Tablets and smartphones are not the only devices that are constantly getting smaller, lighter and thinner. If you compare laptops today with laptop of just five years ago, it is obvious to see how much laptops have evolved over the years. Companies like Dell, Lenovo, Apple, Sony and HP are constantly battling to put the best laptop on the market. Many thought that with the introduction of tablets, laptops would lose their likeness. With time this has proven to be completely false. Smaller and hybrid laptops are still the top sales in the industry, but why?
Evolution of Laptops
All Purpose Laptops
Laptops of all sizes still remain popular because of their value. In stores as Best Buy costumers can get a 15 inch laptop with amazing resolution for $ 250. Another appealing characteristic of a laptop is that they are ultraportable and many are designed specifically to fit business needs. For example, the Lenovo ThinkPad T440s and the HP EliteBook Folio 1040 G1.
Keeping Up with Changes
Lenovo, Dell and HP have been smart in keeping in mind costumers needs. By making laptops thinner and lighter, they have made them the perfect accessory for people who work at desk jobs or have to be traveling a lot.
Computers are devices we all use now a day for various reasons. However, some are still very pricy and they become obsolete quite quickly. To tackle this issue, developers and researches of the University of Iowa have discovered a way to make inexpensive computers, which could later be used in cell phones and other devices. The new discovery consists of converting magnetic data into optical information for free. This translates into cheaper, flexible and more efficient way to make computers, without the use of large amounts of energy.
Plastic computers are the future, according to many scientists and with this new discovery this reality is truer than ever. This new generation of plastic computers will be essentially similar to the normal computers we use, just that instated of being fabricated mainly with metal parts, these computers will consist of organic semiconductors. These semiconductors, or polymers, will be placed on a flexible plastic substrate.
Constructing the Future
University of Iowa researchers found that converting magnetic data, which is stored on a magnetic foil, can be stored on an optical data b y an organic LED. This technology will not help solve storing problems, but help create new less expensive computers.
Apple, Microsoft, Lenovo, Google and Dell have always invested into high tech devices specialized to be used in classroom. Now, another competitor joins in on this education tech race. Intel has recently launched its newest version of classmate netbook, its predecessors being the Education Tablets and the Studybook, the Education 2-in-1. This new device was made in hopes to bring Intel into classrooms worldwide.
Intel’s Education 2-in-1 is a convertible laptop. This hybrid netbook will allow students to detach its display screen from the keyboard so it could be used as a tablet. The screen can also be flipped to show specific content while doing a presentation in the classroom. It features a stylus for kids who are still learning how to use a keyboard. This two in one laptop also features didactic accessories like a temperature sensor and a magnifying lens.
Tools For The Future
Intel assures classrooms will not be the same once students use the Education 2-in-1. The hybrid netbook is powered with Intel’s Education Software suite, has the Kno app and is protected with McAfee AntiVirus Plus. There is still no news regarding price or when it will be available. Here are some other features of the Education 2-in-1:
- Intel Atom Z3740D quad-core processor,
- 2GB of RAM,
- 64GB of solid-state storage,
- Windows 8.1,
- Eight hours of battery life,
- 5-megapixel rear-facing camera.
Wearable devices are becoming more and more popular which each year. In an attempt to keep up with this trend, Intel has introduced the Intel Edison, which is a small computer the size of an SD card. Mike Bell, general manager and vice president of the New Devices Group at Intel, has recently made a statement that the Edison was to be upgraded. Intel made the Edison so it could also be used with phones, tables and a wide range of devices.
Intel keynote speaker Brian Krzanich shows Edison
Tiny but ultra-powerful
Intel Edison was upgraded to be different from fitness trackers, smart watches and health monitors. To make the Edison stand out they included location, light and environment sensors and made it wireless. Their intention is that users could use this ultra-powered chip to have at the moment data analysis.
Price of connectivity
Edison is to hit stores in the U.S. in summer, nevertheless the price for the chip is still unknown. Intel already sales a wearable device called Galileo for US $60 and $70, so the price for the Edison could be around the same price range.
Wearable tech is the future
Intel recently bought a fitness tracking company called Basis Science, which whom sources say the company will develop prototype devices for ankle, wrist and head.
Computer usage in Uganda has always been a problem. Most rural schools do not possess electricity or any type of power, which leaves them disconnect from the modern technology. On January of this year, the University of Nottingham Innovation Park (better known as the UNIP) developed a one of a kind solar power computer which became the solution for many students in sub Saharan Africa. The Maendeleo Foundingused the same type of technology to provide Uganda’s schools with the electricity to take their low tech classrooms into hi tech classrooms.
Solar panels are attached to a jeep which stores the solar energy, which is later given to the schools, do the students can have computer lessons for several hours. At the moment, the Maendeleo Foundation counts with two of these jeeps, which have to go thru difficult earthen roads to get to each location. Each vehicle goes to five schools and provides service for over 2,000 students.
Benefits for all
Uganda has sunshine all year round which means that this type of clean energy will always be available for the students. Co- founder of the Maendeleo Foundation, Asia Kamukama, says that the children of Uganda need to learn how to use a laptop and to use Internet so that in a near future they can be able to compete with people around the world.
Samsung has recently announced they successfully created a smaller and more efficient DRAM memory, the DDR3. On the other spectrum of the computer world, Google reduces the prices for its data storage plans for its Drive services. As technologies keep on evolving, data storage devices have done the same. They have become smaller but bigger in capacity. In just over six decades ago the ways and amount of information we store has changed. According to specialist by 2016 the worldwide data stored will be of 3.77 zettabytes. Data storage devices have come a long way and have changed dramatically thanks to costumers needs.
Memory storing devices
Evolution in Memory Cards
NAND flash memory was first announced in 1987 by Toshiba. At that moment, it was a 40 MB memory card for cameras. Just 20 years later, the micro SD NAND memory cards were introduced. They were smaller and could store over 100 billion bytes of data. Now days, the micro SD card can store 128 GB. This is the equivalent of over:
- 30,000 songs,
- 250,000 photos
- and over 20 movies.
Hard Disk Drives Reloaded
IBM was the first to introduce the hard disk drive in 1956, known as the RAMAC 350 (Random Access Method of Accounting and Control). The RAMAC weighed about a ton and could store 5 MB of data, about one MP3 song. Now, disk drives have 4 TB of capacity, which translates into over 750,000 MP3 songs.
Google Glass, smart–watches and fitness trackers where among some of the most popular wearable tech items which were unveiled at this year’s Mobile World Congress (MWC 2014). Nevertheless, these are not the only gadgets you will read about this year. Engineers from the Hiroshima City University are working on a device that might change the world of computers everywhere. They are developing a wearable PC that users will be able to wear on their ears and can control by blinking or moving their tongs or clenching teeth.
Ear clips which use Bluetooth
The future is now
Kazuhiro Taniguchi, one of the engineers from the Hiroshima City University, showcased this new device which is called the “Earclip–type Wearable PC” and explained how it works and what are its features. It has a microchip and a data storage which can load software’s and its design was inspired from ‘Ikebana‘, which is a Japanese art for flowers arrangements. The device works by using its infrared sensors which monitor movement.
“Earclip-type Wearable PC” weights 0.59 ounce (17 gram), works on wireless with Bluetooth, can be synced to a user’s smartphone, tablet or iPod and although it is still in the prototype phase has quite a few amazing features, including: