Light Start – Disney smartwatch, pimped tractor, offline Maps, Android Apple Music

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Disney has a touch-recognising smartwatch prototype in the works

Wasn’t Disney that company that just made cartoons a short while ago? No matter, now they’ve teamed up with Carnegie Mellon University to create something else – a smartwatch prototype that seems to be mostly Samsung Galaxy Gear with the rest of the parts being custom-added. It’s point isn’t to give you notifications in the traditional sense, what the prototype watch does is detect, through your finger and the magic of electromagnetic noise, when you’re touching something. Big deal, right? Sure, until its an integral part of your watch and can accurately detect what you’re touching. Then the world is your trackpad, with context-sensitive actions no further than your fingertips – and if we combined this with Hololens

Source: Disney via Ars Technica

What does a tractor designed by a Ferrari studio look like?

Zetor by PininfarinaThis is the Zetor by Pininfarina. If you’re viewing this on the newsletter, you’re going to want to jump onto the website right about… now, because you have to see this bloody tractor. Pininfarina is an Italian design studio responsible for some of the most iconic Ferrari shapes so when they tackled a Zetor tractor, resulting in this concept, we just had to see it. And it wouldn’t look out of place standing in a row with the rest of the stallion-liveried supercar set. It’s just the farming equivalent of a supercar. Sadly, being a concept, this won’t be going into production but if it did we’d expect to see it in every field from Johannesburg to Cape Town.

Source: The Verge

Android gets offline Google Maps, as promised

product-offroad-setup-v1-r2One thing you can say about Google is that when they promise something, they generally deliver. At the Google I/O conference the company promised that Android users would be getting offline access to Google Maps and that’s just what has happened. If you’re on a WiFi connection then Google will let you download the rather hefty maps and will use those to navigate when signal is crappy. But there’s some bad news – South Africa doesn’t seem to be part of the offline maps initiative just yet.

Source: Google

Android also gets Apple Music, in case you’re tired of Spotify

apple-music-android-leaked-pcAndroid’s a lucky boy today. In addition to the whole ‘offline maps’ thing, the Google OS is also getting access to Apple Music. Unlike the offline Maps, you can have access to it right now, if you download the Apple Music app that is live at this moment. Whether it’ll all function, geographically, is something that you’ll have to test out but if you’re used to streaming services and it happens to have locked SA down (unlikely), you should be able to circumvent the regional lockout.

Source: Google Play Store

This is how you do a smartwatch keyboard – time to fund the TouchOne

If smartwatches have a problem it’s that it is very hard to use it as a complete smartphone replacement. The screen is too small, for one, so typing messages is cumbersome. It doesn’t have to be that way, though. The TouchOne app, a working keyboard for smartwatches which will function on both circular and square-faced watches. It takes a page from the old keypad keyboards of yore to get its edge-situated keyboard working as fast as… anything else that takes a few minutes to get used to. At the moment the Kickstarter is looking for AUD$10,000 (R100,500 – wow, really?), with contributors getting the app when it launches next month.

Source: Kickstarter

 

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