2017년 10월 19일 목요일

Windows 10 ARM devices expected to have unbelievable battery life

Microsoft and its OEM partners are expected to launch new Windows 10 devices powered by Qualcomm’s Snapdragon ARM processors later this year. Windows 10 devices powered by ARM processors are known as Always Connected PCs and they offer an always-connected experience on modern hardware.
Microsoft has been talking a lot about Windows 10 on ARM processors and showcasing some of its features over the past year, and it’s now getting ready to release the first set of such PCs this year.
At its annual 5G Summit, Qualcomm revealed some new details on Always Connected PCs and its partnership with Microsoft. Firstly, Don McGuire, the VP of Global Product Marketing at Qualcomm revealed that the Always Connected PCs will have multi-day battery life. In fact, McGuire claimed that the battery life of the Always Connected PCs are actually beyond their expectations, where users would only need to charge their device “every couple of days or so.”
“To be frank, it’s actually beyond our expectations. We set a high bar for [our developers], and we’re now beyond that. It’s the kind of battery life where I use it on a daily basis. I don’t take my charger with me. I may charge it every couple of days or so. It’s that kind of battery life.”
In another interview, Windows group program manager Pete Bernard, shared an interesting story about the battery life of some of the Always Connected PCs which demonstrated the platform’s potentially incredible battery life:
“One of the funny anecdotes is we handed out these devices to all of our dev directors and leaders across the Windows org, and we started getting all these bug reports back… saying ‘the battery meter’s not working, it says I still have a full charge.
It turned out not to be a bug; it just has a great battery life. So people are getting used to this concept of having a device that you don’t have to charge, and at the same time people are getting used to this notion of being always connected and having a device with that LTE connectivity built in. It’s really starting to resonate even amongst our own developers.”
While the first set of Always Connected PCs from Asus, HP, and Lenovo aren’t expected to be cheap, Qualcomm says we’ll eventually get affordable Windows 10 Always Connected PCs powered by the company’s ARM processors once the portfolio expands. Microsoft and Qualcomm are already testing lots of Always Connected PCs internally, and they are expecting to start shipping the first Always Connected PCs just in time for the holidays this December. Notably, Lenovo won’t be able to get its Always Connected PC ready in time for the holidays.

2017년 10월 18일 수요일

GM Outlines Possibilities for Flexible, Autonomous Fuel Cell Electric Platform

General Motors aims to solve some of the toughest transportation challenges created by natural disasters, complex logistics environments and global conflicts. The company will display its Silent Utility Rover Universal Superstructure (SURUS), a flexible fuel cell electric platform with autonomous capabilities, at the fall meeting of the Association of the United States Army (AUSA) from Oct. 9-11, 2017. The commercially designed platform could be adapted for military use.

A rendering of the Silent Utility Rover Universal Superstructure (SURUS) platform with a truck chassis to show the potential of flexible fuel cell solutions. SURUS was designed to form a foundation for a family of commercial vehicle solutions that leverages a single propulsion system integrated into a common chassis.
A rendering of the Silent Utility Rover Universal Superstructure (SURUS) platform with a truck chassis to show the potential of flexible fuel cell solutions. SURUS was designed to form a foundation for a family of commercial vehicle solutions that leverages a single propulsion system integrated into a common chassis.
Washington, D.C. — General Motors aims to solve some of the toughest transportation challenges created by natural disasters, complex logistics environments and global conflicts. The company will display its Silent Utility Rover Universal Superstructure (SURUS), a flexible fuel cell electric platform with autonomous capabilities, at the fall meeting of the Association of the United States Army (AUSA) from Oct. 9-11, 2017. The commercially designed platform could be adapted for military use.
SURUS leverages GM’s newest Hydrotec fuel cell system, autonomous capability and truck chassis components to deliver high-performance, zero-emission propulsion to minimize logistical burdens and reduce human exposure to harm. Benefits include quiet and odor-free operation, off-road mobility, field configuration, instantaneous high torque, exportable power generation, water generation and quick refueling times. 
Fuel cell technology represents a key piece of General Motors’ zero emission strategy. It offers a solution that can scale to larger vehicles with large payload requirements and operate over longer distances. SURUS was designed to form a foundation for a family of commercial vehicle solutions that leverages a single propulsion system integrated into a common chassis. The SURUS platform is equally well-suited for adaptation to military environments where users can take advantage of flexible energy resources, field configurability and improved logistical characteristics.
GM is evaluating multiple applications for SURUS, such as:
  • Utility trucks
  • Mobile and emergency backup power generation
  • Flexible cargo delivery systems
  • Commercial freight
  • Light- and medium-duty trucks, improving upon the Chevrolet Colorado ZH2 that has been evaluated by the U.S. military under guidance of the U.S. Army Tank Automotive Research, Development and Engineering Center (TARDEC) and is undergoing testing on bases
  • Future military-specific configurations
SURUS will deliver highly mobile autonomous capability and agility in unpredictable terrain. Operating multiple vehicles in a leader-follower configuration could reduce manpower needed. For future potential military uses, the system’s inherent low heat signature and quiet operation offer benefits in environments to reduce detection and risks. TARDEC has been in discussions with GM evaluating the commercial SURUS concept as a next step of the broader collaboration to evaluate fuel cell technology for future military applications.
“SURUS redefines fuel cell electric technology for both highway and off-road environments,” said Charlie Freese, executive director of GM Global Fuel Cell Business. “General Motors is committed to bringing new high-performance, zero-emission systems to solve complex challenges for a variety of customers.”
The SURUS platform leverages GM’s vast experience in fuel cell technology, high-voltage batteries and electric drive systems, autonomous driving and vehicle manufacturing. The platform boasts:
  • Two advanced electric drive units
  • Four-wheel steering
  • Lithium-ion battery system
  • Gen 2 fuel cell system
  • Hydrogen storage system capable of more than 400 miles of range
  • Advanced propulsion power electronics
  • GM truck chassis components
  • An advanced, industry-leading suspension

Hydrotec Technology
The SURUS commercial platform draws on GM’s more than 50 years of research and development of fuel cell technology. The scalable and adaptable technology enables land, sea and air applications across commercial and military environments.
Since April 2017, the Army has been testing the commercial Chevrolet Colorado ZH2 on its U.S. bases to determine the viability of hydrogen-powered vehicles in military mission tactical environments. The vehicle has been operating in off-road conditions to evaluate its power generation, reduced odor, acoustic and thermal signatures, high wheel torque, extended operating range and the potential to use the byproduct water.
Military testing has shown the ZH2 reduced acoustic non-detection distance by 90 percent compared to current military vehicle in operation. This means the ZH2 can get 10 times closer before being detected. Leaders also observed the potential advantages for stationary power generation over diesel generators, including a significant reduction in idle noise and fuel use. Testing will continue through spring 2018.
Partnerships remain an important part of GM’s electrification strategy. Last year, the U.S. Navy unveiled a GM fuel cell-powered Unmanned Undersea Vehicle (UUV) for testing purposes that leverages GM fuel cell technology common with the Colorado ZH2.
General Motors Co.  (NYSE: GM, TSX: GMM), its subsidiaries and joint venture entities produce and sell vehicles under the Chevrolet, Cadillac, Baojun, Buick, GMC, Holden, Jiefang and Wuling brands. GM has leadership positions in several of the world's most significant automotive markets and is committed to lead the future of personal mobility. More information on the company and its subsidiaries, including OnStar, a global leader in vehicle safety, security and information services, can be found at http://www.gm.com.

How Casio is selling $900 selfie cameras in China

The compact camera market is essentially dead, as smartphones have supplanted traditional point-and-shoots for most people’s photography needs. Smartphones have also pioneered entirely new forms of photography, like selfies. None of this is news to anyone.
What might be news to you, however, is that there are still ways to sell compact cameras in 2017, if you can find the right product and the right market. You can sell them for quite a lot of money, in fact. And that’s what Casio has been doing with its TR series of cameras over the past few years in Asia. 
The TR series is aggressively focused on one thing: perfect selfies. The current flagship model, the TR-80, looks like a small smartphone with a giant bejeweled lens up top; its angular metallic frame doubles as a kickstand and triples as a rotating handle for group shots. The dual flashes and software give users extensive control over lighting, skin tone, and makeup. 
Casio says its users commonly refer to the TR cameras as the “selfie God device,” and although the company won’t provide detailed sales data, the cameras are popular enough in Asia to command a price of around $900 for relatively unremarkable hardware.
Casio TR-80.
The TR series is the result of refined focus on Casio’s part. It’s aimed at a particular demographic: young women in the Chinese-speaking world, and as such the facial recognition software is tuned specifically toward them. But Takashi Niida, a manager for digital imaging at Casio’s global marketing division, says that focus took a while to sharpen. 
“At that time in China, the social network Weibo was getting popular,” Niida says. “Women tried to take beautiful selfies and post them on the internet, almost like a competition. Cameras at the time didn’t have Wi-Fi, though, so people couldn’t transfer pictures to their smartphones. But people knew that Casio TR photos were much prettier than iPhone photos, so they just took pictures of the TR screen with their smartphones and uploaded them.” Casio has concentrated on this market ever since, adding more advanced makeup and portrait functionality with each new model.
Now Casio wants to broaden the TR line’s appeal. The company just announced the TR Mini (TR-M11), a completely new camera with a smaller, circular design and a ring of eight LED flashes around the lens that give greater control over selfie lighting. It’ll be available in Hong Kong, Singapore, and Taiwan for a little over $500. 
The ring flash is the main new feature of the TR Mini. “Using the eight LED lights, we can provide uniform lighting from any angle, but also we can illuminate just the left or right sides of the faces to create various looks,” Niida says. “It’s the same thing as when you go to a photo studio and there are lights from various directions.” Different combinations of lights on the TR Mini enable different modes — like Sculpt, Slim, and Shadow — that change the way your face looks, and there are further features designed to remove moles, circles under eyes, and so on.
The TR Mini’s lens has also been chosen for its flattering properties. It’s 21mm, which is a wide-angle perspective that can capture your face and shoulders or multiple people at once, but Casio says that TR camera users also like the focal length because it has a slimming effect on the face. That distortion is actually considered a bad thing in traditional portrait photography, but it goes to show how the selfie phenomenon is causing camera makers to rethink conventional product design. 
Casio TR Mini.
That extends to the TR Mini’s form factor, too. The clamshell camera is reminiscent of a flip-top makeup case and is designed to be easy to carry in a handbag. The touchscreen is square, with a gesture-based UI, and the camera takes social network-ready square photos by default; the sensor is 12 megapixels, but square shots are cropped down to 8. The TR Mini can also upload the pictures automatically to your phone over low-energy Bluetooth. The lower price and accessible design is intended to widen the appeal of the TR series beyond the previous flagship models; Niida compares the Mini to casual fashion versus the TR-80’s elegant style.
Casio isn’t aiming the TR Mini at its home market of Japan, however. “Especially in China, we did questionnaires and found that people want to show themselves to many others more than in Japan,” Niida says. “In other Asian countries as well, they’re not embarrassed to share their pictures and they don’t really hesitate to upload. But in Japan, for example, on Facebook people upload photos of scenery or meals they’ve cooked but not really beautiful selfies. I think they’re still shy about that. For many Japanese people, when they take selfies they try to make it more fun, like adding dog ears and so on. So there do seem to be some differences in each country.” 
Casio also targets the Chinese market by stressing that the TR cameras are made in Japan unlike its other models, adding to their appeal as status symbols. And despite the TR Mini’s more advanced flash features, Niida expects that some people will continue to buy the TR-80 because of its higher price, since the TR brand to date has been associated with expensive cameras in that form factor. “In China, how people look at you is really important,” he says, which after all is the point of a selfie camera in the first place.
Casio also doesn’t seem to be especially worried about the increasing capability of smartphone selfie cameras. The obvious comparison here is the iPhone 8 Plus, which simulates various studio lighting settings in its portrait mode. The iPhone X further uses the front-facing Face ID camera to ascertain depth and blur the backgrounds of portraits, while Chinese companies like Oppo and Vivo have added dual selfie cameras to their phones for the same reason. But Niida says that Casio’s experience tuning its software for faces, as well as the way it develops features specifically for women, will continue to give the company an advantage. 
The TR cameras aren’t likely to make their way to the West anytime soon, but that’s a function of their particular targeting and focus. “We think that we can still be competitive in the digital camera market if we can make the purpose of the camera clear,” Niida says. “We don’t sell cameras with interchangeable lenses, so we haven’t been trying to sell cameras to people who are really into taking photos as a hobby. Rather than that, we want to focus on people who want to take beautiful photos more easily and who want to keep their memories.”
Your smartphone might be all you need for that. But Casio has proven that for some people, their phone is not enough.
Photography by Sam Byford / The Verge

젠하이저, 14년만에 스터디셀러 헤드폰 후속기기 출시

젠하이저가 2003년 출시 이후 스테디셀러로 사랑받았던 HD650 헤드폰의 후속기기를 출시한다.
젠하이저 HD650은 세계적으로 3대 레퍼런스 헤드폰으로 꼽히는 HD600의 형제 모델로 전 세계 음향기기 마니아들에게 각광받은 모델이다.
이번에 젠하이저 HD650 헤드폰의 후속기로 등장하는 모델은 HD660 s로 전체적인 디자인은 HD650과 비슷하나 새로운 음향 설계로 전작보다 보다 나은 성능을 제공한다.
그리고 젠하이저의 레퍼런스 헤드폰 라인업인만큼 좌우 음압 레벨의 편차를 일일히 수작업으로 조절해 완벽한 볼륨 밸런스를 갖춰 출고된다.
또한, 입력 저항값도 300옴에서 150옴으로 낮아졌으며, 500달러(약 56만 원)에 판매될 예정이다.

울펜슈타인2 더 뉴 콜로서스, 런치 트레일러 공개

곧 출시를 앞두고 있는 울펜슈타인2 더 뉴 콜로서스의 런치 트레일러가 공개 되었다.
이번 울펜슈타인2 더 뉴 콜로서스는 2014년 출시된 울펜슈타인 리부트의 후속작으로 더욱 큰 세계관 확장으로 새로운 울펜슈타인 프랜차이즈를 이어나가게 된다.
베데스다와 개발사인 머신게임즈는 이번 런치 트레일러를 통해 게임의 스토리와 설정을 선보이며, 게임내 나치를 다양한 무기로 죽이는 모습을 선보인다.
울펜슈타인2 더 뉴 콜로서스는 PC, PS4, XBOX ONE으로 출시 될 예정이며, 최근 닌텐도 다이렉트를 통해 닌텐도 스위치로도 출시될 예정임을 알려왔다. 닌텐도 스위치 버전의 경우에는 내년에 출시되며, PC, PS4, XBOX ONE 버전은 10월 27일에 출시될 예정이다.

'배틀그라운드' 정식 서비스 '초읽기'.. 사전 예약 돌입

전세계적으로 선풍적인 인기를 모으고 있는 블루홀 '플레이어언노운스 배틀그라운드'(이하 배틀그라운드)가 정식 출시에 앞서 사전 예약에 돌입했다.
18일 배틀그라운드 한국 퍼블리싱을 맡고 있는 카카오게임즈는 '배틀그라운드' 서비스 시작에 앞서 사전 예약 프로모션을 진행한다고 밝혔다.
배틀그라운드는 최대 100명의 이용자가 고립된 섬에 떨어져 각종 무기와 차량 등을 전략적으로 활용해 최후의 1인 혹은 1팀이 살아남을 때까지 생존 싸움을 벌이는 배틀로얄 게임이다. 
사전 예약은 내달 13일까지 티저 사이트 내에 마련된 프로모션 페이지에 휴대전화 번호를 남기는 방법으로 진행된다. 카카오게임즈는 참여자 전원에게 캐릭터를 꾸미는 용도로만 사용되는 의상(스킨) 아이템을 서비스 시작 후 선물할 예정이다.
카카오게임즈가 서비스하는 배틀그라운드에 관한 정보는 순차적으로 공개될 예정이다. 카카오게임즈는 오는 24일 양재동 엘타워에서 미디어 쇼케이스를 개최해 PC방을 비롯한 한국 서비스 전반의 일정 및 세부 전략 등을 발표할 예정이다.

실내 자율주행 로봇 AROUND와 전동카트 AIRCART, YES24 서점에서 첫 시동

실내 자율주행 로봇 서비스의 대중화를 위한 AROUND

네이버랩스 Robotics 팀은 작년 DEVIEW 2016에서 고정밀 실내지도 제작 로봇 M1을 공개한 바 있습니다. 사실 M1은 예고편이었습니다. 본편은 올해 DEVIEW에서 공개한 AROUND입니다.
AROUND는 실내 자율주행 서비스 로봇의 대중화라는 목표로 제작되었습니다. 그간 수많은 자율주행 로봇들이 개발되었지만 여전히 일상에서 대중화되지 못하는 이유를, 우리는 로봇의 높은 제작 비용으로 봤습니다. 로봇의 제작 단가를 낮출 수 있다면, 더 다양한 공간과 상황에서 실내 자율주행 로봇 서비스를 경험할 수 있게 될 것입니다. 이를 위해 우리는 지난해부터 새로운 솔루션을 준비해왔습니다.
솔루션의 핵심은, 자율주행 로봇 제작 비용에 상당 비중을 차지하던 핵심 기능들을 분산시키는 것입니다. 기존에는 지도 생성, 위치 파악, 경로 생성, 장애물 회피 등 자율주행에 요구되는 기능들을 로봇 자체에서 모두 직접 수행해야 했습니다. 네이버랩스는 이를 AROUND, M1, 그리고 map cloud로 분산시키는 시도를 했습니다.
지도 생성은 사전에 M1이, 위치 파악과 경로 생성은 map cloud가 역할을 대신하기 때문에, AROUND 본체에서는 저가의 센서와 낮은 프로세싱 파워로 장애물 회피 등의 기본적인 기능만 갖추고도 정확도 높은 자율주행을 할 수 있게 됩니다. 이러한 솔루션을 바탕으로 로봇의 제작 비용을 큰 폭으로 낮출 수 있기 때문에, 사람들의 삶 가까이에서 도움을 제공할 수 있는 실내 자율주행 서비스 로봇의 대량 보급이 가능해집니다. 또한, 공간의 특성이나 목적에 맞는 형태의 로봇으로 쉽게 커스터마이징하여 설계/제작할 수 있기 때문에, 다양한 방식과 형태의 서비스를 제공할 수 있습니다.

문제를 해결하고, 경험을 변화시키며, 문화를 만들어내는 기술

AROUND는 부산의 복합 공간 F1963에 위치한 YES24 서점에서 첫 시동을 겁니다. 이곳에서 AROUND는 고객들이 다 읽은 책을 상단부의 적재공간에 넣어 수거하고 일정 무게가 넘어가면 자동으로 지정된 장소로 이동하여 직원이 책을 회수하는 시나리오에 맞춰 제작되었습니다. 이는 실제로 서점 직원들이 가장 힘들어 하는 부분을 해결해줍니다. 서점 책장에 꽂힌 책들은 위치가 모두 전산화되어 있기 때문에, 단 한 권이 잘못된 위치에 꽂히더라도 직원들은 근처의 책들까지 일일이 살펴봐야 했기 때문입니다. AROUND는 이러한 노동력을 크게 절감시킵니다.
또한 AROUND는 서점을 찾은 고객들의 경험도 변화시킵니다. 책을 진열하는 공간과 읽는 공간을 AROUND가 연결해주기 때문입니다. 독자는 책장에서 한 권씩 책을 뽑아 선 채로 살펴보지 않아도 됩니다. 여러 권을 뽑아 편한 테이블에서 충분히 살펴본 후 AROUND에 맡기면 됩니다. 이렇듯 AROUND에 적용된 생활환경지능은 사용자의 경험, 그리고 공간이 지닌 문화적 특성에 자연스럽게 녹아들어 새로운 가치를 만들 수 있도록 설계되었습니다.
근력증강 웨어러블 로봇 기술 적용된 AIRCART
이번 YES24 서점에는 AROUND 외에 네이버랩스 제품이 하나 더 공개됩니다. 입고되는 수많은 책들을 안전하고 쉽게 운반할 수 있도록 도와줄 전동카트입니다. 모터가 자동으로 힘을 증강하여 아무리 무거운 물체를 실어도 미끄러운 빙판 위를 이동하듯 가볍게 움직일 수 있기 때문에 AIRCART라고 이름을 지었습니다. 힘이 부족한 사람도 가볍게 오르막길을 오를 수 있고, 사고가 발생하기 쉬운 내리막길에서도 자동 브레이크 시스템으로 안전하게 이동할 수 있습니다. 역시 많은 사람들이 오가는 서점이라는 공간에 맞게 충돌 방지, 특히 어린이 고객 안전을 위해 카트 이용자가 앞쪽 시야를 충분히 확보할 수 있도록 설계했으며, 평균적으로 1회에 옮기는 도서 수량에 맞추고 책이 쏟아지지 않도록 적재 선반을 안쪽으로 비스듬하게 설계했습니다.
AIRCART에는 근력증강 웨어러블 로봇에 사용하는 physical human-robot interaction (pHRI) 기술이 적용되어 있습니다. 운전자의 조작 의도를 카트 손잡이에 달린 힘센서에서 파악해 실시간으로 카트의 움직임(추진력과 방향)을 제어하기 때문에, 누구든 따로 조작 방법을 배울 필요없이 직관적인 사용이 가능합니다.
네이버랩스는 space & mobility 연구를 통해 실제 삶의 공간에 스며드는 자연스럽고 유용한 서비스 제공을 목표로 합니다. 로봇 연구도 역시 마찬가지입니다. 손에 잡히지 않을듯한 먼 미래의 청사진이 아니라 바로 오늘, 누구나 일상에서 경험할 수 있는 기술과 제품 및 서비스를 고민합니다. 사용자 경험에 자연스럽게 녹아들고, 단지 편의에 국한되는 것이 아니라 삶의 가치와 문화로 이어질 수 있는 기술을 완성하려고 합니다. 실내 자율주행 서비스 로봇 AROUND와 근력증강 웨어러블 로봇 기술을 응용한 AIRCART 역시 같은 목적으로 개발되었습니다. 앞으로도 네이버랩스 Robotics 팀은 생활환경지능 기반의 새로운 서비스와 제품들을 더 많은 사람들이 일상에서 누릴 수 있도록 다양한 파트너 및 사업자들과 함께 협업을 지속해 나갈 것입니다.

Windows 10 ARM devices expected to have unbelievable battery life

Microsoft and its OEM partners are expected to launch new Windows 10 devices powered by Qualcomm’s Snapdragon ARM processors later this y...