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Qualcomm dives into drones

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Qualcomm has introduced the Snapdragon Flight, an optimised circuit board targeted specifically for consumer drones and robotics applications.

Qualcomm Snapdragon Flight is based on a Qualcomm Snapdragon 801 processor, and offers robust connectivity, advanced drone software and development tools, bringing cutting-edge mobile technologies to create a new class of consumer drones.

The Snapdragon 801 processor powers some of the world’s most popular smartphones and includes a 2.26GHz quad-core Krait CPU, Adreno 330 GPU, Hexagon DSP, dedicated video encode engine and dual image signal processors (ISP). Together, these support the development of advanced drone features such as obstacle avoidance and video stabilisation.

Yuneec, a leading developer of consumer and professional drones with a long history of innovation in electric aviation, will be one of the first companies to embrace the Snapdragon Flight. It plans to release a drone based on the platform in 2016.

“Until now, drones have been made from multiple component vendors providing separate solutions for photography, navigation and communications, adding to their cost and bulk,” said Raj Talluri, senior vice president, product management, Qualcomm Technologies. “The Qualcomm Snapdragon Flight brings together the technologies that have defined the mobile industry onto a single board, enabling OEMs to build drones that are lighter, smaller, easy to use and affordable, with long battery life and superior functionalities.”

The Snapdragon Flight features advanced processing power, real-time flight control on the Qualcomm Hexagon DSP, built-in Qualcomm 2×2 Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connectivity, and a leading global navigation satellite system (GNSS) optimised to support highly accurate location positioning. The Snapdragon Flight is designed to enable the advanced features that drone consumers want most, including:

•        4K Video – 4K high resolution camera support, image enhancement and video processing capabilities and simultaneous 720p encoding for first person view

•        Advanced Communication and Navigation – Dual-band 2×2 802.11n Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.0, and 5 Hz GNSS location capabilities with advanced real-time flight control on Hexagon DSP

•        Robust Camera and Sensor Support – 4K stereo VGA, optic flow cameras, inertial measurement unit (IMU), barometer sensor support and ports for additional sensors

•        Quick Charge – Supporting fast battery charging in between video/picture sessions

“Drones are enabling a broad range of applications such as aerial photography, and sports filming, so the ability to shoot in 4K is a must-have feature,” said Talluri. “Qualcomm Technologies is already a leader in bringing 4K video capture to consumers, with over 500 device designs powered by Qualcomm Snapdragon processors with 4K UltraHD video capability. It’s natural for us to support the same technologies in the consumer drone space.”

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CES: So long, and thanks for all the beer!

Last week, the Las Vegas expo showed off its fun side with state-of-the-art technologies for enjoying beer, writes BRYAN TURNER

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From craft beer-making machines to robots that pour beer, CES had more beer than usual in Las Vegas last week. And even free beer if you found the right stand. Stampede’s saloon-style booth offered beer to visitors who tried out its latest drones, virtual reality, and other gaming products. No beer tech, though.

Here are some of the beer technologies that stood out:

LG HomeBrew – Craft beer made at home

LG’s HomeBrew craft beer-making machine,  debuted at CES 2019, brings the brewing process home thanks to single-use capsules,  a self-cleaning feature, and an algorithm optimised for fermentation. 

Like a Nespresso coffee machine, the beer maker uses capsules, which contain malt, yeast, hop oil and flavouring. At the press of a button, LG HomeBrew automates the whole procedure from fermentation and carbonation to ageing. A companion app lets users check HomeBrew’s status at any time during the process, from their handsets.

The beer machine not only offers a simple way to make craft beer, but also enhances the quality of beer it makes. The fermentation algorithm intelligently controls the fermenting process with precise temperature and pressure control. It automatically sanitises itself, using nothing more than hot water, ensuring everything is hygienically clean for the next batch.

Designed with discerning beer lovers in mind, HomeBrew allows for in-home production of batches of more than 4 litres of beer in a variety of styles. The following five distinctive, flavoured beers are available now: 

  • Hoppy American IPA
  • Golden American Pale Ale
  • Full-bodied English Stout
  • Zesty Belgian-style Witbier
  • Dry Czech Pilsner

The only catch? It takes about two weeks to make, depending on the beer type.

“LG HomeBrew is the culmination of years of home appliance and water purification technologies that we’ve developed over the decades,” said Dan Song, president of LG Electronics Home Appliance & Air Solutions Company. “Homebrewing has grown at an explosive pace, but there are still many beer lovers who haven’t taken the jump because of the barriers to entry, like complexity, and these are the consumers we think will be attracted to LG HomeBrew.”

Click here to read about the party speaker that holds beer and robots that pour beer.

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CES: Alienware gets Legend-ary

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At CES in Las Vegas last week, Dell’s Alienware released a family of high-end, thin, light, and affordable machines for both amateur and professional gamers – and a new identity.

Alienware marked CES 2019 as a brand milestone with the debut of a new design identity, Alienware Legend. It aims to set a new bar of excellence for what gamers want most – performance and function. Alienware says it evaluated multiple concepts and chose one that was the biggest and boldest departure from its current look.

Alienware Legend, says the company, stays true to the brand’s core design tenets, taking cues from its deep roots in sci-fi culture and its early industrial designs, to distinguish the brand from the rest of the industry. The new Legend design is optimised with cutting-edge thermal cooling technology to achieve and sustain overclocking power, improved AlienFX lighting, and ultra-thin screen borders. It also unveiled a new “three-knuckle hinge” design that reduces the overall dimension while creating a stronger assembly, all combining to yield a better gaming experience.

“We’re excited to come to this year’s CES with some truly groundbreaking products, next-gen software and strategic partnerships that will bring more people to experience PC gaming and advance the industry,” said Frank Azor, vice president and general manager of Alienware. “The legend design answers the call for more and better from our gaming community, and the new G Series laptops will make PC gaming even more accessible to those looking for high-performance gaming at a cost they can appreciate.”

Click here to read about Alienware Legend in action with the Area-51m and m-series laptops

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