March 6, 2012

The Marvels of Design

How new technology makes home phones a thing of the past

In today’s world, technology is everything.  Everyday new things are coming out, and many of these technical marvels are so small that their power blows one’s mind. One of the places that debuts many of the concept for mobile technologies is the Mobile World Congress.

This is an exciting place to be. It's a place where manufacturers show off their latest technological breakthroughs, both in terms of hardware and software design. A lot of presentations are given, some for products that are still months or even years off. With some of the new technologies that are being built into mobile phones, it's time to declare home phones and feature phones completely dead. Here are a few demos from this year's Mobile World Congress that were truly mind blowing.

P2i's SplashGuard

Waterproof phones have been around for years, but until now they've all required layers of dense materials to achieve this effect. One company, P2i, has taken a different approach to waterproofing. They're using nano-coating for their waterproofing technology, and have demoed the technology in a number of environments. They recently showed off a waterproof napkin that, after being dunked in water, was still completely dry.

The technology, originally devised as a joint venture with the U.S. Department of Defense, has already made its way into mobile phones. The Droid RAZR line of smartphones and new Xyboard tablet both incorporate the
SplashGuard technology. It can't completely waterproof a phone yet, but one has to believe that it will be able to within a few years.


Augmented reality has been slowly creeping into the marketplace over the last couple of years, and mobile devices have become legitimate navigation devices at the same time. It was only a matter of time before the two services overlapped, and now they have.
iOnRoad encourages drivers to look at their smartphones while driving, combining a view through their smartphone's camera with information on a person's driving. It lets you know how far you are from the vehicle in front of you, what speed you're going, and more.

The software could soon represent a breakthrough for safety. With the ability to alert drivers if a vehicle in front of them is braking, the app could very well save lives. The CEO of the maker of iOnRoad said that the ultimate goal is to integrate the software with existing mobile navigation apps.

Nokia PureView

For years, apps have tried to improve smartphone cameras. The iPhone 4 and 4S include an HDR option, and many apps on both iOS and Android offer some sort of enhancements to stock camera apps. Nokia has taken a similar approach to improve the smartphone camera, but has instead developed new hardware.

PureView is Nokia's new camera sensor that will be included in their smartphones. With 41 megapixels at its disposal, PureView makes the current five-megapixel and eight-megapixel offerings that most phone makers offer seem obsolete. PureView takes five-megapixel cameras, using its 41-megapixel range to oversample every shot, resulting in the best photo available from any given shot.

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