Posts Tagged ‘Camera’

Google Glass

Google has garnered a lot of attention for its Google Glass product: Wireless glasses that project online information and can video record the world around the wearer. Now there’s a new minor furor. The $1,500 (90,000 INR) product reportedly contains only $80 (4,800 INR) in parts.

Website Teardown.com took a Google Glass unit apart and estimated the prices. With the most expensive component running $13.96, the device had a total cost of $79.78, including a charge for assembly and testing. That would appear to make Google Glass a highly profitable product. But there is more going on than a simple list of parts.

$13.96 – OMAP 4430 processor
$05.66 – Camera
$03.00 – Display
$08.18 – 16GB Flash Memory from Toshiba
——
$30.80 – Total Cost of Major Parts

Tear-downs, in which someone takes a device apart and estimates the cost of parts and sometimes even manufacturing, have become a near sport in high tech. Whenever a new high-profile product hits the market, you can bet that it will be only a short amount of time until someone has torn it down to investigate the ins and outs and publish a manufacturing cost estimate. Such an analysis draws a lot of attention.

What makes this tear-down noteworthy is the wide disparity between the cost of materials — known in manufacturing as the bill of materials — and the price of the final product. Even an Apple (AAPL) iPhone, easily one of the highest gross margin products in consumer electronics, offers nowhere near the gap between the cost of components and the final price of a single unit.

But tear-downs usually occur on mass market products, in which as many as hundreds of millions of units are ultimately made and sold. The cost of creating a product goes well beyond the price of parts. Usually such expenses, including engineering, design, and start-up manufacturing costs, are hidden because they are amortized across so many units.

Google has not revealed how many units it has sold, but up until a one-day sale in April, sales estimates were in the 10,000 range. If it cost $10 million to develop the product and start up initial manufacturing, that would be $1,000 per unit, and the engineering and design costs could run much higher. Tear-downs also don’t reveal how much a company might have to pay to license the intellectual property rights that it doesn’t directly own.

So, the chances are unlikely that the company is getting rich on sales of Google Glass. However, if sales hit the millions within the next couple of years, as BI Intelligence estimates, there could be a good chunk of change flowing into the corporate coffers.

With the new model is being referred to as iPhone 6, it had briefly surfaced some new features.

iPHONE 6 SCREEN
It’s pretty safe to assume that the iPhone 6 is going to have a larger screen size than the existing iPhone 6. Most of the rumours are that the iPhone 6 will have a 4.8in screen (4.5in and 5in screen sizes have also been put forwards), which would make the phone similar in size to the Samsung Galaxy S4 and the HTC One. At this screen size, Apple could then move to a Full HD (1,920×1,080) resolution or even go beyond.

While Apple has not previously made a large-screen phone, upping the screen size for the iPhone 6 makes a lot of sense. It means it can compete with the large-screen phones from other manufacturers and keep the iPhone 5S as a smaller alternative, giving iPhone users more choice.

Tim Cook has said, “Some customers value large screen size, others value other factors such as resolution, colour quality, white balance, brightness, reflectivity, screen longevity, power consumption, portability, compatibility with apps and many things. Our competitors had made some significant trade-offs in many of these areas in order to ship a larger display. We would not ship a larger display iPhone while these trade-offs exist.”

What that statement says, to us, is that Apple won’t ship a large-screen iPhone until it’s managed to iron out all of the trade-offs. A thinner screen, to make a lighter phone, could well be the right way to go, then.

It’s no wonder, then, that Apple may also be considering the screen technology that it uses, with a Sharp IGZO (Indium Gallium Zinc Oxide) screen top of the list. This new technology allows for screens that use less power and are considerably thinner. Rumours certainly picked up when the Sharp IGZO technology was demonstrated at CES 2013.

iPHONE 6 GAZE DETECTION
A bigger screen requires more power, so any technology that can increase battery life has to be good. For the iPhone 6 Apple could be about to revisit gaze detection technology, where the phone can tell if you’re looking at the screen or not. If you were to look away, the phone could pause a video playing and turn the screen off. Patently Apple has dug up the full information on how the technology is likely to work.

Given that Samsung has similar technology in its Galaxy S4 smartphone, we’d say there’s a high chance that Apple will follow suit and implement its own version.

iPHONE 6 iOS 7
We already have iOS 7, so it makes sense that this operating system will be used for the iPhone 6. It’s possible, given that the iPhone 5S has features specific to it, that the OS will be updated to introduce new features with the new handset. For example, it could enable NFC is Apple decides that it wants the technology to use for mobile payments; we wouldn’t bet on it, though, as it seems steadfastly against it.

iPHONE 6 CAMERA
For the iPhone 5S Apple upped the physical size of its 8-megapixel sensor, meaning that each pixel gets more light. In addition, it upgraded the lens from an f/2.4 model to an f/2.2 model, increasing low-light performance again. Combined with the A7 SoC, the camera has a couple of neat modes, including a 10fps burst mode that goes on until the phone’s memory is full, and a 120fps slow-motion mode.

It would make sense if Apple was to use this sensor in the iPhone 6, although, given it’s a bigger phone, with more room inside for components, it could well up the pixel count, with a 12- or 13-megapixel on the cards.

iPHONE 6 STORAGE
In terms of storage, 64GB has been the top model for a couple of years, and continues to be so for the iPhone 5S. We’re not expecting this to change for the iPhone 6, although we know that the Apple can make a 128GB model, thanks to the recent launch of a 128GB iPad 4.

The new model doubled the maximum capacity of the previous high-end iPad (64GB). This update was said to be about increasing the variety of uses for the tablet, with Apple stating that more storage was good for large files for use in applications such as CAD and music production. It’s also a more useful amount of storage for photos and videos.

iPHONE 6 TOUCH ID
Touch ID, the fingerprint reader, was the one of the big talking points for the iPhone 5S. Recent rumours suggest that Touch ID will also come to the iPad 5 and iPad Mini 2, so we’d really expect it on the iPhone 6.

Touch ID works brilliant and encourages people to be more secure, as using it requires a passcode to be set. At the moment, Touch ID can only be used to unlock the iPhone and to authorise iTunes and App Store payments, but it would make sense for Apple to be thinking about new applications for the technology. We can easily see a future where banking apps, for example, are authenticated through the phone.

For the technology really to be taken seriously, we’d expect to see it in as many mobile devices as possible, which obviously includes the iPhone 6. The only real question is, will we see Touch ID open up any new features? If Apple was to include a NFC chip, then Touch ID could be used to authenticate payments. We’re not necessarily expecting NFC, though, as Apple has so far been dead set against including it.

iPHONE 6 A7 SoC
Apple has just released the A7 SoC chip for its iPhone 5S, which is proving to be very fast. It’s got some great custom features, too, including the Image Signal Processor for the camera, which lets the iPhone 5S shoot fast bursts and slow motion video. Given that this 64-bit chip is brand-new, we can’t see Apple completely changing it for the iPhone 6.

Instead, we may get an upgraded version for the iPhone 6. This could include more cores, perhaps moving from dual-core to quad-core, and perhaps a faster graphics core, similar to how the current iPad has an A6X processor, which is the iPhone version with quad-core graphics.

Leaked shots, before it was released, of the iPhone 5S correctly showed that it had a brand-new processor, the A7.

iPHONE 6 PRICE
Apple typically releases its new models at the same price as the old ones. If that holds out, then, and assuming that the 16GB model is dropped, we’d expect the 32GB model to cost £529, the 64GB model £599 and the 128GB model £699. However, if the company continues to sell the iPhone 5S, we could be in for some new pricing, with the iPhone 6 a premium model that sits above it, in which case all bets are off and we have no idea how much it will be.

A company that sells security cameras that were hacked, causing live feeds from hundreds of homes and small businesses to appear on the internet, has settled allegations that it failed to adequately secure the devices

A company that sells security cameras that were hacked, causing live feeds from hundreds of homes and small businesses to appear on the internet, has settled allegations that it failed to adequately secure the devices.

The U.S. Federal Trade Commission said TRENDnet failed to take steps needed to protect the users, mainly families, that purchased the SecurView cameras, which had faulty software.

In January 2012, a hacker broke into the SecurView camera software and publicized how to do it. Other SecurView camera software followed suit.

“Eventually, hackers posted links to the live feeds of nearly 700 of the cameras. The feeds displayed babies asleep in their cribs, young children playing, and adults going about their daily lives,” the FTC said.

The devices had been advertised as secure. Under the settlement, TRENDnet is barred from misrepresenting that the buggy software is secure. It is also required to address security risks, help customers fix their software and obtain an independent assessment of their security programs every year for 20 years.