In the heart of Munich is a factory that builds and develops BMW’s prototypes, concept cars and test mules. The factory is a small operation arm among the big plants of BMW, and, according to BMW, it was the first of its kind in the auto industry and continues to be one step ahead, though I do believe that other corporates have such similar lab as well.
Here’s a video that talks about BMW’s Plant Zero, which develops prototypes from concepts, and is well equipped with the latest tools to let their engineers hand-made all the prototypes of BMW’s new vehicle, and find best and most efficient method to mass produce these cars in their other plants.
The plant’s other key function is the rapid development of parts as cars are being tested. If something breaks on a mule or BMW decides it’s not up to snuff, Plant Zero can turn around a redesign piece in as little as three days. According to the plant manager, that’s possible even with aluminum parts.
It would be fun to work in such environment where you’re tasked to craft out the next generation BMW with the help of the latest tools and technology the world can have.
We’ve heard about HTC’s 7-inch Android tablet way back in December, but the official unveiling is during Mobile World Congress 2011 over at Barcelona last month. Surprisingly we won’t need to wait very long for this Android tablet, as the HTC Flyer will be here in Malaysia very soon through Maxis.
Here is a new product by Kenwood that has GPS navigation system in it. The new Kenwood DNX9980HD In-dash GPS navigation system is now available in North America. The DNX9980HD has an advanced Digital Aria 3-D animated graphic user interface (GUI) with selectable skins and movable, drag-and-drop icons for complete customization. Yes, the display supports touchscreen, though they didn’t mention whether it’s resistive or capacitive. A high-resolution WVGA 6.95-inch touchscreen display with Dynamic Brightness Control provides the best looking DVD video, iPod video and USB video. Priced at approx. $2000, the Kenwood DNX9980HD also includes Navteq Live Traffic with free voice recognition and hands-free operation. Not exactly the cheapest offer in town, but it’ll do.
Gamer’s monitor, how do you define them? Fast refresh rate, and high contrast ratio, probably these things. Now Acer has just unleashed their newest Full HD monitor ‘H274H’ for the European market. Aimed at gamers and multimedia users, this new 27-inch LED-backlight monitor delivers 1920 x 1080 Full HD resolution, 100,000,000:1 dynamic contrast ratio, 300 cd/m2 brightness, a slightly slow 5ms response time and 178/170 degree viewing angles. In terms of connectivity ports, it comes with D-Sub, DVI and HDMI. The H274H is now available for purchase in Europe for 299 Euro (about $422). Gamer monitor? Not really, I’d prefer Asus’s 100Hz monitor any day over this.
When it comes to brand, you’ll be very happy if your company’s brand name is considered luxury and associated with your products’ categories. Like for example a smartphone and everyone will say iPhone, even my cousin who knows nothing about computers and smartphone will call every touchscreen phone an iPhone regardless of its brand.
Right, Apple Inc. was rumored to have implemented a slightly more advance coding into iOS 4.3.1 to try and stop the possibility of it being jailbreak, but whether the new system is there or not, iOS 4.3.1 still got jailbreak on the same day of its launch courtesy of Redmond Pie. Of course, this is just a tethered jailbreak, but bear with it for the moment, and we’ll be there shortly. For full instructions on how to jailbreak your iOS 4.3.1 device using the PwnageTool head over to Redmond Pie. Of course, as usual we do not encourage jailbreaking your iPhone as it might brick your phone.
Smartphones are becoming more and more like computers. They have processors that are rated with speed and cores, and they have SoC with graphics that may challenge desktops and capable of playing 1080P content easily. Now even their memories are catching up with computers. Samsung has started developing 30nm 4Gb 1066Mbps LPDDR2, which in layman’s term is a Mobile DDR2 for your smartphone, and are phasing out its 40nm ones that topped 2Gb at a 800Mbps transmission rate.
If you do not speak geek language, a 40nm 1GB package on your new smartphone consists of four 2Gb chips, whereas the new 30nm one will only need two 4Gb chips, thus you save space, as the package is thinner by 20-percent (down to 0.8mm) and power consumption down by 25-percent, which is the most important thing to smartphone. So, if you double that up, you’ll be seeing smartphones getting 2GB of memories very soon this year, which should be overkill at the moment, but not in the distance future. Now, will Apple gobble these up?
There’s no mention of what the price would be in US and other continents, but Acer has confirmed the UK pricing for its new Iconia Tab series tablets. The WiFi-only versions of both the Windows 7-version Iconia Tab W500 and Android-version A500 will fetch £449 apiece (about $720) when they launch in the UK on April 8th, while the 3G-equipped W500 will set you back £529, or roughly $850.
Tagging along is also a keyboard dock that will set you back £90 on its own or £529 in a bundle. The smaller 7-inch Iconia Tab will be arriving around May, with expected price of €349.