New Samsung Foldable Phone Patent Hints Of Gaming Aspirations

A patent application filed by Samsung may shine some light on its upcoming dual-screen phone. The patent shows the two displays being used in a manner similar to the Nintendo 3DS.
According to the patent drawing, the second screen can be configured as a virtual controller for the game running on the second screen above. Depending on the game running, the controls can be for 3D-space control or just a linear control scheme.
Stylus-based input control has also been included in the application; presumably involving the S-Pen. Additionally, the stylus would be useful for drawing apps as it can use the second screen as a drawing surface, while keeping the primary screen free for previews and magnification.
Notable in the patent filing is that the phone will have its own set of sensors and front camera on both screesns, not unlike the ZTE Axon M.
We know that the smartphone codenamed Galaxy X is set to appear sometime in 2018, but as for now we do not know when will the date be.
(Source: LetsGoDigital via GSMArena )
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Microsoft Foldable Device Features New Hinge Design

Microsoft is working on a foldable device; at least according to a patent filed by the company. The upcoming foldable will feature a new hinge design to give it enough flexibility for multiple form factors.
The special ‘self-regulating hinge’ gives the unit enough strength to keep the device propped up in laptop mode, stiff enough for a full tablet mode and flexible enough for it to be turned into a tent mode. Which really isn’t anything out of the ordinary for a foldable laptop.
In the patent filing, the official explanation on how the hinge works are as follows:
“A pair of self-regulating hinge assemblies rotatably securing hinge ends of the first and second portions around a first hinge axis associated with the first portion and a second hinge axis associated with the second hinge axis so that an extent of rotation around the first hinge axis corresponds to an extent of rotation around the second hinge axis.”
The patent was granted recently, but the filing date was made a year ago. Microsoft may have been at work on this device longer than that. We may or may not see this patent become reality, as many projects goes offline with and without explanation. We do hope this will become a real device as innovation is always appreciated in the tech world.
(Source: MSPowerUser via Neowin)
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Snapchat’s Lens Studio Lets You Create Your Own AR Effect

Couple of months ago, Snapchat introduced an augmented reality effect to its app called World Lenses. The feature, which Facebook just launched on its Messenger app two days ago, lets you place augmented reality 3D objects to your images. Today, Snapchat is taking its World Lenses feature to the next level with its new Lens Studio desktop app that allows users to create their own AR objects.
Lens Studio is a free desktop app for Mac and Windows. According to the company, it is easy to use with guides and tools that even students, as well as creative, developers, and of course brands, can use to bring their creations to life. Once you’re done, you’ll be given a Snapcode for you to share with your friends. They can scan your Snapcode and unlock your lens, and even share the code with others. The Lens effect will last for 24 hours, but the Snapcode lasts for a year after it’s created, so users can unlock it multiple times.

Of course, things like this usually get misused by users. There’s a moderation process to make sure a World Lens isn’t offensive. In addition to that, users can also report any inappropriate World Lens.
For those of you who are interested to try it out, you can download Lens Studio to your Mac or Windows here.
(Source: Snapchat via: The Verge)
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Fitbit Ionic Fitness Smartwatch Quietly Enters Malaysia: Available For RM 1399

Originally introduced to the world back in August, it has come to our attention that the new Fitbit Ionic has made its way into Malaysia. As the story goes, we accidentally stumbled upon the fitness-oriented smartwatch at All IT Hypermarket’s booth in the Malaysia IT Fair that is happening right now in Mid Valley Megamall.
It is indeed rather odd to see such a significant product from the company to just appear in our market without any fanfare as opposed to previous Fitbit trackers. This is due the fact that Ionic generally has taken over Surge as the highest-end product from the company to date.

Just like the Surge, the Ionic comes with built-in GPS capability and optical heart rate sensor together with the ability to display call and text notifi but surpassed the 2014 product quite a bit for several reasons. Aside from having a 1000 nits color display that is protected by Corning Gorilla Glass 3, the Ionic can be used to track swims as it designed to withstand up to water depth of 50 meters.
It also comes with 2.5GB internal storage that can be used to store more than 300 songs which means users don’t have to rely on their smartphones or other music players for workout songs although they still need Bluetooth headphones in order to listen. Through wireless headset, users would able to utilize the personal coaching feature on the Ionic which can be expanded through the subscription-based Fitbit Coach service.
Fitbit Ionic smartwatch and Fitbit Flyer wireless headphones.
Since Ionic is a proper smartwatch even though its running on its own proprietary operating system, there are several apps available for it including Strava, AccuWeather, Flipboard, Uber, Trip Advisor, and many more. The Ionic also features removable straps together with normal and GPS battery life of up to 5 days and 10 hours respectively.
As for its price, the Fitbit Ionic can be obtained at All IT booth in MITF throughout this weekend for RM 1,399. Alternatively, users are also able to pre-order the smartwatch from Harvey Norman who is also doing the same for the equally new Fitbit Flyer wireless headphones with a price tag of RM 590.
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LG Announces New Gram Laptops Ahead of CES 2018

LG’s new range of lightweight Gram laptops have been unveiled ahead of CES 2018. Available in three different sizes, the new Gram laptops come with eight generation Intel Core processors and up to a whopping 22.5 hours of battery life.
Over the years, LG has always touted that its Gram laptops have excellent battery life. To make sure these new Ultrabooks can deliver great battery life, LG is including a 72Wh battery on all three models. The 13.3-inch, 14-inch and 15.6-inch Gram laptops are said to provide up to 22.5, 21.5 and 19 hours of battery life respectively.
Aside from that, these Gram laptops can be configured with Intel’s latest eight generation Core i5 and Core i7 processors too. Naturally, they come with SSD storage as well, and users have the freedom to add even more storage with the second SSD drive slot.

Interestingly, LG also claims that the 14-inch Gram shares the same dimensions as a conventional 13-inch laptop thanks to the tiny bezels. Other specifications of the Gram laptops include IPS touch displays, fingerprint sensors, and Thunderbolt 3 ports.
As expected, no retail prices have been announced yet for these new LG Gram laptops. We can expect the Korean company to reveal more information come CES 2018 next month.
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Samsung Galaxy S9 May Debut at MWC 2018

Samsung’s next flagship smartphones, the Galaxy S9 series, will reportedly be unveiled at Mobile World Congress 2018. If Samsung does introduce the S9 series at the convention, it is expected to be available on store shelves as early as March 2018.
According to a report by The Bell, the Galaxy S9 series will debut on February 27; a day before MWC 2018 opens its doors. Previously, it was believed that Samsung will preview the S9 at CES 2018 next month. Evidently, that doesn’t seem to be happening anymore.

Based on previous leaks and rumours, the Galaxy S9 series is expected to be incremental upgrades. The Galaxy S9 and S9+ will sport similar designs as their predecessors, and their fingerprint sensors are said to be moved right below the camera lens; a much more ergonomic placement.
Aside from that, the Galaxy S9+ will likely feature a dual-camera system not unlike the one found on the Samsung Galaxy Note 8 – and 6GB of RAM. The standard S9, on the other hand, is believed to come with a single rear camera and slightly less RAM at 4GB.

The Samsung Galaxy S9 phones may not be radically different from their predecessors, but they will likely bring meaningful changes. We should learn more about Samsung’s upcoming flagships as we get closer to MWC 2018.
(Source: The Bell via SamMobile)
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Leak: AMD To Release Three Additional Ryzen Mobile APUs

For those who may remember, we wrote an article in October regarding the official launch of AMD’s lineup of Raven Ridge or Ryzen Mobile APUs. At the time, only two APUs were announced: Ryzen 7 2700U and Ryzen 5 2500U. Well, it looks like the red company isn’t quite done just yet. Leaks have recently surfaced regarding the existence of three additional Ryzen Mobile APUs that weren’t announced in October.
The leak, which came from folks over at Informatica Cero, shows three new Ryzen-based APUs that’ll most likely be released in the coming months: Ryzen 3 3200U, Ryzen 3 2200G and Ryzen 5 2400G. AMD’s leaked presentation slides state that the Ryzen 3 2300U APU will feature the Radeon Vega 6 graphics solution. Other information like its core count and TDP were, unfortunately, not mentioned.
Image: Informatica Cero
Image: Informatica Cero
That aside, there’s also the more powerful G-series processors. AMD’s Ryzen 3 2200G APU comes with four CPU cores and four threads, along with Radeon Vega 8 graphics and 65W TDP rating. Meanwhile, the Ryzen 5 2400G APU features four CPU cores and eight threads, as well as Vega 11 graphics and 65W TDP rating.
It should be noted, however, that there are 35W variants for both aforementioned G-series APUs as well. Aside from the details above, other key details like release date, performance metrics and etc, were not mentioned.
(Source: Informatica Cero, VideoCardz)
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This Is The New Illegear Mid-Tower Gaming Machine: To Be Available In Early 2018

Taking place in Mid Valley Megamall, the Malaysia IT Fair features quite a number of exhibitors throughout this weekend including Illegear. Interestingly, the company is not only offering a variety of customizable high-performance notebooks at the event, but it has also taken the opportunity to showcase an all-new gaming desktop that the company will be launching soon.
Still in prototype form, Illegear has chosen mid-tower as the form factor for its new gaming desktop machine. It is indeed a departure from the company’s existing Troika Mini-ITX system, but nevertheless, the new system will continue to feature gaming-oriented design.

Additionally, Illegear is collaborating with Techware for the development of its new mid-tower system which is not surprising since the prototype is using Techware’s new Void case. While the company has yet to finalize the specifications of the new system, users will likely able to obtain it with liquid cooling option for its CPU.
Meanwhile, Illegear is still keeping the name of the system under wraps at the moment. Well then, expect to hear more regarding the system very soon as the company preps it up for launch in early 2018. For now, you can have an early look at the system throughout this weekend at the Malaysia IT Fair in Mid Valley Megamall, Kuala Lumpur.

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Samsung Preparing To Launch A Bixby Powered Speaker In First Half Of 2018

Samsung looking to announce a new Bixby powered smart speaker early next year. The company is said to be preparing to directly challenge the current players like Google and Amazon; although it may have a more interesting value proposition for consumers.
The report from Bloomberg expects that Samsung’s effort at a smart speaker will continue the trend of turning it into a control hub for the home environment. Linking Samsung’s eco-system of appliances and home electronics; almost all of which already feature some level of IoT integration.
Naturally, Samsung’s own AI assistant will be sitting at the heart of the product.
Smart speakers are expected to be the next big push for technology companies seeking to gain a foothold in the in consumer homes. Amazon has the advantage in this case by being the first to market; although it’s limited availability outside of the US has prevented the company from truly establishing dominance. The Google Home is suffering from similar limited global coverage.
Launching next year will likely put Samsung’s smart speaker in direct competition with Apple’s entry into the market. The Apple HomePod was announced earlier this year, but has been delayed until 2018. Whether it the launch date will affect Samsung’s plans is unknown; but then again, the company is no stranger in going head-to-head with Apple.
[Source: Bloomberg]
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Microsoft Adding AI Enhancements to Its Office Suite And Cortana

Microsoft is adding on AI capabilities to its popular office productivity suite of applications. Word and Excel, will receive extra AI-powered features to enhance their productivity levels.
Insights in Excel will make it easier to sift through large amounts of data. By using machine learning to help identify trends, outliers, and other useful visualisations, Excel can automatically seek out and highlight patterns for the user to review.
Word will get two new features – Acronym and Tap. The former will use machine learning to understand shortened words by going through documents. By doing this, unknown acronyms will be automatically identified by Word and presented to the user as a complete term, rather than having to resort to a Google search.
Tap will search other relevant documents and spreadsheets without leaving the Word application. This global search function will definitely be useful for those who cross-link contents all the time. It will debut in Word Online for Office 365 commercial Insiders in 2018.

Cortana will also get new features to further enhance its capabilities and making interactions feel more natural. Machine learning allows Cortana to understand that a ticket booking should be added to your calendar and will offer users the option to do so. Cortana will also leverage AI to provide summaries for important emails in a compendium.
Microsoft’s AI research and development looks to be trickling down to consumer products. However Microsoft did not say when the full suite of features will be available to consumers – just that they will start seeing it in Office 365 from early next year.
(Source: Windows Central)
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