Amazon’s Blink unveils new security camera with ‘exclusive’ chip and two-year battery life

Amazon’s Blink unveils new security camera with ‘exclusive’ chip and two-year battery life

8:56am, 8th May, 2019
The new Blink XT2 HD security camera can run for two years on two AA batteries, according to Amazon. (Amazon Photos) Amazon’s acquisition of video doorbell and security camera company Ring last year got lots of attention, thanks in part to . But the tech giant in late 2017 also , Blink, and this morning the company is unveiling its first new device since the acquisition. The new Blink XT2, a 1080p HD video smart security camera, promises two years of battery life on two AA lithium batteries. If used only for live and motion-activated video, it offers as much as double the battery life of the original Blink XT, the company says. The device uses what Amazon describes as Blink’s “exclusive new chip technology” to improve energy efficiency. This confirms that pointed to Blink’s energy-efficient processor technology as a primary reason for the acquisition, at a reported $90 million price tag. Blink was owned by Immedia Semiconductor, a maker of energy-efficient processors. The newly published identifies the CPU as “Immedia Proprietary – AC1002B, 4 cores / 200 MHz.” Amazon is betting that extending battery life will be a key differentiator for its smart home devices. Although the chip is exclusive to Blink, for now, it’s not clear if that will change in the future. Asked by GeekWire whether the chip technology from Blink will ultimately be used in other Amazon devices, a spokesperson declined to comment on the company’s roadmap. New features of the Blink XT2 include two-way talk and more precise motion detection. Blink XT2 also offers Alexa integration, including the ability to view a live stream from the camera via Alexa on an Echo Spot, Echo Show or Fire TV device. Amazon is competing against Google’s Nest and others to provide a platform for the smart home. In that way Blink is part of a larger effort by the company to build out the ecosystem of Alexa-enabled devices. Although it’s not as inexpensive as some, such as , the new Blink device is priced toward the lower end of the range for smart home security cameras. The sells for $89.99 on its own, 25 percent less than the original Blink XT2, and comes with free cloud storage. A Blink Sync Module is required for use, and . Two-, three- and five-camera bundles are also available. The device is scheduled to start shipping in the U.S. on May 22. In addition to the Ring smart doorbells and cameras, Amazon , which sells for $119.99. Blink, based in Andover, Mass., first surfaced in 2014 with a for a wire-free camera that raised more than $1 million. Over the years, Blink released several more cameras and later began selling smart doorbells.
Microsoft unveils next-generation HoloLens headset and $399 ‘Azure Kinect’ camera for developers

Microsoft unveils next-generation HoloLens headset and $399 ‘Azure Kinect’ camera for developers

12:47pm, 24th February, 2019
Microsoft Technical Fellow Alex Kipman. (Screenshot Via YouTube) Microsoft today unveiled the second generation of its HoloLens mixed reality headset, along with a surprise cloud-powered camera built on technology created originally for Xbox. The new HoloLens improves in three areas: more immersion, more comfort and greater simplicity right out of the box. One of the big knocks on the first HoloLens was a narrow field of vision, but the new version has doubled that. Alex Kipman, Microsoft technical fellow and HoloLens creator, said the new device has tripled the comfort of the original, making it easier for people in areas like construction and manufacturing to wear the headset for hours at a time. HoloLens 2 boasts more physical commands than the original. The device recognizes the user’s hands, and it allows users to touch virtual images and interact in several different ways. HoloLens 2 launches with several kits to make it easier for large enterprises to build out mixed reality applications. The new $399 Azure Kinect camera is available for pre-order today. Microsoft showed off a variety of partners using the device in areas like retail and medicine. Microsoft’s presentation today at MWC, one of the most important gatherings for the mobile technology industry, is streaming on YouTube now. We’ll update this post as more details emerge. The announcement of the a new HoloLens was not exactly a surprise. Alex Kipman, Microsoft technical fellow and HoloLens creator, timed to Microsoft’s presentation in Barcelona that numerous reports linked to HoloLens 2. Then last night, images believed to show the device contrasted with the original model leaked online. — WalkingCat (@h0x0d) have persisted since mid 2018. The device shipped in 2016 and was targeted at developers and large companies. Microsoft has yet to release a consumer version of the headset — which costs $3,000 for a developer edition and $5,000 for a commercial suite. Microsoft has targeted a number of areas for the device, from medicine to construction to retail and service workers. One of, if not the biggest HoloLens customer has created some internal strife at Microsoft. A group of employees this week to cancel a $480 million contract to outfit the U.S. Army with 100,000 HoloLens headsets saying they don’t want to be “implicated as war profiteers.”