Bluetooth AirTurn For iPad: Hands-Free Page Turner For iPad

First, watch the video. Second, realize this simply won’t work. Why? A pianist requires both hands and feet. It would have been much more convincing if the Bluetooth AirTurn for iPad video was made focusing on a… violinist. The AirTurn BT-105 is expected to be available in Q4’10. For more info check out AirTurn.


So I checked it out (here’s the 2-pedal link). You can keep the toe on the pedal and press the AirTurn with the heal:

Corning To Invest $800 Million In LCD Glass Facility In China

On July 21, 2010 Corning announced it will invest approximately US$800 million to construct a new LCD glass substrate facility in the China (press release). Corning will locate the new facility in the Beijing Digital TV Industry Park within the Beijing Economic Technological Development Area. The manufacturing plant will have up to Gen 8.5 glass-melting and finishing capabilities with groundbreaking planned for September and production expected to commence in the first half of 2012.

Corning’s investments include expanding capacity its Eagle XG LCD glass substrates and Gorilla glass. The company has restarted an expansion project at its Taichung, Taiwan LCD glass facility and is ramping up idled capacity at its facility in Shizuoka, Japan to manufacture Gorilla glass. Now, Corning will expand further in Taichung with additional capacity projected for the first half of 2012.

Corning expects Gorilla glass sales to exceed US$200 million this year in its Specialty Materials segment, and estimates that sales could reach approximately US$1 billion annually by 2011. Demand for Gorilla glass is coming primarily from TV cover glass applications.

LCD TV is expected to continue its growth as market penetration grows in markets such as Asia and South America. The technology replacement cycle in mature markets is expected to accelerate according to Corning.

Corning also expects China to become one of the largest consumers of LCD TVs as well as a major region for LCD panel manufacturing especially for TV applications in the next several years. Corning has a long-term commitment to the China market.

Interestingly Corning noted higher-than-expected retail demand for LCD televisions, notebook PCs, and desktop computers resulting in an improved outlook throughout the remainder of the year. Corning believes annual LCD glass demand could be at the higher end of its forecast range of 2.9 billion square feet to 3.1 billion square feet this year. Corning has increased its forecast of capex to approximately $1.2 billion in 2010, up from its previous estimate of $1 billion.

Taiwan: 26% Of Global LED Chip Production In 2010

According to Topology Research Instititue (TRI) via Digitimes, Taiwan will account for 26% of global LED chip production in 2010. The LED chip market is expected to hit US$9.6 billion in 2010. Taiwan-based LED chip suppliers are forecasted to grow faster than the overall market at a rate of 43% Y/Y to $2.5 billion.

LED manufacturers in Taiwan are establishing joint ventures with local competition as well as upstream and downstream companies. The alliance among Epistar, AU Optronics (AUO) and Lextar is an example.

TRI also pointed to rapidly increasing procurement in MOCVD equipment in 2010. Expected growth is a staggering 232% Y/Y to 720 sets. Korea leads in expanding capacity with 36% of those 720 sets with Taiwan (32%) and China (26%) following suit.

China’s government is catalyzing the development of its local LED industry and the market potential, to say the least, is enormous. Taiwan’s Foxconn, Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC), and Delta Electronics have made significant moves toward improving LED competitiveness.

Dumb Phone, Smart Idea?

If Apple is right, and I think it is, all smartphones have antenna designs that attenuate signal strength when you hold it. One reason for that is the FCC that demands antennas to be designed toward the bottom to minimize radiation interference with our electrochemical neural system. Dumb phones like the clamshell Casio canU that I’m using doesn’t really have an antenna signal attenuation problem. The reason is because the antenna is located at the very top, where the hand almost never goes when talking on the phone. The FCC didn’t demand antenna design restrictions five years ago.

It is also interesting that South Korea is the only country original on the list that will not be getting the iPhone 4 at the end of this month. Korea is concerned about Apple’s antenna design on the iPhone 4. KTF the exclusive carrier for the iPhone is worried about the potential backlash of dissatisfied customers because of the antenna attenuation problem. But Korea shouldn’t be worried at all since the entire country including subways and mountaintops are covered with cell towers. There is almost nowhere in Korea where you don’t get full signal strength. I don’t think the iPhone 4 will suffer antenna signal attenuation in Korea much at all.

But maybe we shouldn’t be looking at smartphones anyway. Old dumb phones might actually turn out to be the smarter choice if you need your phone to make reliable calls. Of course the potential drawback of a dumb phone is that it might make you… dumb.

Smartphones Are Not Perfect: Nokia N97 Mini

Nokia via Engadget:

… we prioritize antenna performance over physical design if they are ever in conflict.

John Gruber:

Judging by how their phones look, must be a lot of conflicts.

The Nokia N97 mini must have had a conflict since the physical design is less than desirable. But then what’s this according to Apple:

In our tests, the Nokia N97 mini dropped from 7 bars to 2 bars when held in a way that attenuated the signal.

Ugly and has signal attenuation…

Toshiba Smart Pad Tablet Prototype: Not Smart?

Managing director of Toshiba Australia Mark Whittard showed off the company’s Smart Pad tablet prototype. According to PC Authority:

Refusing to be drawn on specifics of the prototype, he did confirm that Toshiba would be releasing both Android and Windows 7 based tablets. The company is aiming at launching at least one of these products in the September-October timeframe.

I guess the OS will be a mystery until the Smart Pad is launched. Just dual-boot! One more thing: that prototype looks very similar to Apple’s iPad. And that’s surprising. So far HP was the only company that has been exceptionally practiced at copying Apple’s industrial designs. I guess I’ll need to add Toshiba to the list of gifted copycats.

It Is Official: Motorola Droid X Has Display Problems

Verizon Wireless via Engadget:

Verizon Wireless and Motorola are aware of a very small number of DROID X units that have experienced a flickering or banding display. Motorola has resolved the issue and is continuing to ship the phones. Any consumer who experiences a flickering or banding display should contact a Motorola customer support center or Verizon Wireless.

That very small number is approximately 0.1%. For details about the problem have a look at Droid X: Defective Displays.

4D Dynamics PicoScan: Canon 1000D + Pico Projector = 3D Model

4D Dynamics has released a pico projector-based 3D scanner called PicoScan. In combination with a Canon 1000D DSLR and a Mephisto-based 3D scanning software PicoScan turns photographs into 3D models. PicoScan comes with a Joby tripod that allows for quite a bit of flexibility in where you locate the PicoScan. Turning photographs into 3D models don’t come cheap: the PicoScan is $1,999.00 on Amazon.

Engadget Interview: Joe Belfiore, Corporate VP, Windows Phone

Joe Belfiore, corporate VP of Windows Phone at Microsoft:

And if you look at some of the things that Apple does and some of the things that Google does, I think there are things that we’ll offer that you don’t quite get from either. We’re trying to do a really complete experience with music but offer it in a way that gives you choice of hardware that has a keyboard or not.

A really complete experience with music. Sounds good. But what does keyboard choice have anything to do with experiencing music?

Engadget’s Joshua Topolsky interviewed Belfiore and here is my tag cloud while I watched the 13 minute-long video:

Fall launch. Xbox, Bing, Office integration. Updated beta development tools going out this week including Expression Blend, which lets you develop apps without having to code. About 1000 developers. More than 100,000 development tool downloads. Get real phones to developers. Multitasking: OS supports threads. Multitasking limited to Microsoft-developed apps, third-party apps not supported. Navigation, Pandora scenarios are not supported out of the gate. Battery life optimized. Really good experience without multitasking. Multitasking is coming, after 7.

The most overused phrase: out of the gate. I guess Belfiore frames competition in terms of a horse race. If so, Microsoft better haul.

PS: The fact that Microsoft has standardized a pixel format (800×480) for all WP7 phones signals that the company is looking backwards. What lies ahead is competition in resolution as in pixels per inch, not pixel formats. Even when looking at pixel formats, Microsoft handicaps WP7 right out of the gate with a 800×480. More than likely Google and everyone developing Android smartphone hardware, Research In Motion, and Nokia are all working hard to catch up and surpass Apple in the area of display resolution (PPI).

Droid X: Defective Displays

Some Droid X users seem to be experiencing defective displays. In one video (tc9918: New Droid X Screen/Display Problem) there are grey bars, which is likely the result of defective driver ICs. The other video (raverk7: Day 4 with my new Droid X) seems to have a problem with the timing controller (TCON).


FYI: After dealing with quality issues on two Motorola Motoroi Android smartphones I returned it. I’m glad I did. Read my review of the Motoroi for all the details.