Friday, December 30, 2016

MAD Gaze - second look

MAD Gaze - first look 'unboxed' the MAD Gaze and set it to charging. Once that was done I started the setup - I downloaded the MAD Gaze Connector from Google Play; registered it, put on the X5 using the headband, and fired it up.  


After choosing the language, calibrating the touch panel, and choosing the time zone, you are then prompted to set up the WiFi connection. This is done by using the 'Connect WiFi' functionality which generates a QR code on your phone that your 'read' with the X5 to get the SSID and password information to the MAD Gaze. Here's where I hit the wall... hard!

The X5 read the QR code, and first said "Connecting" before I ended up with "Connection Failure." At this point the only options appear to be to acknowledge (OK) and rescan a QR code, since the X5 stays in "read mode" with the camera scanning for a QR code. There does not appear to be any way to get beyond this; no combination of touches or key-presses appear to do the trick (including the single finger long press that is supposed to get you to Home mode, two finger long press that is supposed to get you to Control Panel; etc., etc.). 

Worried that I had made a typo I tried again, and again, and again, and again... with the same result ever time - Connection Failure. Logging off, rebooting the phone, turning off and restarting the X5 only resulted in frustration. I wondered if there was something wrong with the QR code, so I screen captured it and read it in another QR reader.

Hmm, a couple of weird things: First, it read as a Text QR code and not a WiFi QR code. Second it appeared to 'munge' the SSID - reading as 55555mySSID; WPA/WPA2 PSK; mypassword. (it appeared to add '55555' in front of the SSID). It did the same when I tried my 'high speed' WiFi, reading as 55555mySSID_hispeed; WPA/WPA2 PSK; mypassword

Strange! Assuming that this perhaps was the cause of my connection failures, I thought I could get around this. I went to a number of online QR code generators (trying both Text and WiFi QR codes) and generated them with the appropriate information and sans the '55555.' However, the X5 rejected every one of these QR codes with the message "Invalid QR code." Apparently, they have monkeyed with the QR code for some unknown reason.

The bottom line? At this point I'm completely stymied and don't know what to try next. Googling, the Mad Gaze folks don't appear to have an online forum of any sort for questions and/or user discussion, no real FAQ, etc. There also don't seem to be any user reviews online yet to help out. Perhaps I'll put this aside for a couple of days before coming back to it to retry...

MAD Gaze - first look

Well the MAD Gaze I backed on Indiegogo in June 2016 was just delivered a few minutes ago... Unlike some of the other "AR glasses" that I have backed this actually appears to be a real product and not vaporware!


Here's what you get in the box:

Here are the details of the MAD Gaze X5 and Bluetooth earpiece:

Here are the specifications::

Very preliminary verdict: very nice packaging and all the parts and electronics are solid. But can it perform as specified (see quote below from the Indiegogo site)? Well, I have it charging up and will then run it through its paces and let you know!

4 Major Functions of MAD Gaze

  • Instant Translation - Ever walk around a foreign country and have no idea what is going on? MAD Gaze is going to fix that for you. There is an auto-translate application that translate everything the glass see into the language of your choice. You’ll never want to travel without your MAD Gaze. 

  • Social - MAD Gaze allows users to make phone calls, text, send multimedia to contacts, access personal data assistant (PDA) and play any media. Seeing as this is the main reason people are on their smart phones all the time, by replacing that phone with MAD Gaze, a lot more time will be spent looking up. 

  • Entertainment & Games - Imagine playing your favorite game not having to look down at the screen, or using AR+ to play games where your surrounding real world interacts with you. Suddenly, the game becomes more interactive than idle. The world is enriched. MAD Gaze takes gaming to a whole new, more exciting and entertaining level. As a player, you truly feel in game. 

  • GPS Navigation - The GPS on MAD Gaze will ensure you never get lost. With the map and directions right in front of you, you will no longer miss a turn. A completely hands-free map creates a safer alternative than a smartphone in situations where having your hand free is quite important. Just envision having a little map in the corner of your eye directing you as you bike, drive, walk, run, kayak, anything!

Sunday, December 18, 2016

Random charts - perception errors


"The latest Ipsos Perils of Perception survey highlights how wrong the public across 40 countries are about key global issues and features of the population in their country.
The key patterns are:
  • Most countries think their population is much more Muslim than it actually is – and that the Muslim population is increasing at an incredible rate
  • All countries think their population is less happy than they actually say they are
  • Most countries are more tolerant on homosexuality, abortion and pre-marital sex than they think they are
  • And nearly all countries think wealth is more evenly distributed than it actually is."

Friday, December 9, 2016

Navdy - first look

I just received the Navdy that I ordered months (or was it years) ago on Kickstarter, here's a first look!


A lot comes in the box, including some nice touches such as low, medium, and high mounts so that it will work with cars with different dashboards; multiple sizes of cable clips so that you can tidy up the cord that runs from the Navdy to your OBD-II port; and cleaning towlettes to keep your scree clear...

And a couple of pictures 'on the road.'


The bottom line? I've only used the map feature so far, and it is crisp and clear and looks really good (my pictures don't do it justice!) Beyond mapping, it can do phone and text notifications, control your music apps, get calendar notifications, and more. Control is via a dial that straps to the steering wheel, you can also use gestures for some level of control... All in all, I'm looking forward to trying out all the different features!
Navdy Reviews:

Navdy YouTube Reviews:

Sunday, December 4, 2016

Vufine - first look

I backed the Vufine on Kickstarter, and it arrived earlier this year. I put it in the cupboard and promptly forgot about it! Just "found" it the other day so I unboxed it and tried it out...


Well, it does exactly what it is designed to do, and what was claimed, i.e. "Vufine is a wearable display, not a computer, so there is no camera, no operating system and no confusing user interfaces to learn. Because the focus is on the display, the resolution is superior to similar devices like Google Glass or Recon Jet. Boasting a high-definition display, the picture quality is crisp enough to read text and enjoy videos... 

Vufine can connect to anything capable of outputting a 720p HDMI signal using a special, thin HDMI cable so you can plug in and go without worrying about latency issues or a rapidly draining battery. It attaches to a wide variety of user glasses with a magnetic docking station for added adjustability and stability.."

The folks at Vufine have now come up with a Vufine +, a "refined" version ... 

Vufine reviews:

Saturday, December 3, 2016

GPD Win 10 - second look

A few setup glitches... Entering the provided key to activate Windows 10 generated an error message. An email to was answered in hours and provided a new key that successfully activated.


Attempting to install Office suite from Office 365 resulted in an error message, Error Code: 30125-1011 (404). A little googling provided an answer, apparently there was a conflict between Office installs. I downloaded and ran the uninstall tool and then Office loaded just fine:

A few other screen grabs:


OK, so far so good. I have the display at 800x600 so that I can comfortably read the text and use my finger as a stylus. I also have no interest whatsoever in using this for gaming, even though that is what this was primarily built for! 

I am attempting to see if this can replace my now ancient Zaurus SL-C3200 (have been using a Zaurus since 2002). I have tried many replacements, such as the Viliv N5, Cool Bphone, UMID M1, Fujitsu Lifebook UH 900Libretto W105-L251, etc., see below) without finding something better, am trying once more!

It is too early to understand if the battery life will be sufficient for my usage patterns, and if this will be able to dethrone the Zaurus!

GPD Win - first look 

GPD Win reviews:
GPD WIN Review: Mobile Windows 10 for gaming (Slashgear)
Pocket-sized Windows Gaming PC - LinusTechtips (YouTube video)

Monday, November 28, 2016

GPD Win10 - first look

My GPD Win 10 from DinoDirect arrived today... Rushed to open it up:


and to plug it in:

The following pictures compare the GPD Win's size to that of my venerable but not yet replaced Zaurus SL-C3200:


What you get:


And the specifications:
  • Intel Atom x5-Z8500 quad-core Cherry Trail processor @ 1.44/2.24 GHz (Burst) with Intel HD Gen8 graphics @ up to 600MHz
  • Memory: 4GB LPDDR3-1600
  • Storage: 64GB eMMC 4.51 flash + micro SD slot up to 128GB
  • Display: 5.5″ capacitive touch IPS screen; 1280×720 resolution; Corning Gorilla Glass
  • Video Output: mini HDMI
  • Audio: mini HDMI, 3.5mm headset jack, microphone and speaker
  • Connectivity: WiFi 802.11b/g/n and Bluetooth 4.0
  • USB: 1x USB 3.0 port, 1x micro USB port
  • QWERTY keyboard with DPAD, two ALPS Joysticks (including one acting a mouse when needed), ABXY controls, volume and gaming buttons
  • Battery: 6000 mAh non-removable Li-Po battery, good for 6 to 8 hours.
  • Dimensions: 15.5 x 9.7 x 2.2 cm (closed)
  • Weight: 300 grams
GPD Win Reviews:
5.5-inch Windows Laptop Offers PC Gaming on the Go
GPD Win handheld gaming PC gets a CPU upgrade ahead of launch

GPD Win YouTube Reviews:
Lon.TV GPD Win review
Reviews 2 Go GPD Win Video Review
Liliputing GPD Win handheld Windows gaming PC

GPD WIN Mini Gaming Laptop / Tablet Windows 10- How to Guide and Specs Review

GPD Win Forums:
OESF GPD Win forum