Monday, 27 February 2017

Virtual Reality Coming to Your In-Flight Entertainment?

2016 was the year of the Virtual reality headset, we are seeing the first versions of a technology that can, and possibly will, change our lives, much like the smart phone has. VR has the potential to improve our Games, TV programmes and Movies and allow us to experience things and places better. This article is about how your in-flight might be improved by a VR headsets.

No one likes flying during the holidays. Between having to leave two hours ahead of time and getting through security, just getting to your flight feels like a trip in itself. And then you get on the plane and have nothing to do for three hours except watch reruns of Friends on the little TV in front of you.

That’s probably about to change, thanks to VR. For a little while, of course, passengers can plug into their own Samsung Gear VR sets and tune out, but airlines might be offering their own complimentary variety so you can forget you’re stuck on an airplane.

A French start-up, SkyLights, is developing the tech. It’s a headset with a six-hour battery life, and it comes with noise-cancelling headphones. The headset looks pretty sleek and simple, because they’re made to be: There’s none of the neater interactions you get with an Oculus or Samsung headset. It really is just a movie beamed right into your face. You’ll be able to watch the newest 2D and 3D movies, and the set comes with 128 GB of storage — about 40 movies. Weighing only slightly more than half a pound, it’s easy to visualize the headset propped on the back of the seat in front of you, and after paying the fee, you can flip it on and enjoy hi-def movies right in front of your face.

The headsets are being tested in France right now: XL Airways became the first headset to offer a commercial version of the headset to passengers last week, for $16 per flight. SkyLights has also partnered with AirFrance and Airbus. Content-wise, there are partnerships in the works with 20th Century Fox and Dreamworks.

The general lack of viable in-flight entertainment has been plaguing the airline industry for a while; broadband Internet is an extra cost (roughly $10 per flight, depending on your airline), and the movies and TV they show are typically outdated.

It wasn’t until recently that airlines began attempting to match the broadband speed you’d find on the ground. (As of last year, you’d get speeds of around 3.1Mbps, as opposed to the roughly 30Mbps that smartphones on the ground are capable of). Since so many people use their own devices for entertainment, airlines are in desperate need of upping their Wi-Fi speed. But they also need ways to entertain their customers in an inexpensive manner, without the heavy screens and cables that come with TVs. Virtual-reality headsets — light, not-too-costly, and wireless — could offer a way for airlines to draw their customer base back in. But there are challenges: VR headsets are a relatively new and untested technology.

“Airlines are difficult players to deal with because they are risk-averse and slow to innovate,” David Dicko, SkyLight’s CEO, told the Times.

One potential problem for in-flight VR in your face is the nausea it causes. VR (even if it’s just a film) can be very disorienting, and it’s not hard to imagine people getting sick from it on a moving plane. Oculus’ health and safety documentation is a laundry list of potential concerns, from warnings of dizziness and nausea to seizures and sweating.

Another potential issue could be that hundreds of folks tuned out to a VR movie with noise-cancelling headphones have, at the least, limited awareness of the outside world. That means slowness to react in plane emergencies — another potential lawsuit on an airline’s hands.

For now, we’re skeptical that VR headsets will take off as in-flight entertainment in the U.S. anytime soon. Early adopters might be eager to try them — but they also have their own headsets that they can use for free. Customers would have to pay over the price of a movie ticket, the technology is unstudied when it comes to users’ health, and everyone has their own phone or tablet to entertain themselves. We love the idea, but, as Dicko noted, the airlines are a pretty risk-averse industry. They should prioritize Wi-Fi bandwidth first (and make it at least cheaper), which is what the majority of customers undoubtedly want.

Anyway, it’s hard to imagine a more Black Mirror–esque image than a hundred people, arranged into rows, their heads leaning back, eyes hidden behind a headset, plugged in to a world that isn’t there.

Wednesday, 15 February 2017

2016 year in review: Motorola"s resurgence

Motorola have always been a brand we have looked up to, in our eyes they produce some of the best equipment on the market, sometimes they don’t sell as well as they should do. The business has been split and sold several times over the last year, but they are now on the rise and business is going well, as this article shows.

2014 saw Motorola’s ownership change hands from the west to the east. Lenovo acquired the company off Google on January 29, 2014 but it was not until 2016 that the fruits of Lenovo’s ownership started showing up.

The year started off with Motorola in a slightly vulnerable position with the relative failure of both the Moto X Style and Moto X Play. The Moto X line was fading and even the third generation Moto G had failed to impress.

These first devices under Lenovo’s ownership however, had been in the pipeline much before Lenovo took over and it was not until the Moto G4 and the Moto Z in 2016 that we saw what the new Motorola could deliver.

Moto G4 series: Ushering in a renaissance

The Moto G4 Plus was one of two variants of Motorola’s fourth generation Moto G, the firm’s bestselling smartphone range ever. This was the first time Motorola (now owned by Lenovo) launched more than one smartphone in the G range, with the Moto G4, Moto G4 Play and the Moto G4 Plus.

At a starting price of Rs 13,499, the Moto G4 Plus made for a compelling buy, and continued the G series of smartphone’s tradition of providing good smartphones at an affordable price. With a superb display, a fast and accurate fingerprint sensor, stock android and great performance, it ticked all the right boxes for a mid-range device.

In comparison to the regular Moto G4, the Moto G4 Plus featured an improved 16MP rear camera with phase auto detection, laser autofocus and a dual LED Flash and also came with a fingerprint sensor.

Motorola also released the Moto G4 Play which was the cheapest device in the G4 lineup at Rs 8,999 and packed a 5-inch 720p HD display, a 2,800mAh battery, 2GB of RAM and 16GB of expandable internal storage.

The Moto G4, G4 Plus and G4 Play were critical as well as commercial hits and announced the comeback of Motorola in the smartphone game. The Plus in particular, presented a fantastic blend of features and affordability that saw it shoot up the sales charts.

Moto E3 Power: The odd one out

Lenovo also unveiled the Moto E3 Power in India which was a more powerful version of the third generation Moto E3. In a surprising move, the company decided against releasing the regular Moto E3 in the country.

The Moto E3 Power came with a massive 3,500mAh battery, 2GB of RAM, a 5-inch HD display and nearly stock Android Marshmallow.

At Rs 7,999, the Moto E3 Power found itself in as odd situation with the much more capable Moto G4 Play priced at just a thousand rupees more.

The attack of the Modular smartphones

Motorola then cemented its position in the smartphone world by releasing the striking Moto Z, the company’s most exciting smartphone in years.

The Moto Z came packed to the gills with a Qualcomm Snapdragon 820 SoC, 4GB of RAM, a 13MP rear camera with OIS and 4K recording, a 5MP front shooter and a 2,600mAh battery along with TurboCharging support.

The ‘World’s thinnest premium smartphone’ came with a 5.5-inch QuadHD display protected by corning gorilla glass, a sleek and suave metal/glass body and unlimited feature expansion through the Moto Mods.

The distinguishing feature of the Moto Z were the ‘Moto Mods’: snap-on accessories that could be attached to the back of smartphone through magnets in order to increase its functionality.

Alongside the flagship Moto Z, Motorola also launched its younger brother, the Moto Z Play which came with a 5.5-inch 1080p Super AMOLED display, a downgrade from the QuadHD resolution of the Moto Z and the largest battery Motorola ever put in any of its smartphones. Just like the Moto Z, the Moto Z Play also supported the innovative Moto Mods.

The Moto Z and Moto Z Play helped bring Motorola back into the spotlight. The Moto Mods in particular were greatly appreciated and were hailed as one of the best implementations of the modular concept in recent years.

The stunning all-metal Moto M

The end of the year saw Motorola launching the stunning all-metal Moto M in India.

The Moto M’s full metal unibody design with antenna bands on the top and bottom edges was a complete departure from the design language of previous Motorola smartphones and was again an indication of the company’s new ownership.

This is what Sudhin Mathur, Executive Director, Lenovo Mobile Business Group, India had to say about the company’s performance in 2016:

“The Moto G franchise continues to be much loved and we witnessed an extremely high conversion from early Moto G buyers opting for the new Moto G 4th Generation. But, our real game changer and technological breakthrough was the Moto Z and Moto Mods series that redefined the evolutionary progress of the smartphone industry. The Moto Z and Moto Mods system is designed to provide connected, intelligent and mobile consumer experiences in a seamless fashion and the power to transform your (Moto Z) smartphone in a snap is revolutionary. We started with four Moto Mods and are continuously working with multiple partners to develop more Mods for smartphone users in 2017.”

What’s next?

2017 will be a crucial year for the company as it prepares to build upon the success of the G4 and Z range. It is pivotal for Lenovo to make sure that it retains the essence of the company while at the same time push new boundaries of design and innovation.

Monday, 6 February 2017

Growth of Global Hearing Amplifiers Market Driven by Increase in the Number of Prevalence of Hearing Impairment Patients in Old and Young Population

We found this article and couldn’t not post this to our blog, it shows how hearing damage is on the upsurge. With cases of hearing loss growing every year, hearing amplifiers and hearing aids sales have consistently increased. There doesn’t seems to be an answer to this rise but as technology improves, answers can come that way.

Hearing loss can occurs when inner ear or nerve is damaged, which may be caused due to diseases, aging, loud noise, and medications. Hearing amplifier is a small part of hearing aid which makes the sound louder. Hearing amplifiers increase the power of signals and then send them to the ear through speakers.

Hearing aid is useful in improving the hearing and speech of patients. An otolaryngologist investigates the cause of the hearing loss. An audiologist is a hearing health professional who identifies and measures hearing loss and will perform a hearing test to assess the type and degree of hearing loss.

Increase in number of hearing impairment cases coupled with rising costs of hearing aids are expected to drive the growth of the global hearing amplifiers market during the forecast period. Majority of the consumers use hearing amplifiers or personal sound amplification products (PSAPs) as they are considered cheaper alternatives of hearing aids. Hearing amplifiers or PSAPs, are designed to amplify sounds in any recreational environment and are exempt from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Hearing amplifiers are sold directly to consumers as electronic devices without the requirement of a physician prescription.

According to National Institute on Deafness and other Communication Disorders (NIDCD), approximately 324,200 cochlear implants have been implanted worldwide. About 15 percent of Americans (26 million people) between the ages of 20 and 69 have high frequency hearing loss due to exposure to noise at work or during leisure activities. Major driving factors for the growth of the global hearing amplifiers such as an increase in the number of prevalence of hearing impairment patients in old and young population, increasing investment in research and development in ENT field among others.

Based on styles or design types of hearing aid products the global market of hearing amplifiers can be segmented as follows:

-Behind-the-ear (BTE)

-Mini BTE

-In-the-ear (ITE)

-In-the-canal (ITC)

Based on function the global hearing amplifiers market can be segmented as follows:

-Analog hearing aids

-Digital hearing aids

Based on distribution channels the global hearing amplifiers market can be segmented as follows:

-Hospital Pharmacies

-Online Pharmacies

-Independent Pharmacies and Drug stores

Hearing amplifiers market is segmented into five major regions: North America, Europe, Latin America, Asia Pacific, and Middle East & Africa. In 2015, North America lead the global market of hearing amplifiers followed by the Europe in terms of revenue. According to statistics compiled by the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders (NIDCD), 37.5 million adults aged 18 and older in America report some form of hearing loss.

According to the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders (NIDCD), 28.8 million U.S. adults could benefit from using hearing aids and more than 90 percent of deaf children are born to parents suffering from some kind of hearing disorder. Globally, the hearing amplifiers market is expected to witness a healthy CAGR in terms of revenue during the forecast period.

Latin America, Middle East & Africa and Asia Pacific regions are the emerging markets in the global hearing amplifiers market. Increasing awareness among the various distribution channels as well as consumers in these regions is anticipated to propel global market growth of hearing aids and amplifiers during the forecast period.

The key players in the global market develop hearing amplifiers in analog and digital forms. Some of the top companies in the global hearing amplifiers market are Sound Hawk, Resound, Foshan Vohom Technology Co. Ltd., Sound world solution, Shenzhen LA Lighting Company Limited, Austar Hearing Science and Technology (Xiamen) Co., Ltd., Huizhou Jinghao Electronics Co. Ltd., Ziphearing among others.

Saturday, 4 February 2017

How Many Walkie-Talkies Can Operate on the Same Channel?

Theoretically, you can use an unlimited amount of walkie-talkies on the same channel (although in practice you might experience a few problems if you took that suggestion literally). Basically, there isn’t really a set limit. You could use as many as you like provided they are set up correctly. Anybody set to the right channel and in range at the time of transmission would then be able to pick up the signal and respond to it.

Most radios have access to 8 channels. These channels each have 38 separate ‘identification tones’. The user sets his/her channel up with the desired tone and then only other users who know the channel/tone will be able to hear the transmissions. As a result, there are, in any given area, about 304 different combinations, so signal interference is unlikely to affect you.

Please do not interpret this answer as saying that your radio has access to 304 possible channels. It does not. It will likely only have access to 8. Some less reputable manufacturers tend to falsely imply access to 304 channels; this is simply not the case. You will have access to 304 possible tone/channel combinations, that’s all.

To better explain the CTCSS codes and how they work; we’ll include a little information from’s FAQ page.

“CTCSS stands for “Continuous Tone Coded Squelch System”. These codes are also often called “Privacy codes” If a CTCSS tone is selected; a CTCSS sub-audible tone is transmitted along with the regular voice audio by the transmitting radio. The receiving radio, set to the same CTCSS tone, will only receive audio if it contains that sub-tone. Interference from other users on the same frequency is therefore rejected (unless they are also on the same sub-tone). This is a way of allowing groups of users of walkie-talkies on the same channel to avoid hearing messages from other nearby users”.

So, in conclusion, you can probably use as many walkie-talkies as you like on the same channel. As long as the units in question are of the same type (either VHF or UHF) and have the same CTCSS setup, then you simply shouldn’t have a problem. You also shouldn’t suffer from signal interference due to other users (although you may still experience signal loss/interference/degradation from other sources). We have talked about combating signal loss elsewhere, so please see the other questions if you have any problems in this area.

These Are Three Different Styles Of Security Earpiece You Can Get

If you are looking for a security earpiece with a mic, then you will need to know the varieties available out there. While some types are more expensive than others, what ultimately matters is the quality and durability of what you get at the end. Below is a look at what you get out there:

One wire kit

With this one, there is only a single wire, which emerges from the radio, runs through the PTT and then ends where the earpiece starts. This makes for a simple yet effective look. As for the length of the cable, the one wire kit has a piece that runs between 28 and 34 inches. This means that you have at your disposal a length sufficient to cover the distance between your ears and the waist without any kind of stretching or straining. Of course, the reach of every security earpiece will be determined by the height of the person wearing it. The one wire kit is great for an average height and will work for anyone 6 feet and below.

Most one wire kits come in the original D and G shapes. There are some fancier designs out there as well if that’s what you are looking for.

Two wire kits

As the name suggests, there are two wires involved in this scenario. One runs to the Push to Talk (PTT) button. The other runs up to the earpiece, making for a good looking dual connection. For the purposes of discretion, you are allowed to wear this cable partially disguised within your clothing. One wire will emerge from the radio, rising up your back to the ear in a way that keeps you comfortable. The other cable runs from the radio, up the length of your hands and terminates at the cuffs if you are wearing a long-sleeved shirt or sweater. In terms of length, the two-wire kit is essentially the same as its one wire counterpart, with a reach of 30 to 34 inches. This accounts strictly for the length of each individual wire, and allows the unit to comfortably cover the areas between your waist and the ears. Two wire kits commonly come in the form of an acoustic tube that many who know a little about surveillance will be able to understand.

3 Wire kits

Here, you have three wires coming off the radio. The first wire will terminate where the earpiece is built. The second will end where the Push to Talk button is located. The last will end at a connection with the mic. As with the two wire kits, this one is worn under ordinary clothing, with a cable for the mic, earpiece and PTT button. There is really no standard length for all the three wires and there is no guarantee that all of them will be equal in length, but there is a sense of flexibility in the way you get to use the piece. Always try on sample pieces before making a purchase at a store. Over the internet purchases are trickier but then the measurements will be highlighted long before you order.

Understanding the functionality of PTT technology

Push to Talk is a cutting-edge technology that allows for direct communication between parties at agreed-upon frequencies and distances. The greatest thing about PTT is that it switches communications from duplex to half duplex. This means people do not talk over each other but get to alternate between speaking and listening. PTT is able to loop in two or more speakers at an instance of communication, allowing for conference-like types of engagements between participants. This streamlines communication. Most enterprises prefer this approach to communication because there are no limitations in terms of allotted minutes. As such, there is absolutely no need to stay within the confines of a data plan, which would be both expensive, inconvenient and rigid.

There is no such thing as a right security earpiece . What works for you may not work for all other parties across the board. While your budget matters a lot, you are looking for something that works optimally and stands the test of time. The three types mentioned above are alright if you are looking for something that works all the time. Remember, prices will vary across brands and models.

Tuesday, 31 January 2017

I Bought a Two-Way Radio With a Range of 25 Miles...Why Won’t It Work?

Sorry, but you’ve been had. Although many manufacturers boast that their radios can reach amazing distances, this is, in almost every instance we’ve encountered, a fallacy.

How is this legal, you may ask?

Essentially, your radio quite probably could work over a range of 25 miles, but that is a theoretical estimate, working on the assumption that the myriad variables that affect two-way radio signal (such as atmospheric conditions, topography, objects in the way and etc) are simply not in effect.

All of them. At the exact same time.

So, assuming that you used your two-way radio in a vacuum, where weather didn’t exist and no obstacles, man-made or otherwise, were present, you would be able to communicate with someone else who was further away in that impossible vacuum, maybe even 25 miles away, but otherwise? Forget it.

The fact is that the average two-way radio has a range of between one and two miles and not much more (maybe three, but we’re not making any promises). CB radio fares significantly better, largely because it makes use of large aerials. Now, Signal-boosting equipment can be used to improve your two-way’s performance (for example, repeaters), but such equipment is expensive and hard to obtain for legal reasons.

There are, however, a few factors that can have an affect on your radio’s range. The frequency being used, the power output, the size of the antenna, the complexity of the signal being sent, signal interference, background noise and (as we wrote earlier) objects in the way are all factors that can improve (or hamper) your efforts to get your signal to reach as far as possible.

So, talking on your radio whilst in the car will have a deleterious affect on your signal, as will deliberately walking through wooded areas or places with a lot of rocks/mountains if you can take an easier path.

However, a larger antenna (if you’re tech orientated, the antenna can be replaced with a better one – although this should only be attempted if you are

  1. a) Sure about licensing laws


  1. b) Tech savvy enough to void the warranty and not regret it later, can really add a few hundred meters to a radio’s range, as can a switch in frequencies.

Also, your choice of VHF or UHF radio will have an affect as well, a UHF signal, for example, generally penetrates buildings and objects better than a VHF signal, whereas VHF is better for outdoor use where there is a lot of open space to transmit across.

Having said/written that, even in optimum conditions, you are extremely unlikely to transmit over a distance of 25 miles. Sorry.

As an aside, mobile phones don’t suffer from this lack of coverage, largely because cell towers are in place that bounce the signal from one to the other and thus carry it across a far larger area, your mobile is still your best bet to break that 25 mile mark, we’re afraid.

If you really must use radio communications over long distances, we recommend going to the Website

Hope that helps.

Tuesday, 17 January 2017

Sepura Contributes to Success of World’s First Cross-border TETRA System

We take it for granted that when we move around the country our mobile phones connect to the nearest mast, or we go abroad and our phones automatically connect to the network, with tetra, this is not as easy, but this article is about a test that Sepura completed connecting two TETRA networks in Norway and Sweden, interesting stuff.

Sepura radios have successfully participated in interoperability trials for the world’s first cross-border TETRA communication system, linking RAKEL and Nødnett, Sweden and Norway’s public safety networks.

More than 350 first responders were involved in the trials, which took place in Meråker, close to the Swedish border, in a crisis response exercise involving public safety users from both countries.

The cross-border system utilises TETRA Inter-System Interface (ISI) functionality to connect networks together, effectively allowing users to roam to another network. This allows first responders to use their radios in both countries – vital for smooth collaboration in emergency situations.

The initiative to strengthen co-operation between national emergency services started in 2013 with the EU-funded Inter-System Interoperability project, designed to improve the ability to respond to natural disasters and security threats. The RAKEL and Nødnett networks are scheduled to be ready for bi-national operational use in early 2017.

Sepura’s STP9000 hand-portable radios and SRG3900 mobile radios were used by both Swedish and Norwegian emergency services during the exercise, although all Sepura radios – including the new flagship SC20 range – meet the technical requirements of the ISI system.

“This is one of the most advanced multinational radio communication projects in Europe,” said Tariq Haque, Product Manager for Sepura.

“After two years’ development, bi-national interoperability has become a reality, bringing cross-border mission critical communications to Sweden and Norway.

“We are extremely pleased to have played a part in this ground-breaking event.”

Source –