The latest update for the 2011 Xperia phones contains one subtle little feature that’s actually a huge one for web developers: Integrated and native support for the WebGL standard. A possible first-step toward unifying the 3d experience on mobile devices, Xperia and Android get the title of being the first to bring it to reality. Over at SonyEricsson’s website, they have a developer article on how it all works.
In this article, Anders Isberg from Sony Ericsson’s Technology Reseach department explains more about WebGL and what to think of when you develop 3D web applications for touch-enabled devices. If you scroll down, you will also find three WebGL examples that you can browse to from the Android browser, if you have the latest software on your 2011 Xperia™ phone. You can also check out how it looks in the video above.
Randy Krum has a nice roundup of visualization apps for iOS (iPhone and iPad). Some are free, some are paid, but all are neat.
As infographics continue to evolve and grow in popularity, so do the different ways we can view them. A bunch of infographic specific apps have begun showing up on mobile devices. The functions of these apps include viewing world statistics, infographic design portfolios, company dashboards, creating mind maps, finding new apps and exploring your music collection visually.
I really like the “Stats of the Union” application from Ben Fry and others.
AMD is touting their new Radeon HD 6990M as the “world’s fastest notebook GPU” with some interesting slides showing it beating recent NVidia mobile offerings.
Slides from AMD show the chip outperforming both its own Radeon 6970M and NVIDIA Corp.’s (NVDA) GeForce GTX 580M in games like Batman Arkham Asylum, Dragon Age 2, Shogun 2, BattleForge, Left 4 Dead, Metro2033, Wolfenstein MP, The Chronicles of Riddick, and ET: Quake Wars. No independent benchmarks have been released yet, so the validity of these claims depends on how much you’re willing to trust AMD.
The chip will land as an option for Dell Inc.’s (DELL) Alienware M18x and Clevo’s P170HM and P150HM notebooks, both of which also offer the GTX 580M.
The chip offers 1120 SPU’s, 56 Texture units, and an impressive 715Mhz core clock. The memory clock and ROP’s remain unchanged, so there may not be much of a different on anything heavily memory dependent. The new chip will support Eyefinity, but won’t support any type of switchable graphics.
In a move meant to position HTC better in the mobile phone and tables space, HTC is buying old-name graphics company S3 from Via for the tidy sum of $300M.
“In the smartphone and tablet business, there are a lot of patent lawsuits,” said BNP Paribas analyst Laura Chen. “S3 has a lot of patents, and HTC needs more bargaining power in the smartphone business.”
S3 Graphics has been around for a very long time, but hasn’t been terribly relevant since Intel took over the embedded graphics space, and NVidia and AMD began battling over the addin-card market. However, they do have an impressive patent portfolio.
IMSI just fired a volley across Autodesk’s bow with a great new 3D DWG File Viewer app for the iPad. It’s Free, it’s available now, and it has a few nice features not seen in the “official” offering:
TurboViewer is the first to have full screen preview when the DWG is loading. You can pan the view around and once it’s loaded, it stays where you’ve moved it. It automatically switches between single-touch panning and orbit (rotate) depending on the view being 2D or 3D. Perhaps the biggest feature, is that the views are always full-resolution with no regeneration when zooming in and out. All of these act together to make it a surprisingly responsive viewing application.
FlowingData brings us a neat animation created by Waze, Gray Area Foundation, and Nik Hanselmann showing 24-hours of traffic in Los Angeles.
It starts at 5pm, right in the middle of rush hour, slows down in the late hours, and then of course picks up again around 7am, as people commute to work. Red dots indicate high levels of traffic and green dots indicate hazards, which I assume are accidents. Watch the day unfold in the video below.
I assume most of this data comes from Waze’s mobile app for navigation. They allow users to contribute information on accidents and hazards, as well as tracking traffic usage and merging in other external sources. I’m not sure what the “flashing” roads mean in the visualization tho. Ideas?
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