Thursday, June 28, 2012

What will Google Project Glass mean to us?

Google is making prototypes of its futuristic, Internet-connected glasses, $1500 "Project Glass" available for people to test out early next year, according to Google I/O 2012.  Project Glass is what Google believes could be the next form factor of computing. As it stands now, many of us are willingly beholden to our smartphones with all the web browsing, twittering, pathing, instagramming and whatever else consuming most of our time, but in the future it may be just your glass. 
According to Wiki, Project Glass is a research and development program by Google to develop an augmented reality head-mounted display (HMD). 
The intended purpose of Project Glass products would be the hands free displaying of information currently available to most smartphone users, and allowing for interaction with the Internet via natural language voice commands, in a manner which has been compared to the iPhone feature Siri. The operating system software used in the glasses will be Google's Android.

When your glass is equipped with a smart camera which is actually a computer, you can capture image and video anywhere, store them locally and sync them with the cloud later. As this glass becomes a head mounted display and equipped with wireless headphone, it is a real cinema on your head. A virtual or real world is so closed and can be sensed. Wow! 

A similar project is the Social Video Sharing Glass, but it is not a HMD.

vergence labs eyewear

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Google's Nexus 7, Android 4.1 Jelly Bean, and Microsoft Surface

Google just announces Android 4.1 Jelly Bean which runs on Google's Nexus 7 in today's Google I/O meeting. 
Google's Jelly Bean cup runeth over, kill grass in the process

The latest Android has following updates using multimedia intelligent technologies:
  • Frame rate bumps to 60 fps
  • Offline voice typing
  • The predictive keyboard is also able to guess at which word you intend to type out next. Only U.S. English will be supported for now
  • Accessibility which is the newly-added Gesture Mode allows blind users to navigate their devices with gestures, and support for external braille devices has been added as well
  • Improved photo applications. User can pinch to enter a film strip view for faster perusal
  • The ability to share video via  Near field communications (NFC), as well as the ability to pair with an NFC-enabled Bluetooth device just by tapping it
  • Mobile search improvement; Search results that appear in “cards” that package information in an easy view culled using the Knowledge Graph. Voice search was improved, and it seems awfully Siri-esque in how it can display and read out search results with a very natural sounding female voice
  • Google Now “gets to the right information at the right time… automatically”
  • Notification improvement. Notification bars include social streams, sports scores, calendar dates, flight status, recommendations and other key items. Users can now return phone calls from within the notifications shade, as well as view multiple emails without having to jump into a separate app

Google's Nexus 7 comes with Android 4.1 contains

Google's Nexus 7 tablet outed before IO 2012 update now with specs, price
  • Quad-core Tegra 3
  • GeForce 12-core GPU
  • 1.2-megapixel front camera
  • 7 inch 1280x800 IPS display
  • 8 ($199) or 16GB ($249) of storage
  • 1GB of RAM
  • GPS, Bluetooth, 802.11b/g/n WiFi and Micro USB
  • 4325mAh battery
  • Sensors: accelerometer, magnetometer, and a gyroscope
  • NFC with Google Wallet
Compared to Microsoft surfaceNexus 7 is smaller. Since both devices use the same Tegra 3 chip, performance should be comparable. Regarding to OS part, I think Android 4.1 has more powerful multimedia intelligent capabilities as mentioned above.

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Video Timing, Modeline, EDID and VPIF

Video Timing Detail

Tomi Engdahl gave a very good description of video timing detail and calculator

Video timing picture

In the above picture,
  • Green dots are the visual side of sceen. 
  • Black dots  are the black border or the screen and the pixels where the cathode ray is outside the picture. 
  • White dots are the sync pulses. The beginning of these pulses position the picture on the screen. 
  • A is the amount of dots or display pixel, for example, 1080 in a 1080p monitor
  • B is the start place of horizontal sync-pulse. If will remain in constant phase, so if you increase it the picture will move to left and if you decrease it the picture will mode to right. 
  • C is the end of the sync pulse. It contains no relevant information, just put something between B and C that is something like b+20 or b+100, it won't really make much difference. 
  • D if the end of the line. It affects to 2 things. First the ratio a/d affects the wideness of the visual picture. Secondly Horizontal frequency "J" (khz) is counted from the following formula:
   1000*I                         1
J= --------       time= ----------
            D                       frequency  

        This means that if you decrease dot clock "I" then the horisontal frequncy will decrease and vise versa.   If you increase the line length "D" then the horisontal frequency will decrease and vise versa.

E, F, G, and H are the corresponding vertical definitions.

Modeline in Depth

A modeline is a configuration line in xorg.conf or the XFree86 configuration file (XF86Config) that provides information to the X server about a connected computer monitor or television and how to drive it at a specified display resolution. The Modeline is based on the Generalized Timing Formula or the Coordinated Video Timings standards produced by VESAModelines are now all but unused, but XFree86 and the Xorg Server still allow them to be set should the EDID information be inadequate.

A modeline for a 1080p60:

Modeline: "1920x1080" 148.500 1920 2008 2052 2200 1080 1084 1089 1125 +hsync +vsync

Here's a modeline with descriptive labels instead of numbers:

Modeline: "String description" Dot-Clock HDisp HSyncStart HSyncEnd HTotal VDisp VSyncStart VSyncEnd VTotal [options]

Here is a diagram that shows how some of the labels correspond to a horizontal line of video:

The "Dot-Clock" or "Pixel Clock", with units of megahertz, is the rate at which pixels are drawn. In this example with a dot-clock of 148.5*10E6 Hz, a pixel is drawn every 1/(148.5*10E6 Hz) or roughly every 7 nanoseconds. Computing the dot-clock is actually one of the simpler parts of the modeline computation — it's equal to the refresh rate * HTotal * VTotal (the '*' asterisk is used in computer programming to signify multiplication):

Refresh rate * HTotal * VTotal = Dot Clock (Pixel Clock)
60*2200 * 1125 = 148,500,000 or 148.5 * 10E6 Hz


EDID (Extended display identification data) is a data structure provided by a digital display to describe its capabilities to a video source (e.g. graphics card or set-top box). It is what enables a modern personal computer to know what kinds of monitors are connected to it. EDID is defined by a standard published by the Video Electronics Standards Association (VESA). The EDID includes manufacturer name and serial number, product type, phosphor or filter type, timings supported by the display, display size, luminance data and (for digital displays only) pixel mapping data. 

The VESA E-EDID Standard requires that the first detailed timing descriptor be the “preferred” video format and subsequent detailed timing descriptors listed in order of decreasing preference. A EDID Detailed timing descriptors example for 1080p60 is

Detailed Descriptor #1: Preferred Detailed Timing (1920x1080 @ 60Hz)

Pixel Clock            : 148.5 MHz
Horizontal Image Size  : 160 mm
Vertical Image Size    : 90 mm
Refresh Mode           : Non-interlaced
Normal Display, No Stereo

Active Pixels   : 1920 Pixels
Blanking Pixels   : 280 Pixels
Sync Offset     : 88 Pixels
Sync Pulse Width: 44 Pixels
Border          : 0 Pixels

Active  Pixels   : 1080 Lines
Blanking  Pixels : 45 Lines
Sync Offset     : 4 Lines
Sync Pulse Width: 5 Lines
Border          : 0 Lines

This settings can be calculated from Modeline.

Pixel Clock   = dot clock
Active Pixels  = HDisp
Blanking Pixels = HTotal - HDisp
Sync Offset =  HSyncStart  - HDisp
Sync Pulse Width = HSyncEnd - HSyncStart

DM646x VPIF Settings

The DM646x video port interface (VPIF) is an example of VPIF which is a receiver and transmitter of video data with two input channels (channel 0 and 1) and two output channels (channel 2 and 3). Channels 0 and 1 have the same architecture, and channels 2 and 3 have the same architecture. The register settings include EAV2SAV, SAV2EAV, L1, L3, L5 and VSIZE, as shown in the following figure:

EAV2SAV is set based on the HBLANK (or equivalent) register setting in the video decoder. Usually 

EAV2SAVHorizontal Blanking Pixels - 8

sav2eav is the number of pixels per line

L1 is the first line of upper blanking for the frame
L3 is the first line of the frame for active video area
L5 is the first line of lower blanking for the frame
vsize is the vertical size of the image

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Intel Integrated Performance Primitives and HEVC / H.265

Intel® Integrated Performance Primitives (Intel® IPP) is an extensive library of multicore-ready, optimized software functions for multimedia, data processing, and communications applications. Intel IPP offers thousands of optimized functions covering frequently used fundamental algorithms. The functions of the Intel IPP performance product are designed to deliver performance by matching the function algorithms to low-level optimizations based on the processor's available features such as Streaming SIMD Extensions (SSE) and other optimized instruction sets.
Intel Integrated Performance Primitives
It supports most codecs including H.264. Soon HEVC / H.265 will be also supported.

The current version is 7.0 with which JPEG-XR CODEC, (aka HD Photo), a new image compression standard, is added.

Zynq-7000 Low Cost Development Board - ZedBoard

ZedBoard is a low-cost development board for the Xilinx Zynq™-7000 Extensible Processing Platform (EPP). This board contains everything necessary to create a Linux, Android, Windows® or other OS/RTOSbased design for video processing, etc. Additionally, several expansion connectors expose the processing system and programmable logic I/Os for easy user access Take advantage of the Zynq-7000 EPP’s tightly coupled ARM® processing system and 7 series programmable logic to create unique and powerful designs with the ZedBoard. The ZedBoard kit is supported by the community website where users can collaborate with other engineers also working on Zynq designs.

It features

  • Zynq-7000 EPP XC7Z020-CLG484-1
  • Memory
    • 512 MB DDR3
    • 256 Mb Quad-SPI Flash
    • 4 GB SD card
  • Onboard USB-JTAG Programming
  • 10/100/1000 Ethernet
  • USB OTG 2.0 and USB-UART
  • PS & PL I/O expansion (FMC, Pmod™, XADC)
  • Multiple displays (1080p HDMI, 8-bit VGA, 128 x 32 OLED)
  • I2S Audio CODEC

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Microsoft, Oracle, IBM Supply Big Data Needs Of CIOs


A survey of 105 chief information officers by Piper Jaffray found that large and midsize companies are mostly relying on Microsoft, Oracle and IBM as key suppliers for their Big Data initiatives.

Big Data is a term used to define how companies are looking to collect and comprehend massive inflows of information coming from a proliferation of relatively new sources. Consumers are creating more data with things like smartphones and their use of social networks like Facebook. The expansive use of e-commerce sites like, along with more remote data collection devices, are adding to the flow. The amount of data produced last year passed 1.8 trillion gigabytes, double the amount from 2009. And that will swell 50% in 2012, says EMC, as IBD recently reported.

Businesses spent more than $4 trillion in the past six years to handle the data explosion, says research firm IDC.

The Big Data trend has led to a new surge in spending on technology and services to understand what to make of it. Revenue specifically targeting Big Data is projected to reach $17 billion in 2015 from $3 billion in 2010, says IDC. Much will focus on analytics technology to manipulate, analyze and model complex data to derive intelligent solutions.

Monday, June 18, 2012

Comparison between Microsoft Surface, Transformer Prime (Android Tablet) and iPad

Microsoft just announced its Window RT or Windows 8 based tablet "Surface" to compete with iPAD and Android tablet such as Transformer Prime.

Joe Fedewa gave a good chart for comparison between MS Surface, Transformer Prime and iPAD (3rd generation):

Most interesting things of Microsoft Surface to me are its video and audio capability. Its Windows RT version supports HD Video. Both Windows RT and Window 8 Pro have two cameras. Use the front LifeCam to chat with the people that you care about. The rear-facing LifeCam is angled to 22 degrees so you can flip out the Kickstand and record meetings and events hands-free. With the rear facing camera which is positioned at a 22 degree angle, you basically create a tripod for hands free recording. This will be a nice feature for recording meetings. They also come with Stereo speakers and dual microphones tuned for Skype.

Actually the Transformer Prime dock can position at any degree angle for Transformer Prime to do video recording, even for 1080p video. On the last Saturday I used Transformer Prime 1080p video mode to record my son's piano audition and quite impressed by its video and audio quality.

The biggest advantage of Microsoft Surface perhaps is the seamless integration of Microsoft Office to help productivity for most computer users. "Create, collaborate, and get stuff done with Office." It is a start point for Microsoft to build a good ecosystem with new Windows to compete with iPAD and Android tablets. Asus Transformer comes with Polaris® Office which enables users to edit various types of office documents including documents (.doc), spreadsheets (.xls) and presentation (.ppt) files. iPad supports limited Office functionality. A rumor said that Microsoft Office will launch for the iPad and Android in November, but now it may be questionable. Ricoh America’s CIO, Tracey Rothenberger, sees huge value in supporting a Windows-based tablet, if only for the legacy apps.

On July 14, before Microsoft Surface announcement, IDC predicted that expectations of strong demand for media tablets in the second half of 2012 has led International Data Corporation (IDC) to increase its forecast for the worldwide market to 107.4 million units for the year, up from its previous forecast of 106.1 million units. In the latest forecast update of the Worldwide Quarterly Media Tablet and eReader Tracker, IDC also revised upward its 2013 forecast number from 137.4 million units to 142.8 million units. And by 2016 worldwide shipments should reach 222.1 million units.

In addition to increasing the unit totals for 2012, IDC also updated its forecast to shift a larger percentage of future units toward iOS and away from Android. IDC now expects iOS to grow its share of the market in 2012 to 62.5%, up from 58.2% in 2011. Meanwhile Android's share will slip from 38.7% in 2011 to 36.5% in 2012. IDC expects third-place Blackberry to slip from 1.7% to 1%.

Crystax Improved Android NDK r7

Although starting from NDK r5, Google added support of C++ exceptions, RTTI and STL to the official NDK, that's good but not enough for many developers. Dmitry Moskalchuk (aka CrystaX) added several useful features to Android NDK r7:
  1. Wide characters.
    Google's NDK doesn't support wide chars properly - neither in C or C++. Using CrystaX NDK you get full standard compliant wide characters support. You can easily port existing code which use wide characters/strings/streams or write new one.

  2. New 4.6.3 toolchain
    Starting from r7-crystax-1, CrystaX NDK contains two versions of compiler toolchain: 4.4.3 (old one, the same as Google use) and 4.6.3 (new one). New toolchain contains GCC 4.6.3 with enabled Graphite framework allowing gcc do high-level memory optimizations.
  3. C++11 support (formerly known as C++0x)
    Google's NDK offer GCC 4.4.3 which is good compiler but doesn't support some modern features. One of such features is support of new International Standard known as C++11 (formerly known as C++0x). There is very limited support of C++0x features in GCC 4.4.3. Using CrystaX NDK you can start use many of new C++0x features right now. Of course, there is no yet full C++11 support in GCC 4.6.3 but GCC team works very intensively on that and it already contains many very usable features (lambdas, decltype, auto and many others). To see full list of C++0x features supported, look to GCC C++ Support page. 

  4. Objective-C support
    The only languages Google NDK supports are C and C++. Starting from r7-crystax-4, CrystaX NDK support additionally Objective-C. This is experimental feature, but at least core language works fine. 

  5. Static code analysis
    Android NDK uses GCC which analyze code pretty good and warn about potential errors (especially with -Wall -Wextra) but, as every developer knows, there could not be reviews enough. Really, sometime we do absolutely dumb mistakes and pass them to the production. To decrease number of such mistakes, experienced developers uses static code analyzers. There are many such tools (open source and proprietary) so choice is not easy. Clang project offer code analyzer which is pretty good in many situations. This is the same analyzer known to Apple developers through "Build and analyze" XCode's menu item. With CrystaX NDK, you can start use it with Android too. 
How to use CrystaX NDK and the download links can be find from the CrystaX NDK r7 website.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

NetApp CIO Uses Big Data to Assess Product Performance

By Clint Boulton

NetApp CIO Cynthia Stoddard has invested in Big Data to help the storage manufacturer make sense of the rapidly increasing volume of information that is generated by performance monitoring software running on top of customer systems.
Stoddard said the move to a Hadoop-based system has yielded several advantages, including cost savings and efficiency. Most critically, the shift has helped NetApp develop new insights into what customers want and how they use the company’s products.
NetApp CIO Cynthia Stoddard
Stoddard, who became CIO in March after 18 months as a vice president of IT management at NetApp, said that data generated by AutoSupport software, which monitors the storage devices that customers purchase from NetApp, doubles in volume every 16 months. She determined that the company’s Oracle database software wasn’t effectively processing the information from AutoSupport, which detects errors that occur in NetApp devices that customers run.
“I sit on thousands of customers’ data and what I do with that data is essential to the company,” Stoddard told CIO Journal. “I need to react and help customers do more with their systems.”
She decided to move to a new database system. Stoddard and her team evaluated several systems before choosing a solution from Cloudera, which sells software based on the open source Hadoop file management system. Hadoop accelerates data processing by creating replicas of data chunks and distributing them on computers across an organization. Google, Samsung and Morgan Stanley all use  Hadoop for Big Data, which enables users to process large chunks of unstructured data such as e-mail and social media content.
The new database compares customer product configurations against the 24 billion records that AutoSupport has collected. When the database finds an old incident record that matches the symptoms of a current customer problem, it sends an alert to NetApp workers, who can address the immediate issue and study the pattern of breakdown. “In order to do the type of analytics that we need to do, we’re now able to pull all of that information in and do it justice,” said Stoddard. The new system also helps NetApp reduce support calls by anticipating potentially faulty products and providing fixes before they break down.
The process of loading data and running queries in the database once took four weeks to complete. The team can now produce query results in roughly 11 hours. Stoddard says that NetApp’s data-crunching costs have been cut roughly in half, but that it’s too soon to measure the impact of the new database on company finances. NetApp’s revenues totaled $6.23 billion, up 22% compared to revenues of $5.12 billion for fiscal year 2011.
Stoddard says the new database’s biggest payoff is that it provides fresh insight into the products and features that NetApp customers favor, and will help the company improve its offerings. Indeed, NetApp CEO Tom Georgens wants Stoddard to use information collected about popular products and features to help the sales and marketing teams identify leads and target new customers. Data collected from Hadoop-based software could eventually augment the company’s product development, which will help it compete with other storage vendors. Stoddard declined to outline specific plans for such tasks.
To be sure, NetApp isn’t the only storage vendor tapping Big Data. A group within EMC uses rich data sets to help the company analyze customer experiences, ultimately to improve the company’s products and services. EMC is the leader in the $30 billion-dollar-a-year market for disk storage; IDC said June 8 EMC commanded 29% revenue share in the first quarter, followed by NetApp with 14.1% share.
NetApp’s Hadoop installation went without a hitch, Stoddard said. But if there is one area where NetApp is challenged it’s in finding enough employees with the skills to install Hadoop systems; she said it’s hard keeping her team of around 10 Big Data workers intact. “Once employees get a taste of these [Hadoop] skills, they become extremely marketable,” Stoddard said.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Intel CFO eyes more connected living rooms

By Reuters Noel Randewich

NEW YORK (Reuters) - New markets including home entertainment will be major sources of growth for Intel Corp as more gadgets become connected to the Internet and drive demand for powerful data centers, the top chipmaker's chief financial officer said.
While Intel is eager to sell processors for smartphones, set-top boxes and other connected devices, in many cases the much more expensive chips for servers that are needed to stream movies and other content are a bigger business opportunity, CFO Stacy Smith told the Reuters Media and Technology Summit in New York.
"It's probably true in the digital TV space because if you think about it, the content that is going to be served to these devices is extraordinary," he said on Wednesday.
"It's increasingly high-def digital content, so it's got to be driving a pretty significant buildout of the storage infrastructure and server infrastructure that supports all those devices."
The opportunity is not limited to home entertainment. Digital signs, tablets and cars are among other areas increasingly connected to the Internet, fueling demand for more Intel chips, he said.
Smith's comments come as Intel puts together a TV service that includes a set-top box employing technology that can distinguish who is watching, potentially allowing Intel to target advertising, according to sources.
Smith would not discuss Intel's specific plans for the TV service.
Asked about entertainment industry veterans who have been advising Intel, Smith said, "We hire smart people from a variety of industries that give us insight into industries and they give us capabilities we haven't historically had."
Intel already makes processors for set-top boxes. Comcast, for instance, recently announced the gradual rollout of an Intel-based set-top box that customers can control with their smartphones. Called "X1," the platform will rely on data centers packed with high-end servers -- which typically also use Intel chips.
Intel's processors power 80 percent of the world's PCs but growth in that market has been slowing as more consumers turn to tablets.
A sovereign debt crisis has shaken investor and consumer confidence in Europe, forcing Cisco and other major technology companies to scale back expectations for IT spending there.
Last month, Intel Chief Executive Paul Otellini played down those concerns and said the quarter was playing out as expected.
Smith emphasized China and other markets where PC sales are growing faster than in developed markets, saying a weak Europe is a "baseline" presumption for Intel.

SlickEdit Added Supports for Android SDK and iOS Development

SlickEdit  is a cross-platform, multi-language code editor. It is my favorite source code browser. SlickEdit 2012 delivers a wide range of new features and existing feature enhancements, including:

New User Interface ArchitectureDocument Overview BarSupport for Xcode 4 Workspaces
Beautifier EnhancementsExpanded Auto-Complete FacilityUbuntu Unity Desktop
Android SDK ProjectsImproved Objective-C Language Support
New Build Tool WizardODB Editor Suite Support for Mac

Android project wizard allows you to select the Android SDK location and target SDK version. Both App and Library project types are supported.

I am not sure if SlickEdit can support Android NDK or how.

SlickEdit 2012 introduces support for Xcode 4 format .xcworkspace bundles for iOS development. Auto-completion, context tagging, and formatting of Objective-C has been greatly improved in this release.

SlickEdit Core is a subscription plug-in for Eclipse. 
SlickEdit Core Screenshot

Friday, June 8, 2012

Companies Draw up Plans for Using Big Data

By Dick Weisinger in Formtek Blog, on June 8th, 2012
A surprisingly large number, 70 percent, of organizations are currently considering how Big Data projects can help their business.  20 percent of companies of companies in that group are already using Big Data on projects, 13 percent are piloting the technology, and 22 percent are planning to implement a Big Data project.  That’s the conclusion of an Informatica survey of 600 global IT and business professionals.
The two main reasons organizations are interested in Big Data are that they think that by using it that they can improve the efficiency of their business operations, and they think that it will improve their business agility.
  • 74 percent of organizations are targeting the analysis of their large transaction data volumes.  These organizations typically target the use of Hadoop and NoSQL.
  • 35 percent of organizations are trying to glean insight from social media data
  • 33 percent of organizations have collected mobile data that they would like to analyze
  • 22 percent of organizations have large amounts of machine-generated data that they wish to analyze
Girish Pancha, chief products officer for Informatica, said that ”The reality is, big data represents both opportunities and challenges.”  Those challenges include:
  • 52 percent don’t have the right skills in using big data analysis tools
  • 39 percent aren’t able to address the real-time collection of data
  • 38 percent worry that the data they have may not be of good quality
  • 38 percent are concerned with data security and privacy issues involved in processing their data
  • 35 percent don’t think they have the right developer skill sets to manage Big Data
  • 34 percent think that the use of Hadoop is overly complex
  • 32 percent think that their governance capability for Big Data is inadequate
IDC predicted that Big Data market will be big and grow from $3.2 billion in 2010 to $16.9 billion in 2015. This represents a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 40% or about 7 times that of the overall information and communications technology (ICT) market.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Qualcomm jumped in the battle for the digital home

Qualcomm Atheros announced a Java based software solution, Skifta Engine, that adds DLNA, in-home media shifting and Internet content streaming to routers, set-top boxes and other types of gateway devices at the Computex trade show in Taiwan Tuesday. 

The Skifta Engine, is the company’s next step to take on Apple and others in the fight for the digital home. It is DLNA-compatible, meaning that it will allow users of Skifta-powered devices to stream music, videos and other types of media straight from their router to their Xbox or PS3. Additional functionality is available in conjunction with the Skifta Android app: Skifta offers users a way to stream home media to their Android device on the go, and also makes it possible to access a number of Internet content channels, including Facebook, TED Talks and Revision3.

Qualcomm Atheros originally released its Skifta Android app in late 2010 to prove a demand for media shifting in the living room. Eighteen months in, Skifta has an active install base of 700,000, and the Qualcomm subsidiary is setting its sights on something bigger: the digital home.
Of course, Qualcomm Atheros isn’t alone in its quest to bring media shifting to the digital home. A number of companies already utilize DLNA. Samsung, for example, is using the technology as the basis for its own AllShare media sharing solution. Then there is Apple and its Airplay protocol, and just this week, Microsoft threw its own hat in the ring with its new SmartGlass second screen gaming and media sharing technology. Brotman told me that the key to compete in this race will be to use widely available standards and make its own technology available for licensing. “What consumers don’t need is another walled garden,” he said.

Apple and Samsung Will Grab 50% of Smartphone Sales in 2013

Canaccord Genuity technology analyst Michael Walkley forecasted that during latter 2012 and for 2013, Samsung and Apple would consistently combine for more than half of smartphone unit sales.
On May 1, when Apple and Samsung market share for unit sales of smartphones was just 47.6%, Mr. Walkley calculated that the two earned 99% of industry operating profits.
Mr. Walkley’s forecast is as follows:

See more in

Monday, June 4, 2012

Image and Video Processing on Android with NDK

Although Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich provides several impressive media processing features and various media codec support, we may still need to port open source codes or current algorithms developed in native C/C++ for media processing.

ffmpeg is an open-source platform for recording, converting, playing and streaming video and audio. It includes libavcodec, a popular video/audio codec. Several popular Android applications are built based on FFmpeg, including RockPlayer, MoboPlayer, acrMedia, vitalPlayer, V-Cut Express etc.

OpenCV is a good library for state-of-the-art image and video processing. It includes Human-Computer Interaction (HCI); Object Identification, Segmentation and Recognition; Face Recognition; Gesture Recognition; Motion Tracking, Ego Motion, Motion Understanding; Structure From Motion (SFM); Stereo and Multi-Camera Calibration and Depth Computation; Mobile Robotics.

If we want to develop multimedia applications that needs a video/audio codec and computer vision, ffmpeg and opencv are good choices and examples.

Android NDK (Native Development Kit) allows working with native C code using a shared C library. It includes the entire toolchain needed to build for your target platform (ARM). Native C code accessible via JNI still runs inside the Dalvik VM, and as such is subject to the same life-cycle rules that any Android application lives by. The advantage of writing parts of your app code in native language is presumably speed in certain cases.

Fortunately many developers already ported ffmpeg to Android using NDK, such as
In mcclanahoochie's blog, it is described that OpenCV was ported to Android:


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