smartDIGITAL recently raised $2.7m in a Series A round of funding.
The startup, that makes large kiosk with multi-touch displays (think "giant SmartPhone") is already present in Chicago and Miami and has partners such as Groupon. They plan to expand to 10 further markets in the nect 36 months.
The multi-touch technology encourages users to interact with the device rather than just read it's contents. Equipped with printers, credit car swipes HD cameras and speakers, the units can deployed for many services.
CEO George Burciaga says that so far, the kiosks are usually active for 6.5 hours a day, with three to four people in front of the kiosk.
The Pocket TV is a fully functioning micro-computer about the size of a thumb drive. It will plug into any TV with an HDMI port and essentially turn it into a SmartTV. The unit is equipped with a 1Ghz processor, 512MB RAM GPU supporting 1080p graphics, MicroSD card and a USB connector. Running Android 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich), it will be able to run virtually any Android app. The device also comes with an IR remote and supports an optional Air Remote. (You can, of course, use an Android or iOS app as a remote too.)
Development is complete and Infinitec are looking for funding via kickstarter.com to get it into mass production. For only $99, you can secure yourself an early version.
Verizon is planning to double its top speed internet service to 300 (yes, 300) megabits per second. The upload speed will be 65mbps.
Verizon touts the new service as being for "downloading files or streaming video". This begs the questions "from where and why?" That 300mbps is going to reduce dramatically once traffic gets off Verizons local loop. I'm certainly not going to get anywhere close to 300mbps to iTunes Store, Netflix, etc. Sure, I could get high speed streaming from the local Verzon hub, but I can stream Vudu HDX with only 6mbps, why do I need 300? With bandwidth caps being de rigueur, I could conceivably exceed my cap in a day.
Now if Verizon were to offer localized cloud backup that allows me to backup my entire hard drive in a few hours that would be useful. Only other use I see is 100's of channels of questionable IPTV content.
Pricing is not yet available.
Demand for 4K is slowly increasing now that there is regular press coverage and consumer products are starting to appear (see: Beyond Blu-ray). NHK and Panasonic have raised the bar yet again with their prototype 145-inch 8K plasma display. The display has 16 times the resolution of a regular Full HD display, having a resolution of 7,860 pixels horizontally and 4,320 pixels vertically, and a frame rate of 60 fps.
The display will be on show to the public from May 24-27, at NHK's Science & Technology Research Laboratories in Tokyo. For those who can't wait (or can't afford the airfare) you can get a glimpse of it here:
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