Posts from the ‘gadgets’ Category

WHEREVER YOU GO THE NETWORK WILL FOLLOW YOU: WIMAX


Wireless internet technology has been the need of the hour for quite some time now. May it be for businessmen or students, it is necessary to have an internet access with you that keeps you updated every minute. WiMAX (Worldwide Interoperability for Microwave Access) is the new technology that is causing ripples worldwide. It is a telecommunication protocol that provides fixed and mobile internet access. WiMAX unites the technologies of wireless and broadband to provide high speed internet access across long distances. It is similar to WiFi but it’s much more ahead of it when it comes to reach.
The system has a great potential and a just like cell phones replacing landlines, this could replace cable and DSL services, providing universal internet services where ever you go.

HOW DOES IT WORK?

WiMAX almost operates like WiFi but at higher speeds and over greater distances. As a result WiMAX will have a greater number of users as compared to WiFi. The reach of WiMAX is wider as it uses a directional antenna that can transmit signal to any cell phone tower even outside the line of sight range unlike WiFi. The signals are so strong that they can even penetrate tall buildings and dense trees. WiMAX comes in three formats: Mobile, dongle and fixed. Fixed WiMAX provides connectivity to devices like desktops, TVs (IPTV), whereas mobile WiMAX provides connectivity to wireless devices such as mobile phones, laptops, and PDAs. Dongle is available nowadays that we can connect to our laptops and PCs.

WiMAX system consists of two parts – A tower and the receiver. The tower works similar to a mobile tower. A single tower can cover a large area of about 3000 Sq. miles. The receiver fetches the signals from the tower. It might be placed near your PC or even may be installed in my laptop just like Wi-Fi configuration. A computer (either a desktop or a laptop) equipped with WiMAX would receive data from the WiMAX transmitting station, probably using encrypted data keys to prevent unauthorized users from stealing access.

A WiMAX tower station can connect directly to the Internet using a high-bandwidth, wired connection. It can also connect to another WiMAX tower. Basically two forms of wireless services are provided by WiMAX: line of sight and non line of sight. The non line of sight is just like WiFi where your computer is provided with an antenna that connects to the tower. Whereas, in line of sight, the antenna is placed at the roof of the building. This antenna directly faces and connects the tower. As a result, the line of sight data transmission is much stronger and faster. Non line of sight method uses lower frequency range generally between 2 GHz and 11 GHz whereas line of sight transmissions use high frequencies which can reach a range of 66 GHz.

COMPARING WIFI AND WIMAX

For simple understanding, it is said that WiFi is like a cordless phone that covers just a small area where it has been deployed. Whereas, WiMax is like a mobile phone which connects to the tower and gives a much wider range. Difference does not just exist in the range but a vast difference is observed in internet speed as well. WiMAX is thirty times faster than third-generation mobile technology and 100 times faster than Wi-Fi. It is set to deliver an astonishing speed of 70 Mbps over 50 kilometers.

The fastest WiFi connection can transmit up to 54 megabits per second under optimal conditions. WiMAX should be able to handle up to 70 megabits per second. In India the service is not used as widely as WiFi but BSNL has started providing WiMAX services. Many other companies have lined up to start the WiMAX services in the country. However, in India the technology is not yet used widely as that in developed countries.

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LEADING TO YOUR DESTINATION: GPS SYSTEM




Navigation has always been a problem with human beings since the ancient era. Humans used the position of stars to locate destinations. Later mariners compass was invented that made it easy to locate the maps. However, with cities and countries developing more and more the problem of navigation has increased. People tend to get confused by a number of roads in a city and highways. The problem arises especially when you move into a new city. But, just as the mariners compass was a boon during the olden days, GPS system is a helping hand for everyone these days. Moreover, with mobile technology getting so developed it is a system that can be handy and easy to operate anywhere and at any time.

WE have probably heard about the term GPS and also know a bit about it but rarely anyone knows what exactly it is and how does it work. Also, the technology is still not at the peak due to the lack of awareness.

WHAT IS GPS?

GPS stands for Global Positioning System, a technology that determines locations using signals from satellite that orbits the earth. It is a navigation system having a chain of 24 satellites. The satellites were sent into the orbit by the US department of defense. The technology was set up for US military but later on in 1980, the technology was made open for civilian use.
It is for anyone who wants to know where they are, where they have been or to find out the map where they want to go. The best part of the technology is that it gives a clear result in all weather conditions for 24 hours. Moreover, there are no subscription fees to use the GPS apart from the initial hardware cost. If you decide to go for navigation with detailed maps, then there is usually a one-time charge for that as well.
GPS FUNCTIONALITY

The GPS satellites have been set into orbit since 1978. You may wonder that how do they still function and provide the details of current roads of various countries? The main process of the entire working is ‘triangulation’. In triangulation, the orbits are so arranged that at any given point of time, at least four satellites will be seen on your GPS device. Then with the help of the GPS device you can point the place on earth by mentioning the latitudes and longitudes. However, the distance between the longitudes and latitudes and the satellites has to be measured. This process of measuring is called triangulation.
Essentially the GPS receiver compares the time the signal was transmitted and when it was received. The time difference determines how far the satellite is. A few more satellites will measure the distances and that’s how the exact location of the user will be spotted. The result will be displayed on user’s device.
If one wants to get a 2D image, one must lock the signal with 3 satellites in picture. However, 3D and 4D images can be obtained with the help of 4 or more satellites in view. Once the user’s position has been determined, the GPS unit can calculate other information, such as speed, bearing, track, trip distance, distance to destination, sunrise and sunset time and more.



ACCURACY QUESTIONS

Whenever we see a technical product in the market, a question arises in their mind is that ‘is the device accurate?’ if yes ‘how much?’ In that regards, these days GPS receivers are run on parallel-multi channel design and hence are very accurate. They can even locate a place in an urban setting or even in dense forests. Garmin GPS receivers are best for the purpose and the new ones can give accurate results within 15 meters on an average whereas the old ones within that of 3 meters. Users can also get better accuracy with Differential GPS (DGPS), which corrects GPS signals to within an average of three to five meters. However in DGPS, the user needs to have a differential beacon receiver and a beacon antenna apart from GPS receiver. US Coast Guard uses DGPS.

GPS AND INDIA

GPS can be used in two ways with the help standing devices and also in mobile phones. India is really progressing when it comes to mobile technology. However, as compared to mobile usage, GPS usage is negligible in India. India has been using this technology since 1990’s yet not many know much about it. Western countries have cars that have a GPS set up. However, this trend is slowly coming up in India. Mainly, in India GPS is used to determine weather conditions, track vehicular traffic, for irrigation aspects, used on national borders, to identify vegetation areas, etc.
It tracks the flow of vehicles in a few cities. However, mainly it is used by the government and a few companies but it has not been open for personalized use. The crop production and harvesting can be easily taken care of with the help of GPS.




ADVANTAGES OF GPS SYSTEM

• It works anywhere on the planet where you can get satellite signals
• One just needs to spend the cost of installation. You only need to pay for the receiver
• Nowadays, you can even have a GPS device in your mobile and cars for tracking your own destination
• The information received is very accurate. The standards have been improved since the year 2000

DRAWBACKS OF GPS SYSTEM

• You need a clear sky to obtain clear results
• It does not work if you are in a building or somewhere underground
• Interruptions in signal may also occur when you’re driving through a tunnel or standing stationary between very tall buildings.
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THE GENERATION TALK – 3G AND 4G


Mobile technology generations have been on a rise since its inception. 2G was there for quite some time. With the advent of 3G, both 2G and 3G were used by the mobile users. Later, it took a step ahead and now even 4G is available in the market. 2G and 3G are used the most in the market. 4G is a little new to pick up with the previous Gs, but it is slowly and gradually catching up.

3G and 4G are mobile technologies having certain benchmarks. They have revolutionized the mobile using technologies for the subscribers. Many consumer facilities like conferencing, multimedia, streaming etc. have been transformed. 3G has already caught a grip on the market; 4G is still nascent for the users. As 4G is a new generation, several differences can be marked between the two.

3G – THIRD GENERATION NETWORK

3G technology is faster than 2G and hence is gradually replacing 2G. The main advantage of 3G over 2G is that it not only provides the internet services but also provides faster access with voice. However, 3G is the best connecting network at present as far as mobile communication is concerned, especially mobile internet. 3G networks allow simultaneous voice and data services with speed variation from 200 kbit/s and if its only data it may deliver several Mbit/s. (Mobile Broadband).
Technically, 3G uses a combination of circuit design and packet design. Circuit design is the oldest and hence has the capacity to hold the connection for a longer time. Packet design is the wireless technology and is the core part of the internet data transmission. Amalgamation of both helps it to perform faster.

4G- FOURTH GENERATION NETWORK

4G is catching eyes globally due to its high speed rate. It offers the speed at 100 Mbit/s for moving users and 1GB for stationery users, which is a revolution in wireless access technology. It is almost like getting a LAN card or an Ethernet connection on your mobile. If your mobile has atleast 54 Mbit/s downloading facility than with the help of 4G, you can run any internet application as you do on your desktop. You can even make VoIP calls from your handset. However, it also provides a facility wherein you do not need to change your number or opt for a new number if you move to a new place. But, if it is within the area of your Wi-Fi connection than the calls can be diverted on your phone. You can make video calls or conference calls even while you are travelling. 4G Technology uses packet switching network. 

WHO WINS THE GAME?

Globally 3G is used widely as far as mobile technology is concerned while 4G is considered to be an extension of 3G. There are a lot many differences that set apart the two technologies. 3G use both circuit and packet based network which means that it uses both wired and wireless technology; while 4G uses only the packet technology which makes it first generation of technology to be completely wireless.
4G is much faster and is like a mini computer. As per 4G specifications the speed should be 384 kbps in stationary mode and 100 mbps in mobile environment. The speed is much lower in 3G being 2Mbps in stationary mode whilst 4G specifications it should be 1 Gbps.

4G network is all IP whereas 3G a mix of circuit and packet switching network. Notable point is that many companies that fall under 3G started dubbing their companies as 4G. In fact they are not compliant for 4G and are termed as 3.9G. 3.9 G depends on spatial multiplexing, which is basically an antenna system, used by International Telecommunication Union (ITU), deployed for transmitting and receiving of data. Earlier in 3G there was smart antenna used, but 4G uses number of these antennas for speeding and facilitation of the data transfer process.

TECHNOLOGICAL WAR BETWEEN 2G AND 3G


These days we find new mobile technologies being launched within a regular span of time. The increasing demand of mobile communication has led the mobile technology to a higher position. Within a short period of time, it has reached a higher level. As soon as new technology is introduced the previous one gets outdated. Earlier, when mobile and internet technologies were not much developed, they used 1G. Now we have 2G, 3G and also 4G. These days 3G technology is on the run while 4G is comparatively new in the market.

These days 2G and 3G are used the most. Yet very few know the technological difference between the two. Hence knowing the meaning helps to adopt and use the new technology easily. 2G is the second generation of mobile networks while 3G is the third.

2G NETWORK TECHNOLOGY

2G was first developed in the nation of Finland in 1991. 2G is the shortened form of the second generation of the Global System for Mobile Communication (GSM). It was the first attempt at developing technology to bring some kind of standard to the concept of modern digital cellular service. The technology was accepted over the world and hence it grew much faster. By 1998 the number of subscribers reached 200 million. It became very popular due to the easy voice transmission through the handset. In this technology for the first time SIM (Subscriber Identity Module) was introduced and a more secured and clear communication was established.
2G phone authenticates the mobile phone to a person who has a SIM (Subscriber Identity Module) card. In 2G technology, many subscribers are allowed to make calls at a given time. The bandwidth of the channel allocated per user is 200 kHz which is sufficient to carry voice data. Several GSM bands like 850, 900, 1800 and 1900 are available for greater amount of usage. The GSM spectrum bands used in Europe and Asia are 900 and 1800. The spectrum bands used in Canada and the United States are GSM 850 and GSM 1900.

3G NETWORK TECHNOLOGY 

Amongst mobile technologies, 3G is at peak. It is a step ahead of the 2G system. Mobile technology has gone far ahead. Earlier it was used to transfer only voice data. 3G is the mobile standard specification released which supports multimedia. With the advent of 3G, video calling, stream audio and video and video conferencing have now become common. The first commercial 3G network was launched in 2001 in Japan. The data rates for the 3G are a minimum of 2Mbps for stationary mobile users and 384Kbps for moving subscribers in downlink.
In order for a network to be classified as being 3G, it has to meet certain conditions. These conditions have been laid down by the International Telecommunication Union (ITU).

1. The data transfer rate for downlinks must be 144Kbps for mobile handsets
2. The data transfer rate for downlinks must be 384Kbps for pedestrians
3. The data transfer rate for downlinks must be 24Mbps in an indoor environment

2G vs. 3G

In a way, 3G is a step ahead of 2G and provides better results. When you use 3G you get a high speed network communication which is far better than 2G. One can also have the benefit of wireless broadband. You can have an access to video or satellite based programmes. When it comes to price war, it is comparatively cheaper than the other traditional media that we are using. 3G is a multipurpose technology. Many services are available in the same network and hence it is less time consuming.

3G has a huge effect on the companies who are unable to get 3G license. Companies having 2G facility only will lose their customers which will have a heavy effect on their business. Moreover, it provides wireless broadband facility. The radiation of magnetic waves generated with the heavy use of wireless system negatively affects human body. A long use of can affect the brains to a great extent.

3G has been used in Japan for years and then it got spread in the entire world. A person, who moves around the globe and has a 3G phone, will not have to change the phone as 3G facilities are found in many countries. However, 3G phones also provide high amount of security as compared to 2G networks. 3G networks allow authentication procedures when communicating with the devices.

ZOOMING INTO THE CAMERA LENSES


 

Photography has become a hobby. These days we find many people with a camera. If not a separate camera, we find people clicking from their mobile phones. The main feature of the camera is zooming. Basically there are two types of lenses which are used for zooming an image: optical lens and digital lens. These days we find cameras having both digital and optical zoom which confuses the user. Hence a proper understanding of both the types of zoom is necessary for better results.

OPTICAL ZOOM

Optical zoom uses the lens of the camera to bring the image closer. Using the optical lens of the camera, the image is brought nearer, the same way as done by the binocular. As the lens moves towards the image to make it closer, the resolution remains the same as pixels do not get stretched. Moreover, full resolution of the camera can be used on the zoomed image. There are different zoom levels in the camera which can be used as per the requirement of the user. Different levels can be achieved by changing the distance between the two lenses. We have often seen the front lens of the camera moving outwards, this is done so that the lens can achieve a greater level of zoom. The rating of optical zoom on a camera is measured like 2x 4x 8x etc bringing the image 2x 4x and 8x closer respectively. The best cameras have a high level of optical zoom. Optical zoom is known as the true zoom.

DIGITAL ZOOM

Digital zoom is not the actual zoom but it is just a gimmick invented by the manufacturers. It is not a real zoom as it does not bring the image closer to the lens. The lens does not move forward in order to get a nearer view of the image. What a digital zoom does is that it takes the portion of the image and enlarges the image. Hence it appears to be closer but actually, the image has not been brought closer but it has just been expanded by the lens. By doing so, the pixels of the picture get stretched and hence quality suffers in a digital zoom. It is just like bring a picture nearer on your computer screen.

It would make no difference whether you use a digital zoom or you take a normal picture and then enlarge the image at home. Hence, in a way there is not point using a digital zoom if we really want to bring an object closer as it is not a real zoom.

WHICH OF THE TWO IS BETTER?

When it comes to buying a camera then it is important to take the zoom lens into consideration. Comparing digital zoom is a little bit of a waste of time as you can alter the amount of digital zoom in any major art package after the photo has been taken very easily. It is not a true zoom.

The only thing where you really need to compare is the optical lens of one camera with the optical lens of the other camera. The more the optical zoom available in a camera, more will be its price. Moreover, one needs to be careful even while choosing an optical lens. One should check whether it the zoom they are offering is total zoom. Sometimes, the manufactures say that the camera contains 30x zoom. But the camera has 5x optical and 6 x digital zoom or 2x optical zoom and 15x digital zoom. Hence undergo a full research about the features of the camera before you choose to buy one, especially the zooming lens.

ANDROID: THE WELL KNOWN FACE OF SMART PHONE OPERATING SYSTEM


Android operating system is on the run these days. When it comes to smart phones, android is the name on the face of most of the mobile users. Day by day there is an increase in the number of phones that uses Android. Android is two years old now, but still there is a whole lot of people who do not know much about it.

What is android?

Android is a Linux based mobile phone operating system developed by Google. Google gives it for free to hardware manufacturers and phone carriers who want to use android on their devices. It comes with a range of Google features, notably maps and search options found in Google.
Reaching a destination is difficult? Android will show you your road map. It helps in searching out information as that done on a computer of a laptop. Hence it is a mini computer in the form of a phone. Other applications of Google like Gmail, Google Earth, Youtube and Google calendar can be accessed.

Android Features

Android phones are customized and so one can choose the handset according to their preference and taste. Social networking sites have become an addiction these days, especially amongst the youngsters. Android helps to operate facebook and twitter accounts easily.
These days in order to save time, communication is done through net. But, one cannot carry their computer or one may not have an internet access everywhere. Filling the deficiency, Android consists of an important feature that brings your phone and your Gmail account in sync. If you save a contact number on your android phone, Android will automatically direct the contact number on your Gmail account as well. This is beneficial as in case you lose your phone, you just need to open your Gmail account to regain the contact details. Not only that, but the next time you buy an Android phone and sign in with a Gmail id, all the numbers will be added in your new phone book automatically.  To add to it, Android also helps to send links to and from your computer and vice versa. In a way it builds a dual communication with your phone and you Gmail account.

Android applications

Mobile applications are something that attracts the users when it comes to smart phones. Android contains a wide range of applications that can be downloaded from the Android Market. Most of the applications in Android Market are free but there are a few premium applications that can be charged. Premium applications can be downloaded by paying the amount by a debit or the credit card. The amount can be paid within five minutes by opening an account with Google Checkout. Android also facilitates downloading from other sites except Android Market. This can be done by making certain changes from your phone before visiting the site on your android phone web browser.
Applications such as camera providing varied effects, music player, downloading from the web, wallpapers, games and many more are supported by Android system.

Various types of Android phones

A variety of Android phones are available in the market having different smart looks. Some have slider key pad, some have big touch screen while some have powerful cameras and fast processors. One thing that remains common in all the phones is that all of them possess big touch screens. Popular Android phones include the HTC Desire (3.7-inch screen), Motorola Milestone (3.7-inch screen),Samsung Galaxy S (4-inch screen) and the Sony Ericsson Xperia X10 (4-inch screen). The Dell Streak has a huge 5-inch touchscreen and is currently the biggest Android phone in terms of dimensions and screen size. Due to a big screen size, dell streak sometimes is also known as a tablet. Apart from all these companies, even other handset makers are free to make android phones.
Google Android also has several versions like Android 1.5/Cupcake, Android 2.1/Eclair and the most recent edition Android 2.2/Froyo, Gingerbread and honeycomb. The latest of all is honeycomb. Each of the version proceeds in an alphabetical order. One can update the technology and have better and quicker performing system.

SENSING THE MOBILE TOUCHSCREEN TECHNOLOGIES


Enter a mobile shop and you will find that most of new mobile phones have a touchscreen. As a result, there are fair chances that you will land up choosing a touchscreen device. Majority of the mobile phones these days come with superior technologies and hence a normal cell user gets confused with the jargons. When it comes to touchscreen mobiles, the jargon that pops up is capacitive and resistive screens that are predominantly used in phones.

Touchscreen technology is a display that feels the location and the availability of the touch in the viewing area of the screen. The term deals with the touch to the screen of the device. The interaction on the screen can be done either by a finger or with a stylus.

BETTER UNDERSTANDING ABOUT THE TWO TECHNOLOGIES

Resistive touchscreen: Resistive touch screen is made up of a normal glass panel coated with three layers. Two of these layers are conductive and resistive which are kept apart using a spacer. Third layer is the scratch resistant layer and it covers the entire set up.

When the touch screen system is running, the current flows through these layers. When you touch the screen, the two layers get connected. AS a result, change occurs in its electrical field and it identifies the place of contact and diverts it to the touchscreen driver software. Resistive touchscreen works on the principle of pressure. It identifies the pressure and diverts it to locate the exact point of contact.

Capacitive touchscreen: Capacitive touchscreen on the other hand is made up of a glass panel coated with a material that can store electrical charge. Hence, basically capacitive screens store electrical charge and so do humans. As a result, when you touch the screen, some of the charges get transferred to your finger. Decrease on the charge is sensed diverting it to the point where the exact touch occurred. Hence the touchscreen driver format, transfers the required information on screen.

POSITIVES AND NEGATIVES

Multi touch support: Resistive touchscreen do not support multi touch. If you press the screen with more than one finger, the device will not be able to determine multi finger location. Whereas in capacitive touchscreen, multi touch system is available.

Visibility: Visibility of a capacitive touchscreen is very good as it provides a clear view even in sunlight. Whereas, in resistive touchscreen, the extra layer reflects too much ambient hence it loses the clarity. Indoor visibility is good in both the systems.

Ease of use:

Both the technologies are easy to use as the resistive screen could be used with a finger, stylus or even with your winter glove on. It is very useful for people using handwriting recognition system. Capacitive screen is highly sensitive to finger touch making it easy and convenient for the user. But at the same time it does not work with inanimate objects, finger nails or gloved fingers.

Humidity:

Here, resistive screen overtakes as it can operate with any level of humidity. On the other side, for having capacitive effect, at least 5% humidity is required.

Others: Apart from the above mentioned pros and cons,

there are a few others:

• Capacitive technology is not prone to dust particles but at the same time capacitive is very much vulnerable to dust particles. Also the latter is more susceptible to scratches.

• Resistive system is an old system and hence more reliable.

• Resistive technology is cheaper as compared to capacitive touchscreen.

• When compared, resistive technology is found to be more accurate.

The difference and comparison between the two technologies might provide a clearer picture regarding mobile touchscreen technologies. It is difficult to say that which one is better as both have their own positive points. Hence choose the proper touchscreen cell after studying which technology will be more convenient for you.