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One of the things driving software-defined radio is that different frequencies are restricted and some are licensed,” Barlow said. A cell phone switching on somewhere in world has increasing number of frequencies it has to work with, and that is difficult with analog.”

RN42NU-I/RM_Datasheet PDF

One of the things driving software-defined radio is that different frequencies are restricted and some are licensed,” Barlow said. A cell phone switching on somewhere in world has increasing number of frequencies it has to work with, and that is difficult with analog.”

There’s been an onslaught of announcements in the AR/VR field in just the last few weeks. The biggest was last week’s unveiling by Microsoft of its HoloLens platform. HoloLens projects three-dimensional images into the air, integrating virtual digital elements into the physical world. Picture Ben Kenobi talking to Princess Leia.

Microsoft’s announcement turned tech-savvy media into instant AR/VR believers — sort of. Microsoft’s demo was definitely cool. You could bring up a virtual to-do list on the fridge, or watch a real football game on a virtual wall, all while loitering catatonically in the kitchen in your headgear.

RN42NU-I/RM_Datasheet PDF

Piers Harding-Rolls, senior principal analyst and head of games research at IHS, gave HoloLens a thumbs-up. He described it the most graphically rich and immersive augmented reality solution shown publicly by any major technology company.”

Harding-Rolls, who has demoed the newly revealed HoloLens platform across a number of application scenarios, notes, It is clear that this new immersive form of augmented reality could make a powerful and compelling gaming platform as well as an efficient collaborative tool for commercial deployments.”

RN42NU-I/RM_Datasheet PDF

But does this mean that 2015 will finally become the year when AR/VR starts going mainstream in earnest?

Before we know the answer, we should consider what’s already clear. Big guns in the tech industry have departed the sidelines and begun throwing money and talent at AR/VR. Earlier this month, Intel announced a $24.8 million investment in Vuzix, a maker of enterprise-grade smart glasses.

RN42NU-I/RM_Datasheet PDF

Intel also acquired Swiss startup Composyt Light Labs for an undisclosed amount. A spinoff of the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne, known as the EPFL), Composyt reportedly creates smart-glass technology that can work with any type of eyewear.

Google isn’t going to roll out a newly revamped model of its Glass any time soon (the company has announced no timetable), but that doesn’t mean the search giant has given it up. The Glass 2.0 project continues, and Google last week announced that the new guy responsible for overseeing it is Tony Fadell, Nest co-founder and an ex-Apple engineer who was behind iPod and iPhone development.

Passion for makers”Perhaps the best way to describe Parrot is that it’s a 20-year-old startup (though already a public company in France) with a passion for makers,” an intimate knowledge of telephony connectivity, expertise in DSP software, and the capability to design ASICs in-house. Its engineers have designed their own chips, when needed. DiBcom, a French fabless chip company acquired in 2011 that specializes in mobile digital television and radio for the automotive industry, has also become a critical asset to Parrot.

Seydoux’s background is not in engineering but in journalism. This is evident in his ability to stay on message and disciplined in defining what Parrot is and what its products are supposed to do. Though its automotive products, drones, and connected objects seem unrelated, he insists that they share a common thread. At Parrot, everything we do is connected. We develop unique, original products that are connected to mobile phones.”

Parrot is one of the first CE vendors to define its company mission as developing products seamlessly connected with smartphones.

That vision was articulated by Seydoux well before everyone in the industry started talking about the Internet of Things.

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