Thursday, May 21, 2015

Find: Nvidia throws in the towel on its smartphone modem business

Pretty big deal. No Tegra smartphones. 


Nvidia throws in the towel on its smartphone modem business
// Ars Technica

Nvidia is getting out of the smartphone business. The company announced plans this week to "wind down" its Icera modem segment by the second quarter of fiscal 2016, and it's open to selling Icera's technology and operations, which Nvidia purchased for $367 million back in 2011.

Icera is known primarily for its software modem technology—while companies like Qualcomm and Intel design specific modem hardware to work with specific wireless bands and technologies, Icera used low-power generic hardware that could be configured in software to support multiple wireless standards. In theory, one could create a single chip that supported CDMA or GSM networks depending on the software running on the phone, or one that initially supported 3G but could be upgraded to use LTE at a later date (remember, this was 2011).

In practice, Nvidia has always been something of a nonentity in the smartphone business. It had a handful of victories with its Tegra 3 SoC, though that chip predated the inclusion of Icera technology in its processors. The Icera-equipped Tegra 4i, on the other hand, has ended up in just a bare handful of devices since it was unveiled in early 2013, including the niche Blackphone.

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Monday, May 11, 2015

Find: Smartphone shipments in China decline for the first time in six years

Smartphone shipments in China decline for the first time in six years
// The Verge - All Posts

For years now China has been one of the main drivers of growth in the global smartphone market, but it looks like demand in the country is beginning to slow down. For the first time in six years, smartphone shipments in China declined year-on-year, contracting by 4 percent to 98.8 million units in the first quarter of 2015. This represents a fall of 8 percent compared to the previous quarter, reports US market researcher IDC, although the firm notes that this is partly due to large amounts of unsold inventory left over from the end of 2014.

Despite the perception of China as an emerging market for smartphones, the country is now broadly comparable to nations such as the US and UK, says IDC China's managing director Kitty Fok. "Just like...

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Friday, May 8, 2015


Grades have been updated for the assignments(max 2 per assignment), extra credit reading(max 5), participation(CSC 563-max 10, CSC495-online-max 5) and critiques(max 42 ; 7 critiques per round). I have tried to make sure all your issues have been resolved.

Please let me know in case of any other issues.


Thursday, May 7, 2015

Announcement: project deliverables

Hi folks,

Great seeing your final work! Here is a reminder of how to deliver your project, though many of you have already figured it out:

  • You can find your list of deliverables here.
  • Assemble your deliverables and put them online. You can put them on github for example.
    • Every team should have received a couple invites to github repos by now, or you can use your own. You can host even non-coded stuff on github. In fact github is also gaining favor among writers and experiementers.
    • If your client has asked that you don't make everything public, please put as much as you can on github, leave the private stuff out.
  • Create a post on the site as described in the list, include links to the deliverables and a picture.
    • Every team should also have received a couple invites to be authors on the class site.
    • Make sure you discuss your evaluation!
That's it! Let me know if you have any questions.

Professor Watson

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Project: BookPhysics (also known as Tilt-A-Story)

Tagline: Reinventing storytelling through tilting

Team :
Nikhil Talele
Priyadarshini Rajagopal
Joseph Sankar
Chang Wang
Ira Ramtirth

Core problem:

Books are one of the best source of knowledge and reading is a great way for children to learn. However the problem with reading is that it is a bit static. Children would absorb information better if reading is more engaging, where children can actively participate. This is the underlying issue our application is trying to solve. It solves the problem of children being passive listeners of stories. We hope to create interactive stories, primarily tilting the device to control the flow of the story. Children will relate more to the characters as they are actively participating in the unfolding of the story; thus making storytelling an all new experience.

How the app works:

The current build is a prototype. The app can take on different appearance depending on the designs. However, the inner workings of the app are generally the same.

When the user opens the app, he will be presented with instruction to start the game. The user starts the app with a tilt of his device per instruction on the screen, which brings him to the first chapter of the story. Each level has multiple scenes. There is an objective that the user needs to complete at each scene such as collecting all the red triangles. Additionally,  there will be audio guides that nudge the user into performing the right tasks. If the user fails to perform the tasks as instructed, the app will play quick audio warning such as “Wrong triangle”.  After the task at each level is completed, the user tilts its way through a dotted line path to the next story. Each path has barrier set up so that user can only move along the path and not all over the place.  At the end of the chapter, the app takes the user down a rabbit hole to the next chapter.

Extra Credit :
We have integrated GetHomeFatty idea proposed by one of the student from College of Design. In that level, we have to make sure that the Fatty reaches home faster than the bus. There are some obstacles in the way of Fatty such as fatty can lose time when he collides with bus, he will also lose time when the stones throwed by the bullies hit him and the last obstacles we have done is the girl, upon seeing the girl fatty loses his control.

Future work:

If possible, we would like to add the following features to the app in the future:

  • Puzzles: Add some puzzles to some of the levels in the story to make it more engaging for children. Additionally, children can collaborate with each other to complete certain puzzles.
  • Achievement system: Users will score certain amount of points for each level they complete. And there will be rewards, such as stickers, unlock new animated characters, etc. after they reach certain point milestones.
  • Enhanced and richer animation: More graphics, sound and animation to make it more interesting to children and increase their engagement.

ScreenCast : 

Link :

Github : 

There are two branches to this repository.
main branch points to the project without extra credit.
extracredit branch points to the project with extra credit level.

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Project: Remedy

Pain Management Made Easy

David Zager, Viktor Uhnyuck, Arjun Aravindan, Nikhil Chinthapallee, and Shashank Pulimamidi


A pain tracking application that helps its user's find a Remedy quickly.


Everyone has, at one time or another, experienced pain: a crick in the neck, soreness in the back, or numbness in the feet. All we ever want is for this pain to go away as quickly as possible. When we make an appointment with a health care provider, we want to find a solution to our ailment without wasting time or money. Unfortunately, much data is lost in the time between pain occurrences and appointments with a health care provider. Furthermore, the provider often only has a few minutes to discuss and may fail to see how this pain impacts our daily life. In short, patients can't communicate enough data the providers need to make timely decisions that increase quality of life for those in pain.


Remedy is a pain tracking application that serves two purposes. For users (patients), it provides a means for communicating with a provider the facts about pains: when it started, where it hurts, how much does it hurt, and what triggered the pain. For providers, the application provides a more detailed picture of the pain a patient is dealing with and a view of patient's pain trends.

The current mobile interface prototype affords its users (patients) a view of all their pains currently being tracked, the ability to add new pain entries, and create new pains. Detailed charts and graphs have also been developed for this prototype.


Currently, the future development of this application rests in the hands of the Remedy team. Expanding on the work already done would include having non-local storage of user data, user (patient) to provider linking, and a web portal for providers to access and view important client data. Further improvements to the work done in the prototype would likely require an application to be written natively for iOS, Android, etc.

Project: Recognize

Tagline: Beat the Blur

Team: Gabi Ghali (, Xavier Primus (, Justin Toniazzo (, Sakthi Narayanan Thirukonda Viswanath (, Chetan Pawar (

Recognize is a simple image-based quiz game. There are plenty of apps out there that let you participate in quiz games, but most of these are primarily text based. Recognize is different in that it uses images. Specifically, players are asked to identify the origin of a specific image as it slowly depixilates on the screen. For example, one of our categories is "Famous Moustaches". Players might be shown a heavily distorted image of Burt Reynolds and challenged to select his image from a group of similar looking people as the main image slowly becomes more clear.

Recognize is a continuing project. That is, the current version of the application is the summation of work from a series of past semesters. The last iteration (Spring 2015) was primarily focused on user experience and interface design. While making these UX improvements, however, we noticed several backend changes that would make the application much better from a development perspective. The primary area of improvement we see is in the pixelation of images. Currently, all images are stored statically, but this means the application is rather large. Applying these pixelations programmatically would significantly improve both application size and performance. It would also make it considerably easier for new albums to be created, which is another area in which we think the app could use work. Currently, new albums need to be created manually by people with access to the project’s source code, but if it were possible to create these albums from within the application itself it would make for a much more interesting social platform.

Key features

Once user opens this game application, he can play this enjoying game with different types of albums.
  • Friendly detective greeter: For fun, we have added a friendly detective greeter character on top of home screen which shows different random texts each time you come to home screen. Purpose of this function was to make our app more interactive.
  • Help overlay screen: User can click on Help(?) button and there is help overlay screen opens up on top of main activity which shows all the actions that you can take on the main page. This is good for first time users to tell them how to start the game, how to scroll through albums, how to open settings option, click on particular album from the scrollable album menu and play.
  • Settings button: User can click on Settings (gear icon) at the bottom right to open settings. It allows user to select the difficulty level as Easy, Medium and Hard. User can choose to turn on/off the sound in the game.
  • Once user clicks on album from the scrollable album options, a modal window opens up showing the highest score for that particular album for that user. Then user can cancel or go ahead with playing for that album.
  • Game play screen: On the game play screen, one main image in pixelated form will be shown to user and timer will be set to 10. Main image will depixelate itself as the timer reduces to zero. There will be 6 answer choices given below from which user have to select the correct answer, based on which points will be added to score.
  • Fun Facts: Fun facts are displayed for each question about the correct answer for some of the albums. Also at the end of game, when scores are shown, fun fact about an album is shown in 'Did you know?' window along with the score.
  • Once all the questions are over, score will be displayed with option to replay with the same album or go to home screen to choose different album or he can share the score result with any other application. For example, user can post on facebook or twitter or share with friend on watsapp that "Hey, I just scored x on xxx album on Recognize application. Download this app from (link)"

Future Work:

  • The apk is very large now. It has all the images, for all the intermediate depixelation levels stored as separate image in the source code, which makes it very bulky. If we can incorporate the pixelation and depixlation algorithm, then we would need to store only the original image and not all the intermediate images.
  • It would be cool if user can create an album from the app with his/her own choice of photos. This again would be possible if we can have pixelation algorithm.
  • Difficulty settings to play at easy and medium level is not currently working now. We can have this functionality working by allowing user to choose from less number of options during the game based on difficulty level selected.

You can view the application’s most recent source code on Github:

And here’s a video of our app in action: