Is this year going to be the year for Augmented reality

This Year is going to be the year of AR.

Here at the end of 2012, we’re already getting a speedy adoption of Augmented reality technology. Portable gadgets like tablets, mini machines and smart phones are seemingly tailor-made for the new darling of the Information age.

So what’s AR? Well, AR (or ‘augmented reality’ to its friends), is largely the process of implementing computer created images and/or information onto real life descriptions (at the least the type of Augmented reality we are discussing here is, anyway, its an open-ended expression, so post your complaints in the comments section, please). AR might be applied to paper supplements (so that when the reports or pictures are watched on a phone app they spring to life and recommend additional content), street corners (like the app which will mention all important information pertaining to a restaurant, including reviews, menus and particular offers, just by holding your phone in the direction of the eatery itself) and even the night sky (yes, some AR apps will actually offer scientific statistics and Hubble telescope information on divine bodies and constellations as you look at them through your smart phone).

Augmented reality is coming in sync in a big way and make no mistake about it. Google Glass, a development announced by Google X Lab earlier this year, is one real example. Taking the form of a trendy set of spectacles, Glass users will walk down the street and access any information they see fit as they are doing so. They’ll even be capable of film their daily events, or take snapshots of everything as they happen. Reality might be re-shaped in real time by glasses; it is possible to even use them to generate video calls to loved ones. Google Glass will probably be offered to developers early next year and, by the start of 2014, will develop into commercially available, along with dozens of other exciting products of that ilk.

AR’s impression on home entertainment (especially games) will also be felt, but there can be far more ‘grown up’ uses for that technology in the pipeline. Versions of AR are already getting used to coach troopers, educate would-be surgeons and instruct firefighters in digital burning buildings. For those who do not have the money for a smartphone, Google Glass or the rest we’ve talked about, you’ll see the effects of AR on television sports casting (look at the real-time analysis overlaid on recent NFL games) and on store window promotion (disobedient high street chain Anne Summers pioneered a particularly unforgettable one earlier this year).

In 2013, with more money coming in from AR applications, video games and gadgets, we can anticipate a rapid enhancement of this technology. This means that by the end of next year, Augmented reality might be an inescapable fact of modern life. We expect AR to become a major selling point next year, with businesses offering an greater than before quantity of AR-ready mini games as accessories on a choice of devices and more Augmented reality apps being developed than at any time.

In the event you’re in training as a doctor, a soldier, a policemen or a fireman, the chances are that you’ll meet Augmented reality (if you have not already) in 2013. Certainly, this will not substitute the knowledge of dashing right into a burning structure, going into battle or performing complicated surgery (and it is not attempting to), but the possibility is there for more thorough and thorough training for specialists in these areas. In addition, it will not be long before CEO’s and managers are holding AR-infused meetings, during which the attendees can get into relevant information in real time, which will certainly beat a Powerpoint presentation any day!

In 2013, anticipate advertisements, newspaper supplements and smartphone games to include an increasing element of AR capability. AR is taking the fast track into our lives and 2013 will be a pivotal time for this.

Next year will be the most technologically progressive time in mankind’s story to date and, if that looks like an easy thing to say, consider the scale of this statement. Much like the Net before it, Augmented reality is set to make a big splash in our lifestyles and 2013 will be the the largest wave so far. Frankly, we can’t wait for it…


Is the Surface pro better than the Microsoft Surface RT?

Id Software founder John Carmack has suggested that, in the not-too-far-off future, our personal computers will be built-in into our smartphones. With Television and a multitude of other devices now incorporating increasingly more elements of computers (and seemingly everything sporting Web access), it isn’t unfeasible to envisage a future where the desktop PC evaporates completely from our life, but simply after depositing itself in each other home device.

If this future is coming, then a Microsoft Surface Pro is more likely to be seen as an important stepping-stone along the way. But is it the type of stone that makes it possible to get to your destination, or is it secretly a crocodile in disguise, getting ready to shatter your leg and hamper all progress? (Dig those Monday daybreak descriptions, people). We dispatched our reviewer to find out.


Peculiar Crocodile-themed asides apart, the Surface pro sports some pretty clever statistics. The Microsoft surface pro is different from its RT equivalent for any variety of reasons. Chief along with these reasons is the use of the Microsoft window 8 Pro operating system (that is created for Intel processors as opposed to RT’s trust on their ARM equivalents) and the possibility for a gigantic 128GB storage (and that is not counting the Pro’s MicroSDXC slot).

The Dual-core 1.7GHz Intel i5 CPU is a beast, in truth, when you boot this tablet up, it flies away like a dog straining against a harness, anxious and eager to get started. With its strong memory; the Microsoft surface pro can process 25.6 GB of information a second (that’s above my deprived, crocodile-obsessed noggin can handle in a week).


The Microsoft surface pro is, at the moment, not obtainable in the UK, but will probably be shortly. Within the United states, you can buy one for $899, which translates at about £590, although that is not taking the keyboard into account.


Product sales for the Surface series haven’t been as strong as Microsoft were clearly hoping, which comes as a genuine surprise to me. The Surface RT sold relatively well, but the response was in general mixed and, since the release of the Surface Pro, the sales have not risen in any considerable way. In reality, tech blog ‘The’ reported last month that the Microsoft surface profits had started off disappointing and had continued to droop ever since.

As I said, this is a bombshell, because the Surface Pro appears to be by far the better product.

The display is, quite literally, stunning, a gorgeously rendered mixture of colour, light and depth. Additionally, the Surface Pro runs extremely easily and efficiently.

Personally, my trouble with the Surface Pro is similar one I had with the Surface RT, that is, Windows 8.

Although the Intel-friendly Windows 8 is far simpler to work with (Microsoft sticking with what they know isn’t gonna lead us far wrong), it very much features most of the same annoyances. Windows 8 is actually highly customizable, however the system’s dense and sometimes intolerant nature can with no trouble cause you to throw your arms up in the air and completely give up on what you are attempting to do with it.

The os just is not as hospitable and user responsive as Android or iOS and therein lays the main problem.


Mechanically speaking, the Surface Pro is a miracle. Some of the tech utilized by this gadget is actually Next-Gen stuff and, in that reverence, the Microsoft surface pro represents a landmark in portable computing.

If you ever fancy a challenge, or you happen to get a specialist programmer, this is likely to represent an ‘iPad beater’ for you. Still, if you’re one of us common individuals, for whom pcs are a instrument and never a puzzle, you may get an easier OS (and save about £200 in the process) by purchasing an apple ipad.

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Can I move pictures from my digital camera to my Amazon kindle fire without using a computer

The quick answer is no, you can’t. I’m sorry, but that’s just the way it is.

Though, all hope isn’t lost in spite of this terrible news. There are a couple of main avenues you can go down.

The very first is to simply message the photos to yourself and acquire them to the Kindle. This process works fine if you simply need several holiday snaps or pictures of your little nephew’s birthday or whatever, but its not much use for a great deal of pictures.

The next method is a little more refined. Using a hard drive, it is possible to transfer pictures relatively quickly from one device to the other, this will allow you to transfer a better quantity of photos but will likely take a lot less time.

The best choice, I believe, is probably the second one, especially when you search out the “eye-Fi” SD card, compatible with most recent cameras (although, as always, it is surely best to double check). Sime, of The Digital Photography School blog, was clearly impressed. In the review, he said,

“With the Eye-Fi X2 card, I could upload full res photos from my NEX 5 to my iPhone and then do what I wanted with them [Instagram / Facebook / Flickr etc] when you’re using the X2 card, you can connect the camera directly to your iPhone / iPad without having to use a Wifi router etc… You can also use the Eye-Fi app on your phone [iPhone and Android] to upload your images to your computer / Flickr etc. Yep – works, works well”.

He then gave a personal account of the Eye-Fi’s usefulness, which I’ve re-printed here.

“My wife and I went to the zoo with our almost-three year old a couple of weeks back and I had a look through her images afterwards, realising that there were images from her camera dating back to… well, when I gave her the camera! She’s currently using a 32GB SDHC card in there, and just leaves everything on the card! When I asked if she had copied any on to her computer, I was told “That’s too hard / I don’t have time / Where’s the cable” (Yes, a combo of the three, I didn’t press for details…;) So – I cunningly swapped out the existing card for the Eye-Fi card, loaded the app on her Macbook and added it to start when her computer starts, but to hide in the background (This is an option in the application) so basically, the camera connects to her laptop whenever it can and copies the photographs across – they are there, ready to use. Guess who won ‘awesome technical husband of the week award?’ (Obviously a lot of you are tech savvy, but well… )”

Never let it be said I disregard a question of yours devoid of producing a suggestion of my own.

If you’ll permit me a quick tangent, there is a line in a single of the beloved books of my teen years ‘Have Nice Day: A Tale of Blood & Sweatsocks’ by Mick Foley (which is a immense book about life generally, even if you are not a wrestling fan) that Mick says, “I’d always felt that it was not good enough to shoot something down – It was best to have a answer”. Take that and run with it, people.

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