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Intel 3D camera for Acer notebook

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Acer has revealed its V Nitro Black Edition notebooks that feature Intel’s RealSense 3D camera. The camera will allow users to interact with applications, games and the web without having to touch the keyboard.

Acer has announced the V Nitro Black Edition notebooks that will feature the Intel RealSense 3D camera.  Because the camera can understand and respond to natural movement in three dimensions, V Nitro owners will be able to interact with games, open web pages or navigate applications without even touching the notebook’s keyboard.  It also enables 3D scanning and printing; users will simply take a photo of an object with the 3D camera, scan and save it.  The photo can be used as is, or altered for sharing electronically or printing on a 3D printer.

“Acer believes three dimensional computing offers unlimited potential for both professional and consumer uses,” said, John Miedema, director product marketing, Acer Europe.  “Business applications include 3D modeling, mapping and architectural design, while the most popular consumer uses will likely include augmented reality gaming, watching videos in 3D and simple PC navigation and control.”

The Intel RealSense 3D camera includes three lenses: a conventional camera, an infrared camera and an infrared laser projector. Together, they infer depth by detecting infrared light that has bounced back from objects in front of it. This visual data, taken in combination with Intel RealSense motion-tracking software, creates a touch-free interface that responds to hand, arm and head motions as well as facial expressions.

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The V Nitro featuring the new 3D camera will be on display at Pepcom’s Digital Experience! Event on Jan. 5th at The Mirage in Las Vegas.

Acer’s V Nitro Black Edition series of high-performance notebooks deliver superior performance, multimedia and entertainment features in a sleek and elegant design.  Lightning fast processing, cutting-edge graphics, full HD displays, and amped up audio help to immerse players in the action.  It is the ultimate platform for any professional or consumer power user.

Acer V 17 Nitro Black Edition notebook models include large 17.3-inch Full HD displays with IPS technology and are powered by a 4th generation Intel Core i7-4710HQ Quad Core processor and the Nvidia GeForce GTX 860M graphics with up to 4GB DDR5 VRAM for full-tilt performance and smooth game play, and up to16GB of memory.  Speedy 128GB or 256GB solid state drive and with up to 1TB of hard disk storage provide fast wake times and rapid access to files, movies, songs and photos.

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It also incorporates the newest 802.11ac wireless specification for fast and more reliable Internet connections.  The ultrafast 802.11ac wireless networking standard is up to 3 times faster than the previous generation spec (802.11n) and increases network speed, range and reliability, enabling more people to use different wireless devices and simultaneously stream content with less interference.  Dual wireless antennas supporting both 2.4GHz and 5GH frequencies enable speedy Internet connections.

To keep the notebook running cool and at optimum performance, V 17 Nitro Black Edition models include Acer DustDefender, a dust removal system that uses a high-speed fan with thin metal blades to remove dust build-up, improve heat dissipation and minimize noise.

Four built-in speakers (8W total output) combine with Dolby Digital Plus Home Theater for powerful surround sound for gaming, movies and music.  Various models in the V 17 line include either a Blu-ray Disc drive for a crystal clear movie experience or an 8X DVD Super Multi Double Layer Drive that is M-DISC enabled.  For connecting with friends, family or fellow gamers, Skype Certification delivers crystal clear and instant communications.

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Low-cost wireless sport earphones get a kickstart

Wireless earphone brands are common, but not crowdfunded brands. BRYAN TURNER takes the K Sport Wireless for a run.

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As wireless technology becomes better, Bluetooth earphones have become popular in the consumer market. KuaiFit aspires to make them even more accessible to more people through a cheaper, quality product, by selling the K Sport Wireless Earphones directly from its Kickstarter page

KuaiFit has an app by the same name which offers voice-guided personal training services in almost every type of exercise, from cardio to weight-lifting. A vast range of connectivity to third-party sensors is available, like heart rate sensors and GPS devices, which work well with guided coaching. 

The app starts off with selecting a fitness level: beginner, intermediate and advanced. Thereafter, one has the ability to connect with real personal trainers via a subscription to its paid service. The subscription comes free for 6 months with the earphones, and R30 per month thereafter. 

The box includes a manual, a USB to two USB Type B connectors, different sized soft plastic eartips and the two earphone units. Each earphone is wireless and connects to the other independently of wires. This puts the K Sport Wireless in the realm of the Apple Earpods in terms of connection style. 

The earphones are just over 2cm wide and 2cm high. The set is black with a light blue KuaiFit logo on the earphone’s button. 

The button functions as an on/off switch when long-pressed and a play/pause button when quick-pressed. The dual-button set-up is convenient in everyday use, allowing for playback control depending on which hand is free. Two connectivity modes are available, single earphone mode or dual earphone mode. The dual earphone mode intelligently connects the second earphone and syncs stereo audio a few seconds after powering on. 

In terms of connectivity, the earphones are Bluetooth 4.1 with a massive 10-meter range, provided there are no obstacles between the device and the earphones. While it’s not Bluetooth 5, it still falls into the Bluetooth Low Energy connection category, meaning that the smartphone’s battery won’t be drastically affected by a consistent connection to the earphones. The batteries within the earphones aren’t specifically listed but last anywhere between 3 and 6 hours, depending on the mode. 

Audio quality is surprisingly good for earphones at this price point. The headset style is restricted to in-ear due to its small design and probable usage in movement-intensive activities. As a result, one has to be very careful how one puts these earphones, in because bass has the potential of getting reduced from an incorrect in-ear placement. In-ear earphones are usually notorious for ear discomfort and suction pain after extended usage. These earphones are one of the very few in this price range that are comfortable and don’t cause discomfort. The good quality of the soft plastic ear tip is definitely a factor in the high level of comfort of the in-ear earphone experience.

Overall, the K Sport Wireless earphones are great considering the sound quality and the low price: US$30 on Kickstarter.

Find them on Kickstarter here.

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Taxify enters Google Maps

A recent update to Taxify now uses Google Maps which allows users to identify their drivers, find public transport and search for billing options.

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People planning their travel routes using Google Maps will now see a Taxify icon in the app, in addition to the familiar car, public transport, walking and billing options.

Taxify started operating in South Africa in 2016 and as of October 2018 operates in seven South African cities – Johannesburg, Ekurhuleni, Tshwane, Cape Town, Durban, Port Elizabeth and Polokwane.

Once riders have searched for their destination and asked the app for directions, Google Maps shares the proximity of cars on the Taxify platform, as well as an estimated fare for the trip.

If users see that taking the Taxify option is their best bet, they can simply tap on the ‘Open app’ icon, to complete the process of booking the ride. Customers without the app on their device will be prompted to install Taxify first.

This integration makes it possible for users to evaluate which of the private, public or e-hailing modes of transport are most time-efficient and cost-effective.

“This integration with Google Maps makes it so much easier for users to choose the best way to move around their city,” says Gareth Taylor, Taxify’s country manager for South Africa. “They’ll have quick comparisons between estimated arrival times for the different modes of transport, as well as fares they can expect to pay, which will help save both time and money,” he added.

Taxify rides in Google Maps are rolling out globally today and will be available in more than 15 countries, with South Africa being one of the first countries to benefit from this convenient service.

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