soon be fixed, according to page 16 of the Day 2 edition of the Mobile World Daily.

      The Daily says that the algorithm, which was introduced to Bluetooth users three years ago, had seen some issues getting audio and sound to match up when played over devices connected via Bluetooth. The article says that problems have arisen in "living room consoles", or similar setups, where a TV maybe hooked up to a stereo surround system, as well as games on mobile devices. The Daily cites gamers as a constituency that may be concerned.

      "It is only a matter of time before these smartphone gamers decide to use their Bluetooth headset to play a game while on the move, and disvcover the latency problem," according to the Daily. "The sound through the headset needs to be a synchronised representationof the image on the screen and of the user action."

      These latency issues have been addressed in the newest version of aptX, which opens up more opportunities for Bluetooth technology with the improved performance. Manufacturers can now rely on Bluetooth devices having better audio performance, which will attract more customers. Bluetooth has been standard in many phones in the last few years, but with improved latency in the technology now, the use of Bluetooth in video and audio capabilities is enticing for developers going forward.

      Samsung unveils Galaxy Note 8.0

      Samsung, a leader in the world of phablets (for more information on phablets click here), unveiled a brand new phablet Monday called the Galaxy Note 8.0. This Galaxy Note is the latest in a string of phablets that have been very popular. Why, you might have seen the Super Bowl commercial for the Galaxy...

      LG Unveils Wireless Charger, Size of Coaster

      LG is releasing a lot more than just phones at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Spain this year! Introducing the WCP-300, a wireless phone charger that is just 6.9 centimeters in diameter. LG claims this is the world's smallest wireless charger.

      Compatible with the LG Nexus 4, HTC Droid DNA and the Nokia Lumina 920 (or any phone that supports a Qi standard), all the user has to do is drop a phone on the circle charging pad. A small LED lights up green when the charger is working.

      Credit Brian Bennett/CNET
      The wireless charger was designed to be useful for those who need something that is portable. A CNET writer notes the simpleness of the product.

      "In fact, here at MWC I placed my Nexus 4 device onto the gadget (showcased at LG's booth) and was able to begin charging in seconds," he writes.

      In a press release from LG, Dr. Jong-seok Park, President and CEO of LG Electronics Mobile Communications Company, draws attention to the importance of wireless phone charging.

      "Wireless charging is the holy grail of smartphone user convenience," he said. "With the WCP-300, LG was able to deliver both portability with top-class charging capabilities in a device no larger than a typical beverage coaster."

      The WCP-300 uses electromagnetic induction technology that produces a magnetic field. Shruti Dhapola from First Post Technology says that this technology, "in turn generates an electric current to charge the batteries in devices which are placed on the charging pad."

      According to Alex Wagner, Senior News Editor from Phonedog, the price of the WCP-300 is approximately $60. It may take a while for the U.S. to receive this technology however.

      Money Made Mobile

      Day one at the Mobile World Congress brought some exciting announcements to mobile payment fans.

      Visa has partnered with ROAM and Samsung to help make mobile payment more mainstream. The partnership with ROAM will allow merchants big and small to be able to accept mobile payment. Under it's new Ready Partner Program, Visa hopes to displace cash at the register. The partnership with Samsung is significant because rumor has it all new Samsung devices will come loaded with Visa's PayWave app. As of December 2012, Samsung is the largest mobile manufacturer.

      MasterCard Fans got some good news too. MasterCard announced MasterPass, which revolutionizes their mobile payment system and allows mobile payments both in-store and online. They are expected to announce more in the coming days, so stay tuned!

      Lastly, in US test markets, it was reported that NFC payments have doubled since October.

      Monday, February 25, 2013

      China Mobile Medical Comes True

        Business alliance formed by combination of open cooperation platform and government grants will become a catalyst for change of mobile medical rules of the game. "80 per cent Chinese doctors and medical seevice industry thinks,mobile technology is widely used in the medical field , represented as the general trend.".Raised by PWC Consulting Co., Ltd's new research report " China Mobile Medical: create a winning business model ".
        In recent years,China mobile medical uses mobile communication network to to strengthen medical and health care, covering the basic nursing, public health, emergency care, chronic disease management and self-help medical service,  greatly improving the efficiency of medical and health system, has been widely used worldwide, as well as a huge space for development.

        Since the health not only relates with the national health,but also be related to the national economy,
      China has moved the medical into the full development of cross-border industry in a strategic level ,  changing the traditional medical industry development mode.
        Wireless rounds ( ward round of doctor) is undoubtedly the China's most influential mobile medical application. Mobile medical platform based on the intelligent mobile phone, mobile medical tablet computer, bar code, Wi-Fi, RFID and other information technology to assist clinical medical . Hospital installed with Wi-Fi, the doctor rounds handheld tablet computer,They can clearly see the basic information of patients on a tablet computer, including all tests, imaging examination after hospitalization, in order to better respond to patients' consulting. Besides,when it comes to patients'most concerned problems of expense, flat computer can accurately demonstrate the usage of each account.

        The mobile medical will also change the situation that people can only go to the professional medical institutions to get prescription or advice. Whether at home or on the road, people can listen to the doctor's advice at any time. Medical service, because of the mobile communication technology, will not only save time of waiting in line and taking traffic tools, but also may be more efficient to guide people to develop good habits, so as to reduce pain.

        The mobile medical use is not limited to medical, also useful for individual health monitoring.
        Health is a industry that information and processes are highly complex , medical workers is the center of the information flow. Mobile Internet makes information read available whenever and wherever possible, as a result, changing the medical workers' work. Intelligent mobile phone will play a role such as microscope, stethoscope. More and more medical workers use a variety of new technologies in the medical process, work in the " mobile ". More and more hospitals are equipped with hospital information system ( HIS ). Along with the HIS Pad version and the version of the mobile phone is more and more appear in the hospital, HIS will be more and more " mobile ".

        With the help of the mobile medical, medical workers can not only improve the efficiency of internal communication, but also promote the doctor-patient interaction, providing more convenient services for patients, even someone can not be serviced originally.


      Technology overcoming the world's challenges

      With the Mobile World Congress picking up speed, questions are raised about how technology can address the world's problems. 

      Not too long ago, former President Bill Clinton spoke at the Samsung keynote. An ambassador for Samsung's 'Hope for Children' charity, Clinton glowed about how far America has come in technology, and warned about possibility America is falling behind. An example he cited was that the U.S. has slipped far behind the global leader, South Korea, when it comes to Internet download speeds. 

      Yet, the main focus of Clinton's speech revolved around taking technology to the developing world. 

      "The world has huge challenges, which I think technology can help to overcome." - Clinton 

      An example Clinton gave was the work done in disaster zones by operators, such as Digicel, in the wake that followed the earthquake of Haiti several years ago. 

      As we follow and report about the new technology emerging from the Mobile World Congress, we will be on the lookout for technology that can overcome the challenges of struggling countries. 

      Global navigation satellite systems save people from getting lost when traveling, but imagine being able to navigate your way through hospitals, parking garages, and malls. CSR, a software development company for various technologies, believes that there is potential for global satellite coverage in indoor spaces.

      There are a few positives for global coverage of indoor spaces. One positive is the fact that people spend about 90 percent of their time indoors, so being able to navigate through buildings and the like would be useful. Another positive is the ability to keep watch of hospitals, parking garages, and other public structures. This is helpful because if something or someone was out of place, someone would catch it via global satellites. Now this may seem a bit far fetched, but indoor coverage could potentially save our world from bombings, sexual or physical attacks, and other dangerous situations.

      This constant watch of indoor venues could also be a negative because people may not be fond of the idea that someone is always watching them. It could create a feel of big brother. This satellite can be related to security cameras, so this does contradict this point of order.

      While adding indoor location data to GNSS is a major step in the emerging technology direction, there is one type of technology that can take this idea even farther: bluetooth smart technology. Bluetooth smart technology allows better monitoring of people. This gives more accurate results for navigation. 

      Taking two types of real-time coverage (outdoor VS indoor) and mashing them together with personal location information of every person is the path to this new frontier. We will have to see where CSR can develop this technology.

      More information can be found here on page 23:

      Vuzix introduces new hands free smart glasses in Showstoppers

      With smartphones such as the Samsung Galaxy S4 getting bigger interfaces, some corporations are going micro.

      Vuzix showcased its M100 Smart Glasses, a hands free add on to smartphones that clips on to a headband with a tiny screen and accessibility to the smartphone, at the Showstoppers presentation of the 2013 Mobile World Congress. The M100 connects via Bluetooth or Wi-Fi, displayed with Android operating system, and provides the user access to a visual address book, a camera to record video or take photos, or even run various applications, including augmented reality apps.

      The eyepiece features a 16:9 widescreen WQVGA screen, allowing the user easy, portable access to their smartphone inches away from their eye. The fact that it can connect via both Bluetooth and Wi-Fi means that it is usable virtually anywhere to connect to your phone, and renders the glasses highly effective.

      The Vuzix M100 had a solid showing at the Mobile World Congress, showing that not all companies need to get bigger interfaces with their new smartphones. The M100 provides people desiring a small, portable connection to their smartphone and is great for people on the go. Its development has a future for several great apps, utilizing the camera to take pictures of a bar code, for example, and displaying information about the product.

      More information from Vuzix's website about the product can be found here.

      Jabra Releases Five New Headphones

      The Mobile World Congress is well underway, with the unveiling of so many new tablets and phones happening every minute it seems! But one thing to not forget about during these exciting next few days is the number of new accessories to be released as well. Some accessories are more traditional, such as phone cases, while others are outside of the box.

      Mashable describes audio gadgets as being popular this year, as it drew attention to the company Jabra who released five new headphones today, with each of them serving a slightly different function. 

      The five types of headphones include Jabra Revo, Jabra Revo Wireless, Jabra Vox, Jabra Play, Jabra Tag. The most expensive model costs approximately $250.

      Blogger Dusan Belic reviewed each of these new products on his blog. He writes that the Jabra Revo (and wireless model) are designed, "for hard-wearing, everyday use and portability, featuring a “new dimension of sound performance,” thanks to Jabra’s collaboration with Dolby Laboratories. As a result, mobile music lovers will be able to hear music 'as it should be heard' using Jabra’s Sound app."

      Mashable describes the Jabra Vox in ear-earphones, and mentions that the product "feature[s] a unique magnet-equipped cord that prevents them from getting tangled inside your pocket."

      Another blogger Stormy Beach reviews the Jabra Play and Jabra Tag on a blog called Android Spin and says the products will "excite some of you in the Android community." Beach describes the Jabra Play and Jabra Tag as being two similar devices that conveniently use Bluetooth. The Jabra Play will "hang it around your neck, clip it to your shirt or backpack or tuck it somewhere out-of-the-way till you need to talk." It weighs only 11 grams. 

      On the other hand, the Jabra Tag, "is obviously designed a little different and is more aimed at a dog tag style device," according to Storm. It weighs a little more than the Jabra Play, coming in at 30 grams.

      All models are expected to released by April at the latest for consumers to purchase on Amazon.

      New Chinese Technology

      New Chinese technology:mobile phones can help you take care of your baby

      Looking after a baby is really a hard work.When everyone is sleeping, who can take care of your baby?At that moment , you need an intelligent "babysitter".

      A Chinese company "Jia Hui" predicts that smartphone is becoming people's necessity for life."Jia Hui" is the exclusive agent of the new technology"Breath Optics TM".This year ,it brings out its "New Intelligent Baby Mat" which makes smartphone become an intelligent babysitter. Only if you download "Smart Baby Mat"App and buy the smart baby mat,you can receive baby's health information which is delivered from smart baby mat to your phone.

      As we know, babies under one year old sleep for a long time and have no abilities to express.They can only cry to get attention from parents. Some unhealthy conditions can not be discovered. “Smart Baby Mat"acts as a babysitter, it can record baby's sleep and monitor baby's situation.

      It has six main functions:   1.It can present baby's sleep condition and frequency of breath.


                                                2.It can notice parents when baby is not in bed.
                                                3.It will send warning when baby does not breathe.
                                                4.It can play music and stories.

                                                5.It can present temperature around.

                                                6.It can remind mother to nurse.

      It is really a promising mobile technology! A new technology can survive and develop unless it can serve people and bring a lot of benefits and convenience.
      I think this technology can also be applied to taking care of elderly people and patients,especially people who have sleep apnea, stroke or hypertension.


      Here is the Chinese website link

      The Newest Mobile Commerce: MasterPass

      Everyone in the mobile commerce industry was watching for MasterCard's roll out this week at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona of the MasterPass system, which analysts agreed would turn the mobile commerce world on its head. Those were the expectations MasterCard's technologists had to live up to, and early indications are that they have. It appears that MasterPass will be more than a mere mobile payment system, but that in addition, users will be able to complete many forms of digital transactions. 

      Norman Yan of described it this way:  

      "For consumers, MasterPass will offer a method of storing your credit card information, address book and other details in a secure cloud network. It also functions as a digital wallet, like Google Wallet, allowing users to make payment by scanning their phones, and it will support other brand credit cards, not just MasterCard ones, which will help drive adoption of this system. When it comes to online purchases, it will allow for a simple quick checkout method if the retailer is also participating in the system, similar to that of PayPal."

      Yan goes on to quote MasterCard’s chief emerging payments officer Ed McLaughlin: “There’s no e-commerce or m-commerce, there’s just commerce.” (

      MasterCard's plans are to launch its new system in Australia and Canada next month, and then the U.S. and Canada, and later Belgium, Brazil, China, France, Italy, and Spain by the end of the year. The key will be trustability. When it comes to money, people tend to be skittish and skeptical. How willing will they be to use MasterPass to transfer large sums of money? Will its easiness to use overcome that skepticism? Comment with your thoughts!

      Mobile World Congress 2013: Phablets are on the rise

      The Mobile World Congress 2013 is almost upon us (running from February 25-28). Some of the most innovative technology will be featured and unveiled over the next few days. One rapidly growing category of device are Phablets.

      Phablets are a cross between a phone and a tablet. The device is bigger than phones yet smaller than a tablet. The screens on these devices range from five to seven inches, just a little smaller than the length of a pen. These devices focus on web and media consumption rather than on the mobile phone feature.

      Saturday, February 23, 2013

      Mobile World Conference 2013: What to expect in mobile infrastructure

      With the Mobile World Congress rapidly approaching (it runs from February 25th-28th), let's take a look at what to expect in terms of mobile infrastructure development in the U.S. and around the world:

      1. M7 Managed Services, a large Information Technology service provider, will host a presentation detailing how companies can take advantage of over-the-web IT services, particularly across 4G. Topics range from hosting applications in data centers abroad, as well as planning for disaster recovery and backing up files over 4G connections.

      Friday, February 22, 2013

      Heavy Snow in Mizzou

      I have never seen so heavy a snow storm in China during the past several years, though I live in the north of China. So I took some photos with my iPhone and iPad and shared them immediately with my family and friends via WE CHAT and WEIBO. The WE CHAT and WEIBO is the Chinese equivalent of American Twitter.

      Actually, if I am still working for Chinese Central Television Station, maybe these content can be part of the international reports.

      Thursday, February 21, 2013

      Is Google+ app necessary for this blog?

      I am trying to share some mobile photos here but I am noted to download a google+ previously. Unfortunitely, I can not buy the app from American iTunes with my apple account. It can only work in Chinese edition of iTunes and the Chinese iTunes does not offer the Google+.
      what can I do then? Try to register as another Apple user?

      Wednesday, February 20, 2013

      Mobile World Congress 2013 coverage

      Although they can't be in Barcelona, members of the class will "cover" the 2013 Mobile World Congress Feb. 25-28 by monitoriing the Web and the Blogosphere.  They will look for relevant information, analyze it from a U.S. viewpoint and post their observations.  For information, contact Associate Professor Clyde Bentley.

      Wednesday, February 13, 2013

      Mizzou Game Cell Service

      Saw this article in about cell service at football and basketball games: