Bigger is not always better. Kinetis mini MCUs are a new category of Kinetis MCUs powered by ARM® Technology and available in a variety of tiny wafer-level chip-scale packages (WLCSPs), currently starting at just 1.9 x 2 mm2.
OBsIV’s XIM4 console adapter... app based tuning is an important next step. (via XIM)
The XIM3 was amazing (see the tear-down)… does the XIM4 live up to the same standards?
Ask any gamer on the planet and they will tell you there are two factions that have been raging a debate with one another over the better part of two decades concerning which platform is the best for gaming, consoles or PCs. Both have their advantages and disadvantages, consoles such as the PS4 and Xbox One allow users to simply buy the game they want, pop it in and begin playing almost instantly with surprisingly good graphics. The graphics themselves however, cannot be changed to a higher resolution and players are restricted to using a limited set of peripherals and controllers. PC gamers on the other hand, buy the game, install it, download game patches, update hardware drivers and then roll the dice as to whether game servers are overloaded before they can play (Sim City anyone?). Not to mention the DRM that’s usually implemented requiring an online connection just to engage in single-player games. They are however, unrivaled when it comes to the game’s resolutions, which can be adjusted on a massive scale for ultra-realistic game-play.
PCs also have the advantage when it comes to input devices, controllers, keyboards and mice (as well as the Kinect) can all be used, which can give some gamers the advantage over others when playing against one another. In an effort to bring that particular advantage to console gamers, OBsIV developed a bridge of sorts that allows users to hookup a keyboard and mouse to their console flavor of choice. Known as the XIM (Xbox Input Machine), the device allows gamers to connect PC peripherals to their game consoles simply by plugging them in to the adapter via USB ports. Unlike the previous versions where a hardline connection to a PC was required, users can customize the controls to configure them for the game being played via an Android-based (running version 2.3.3) mobile device app. The reason behind the app is that console games have native input centered on the gaming pads, so in order for a keyboard and mouse to function correctly it uses new technology, known as Smart Translators, which requires a certain profile for said games. This includes the use of wireless peripherals as well, which can communicate with the console via a Bluetooth or Wi-Fi connection. Unfortunately for users that already own an older XIM device (XIM and XIM3) will not be able to use the new technology due to hardware limitations, however XIM Edge users will have limited availability with a reduced amount of configurations (or rather games). As it stands at this point, the XIM4 module is currently being tested for Xbox One users only and will eventually hit the market at some point this year. PS4 users will have to wait until the developers find a way to get the Smart Translators to work with the DualShock 4 controllers, which shouldn’t take too long.
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IoT connected mailbox... or is it just a package monitor? (via kickstarter)
The Internet of Things is fast approaching and many appliances and everyday objects are beginning to become connected to the internet. With the plethora of devices now available, making this happen is now easier than ever. Devices such as Arduinos have attracted people to programming and have brought more people into the do-it-yourself community, creating one of the largest communities in electronics. Due to the Arduino many other devices have been created following a similar ideology: easy to use, simple to program, and easy to interface with other devices. One such device has been the Spark Core.
The Spark Core has been made to be as simple to program as the Arduino and also provide an easy method of connecting to the internet. Using this many people have come up with their own way to connect devices to the internet. One example is the Mr. Postman mailbox. Beginning a crowd sourcing campaign on Kickstarter just as the Spark Core, Mr. Postman is a mailbox with Wi-Fi capabilities. Using its Spark Core, the mailbox can allow people to receive notifications when they receive mail or when mail has been picked up. For security purposes it also can be locked and unlocked through a single app that will allow users to monitor it from wherever they may be.
As mentioned, the main electronics used to make the Mr. Postman work is a Spark Core. A 0.6 Watt solar panel is used to power and charge the device on sunny days, and a 3.7 Volt battery is used for backup power. Various sensors will also come housed in the mailbox to detect when the door is open and to allow the door to be locked. Additionally, thanks to the Spark Core the device has a simple way of connecting to your home Wi-Fi network, and will also provide a very secure connection.
The mailbox comes in dimensions of 9.8” wide x 8.6” tall x 20.4” long. The mailbox has been made a little wider than the traditional mailboxes to accommodate common items such books, electronics, and toys and will be available in 3 different colors. It also has a recessed door to keep mail better protected from weather or any other outside elements. For $180 you can receive your own Mr. Postman for the next 29 days through their Kickstarter page. For more information check out Kickstarter.
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Geomerics’ Enlighten lighting engine featured in Battlefield 4. Mobile will be able to play games.. but the HMI is still lacking! (via ARM)
Gaming on mobile devices has come a long way in the last five years due to avalanche advancements in technology, which allowed us to go from playing Tetris to playing first-person shooters. There’s a good chance that the mobile device your currently using has an ARM processor in it, especially if it’s an Android-based device. Users that own one of those ARM-equipped Android smart devices and love to game on them should be overjoyed with ARM’s latest announcement regarding their acquisition of Geomerics. The UK-based company is known for their high-quality lighting effects in both the gaming and entertainment industries and will now be part of the mobile device market as well. For those who may not know what triple-A titles Geomerics has under their belt may be surprised to find that their ‘Enlighten’ global-illumination engine is featured in titles such as Battlefield 3/4, The Bureau- Xcom declassified and Need for Speed: The Run to name a few. It’s interesting to note that according to ARM, Geomerics will be able to retain and build upon their existing clients while helping ARM bring their technology to the mobile market. While it has not exactly known what ARM plans on using Geomerics technology for, one thing is for certain, with the new generation of Cortex processors (including Mali GPUs) on the horizon, they will most likely be coupled with some form of the Enlighten engine. Meaning, games will take on a completely new visual level on mobile devices in the near future. The future is shaping up to look very bright indeed!
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