Army-approved winter gloves work with touchscreens
Agloves allow wearers to operate the touchscreen on a smartphone.
February 13th, 2012
11:04 AM ET

Army-approved winter gloves work with touchscreens

By Mark Milian, CNN

(CNN) - The U.S. Army has been working for about two years on outfitting its soldiers with smartphones, but one obstacle to this technological upgrade likely will be familiar to anybody who has tried to operate a touchscreen phone in the winter:

Smartphones and gloves do not get along.

Rather than putting government money toward developing a new type of glove, the Army went on a little shopping spree. If the government is coming late to smartphones, and buying those from stores instead of building them, then surely someone must have solved this problem.

They aren't mainstream yet, but several companies indeed sell gloves that let the wearer operate a touchscreen without taking them off. And as more people discover the limits of their Android companions on a snowy day, these types of gloves could take off. FULL POST

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Filed under: Fashion • Military • Tech
YouTube exec: We're heading for 'third wave' of TV
February 1st, 2012
10:27 AM ET

YouTube exec: We're heading for 'third wave' of TV

By Mark Milian, CNN

Laguna Niguel, California (CNN) – In YouTube's vision of the future, television will look a little like video games.

According to Google video head Salar Kamangar, connected TV will usher in an era of programming that will allow viewers to interact with content on their screen. He discussed his thoughts on where video entertainment is headed Tuesday at News Corp.'s D: Dive Into Media conference here.

The changes will constitute TV's "third wave," in which smaller groups of people gravitate toward thousands of niche channels, Kamangar said. The first wave refers to broadcast networks (few options, huge audiences), and the second to cable channels (hundreds of options, each with smaller audiences). FULL POST

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Filed under: Tech • TV
TV's next killer app: Weather
Comcast is testing a new version of its cable box, which has a weather app.
January 20th, 2012
04:39 PM ET

TV's next killer app: Weather

By Mark Milian, CNN

(CNN) – Of all the digital bells and whistles that Comcast put into its next-generation cable box, executives were surprised about one hum-drum feature that was most popular during testing.

"They love being able to check the weather," Tom Blaxland, a senior director for the company's Xfinity TV digital platform, said in a recent interview. "That's actually the most popular app we have."

"They say it's amazing," he added. FULL POST

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Filed under: Innovation • Tech • TV
December 6th, 2011
01:01 PM ET

Catch glimpses of the future ... on YouTube

By Mark Milian, CNN

The future according to Samsung is embodied in a fictional boy named Zoll from a distant time.

At a news conference during the Consumer Electronics Show this year, the Korean electronics maker paraded  Cirque du Soleil-style dancers and Zoll, a cute kid wearing a 1920s pilot jacket and a wolf hat on his head. He was supposed to tell us about the future, but Zoll was met with confused looks and cocked heads from audience members.

Now Zoll lives on in the pantheon of inspired, or demented, creations from big-corporate futurists. On YouTube. FULL POST

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Filed under: Innovation • Tech • Video
Cell phones soon will produce more-nuanced vibrations
Immersion's Dennis Sheehan demonstrates a Samsung phone that he outfitted with a piezoelectric sensor.
November 15th, 2011
04:52 PM ET

Cell phones soon will produce more-nuanced vibrations

By Mark Milian, CNN

San Francisco (CNN) - Cell-phone addicts can be so attuned to their digital companions that they are able to feel the difference between a short vibration –signaling, say, a text message - and a longer one for a phone call.

Starting next year, they will have a new class of vibrations to get familiar with.

Apple, for example, began letting iPhone users with the latest version of its software assign customized vibrations to different contacts.

Other smartphone makers are preparing to deploy the latest hardware technology from Immersion, a San Jose, California, company that researches and licenses electronic vibration tools, company vice-president Dennis Sheehan said in an interview at a conference here.

FULL POST

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Filed under: Innovation • Tech