Keep your whole house connected with Bayan Audio’s SoundScene
Bayan Audio’s connected SoundScene speaker set can link up to eight speakers in one network at a distance of up to 100 feet. Each speaker weighs 2.2kg and stands 27cm tall so they can’t exactly be called inconspicuous.
We like the striking design but the rubber ends and big flappy handle on the side are certainly a bit of a style faux pas. The fidelity is excellent with near instant streaming between devices. We were able to walk well into the next room before the stream to the primary speaker began to get a bit jumpy, which is actually pretty good going.
Several connected Bluetooth speakers offer the ability to instantly jump from one to the next when you move rooms. Unfortunately the SoundScene doesn’t have this feature, so if you go from the lounge to the kitchen you’ll need to leave you phone to keep the music going. However, you can connect more than one device to the network so someone could be listening to their music upstairs while you’re listening to different tunes downstairs.
Google’s Artificial Neural Network Deep Dream has been creating some of the trippiest images ever.
Google is always trying to learn more about the world around it. To help the search engine giant do so, engineers are developing the Artificial Neural Network (ANN) that attempts to make sense of the world around it. This is the framework on which Google Now on Tap is being built.
Engineers show it thousands of images to try and get it to learn, for example, what a chair looks like. In time the network should realise that an object with four legs, a horizontal surface and a vertical surface is probably a chair and therefore searches should prove more intuitive.
To test how the ANN is progressing, Google’s engineers have been getting it to draw images and the results have been trippy to say the least. The ANN has been seeing dog faces, eyes and slugs in places where there are none, simply because there are shapes that it vaguely recognises. It has also been adding arms into pictures of dumbbells because the images of dumbbells it sees usually include arms. It’s sweet but ever so slightly scary.
We take a look at the iRig UA, the portable, palm-sized amp
Lugging around an amplifier wherever you go can be a right pain for guitarists but luckily the iRig UA is here to save all you budding Slashes and Hendrixes.
The iRig UA is a palm-sized, ultra-light device that you use to transform your mobile into an amp in seconds.
The company’s popular Amplitube app has an excellent user interface, recreating the look and feel of an elaborate amp set up. Each screen has a number of dials and switches that you can alter to you liking, which you can then queue up on your phone’s screen to create the effect you are going for.
How the newly announced Android Nanodegree can help you make a career out of coding
Google wants to make it faster and easier for the next-generation of hackers to become Android developers. It has partnered with the online education centre Udacity to produce an program that promises to help you “learn to develop for Android and transform your career outlook” over the course of 6-12 months.
Called the Android Nanodegree, the program offers free video content, along with the option of personal help, tuition and feedback for $200 a month. It’s aimed at established or intermediate developers who want to jump to Android or improve their general skills. Tying together other Android learning programs into a structured whole, the new nanodegree is developed and taught by expert Google instructors, and covers everything from UX design to integration with Google Play services.
Google and Udacity are both keen to promote the new course and get students enrolled (you can sign up online at specific times throughout the year). In fact, Google is going to hand-pick 50 Android Nanodegree graduates to attend a hackathon in Mountain View in the near future. In Google’s words, it’s “an education credential that is designed for busy people to learn new skills and advance their careers in a short amount of time from anywhere at any time”.
Vodafone signal expert Dr Rob tells Android magazine all the hottest signal secrets.
Signal is a mysterious beast. Sometimes you have it, sometimes you don’t. Sometimes you can be texting on top of a mountain and sometimes you have to recreate the opening scene of the Lion King just to get a single bar. So how do you explain all those little quirks and frustrations? You ask Vodafone’s signal expert Dr Rob to explain all. Here are ten of the most fascinating things we learned.
We chat with Samson Chen, the maker of this unique ‘internet remote’ for smartphones
Picture the scene: You’re trying to enjoy a Sunday morning lie-in, but then your phone alarm goes off. It’s on the other side of the room and out of reach, forcing you to get out bed. Wouldn’t it be great to have a remote control for your phone? Enter the Qmote. This multifunctional remote can turn off your alarm, find your phone when it’s missing, turn music on and off, and control all sorts of smart tech around the house.
The Qmote is currently on Kickstarter – with less than 2 weeks remaining. The size and shape of a guitar plectrum, the Qmote only has the one button, but you can program it to complete any number of functions depending on how many times you click it. These can easily be set up using the free companion app. It also works with IFTTT so you can harness the online automation service to control the smart tech in your house, like dimming your Philips Hue lightbulbs or turning down your Nest thermostat.
Small enough to fit it in your pocket or fit on a keyring, the Qmote offers all the conveyance and control of a smartwatch, but without the need to have it manacled to your wrist. Unlike an Andorid Wear watch, it doesn’t require daily charging either. Instead it runs on a coin cell battery that will last a full year and only uses Bluetooth Low Energy 4.0 to connect with your phone