Revolv Controls Your Home

Revolv is making the sci-fi fantasy of home control a reality. The product, only for Apple products thus far, links your whole house to your smartphone or tablet, and allows total control over its systems. It works with most thermostats, wireless lighting systems, automated locks, and entertainment systems, while also incorporating a GPS triggering functionality. So if you want to be energy effecient and leave your air conditioner off all day but still want it set for 73 degrees when you get home, it’s easy to set up a GPS trigger. A one-time fee of $299 gets you a Wi-Fi hub and access to Revolv’s cloud service, and users can manually control what the device controls. The ultimate goal is to bring total home Internet-based control under one device’s control. 

Smart Trash Cans Track Passers By

UK startup Renew is equipping a few of London’s Renew Pods with “Renew Orbs” which use WiFi to track the proximity and speed of people walking past and identify the maker of their smartphone. The company allows clients to use the trash cans to construct statistical analyses on ‘trending demographics’ in high profile locations – for example, many iPhone users walk down a specific block. Many Londoners will be shocked to find out that this is actually happening without their permission, raising the same privacy issues as many other forms of tracking softwares. So it won’t be surprising to read about backlash against this software and tracking in the name of targeting advertising.

Samsung Outpacing Apple In Smartphone Sales

According to new estimates, Samsung smartphone samples left Apple in the dust for Q2 of this year. TrendForce reported that Apple sold 27 million iPhones in the second quarter as its global market share fell to 12.1%, which would mark a 30% sequential decline – and if the 5S doesn’t launch until October, the numbers are projected to get worse. Samsung, on the other hand, sold 71 million smartphones, which explains their record profits. The Galaxy S4 shipments totaled 23 million units in Q2, which was the fastest-selling Android smartphone in history, as well as the best-selling smartphone in the world last quarter. 

Shazam gets $40 Million Backing

Smartphone app developer Shazam has found itself allied with Carlos Slim, who invested $40 million to back the continued development of the startup. British-based Shazam wants to use the funds to accelerate its expansion into television – where its utilization as a second-screen app has created an entirely new niche for the app to expand into. Shazam believes that within 18 months, TV will significantly outperform the music side of its business, and considers this the driving force behind the investment.

Smartphone Shipments Overtake Feature Phones

For the first time ever, there are more shipments of Smartphones than feature phones worldwide in the first quarter of the year, according to a new report from IDC. There were 418.6 million mobile phones shipped worldwide in the March quarter, 216.2 million of which were Smartphones. Not only was this the first time that Smartphones outpaced feature phones, it was also the first time ever that Smartphones represented more than half of the global market. Smartphone shipments increased by more than 40% year-over-year. Much of the growth of Smartphone shipments are taking place in emerging markets like China, Brazil, and India, where the concept of a ‘phone’ as a device that simply makes calls is rapidly vanishing with these nations’ development. 

Apple Patents Continuous-Shot Photo Process

If you lack zen-like stillness when shooting with your iPhone, or if you haven’t yet mastered the fine art of triggering the shutter in time, Apple’s newly uncovered patent may bring you some relief.  The design uses continuous capture to take a series of full-resolution photos rapidly as soon as the camera app is opened, and place them in a memory buffer.  Once the shutter has been triggered by the user, the most recent images will be scored automatically for quality to present the user with what is likely to be the best image.  As Android and Blackberry tout their advances in mobile photography, Apple could be preparing to launch some improvements of their own with the next iOS release.