Sunday, 31 January 2016

JBL - Flip 2 - Wireless Portable Speakers

One of the most useful, powerful portable speakers for someone who party real hard ! Tested this piece of  hardware indoor and was extremely happy with the sound quality ! At one point I started comparing it with my Philips Soundbar which I connect to my LED TV.

Firing up these portable speakers was a breeze and paired it with my iphone 6 in no time and was playing a youtube video from my phone. The Sound quality was extremely good , tested with all sorts of music and was quite impressed. At one point I thought I should have not shelled so much $ in buying the Philips Soundbar which has almost same sound quality but twice the price. A Clear example for " Size does not matter '

   Now coming to the features, I was amazed by the Speaker Phone functionality and have to tell you its quite useful when are you expecting an important call but still want to party hard !

Tested the NFC with an Android phone and worked like a charm.

Whats Good: 

1. Compact in size with amazing sound quality.
2. Pairing is quite stable
3. Battery was quite good
4. Carry case is a Plus
5. Adapters that come with the box is quite useful
6. Jazzy colours
7. Speaker Phone functionality is a killer

What needs to be improved:

1. Solar charging would be a added plus especially when you are partying outdoors.
2. Weather Proof should have been part of all models ( currently Flip 2 is not Splashproof but Flip 3 is @ extra cost )
3. Mute Button would have been an added advantage.
4. Small display would have been better.

Flip 2 Box- Jazzy Colours really standout !

Clear example of - " Size does not matter "! Amazing sound quality .

Simple touch buttons to fire up / Bluetooth / Speaker Phone / Volume adjustment

Carry case is a + and not to forget those useful adapters/ charging cable. 

This is how Speaker Phone functionality works when paired with Flip 2 ! Impressed. 

Xtreamer - Wonder - Why Pay More ?

Bought this amazing Streamer Online few months ago and have to tell you its been the best streamer I have ever used so far. I have used Chromecast/ Roku but felt Wonder fulfilled my needs the best !

Before buying this Wonder Box ( just an Mini Android PC ) , I used to download movies online then copy it on to my thumb drive /Memory stick and play it on my LED TV which was taking quite a lot of my time.

 I did some research and narrowed down on Google's Chromecast, Apple TV, Roku 2 and finally Xtreamer's Wonder.

Indian Readers:

Note: I currently use Airtel 40 Mbps connection and works fine without any issues. This hardware has also been tested with ACT Broadband and works fine !

Online Order :

Sorry to say, the whole experience of ordering this product and getting it delivered to my house just took 2 months ! Yes you read it took so long. As soon I paid for the product online they dispatched the product to India from Hongkong after 20 odd days inspite of sending so many emails to their customer care. Many a times their customer care does not even reply, even if they do so it will be a one liner. Finally product reached India through Singapore Post < not like any other courier like Bluedart/DHL >  and was stuck with Indian Customs for good 1 month and one fine day got a letter from them saying that I need to pay custom duty and get the product.


Powering up / configuration  / Installation was a breeze and quite straight forward. One needs to buy HDMI cable to get started. I used my set top box's HDMI cable to test before buying one.

My Home setup goes like this:

Connected my Wonder Box to my Sony LED TV using HMDI < both Video and Audio is taken care here > Initially configured my SSID on Wonder Box but saw some issues like frequent buffering , video freezing on me and moved to wired connection which seems to be better than Wireless.

Also, Connected my Philips Sound Bar using Bluetooth to my Wonder box. 

Ports and more ports, I used HDMI to connect wonder box to my Sony LED TV

Wonder box comes with 3 USB Ports which can be used to connect your thrum drive or any wireless devices. To use your Air mouse < remote control > one needs to plug this USB receiver just like any other wireless mouse we use at work/home.

Air Mouse: Source :

Bluetooth Sound Bar: Source:


I mostly use Air Stream, Popcorn time ! There are lot more but I havent not used most of them and will review them in details later.

Air Stream: When I download movies on my laptop , I use Air Stream to stream that content using my wonder box on my LED TV. It works like a charm. Best part is, one can keep using the laptop/desktop and the content still gets streamed without any issues . A big WIN over screen cast !

Popcorn time is a build in App on Wonder Box and has very good collection of latest movies and Tv Series.

Air Play: I also use Air Play to play videos / Pictures from my Apple Iphone.  

Whats needs to be improved:

The Wonder software itself is bit buggy, when I first got hold of Wonder box came across of software bugs/crashes and an upgrade down the lane solved some issues but created new ones. Currently Play Store keeps crashing and havent been able to find any update / work around for the same.

Not to forget the customer care which needs to be improved a lot ! They need to be little more active and would be good if they have some Tech support via chat 24x7 or something which covers most time zones.


Quad Core Amlogic S812-H(w/ Dolby+DTS) Cortex-A9 upto 2.0GHz

8 Core GPU: Mail-450

FLASH: 16GB eMMC ver 5.0

OS & UI:
OS: Android™ KitKat 4.4
UI: Xtreamer ver 2.0

Weight: 190 gram
Size: 13.8 x 16.6 x 2.8cm

Wireless Connectivity:
802.11 b/g/n Wi-Fi AirPlay, Miracast and DLNA support

Video Output:
HDMI™ 1.4

Audio Output:
HDMI™ 1.4 SPDIF optical

DC 5V, 2A adapter included (CE, FCC, CCC certified)

Supported Video Format:

Supported Audio Format: MP3/WMA/WMV/APE/OGG/FLAC/AAC…etc
Dolby Digital & DTS Master Audio 5ch output
5CH & 7CH passthrough

Peripheral Interface:
RJ-45 Ethernet jack (10/100Mbps)
Micro SD card reader
USB 2.0 HOST port x 3

Multilingual support:
English, Russian, French, German, Spanish, Hebrew, Arabic, Chinese, Korean, Dutch, Portuguese, Polish & many more as supported in Android 4.4

System optimization:
Airplay & DLNA
XBMC Plugins & Repo Setup Wizard

Innovative New functions:
Can Support H.265 HEVC
Bluetooth Ver 4.0 8
Core GPU Mali 450 for smother ON TV Gaming Hardware Decoding


Sunday, 28 July 2013

Next BIG Thing - Indoor Location-Based Services

In the Enterprise Wireless Market - Indoor Location-Based Services ( ILBS ) has been a buzz word in the last 12 months. With the recent acquisitions by Cisco - Think Smart Technologies , Apple - WiFiSLAM ( $20M ) , Aruba Networks - Meridian Apps and the recent Ruckus Wireless - YFind Technologies.

Typical Use Case of Indoor Location Based Services at an Airport
Not that, these BIG Guns are not capable of developing apps based on ILBS, its the competition which brings an added advantage to these start up's in this niche market space.

On the technology front, ILBS comes into play where GPS signal is inadequate due to various causes including multipath and WIFI takes precedence .

Source:University of Maine

This localization technique used for positioning with Wireless Access Points ( WAP ) is based on measuring the intensity of the received signal strength.The accuracy depends on the number of positions that have been entered into the database. 

On the downside, the possible signal fluctuations due to high noise floor or interference that may occur can increase errors and inaccuracies in the path of the user. To minimize fluctuations in the received signal, there are certain techniques that can be applied to filter the noise / interference.

Each company uses different techniques/algorithms to locate the user, the common method where they create a map of signal strength values from a each Wireless Access Point  and recording signal strength at all discrete points which make up the building floor space.

User can be located with an estimation accuracy of 2 meters and the best part is that one doesnt need any external hardware/sensor - for tracking to be installed at the site other than the existing wireless infrastructure . 

There's also a need for content management server which can either deployed in the cloud or at the site which has the floor maps, analytics and other configuration information related to the site.

Here are some places one can use ILBS

  •  Navigation inside buildings- shopping malls, hospitals, airports, industrial facilities, mines.
  • Location Based Services specially for shopping malls / super markets
  •    - Special offers alerts
  •    - Coupons
  •    - Sweep stakes
  •    - Time management alert
  •  Find your buddy (friends, project groups, school classes etc.)
  •  Workforce solutions (personnel)
  •  Security (evacuation, calamities)
  •  Alarms and alerts (know where your colleagues are)
  •  Alarm applications in general
  •  Store usage analysis and store optimization
  •  Statistics, Tracking & Tracing
  •  Hotels
  •  Gaming
  •  Energy Management; climate control and lighting control system
  •  Audio visual info (museums)

Here are some of the companies that provide Indoor / Outer Location Based services and you might never know who might get lucky sooner or later !! is a mobile SDK that enables you to get real-time position and navigation updates indoors. Your mobile app can now locate and navigate inside buildings!

The solution uses a combination of Wi-Fi custom fingerprinting algorithms tuned for handheld devices, sensor fusion (if available), Bluetooth, in addition to dead-reckoning navigation algorithms to provide the most accurate, real-time positioning information to any application. It provides 95% accuracy at at least 15 feet (5 meters) without additional onsite hardware.

Navizon, Inc. is a pioneer and leading provider of location-based services, bringing over 10 years of experience to the marketplace. Its products include Navizon One and Navizon Indoor Triangulation System (I.T.S.).

With a global community of over 1 million users, Navizon sponsors a popular crowdsourcing and rewards program to promote its viral growth.
Initially known as Mexens Technology, Navizon was founded by a team from the Internet Protocol geolocation market. Its founder and CEO, Cyril Houri, was founder and CEO of Infosplit, a provider of IP address geolocation services started in 1999 that was acquired in 2004.

Skyhook is the leading provider of location positioning, context and intelligence worldwide. Skyhook developed the Wi-Fi Positioning System (WPS). Taking advantage of the hundreds of millions of Wi-Fi access points throughout populated areas, WPS consistently provides accurate location information indoors and in urban areas.

Skyhook Wireless obtained tremendous overnight growth in January 2008 at the Macworld Conference & Expo, where Apple CEO Steve Jobs announced that the iPhone and iPod touch would use their Wi-Fi Positioning System as the location engine for Google Maps and other applications.

Pole Star's - NAO Campus®, the Pole Star indoor positioning solution, is based on a unique hybrid technology combining Wi-Fi, GPS, Blue tooth low energy (BLE), MEMS (motion sensors) and map data.

Compatible with iPhone and Android, which together account for 80% of the Smartphone market, NAO Campus® is the most mature, highest performing indoor positioning service available with over 43 million square feet of indoor coverage worldwide.

SenionLab is a an expert company focusing on research and development of signal processing and sensor fusion systems for indoor positioning navigation and mapping.

SenionLab introduces an indoor navigation technology which radically improves navigation capabilities in environments where GPS systems are unavailable. SenionLab provides a pedestrian indoor navigation system intend to work in indoor environment such as shopping malls, governamental institutions, universities, hospitals, museums and airports. The indoor navigation solution is delivered as a separate software module together with a fully documented Application Programming Interface (API) that can be integrated into third-party iOS (iPhone, iPad) and Android location based mobile applications. Navigation and positioning is based only on the sensors available on the mobile device. No additional hardware is required besides the mobile device for navigation and positioning.

Sensewhere emerged a result of pioneering technology developed by a team of researchers at the University of Edinburgh.The team was later joined by commercial experts from leading technology companies, such as CSR, in order to found sensewhere in 2005.
Sensewhere’s pure software technology enables precise location information, with no additional infrastructure,in areas where there is no or inaccurate GPS satellite data such as indoors or in tight urban areas. 

Sources: All company profiles sourced from Crunchbase


Saturday, 6 August 2011

NASA - JUNO Jupiter Launch

get my countdown

Juno will…
  • Determine how much water is in Jupiter’s atmosphere, which helps determine which planet formation theory is correct (or if new theories are needed)
  • Look deep into Jupiter’s atmosphere to measure composition, temperature, cloud motions and other properties
  • Map Jupiter’s magnetic and gravity fields, revealing the planet’s deep structure
  • Explore and study Jupiter’s magnetosphere near the planet’s poles, especially the auroras – Jupiter’s northern and southern lights – providing new insights about how the planet’s enormous magnetic force field affects its atmosphere.
Mission Timeline

  • Launch - August 2011
  • Earth flyby gravity assist - October 2013
  • Jupiter arrival - July 2016
  • End of mission (deorbit) - October 2017

Juno's scientific payload includes:

  • A gravity/radio science system
  • A six-wavelength microwave radiometer for atmospheric sounding and composition
  • A vector magnetometer
  • Plasma and energetic particle detectors
  • A radio/plasma wave experiment
  • An ultraviolet imager/spectrometer
  • An infrared imager/spectrometer


  • Five-year cruise to Jupiter, arriving July 2016
  • Spacecraft will orbit Jupiter for about one year (33 orbits)
  • Mission ends with de-orbit into Jupiter
  • Juno will improve our understanding of our solar system’s beginnings by revealing the origin and evolution of Jupiter.

About the lego picture:

Juno holds a magnifying glass to signify her search for the truth, while her husband holds a lightning bolt. The third LEGO crew member is Galileo Galilei, who made several important discoveries about Jupiter, including the four largest satellites of Jupiter (named the Galilean moons in his honor). Of course, the miniature Galileo has his telescope with him on the journey.

Tuesday, 2 August 2011

Email Verifier

We all send loads of E-mails everyday, be at work , Family or Friends.I am sure each one us have had email bounced back at us saying " The Email you are trying to send doesn't Exist " and we break our head to find out the rite email address !

I was in the similar situation today and goggled to see if there are any programs to Verify the E-mail add/Mail Server and came across a simple page which will first tell you if that email really exist by checking the appropriate mail server and give us a instant result.For the ones who want to know more technical information can always scroll down to see the mail server info etc.

There are lots of other ways to verify the email add, like pining the mail server etc.checkout this wonderful article by Amit Agarwal ( Labnol ) to know more.

Sunday, 28 November 2010

iFitness - Taking Fitness to the Next Level

I normally workout with my ipod and have experienced increase in endurance levels when I listen to my favourite numbers.I really don't know if its just a mind block or a reality.

When I was working out at the gym today just thought it would be really good if we have a wireless jukebox stationed any where in the gym where they can load tons of songs and the exercise equipment should also have an wireless dongle or an in-built wireless card which can connect to the wireless jukebox.

The exercise equipment should also have a screen which will show the playlist that is available on the jukebox and as we workout one can select their music/video songs/movies and have a kick ass workout.

Friday, 26 November 2010

NFC - Near Field Communication

NFC ( Near Field Communication ) is a short-range ( upto 10 cm ) wireless technology that allows the exchange of data between devices.Now that instead of carrying your wallet/purse filled with credit/debit cards, one can just flash their mobile phone against the NFC reader/scanner which in turn recognize and validate your identity.To make it more secure one needs to punch in their pass-code to complete the transaction.
Initially companies came up with different ideas to fit in NFC chip into the mobile device.

1.A Micro SD card with NFC chip, which will be provided by your bank/organisation, one needs to insert the Micro SD card into their mobile phone and download a simple application which will interface with the Micro SD card.

2.Few American banks came up with NFC stickers ( like the ones we normally see at the book store ) which can be stuck on their mobile phones.

NFC Developments in India

We all would have seen amazing videos on Youtube about different gadgets and still wonder when would we personally use them in our daily life ! NFC is no such technology, guess what SBI ( State bank of India ) has recently acquired 20% stake in Alittleworld (ALW ) developer of NFC based cost bank branch solution and paid around ( $ 18 million ).

Tyfone developer of ( Side Tap Micro SD ) cards has two new Indian investors namely HDFC Holdings and Polaris Software Labs .Tyfone is based out of US and has offices in Bangalore.

Citi bank recently did a trial with Indian customers ( Citi Tap & Pay ) where they used a Nokia 6212 classic phone pre-loaded with Citi Tap & Pay application enabled with Master Card's pay pass contactless payment technology.

Around 3000 customers signed up for the 26 week- trial with over 250 merchant locations and 50,000 purchases made during the trial.

Various Applications

Coca Cola has recently tied up with European NFC payment company Ping Ping to incorporate NFC into their vending machines.

Accenture is working on NFC Airline ticketing services.This includes right from sending the NFC ticket to the customer where one will download it to their mobile device and use it for check-in,security,boarding.This will reduce printing and associated costs.

Apple has come up with iTunes Kiosk where one can download apps and movies on to their iphones

NFC can also be used as a passkey to enter into your office/department/hotel rooms or be it your own house !

Smart Posters, where NFC chip is embedded into the poster and one can just flash their mobile device and download more information about the event or can send in their contact info or even buy their tickets.