Elliptic Labs CEO Laila Danielsen shows how simple hand gestures can activate her smartphone’s camera. Photo: Elliptic Labs
You taking a selfie and a dolphin hunting for prey don’t seem to have much in common. But what if you could operate your smartphone with signals similar to the ones dolphins use to find food?
Elliptic Labs, which has bases in San Francisco, Norway and China, used the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Spain, to show off advances in ultrasonic touchless gesturing Tuesday that will be available on some smartphone models later this year.
“We are excited about this,” chief technology officer Haakon Bryhni told Cult of Mac in a phone interview from Barcelona. “We’ve been working with touchless gesturing for years and now we have a real breakthrough. The technology enables you to wake up the phone, take a selfie or engage any other functions on the phone without touching it.”
This year we’re covering the Barcelona Mobile World Congress a little differently. Each day there will be one liveblog post here on Cult of Mac and one on Cult of Android.
Instead of gathering up press releases and writing them up in the press office at the show, and then hitting the parties, we’ll be posting quick photos and snippets of info from the show floor itself (and from the parties, if we don’t lose our phones).
Think of it as a kind of Instagram/Twitter hybrid, only right here on the site. Currently the newest posts are at the top, reverse-chronological style. And if you want us to check something out, Tweet us @mistercharlie or @killianbell.
The Galaxy S4 has been cleared for government use by the U.S. Department of Defense, with Samsung’s new Knox security software deemed safe for military use. It’s the first Android-powered smartphone to ever win DoD approval, and it gets it ahead of Apple’s iPhone.
BARCELONA, MOBILE WORLD CONGRESS — During a Samsung developer conference here at Mobile World Congress this morning, the Korean company unveiled a new service called Samsung Wallet, which lets Samsung smartphone owners turn tickets, coupons, membership cards, boarding passes, and more into digital cards that they can store in a virtual wallet.
The service probably sounds familiar, and it is — Samsung Wallet is basically Apple’s Passbook, but for Samsung phones. It works in almost exactly the same way, and looks very similar, too.
BARCELONA, MOBILE WORLD CONGRESS — Here at MWC in Barcelona, Krussell is showing off its latest lineup of waterproof smartphones cases called Sealabox, which let you take your smartphone swimming to snap pictures of the fishes. Available for almost all common smartphones, the Sealabox is IPX7 certified for water resistance up to one meter, and it’s been carefully designed to allow you to make the most of your smartphone in almost any environment.
And one of those options is supposed to be Firefox OS.
Yesterday we showed you the ZTE Open, the first entry-level smartphone running Mozilla’s new Firefox OS. Other companies, like Sony, are planning to release Firefox OS phones as well. Mozilla has been trying to get the word out at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona.
During a recent talk at MWC, Mozilla CEO Gary Kovacs touted Firefox OS as a new platform to disrupt Android and Apple’s hold on the industry.
BARCELONA, MOBILE WORLD CONGRESS — As I was walking around the show floor at MWC today, I noticed a number of smartphones that looked very familiar — yet they were being paraded by Chinese companies I’d never heard of. I saw what looked like a large iPhone 5, an entire range of Samsung Galaxy devices, and a number of high-end HTC handsets.
Except they weren’t really Apple, Samsung, or HTC devices at all; they were actually cheap clones that were trying their best to look like the real thing. They even had fake accessories that were identical to the originals.
At long last, the Mobile World Congress is leaving the confines of Plaça de Espanya for a new out-of-town venue.
On Sunday, Cult of Mac and Cult of Android will be kicking off our Mobile World Congress 2013 coverage.
The Android side of the Mobile World Congress will be — as ever — an orgy of new handsets and tablets of every conceivable screen size. Apple stuff will be limited to accessories and apps, and Killian Bell will be covering that for us over at Cult of Android.
But what is there to get excited about for Apple fans? I’ll be looking for Mac and iPhone-related news, and I wonder what the hell there’s going to be this year.
Since nobody wants to know what I think is coming next week in the world of iPad cases, lets take a look instead at how the rest of the mobile world could (or might not) predict the features of future iDevices.
Cult of Android will soon be on its way to Barcelona for this year’s Mobile World Congress — which kicks off Sunday, February 24 — where we’re expecting a whole host of announcements regarding new smartphones, tablets, apps, and accessories. More than 65,000 people will attend the event, and they’re all there for one thing: to see what’s on the horizon in the world of mobile for 2013.
We’re expecting new devices from Samsung, LG, ZTE, Huawei, Nokia, Asus, and more — and you can follow all of our coverage from here. In the meantime, here’s what you can look forward to.
Samsung vice president JK Shin has confirmed that the company will be announcing the Galaxy Note 8.0 at Mobile World Congress next month, but you don’t need to wait until then to see what it’ll look like. Thanks to these pictures of the device out in the wild, we can see that the iPad mini competitor looks a lot like a giant Galaxy S III, with a traditional button setup that’s unlike other Galaxy tablets.