. Space Industry and Business News .

Nokia declares war in US smartphone market
by Staff Writers
Las Vegas (AFP) Jan 10, 2012

Televisions getting Siri-style personal assistants
Las Vegas (AFP) Jan 10, 2012 - Startup Vlingo on Tuesday said that it is giving televisions the kind of voice-controlled "virtual assistants" that have been a hit with the latest version of Apple's hot-selling iPhone.

"If you are sitting on your couch you can just use your voice to control your TV, set-top box, cable-box or whatever," Vlingo's Chris Barnett told AFP as the Consumer Electronics Show got underway in Las Vegas.

"The TV will talk back to you in Virtual Assistant mode; ask what you want to see and drill down into what you are looking for," he continued, providing a demonstration. "It is like Apple's Siri, only for your TV, only better."

Apple built sassy Siri personal assistants into iPhone 4S models released in October.

Siri artificial intelligence software was derived from research conducted to make computers more intuitive at understanding and working with soldiers in action.

Siri understands context so people can speak naturally when asking it questions.

It helps make calls, send text messages or email, schedule meetings and reminders, make notes, find local businesses, and get directions. Siri will even perform mathematical calculations if asked.

Vlingo said its Virtual Assistant software lets people tell televisions what they want it to do or find.

Viewers could ask assistants to find shows with particular actors or in preferred genres, or tell televisions to record or rent specific films or television programs.

Microphones will be built into televisions or, more likely, remote controls to let Vlingo software listen to viewers, according to Barnett.

Some television makers are expected to let people chat with Vlingo virtual assistants using smartphone "apps" or build microphones into screens.

The software could also tap into microphones in accessories such as Kinect for Xbox 360 videogame consoles.

"The Vlingo Virtual Assistant for TV is designed to modernize that thing your grandfather once called a 'remote control'," Barnett said.

"Everyone deserves their own assistant and Vlingo will make this a reality on TVs this year."

Massachussetts-based Vlingo, which is being bought by speech recognition specialty firm Nuance, said that it has deals with major electronics makers to put the software into television hardware to be released this year.

It did not disclose names of companies, citing confidentiality agreements.

Nokia has declared war in the US smartphone market, with a Microsoft-powered handset tailored to take on Apple iPhones and Google-backed Android devices.

Microsoft chief executive Steven Ballmer joined Nokia boss Stephen Elop on Monday to unveil the new Lumia 900 smartphone, which will run on Windows mobile software and tap into a growing trove of popular mini-applications.

The two firms did not disclose the price or release date for the Lumia 900, but said it will be offered exclusively on the latest generation 4G LTE network of US telecom giant AT&T.

"We believe the industry has shifted from a battle of devices to a war of ecosystems," Elop said, in a presentation laden with martial metaphors.

"Clearly there are strong contenders on the field in this war of ecosystems," he told a room packed with press on the eve of the opening of the annual Consumer Electronics Show (CES), a massive gadgets fair in Las Vegas.

The Finland-based Nokia in October introduced the Lumia line, which Elop described as the "first real Windows phones," which had established "beachheads" in Europe, India, and Hong Kong.

The company planned to start the US invasion on January 11 with a Lumia 710 model that will be priced at $49 when bought with T-Mobile service contracts.

"The work Nokia is doing around Windows phone and this third ecosystem is really going to pay off," Ballmer said, caressing a sleek Lumia 900 touchscreen handset.

"When you pick it up and love and touch and feel your Lumia," he said -- making a playful "mmmmm" sound that drew laughs -- "it really is quite fantastic."

Ballmer praised Nokia for getting the phones to market less than a year after striking a deal with Microsoft to use its mobile software and link to its online applications shop, which boasts a fast-growing bank of 50,000 apps.

"The reviews have been fantastic," Ballmer said of Windows-powered phones, which have been late-comers to a booming market increasingly dominated by Apple and Android handsets.

Lumia 900 has front and rear facing cameras with Carl Zeiss photo technology and 4.3-inch high-definition displays.

"I think Nokia is going to be back in the US in a very big way," AT&T president of mobility Ralph de la Vega said at a press conference.

"We are big fans of Windows phones."

Nokia showed off an array of applications made just for Lumia 900, including 20 videogames made by console industry colossus Electronic Arts.

Elop said Nokia planned to price Lumia 900 "aggressively" to establish a strong beachhead on the US smartphone battlefield. He said that Lumia would then land in China and Latin America to fight for market share.

"I am so happy that companies like Samsung, HTC and others are all introducing Windows devices," Elop said. "We all need to get that fly wheel spinning; our principle competition is the other ecosystems."

Nokia plans to eventually extend Windows across its full range of mobile phones and was working with Microsoft on getting mobile gadgets and computers to share pictures and other content using the Internet "cloud."

While declining to comment specifically on Research In Motion (RIM), Elop said that Nokia sees opportunity to compete in the business smartphone market, which has long been a stronghold for RIM's popular BlackBerry handset.

Related Links
Space Technology News - Applications and Research

Get Our Free Newsletters Via Email
Buy Advertising Editorial Enquiries

Kodak restructures amid bankruptcy battle
Washington (AFP) Jan 10, 2012 - US photography giant Eastman Kodak, fighting to keep bankruptcy at bay, announced Tuesday a major restructuring to speed up its transformation into a digital company.

Kodak said it had reduced three segments into two on January 1: one focused on the general public and the other on professionals.

Kodak said the new business structure was "designed to increase productivity, reduce cost and accelerate its transformation into a digital company that delivers sustainable profitability and creates value for its stakeholders."

The move involves a reshuffling of top posts in the venerable US company, founded in the late 19th century.

"As we complete Kodak's transformation to a digital company, our future markets will be very different from our past, and we need to organize ourselves in keeping with that evolution," Antonio Perez, Kodak's chairman and chief executive, said in a statement.

Investors cheered the news of Kodak's restructuring, sending shares 30.4 percent higher to 52 cents in midday New York trade.

The company did not mention its dire financial difficulties that have spurred speculation it will file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection soon.

A week ago the New York Stock Exchange told the company, once one of the fabled Dow Jones industrial Average's 30 blue-chip stocks, that it faces delisting from the exchange if it cannot get its stock price back above $1.00 level.

In its heyday, in 1996, Rochester, New York-based company's shares topped $80 -- just at the outset of the digital photo revolution that eventually replaced the need for consumers to buy Kodak film, once a virtual monopoly in the US market.

Samsung bringing super-size smartphone to US
Las Vegas (AFP) Jan 9, 2012 - South Korean electronics giant Samsung announced plans Monday to bring its super-size smartphone, the Galaxy Note, which also features a stylus for taking notes, to the United States.

With a 5.3 inch (13.46-centimeter) touchscreen, the Galaxy Note is considerably wider than most smartphones on the market today.

Apple's latest iPhone, the 4S, for example, has a 3.5-inch (8.85-centimeter) display.

In an announcement on the eve of the giant Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas, Samsung said it will partner with AT&T to sell the Galaxy Note in the United States and it will run on the US telecom carrier's 4G network.

The Galaxy Note, which Samsung describes as a "new category of smartphone," went on sale in Asia and Europe in October. Exact pricing and availability for the US market were not announced.

The Galaxy Note comes with a stylus, called the "S pen," which is housed inside the device and which can be used to write notes on the screen as one would on a piece of paper.

Handwritten notes from the S Pen can also be captured by the device and shared with others.

Samsung is touting the larger, high-resolution screen of the Galaxy Note as superior to standard smartphones for viewing videos, surfing the Web, running applications or reading electronic books.

The Galaxy Note, which is powered by Google's Android software, also comes with front- and rear-facing cameras.


. Comment on this article via your Facebook, Yahoo, AOL, Hotmail login.

Share this article via these popular social media networks
del.icio.usdel.icio.us DiggDigg RedditReddit GoogleGoogle

Acer unveils world's thinnest laptop
Las Vegas (AFP) Jan 8, 2012
Acer on Sunday unveiled the world's thinnest laptop computer as an array of "ultrabook" rivals prepared to debut this week at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. The Taiwan-based computer titan will begin shipping Acer Aspire 5 models in the second quarter of this year, with prices to be disclosed in coming weeks. "That S5 is quite significant," analyst Tim Bajarin of Creative St ... read more

Nokia declares war in US smartphone market

Salk scientists map the frontiers of vision

Hybrid silkworms spin stronger spider silk

Microsoft to bring Kinect to Windows PCs

Raytheon's Navy Multiband Terminal Tests With On-Orbit AEHF Satellite

Northrop Grumman And ITT Exelis Team For Army Vehicular Radio

Lockheed Martin Ships First Mobile User Objective System Satellite To Cape For Launch

Satellite Tracking Specialist, Track24, wins Canadian Government Contract

Ariane 5, Soyuz, Vega: Three world-changing launch vehicles

Satellites: Europe's Arianespace sets 13 launches for 2012

SSC supports simultaneous launch of Elisa, Pleiades 1A and SSOT

Orbcomm and SpaceX Improve Launch Plans for OG2 Satellites

Association of Old Crows Recognizes the Dangers of Persistent GPS Interference

Chinese Satellite Navigation System Beidou Begin Test Services

China's satellite navigation system will meet both civil and defense needs

Russia, India to cooperate in production of satellite navigation equipment

Airbus agrees A380 deal with Hong Kong Airlines: reports

Slovenian adventurer embarks on eco-friendly world trip

Chinese carriers won't pay EU carbon charge: group

Boeing's Wichita plant closure costs jobs

Relay race with single atoms: New ways of manipulating matter

Tiny wires could usher new computer era

Stanford engineers achieve record conductivity in strained lattice organic semiconductor

New technique makes it easier to etch semiconductors

Ice data at your fingertips

TRMM Satellite Measured Washi's Deadly Rainfall

First ever direct measurement of the Earth's rotation

Satellites can help to grow the perfect grape

Looters in N.Z. raid cargo washed up from ship

Stricken New Zealand cargo ship breaks up

Beijing to issue new air quality data after online outcry

HK environmentalists outraged at landfill proposal


The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2012 - Space Media Network. AFP and UPI Wire Stories are copyright Agence France-Presse and United Press International. ESA Portal Reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. Advertising does not imply endorsement,agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by Space Media Network on any Web page published or hosted by Space Media Network. Privacy Statement