News Bits: ThinkPad R52, Sharp 3D Notebook, Dell 110L, Facial Recognition

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IBM Thinkpad R52 With Intel Sonoma Technology Now Available

The upgrade to the ThinkPad R51 small business series of notebooks from IBM is now available in the form of the R52.  The ThinkPad R52 is available with the new Intel Pentium M Sonoma processors and can be configured with a 14.1″ screen or 15.0″ screen.  The R52 is somewhat like the ThinkPad T43 except it is slightly heavier and thicker due to the fact it does not use the lighter and more expensive parts that the T43 does to keep its weight down.  The R52 can in fact be thought of as being very similar to the T43 but it is more geared towards those on a budget and who don’t mind the extra weight the R52 comes with and the fact there are fewer options for configuring the notebook.  With the R52 you still get the same great IBM build, modular drive bays, ThinkVantage technologies (such as the hard drive Active Protection System) that are common to all IBM business notebooks.

Sharp Second Generation 3D Notebook Released with Intel Sonoma Processor and GeForce 6600 Graphics Processor

The Sharp Actius AL3D notebook announced today bundles a second generation 3-D LCD notebook with a software package that converts any DVD from 2-D to 3-D format in real time, allowing users to view any DVD movie in full 3-D.

Sharp Actius AL3D Specs

  • Intel Pentium M 750 (1.86GHz, 2MB L2 Cache, 533MHz FSB)
  • 1024 MB of DDR2 SDRAM
  • 80 GB Serial ATA HD
  • NVIDIA GeForce Go 6600 with 128MB of RAM
  • DVD Dual Layer Super Multi Drive
  • 15-inch XGA (1024 x 768) 3D LCD Display, switches between 2D and 3D with the touch of a button with Sharp’s Clear LCD finish
  • 3 USB 2.0 ports
  • FireWire
  • Built-in Dolby Virtual Speaker (DVS)
  • $3,499 starting price

This newest laptop from Sharp Systems of America, a division of Sharp Electronics Corporation, builds on the foundation laid by the Actius RD3D. The Actius AL3D represents a significant step up in power and style for Sharp’s 3-D notebook line, Sharp engineers said.

The 3D effect is achieved using a parallax barrier technique to separate light signals. Light from the LCD is divided so that different patterns reach the viewer’s left and right eyes. The direction in which light leaves the display is controlled so that the left and right eyes see different images. When centered in front of the display, each eye receives the correct visual information for the brain to process. This makes it possible for the image on the screen to appear in three dimensions without the user having to wear special goggles.

Though aimed primarily at the professional market, significant progress has been made toward the consumer adoption of 3D Technology. NVIDIA Corporation has added stereoscopic display support for the GeForce series graphic processors, enabling over 1000 games to take advantage of 3D viewing on Sharp’s 3D LCD displays. Additionally, the Actius AL3D ships with the TriDef DVD Player, created by DDD Group plc, which provides on-the-fly 3D conversion of any DVD movie.

More: http://www.physorg.com/news3296.html

Dell to Refresh Budget Business Notebook Line with 110L

Dell announced today that it will be refreshing its Latitude 100 line of budget business notebooks with the Latitude 110L.  The Latitude 100 series is aimed at small businesses that need a mobile workforce but can’t pay top dollar for a top of the line notebook.  Following is an excerpt from a Dell press release for this new release:

Starting at $899, the Latitude 110L is a cost-effective foundation for the Intelligent Classroom, an interactive educational environment that combines multi-media tools, personal computing and the Internet. The Latitude 110L is also an affordable mobile solution for small and medium businesses that need to balance budget concerns against the increased productivity and flexibility benefits of notebooks.

“Reliability, durability and a light-weight design are all critical in a notebook, particularly when it’s being used for middle school and high school students,” said Arnie Glassberg, superintendent of California’s San Lorenzo Unified School District, which has established one of the nation’s most comprehensive student computing programs. “Dell’s design and affordability help us put technology in our students’ hands so they can learn the 21st Century skills they need to be successful.”

The Latitude 110L has a new durable, black-case design and a starting weight of 6.3 pounds(2). It is powered by Intel mobile processors to deliver uncompromised performance with low power consumption. Customers can chose from Intel(R) Celeron(TM) M or Pentium(TM) M processors, 14.1- or 15-inch displays, 30GB to 60GB hard drives(3) and a variety of fixed optical drives. Optional integrated wireless capability is available for $29 (802.11b/g) or $49 (802.11a/b/g). A USB port replicator is available for $49 for use as a business desktop. Complete product details can be found at www.dell.com/latitude.

More: Dell Latitude 110L Press Release

Notebooks that Recognize Your Face

Securing mobile devices is an increasingly crucial thing to do since we’re more apt to carry critical, and private, data than ever before. I don’t know about you, but if someone else got into the documents stored on my PDA or notebook, I’d be very upset. For some, upset would be just the beginning. If sensitive corporate information resides on a mobile device, the loss could be devastating. Biometrics have started their working their way into PDAs and notebooks but the next step, facial recognition, is coming soon.

A company called Omron recently announced they had found a way to enable facial recognition in PDAs and mobile phones with embedded cameras. While they didn’t mention it, surely notebooks with embedded cameras could also benefit.

The “OKAO Vision Face Recognition Sensor” only requires a .1 MP camera and a small software application to work. Higher resolution cameras will also do the trick, but they don’t impact the accuracy of the program. This means it will work with almost any embedded camera currently on the market. Perhaps the best part is the speed, the application can identify the owner and unlock the device in under a second, with 99% accuracy no less.

The main downside at the moment is Omron hasn’t developed the application for mainstream operating systems like Windows, Windows Mobile and Palm. Right now it only works with Symbian, BREW, Linux and ITRON embedded devices.

As companies put more emphasis on security, expect to see biometrics and programs such as this become more mainstream. The data we carry is important and can range from annoying to Earth shattering if it’s stolen. Just ask Paris Hilton.

More: http://omron.com/news/n_280205.html

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