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Soulskill

SternisheFan sends in an article about the new features and developments we can expect out of smartphones in the near future. The shortlist: more sensors for tracking the world outside the phone, more gesture-based (i.e. non-touch) input, and integration with wearable computers like smartwatches and Google Glass. From the article: "These under-appreciated components -- the gyroscope, accelerometer, magnetometer, and so forth -- are starting to get more friends in the neighborhood. Samsung, for instance, slipped pressure, temperature, and humidity sniffers into the Galaxy S4. They may not be the sexiest feature in your phone, but in the future, sensors like accelerometers will be able to collect and report much more detailed information. ... In addition to air quality, temperature and speed of movement are also biggies. [Also, a smartphone that can] track your pulse, or even double as an EKG, turning the everyday smartphone into a medical device. ... [For wearable computing,] your smartphone is still there, still essential for communicating with your environment, but it becomes only one device in a collection of other, even more personal or convenient gadgets, that solve some of the same sorts of problems in different or complementary ways." What do you think will be the next generation of killer features for smartphones?

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Gotham City 3D

The Dark Knight Rises doesn't hit movie theatres until July 20th, but Nokia has teamed up with Warner Bros. to create a 3D map of Gotham City. Available in a Flash-based mini-site, the map lets you explore the fictional metropolis and key locations such as City Hall, Gotham City Stadium and Wayne Tower I. Although it's nothing like seeing the Batmobile from Christopher Nolan's trilogy of Batman movies in person, the 3D maps are a fun interactive world for Bat-fans to get their fix ahead of the movie's release.

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Twitter logo

Twitter has just unveiled its simplified logo: a plain, iconic blue bird. The company says that "from now on, this bird will be the universally recognizable symbol of Twitter," and that "there's no longer a need for text, bubbled typefaces, or a lowercase 't' to represent Twitter." While the logo shift is a refinement rather than radical shift, the move further simplifies a brand that's already well along in its march towards ubiquity. Twitter says that "our new bird grows out of love for ornithology, design within creative constraints, and simple geometry," and that "a bird in flight is the ultimate representation of freedom, hope, and limitless possibility" — a lofty ideal to be sure, but some birds may end up flying higher than...

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docomo transparent screen

Leading Japanese carrier NTT Docomo has shown off a prototype transparent touchscreen that can be operated from both sides. One advantage of the display is the ability to modify traditional screen taps in a manner akin to the Shift key on a keyboard, and it also lets you use your mobile device without obscuring onscreen information. It was shown running a Rubik's Cube demo where tapping the puzzle from the front and back allowed for more accurate and complex multitouch maneuvers.

A Docomo representative said that viewing in sunlight can currently be problematic, but placing a dark object behind the screen improves visibility somewhat. Inside Docomo's headquarters, at least, the display looked impressive and in many ways easier on the...

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