CES 2015: Part 1

CES 2015 is here, and I have some stuff to say about it.

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Nvidia’s Tegra X1 and Model 3

From the opening presentation at CES 2015, the huge fan of both video cards in me says cool, the even larger fan of Tesla Motors and technology says “I should change my pants”. The fastest mobile CPU for cars doesn’t exactly scream sexy but when you think about the implications of it when applied to sexy cars that can drive themselves, that is pretty cool.

The current Tesla Model S already comes with a Nvidia chip which could mean this new Tegra X1 could be in the upcoming Model 3. The Tegra X1 is capable of streaming multiple 1080p video streams which it will need for auto-pilot mode, as well as being able to power the massive display that comes with all new Tesla cars, which again could be in the new Model 3. This new chip will likely be going into other cars in the automotive industry which is already making adapting computer assisted driving in various levels (luxury car makers using the most computer assist). The Model 3 is set for 2017, with the gigafactory set to finish around that time, it might actually make that deadline but more than likely real release will be 2018 (Elon tends to perfect them before he sends them). If you are wondering what the Model 3 will look like, that could be revealed at the 2015 Detroit Auto show which is starting January 12th-25th (somewhere in that time I’ll be posting the details of the announcement as soon as I can).

 

4K and how OLED is apparently “not cool”

Cool is a very subjective term, such as how cold it is in Toronto right now. Or how popular OLED TVs are. The popularity of said TVs could also be tied to the extremely high price of these displays. Its about $3500 for the cheapest one, but for that you get (inhale): the deepest black levels of any display, brightest whites, near 100% colour accuracy, low power usage, extremely thin panels, basically a beautiful picture. The problem, as with any new superior technology, is the price. I’m sure this is not news to everyone but new technology is extremely expensive at first, once the information of how much better or how the product using the technology is executed then demand will rise and cost will go down. That last part is difficult and painful to go through, an example in the same industry is plasma displays, they have amazing quality displays but were much more expensive than LCDs so LCDs won. Many reasons can be brought up for the delay in price drops for plasma screens but the fact is it did not come fast enough. The difference here is that OLED displays can be extremely cheap to manufacture but they cannot do that unless there is demand, so some company has to make the leap of faith.

Now there is Quantum Dot panel technology that is being touted as an alternative to OLEDs by being almost as good and not changing much of the manufacturing process. The problems still stop it from plowing down OLED for the next spot, such as scaling problems and using cadmium.

The fact is OLEDs will live on and eventually become the ultimate display, so why fight it?

 

Link via TheVerge, and TheVerge

Tesla Car with 500 Mile Range In the Future?

The idea of a vehicle that goes 500 miles is very enticing and is every Tesla owners wet dream which may actually come true some day. The building of the Giga factory to make way for the more affordable (newly renamed) Model 3, a possible $35,000 car with about 200 miles targeting the BMW 3 series which is estimated to be in production by 2017 could make batteries much cheaper. Batteries will drive the electric car market, from speed, to range, it is arguably more or as important as the motor itself. A car with 500 miles of range would free up the superchargers that people are afraid could fill up if Tesla cars keep selling the way they do. If you think that a 500 miles range car is never going to happen just imagine what will happen when Giga factories start lowering the cost of batteries, suddenly a 500 miles range $100,000 Tesla doesn’t sound too bad.

In the original article that inspired this post it read, Estimations have been made about the price an EV with this type of range could be considering that the base price of the Model S is $69,000, and the performance model is well above average at $93,000, with this in mind, the estimations are somewhere around $180,000.  With ZyklusDieWelt saying on Reddit that it could cost less due to the battery costing less than that since the battery is not 100% of the cost. Although the battery does cost a significant amount the replacement for an 85 kWh battery is only $12,000 but that is only for replacement and most likely costs much more when first purchased with the whole package. The true cost of the battery for a Model S still remains a mystery.

Either way a 500 miles range vehicle could be the nail in the coffin for gas vehicles 5 years from now and I hope to see that day come (if not sooner).

 

via Reddit, GuardianLV, TeslaMotors

3D Printing Buildings

You may have noticed that people have been talking about 3D printing, but its applications are only now being realized. People have made food, deserts, printed organs, made rocket parts, and sculptures but what about buildings? Contour crafting is trying to make this a reality and showing its merits as a more efficient way of building homes and structures. It would cut down on workers and time it takes to construct a building by designing it in computer and going on site with a robot 3D printer and letting it rip. Future applications also include the Moon or Mars where the raw materials of the local surroundings can be used to construct a structure without having to transport pieces from Earth. NASA is already working with them and the Navy is getting in on the action as well.

Can’t wait to just buy land and 3D print my dream home.

Link via TGDaily, Contour Crafting

Minuum Pushing What Keyboards Can Do

Minuum released their innovative keyboard for Android as a beta on Indiegogo to raise $10,000 which was easily reached as people such as me rushed to try and support a unique new way to input into smartphones which allow for more space to see what is actually on the screen instead of a jumble of letters. They ended up mustering $87,354 (USD) for their en devour which brought about yet another Canadian tech company known for its keyboard, yet this company can arguably called the opposite of Blackberry’s spacious layout. This keyboard is definitely not for an amateur learning to type, unless they wanted to screw themselves over when using every other keyboard. Their latest proof of usability is the rebooted idea of the smart watch. A video shows minuum being utilized on the fabulous metal stud known as the Samsung Galaxy Gear. It looks pretty awesome but as I’ve learned still takes some practice to be good as the man behind the camera. This looks quite amazing and I look forward to seeing more uses for the Minuum keyboard.

Link via Minuum, MobileSyrup

 

 

Solar Cook Your Food

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GoSun has created a solar cooker that uses something you will not guess, go ahead guess, no you don’t know? The sun. No electricity running here, besides the camera that took the photo above. This tube stove can cook up to 550° F in just a few minutes. This has great applications for disaster relief, 3rd world countries, and rural areas. There are 2 different products, one at $129, and a larger version at $279.

Link via Inhabitat, GoSun

 

 

 

Hyperloop and its Merits

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The Hyperloop is the proposed technology by Elon Musk (founder of PayPal, SpaceX, and Tesla Motors) that he published online for free for the entire world to see. The proposed closed loop hyper speed shotgun is supposed to get people from San Diego to downtown LA in 30 minutes and only cost $6 billion with a $7.5 billion version that can transport cars as well. The time is achieved by using tubes filled with low pressure air that will contain pods that levitate inside (friction-less), these pods will be going 800 MPH (1287.475 kph). All of this will be powered by linear induction motors and magnets to propel the pods to the extreme speeds. The electricity will be provided by the natural sun using solar panels that cover the entire length of the trip. Musk says that the power created should more than enough to cover the electricity needed to run the Hyperloop.

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Want To Go To Mars? … Forever?

In 2023 a private company will send 8 lucky (or crazy?) people to Mars with no return ticket. 4 people are planned to go on the first trip to Mars to setup base (then realize they forgot their snuggie) and 4 more to land 2 years later (to bring the snuggie that someone forgot), these trips to Mars will take around 7 months to complete (I would finally be able watch all those movies I’ve been meaning to get through). The requirement for the applicants has so far just been to be 18+ years of age, healthy, and don’t worry if you aren’t a genius, no skills needed, just don’t be that guy who leaves his dishes in the sink for a week. Canadians pay $33 USD to apply, general information about yourself, a letter as to why you are crazy enough to do this want to go, and submit a 1 minute video answering questions and why you should be the first person to step on Mars. Oh and yes you can have sexy time there with the other colonists.

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Agrigate: Samsung Galaxy S4 Is Coming

 

Samsung-Galaxy-S4-portrait

 

Samsung Galaxy S4 is the latest flagship phone from the infamous Apple iPhone competitor from South Korea.

In Canada, companies have already announced their availability:

Us Canucks only get the 16GB version due to apparent low demand for 32GB variant, its being credited to the expandable memory slot. I would just like to think we’re smarter and would rather get the memory cards ourselves.

The main competitor to the magical Galaxy S4 is the HTC One, which from the looks of it takes a different approach, solid hardware and quality focused. Both phones are quad-core for the North American market but that’s where the similarities end.

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