Google recently added a new feature to their map service. Now you can use Google Maps to measure distance between multiple points. Right now you can already get distance information when you request driving directions. But with the new feature, you can include detours in your trip or use Google Maps to calculate distance along a walking path like I did in the photo below when I was figuring out the walking distance from OMSI to Saturday Market.
BAE Systems recently released a video on YouTube that showcased their concept Transformer plane. The Transformer is an aircraft that can separate into three small planes. BAE dubbed it the Transformer, but it’s actually more like the Fantasticar in the second Fantastic Four movie. The flexible aircraft system was created by scientists and engineers at BAE Systems. According to the company, the futuristic technologies can be incorporated in military and civil aircraft by 2040.
By now, you probably heard of about the Amazon Fire Phone. You can order the new smartphone now, but it won’t be released until July 25th. The price range of the 32GB Fire phone is $199 (with AT&T phone plan) to $649 (without service plan). The 64GB model is $100 more. From what I’ve read, the phone itself isn’t so special. However, one the features that caught my eye is a physical Firefly button that lets you identify physical objects in the real world and do a quick price check. There are already apps that let you do that, but the button on the side of the phone makes it so much easier.
Remember when I wrote about Facebook’s plan to use drones to connect the world to the Internet? Far fetched, yet true. Now I bring you the story about Google’s plan to connect the world using balloons. You read that correctly. Balloons. If I saw these two ideas in a movie, I would roll my eyes because they sound so crazy. Yet both of these ideas are being tested right now. In the case of the balloons, which is called Project Loon, Google envisions providing Internet access to rural areas via connected balloons hovering high above the earth. Loon is actually a project of Google X, which is a research arm of the search engine giant. Their more famous project is Google Glass.
Solid-Cordz sent me their Gold Plated HDMI Cable for review on my geek dad blog. I’ve been using the cable for about a week now and have not had any problems. The picture quality on my 1080 HD TV looks outstanding. The cable is well made and feels very durable. I don’t have a 4K resolution TV, but according to the product literature, the Solid-Cordz HDMI cable features 4K support. As advertised, the cable connectors are gold plated. The Solid-Cordz Gold Plated HDMI Cable comes in a set of two. The pair of 6′ HDMI cables are priced at $35 on Amazon (plus free shipping).
With a name like fireTV, you have a lot to live up to. It’s not perfect, but FireTV exceeded my expectations. By a lot. For those who don’t know, FireTV is Amazon’s device for connecting your HDTV to online content. The tiny box will stream movies, music, and photos to your TV. In addition, you can also play video games with FireTV. The box only measures 4.5″ x 4.5″ x 0.7″ (115 mm x 115 mm x 17.5 mm), so it hardly takes up any space. With Amazon Fire TV, you can stream movies and TV shows up to 1080p HD. The device also supports Dolby Digital Plus up to 7.1 via HDMI or optical out.
Microsoft introduced their new Surface Pro 3 today. Their new tablet can be ordered today at 9pm Pacific time (will ship by August 31st). According to Microsoft, the new Surface, which features a 12-inch screen and a pen, is a tablet that can replace a laptop. The Surface Pro 3 can be ordered in five different configurations. The 64GB / Intel i3 model sells for $799, 128GB / Intel i5 for $999, 256GB / Intel i5 for $1,299, 256GB / Intel i7 for $1,549, and 512GB / Intel i7 for $1,949.
If your kids love the Disney Infinity video game, you’ll love this promotion. As of now, you can download and play the PC version of Disney Infinity for free. That’s right, for FREE. The Incredibles Play Set is now free. Just download and launch the PC game. And then play out the adventure as you try and defeat Syndrome. According to their website, you can even synch the PC game with the app version on your smartphone or tablet. That way you can play on the PC, and then resume play at the same place on your device. Neat, right?
I’ve been test driving the Kindle Paperwhite for the past week. The device was sent to me by an Amazon representative for review on my geek dad blog. I love it. I really do. The Paperwhite is now my favorite gadget for reading. My previous favorite e-reader was the Nook Color. It’s a nice device, but it’s more of a mini-tablet than a e-reader because it’s a little too heavy and big for holding when you’re doing a lot of reading in one sitting. In comparison, the Kindle Paperwhite is light and I can easily hold it with one hand. In addition, I can easily flip the page back and forth just by tapping the page with my thumb instead of having to swipe.
It looks like Epson, the maker of printers and projectors, is getting in the Google Glass business. Their version is called the Moverio BT-200 Smart Glasses. Epson is marketing their lightweight glasses as an augmented reality platform. Like Google Glass, the Moverio projects the display right in your field of vision through the glass lens. The Moverio features two lenses with their own display, a large virtual screen, front-facing camera, motion tracker, earphones with inline microphone, two shades (light and dark), Bluetooth support, and is compatible with most Android apps. Unlike Google Glass, the Epson Moverio BT-200 is on sale now to the general public. It’s priced at $699.99, which is less than half of Google Glass’ price of $1,500.