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Hello 2017
ersonally, Im quite amazed with the patented, may be a little far off, well find
way technology blazes into our life all sorts of HUDs appearing everywhere in
with each passing year. Inventions, 2017 - from car windshields to machine repair
discoveries, and upgrades have continually instructions powered by devices similar to the
improved our digital and interconnected lives. Microsoft Hololens. AR and VR experiences
And now that were at the very beginning of a should become more commonplace in the
brand new year, it would be nice to indulge in coming year.
some crystal gazing and see how our lives will The third technology rounding off this
change further as the earth takes yet another tech triumvirate is Machine Learning. AI,
trip around the sun. as youll soon find out, has achieved tremen-
In many ways the issue you are holding dous strides already. But this year things are
in your hands right now has been conceived going to go a step further. Youll have a ton of
in line with this forward looking spirit. The chatbots appearing, your everyday assistants
concepts and prototypes that we aim to show- will become smarter and there will be a pre- Siddharth Parwatay
case in the cover story may not necessarily be dictive element in almost every service you Managing Editor
those that will come to fruition anytime soon; use be it hailing cabs via an app or online
however, they still give a glimpse of the future. shopping. Itll start becoming so normal that
The issue also includes features on the state itll be a new benchmark in the way services
of AI and one about the future of sensors and ought to be user friendly. Machine learning I believe much
solar power. These are of course hot topics is particularly poised to augment the other of the innovation
that will rule 2017, but if you were to ask for two technologies Ive mentioned. Within IoT starting from CES
my personal take, I believe much of the inno- and home automation, using algorithmic will be around
vation starting from CES will be around three processing of patterns your home can mould three very specific
very specific technology domains a holy itself to your needs and even anticipate them. technology
tech trinity if you will. And they are: IoT, AR/ Even with AR and VR, machine learning domains -- a
VR, and machine learning. can help create powerful experiences. holy tech trinity
Wait, did I just say IoT? Yes, I did. Imagine using the power of natural language if you will.
I know I know, IoT has been touted as processing (NLP) to come up with more
the next big thing for so many years now, intuitive ways of interacting with these new
its almost become a joke like Half Life 3. The systems. Imagine using the power of Big Data
thing with IoT though, especially in the smart to crunch information before it gets onto
home space, is that so far there has been a your HUD - your smartness quotient (at least
lot of fragmentation. There are hundreds of superficially) will go up a few notches. Lastly,
players with their own hardware, apps, and in VR and gaming, the importance of AI is
implementation methods, but no commonly unmatched in providing a more realistic
accepted open standards for interoperability. and immersive experience. Imagine a game
With the likes of Amazon, Google, and Apple that evolves with the users play style. Cou-
making heavy inroads into this space, I expect pled with VR-immersion, you might not be
2017 to really be the year home automation able to tell whats real and whats not!
becomes mainstream. Even Zuckerberg I for one am looking forward to what
has been playing with the idea of creating a amazing tech experiences this new year is
Jarvis-like implementation for his home, and likely to bring. Like my three-point short
while Im taking his recent video with a pinch list, which technologies do you think will take
of salt, Im pretty sure hell have something off in the near future? Looking forward to
interesting to showcase by mid 2017. your thoughts.
The next technology that will see a lot
of action is AR/VR. In fact, 2016 saw one of
the biggest steps foretelling this wave the
now infamous Augmented Reality game
Pokemon Go, which crossed a hundred mil-
lion downloads. In 2017, taking things further,
mixed reality will see a lot of development in
Reach me at:
terms of apps, gadgets, and content. While | @staticsid
the smart contact lens, which Sony recently | | January 2017 | Digit | 1

The RSS Feed

Prototype Trump
appy New Year to all of you, and surprising that Apple wants to start making
thank you for sticking with Digit products in India as well now. I expect a lot
for another full calendar year. You more business to come our way if we play
better stay with us for 2017 too, because its our cards right, because no big company
going to be a wild ride in technology, and in the US wants their business to be held
youre going to need your favourite navi- to ransom by diplomatic ties between the
gator to help you find your way through it. US and China. Given their new presidents
This months cover story is about con- whimsical nature, and the matching ego
cepts, prototypes and new technologies that of the Chinese, trouble may very well be
will take off in 2017. Concepts are raw ideas brewing for many tech companies.
that may or may not work. They often look Net neutrality fans might not like the
good, but they may not be practical. Think ideas he and his cabinet have though,
of every concept car image you have seen. because the word is that the new government Robert Sovereign-Smith
Awesome looking things arent they? Not plans to do away with the new amendment Executive Editor
practical at all, but then again since when to uphold net neutrality that was introduced
has practical ever been fun? Then you come just recently under Obamas watch. The
to prototypes. Theyre often ugly looking republicans have long since been opposed to Tech has no
things, and look nothing at all like the con- government interference, and believe in the politics, no religion
cept designs and images that inspired them, free market which means let the provider
and no gender,
and most often they barely work, or just do do whatever it wants to, as long as you have
enough to be a proof of concept. This is all an option to switch providers, everything
and thats why we
we expect of them, because its only with will work out. Problem is, most areas in the love it so much.
painstaking research and development that US dont have too many options for ISPs So why on earth
final products get made, and yes, even final where they live, and providers are probably is the headline
products rarely ever look like the concept going to come together anyway, given the
of this column
devices that were pictured in the original prospect of making more money, not just off
artists mind. Then again, artists arent engi- consumers, but also off internet companies.
mentioning Trump
neers, and nor should they be. Though this doesnt affect India, we know (with a capital T)?
Those of you who have read Digit for that as the home of most of the internet,
a long time will know we arent political, whatever happens in the US has a ripple
and avoid politics (and politicians) like the effect all over the world.
plague. Tech has no politics, religion and Another aspect of his campaign has
gender, and thats why we love it so much. So been his promise to bring back jobs to the
why on earth is the headline of this column US, which makes me wonder how much
mentioning Trump (with a capital T)? we might lose in outsourcing revenue, even
We dont care about his politics, and we if we make some extra by manufacturing
dont care about pretty much anything he Apple devices.
does or says, except that which affects us as In the end, only time will tell how pro-
Indians, or as technology users. Whether we totype Trump will impact us as President
like it or not, the US has a tremendous hold Trump, so we have to wait and watch. Either
on the technology world, and as a result, so way, there certainly are interesting times
does the supreme leader of that country. ahead for technology in 2017. What do you
As a concept Trump is far from beautiful think will be the biggest changes (if any) for
no artist, no matter how skilled could ever India (positive or negative) because of the
be able to pull that off. However, as a concept new US president? Write in and tell me, Id
he was funny, and the resident troll in us all love to hear some varied (and perhaps better
secretly wished hed win the election, just to informed) views on the topic.
see what happens. Then, when he did win,
he was no longer a concept, he was now a
prototype. Things suddenly got serious. And
Liked or hated this column?
thats the stage were at right now.
Let me know at:
Personally, I think his anti-China ranting | @raaabo
is actually good for India. Its not at all

2 | Digit | January 2017 |


014 DGT



Tomorrows Tech
From the Labs
Space Age

Tips and Tricks

Comparison Test
Bazaar 48 17 Concepts for 2017
In this calendar year, the implementations of
these 17 concepts blur the distinction between
Agent 001
science-fiction and real life even more.
Price watch
Killer Rigs
Top 3

122 ESC
Industry connect

Its [A]l[I]ve
Right now, AI is quite capable and its 32
Unwind evolution isnt stopping anytime soon.

TANK PRINTER RX 480 Is the latest powerful, fast and
Superb raster prints for the Why go for stock when youve thin Zenbook a viable Macbook
average SOHO got this? alternative?

4 | Digit | January 2017 |

Learn Angular 2 This release is based on
IntelliJ IDEA Ubuntu 16.04 (64-bit), with
Visual Studio Code the Cinnamon desktop.
Angular IDE PlayStation Experience
Angular libraries 2016 Trailers
Cross-platform Absolver
development Ace Combat 7
Call of Duty World League
Game Streaming Software 2017

81 SKOAR! (Now inside Digit) Gameshow

Crash Bandicoot N. Sane
From the good old days of 8-bit to the modern
OBS Classic Destiny: Rise of Iron
4k 60fps wonders, we trace gamings evolution.
OBS Studio Dreadnought
Wirecast Gran Turismo Sport
MAKE THIS ISSUE OF DIGIT COME ALIVE XSplit Gamecaster Horizon Zero Dawn
Knack 2
TO LIFE! Games Lara Croft GO
Cloudphobia Demo Nex Machina
Step 1 Step 2 Step 3 Cubotrox Demo
Download the Keep an eye out for Blip the image and get access EXIT Demo Software Updates
Blippar app the Blippar icon next to video reviews, interactive Minecraft: Story Mode AdwCleaner
to some images games, and much more! Episode 1 AirDroid Image
Neon Warp Demo AMD Radeon ReLive

42 Sensors of the The Eyes of Ara Demo Avast

Google Chrome
future Linux Mint 18 Cinnamon K-Lite Mega Pack
Beyond gyroscopes and Clement Lefebvre has Malwarebytes Image
accelerometers! announced a new release NVIDIA Graphics Drivers
of Linux Mint. The new Spybot Search and
version, Linux Mint 18, is a Destroy
62 Live streaming long term support release Transmission-QT
This workshop shows you how which will receive support WhatsApp for Windows
to setup your own gaming through to the year 2021. WPS Office



111 113
P3 OnePlus just showed us how
The most beautiful chassis to make the best they had even
weve ever assembled better. | January 2017 | Digit | 5

January 2017 Volume 17 Issue 01

Email: Bazaar

OnePlus 3T
Sales Director: LG V20
Lalit Arun, Mobile: +91-9582262959
Lenovo K6 Power
South: Corsair Carbide Air 740
Ram Sarangi, Mobile: +91-98864 06961 Corsair VOID RGB
Managing Director Dr. Pramath Raj Sinha
HyperX Cloud Stinger
Printer and Publisher Kanak Ghosh West: Epson L655
Publishing Director Vikas Gupta Suvarna Shringarpure, Mobile: +91-93249 28247 RX 460
Thermaltake P3
Editorial North:
Mayank Sharma , Mobile: +91-8800661912 GIGABYTE RX 480
Executive Editor Robert Sovereign-Smith Jabra Halo Smart
Managing Editor Siddharth Parwatay East: Asus Zenbook 3
Multimedia Co-ordinator Abhijit Dey Jayanta Bhattacharyya, Mobile: +91-93318 29284 WD Passport external HDD
Writers Arnab Mukherjee, Manish Rajesh, Nikhil Punjabi Coolpad Note 5
Intern Yangerlong Jamir
Test Centre ASUS Cerberus
Asst. Technical Editor Mithun Mohandas Brand ............................................. Page No. Cooler Master MasterMouse Lite S
Reviewers Hardik Singh, Souvik Das, Shrey Pacheco Cooler Master MasterMouse S
Assistant Vikas Patil Cooler Master MasterMouse Pro L
Shell .......................................... Inside front cover
G.Skill MX780 Gigabyte XM300
TPLink .......................................Inside back cover Steelseries Rival 100
Editor Soham Raninga
Steelseries Rival 300
Assistant Editor Prasid Banerjee, Sameer Mitha
Razer Death Adder Elite
Features Editor Adamya Sharma Gigabyte - 1 ...........................................Back cover
Gamdias Zeus P1 RGB
Senior Sub Editor Karthek Iyer
TT eSports Ventus Z
Mgr - Online Shauvik Kumar
Gigabyte - 2 ............................................................13 Zowie EC2-A
Zowie FK2
Zowie ZA11
Sr. Art Director Anil VK Kyocera ...................................................................... 3
Logitech Proteus Core G502
Associate Art Director Shokeen Saifi
Visualiser Baiju NV
LIC .............................................................................. 7 GAMES REVIEWED THIS MONTH
Lead UI/UX Designer Shri Hari Tiwari
Sr. Designers Haridas Balan, Charu Dwivedi, Steep
Peterson PJ & Manoj Kumar VP iBall - 1 ....................................................................... 9 Dead Rising 4

Photography Mobile Monthly

iBall - 2 .....................................................................59
Sr. Photographer Jiten Gandhi Distraint Missing
Overpainted Jrump
Contributors ICTS.......................................................................... 11 Dan the Man Beat Stomper
Writers Aabir Abubaker, Abhishek Balaji, Anusha Seen Prime Peaks
Sinha, Arjun Krishna Lal, Dhinoj Dings C II - 1 .....................................................................15 Time Locker

Production and Logistics

Manager Operations Rakesh Upadhyay
C II - 2 .....................................................................97
Manager Logistics Vijay Menon
Asst Mgr Production & Logistics M P Singh
Executive Mohd. Nadeem Ansari
Quantum............................................................... 128
Brand Published and printed by Kanak Ghosh for and
Brand Head Mitin Kumar on behalf of the owners, M/s Nine Dot Nine
Asst Product Mgr Madhuri Goel Interactive Pvt Ltd. Published at A-262, 2nd Floor, Step 1

Co-ordinator / Scheduling Kishan Singh Defence colony, New Delhi-110024 and printed at Download the Blippar
International Print-O-Pac Limited, C/4-11, Hosiery DOWNLOAD
Complex, Phase II Extension, Noida-201306 (U..P.)
Circulation Sales INDIA. Editor : Kanak Ghosh.
Head - Circulation Samir Mehta
Regional Mgrs Jayanta Bhattacharyya, We do not endorse or recommend any product or service FILL SCREEN
Norbert Joseph advertised in the magazine. The advertisements in this
magazine are for information purposes only. We doDOWNLOAD
not, Keep an eye out for the
Manager Circulation Dharmendra Singh expressly or impliedly, warrant or assume any liability or
Blippar icon next to
responsibility for the quality, accuracy, completeness, legal-
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Reader Services advertised in the magazine. Our readers are strongly
Team Leader Sudhir Patel advised to carry out their own independent assessment of BLIPP...
the product or services advertised in the magazine. WITH IMAGE IMAGE JUMPS Step 3
Executives Poonam, Bhishm, Nilesh & TO LIFE!

Blip the image and get
+91-22-67899678 /
For every Digit contest, there will be only one
access to video reviews,
winner, unless specified otherwise. interactive games, and
Cover Design Peterson PJ In the event of a dispute, the Editors decision shall much more!
be final.

6 | Digit | January 2017 |

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8 | Digit | January 2017 |

DGT Apple VS Nokia again
All the latest lifestyle technology, gadgets to The two mobile companies are back

Enter 14 drool over and gizmo porn like never before.

Desire, Greed and Temptation ahead...
again with their patent lawsuits. Read
more here:

) I'm a great fan of Digit magazine. I

love technology and gadgets. I'm a 12th Feedback for the December 2016 issue of Digit
std. student and I love science, espe-
cially astronomy or cosmology. I like
your dmystify books very much, and
want to read all the previous books.
So, can I get the digital edition of all
the dmystify books, and also upcoming
books in digital format? Thank you!
Mohammad Rehan

We usually give out PDF editions with

our June and December special issues,
the latter is still available for order
online. If you want upcoming editions
in digital format, theres an easy way
out for that - youll have to download
our app from here -

) Hello Team Digit, Greetings from

one of your loyal fans. I'm a student
studying in Grade 9 and am an ardent Dhruv, Your suggestions for the If you trust us, you can share the
follower of Digit from the last six poster have been noted. There is a story with us and we will give you our
months. I really liked the comparisons certain process for picking the artwork honest feedback. If we think it sucks,
and the reviews and tests done in the for the poster, which is why some- we will say so, and if we think its good,
Digit Zero1 awards. I absolutely loved times we cant give a certain game. well say that. We could share some
the blast pun you guys did on the But fear not, your interests are always pointers too and then we can help by
Note7 issue. at our heart. As for the diary, why does putting you in touch with some people
Now coming to some suggestions: it seem to me that you like reading at game studios if we think the storyline
1. PLEASE PROVIDE A POSTER about our sufferings? And since has what it takes.
FOR CALL OF DUTY : INFINITE youve asked about my identity, let me Mithun
WARFARE. I beg you. refashion the now famous line from V
2. Provide SKOAR! as a separate for Vendetta. ) Hi! Ive been a huge fan since I was
magazine. (Did I mention that I'm We are all Agent001, 8, Im now 17. It has been a long time
a console head? Sorry #PCMaster- We are Digit, reading your issues. In the beginning
Race) We are Technology, from my school's library and then later
3. Please increase the quantity of mate- We are not biased, by saving my pocket money and getting
rial in SKOAR! Write to us. ;-) it from the stand. Your magazine was
4. Stop hating iPhones so much. (pun Agent001 like a part of my life. All month long Id
intended) wait for your next issue while guessing
5. Increase the number of memes. ) Hey Team Digit, what would be in your upcoming issue.
6. I have noticed that you guys have Im a very big fan of your magazine. I miss those days a lot.
decreased the length of the Digit I know you have better stuff to do so 1. Guys try doing some experiment
Diary. It is very interesting to read. Ill make it short. My problem is that in you magazine like changing your
P.S. How many of you made your I have a story for a game. It is a very pics.
New year resolution to finish your good story for an FPS/RPG game. The 2. Try to add a page about the months
work on time. problem is I dont know programming top phone apps and games as it is all
P.P.S. Please leak the identity of and I dont know anyone around me the buzz now all thanks to JIO.
Agent001. who does. So I want to know whether 3. Give some sexy posters as guys love
Last thing - Can we have another I can send the story to a publisher/ them and put it up on walls.
Encyclopaedia Technica or another developer and, if so whom. Please reply 4. I should salute you as you guys give
round of Crack the Code? quickly. Thank you in advance. such good quality stuff for this cost
Dhruv Dugar Radhika Katiki and that too in print.

10 | Digit | January 2017 |

VW concept EV Corrigendum
Volkswagen teases a new fully electronic In our December 2016 issue, ASUS PA329Q was wrongly
self-driving car concept with a rectangle listed as PA328Q and sequential write speeds for the
Inbox steering wheel. Samsung 960 Pro should have been 2,100 MB/s.

5. Please change your DVD look and try of `12K. As I'm a movie freak I watch section and SKOAR!, respectively. Are
to add some more utility software. loads of movies, especially horror. And you saying our video game posters
6. Give Robert's ID at the end of the listen to EDM and trap music all day so arent sexy enough? We are working
email section as well so it will be I want my room to be booming with all on the DVD interface and youll see
easier to find for first timers. the bass. Thanks guys! something new soon. Dont worry about
7. I have moved to the countryside and Sanyam Maan mails not going to Robert, he has the
can't get your magazine so is it pos- all-seeing eye. For the home theatre
sible to get a summary kinda stuff in Hey Sanyam, Wed really like to help recommendation, check out a similar
like once every 2 or 3 months? get a Digit issue to your town so well query in the Agent001 section of this
I'm in 11th right now so this New put you in touch with our logistics team. issue. Hopefully, that should make your
Year Im going to buy a home theater You can find our app and mobile game room go booming with bass.
and my parents are giving me a budget recommendations in the DGT>Greed Siddharth


) The cover story in the Collectors Edition made me a col- May Sir Edward rest in peace and hoping for a better life
lector. DGT Auto was a master piece. Digit Mini really helped ahead for Jayesh. The cover page story drawing are very very
clear misconceptions. good thanks to all designer teammates. Thanks again for being
Id like to give awards to Digit for some of the best content my technology navigator for this year - my offline google.
Ive come across over the entire year that Ive been reading Anubhav Prakash
the magazine:
1. Best Article - 15 men and 1 woman by Adamya Sharma Wow Anubhav, thats a really long letter with a lot of
(Features Editor in 15th Anniversary Edition) points that you have made. Ill try and take them up
2. Best Cover Story - Our Tech Story one at a time. Thank you for the positive feedback
3. Best dymstify - The human brain in from 1 through 6, appreciated
4. Best FastTrack - Secure everything 7. We currently have a hindi version of our site,
5. Best SKOAR! - Rewriting history and you can check it out at
6. Best Poster - Uncharted: A Thiefs End 8. Not a bad idea as a part of another app.
9. We are aware of the love for the 2 DVDs
Some suggestions: of software, but our indepth research of our
7. Please give some videos and articles in Hindi reader-base suggested that many more prefer
as there are many who are interested in tech, but the dmystify over the second DVD. Alas, we cant
dont understand English due to the language barrier. give you this point.
8. Please make App on Digit Quiz 10. Will do so
9. Please provide 2 DVDs every month and 3 DVDs in Special 11. The SKOAR! Gods rarely answer anyones prayers, so
Edition lets see, but dont hold your breath.
10. Please change the DVD music 12. Answered in point 9
11. Please do Phranchise features for AC and NFS 13. We do contests as and when we have goodies to give
away. We will try and hold another soon.
Some criticism: 14. Turns out celebs are way less geeky than our readers,
12. I have gone through your PDFs from 2006 - 2014 and saw and they dont want to seem like fools in front of you.
that you have reduced the DVD content 15. I have given up on this. Perhaps the team will finally
13. You dont conduct the DIGIT Contest any more do something about it, I dont have the energy to beg
14. You stopped giving views of celebrities about tech. for it anymore :-(
15. Another year passes without changing DVD UI isnt. I hope 16. We all miss Edward. He had seen and experienced
in 2017 it will be changed. more of India than all of us put together, and used
16. Right now I complete my 1 year of reading digit and have to translate old documents from Sanskrit to English.
lost 3 things:- He was more Indian than all of us, frankly. As for
1 EDWARD HENNING SIR Jayesh, we are sure he will remain in touch and be a
2 Jayesh Shinde critical reader like yourself. You can take people out of
3 DVD and DVD content (reduced since 2006). Digit, but you cant take the Digit out of them :-)
I got very disappointed and got emotionally flooded on I will pass on your message to the designers, they will be
hearing the news of death of Sir Edward Henning & farewell of tickled pink!
Jayesh Shinde. Robert

12 | Digit | January 2017 |

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For those who just want more If youre wondering what to do
than should be humanly with yourself or how to spend
allowed, we have enough to some time getting cultured,
satisfy your hunger... this section is for you...

THIS MONTH: Pagani Huayra THIS MONTH: Movie: Rogue

Hermes Edition, Casio MR-G One - A Star Wars Story,
Gold Hammer Tone,Ixoost Arrival and upcoming
Esavox, The Undersea movies to watch out for in
Aquahoverer and more ... January 2017 ...



C hainFORM is an MIT
project which is a neat
little hardware system
Hy that has shape changing
Hy is a pair of hidden capabilities. It is a modular
wireless earbuds that robot which, thanks to its
are quite discreet form changing factor, can
looking can augment change into anything, yes
your natural hearing. ANYTHING, depending on
Hy is designed to be as how you put its modules
unintrusive as possible together. This means you
and is built so that you can turn into a walking
can go about your daily robot, a clock, a joystick, the
activities without worry. list goes on forever. With to tell how many modules so from now.
It comes with active noise ChainFORM, you can adjust are connected together and If you have a hard time
cancellation and leaves its shape, color, and even each module is capable of picturing it, then imagine
your natural hearing its length. Each module changing their individual a bunch of LEGO bricks
unaffected. Another nifty of ChainFORM has touch function. The ChainFORM is that are touch sensitive,
feature is that it also detection across multiple based on a similar project have their own lights, are
comes with biometric surfaces and also comes from the past called programmable and can
sensors for the health with blinking lights and LineFORM which some might move around on their own.
conscious. Moreover, the motor actuation. The lights be familiar with. The project With limitless application
which allow for health can also be programmed is still a work in progress for scenarios, we cant wait to
monitoring. And yes, they and customized to suit your the time being, but expect see how this project evolves
will release the SDK! needs, such as for interactive to see this handy gadget in and we certainly hope these
displays. ChainFORM is able markets within a decade or evolve into nanobots!

Bose Hearphones Helios Hudify Naked Case

The Hearphones Helios is a Hudify Naked Case
allow you modular touch turns your as the name
to control screen wall smartphone implies is a
the sound light which into a portable case for your
around you, allowing you needs only a touch to turn and transparent heads-up iPhone but one you will
to tune out distractions on or off. Thanks to its display for your car and barely notice. The Naked
in noisy environments, modular design you can gives you features like GPS Case is puncture-proof so
thus enhancing your choose how much lighting and speed limit notifications you dont have to worry
conversations and focus. you need in an area. and more. about getting scratches.

14 | Digit | January 2017 |


F oldscope is an origami microscope that can fit in your
pockets. Its made mostly out of water-proof paper and
allows you to make use of a microscope without the bulk and
The kit comes with key items that allow you to prepare
and mount samples in whatever kind of setting youre in at
any given moment. This way you have all the tools youll need
expense of a conventional microscope. Foldscope is aiming if you need to quickly zoom in on something. The standard
to bring the microscope out of the labs and into the hands of Foldscope comes with a 140X magnifications lens.
the people. Dont be fooled, Foldscope is a proper microscope
and has the magnification and resolution to be able to image SPECIFICATIONS
individual cells and other single celled organisms. Thanks to Magnification: 140x | Lens material: Borosilicate
its price and design the Foldscope can be used anywhere, its glass | Resolution: 2 microns | Dimensions:
180 mm x 80 mm x 5 mm | Weight: 400 grams
a great tool for one with a curious mind, effectively bringing
(kit) / 8 grams (Foldscope) | Power: NA
science into your daily life. Foldscope comes with its own kit Price: $20
which fits nicely into a pencil box like package.

E yeQue is a personal vision tracking smartphone vision test.
Using EyeQue you can test your vision at home without
having to go through the hassle of getting an appointment and
having to travel to a specialist for tests. All you need is the
EyeQue miniscope and the myEyeQue app which is free and
available on both the Apple App Store and Google Play. When
using EyeQue your results are returned almost immediately,
and the record is returned using spherical, cylindrical and axis
figures which are the same as those used by eye doctors to
generate prescriptions. That means that you can determine
what kind of glasses youll be needing right at home and can
simply place an order for them online or skip the appointment
and head straight to the spectacle store. To add to that, you can
check your vision history on the app as well, allowing you to
compare and share your vision history with your doctor.

16 | Digit | January 2017 |


Switch Bot
T he Switch Bot is a tiny robot which mechanically controls
all kinds of switches and buttons no matter where you
are. Basically, with the Switch Bot you can control your
switches wirelessly. The device functions by actuating a
mechanical arm which presses down. To install the Switch
Bot you simply have to affix the Switch Bot right where the
actuating arm can trigger the switch. Its has a 3M adhesive
pad which is destined to last for ages. It is built in a way
which allows it to work with just about any kind of switch
found all over the world, so you dont have to worry about it
not fitting your switch.
All you need to do is place it such that the arm can
trigger your switch. For electrical switches around the house
you might have to swap them out for spring-loaded rocker
switches. The Switch Bot works well with smart home apps
and devices as well and can be controlled by the likes of
Amazon Echo, SmartThings, WeMo sensors and several
others. The Switch Bot comes with a long battery life as well;
its powered by a lithium battery which can be replaced app or whatever smart home device you have in your home.
but should suffice for around 600 days. After all, once the The project is now on Kickstarter and you can get one Switch
arm is stationary, it will no longer consume any power. All Bot if you pledge $19. Unfortunately, that rewards rung ran
you need to do to get the Switch Bot running after youve out way quickly, so if you want to get your hands on one,
attached it to whatever switch you want, simply use the free youll have to shell out $79.

Acton Blink
T he Acton Blink electric skateboards
come with a host of neat features
and are made with top-grade materials
its power. The Blink S2 comes with
2 wheel drive, its meant to be an all-
rounder and a cruiser with long range
for campuses. All 3 models come with
a hub motor, a remote control and a
smart app. They can be connected
to ensure you get the best ride. The and allows for uphill boarding as well. to your smartphone via Bluetooth
Acton Blink has 3 models for you to The Blink S is the most economical and theyre all water resistant. Each
choose from, the Blink Qu4tro which variant and comes with 1 wheel drive. of the three models also comes with
comes with 4 wheel drive and actually Its also the lightest of the lot and the regenerative braking and integrated
allows you to climb hills thanks to most portable as well, making it ideal lights on the front, rear, and sides. | January 2017 | Digit | 17

T he iKeybo is a virtual laser projected keyboard, piano and

portable charger, all in one. Its multi-lingual a well, so
anyone can use the iKeybo. It can be a pain to type on a keyboard
whose layout you arent familiar with. To remedy that, the iKeybo

comes with 4 different language layouts: English, Spanish,
Arabic, and Chinese. Now while were not particularly concerned
with that, its still pretty cool.
Another cool thing about the iKeybo is that it comes with
Here is where we keep an eye on crowdfunded its own in-build music app and can transform into a piano,
projects that will make you go Shut up and guitar, bass or drums when you want it to. Simply hook up your
take my money! smartphone onto the iKeybo and let the tunes flow.
The third perk of the iKeybo is that it doubles as a portable
charger for your devices as well and can hold up to 10 hours of
charge. And we all know how much extra power comes in handy!
And lastly, the device is compact enough for you to be able to

FlowMotion ONE carry it around with ease. So if youre in the market for a really
cool looking keyboard cum instrument cum charger thats light
weight and feature rich, all you need to do is look up the iKeybo

T he FlowMotion ONE is a smartphone stabilizer which

aims to provide smooth and cinematic videos with your
smartphones. Its a gimbal for your smartphone. It comes with
on Kickstarter.

a slew of features which allows you to make videos like the pros.
It eliminates camera shake entirely, its compact and weighs
only 300 grams. You can dismantle and fit it in your pockets
with ease. You can mount the FlowMotion to pretty much any
camera mount or the optional
carbon extension pole
that comes with
the device. The
FlowMotion ONE
comes with its own
app that allows you
to make use of its auto follow
technology. All you need to do is mark
the person you wish to follow and the ONE will
keep them in the frame no matter where they are.

T he NexD1 is a 3D printer capable of high-end prototyping,
multi-material and 3D electronics printing. It utilizes
industrial-grade 3D printing technology called PolyJet
which theyve scaled down and are calling it DigiJet.
DigiJet is capable of printing a wide range of materials from
nanoparticles to special resins. The NexD1 can print fully
functional circuits and can place them in any 3D configuration
within your design. It uses a six cartridge system which
allows it to combine and print up to six materials at once.
Its eco-friendly as well, and operates with non-toxic water
soluble support materials. You can also connect to the NexD1
through your smartphone and print from anywhere, its
comparatively easy to use than some of the other 3D printers
out there, and significantly cheaper as well. If you are
interested in some 3D printing, check them out on Kickstarter.

18 | Digit | January 2017 |


HelloEar Arc
T he Hello Ear Arc is a pair of custom earphones designed
to achieve maximum comfort during use. Theyre built
to ensure a comfortable and secure fit, no matter how long
you end up wearing them. The Arc features a custom airbag
structure which is flexible and
bends depending on how you
move. Its crafted with silica

Silent Partner gel so that your ears dont

feel too stuffy and gives them
room to breathe. The design

S ilent Partner is a SmartMask one would use while

sleeping that helps deal with snoring. How this works is
the Silent Partner creates a silent zone around the person
also offers a secure fit, so you
can go about your workout or
you jog or whatever activity
in question, thereby doing away with the snoring sound you were doing without
for those in the vicinity. It does so my using Active Noise worrying about the Arc falling
Cancellation technology. The Silent Partner emits a counter out of your ears. It makes use of the Z-lock earphone design,
sound to cancel out the sound of snoring, or in more technical which is inspired by the Z shape sound wave reflection
terms, the Silent Partner senses the frequency of the snores structure. The Arc is customisable as well, you can use it
and broadcasts a sound wave in an inverted phase. When via Bluetooth or a 3.5 mm jack or even via lightning cable.
the two waves line up they cancel each other out. Thanks to Interested in the Arc? Find the HelloEar Arc on Kickstarter.
subwavelength active noise cancellation the Silent Partner
can reduce noise effectively from as close as 8inches away.
Theres nothing to it as well, all you need to do is wear it,
turn it on, and go to sleep as usual. The Silent Partner is light
and compact as well, so you can carry it around with ease,
and you dont have to worry about getting it dirty since its
washable. You can find the SmartMask on indiegogo.

Temperfect Mug
T he very first thing one often looks forward to in the
morning is their cup of coffee. And if that cup of coffee
isnt just right, it could ruin the rest of the day for them.
Trust us, we know this from experience. This is where the
Temperfect Mug comes in, it works to ensure that your coffee
stays just right. You dont need any batteries or cords or
Findster Duo
apps to get this mug to work, you just pour your coffee in
there and it does its magic, ensuring that your coffee stays
just right for hours. It does this by extracting the extra heat
E very pet lover is concerned about their pet, and it can
be quite worrying when your pet is lost. It comes as
no surprise that people often invest in GPS trackers for
from your coffee right as you start pouring it into the mug, their pets to ensure that they know where they are at
this stored heat then works to keep your coffee at the right all times, but these GPS tracking services often require
temperature. Since it extracts the a monthly fee. This is where the Findster Duo comes in,
heat right away, you can drink your this handy GPS tracker requires no monthly fees and
coffee right away without worrying has no coverage limits either. It also monitors your pets
about burning your mouth. To health for you, and even rewards you for keeping your
pull this off, Temperfect added pet in good shape. In addition to precise real-time GPS
a second layer of insulation to a tracking, the Findster Duo app includes a built-in radar
vacuum-insulated travel mug. This as well which shows you how far you are from your pet
enables it to be able to absorb the and guides you towards them. You can set up zones on
heat and release it again slowly to the app, the Security Zone where you want your pet to
keep your coffee from getting cold. stay, and the Danger Zone, which you want your pet to
Look for Temperfect on indiegogo avoid. If you pet does happen to wander into the Danger
if you want to get your own perfect Zone, the app immediately notifies you. Definitely a
mug of just right coffee. must have for pet lovers around the world. | January 2017 | Digit | 19

Nokia C1
he Nokia C1 marks the return of the iconic phone brand
that at one point of time used to lead the mobile market.
Nokias decision to adopt Windows over Android could

maybe be the reason for the companys downfall. However,
it looks like Nokia have learned from their mistakes and
intend to make a comeback with their Android based device.
The new Nokia C1 is expected to launch in February and will
Stylish, glamorous and interesting come with a 5.5-inch Full HD IPS LCD display. Itll run on
smartphones are always on the horizon. We the Android v6.0(Marshmallow) OS and will be powered by
take a closer look at whats hot in this space... the Qualcomm Snapdragon 652 chipset. With 2 GB of RAM

HTC Desire 10 Pro

T he HTC Desire 10 Pro comes with some top-grade
cameras and is backed by ample amounts of expandable
memory to be able to back those pictures youre going to take.
The HTC Desire 10 Pro comes with
a 5.5-inch Full HD IPS LCD display
and on the back its got a fingerprint
sensor. It runs on an octa-core
MediaTek MT6755 clocked at 2 GHz
and is backed by 4 GB of RAM and
a Mali-T860 MO2 graphics engine.
The device has a 20 MP rear camera and an Adreno 510 GPU to churn out all the graphics, this
with laser autofocus, dual-colour phone should be priced for the average consumer which
LED flash and 13MP camera on the packing a decent hardware. You have a 13 MP camera
front. This phone is powered by a on the rear and a 5 MP front camera for your selfies and
3000mAh li-polymer battery with video calls. The C1 will be powered by a 2,800 mAh non-
the option to fast-charge making it removable li-ion battery. The one thing were all hoping for
a great choice for multi-tasking and is that Nokia retains its legendary build quality as thatll
gaming. Expected in February. definitely set it apart from the rest.

Vivo V5 Plus
V ivo is no stranger when it comes to manufacturing quality
smartphones, and the Vivo V5 Plus definitely looks like
it matches up to those standards. Among the other things
this phone offers, what stands out is its excellent front facing
camera, meaning this phone is obviously targeted at the
selfie enthusiasts. So if youre fond of documenting your day
with quality selfies, you could consider the Vivo V5 Plus. The
V5 Plus comes with a Full HD IPS LCD display and thats
protected by Corning Gorilla Glass. It runs on a Qualcomm
Snapdragon 652 MSM8976 chipset and has 4 GB of RAM.
Since, we talked about the phone being a selfie-focused
device, the Vivo V5 Plus comes with a 13 MP rear camera but
Pictured above: on the front weve got a dual lens camera, of 20MP and 8MP
Vivo V5 each. These are backed by LED flashes that make them the
ideal for selfies and video calling.

20 | Digit | January 2017 |


Your one stop destination for a monthly
dose of all your automobile launches
and desires.

regulation functionality. The MINI JCW can go from 0 to 100

Mini John Cooper km/h in just 6.3 seconds, and comes with a shooting brake
concept never seen before in the compact segment. It also has

Works Clubman an auxiliary radiator for additional cooling. These performance

numbers are really good for this segment.
As for looks, the MINI goes for a sporty look with the JCW

T he Mini John Cooper Works Clubman is the latest entrant

into what we call the premium compact segment and it
comes with a plethora of improvements which make the MINI
logo on the radiator grille, side scuttles and the rear. Its got
5 seats on the inside, each with integrated headrests, and a
steering wheel dressed in signature JCW leather. In terms of
look like a promising addition. The MINI comes with All4 all- personalisation, the MINI offers a lot of options. There are a
wheel drive system, LED headlamps, different driving modes, number of paint colors, roof colors in various contrasts, stripes,
park distance control, radio MINI visual boost, multifunctional and wheel variation, as well as an available red-themed interior
buttons on the steering wheel and cruise control with brake to replace the standard black themed interior.
function among other things. MINI is no stranger to the hot-hatchback segment of cars,
The MINI comes with a 2.0-litre petrol tank and a 4-cyl- with its focus being on building smart and fun to drive small
inder engine backed by MINI TwinPower Turbo technology. cars. With this one, MINI has truly entered the four-door
The All4 system also comes with in-built electrohydraulic hatchback section in full throttle!

Pagani Huayra
Hermes Edition
M anny Khoshbin is known for owning a rather mind-
blowing fleet of cars, from the McLaren P1, and the
Bugatti Veyron, to the Porsche Carrera GT. So you can be sure
that the latest addition to his fleet would have to be quite
droolworthy. Introducing the one of a kind Pagani Huayra
Hermes Edition, with its own unique aerodynamics, suspen-
sion, and exhaust. It comes with slightly larger wheels as
well. The brand has partnered with Hermes for the very first
time in order to create this beast exclusively for Khoshbin.
Hermes of course has rolled out specially styled travel bags
to match the car itself and they even threw in a Birkin bag
for Khoshbins wife as well. The customization to the Pagani
Huayra Hermes Edition are all part of the Tempesta package
offered by the brand, and while this Huayra is one of the last
to use the Tempesta, we can be sure to see more of it in other
departments of the brand in the near future. | January | January | Digit||Digit
2017 2017 21 | 21

Ferrari J50
N ow, owning a Ferrari is a big deal,
but theres a select class of elite
folk for whom a normal Ferrari just
year and the J for Japan of course.
The J50 is the result of the Fer-
raris Special Projects department
can see the 3.9-litre turbocharged
V8 which powers this beast and
delivers a whopping 680 bhp. The
wont do. Well, Ferrari has a solution working with the companys styling limited edition Ferrari J50 is limited
for them, and it comes in form of center team in Maranello in order in all senses of the word, with there
the limited edition Ferrari J50. The to invoke a feeling of nostalgia. The being only 10 units, each priced at
name J50 comes from the brand J50 is hugely inspired in design by a whopping 2.5 million Euros, not
celebrating their 50th anniversary the Ferraris of the 70s and the 80s. including taxes; but were sure all 10
in Japan, with 50 representing the Through the polycarbonate cover you units have probably already sold out.

Mercedes-Benz S-Class Coupe Night Edition

T he Night Edition is the latest to
join Mercedes-Benz S-Class range
and it looks like the best-looking Benz
to launch this year. In the words of
Mercedes-Benz themselves, the Night
Edition combines the classic propor-
tions of a Gran Turismo with modern
luxury and start of the art technology.
The Night Edition is also the largest
two-door car by Mercedes-Benz yet. If
it wasnt implied enough by the name,
the Night Edition comes in all black.
The window sill inserts, the grilles,
the AMG alloy wheels, its all been
blackened. The outside mirrors are also
a shadowy tone to add to the dark aesthetic. For the interiors, will be dressed in Luxe Nappa leather in the chosen colours.
the buyer can choose the color of the cabin from a selec- In addition to that buyers can also pick the engine that
tion of combinations such as black/black, crystal gray/black, powers this beauty, with choices ranging between different
saddle brown/black and Bengal red/black. The steering wheel engines from 367 to 455 hp and rear or four wheel drive.

22 | Digit | January 2017 |


Get your drool on and behold some
of the fanciest, ostentatious and drop
dead gorgeous things money can buy.

that were produced. Special tools were used to accomodate

for the small size of the bracelet and the links. The MR-G

Casio MR-G Gold

Hammer Tone features a titanium case and bracelet band, a
non-reflective sapphire crystal, GPS satellite sync for accuracy

Hammer Tone and comes with Multiband 6 and Tough Solar capabilities. As
expected of a G-Shock its quite rugged, with shock resistance
and water resistance upto 200M. Each of the watches will be

W hen you think G-Shock you think sporty watches. Casios

G-Shock watches are easily recognisable for not only
their appearance but their ruggedness and sturdiness as well.
priced at $6200 at launch.
Also, the watch boasts of dozens of useful features -
ranging from GPS time sync to stopwatch. The watch is pow-
But that doesnt mean that a G-Shock cant go the luxury ered by an 18-month battery charged by solar cells. The case
way. The all-new G-Shock MR-G Hammer Tone model was is 49.8mm in diameter and 16.9mm thick, while the functions
handcrafted in Japan and was made using the tradition Tsu-i-ki include world time function, chronograph, countdown timer,
method in which the each bezel and band is hammered indi- alarm, perpetual calendar, battery indicator and backlight.
vidually to create a unique pattern. The watch will be available starting January 2017 and, as
This watch marks Casios second collaboration with the we mentioned earlier, will be limited edition. The craftsman-
master metal craftsman Bihou Asano. The Tsu-i-ki method ship combined with the exclusivety justifies the MR in the
was used to individually hammer each of the 300 watches name, which stands for Majesty+Reality.

Trump Engraved
iPhone 7
B efore you ask, this in no way has anything to do with
politics or who we support. Coincidentally enough, this
Gold Trump emblazoned iPhone 7 is now in existence thanks
to Russian Company Caviar, who are known for their extrava-
gant designs. This custom iPhone has been created by the
brand to honor Trumps iconic win. The iPhone features a
gold plated portrait of Trump on the back and also features,
in gold of course, his iconic campaign slogan, Make America
Great Again. The manufacturers aim to better the relations
between the two countries with this as well.
They also desire to hand over one of these to Donald
Trump himself. These exclusive Trumpified iPhones can be
purchased for $3100 and are probably a must buy for the
die-hard Trump supporters out there. So pretty soon, Donald
Trump might be tweeting about Donald Trump from a Donald
Trump iPhone - are you feeling Trumped yet?| |January 2017| |Digit
January2017 Digit| |23

The Undersea
W hen it comes to personal submarines,
there are quite a few designs out there
to choose from, but the more recent design
introduced by Hammacher Schlemmer is
proving to be far more versatile in comparison
to its competition. The Undersea Aquahoverer is a
submersible vehicle that allows for easy driving under water
thanks to a hovering mechanism it uses to keep it in place.
This unique vehicle has been designed in such a way that itll
automatically hover in water when its not being driven. This want to look at
means it doesnt need any additional instruments or weights underwater, which is
to balance it underwater. precisely why this is the ideal personal submarine for enthu-
The Undersea Aquahoverer can accommodate two pas- siasts of the aquatic kind; that is, if youre willing to dish out
sengers at a time and comes with six 400RPM, 1.2-kilowatt the $15 million needed to get one of these.
ducted propellers and a rechargeable 15kWH battery. The However, if you do decide to get one of these, here are a
Aquahoverer is easy to drive in any direction and you can few things you could do immediately - find Nemo, solve the
park it anywhere near reefs, or wrecks, or whatever it is you Bermuda triangle, and locate Atlantis.

Ixoost Esavox
W e realise that the name does
indeed sound like a spell one
would read in a Harry Potter book
$200,000 needed to actually buy one,
so instead, you can have an Ixoost
Esavox parked in your garage. These
the centre which in itself outs 200
watts bringing the total output to
800 watts. You can connect to the
but the Ixoost Esavox is actually a speakers are crafted from a carbon speakers via Bluetooth and its got
speaker system. A speaker system monocoque chassis and houses two an RCA input as well. Just like its
inspired by Lamborghini and their 8-inch carbon woofers on either side. inspiration, the Ixoost Esavox is
flagship Aventador. A lot of us would Its also got dual 1 inch tweeters on designed to turn heads, and sure, you
love to own a Lamborghini of our the exhaust pipes and a mammoth could get a lot more for its $21,000
own, but not all of can dish out the 15-inch neodymium subwoofer in price tag, but its a Lamborghini. | January 2017 | Digit | 25



1ofONE Reos Camera
Smartphone camera apps are

T he Maingear Rush 1ofONE is a custom gaming PC born of

a collaboration between gaming PC maker Maingear and
the soda behemoth Coca-Cola. This custom gaming PC is a
aplenty on the app stores, with
a lot of me-toos and some with
their own unique features. Reos
sight to behold and has an actual glass coke bottle used in its Cameras complete feature set
design. However, the liquid inside the bottle is not Coca-Cola, make it feel like a Swiss Army
dont worry. It is in fact, Maingears hand crafted Crystal Knife of Camera apps. The app has
Hardline liquid cooling. As for specs, this baby packs quite the dynamic filters and adjustments in
both the photo and video modes,
punch and is fitted with an
which let you preview the content
Intel i7-6950X 10-Core
before clicking it. Also, there is a
CPU, two Nvidia GTX Prisma-like Artify mode, where,
1080s, HyperX Fury 16GB just like Prisma, you can apply artistic effects on your
DDR4-2666 RAM, Sam- image. But the best part is the Search mode. Here, when
sung 950 Pro 512GB M.2 you click an image of an object, the app first recognises
NVMe and an EVGA X99 the object and then shows you links to similar objects
Micro 2. Maingear have being sold online. It worked every single time we tried it!
stated that the Coca-Cola
Play Store:
PC is one of many more
to come in the 1ofONE
series, and were excited
to see the rest.
Adobe Photoshop Fix
Adobe has a host of apps available
for smartphones, and one of the
most useful ones is Photoshop
Fix. Bringing some of the most

AB-100 Spectre useful Photoshop features to your

smartphone, the app truly lets you
play around with the image. And

W hat makes the AB-100 Spectre special among yachts?

Well for one thing, its powered by three 1900hp engines
which give it a cruise speed of 45 knots and a top speed of
one of the most unique features on
the app is the Face editing mode
under the Liquify feature set. It
a whopping 54 knots. For a 100 foot long boat, thats very identifies your facial features and
gives useful sliders to alter them
impressive. Every bit of this yacht is beautifully designed,
- like making you smile more. If only it was that easy in
with a top-grade galley to a living area with a massive flat
real life!
screen TV. The main deck has large lateral windows flooding
the place with natural lighting and then, of course, theres a Play Store:
winding staircase to the top deck where you can relax and App Store:
take in the sights. There also 3 fully sized bedrooms too, so
you have room for guests as well. Nice.
The AB-100 Spectre does something that most yachts
Recipe Book
One of the top apps of 2016
strive to achieve, bring both speed and style together. While
according to the Google Play
the price for this incredible yacht is yet to be announced, you
Store, Recipe Book goes on to
can be sure that youre going to need a rather sizeable budget show that sometimes simplicity is
to be able to acquire this beauty. the best possible design principle.
With useful suggestions on the
homepage and inspiring blogs on
the Get Inspired section, even
an aspiring cook will soon get
something going (or burning) with
this one. Interesting features?
ShakenMake lets you choose 2 or
more ingredients then shake the phone to see suggested
recipes, while Snapncook lets you snap the ingredients
and then suggests recipes based on whats identified.

Play Store:

App Store:

26 | Digit | January 2017 |


Rogue One
CRITIQUE Officially, Episode 3.5

In this section, we put stuff through the was way better at getting
grinder and closely examine what comes emotions across among the
out; everything except gadgets, because tiresome trio. The pivotal
theres more to life than just that moment in front of the
entire council felt so bland
that it made watching paint
dry relatively exciting.
The set designs, use of
practical effects, and oh! The
space battles were so well
MOVIE done, that they immediately
make one forget about the

Arrival lead actors. Add to that, the

X-Wing Red and Gold squad-

rons buzzing all over the
Another sci-fi movie that messes with your head hen news place to add a sense of battle
of massive chaos. CGI Tarkin certainly
with automata and the reshoots pulled off a better job as well.
works but Arrival pre- spread, And theres another CGI
sents a different concept. quite a lot of us lost heart character that wasnt so well
Challenging the subject of for the spin-off/prequel/ done, but we arent going to
something as fundamental somewhere-in-the-middle spoil that for you now so go
as language, without which movie from the Star Wars watch the movie dammit!
no intelligent life-form universe. Given that very The spin-offs offer a
can advance. The movie less of the trailers actually steady stream of Star Wars
emphasises on telling a made it to the final movie, content aside from the
story about communica- were very thankful to the animated TV series but
tion and compassion, and studio for bringing on Tony we believe that we might
makes us introspect about Gilroy to fix Rogue One. In get a little jaded from all
our reactions should we its final form, the movie of it. Overall, the movie
encounter a being of the assuages all worries that has accomplished what it
third kind. Arrival belongs one might have had about set out to do, explore the

to one of those rare movies the Mads Mikkelsen and events between Episodes
f youre asked to that makes you question Ben Mendelsohn starrer. III and IV while not overly
imagine a sci-fi movie, reality, leaving a lasting Thats right, were arent depending on the classic
you might tend impression in your mind. going to mention Felicity characters to act as pall-
towards movies like A recommended watch for Jones or Diego Luna, bearers to what might have
2001: A Space Odyssey, every sci-fi fan. because they make the most been a drastic failure.
Total Recall, Blade Runner, of whats wrong about the
Alien, etc. You tend to Rating: movie. Heck, K-2SO, the Rating:
picture a mechanised world Abhijit Dey droid voiced by Alan Tudyk Mithun Mohandas

John Wick 2 Resident Evil - The Underworld -

Retirement never comes Final Chapter Blood Wars
easy for the super- Alice and the Umbrella Selene has to fend off
assassin John Wick as Corporations hatred attacks from the Lycans
hes forced to jump into for each other shall be and the Vampires
the midst of battle to put to the test as the while she attempts to
save his own skin from final installment (we finally end the eternal
all those whom he had hope) in the series takes battle between the
considered colleagues Alice back to where it two factions. Could
all these years. all began, Racoon City! this be the last? | January 2017 | Digit | 27

Feature A lamp with Alexa
The current state of AI reveals one GE made a circular lamp simply called LED

Digital life 32 big picture - AI is the tech of 2017

and the near future.
Lamp, with Amazons Alexa smart assistant
build into it.

PROLOGUE - THE FIRST SIGNS F or the next step, we
ward to the later ha
20th century. In 19
jump for-
lf of the
71, University

I n the early 1900s, phonographic books of Illinois student

Michael Hart
were marketed but didnt work due to got unlimited acces
s to the Xerox
impractical durations. Even with further Sigma V computer
in the Mate-
developments, it couldnt match up to print. rials Research lab on
campus. To
So what pushed it further? The demands return the favour, Ha
rt wanted to
of blinded war veterans from World War do something that
would benefit
II to read and learn. Also, in the year 1949, everyone. He took
up a project to
Angela Ruiz Robles, a Spanish teacher, digitize more than
10,000 books
invented an automated book reader la by the end of the
20th century,
Enciclopedia Mecnica or the Mechan- now known as Proje
ct Gutenberg.
ical Encyclopedia with the objective of To start with, he typ
ed in the entire
reducing the weight of the books her stu- Declaration of Inde
pendence and
dents had to carry every day. While these declared it on ARPA
net as down-
facts are not exactly about e-books, they loadable. Six people
were important for the world to realise that it and the first e-boo
k was born.
the printed word can also be improved.

Arnab Mukherjee

28 | Digit | January 2017 |

Planet melting warning 1.9 MP action camera
Climate scientists reported that recently a Casio announces a new rugged action camera
chunk of sea ice the size of India melted near specifically designed to be used in the dark.
Antarctica. Origins


W hile Project Gutenberg was started

with the best intentions, the initial
output was slow due to the process being

followed - each book would be typed

in manually by Michael or a volunteer.
B asic OCR technology was being used as
early as 1914. Yes, even handheld versions.
We are talking about the Optophone here, a
It reached its 10th ebook in 1989 with
device built for the sightless, that could scan
the King James Bible. Around this time,
the letters on a paper and produce a corre-
Optical Character Recognition (OCR) was
sponding tone which the listener would be
sufficiently advanced to directly speed up
trained to identify. Initial speeds were around
the ebook creation process. Companies
one word per minute but this went up to 19-20
like ABBYY make OCR accessible to gen-
words a minute by the 1920s. The time period
eral public. And as the volumes increased,
from 1970 to 1990 can be said to have truly
more people joined the efforts of Hart to
brought OCR to the forefront of digitizing
take Project Gutenberg forward.
the written word, with significant develop-
ments like the first commercial handheld
OCR scanner from the Caere Corporation,
omnifont recognition from Kurzweil Com-
puter Products Inc. and similar products
from ABBYY.


M uch before electronic books had been perfected, some part of the
interest in the field had moved towards creating and experiencing
interactive books books where the user could interact with the flow of the
story. And even here there is some general misconception regarding the
first. Eastgate Systems Afternoon, written by Michael Joyce and released
in 1987 on the floppy disk, is widely named as the first hypertext fiction and
often confused to be the first interactive book, where, in fact, there have been
multiple examples in the same decade. A popular one was The Hobbit (1982)
where the user progressed the story by typing instructions into it, although

it can be argued that this was more of a game than a book. | January 2017 | Digit | 29

Butt vs face recognition Fitbit buys Pebble
Researchers found out that chimpanzees can Health tech company Fitbit officially
recognise each others butts the way human announces that they are buying smartwatch
Origins recognises faces. maker Pebble.


M eanwhile, the world of ebooks was facing an issue that echoes

across any new digital media and technology development -
CHAPTER 4 - INTERNET - lack of standardisation. As ebooks were growing with the internet,
THE E-BOOK ARRIVES major software companies were each pushing their own specific for-
mats. Adobe released its Portable Document Format (PDF) in 1993.
Due to features like platform independence, DRM support, semantic
structure, PDF did gain its fair share of popularity over just using
W ith the arrival of the internet in
the early 1990s, the potential of
e-books was recognized. Tim Berners-
XML, which was the practice at the time. However, one of its advan-
tages was also its biggest problem - it displayed documents as they
Lees original vision with the internet would be printed, irrespective of device screen size.
was to facilitate the sharing of informa-
tion freely and this began to take shape
immediately as books being shared
online. In 1993, Bibliobytes, the first
online store for ebooks launched. Also
John Mark Ockerbloom, who was then
a Carnegie Mellon University student,
launched Online Books Page as a web-
site that facilitates access to books that CHAPTER 5 -
are freely readable over the Internet. EREADERS ARRIVE

T hanks to improving bat-

tery capacity, ebook readers
became a possibility around the
late 1990s. The Rocket eBook
was released in 1998. With an
LCD screen, it could store up to
BACKSTORY 2 - E-INK 10 ebooks and sold upto 20,000
units till 1999. It had its own pro-

T he concept behind electronic paper displays

existed since the 1970s. But it took more than
20 years for it to come into any kind of realisation.
prietary format as the Rocket
eBook format.

In the year 1995, physicist Joseph Jacobson and a

few undergrads at the MIT media lab were trying to
create a multi-page electronic book where content
would change at the push of a button. While their ini-
tial approach was to manipulate half-black and half-
white spheres using electric charge, an accidental
creation of all-white spheres combined with failures
of the original idea led them to the discovery of e-ink.
They put the all-white and black spheres into a micro- BACKSTORY 3 - PART 2
capsule with dark dye and thats what went on to

become the E-ink which they patented the same year. he PDF format didnt work for mobile devices. As the tech
This was obviously improved upon in years to come. world was increasingly moving towards smaller devices,
including smaller portable e-readers, there was the need for a
flexible format. The first move towards this was the Mobipocket
ebook file format created by This formats
In the year 2019, works like Felix Saltens Bambi and Kahlil extensions are .mobi and .prc. It could take more complex con-
Gibrans The Prophet along with more will enter the public
tent as compared to existing standards. For example, readers
domain. Why is 2019 special? Check out the copyright extensions
enforced by the US government over the last century. can add their own pages, freehand drawings, etc

30 | Digit | January 2017 |

$20,000 for bug finders Uber buys AI Company
Nintendo launches a new program that offers Uber acquires Geometric Intelligence, a
rewards upto $20,000 to find bugs on its 3DS startup co-founded by AI researchers to
game console. create an AI lab. Origins

Booktrack is an app that lets you read soundtracked ebooks for free. Go
ahead and see if you like it.
Amazon Kindle Direct Publishing - Popular self publishing service from Amazon,
that lets you publish your book on Amazons global store, has actually seen satu-
ration in recent times and people are shying away from eBooks because of that.


I t was in 2004 when Jeff
Bezos took on the goal
to make the worlds best
e-reader. However, it took
them three years to build it and

A significant part of the

reading experience with
normal books comes from its
in November 2007, Amazon
launched the original Kindle
priced at $399, which sold out
make. One noteworthy detractor in five and a half hours. Soon,
was this - looking at books for even tablet manuacturers like
hours was definitely nowhere Acer would be benefiting from
close to being as stressful to the the sudden demand.
eye as staring at an LCD screen.
But that changed with the Sony
Librie and the e-ink technology.


T he need for a standardised

format for ebooks was rec-
ognised in the 1990s itself. In the EPILOGUE
later half of that decade, a con-
sortium was formed to develop
the Open eBook format that would
allow eBooks to work on different I t wouldnt be too wrong to say that the ebook, as a
technology, has only seen marginal innovations in
the recent times. On the other hand, it would be fool-
hardware and software platforms
equally well. Significantly, the hardy to say that print book sales are not being affected.
format involved the creation of an At some point, they are bound to find an optimal
XML manifest that would identify middle ground. Who knows, maybe ebook technology
the components of the book like combined with hardware advancements will someday
the cover art, spine text, table of replace bookshelves with e-reader shelves?
contents, etc. It was this format
that would later be developed into
EPUB, the most widely supported
ebook format now. | January 2017 | Digit | 31

The Expanse season two Mars mission delayed
Based on the novels by James S.A. Corey, the Mars One will delay its Mars colonisation
Si-Fi TV series is back for a season two. timeline to 2031 in order to raise more money.

Its [A]l[I]ve
If 2016 was the
year of VR, then 2017
is the year of AI

Mithun Mohandas

rimarily pictured in movies
as that evil entity which
threatens all of mankind, the
future of Artificial Intelli-
gence (AI) seems a long way from what
we see today. Current AI are simply
decision makers, very good decision
makers, with millions and millions of
data inputs being factored to generate
elaborate binary trees which form the
brains. And with hardware pushing
the boundaries, were enabling these AI
to become smarter at an unprecedented
pace. The growth of AI has been so
rapid, that some of the smartest minds
on the planet have rung the alarm
bells. So how do these simple decision
making AIs pose such a threat to man-
kind? To understand that, we need to
have a look at the state of AI so far.

A primer on Machine
Machine Learning has been around
for ages, and in the simplest sense it is
about building machines that can learn
without being explicitly programmed. where the data thats fed to the system up to human standard. The system is
It boils down to creating a set of condi- is handpicked. Once the training phase then put into production.
tions for pattern recognition and then is over, we provide a few data sets to see A relatable example is that of
the computer is fed a lot of data using how well the system has trained itself, recommender systems which can be
which it hones these preset conditions this being the validation test. Based on found on ecommerce web sites and
to increase levels of accuracy. The the validation set, the system might on multimedia portals like Netflix.
data sets are also monitored during need to be tweaked again to ensure Suppose you show interest in certain
the learning phase to ensure that the accuracy. And lastly, we have testing, products or movies by watching them
right kind of conditions are learnt by wherein real world data sets are given or by regularly browsing sections
the system. This is the training phase to see if the classification performed is related to said movies. Soon enough,

32 | Digit | January 2017 |

Atari 2600 in Minecraft Microsoft Build 2017
Gamer, Seth Bling builds the ancient Atari Microsoft announces that its 2017 annual
gaming in Minecraft console using thousands build developer conference will take place
of command blocks. 10th-12th May, 2017 Feature

every movie or product in recom- extremely powerful system. Theyve They can speak for you
mended section piques your interest. already put the system in practice for a Googles been keeping Brain quite busy
Thats a very benign implementation of few languages and are scaling it slowly. they recently published a paper intro-
machine learning. ducing WaveNet, a deep neural net-
They can single you out work for generating raw audio forms.
Milestones in 2016 Weve spoken about games and This is simply a text to speech system,
They can beat you are your languages, both key domains for ML. except that it doesnt sound robotic
own game Another such key domain is that of anymore. Parametric systems, i.e. the
2016 began with a flurry of news visual recognition. Industrial applica- ones youre all quite familiar with, be
articles lauding the numerous victo- tions, like that of security, which have it at public airports, or your operating
ries of AlphaGo, a Google Deepmind hundreds of cameras tied into one com- systems friendly voice, uses snippets
computer program which can play the puter, which analyses each video feed of audios which are stitched together
board game Go. It started by taking frame-by-frame, have already been to form words. These sound very
baby-steps, learning the game and its around for a while. Human behav- monotonous but when you get a neural
different strategies and then moved ioural traits are now being learnt by
on to besting humans in October 2015 these systems to mark individuals out
without handicaps. Five months down from the crowd. Theres even a startup
the line in March 2016, it had won in a called AllGoVision which has already
best-of-five against Lee Sedol. For those put into production a system that can
whore coming across this name for detect loitering, tailgating, suspicious
the first time, Lee Sedol is a 9-dan (top objects and more.
Go world rank) professional player. To take things to the extreme end,
In just five months, using current gen scientists have developed a neural
technology, an AI had become the very network that can identify criminals
best in the human scale. just by looking at photos. Students at
the Shanghai Jiao Tong University fed Adobes VoCo is PhotoShop for audio
1,586 photographs of men, half of which
were criminals, to a system which then network to analyse millions of audio
learnt to identify criminals with a 89.5 files, it can generate the same sentence
per cent accuracy. No background data with a much higher resolution. Imagine
was provided whatsoever, so the only current gen systems as having indi-
metric were their faces. vidual audio files for each letter. Based
on their position in a word or sentence,
They can read your lips a particular audio file would be played.
THE match: AlphaGo vs Lee Sedol The folks at the University of Oxford Now this is the equivalent of a highly
seem to have grown tired of the BBC pixelated image. Now imagine if more
They can speak your language anchors voices, so much that they audio files were used per alphabet,
Another key development was that of came up with the Watch, Listen, youd have tonality. Now go one level
Google Neural Machine Translation, Attend and Spell neural model. Be it deeper with even more files per sound.
which is now used for Googles Trans- just plain audio, or video or both, this You now have WaveNet, which speaks
late service. With a little help from the machine learning model can accurately very much like a human being.
Google Brain team, the folks behind the transcribe speech into characters with One thing that politicians will be
project were able to reduce translation a higher accuracy than professional lip- blaming each time theyre misquoted
errors in complex languages like Man- readers. The system was so good, that it will be Adobes VoCo. Why? Well,
darin by 60 per cent compared to their surpassed all previous benchmarks for its photoshop for audio. Just like
previous phrase-based algorithms. lip-reading based on the same data sets. WaveNet, it can take an audio stream
This was in September 2016, and in from a person, transcribe it, allow you
just one month, the researchers behind to edit the sentence and play it back
the project have announced work on in their own voice! This technology
Zero-Shot Translation. Till now, all the was expected but no one expected it to
103 languages that Google Translate materialise this quick. While it does
had to work on had separate computing raise several concerns about ethics,
machines. With Zero-Shot Transla- and how digital media could no longer
tion, they aim to do away with all of be used as evidence in the courtroom,
them and replace that with just one Lip reading accuracy has improved it sure does make for a really cool tech- | January 2017 | Digit | 33

Fuel from humans Verizon fiber connection
Researchers at PNNL developed a new Verizon begins rolling out its new $300 million
method to produce biofuel from human FiOS fiber connection in Boston, US. Learn
Feature excrements. more about it here:

nology. The advent of photo manipula- secret communication was. And Alice have been a few setbacks for chatbots
tion tools raised similar concerns but and Bobs success was measured with this year, namely, Microsofts Tay going
that hasnt screwed up the legal system reference to how less of their conversa- on racist rants thanks for hundreds of
and we dont expect this to either. tion could be decrypted by Eve. thousands of Twitter users feeding it
Adobe has themselves said that theyre This resulted in an adversarial racist diatribe, the year 2017 seems to
working to detect use of its software network between the three entities be a lot more promising. Googles Allo,
so if at all any fraudulent evidence is with improvements happening over Amazons Alexa, Apples Siri are all
presented, theyll know if it was made time. Bob and Alice became very good paving the way forward with better
using VoCo technology. at generating an inhumanly powerful interpretation of natural requests and
encryption that Eve could not crack. responses becoming more intuitive
They can learn on their own Thats right, robots just created encryp- and natural. Given the rapid pace of
Weve seen how far machine learning tion methods that even other powerful improvements, we hope to see a lot
algorithms have come and how robots could not crack. The techniques more human-like chatbots in 2017.
the hardware advances, especially by which these new methods were Self-driving automobiles are doing
the GPUs, have really pushed the arrived at are way advanced than how well enough but there have been a few
boundaries of machine learning to humans have done so far. legal setbacks and theyre still to gain
new extremes. However, one thing mainstream acceptance. 2017 should
remains quite constant, a human expert All aboard the Open probably be the year when public
is always required to perform certain Source train transportations systems gain a level of
key tasks that set a machine learning 2016 was a huge year for AI and quite autonomy post. The consumer segment
system on its path. The human element a lot of these have gone the open source should follow right behind but given
is required to preprocess the data, way. Google announced the open the push back from the traditional
select the key parameters, select the sourcing of Tensor Flow and started automotive industry, this could take
most apt ML algorithm for the learning supported Keras, a deep learning a few more years. Nevertheless, 2017
to begin, tweak the system to ensure library for Python. Microsoft then will see a huge leap in at least industrial
accuracy during the training phase and went ahead and did the same with applications for the self-driving vehicle.
lastly, to precisely analyse if the system
is doing what it set out to do. Closer to the singularity
With AutoML, you can say goodbye One of the prime reasons why Stephen
to the humans. This rapid growth of Hawking and Elon Musk are worried
ML in the last few years has led to an is that once AI achieves the ability to
increased demand for ML solutions communicate secretly and teach itself
that work out of the box requiring It will give rise to a runaway effect
next to no expertise to set up. AutoML resulting in a super intelligence. Mr.
does exactly that. It provides an array Hawking, in an interview with the BBC
of tools that any novice can apply on said that, It would take off on its own,
a set of data from simple metadata and redesign itself at an ever increasing
learning to traditional algorithms that Google opensourced TensorFlow rate. Humans, who are limited by slow
use Bayesian classification. It wont biological evolution, couldnt compete,
be long before complex AI can finally CNTK (Cognitive Tool Kit), their set and would be superseded.
build and improve itself over time. of learning algorithms. The Chinese Elon Musk on the other hand is
web-services company, Baidu, also worried about just one company which
They can keep secrets open sourced their libraries under the he hasnt named yet, but he decided
Another one from the folks at Google name PaddlePaddle. Amazon has opted to do something about it. And thus,
Brain, this experiment involved set- to implement MXNet in their AWS OpenAI was born. Its a non-profit
ting up three neural networks which ML platform and lastly, Facebook is AI company with an aim to develop
could all communicate with each other. backing Torch and Caffe. friendly AI that hopefully doesnt end
Two of them, Bob and Alice, shared a up like HAL 9000 from Arthur C.
secret key which was used to encrypt 2017 will be bigger Clarkes Space Odyssey.
communication between the two. And While 2016 has already accomplished Whether we get superseded by
the third neural network, called Eve, so much, 2017 looks to be even bigger machines as the dominant race or if
was the snoop whod try to eavesdrop with leaps of advancement being we form a peaceful society where AI
on the conversation between Bob and predicted in every single domain. But and humans can co-exist remains to be
Alice. Eves success was measured by two things stand out chatbots and seen, but one things for certain, this
how accurate her interpretation of the self-driving automobiles. While there will happen in our lifetime.

34 | Digit | January 2017 |

Bose hearing aid Web version for Moments
Bose, the headphone company is working Photo-sharing service Moments by Facebook
on a new hearing aid headphones. Learn rolls out a new lightweight web version of the app
more here: Feature

here to stay?
We look at state of wearables, two years
on from the Moto 360s debut

Arjun Krishna Lal IoT in an interconnected cally change your surroundings and world the experiences of the people around

The rise of the Internet of Things, in you. All this, right at your fingertips.
h, yes, about those weara- particular, has shaped our changing
bles... If you were to step interactions with tech. IoT is a concept Are wearables here to stay?
aside for a moment and that takes into consideration every And thats what brings us to wearables,
look at contemporary single connected device in the world smartwatches and fitness bands. On the
consumer tech, youd be forgiven smart appliances, mobile devices, surface, theyre the kind of tech thats
for thinking we were halfway to embedded sensors, and security straight out of an eighties sci-fi movie.
Minority Report. (Or, considering that systems. In an IoT environment, your Theyre supposed to be the magic pill to
social credit people rating system interface with the machine isnt bound an interconnected IoT worldthe kind
the Chinese are keen to implement, to your personal terminal, whether of thing that just screams youre here
halfway to Black Mirror.) In any case, thats a smartphone or wearable. Your in the future. But reality isnt quite this
theres been an absolute consumer tech device becomes a hub for inputs and straightforward. Are smartwatches
explosion since Steve Jobs introduced outputs from every device connected truly a step forward for communica-
the iPhone to the world 10 years ago; to that environment. Imagine that kind tion, or are they really just tiny, wonky
the ways in which we interact with of power: See and hear anything, at little half-phones with no real inde-
tech, and more importantly, how any time. Grant and restrict access to pendent connectivity that you stick on
often, have changed fundamentally. both real and virtual systems. Physi- your wrist because, well, the future? | January 2017 | Digit | 35

Nintendo theme park Panasonics shopping system
Nintendo and Universal are working on a Super Panasonic releases a demo of their new shopping system
Nintendo World theme park to open by 2020. that can automatically bag and generate your bills

Smartwatches are pretty cool to look reduces their utility right from the get talking to your HTPC, means that con-
at, and they can do a lot of interesting go because it introduces an element of nection drop-outs are the rule, rather
stuff if you set them up right. The redundancy: whatevers on your watch than the exception. Its cool to use, and
question, though, is, in these times of has been passed through from your the convenience is tantalizing, but at
rapid technological change, when we phone where its almost certainly avail- the end of the day, youre apt to just pull
might just leapfrog from VR goggles to able in more detail. Because of Android out your phone, and use that to control
smart contacts in ten years, do smart- Wears inherent limitations, you really your media centre. E-book reading
watches have a future? Are smart- cant get a full-fledged app experience is another area where, surprisingly,
watches our interface with tomorrow? on your watch: Although WhatsApp, Wear does have its uses. The unassum-
ingly named Wear Reader makes best
What smartwatches can possible use of limited screen space:
(and cant) do it flashes words at you, one by one,
If we want to answer that question, onscreen. This works a lot better than
we need to first look at what smart- you think it would, and if you dont
watches can actually do, in the here mind flipping ermrewinding when-
and now. As well argue later, its not ever you lose focus, its a surprisingly
so much that theres a shortage of use easy way to read, though it does run
cases for smartwatches. Rather, low through your battery. But the question
adoption rates, amateur software, and that arises here is, again, why cant
a fragmented ecosystem mean that the you just pull out your phone? Because
solutions are rarely more effective than of the greater amount of screen space,
what you could just get done with your theres no need for gimmicky flashing
phone. Sports and fitness are among of any kind. Market evidence points to
some of the use cases where smart- precisely what wed expect for a device
watches really shine, and can give your Moto 360 2nd Gen that people just cant find a suitable
phone a run for its money in terms of niche for in their lives: A Gartner
features and convenience. While we for instance, displays your current survey indicates that smartwatches
cant speak for the Apple Watch, the messages, you dont get to see the whole have a 29 per cent abandonment rate. In
360 does a great job of fitness tracking. history, and cant even type out replies other words, one in three smartwatches
When you head out for a jog, Android without using a third-party input is currently gathering dust in a drawer
Wear devices do a good job of keeping method. Although Android Wear 2.0 because their owners havent been
track of your timing, distance, and is slated to ease things in this respect able to find compelling uses for them.
heart-rate (with the rather dubious with handwriting support, and the Although the lack of a mature app
heart-rate monitor on the Moto 360). ability for apps to run independently of environment is a concern, the real
And while much of this is possible with your phonebetween the small screen issue here is a bit more fundamental:
a pedometer app on your phone, the and the limited battery life making it As things stand now, there arent a lot
increased convenience of smartwatches necessary to leave said screen switched use cases where software is tailored
really makes a difference here. Also, its off as much as possible, youre just not towards a wearable experience. There is
one of the few cases where you dont going to have a comparable experience so much more that a connected device
need an active phone connection to to what you can do with a phone thats on your wrist ought to be able to do
your watch. Unfortunately, personal only a pocket-whip away. than merely act as a second screen for
fitness isnt much of a priority for many, your smartphone. While native mes-
and a cheap fitness band, like the Mi The use-case dilemma saging options are rudimentaryvoice
Band, can get your virtually all of this There are quite a few cases where the commands and a small selection of auto
functionality at a fraction of the price. Android Wear solution is compelling, replies are about itthird party options
While the latest generation of but its either a hassle to set up, or like Coffee and Wear Messenger are
smartwatches feature standalone where redundancy makes pulling out surprisingly complete messaging solu-
mobile internet connectivity, most of your phone as easy an alternative. Take tions. There are all kinds of situations
the devices out in the wild, including media centre remotes, for instance. In where its not feasible or appropriate to
the first and second-gen Moto 360, are theory, a media remote that works off pull out your smartphone. Shooting off
entirely reliant on a Bluetooth-paired Android Wear is the perfect comple- quick messages from Wearthe Wher
phone to connect. While standalone ment for a laid-back living room Netflix r u varietywithout pulling yourself
connectivity is a step in the right direc- binge. In practice, the complex jerry- out of whatever youre doing, is a solu-
tion, most smartwatches are inextri- rigging thats going on here, with your tion that only a wearable device can
cably tied to their paired phones. This watch talking to your phone, thats offer. With Android Wear 2.0 featuring

36 | Digit | January 2017 |

SyncThink for athletes Slack takes on Skype
SyncThink is a new device that uses VR to help Slack, the workplace collaboration platform
understand concussions in athletes with more now has built-in video calling and supports
accuracy. emojis. Feature

much deeper messaging integration, at the same time. Without some form the real killer was Glasss lack of pur-
this makes for at least one compelling of multitasking support at the OS pose. If a Wear device is a scaled-down
reason to get your hands on a wearable level, an Android Wear smartwatch second screen for your phone, Google
next year. would simply not be capable of acting Glass is merely a blown up, head-
as an effective IoT hub. A problem mounted screen for the same. More-
Lessons Learned: Android thats much harder to solve, though, over, the very real privacy concerns
Wear and usability is consumer apathy: As of Q3 2016, that Glass introduced cant be under-
Considering, though, that most smartwatch sales are down to around stated, with casinos and theatres ban-
smartwatches out on the market run 2.7 million units, a substantial decline ning its use. While security concerns
hardware that was top-spec for a from the 5.6 million units shipped in with smartwatches arent quite as in-
2010-11 era smartphone, isnt there a the same period last year. This is a frac- your-face, many people simply remain
more straightforward way of getting tion of a fraction of smartphone sales, uncomfortable with the idea of easily
past software limitations? Lets go back or even just watch sales for the same concealable wearables being misused.
to 2011 and the little-known story of time period. Without a large user base, Nevertheless, with products like
the MOTOACTV. The 360 isnt the big-name developers tend not to release Microsofts Hololens and the myste-
first mainstream smartwatch to hit content for the platform. Without con-
the market. But, strangely enough, its tent, users dont see the need to buy into
not even Motorolas first smartwatch. the platform, and the platform devel-
That honour goes to the MOTOACTV. oper doesnt see the need in improving
Back in 2011, Motorola decided, for the platform itself. A fundamental
some reason, to out what was essen- rewrite of Android Weargoing
tially a 1-inch Android tablet with far beyond the Wear 2.0 paradigm,
a wrist strap. The MOTOACTV ran allowing for true multitasking (not just
full-fat Android, and could handle semi-persistent music player control)
just about any Android app you and a feature-rich interfacecould
threw at it. The problem was that remedy these issues, but as is always
menu items were shrunk to unus- the case, its demand that shapes prod-
able proportions, making the watch ucts, and right now, theres just not that
unsuitable for just about anything kind of demand in the market.
apart from Watch and fitness function-
ality. Which is probably why it didnt A wearable future? Google Glass never made it
sell so well. And by extension why Where could wearables go from here,
Android Wear is as simplified as it is. though? Although the current crop of rious Magic Leap adopting the eyewear
When we put smartwatches in the smartwatches is less than useful, we form factor, and with the current flour-
context of an IoT-enabled world, this dont think that wearables, as a cat- ishing of consumer VR, wed be hard-
is a major concern. The watch, if its egory, are a complete write-off. Looking put to identify where else the wearable
role is to be taken seriously, needs to to sci-fi (which, by the way, is turning story could go.
be a hub device. It needs to let the user out to be a remarkably accurate way Although sales are, indeed, in
communicate with multiple devices of predicting the near future), smart decline, we find it hard to see smart-
eyewear is likely whats next on the watches disappearing as a product
horizon. Google Glass never did pick category anytime soon. Theres just
up, even as a concept. It faced many of something evocative about consumer
the same issues faced by Android Wear tech that just blends into the rest of
devices today, only magnified: Glass your life. At times, using an Android
was never a market-ready product, and Wear device like the Moto 360 can feel
the high price of the Explorer Edition like a burden: too much effort, too little
put off most would-be buyers right off payoff. But the way it just is, somehow
the bat. A dearth of Glass-enabled apps a watch and yet not, the way it takes the
(of which there are fewer than 100) familiar and inverts it, evokes the way
meant that there just wasnt much you sci-fi technology once appeared, years
could do with your Glass unit. One of ago. Its the familiar masking some-
these is titled Google Glass Airplane thing new, and thats the real beauty
Mode, which should give you an idea of the IoT, a dusty, scrappy Internet of
of the state of Glasss app environment. wardrobes and induction cookers and
Huawei Watch Classic Style But just like with Android Wear today, venetian blinds. And watches. | January 2017 | Digit | 37

From the labs Space age
Gone are the days when sensors were A Superluminous Supernova a.k.a

Sci-Tech 42 simple technology these are the

sensors of the future. 45 Hypernova is a high energy star explosion
that looks stunning as well as scary.


Dhinoj Dings doesnt charge any money for making is because the electrons in the crystal use of its energy! move when they are exposed to light.

So, the question is how the people (In many materials, the electrons would
eslas project of powering on earth can turn the sunlight into just jiggle around when struck by light-
an entire American island electricity that we can use? the reason why heat is generated.)
using solar power, freeing the Inside a crystal, the bonds that exist
citizens from depending on How to harness energy between the silicon atoms are made of
diesel energy has revived the excite- from the sun electrons which are shared among the
ment surrounding solar power. Is it a To do this, old-school solar technology atoms in the crystal. When the light is
one-off or has the time truly come for makes use of large crystals that are absorbed, sometimes an electron in a
solar energy? made of silicon. These crystals generate bond gets excited up to a high energy
Its no secret that the sun is a great electrical current when struck with level and therefore is able to move more
source of energy. After all, it is what light. The reason why silicon does this freely than when it was bound. This
powers all the living things on this means that the electron can now freely
planet! In fact, the sun showers on the move around in the crystal, resulting in
earth enough energy to take care of the a current in the crystal.
worlds power requirements multiple Silicon has the advantage of turning
times over. a decent amount of the light energy into
On the plus side, it doesnt produce electrical energy.
carbon dioxide emissions. So, you
wouldnt have to worry about adverse The downside to using
environmental effects on that front. silicon
Another advantage is that the sun is The downside is that its quite expensive
practically inexhaustible. Also, the sun A red boiling pot of energy since big crystals arent easy to grow.

38 | Digit | January 2017 |

6S battery problems Hyundai electric buses
Apple announces a repair program for South Korean automaker, Hyundai is
some iPhone 6S models regarding battery preparing on mass-producing electric
issues. buses by 2017 Tomorrows Tech

But there is some good news: newer mere weeks back, a glimpse of what
materials make use of smaller and such a union could bring to the world
cheaper crystals like copper-indium- has already been shown in the way
gallium-selenide. These can even be of an entire island thats powered with
shaped into thin flexible films. This is solar energy.
called the thin-film solar technology. The island in question is the small
But the catch is that this technology island of Tau in American Samoa. Its
isnt as good when it comes to turning over 4,000 miles from the West Coast
light into electricity compared to of the United States. The island is a
silicon. Even in the U.S the wealthiest Photosynthesis: a different ballgame 17-square mile volcanic island that has
nation in the world, solar energy just a single road that runs through it.
accounts for just a small portion of tage, it would also help deal with the The project made use of the prowess
their complete electricity generation effects of global warming because by of SolarCity power generation and
the reason being, of course, the expense mimicking a plant, the solar cell would Teslas Powerpack-based storage.
involved. Generating electricity from also be taking in the CO2 from the air to Before this, the island was relying a lot
coal is cheaper but highly polluting. generate the fuel. on a diesel generator grid.
To get a perspective on how expen- The reliance on diesel as a fuel to
sive solar power is at the moment, it The power efficiency of a cell generate power isnt all that unique.
would be about five times as expensive Since we use solar cells to capture Many island communities rely on
sunlight and turn it into electricity, its burning fossil fuel to maintain an elec-
worth looking at the power efficiency of trical grid. However, using a fuel which
a typical crystalline silicon cell. has to be shipped in at great costs from
The power efficacy of such a cell is in long distances poses a large number of
the range of 22 to 23 percent (meaning, problems. Also, such a scenario causes
22 or 23 percent of light that strikes a lot of temporary blackouts. The costs
a cell is converted into electricity). of solar generally can be recouped
But thats the case with the industrial only in a long time once the grid power
variant. The ones which are affordable becomes convenient and easily avail-
for an individual to put on the rooftop able. However, the financial benefits get
Efficient but costly have a power efficacy that lies some- accrued way more quickly when you
where within the 15 to 18 percent range. are shipping in fuel and burning it as
as what you pay for the electricity The most efficient variants are the ones the sole source of energy.
which comes out of the power outlets in that are used in satellites these could For the Tau grid project, a SolarCity
your home. have power efficiencies which approach panel array was created thats made
This cost-factor has been a major a whopping 50 percent. of more than 5.300 panels with the
reason why the world hasnt been
able to adopt solar panels widely even
though they have been considered as a
way to replace fossil fuels.

Is the action of solar cells

similar to photosynthesis?
One comparison that many laymen
make is between the functioning of
solar cells and photosynthesis. But
thats not entirely an accurate com- More power to you An island charged by the sun
parison. For instead of just creating
electricity, plants absorb light and use Powering an entire island capability of generating 1.4 megawatts
the electron to alter a chemical bond with solar energy of solar capacity. This was clubbed with
within the plant-meaning they generate Solar City Corporation is one of the a Tesla Powerpack commercial battery
fuel for their consumption. more significant players in the solar storage facility that has a capability of
Now, it would be super-cool if energy products arena. Based in storing 6 megawatt hours of reserve
scientists were able to create a solar cell America, the company recently merged capability in 60 Powerpacks. The
which, instead of creating electricity, with the Elon Musk-led Tesla. Even resultant micro-grid could bring three
made fuel. Aside from the fuel-advan- though the merger was completed full days worth of power for the islands | January 2017 | Digit | 39

Oxehealth heartbeat monitor T-Mobile reveals Digits
Oxehealth is a start up that plans to use cameras This lets customers use one common phone
to monitor your heartbeat from across the room. number connected across all their other
Tomorrows Tech devices.

residents- 600 at maximum capacity. (the 6 megawatts of battery storage that the number of units produced are
Also, the entire unit can recharge capacity is in addition to this). comparatively higher than in most of
completely with only seven hours of This means that the cost for the pro- the North American regions.
straight sunlight exposure. ject of this size would fall in the range
Since Tau is pretty remote, the of `14 to 15 Cr. 4. The required solar power of
citizens of the island were very much the citizenry
used to frequent power rationing, 2. Economic viability The solar project is already fulfilling
outages and also a high dependency Due to the generally higher rate of infla- almost the complete power require-
on diesel generators. The core services tion in India as opposed to developed ments of the island. This Tesla and
of the island include schools, the local countries like the USA, 15% is consid- Solar City has already proven. This
hospital and police station. Thanks ered to be an acceptable rate of return means that the energy created by the
to the installation of the micro-grid, for the country (for a developed nation, plant is sufficient for the citizenry.
they dont have to worry about power that could be 8%).
rationing or outages anymore. However, in addition to the return, 5. The environmental impact
Aside from bringing energy to the one should also take into account the Apparently, a huge amount of forest
islanders, the project also enables the Operation & Maintenance cost which land had to be cleared to set up the
island to save enormously on energy usually falls in the range of 1% of the plant (The exact area mowed down is
costs and also offset the use of over project cost. still not easily available with varied
109,500 gallons of diesel a year. Therefore, the return (expected) + information coming from different
Also, to the credit of the two com- O&M cost = 16% (In India) and 9%(in sources). However, thanks to the pro-
panies involved, Tesla and SolarCitys developed countries. ject, more than 4 lakh liters of diesel
Tau microgrid project was put together As for the Tau project the factors would be offset every year the island
from start to finish within just a year. such as the exact return expected are was previously dependent on diesel to
And with the project, almost 100 per- not yet available for public consump- meet their power requirement.
cent of the islands energy requirements tion. However, confidence-inducing While factors such a rising fuel cost
are met by renewable sources. statements have come from Tesla to and the cost of transporting such huge
its stakeholders. Also, the benefit of quantities to the island are taken in to
How valid is the project as the project is already being enjoyed consideration, the long term financial
a proof of concept? by the islanders. This success would gains are significant.
There exists no doubt that the Tau pro- moreover be viewed as a way to attract
ject is a landmark project in the journey more potential clients for Tesla. In that Other concerns
of using the sun as a source of energy. sense, the return expected is seriously One of the major peripheral concerns
But how valid is it as a proof of concept? long-term and theres every reason to would be the power generation capa-
To find the viability of a solar energy assume that they are justified in it. bilities in adverse weather conditions.
project, five aspects are to be looked The storage capacity for the project
into before start: 3. Expected solar power comes around 6 MWwhich by even
1. The cost of setting up the plant generation the most extreme estimates would suf-
2. What it means to be economically The amount of solar energy generated fice for the island in a situation when
viable is dependent on a few factors- like the they wouldnt have ample sunlight even
3. The solar power thats expected to be ambient temperature, radiation and for prolonged days.
generated the technology that is used. Out of
4. The required solar power for the these, temperature and radiation are Final analysis
citizenry in turn location-dependent. Its said The project has the advantage of a
5. The environmental impact that a 95% accurate generation esti- location that gets ample sunlight and
mate is now possible thanks to sophis- which has been reliant on fossil fuel,
1. The cost of setting up the plant ticated meteorological databases that the offsetting of which in itself makes
One of the reasons why solar power are available. the project viable.
plants are being erected in more For instance, a 100 kw solar power The environmental cost could be
number than ever before is the fall plant in the USA would give be able to justified in this instance due to the
in price of silicon over the past half a generate 1,76,804 units while in India, aforementioned reason. And that is one
decade or so. As per a conservative esti- the same plant would create 1,78, 321 point in which the critics may find the
mate, putting up a 100 kw plant would units every year. project less than adaptable universally
cost just over a crore in Indian rupees. The Tau island is located in a part of the justification for clearing huge
The Solar City project has a solar the world where the sunlight is ample. swatches of land may not exist in all
generation capacity of 1.4 megawatts This means its safe enough to estimate kinds of places.

40 | Digit | January 2017 |

Hackers sentence quadrupled! Windows 10 Home Hub
Alonzo Knowles has been sentenced 5 years in prison Microsoft is seriously working on its Windows
for hacking into celebrity emails, videos and TV scripts. 10 to take on Google Home and Amazons Alexa Tomorrows Tech

That aside, in terms of power gen- Troubling as that aspect may be, the GW of solar power inline. Let us hope
eration and backup, and also the long fact remains that Tesla is one of the few that the plan succeeds.
term viability, the project is an ample companies that have actually shown Before this, the title for the largest
proof of concept. a pro-active interest in investing in single-location solar plant belonged to
green-energy technology. And as for Californias Topaz Solar Farm (with a
Tesla and SolarCity SolarCity, its certainly a fact that they capacity of 550 MW).
merger-what it means for were a comparatively small player. But India has made a decision to source
the future of solar energy on the other hand, they also possess a 40 percent of the 100 GW power
The merger between Tesla and Solar- strong acumen on building solar tech- requirement using rooftop solar. If
City has both critics and those who nology products. What they lacked was practical manifestations of the deci-
think it a great move for the future of the ability to scale up in such a way that sion happen, it would mean that we
solar energy. the technology would impact a large are in for a sea change in the energy
As for Tesla, the hope probably population in the least amount of time. production arena in India. The reason
is that the Tau project would act as But thanks to the acquisition by
an example that attracts potential Tesla, that issue has now been solved,
customers. Also, on a commercial scale, or so we can hope. In the final analysis,
Musk actually believes that the solar its safe to say that the merger holds
battery part of the business would one great promise for the future. In a fragile
day cross the market for Teslas. There planet, everything depends on the pace
are, after all a number of places in the with which such things happen.
world where the appeal for reliable,
independent power runs higher than Kamuthi Solar Power
that for electrical vehicles. Project and the shape of
things to come
The worlds largest single location solar Fields of a solar dream
power project has been launched in
Kamuthi in Ramanathapuram district such a decision was made was because
in Tamil Nadu. The project, which has rooftop solar incurs practically no
been launched by the Adani Green land acquisition cost and very little
Energy (which is the energy wing of transmission cost because the dis-
the Adani Group) has a capacity of tance between the consumers and the
648 megawatts(MW). The investment solar panels is the shortest.
for the project is a whopping `4,550 Its Tata Power which presently has
crore. The plant is spread over an area the largest solar installed capacity in
The future in the making? of 2,500 acres- thats enough land to the nation (approx. 9 percent). This is
organize 476 parallel football fields. followed by ACME (7 percent) and Sun-
Also, looking at their just concluded- It contains 25 lakh individual solar Edison (approx. 5.5 percent). The Adani
project, the Tau islands location off the panels which are cleaned every day by group has amassed 5 percent.
West Coast could be a great advantage a robotic system. This robotic system While we could expect big-sized
for Tesla. Its a great location to harness itself is powered with solar energy- projects in the near future too, the
the energy of the sun. Also, the pos- meaning the entire system is self-sus- writing on the wall is clear: For the
sibility of expansion exists. Whether taining. The project would bring clean common man, the biggest source of
more locations can be supplied with energy to 1.5 lakh homes. renewable energy would come from
energy by expanding the grid or not is The sheer size of the plant puts it rooftop solar panels. So, the real revolu-
something to be seen in the future. at the center of discussions regarding tion, from the everyday perspective,
Tesla completed the acquisition of the nations ambitions to be certainly would not be brought by bigger plants
SolarCity for $2.6 billion. And though among the worlds leading green but by the average Joe.
the CEO, Elon Musk said the need for energy generators. Interestingly, as a consequence, the
such a merger is blindingly obvious To bring the mammoth project to one who benefits the most from this
the acquisition is still considered a life, about 8,500 people worked. This would also be the average Joe. Rooftop
risky move by many. The critics say way, about 11 MW of installation was solar cell installations will eventu-
that after all, the billions have been set up each day and the entire plant was ally become self sustainable when
spent on buying a company thats not completed in just 8 months. The power the consumer is sufficiently educated
yet profitable. For every $1 that the firm plant comes as part of the Tamil Nadu regarding the process. On such a day,
makes, it spends $6. state governments plans to create 3 energy would be truly free. | January 2017 | Digit | 41

6-screen Video chat Sensitive Robot hands
Facebook Messenger is launching a new group At the Cornell University, researchers build
chat feature where upto 6 different people can a robotic hand that detect shape, softness
From the labs video chat at once. and textures.

Sensors of the
Gyroscopes and accelerometers are so last gen. Heres an in-depth
look at the new wave of sensors that are likely to be at the heart of
upcoming consumer devices. EEG/EOG sensors, arrays of swarm
sensors, self-powered sensors and biodegradable sensors are just
the tip of the iceberg - sensor technology is set to revolutionize
industry, research and consumer electronics.

Aabir Abubaker The logical progression of thought sound, light, speed and location - they was - what if other inputs could be lose out on chemical information like

used to control similar outputs? The smell, on collaborative sensing, on
he popular yardstick (though boom in aircraft technology called for very small inputs, and on most kinds
one that has lost relevance in a tremendous innovation in sensors in of subtle information. Even worse,
the last decade) for progress the 60s, with the fly-by-wire, hands- they often need to be treated with great
in technology appears to have on control systems gradually being care, and are next to useless in extreme
comfortably settled to Moores Law. Its phased out in lieu of slicker digital conditions - imagine what youd need to
somewhat strange that this continues interfaces. And the robotics boom (did fly a drone over Mount Everest.
to be the popularly perceived rate of you know that robots probably sort The 21st century, being the amazing
progress in the world of electronics, your mail?) put the cherry on top as period of time that it is, has seen fit to
robotics and their applications. In fact, we entered the 2000s. Even so, ask begin addressing all of these issues.
the obsession with processing power an average (tech-savvy!) kid on the
often shadows the equally exciting devel- street to name some sensor types and Micro- and Nano-sensors
opments in algorithms, architecture, and the answers you get will be limited to Biological research has been the
the focus of this article - sensors. accelerometers, gyroscopes, and per- driving force behind a lot of modern
haps photodiodes (or light detectors, sensor applications, and perhaps the
Whats a sensor good for? as goes teenage jargon). best example is micro- and nano-
Sensor technology had its humble What are we missing out on here? sensor research. These are sensors
origins in the tactile switch - yes, the A whole lot, honestly. The 21st century with an extreme scaling down - liter-
very same button that you press to turn has ushered in a new wave of sensor- ally of the order of micro or nano-
on the lights. The concept is a general based research that is set to completely metres in length. To put things in
one. A sensor must follow three very change the way we think of technology perspective, the average cell is a few
simple rules: and its capabilities. Its easy to see the micrometres across. Even with current
1. It must be sensitive to a property of problems with conventional sensors. applications that are mainly tactile,
interest Theyre bulky, heavy, fragile, need micro--sensors and robots at such
2. It must be insensitive to all other batteries, and are bad for the environ- scales will give us the ability to treat
properties ment. Ignoring aesthetics, consider diseases at the cellular level, to monitor
3. It should not influence the property their functionality. Traditional sensors wound healing to microcontrol drug
of interest are limited to coarse measurements of dosage. In the future, they could

42 | Digit | January 2017 |

Djay Pro app on iPhone Lenovo Zuk Edge
The popular DJ application from the Mac Lenovos new smartphone the Zuk Edge is the
and iPads finally comes available for the cheapest Qualcomm Snapdragon 821 powered
iPhones smartphone. From the labs

perhaps even replace cell organelles in Biodegradable sensors hearing because they lack an external
unhealthy cells, and in the very very The concept of biodegradable sensing ear, can actually sense vibrations
long term, repair the telomeres that offers a simple conundrum - the more very accurately via an organ in their
cap our DNA (whose wear has been complex a part, the harder it is to mouths. This allows them to pinpoint
directly linked with aging). Nanosen- ensure that it disintegrates harmlessly. with remarkable accuracy whenever
sors open up a whole new paradigm. The idea is to print circuitry on sheets anything is moving around them.
Not only can they revolutionise medi- of silicon so thin that they dissolve in Particle sensing equipment has been
cine with an unprecedented ability to water over a period of days to weeks. a focus of sensor research with fairly
interact one-on-one with viruses, but The circuitry is wrapped in silk to straightforward applications. Quality
they will also induce huge strides in vary this time period - progress has control in factories, air conditioning
materials science research. already been made with the fabrica- applications, effluent analysis for
tion of diodes as well toxins and particulates, and radiation

micro-cameras of this monitoring are now all processes that

type. The possible can be easily and efficiently automated.
applications of such
sensors are end- Chemical Reactant Sensors
less. Post-operative While it doesnt look like were going
care for sensitive to have anything to compete with dogs

organs like the brain for their olfactory abilities in the near
and the heart often future, it certainly behooves humans
involve the inser- to try their luck. And so we see
This device, based on modified carbon nanotubes, can tion of sensors into chemical reactant sensors, designed
detect amines produced by decaying meat. these organs, which as electronic noses that react with
not only must be specific compounds in the air to detect
The thought of little robots swim- removed at a later date, but can also biohazards, gas leaks, rust and even
ming around in our bloodstreams cause complications, swellings and alcohol on the breath!
might induce panic in some, and prac- infections. The advent of innocuous
tical questions in others. How are these biodegradable sensors stands to Moisture sensors
devices going to be powered? What completely change this. The potential Moisture sensing technology, though
happens when they wear out or need to non-intrusively collect data on the rooted in the mid 1900s, has come
maintenance? The answers lie respec- functioning of natural ecosystems, a long way - it no longer has to be
tively in self-powered and biodegrad- especially sensitive ones like coral reefs replaced as often, offers a long life,
able sensing technologies. and rivers, also stands to gain. low maintenance, and excellent
accuracy. For certain kinds of post-
Self-powered sensors Vibration and dust/particle
Research in self-powered sensing is
throwing up all kinds of innovative Vibration sensing research has
answers. Work is currently being done advanced to the extent that it is now

on sensors that can derive energy from commonly used in both industry and
a heat difference (such as that between consumer applications. The running
a patients body and the surrounding of huge, hundreds of kiloWatt-hour
air), from radiation, from chemical motors can throw up unexpected prob-
energy in compounds like stomach lems of alignment that quickly spiral
acids, and even from vibrations (such out of control, permanently damaging
as the beating heart, or thermal cur- often expensive equipment. Vibration A wireless chemical sensor.
rents in the oceans and skies). As sensors, especially in their modern ava-
always, research is never unidirec- tars that provide compact, comprehen- operative care, its extremely impor-
tional, and the potential for self- sive sensing of amplitude, frequency tant to keep a patient well-hydrated in
powered sensing is being extended to and wave modes, allow such catastro- a humid environment (a moist wound
almost any application where it would phes to be avoided in the pumping, heals faster). Moisture sensing helps
be hard to keep replacing batteries. automotive, manufacturing and power out here. Also, with integration with
Underground vibration monitoring generation industries. Vibration other sensors, smart refrigerators
for earthquake and fault detection, sensing also has obvious applications can decide you shopping list for you
especially in high-risk areas around in motion sensing and security. Snakes, and modify the controls according to
fracking oilfields, is important. commonly thought to have no sense of whats inside. | January 2017 | Digit | 43

VSCO RAW images Honor Magic
Photography app VSCO now supports Chinese smartphone Honors new Magic
RAW images for more phone photography wont display notifications if it doesnt
From the labs potential. recogise owner.

Speaking of integration, its only area under surveillance. Like many respectively. These have been linked
natural to question the efficacy of the technologies developed for defence, this to certain determinate processes that
lone sensor, working in isolation. So has also leaked out to the entertainment can be used to control all manner of
many kinds of useful insights can be industry - virtual reality is having a processes. Tests have revealed that
gathered from aggregations of data of ball with the scope that USNs offer. VR EEG data can be accurately used to
different kinds, and swarm sensors and now has the potential to react not just learn and replicate hand gestures from
Ubiquitous Sensor Networks (USNs) to your hand movement - but to your human test subjects. Anywhere where
target an exploration of such potential. body temperature and facial expression human skill is required remotely -
that distinguish a frantic wave for help consider the example of underwater

from a friendly one! welding, which would be greatly


simplified if a human could be sitting in

Self-healing Sensors a control room, directing a robot will
We come full circle with a return to be revolutionised by this technology.
the scope that biological inspiration EOGs offer a unique advantage - they
offers sensing technology. Self-healing track eye movements, and can be used
sensors are under rapid development. in virtual reality, for attention measure-
These are sensors that can actually ment and psychological research and a
By embedding spinach leaves with sense and repair themselves post host of other decisions. Consider data of
carbon nanotubes, MIT engineers certain kinds of damage. The erstwhile where a drivers eyes flit while driving
have transformed spinach plants into comic book fantasy of an exoskeleton being used for the efficient design of
sensors that can detect explosives
and wirelessly relay that information is thus under active development - this vehicular control systems.
to a handheld device similar to a might well define the warfare of the With the advent of multidisciplinary
smartphone. 21st century. Self-repairing membranes research, the possibilities for sensor
for biological and chemical process research are truly endless. Add to this
Swarm sensors plants, protective clothing for sports the interfacing, processing and learning
Swarm sensors are now becoming the and adventures, as well as materials capabilities that are being rapidly
norm in large-scale surveillance. The science for protective sheets, tarpaulins advanced, and you have a recipe for a
idea behind swarms is to have a bunch and roofs might eventually benefit from
of sensors working in communication strides in this area.

and cooperation with each other so as
to gather maximally useful informa- Galvanic skin response
tion in the most efficient way. Simply sensors
put, instead of having robots work Galvanic skin response sensors might

independently on the task at hand, appear to be straight out of science
which might lead to redundancies or fiction. This remarkable technology
wastage of resources, we train them senses various features of the skin,
to work constructively, eliminating ranging from temperature to moisture, A remote sensing protective glove
waste. Swarms are today being used and has managed to effectively cor- that can integrate galvanic skin
response, self-healing, self-powered
to survey agricultural land, forests, relate these observations with emo-
and other kinds of sensors. Photo for
traffic routes, and even by space agen- tion and mood. Besides the obvious representative purposes.
cies in their strategies for extraterres- applications to virtual reality (a mood
trial exploration. or reaction-dependant plot twist in a future that will be as unrecognizable
movie or video game!), this creates the as it is unpredictable. Indeed, with the
Ubiquitous Sensor potential to monitor and study mental Internet of Things, that allows all your
Networks (USNs) health and patient recovery in unprec- devices to interface with each other,
USNs incorporate the integration of edented detail. Similarly, it allows for with self-driving cars, with virtual
multiple kinds of sensors into one large the potential to tailor air-conditioning reality - the world around us is already
information processing pipeline - this to individual preferences.! starting to look somewhat surreal. If
could include camera data, motions we can expect a layman from the 1980s
sensors, vibration data, sound and so EEG/EOG sensors to be startled by the technology we
on. USNs have tremendous applica- Electroencephalograms and electrooc- take for granted today, its only logical
tions in security and surveillance - with ulograms (EEGs and EOGs) are a fas- that humanity must be in for some big
efficient integration, they approach cinating subset of sensing technology surprises in the 21st century.
the efficiency of a human guard, while that track the electric fields produced For a technophile - there has never
limiting the cost, and widening the by fluctuations in brain and eye activity been a better time to be alive.

44 | Digit | January 2017 |

Waymo is back OurMind hacks Netflix
Former Googles self-driving car project The infamous hacker group is up again. And
Waymo is working on collaborating this time the victims were Netflix and Marvel
with Honda. twitter accounts. Space Age

Souvik Das

eauty, as they say, depends on
how you perceive it. The vast
space has eons of mysteries
tucked away in distant corners,
much of which we have not yet set sight
upon. However, our greatest scientific
and engineering efforts are reaching out
to see the farthest, darkest corners of
outer space with greater panache than
ever before. In this instance, what we
witnessed at the beginning of 2016 was
something that scientists and research-
ers are stating was a hypernova, or a
superluminous supernova.
For reference, a supernova itself is a
sight to behold. It is the sharp, violent
death of a star when it finally runs out of
its fuel, emitting immense amounts of en- The most beautiful moments are also the most violent
ergy and light and shining its brightest, be-
fore eventually fading and burning out. Yet multiple stages, and the overall phe- ple times brighter and more violent than
another type of supernova occurs when nomena has only recently come to light. that of a standard explosion. These are
two white stars, bigger than our dwarf star That itself is not really surprising, typically about 100 times brighter than
the Sun, collide with each other, leading to seeing how the first superluminous su- a supernova, and from what research-
the instability of their cores and a subse- pernovae are estimated to be only about ers have revealed so far, occur mostly
quent thermonuclear reaction. These, as a few billion light years away from us. because of exceptional circumstances
held by researchers, have a characteristic What is it, that makes such gargantuan - collision of giant stars or exceptional
type of luminance, hence forming a metric creations in outer space? How are they thermonuclear explosions being the
in the scaling of supernovae. formed, and what are the forces that more common of exceptional cases.
The latest type, however, is rarer, and are at play there? The research has only Although we have observed a
incomprehensibly more hostile. Super- about begun, but from what has been number of stellar deaths leading to this
luminous supernovae, as the name itself found, superluminous supernovae are as phenomenon, the entire range of causal
suggests, is something that is far more mesmerising as their very name. factors is not yet known. Out of the four
violent and hostile than the average broad categories into which supernovae
death of a star. These are brighter than What is a superluminous are classified, researchers have at least
the brightest, compounding immense supernova? experienced the corresponding super-
amounts of force and energy at the point Quite literally, a superluminous superno- luminous phenomenon of three types.
of explosion. They also occur across va is the explosion of a star that is multi- This relatively new field of research | January 2017 | Digit | 45

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has hence kept the precise postulates gantuan black hole that literally ripped Sun. When the gravitational collapse
under research, but we do seem to a massive star apart, to create light and of such a star begins, a faint super-
have a fair idea. energy that is 570 billion times higher nova is produced when the star has
Superluminous supernovae typically than the Suns peak light and energy slow rotational rate. The slow speed
last for over six months, as compared to radiation. While this will indeed go down ejects smaller jets to outer orbits over
the duration of 2-3 weeks for a standard as the death of a star, and technically short distances, thereby forming the
supernova. The reactions, too, are differ- fall under a superluminous supernova, essence of a standard, or in our case, a
ent in nature, and far more titanic than our speculations would say that this is faint supernova.
the standard incident of the death of a certainly an infrequent occurrence. If Considering the chemical constituen-
cy of the dying stars in our examples are
constant, a superluminous supernova
will occur only when the star has very
fast rotational speeds. This leads to light
and energy being spewed far beyond the
outer shells as the core falls through in
gravitational collapse, and these jets of
light and energy are relative in magni-
tude to the rotational speed. This is what
makes a more usual superluminous
Now you know what happens when two A giant star was torn apart to create the supernova, which also leads to long
stars collide brightest galactic observation yet outbursts of gamma rays.
However, there are further questions
star. Multiple causing factors have been not, though, then we have forces out within the primary postulate of stellar
identified, of which we will talk about in there that are far greater than what we explosions leading to superluminous su-
the next section. These are also believed have known of. pernovae. While the mass and rotational
now to be a significant source of gamma This, to sum up, is a superlumi- speeds do contribute to the formation,
ray bursts in the cosmos, although con- nous supernova. The violent death of a the chemical constituency is also a ma-
crete outtakes are yet to be derived of it. massive star, catalysed by anomalous jor deciding factor on the feasibility of
As against a typical supernova, the elements to form fireballs of energy that titanic explosions. Typically, a star that
superluminous supernovae are said is way beyond standard comprehension. ends up in a superluminous supernova
to feature two sections in the stellar How do they occur, though? has higher metallicity alongside the
explosion. Before the major explosion
that sustains over months and shines This is how they are formed
consistently brighter than its surround- Before we begin, it is essential to
ing galaxy for a much longer span, there understand that the causal factors of
is a smaller, initial explosion - a starter a superluminous supernova are highly
ignition of sorts - that leads to a subse- unusual, and as such, have been pegged
quent dip spanning over a few days. It is as possibilities. Not always can the exact
following this that there is a surge in the reason of the formation of a superlu-
energy and light emission of the superlu- minous supernova be understood in
minous supernova. accordance to their type, simply because
This entire procedure is what makes of their highly complicated structure and The force is literally quite strong here
this phenomenon rare, extremely volatile massive parameters of the explosions.
and unusual. There are even more titanic A supernova typically forms when standard Hydrogen-Helium composi-
explosions across our galaxies far, far the core of a star collapses to give rise tion, which further leads to very high
away (not akin the Death Star, of course) to a gravitational pullback of energy. surface temperatures and luminosity
that shine even brighter. For instance, When this happens, there are multiple at death. It is this that makes them
an explosion observed by the All-Sky times when the core is too heavy, and shine brighter and at significantly higher
Automated Survey for Supernovae the cores explosive propulsion is not temperatures for sustained durations, in
(ASASSN) was from a source that takes enough to eject the outer shells of the which it surpasses the energy given by a
light 3.8 billion years to reach, and was star. This leads to a silent death of a star standard supernova.
reportedly twice as bright as the largest that ends up forming black holes. While the previous model explains
known superluminous supernova. Supernovae are formed only when superluminous supernovae with high
The reason of this explosion is now the core of the star weighs between 5 gamma ray outbursts, the other expla-
being attributed to the impact of a gar- and 15 times the mass of our star, the nation is of stellar deaths that do not

46 | Digit | January 2017 |

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contribute to gamma outbursts. This one searcher at the University of Southamp- reactions in massive stars. It also lends
is fairly similar to the SN2005gl super- ton to, can also be a plausible basis to the study of gamma radiation
nova observed in 2005, and the more re- reason behind the birth of a superlumi- bursts, which till the turn of the millen-
cent, still-under-debacle ASASSN-15lh nous supernova. The phenomenon would nium was a matter completely shrouded
explosion. The reason for the formation involve the birth of a rapidly spinning in mystery. Even with the plausible ex-
of superluminous energies here is the neutron star, preceded by extreme heat planations, the matter of short-duration
consistent observation of how these and energy followed by rapid cooling. gamma bursts still remain in question,
stars are embedded within correspond- While the rapid cooling observation and the hypernovae only contribute to
ing nebulae - a highly proactive galactic would be somewhat against a superlu- long-duration bursts.
While hyper-size star theories still
remain in question because of the rarity,
a possible massive gamma radiation
burst has already been attributed to
the second-largest extinction ever on
Earth, during the Hirnantian Age of the
Ordovician Period, more than 440 million
years ago. While this was only ever a hy-
pothesis and no concrete evidence was
found, it may have been on the impact
of a massive stars violent death due to
When birthplace meets death High intensity deaths can be titanic in matter-antimatter collision.
magnitude Our immediate future seems to
zone rich in circumstellar material. be more secure, and mankind has far
These are the elements that give birth minous supernova, the observations are greater threat of extinction from global
to a star, and upon its death, the energy so far being studied to collate further climate change than from an immi-
jets react with the matter to create information, before inferring. nent hypernova. With every discovery
visible shockwaves of stellar energy. we escalate to a new height of stellar
Interestingly, the formation of superlu- Probability and geometry explosion force that exceeds previous
minous supernovae from circumstellar The core collapse model also goes be- gargantuan figures significantly. The
matter do not necessarily depend on the yond probability factors of understand- ongoing research on superluminous
constituency of the star, but more on its ing superluminous supernovae. Cosimo supernovae is a major milestone for
spatial arrangement. Inserra and his team from Queens
There are other observed processes University, Belfast, have obtained
in the formation of massive superno- spectropolarimetric data on recent
vae, as well, but they get increasingly hypernova observations to affirm that
rarer. For instance, super-massive stars despite an asymmetric, spherical
in the order of 260 times the mass of pattern of the stars in explosion, the
Sun give rise to particles and antipar- formation pivots around a primary axis,
ticles upon explosion. The existence and the polarisation of matter changes
of opposing matter leads to extremely in time and wavelength.
rapid partial collapse of the core, which This coincides with the core-collapse
further causes simultaneous fusion of model of a stars death, further proving Now this wont ever happen Hopefully
matter aided by gravity, all of which that while superluminous supernovae
leads to the complete death of a star, have been much recent discoveries, they space research, because of these very
and an extreme magnitude of energy have actually been an ancient phenom- titanic forces at play. These aptly define
and light repulsion that can be as much ena, and may not even be as rare going the endless borders of space, and how
as one hundred times more intense beyond our present, engineering limits. practically infinite can the titanic nature
than the highest standard supernova. of forces be.
The process has not yet been con- A new milestone for space It is occurences like these that show
firmed in interstellar space, seeing that research you the true power of nature. On the
the sheer size of stars that can have While not much have been attributed to other hand, it is truly a sight to behold.
such reactions are not present in our the impact of superluminous superno- And maybe someday we will find the
immediate universe. vae in terms of terrestrial impact, they fourth type of supernova thats even
The birth of a magnetar, as explained do contribute further to the study of more awesome. How big would that be?
by Matthew Smith, post-doctoral re- black holes, neutron stars and the core Let us know through your messages | January 2017 | Digit | 47

Cover story

Cover story


ost people will look to do forward as well, because the former usually leads to increased
looking stories on the first on January amounts of the latter. With no end in sight for popu-
of every year. Its a new year, there lation growth just yet, its obvious that we need to do
are 12 whole months of things that other things to control climate change as of now.
will happen, and in general, readers One of those things is to deal with transport
are psychologically conditioned to caused pollution. Rapid transit systems are usually
accept such stories. We were tempted to go down inner city modes of transport typically metros or
that expected route too. Its a hell of a lot easier to subway systems, and theyre environmentally better
give you a list of expected launches and rumoured than everyone using their cars to get around the city.
features of the iPhone 8 and Samsung S8, etc. However, its not just people transport that matters,
And thats not to say we wont cover those stories but also cargo, because most large cities are fed with
online ourselves, but for the magazine, we obvi- supplies from nearby towns or smaller cities.
ously wanted some depth something more Early in 2017, and right throughout, we will see a
Whilst discussing story ideas we realised that a lot of activity and testing by companies around Elon
lot of the things we were discussing were starting off Musks Hyperloop challenge. For those who dont
in 2017, or would be first on display in 2017, and this know, billionaire Elon Musk, whilst stuck in traffic,
led us to the conclusion that more than any other
year before, 2017 paints a much clearer picture of
what we can expect in our future. After a really long
time of mediocrity, finally 2017 promises to be a year
where science and technology will start to wow us
again like it used to do 10 or 15 years ago.
Another clarification we should make is that we
dont mean concepts in the way companies make

concept gadgets those are often just designers
going wild with scribbles and are seldom based
in reality. The auto industry is famous for concept
drawings that look amazing, and then prototypes or
actual cars that look nothing like the original draw- Hyperloop concept art.
ings, because artists are not engineers, and dont
account for real-world scenarios. wished for a better transport system. While for most
When we say concepts, we mean something more of us this remains a daydream, billionaires have the
broader than a single design. We mean a conceptual advantage of being able to fund their dreams. He
shift in the way we will live our lives in the future. open sourced his idea, and encouraged more compa-
And we do mean we and not our grandkids, nies and scientists to get on board, and get on board
because all of the concepts were covering are some- they did by the thousands.
thing we expect to see in our lifetimes as early as There are currently many interesting candidates
within the next five to ten years! from across the globe vying for testing time on the
Anyway, enough of the buildup, lets get to the few hyperloop test tracks there are, and 2017 is the
actual concepts. Remember to write in to feedback@ year we expect to see many of those tests being con- and tell us if we missed out on something, ducted. Although we dont see this as being an inner
or if you disagree with our concepts, or just want to city rapid transit solution, we do see this first being
add something to the story the best letters will win implemented to transport goods between closely
Digit T-Shirts. situated cities that have a lot of goods and cargo
exchange. Sadly, youll probably need

Lets face it, as each year passes, the
a visa and a flight ticket to see it.
Currently, the first phase of selected
finalists for hyperloop testing will be
seriousness of two things increases conducted at SpaceXs Hyperloop test
rapidly population and climate track between January 27-29, and then
change. Both are directly proportional Phase 2 in the summer of 2017. | January 2017 | Digit | 49

Cover story

Whether you like it or not, whether
there is a robot chef set to go on sale
in 2017, and it might mean the end of
cooking for all of us. Well all of us with
and crime scene investigations. For
example, the Netherlands Forensic
Institute are experimenting with AR
you think of it as the coolest thing ever, loads of space and a minimum of $15,000 to help an on scene officer get help
or youre fearing Judgement Day (as in (just over ` 10 lakh). The from a crime scene
the Terminator movies), automation is price depends on how expert who could be
upon us. popular the demand anywhere else on Earth.
Every other day we hear about a is, and eventual retail The officers body cam
new type of robot being developed price could be as high as sends video to the
in labs, and then there are products $75,000 (` 50 lakh). People expert, they mark items
available to actually buy. Robot vacuum buy cars that are way more of importance, which
cleaners, for one, are now so common- expensive, and you would sends an update to the
place that theyre not these rare things think that those people would also want officers smartphone (or VR headset if
that billionaires have in their homes. a chef cooked meal everyday yes, the they so please), and you have the best
When travelling abroad, inevitably kitchen watches chefs wearing motion crime scene investigators on call for
you come across one in someones capture equipment when they cook, and challenging cases, without the need
home. You can buy really cheap ones replicate the dish they prepare (and they to arrange travel for them. The AR
for as little as ` 1,000, and the original copy better than any human ever could). system will be made available to some
You can buy a recipe from something police departments in 2017.
akin to an app store, and tell the robot However, why stop at AR and VR if
chef to cook your dinner while youre on you can simulate yourself? A new con-
your way home, so that you get a nice hot cept called Augmented eternity aims
meal as soon as you arrive. This is way to use AI to make a virtual you! Being
better than any sexbot in our opinion! developed jointly by MIT Media Labs

and Ryerson University (Toronto), this

With the big push VR saw in
2016, which directly followed the 3D
concept aims to use the same machine
learning that any big shopping website
uses in their recommendation engines
TOSYs Topio 3.0 humanoid robot push from a couple of years before that, to analyse your purchases and suggest
playing table tennis. the trend seems to be pretty straightfor- items to try and get you to spend more
ward to spot. We want a lot of fake stuff money Except, this is that engine on
Roomba series costs between `15,000 to appear to be very, very real. some serious steroids! The goal is to
and `50,000 (not billionaire territory). Whether its gamers who want to be
Robot pets arent even fun any- immersed into real-looking environ-
more. In fact, as 2017 passes us by, its ments, or movie watchers who want to
not the kids who will be playing with be a part of the action, or even simpler
robots, but more so the adults if you YouTube style videos where we just
know what we mean. Yes, commercial want to be able to do our own thing
sexbots are going to become widely VR is certainly here to stay. Now, were SOURCE: FLICKR
available to a lot of people starting well aware that VR and AR arent new
2017, and experts believe that by 2050 technologies, in fact weve been using
we will see people marrying robots! AR (using Blippar) on our covers for
While that may be too far away to be an over two years now. Razers OSVR Hacker Dev Kit.
accurate prediction its typically the What will be new in 2017, and what
sex industry that brings in cutting edge you will see happening (or perhaps completely analyse everything you do,
technology. Its not just human-looking not see happening), is the integration learn from you until the day you die,
bots that will be hot in 2017, but also of it into more than just the entertain- and then take over and continue to be
apps and accessories for smartphones. ment field. you (virtually and digitally, of course).
We expect a lot of first-world countries Weve already mentioned the The idea is that if you want to know in
to start using apps that help youerr umm private entertainment aspect the year 2100, What would Obama
fornicate with real people of tech in the previous have done?, you can just ask Virtual
in a virtual setting. Both segment. That applies Obama, and get a pretty good estimate.
bots and apps like these NANO, NANO! doubly here to VR and In fact, since the virtual you continues
are, in essence, the safest AR as well, but were not to get new information and make deci-
form of sex there will be. going there sions or have opinions, it wont even
Bots wont just Instead, there are be you, it will be some form of you
be appealing to your concepts of AR being that never died and kept living and
sexuality in 2017 though used in detective work updating itself!

50 | Digit | January 2017 |

Cover story

In a recent blog post, Googles
senior VP, Technical Infrastructure
electricity producer (such as a wind
farm or a solar farm).
Hydrogen is another fuel thats
Thankfully, were not predicting
that smartwatches will do anything
spectacular in 2017. However, we do
wrote about Google being set to reach showing promise, and its think that the wearable
100% renewable energy in 2017. So, relatively cheap to make space is set to take off
every single Google search done, because its extracted in other ways. Let us
every email you send via GMail, every from water, and when it explain that.
YouTube video you watch, every is burnt, the only exhaust Take for instance the
Google Adsense ad you ignore on sites, product is water, making MagicBands used in Dis-
app you download from the Google it a very desirable fuel neys theme parks. These
Play Store everything Google that source indeed. Another way to use are bands that you wear on your wrist
you use uses up energy from a server hydrogen power is to use hydrogen fuel that contain information about you,
somewhere. Heck, those of you using cells which uses hydrogen and oxygen what youve paid for, even what you
want to have for lunch (if you choose to
enter that data). What does this result
in? No waiting in ticket lines, no need to
worry about hotel room keys (the band

is the key), and if you ordered your

lunch, no waiting, it is prepared and
kept ready for you, just scan the band

and take your lunch. You update your

selections at the many kiosks available
at Disney World, by using their app,
or on the MagicBand website. Not only
does this make the consumers life a
lot easier, by tracking magic bands, the
entertainment park is able to make sure
there are enough staff to assist at loca-
This train actually runs on hydrogen! tions where there is an extra crowd, for
example, and also it cuts down on costs
Googles free DNS servers every as the anode and cathode (respectively) of running the place. This isnt new, or
time you click on a domain name you of a battery to produce electricity and even unique to Disney parks, but we
havent been to before, you ask a Google water as the only waste product. see it taking off elsewhere.
server for an IP address All of that Amongst others, Toyota is one car
humongous data flow, all of a million or manufacturer working on a hydrogen
so servers (Googles datacentre costs are powered car. We mention them
supposedly $20 billion a year), all of because at the time of writing this their
the energy used by Google officeswill concept happens to be the one most
be powered by renewable energy! recently released.
Now thats quite a feat, and Google Theres also a train that has been SOURCE: FLICKR

will be the first large company to developed recently that will use
achieve this. Google is already the hydrogen fuel cells to power it. It will
worlds largest corporate buyer of run at speeds of up to 140 kmph, and
renewable energy (non-fossil fuel carry as many as 300 passengers, with Nano-printable circuits from MIT
energy), and it only buys solar and a range of between 600 to 800 km on a
wind energy currently. Understand full tank of fuel! An interesting development in
that Google is not off the grid, run- wearables comes from MIT (again),
ning on its own solar panels and
windmills their servers are way
too important to risk a cloudy day
The minute we use this word,
you will be thinking Not more smart-
where engineers have come up with a
way to print really tiny circuits onto
flexible surfaces. Unlike regular inkjet
suddenly resulting in YouTube going watches please!. For good reason too, printing that was being tried before,
down! Instead, Google because despite all the the new method uses stamps to print
is paying the electric hype, smartwatches seem pre-decided circuits onto a surface.
suppliers the premium MORE SHOCKS? to have flopped royally. While this means that youre not going
rate necessary for the Apple somehow expects to be using your home printer for this
supplier to purchase that to make new records purpose, it does make for some really
amount of power from selling their Watch, but cool and tiny circuits, and that means
a green and renewable were still skeptical. the only limit is your imagination. | January 2017 | Digit | 51

Cover story

Its getting worse. With all the
trolls out there, the sick and twisted
Whats worse is that Russia,
during the elections, was suspected of
spreading a lot of fake news to try and
terminology, this is called the internal
data bus. The prototype could transfer
300 gigabits/s per square millimeter,
humour that is the norm today, its discredit Hillary Clinton. Whether or this is approximately 10 to 50 times
no wonder that disinformation is the not that is true and how faster than existing elec-
order of the day. Never believe anything successful they were trical internal data bus
00110001 00110000
you read on social media these days, in doing so is totally speeds. Around 20 to 30
because almost all of the time you conjecture, but common percent of a data centres
sense would tell you that energy consumption
it certainly had some is spent on electrical
effect given that quite a communication between
few people were willing the CPU, memory and
to believe that Clinton was a blood network interfaces. The energy saving
drinking, child trafficking, pedophile will be momentous!
based on just a few tweets by trolls its Quantum computers are a relatively

not hard to imagine that those same new and every company have their
people believed the disinformation own way of implementing the tech-
spread by Russia! nology. D-Wave is one such company
Fake news is now quite real thanks to with some of the fastest quantum

social media computers on the planet. Their existing
Weve been using optical fibre tohero product is a 1000-qubit quantum
havent got all the angles of the story channel data for a few decades now so computer which has been adopted by
to arrive at an informed conclusion of communication using light isnt new. the likes of Google, Lockheed Martin,
what actually occurred. Whats worse LANL and NASA. While quantum
Its the fastest thing in the universe, but
is that its not just individuals doing we still havent managed to shrink the computing itself is a major step in
this, its now governments as well. tech to be used at the transistor level processing power, D-Wave recently
If you followed the recent US
presidential election (and you would
have to be living under a rock to have
not followed it at least a little), you
might have heard of a Twitter hashtag
called #PizzaGate. Its too complicated
to explain this in detail, so we assume
you will Google it, but the short version
is that a few people (probably Repub-
licans), made up a story about Hillary
Clinton being a part of a pedophile ring,
about children being kept against their
will in a pizza parlour called Comet
Ping Pong, and politicians meeting to
perform satanic rituals.
Not surprisingly, people on Twitter D-Wave 2X features a 2000-qubit quantum processing power.
thought it was really funny and soon
the #PizzaGate theory went viral. The in microchips. Thats set to change in unveiled the successor to their flagship,
problem with people trolling is that 2017 thanks to the efforts of a group of the D-Wave 2X. The 2X should have
they make it sound like they genuinely researchers from MIT, the University of given it away, its going to be a 2,000-
believe in something, and they often California, Berkeley and University of qubit quantum computer but heres the
make fake accounts of famous people Colorado, Boulder. thing its 500 to 1,000 times faster!
(or parody accounts) which causes the Theyve shrunk optical fibre to such D-Wave has received some flak from
simpler-minded amongst us to really a small scale that they could squeeze competitors whove claimed that these
believe whats being 850 of them with trans- arent exactly quantum computers, but
said as the truth. There mitters and receivers we dont care. Wed take any computer
are parody accounts of FAKE OR FACT? onto a processor. The thats 500 to 1000 times faster than its
Indian celebrities and optical connections were predecessor. This pretty much seems
politicians as well on used to move data to and like magic! And thats not all, two
social media, and they fro between the pro- to three years down the line, theyre
also keep fooling people cessor and the memory. promising to multiply performance by
on a daily basis. In current computing a similar factor.

52 | Digit | January 2017 |

Cover story

Weve already spoken about
new energy, but 2017 isnt only going
just smartphones that benefit either,
its electric cars, which would be able to
increase their driving range on a single
3D Xpoint storage medium in 2017.
A supposed evolution of 3D NAND
technology, 3D Xpoint is claimed to
to be about solar panels and wind- charge by 10 times, which is a massive be faster, durable and power efficient.
mills its also going to be about shot in the arm for them. By how much? Supposedly 4x better
batteries. We know youre fed up of Another develop- write speeds, 3x better
being promised better batteries (bet- ment being talked about read speeds, 3x write
teries?) for a decade or more, and only (link to video below) is endurance, 10x lower
ending up with cutting-edge batteries a University of Bristol latency and consuming
that explode sorry Samsung, as video and press release just 30% power. Of
much as you want to forget 2016, its that aims to solve a course they will probably
going to take more than one year for small part of the worlds be 10+3+4+3=20 times
that debacle to be forgotten. nuclear waste problem more expensive! (Were
The reason why nanowire-batteries (specifically graphite waste from reac- kidding!). Historically newer storage
(which have been promised as the tors), by making carbon-14 waste into technology have only been introduced
alternative to existing batteries for a radioactive diamond, encasing that for the enterprise segment first and
ages) have not taken off is because the inside a regular diamond shell to seal consumer SKUs arrive a good year or
nanowires that store the charge get in the radioactivity, and then using two later when the costs reduce. So you
brittle with every charge and break. that as a battery. Sounds like sci-fi or can drool while we get to benchmark
something from a game (alien crystals these beauties when theyre released.
used for power?), no this is actually 2017 is also when HDDs will
very valid science. However, youd finally lose their commodity status.

need some humongous radioactive The density race is boring now, and
diamonds to run anything substantial. improvements in hard drive technology
The only awesome thing for really low are merely cosmetic. Even brands have

powered circuits (such as those on realised this and have resorted to mar-
satellites or unmanned space vehicles) keting tactics such as rebranding and
is that the batteries will run for thou- segmented targeting.
sands of years, given that the half-life of This is where HAMR (heat assisted
Nanowires can store 10 times more carbon-14 is 5,730 years! magnetic recording) comes to the
energy than lithium-ion batteries.

This reduces the efficiency of the bat-

tery, which in turn means you end up
09 STORAGE Though SSDs have matured over
the years, they come with one inherent
with a battery that loses charge faster issue, the NAND memory suffers from
and faster beyond a point (usually a limited set of read/write cycles. Hard

after 500 cycles, or so). The advantage drives can be re-written millions of
of nanowires is that they are able to times over, and we know of big bulky
store 10 times the amount of charge hard drives from the 70s that are still
as lithium-Ion batteries, which means operational today! With SSDs, however,
either batteries that last much longer, you have a metric called MTBF (Mean 3D Xpoint layer diagram
or much, much smaller and lighter bat- Time Before Failure) which ranges
teries for the same charge. somewhere around a few million hours rescue. The magnetics particles on plat-
In a lab in the University of Cali- of operating time. TBW or Total Bytes ters have a property called coercivity,
fornia, Irvine, Mya Le Thai, a PHd can- Written is a more accurate metric to which is a measure of their resistance
didate, accidentally discovered a way to figure out when your SSD will die. to an external magnetic field. As you
prevent the nanowires from breaking. Right now, SSDs can only survive 5-6 make these particles finer, it becomes
Although she worked with gold nanow- years of moderate-high volume usage more difficult to switch their alignment
ires, she is confident that this method which is way short compared to HDDs. (from 0 to 1 or vice versa). Thus, you
will work with nickel wires as well. Enter 3D Xpoint (three-dee-cross- need to reduce their coercivity. Heating
In preliminary testing (which is still point), which is a non-volatile storage is one way to do this, and HAMR uses
underway), shes already charged and technology that boasts of a lot more a fine laser beam to heat the area being
discharged the nano-bat- read/write cycles than written to. Hard drives are going to see
tery over 200,000 times. SSDs. With information a large increase in capacities thanks to
How does a battery BATTERY BOOM? still limited about this HAMR, therell now be a phase where
that lasts charging and technology, we cant add HDDs become as competitive as SSDs
recharging for 400 years much more than that, but before going back to being commodities
or more sound? Its not well see consumer grade in the distant future. | January 2017 | Digit | 53

Cover story

Photography hasnt seen much
action for a while. Its a numbers game
the sensor and then the lenses in front
of it. Not anymore. Researchers at the
Columbia University are working to
human players, who will then take the
role of your co-op partner. This is the
closest youll get to the real thing.
with new DSLRs just having more build a flexible sheet camera. This isnt A worrying trend is the faster hard-
megapixels and focus points, and a new concept, but previous iterations ware and software refresh rates. Every
slightly improved image processors. suffered from non-fixable year we have a new CPU
Nothing revolutionary. Then Lytro aliasing, because the and GPU refresh, which
introduced the Light Field cinematog- lenses in front the sensor previously took at least
raphy. Though their first two ventures werent flexible. With 2-3 years to happen.
didnt pan out well, Lytro Cinema, their this new technology, both Software is updated way
upcoming video camera, is all set to elements are flexible. too often anyway, with
revolutionise the movie industry. So how are these something like Googles
The Lytro Cinema is a unique going to be put to use? You could wrap Chrome browser releasing 10 or 15
camera. It has a sensor capable of cap- sheets around objects and see them major updates a year. This is OK for
turing 755 RAW megapixels, and the from all directions. We couldnt think software though, because it doesnt
sensor itself is a foot and a half wide. of a more apt example other than the cost the user anything more, but with
Captured content can be rendered all seeing eye from Lord of the Rings. hardware updating costs a bomb!
as either 4K or 2K videos running at Jokes aside, you can wrap vehicles For consoles, we saw the Xbox One
with these sheets and improve driver S and PlayStation Pro being announced
assist systems. around E3, about three years after
the PS4 launched. But Sonys going to

11 GAMING VR has melded with the gaming

ecosystem and each platform has added
release the PlayStation Neo in 2017.
Thats in less than one year. The fact is,
because console manufacturers having

a multitude of VR titles. The PlaySta- adopted the x86 architecture, game

tion VR has been quite successful on developers no longer have to develop
the console front while Oculus Rift and for the PC separately. This has led to
HTC Vive have led the charge for PC. quite a lot of PC specific code making
Lytros 755 megapixel light field cinema Needless to say, VR on the PC is a much its way onto the console versions.
camera more fluid experience
thanks to the abun-
300 FPS. If all this still seems like dance of processing
just numbers, consider that Light power on hand. How-
Field Cinematography allows you to ever, it still remains
change focus, depth of field and shutter a niche as VR Head
speed during post production. The Mounted Displays still
camera records 3D depth of individual arent cheap. Xbox on
objects, and also stores angular data. the other hand decided
What does this mean? You can remove to sit this one out but SOURCE: WIKIMEDIA
objects from the scene, and dont need Scorpio will change
to reshoot them. You can do away with that as its packing a
green screens altogether! Also, since lot more horsepower to
angular data is stored, you end up give gamers a PC-like
with a virtualized holographic image. experience. However, Facebooks Oculus Rift gaming boot at Gamescom 2014
Because the camera creates models of theres one thing thats
every object it shoots, it includes posi- really going to drive AR/VR adoption, This means that where earlier
tional data in 3D space of them. This and thats Physically Collaborative developers used to have to cut code
camera will drastically reduce post Gaming (PCG). and optimise for restrictive console
production costs, reduce reshoots and Over the years multiplayer games hardware, they can afford to be a little
save a ton of money on CG effects. have carved a bigger piece of the lazier now, and that opens up a new
The next development is in sensors, pie than single player games the avenue for console manufacturers to
which have thus far been highest sales records are make even more money. You can kiss
flat. Various elements exclusively multiplayer your long support periods for consoles
in the lens are what MORE MEGAPIXELS titles. With PCG, gaming goodbye, because manufacturers will
help change the field of hardware will incorpo- focus only on the latest few iterations of
view and focus, which rate technologies such as their hardware. In short, consoles are
means you have to have Intels RealSense cam- going the mobile way, and your only
a separate module with eras, which will digitise hope is to join the #PCMasterRace.

54 | Digit | January 2017 |

Cover story

12 FOOD With more and more humans

crowding for space on the planet, food
Agriculture is not only benefitting
from genetic modification, but also
from improvements in weather predic-
hardware capability of being self-
driving, including even the Model 3. Of
course, the cheaper cars will have the
production is going to be an important tion and more accurate hardware but wont have
aspect that we need to get right, or else rainfall reports. self-driving capability
all hell will break loose. Not only do Most importantly, we just yet. The more expen-
we have to account for all the extra expect to see the first lab sive cars will have all of
stomachs, we also have to take care of grown meat and dairy the self-driving capabili-
the environment, which means were products to become ties, and the data gath-
just a little stuck between a rock and a available in 2017. While ered from those cars will
hard place. Add to that the tendency of this may disgust even be analysed, and when
people to either impose their ideas of the meat eaters amongst us, lab grown Tesla feel they are confident enough
whats right to eat on others (vegans, meat has several advantages. It can be to, they can just send an over the air
vegetarians, paleo-diet people and grown lean and healthy with less fat update and enable self-driving on the
anti-GM groups), or the other bunch and it is much greener, more efficient other vehicles. It doesnt have to be an
and much more moral all or nothing solution either, because
than raising an animal features such as automatic emergency
from a baby, feeding braking could be enabled first, then col-
it all its life and then lision warning, and so on, depending
killing it for meat as a on how much testing Tesla got done in
young adult. real-world scenarios, and how confi-
dent it was of the system being perfect.

13 SELF-
Tesla claim that their self-driving cars
are much safer than human drivers,

When you think of despite 2016 being the year the first
self-driving cars, you person died in a self-driving accident.
automatically think Tesla is still confident that it is far
Google. This is because, safer than human drivers, because its
for a long time, Google only had one fatality in over 200 mil-
A genetically modified crop has led the way in lion km driven by self-driving Teslas,
self-driving research. However, recently, as opposed to US human drivers, who
of people who dont care how their diet Uber announced a self-driving car test have a fatality every 150 million km.
impacts the planet (beef eaters we mean to be run in California. They
you), and we have a recipe for disaster. were promptly told by the
This is where technology has to step California Department of
in to save the day. The most obvious Motor Vehicles that they
technology is genetic modification would need to apply for
(GM), where the DNA of plants and ani- autonomous licenses for
mals are changed to make them yield their cars, pay extra money
more food, cost less to maintain, and and agree to rigorous self-
secure them from disease and pests. driving regulations. Uber
Medical understanding of refused, because unlike

genomes, and of DNA has been with other self-driving cars,

increasing steadily, and with more Uber has a driver present
genetic modification experiments or ready to take over in an
projects being green-lighted across instant. Of course, Uber lost Ubers self-driving car
the globe, food production is sure to the battle, and then promptly
get a shot in the arm. decided to shift to Arizona, where As long as the second fatality happens
Although many still question the Governor Doug Ducey welcomed them much after 400 million miles have
ethics, an example of aquaculture with open arms and wide open roads. been self-driven by Teslas, this claim
(fish farms) using GM trials to try Looks like there will be something will hold. If the next fatality happens
and prevent fish from unique for a few Ari- before 300 million km, Tesla might
falling sick, or making zonan Uber riders to tell be in big trouble. Actually, the next
them resistant to fish TASTY OPTIONS their friends about. fatality might be big trouble no matter
parasites such as sea In October 2016 Tesla how many million miles later it comes!
lice will go a long way in announced that from This particular capability is under high
making seafood farms then on, all Tesla cars levels of scrutiny and if you ask us,
more efficient. would be sold with full even the slightest mistake is a big deal. | January 2017 | Digit | 55

Cover story

14 A.I. This is the one field that is

seeing so much progress, that we cant
course). Humans can have a bad day,
and their judgement can be clouded,
but software is always clear about
over a year-and-a-half. He even played
basketball without a heart inside his
body, which would be unthinkable just
even begin to scratch the surface if we the outcome. Not to say a few years ago.
dedicated the entire cover story to it. that software is perfect, In 2017, the first
Pretty much all of the future concepts which is why Dalio artificial pancreas will
weve listed here have some element of believes that up to 75% go on sale, which is
A.I. supporting them, and its going to of management can be excellent news for people
be big business too. done by software, but the suffering from type 1 dia-
Digital Assistants were big in remaining 25% will have betes. The little gadget
2016, but they werent perfect, and to be managed by some will constantly check
we think 2017 will see even more of very smart humans. The blood sugar levels and
them launched, and all of the billions only bit that confuses us is, if the soft- inject insulin accordingly, thus taking
of interactions they have with people ware will manage hiring and firing away the need for the patient to do that
doesnt that make the soft- themselves. This should also reduce
ware 100% in charge? the risk of death because of incorrect
The rise of AI has even dosage, such as taking insulin when
the office of the Presi- the blood sugar is low.
dent of the US involved, However, the big news is not just
because theyre worried artificial organs, but the possibility
about the impact to the exists that we will be able to do entire
economy when A.I. takes head transplants soon. Yes, you read
over the jobs of millions that right, in a few years you might be
of Americans soon. This able to go to a doctor and get a totally

is also very worrying for new body (but keep the same head)
countries that rely a lot on if you thought sex change surgeries
outsourcing, such as China, needed therapy, imagine waking up
and also India. The only with someone elses body literally!
Roboy, an advance humanoid robot developed at the thing cheaper and harder Of course some diseases might not
University of Zurich working than a Chinese need whole new donor bodies, and
factory worker is a robot, this is where gene therapy comes in,
from across the globe will train them at least in the long run. We
to be smarter, and thus make them think that in 2017 we will
even more invaluable in the long see the start of the effects of
run. However, its not just personal A.I. on global economies,
assistants that will go artificial, but and it might not turn out
also many jobs, and surprisingly, too well for some of us.
theyre not repetitive jobs of assembly
line workers and the like, but jobs that
you would think could never be done
without humans
This is the field
which possibly gets the

When the worlds largest hedge most funding for research,

fund (Bridgewater Associates) says it and with good reason too,
wants to start building and trialling because humans want to
software to take over quite a few tasks live longer (if not forever) A French made artificial heart
from humans, you sit up and take and the fountain of youth is
notice. The founder, Ray Dalio wants the ultimate goal of mankind. especially when it comes to genetic
the company to run according to his One of the ways to accomplish a flaws that make us prone to maladies.
vision, even after hes gone, and feels longer life, especially for people suf- Blindness is one such genetic problem,
that software is the only way to achieve fering organ failure, is to have artificial and a company called Spark Therapeu-
that. What will the organs take over the job, tics is expected to get a license from the
software handle? Hiring either permanently, or US FDA in 2017 to start gene therapy to
and firing of people, eve- COMPUTER temporarily till a donor try and cure a genetic type of blindness
ryday decision making GENERATED LINKS is found. In 2016 we were called inherited retinal dystrophies.
and management, and wowed by 25-year old And thats just scratching the surface
even strategic decision Stan Larkin, who carried of the mind-blowing medical marvels
making (all in line with an external artificial we can expect to see starting in 2017.
the companys vision of heart in a backpack for Fingers crossed!

56 | Digit | January 2017 |

Cover story

16 SALE We all love a good bargain, and

we love the highs we get from some
Then of course theres VR and AR
that can be used to tell you what size
of clothes you should buy, lets you try
The Chinese also seem to be making
progress and are working towards
Mach 10 (10 times the speed of sound)
retail therapy. Digit readers especially on (virtually of course) missiles. The US is still
love the feel of a new gadget in our clothes that are available far ahead, with rumours
hands its just pure bliss isnt it? for purchase online, so suggesting that they
However, retail isnt just for buying that you know how it are on their way to
gadgets with demonetisation a lot would look on you (or achieving Mach 20
of us are buying everything online or at least get a pretty good already. Lockheed was
from larger stores, and using plastic idea). And all of this is awarded a $147 million
to pay for it all. This is good because it just technology thats akin to Snap- contract by the US to build a Mach 20
Chat filters! Then of course payload delivery system.
VR can allow retailers to Why is this so important? Because
give you a large mall-sized most countries have defense systems
experience without incur- capable of shooting down traditional
ring any of the associated ICBMs of the type, say, India, Paki-
costs, because you will visit stan, France and England have. In
virtually from the comfort order to beat defense systems, there

of your home. is only the option of stealth which

With so many inven- is very hard in this day and age of
tive ways being thought up sophisticated satellite surveillance,
about how to make your and of course, good old speed. If the
shopping a novel experi- missile is faster than the anti-missile,
ence, were pretty sure that you win. At Mach 20, a payload would
Amazons advance shopping technology where you 2017 will forever change the be impossible to stop and hard to even
never have to wait in line. way we shop, both online as detect in time. Theoretically, the US
well as offline. could bomb and disable all nuclear
will open up more people to accepting
the newer way of buying things, which
in turn will help people innovate in the
space. With that in mind, 2017 seems to
17 WAR
Sadly, the one
things we wish wouldnt
be the year things will change in retail improve is our efficiency
in India but this is also true for global at killing one another,
retail, and some of the technologies but we know we will
used abroad will find their way to us, or get better at it. Defense
inspire local versions, because, we are, research is perhaps a
after all, one of the biggest consumer total misnomer, because
markets in the world. pretty much most of the

Augmented Reality actually plays a R&D dollars spent by
large part in online shopping, and we every country on earth
think you will see more and more of goes towards offensive
it starting in 2017. Most of you know weapons things meant Only the dead have seen the end of war - Plato
that we have partnered with Blippar to kill others, and not so
to augment our covers, and Blippar is much ways to defend against attacks. sites in Russia or China before they
also doing some good work with retail. The world spends a whopping $1.6 even knew what had hit them, let
Using Blippar you can buy products trillion a year on defense, just because alone launch a retaliatory strike!
that you see models wearing on runway we cant all get along. There are a lot of smaller enhance-
shows, you can preview how a piece of One of the biggest developments ments being made to weapons as well,
furniture would look in your house. in nuclear warfare (something we and lasers seem to be the choice of
Using social media and updates hope is never used, but perfect, just weapons for 2017 and beyond. Star
from friends, and a little A.I. magic, you in case), are hypersonic ICBMs. The Wars may finally be coming true, and
can get suggestions about US, China and Russia wars of the future might just be fought
what to buy friends for are said to be working with lasers!
their birthdays, or for SPECIAL OFFERS! on this, and although no Well that was our list of the 17 areas
special occasions. IBMs one knows for sure, the that will completely change due to tech
Watson is being used in US seems to be in the advancements and progress in 2017.
a project called Watson lead, given the nervous- While it may not be exhaustive, it defi-
Trend to accomplish this. ness of the Russians. nitely is exciting. | January 2017 | Digit | 57

Feature Workshop
We're past the trial stage in AR, Want to show off some gaming skills

Toolbox 60 and it's about time for you to play

around with some AR dev tools. 62 or hilarious fails? Here's how you can
livestream your gameplay to YouTube.

Lost Android passcode, a conked

memory slot, the notorious system32
error and more such suffering
This month we came across our readers facing problems on their PC on both
hardware and software; along with smartphone issues

A foreign problem buttons to activate it when the phone have more than two RAM sockets, then
Hey Guys! is switched off. If the charging icon is youll have to use just one stick. The
First of all, I love Digit and Im totally coming up, then you havent reached only solution would be to buy a new
addicted to it. My problem is that I have the custom recovery. Try different vari- motherboard if you really need the
a Xiaomi Redmi Note 4 which I bought ations with the hardware buttons such other RAM module.
from China (as it is not yet released in as power and volume down button or
India.). I switched off the phone and power and both the volume buttons. Kali-brated network card
after switching it back on, it asked me You can also try keeping the power Hey Team Digit,
for the backup password instead of the button pressed for around 15-20 sec- I have a Killer Gigabit network card to
fingerprint. When I entered my cor- onds to reset the device (although not reduce my ping while gaming. It's pretty
rect password, it is not accepting it and all devices follow this). At the customer good for reducing lag in gaming, so I was
due to this I am not able to unlock my service, explain your exact problem thinking whether it can be used in Kali
phone. I tried to search online for an and request the staff to help you out. Linux for better performance in moni-
answer and it suggested to switch off toring mode but I don't know the con-
the phone, press the power and volume Socket trouble cept of the Killer Gigabit card and how
up button for ten seconds after which Sir, I have a problem where one of my it works. So I kind of feel stupid about
the recovery mode can be accessed. But RAM socket isnt working. How do I fix asking this question. I'm currently using
when I did that instead of the recovery it? My PC specifications are as follows: an Intel Wireless 3165 adapter. I have
mode, I got a picture of the phone and CPU: Intel Core i5-3470 an MSI GE62VR Apache Pro. So, if I can
the charging cable beneath it. I also RAM: 2 GB use the card in Kali Linux, do tell me how
tried contacting the Mi customer care in CPU: GeForce GT 610 to change the default settings so that I
India, but they said that since the Redmi Aditya can switch the network card. Thanks.
Note 4 is not yet launched in India they David Terros
can't help me. In fact, everywhere I go, Hey Aditya, looks like the socket has
I get the same statement. I am really failed. To determine whether your Hey David, you shouldnt face any
frustrated that I have got such a great socket or RAM module is faulty, you problem running scans and collecting
phone, yet still I am not able to use it. should try inserting your RAM stick on wireless data on Kali Linux with your
Please help me to get out of this mess. another socket or a friends mother- network card. Use the appropriate
You guys are my last hope. board. The testing depends on the kernel version since we updating the
Shaurya number of RAM sticks you have and kernel might affect compatibility in
whether your motherboard has more Kali. Heres a quick guide on how to
Hey Shaurya, than two slots. If youre using just one setup an external network card: http://
It used to be easier on devices run- RAM stick, which works fine, then you
ning Android 4.4 and below, but after should simply switch to the other slot.
Android 5.0, they removed the option If you have two RAM sticks and dont The forgotten settings
in an attempt to increase security. Sir, today I was changing the settings
The only way for newer devices is to in my BIOS but cant recall what I
factory reset your device which means changed. It shows an error men-
that youll be losing all your data. To tioning DRIVER_IRQL_NOT_LESS_
reach the factory reset screen, you have OR_EQUAL. On restart, each time
to enter the custom recovery of the it is dumping physical memory and
phone and for that you need to press RAM socket failure calls for a new restarting. Please help me.
the power and volume up hardware motherboard Akhil

58 | Digit | January 2017 |

Tips & Tricks
Unlock the true potential of your smartphone camera

69 with the Open Camera app. And once you're done,

explore how scrobbling can make your life easier. Q&A Q&A

Hey Akhil, this problem arises their bitrate, audio bitrate, resolution,
because of a driver issue of a particular etc. The video that you record has
hardware. Try to change that setting hardly any compression algorithms
back then if you can remember. If you applied to it, hence the huge file size. If
can't find the same setting again, go you want to compress your recorded
into the BIOS and reset defaults ("Load videos, you can use a free tool called
default BIOS settings" or "Load Default Handbrake. Its a fairly easy software to
Settings", or something similar use where youll be able to compress
depending on your BIOS), and that your videos to smaller sizes without
should fix it. losing much of the quality. There are
Also, you can try booting into Safe very helpful presets also available
Mode and reinstalling the driver which which can get the job done in not time.
is at fault. You will be able to check
the corresponding faulty driver from
device manager. You could also go
ahead and try to repair your system
with the Windows Installation Disk
using a USB drive.
If you can't even get to the BIOS,
just look at your motherboard manual
for the clear CMOS button or jumper.
When the PC is shut down, either use
that jumper or button, or take out the
CMOS battery, leave it out for 15 min- Handbrake is great for video compression
utes, put it back in and start your PC.
That should do the trick. Missing system file
Dear Digit Team,
I have recently bought an HP laptop
from HP Online Shopping whose details
are as follows: HP Pavilion 15-au626TX
with three years onsite warranty. When
I boot up the laptop, it is not able to
show the desktop screen and displays a
message mentioning a system32 file is
missing (File location not found). Please
send some helpful advice regarding this.
Thank you.
The blue screen of death Saksham

Video compression Hey Saksham, it would have been

Hey Digit experts, I own a Sony PMW helpful if you had mentioned the name
camera which records 1080p HD videos. of the file. Nonetheless, this error is
But a small recording of about five usually caused when a particular file in
minutes consumes around 650 MB. But the system32 directory gets corrupted
Hollywood movies around two hours or deleted. This is usually caused by a
have the size of 900 MB, which kept me virus. What you should do is write
thinking about a way to compress video down the name of the missing file, boot
files without altering the video quality or up your laptop in the Safe Mode and
maybe altering to a small extent. Please execute a search on your system for
help me find a way to compress videos. that particular file, in case it was moved
Sharan to another location. If you find it, move
it back to the system32 directory. If you
Hey Sharan, the Hollywood movies cant find the file, then repairing your
youre talking about go through several system using the Windows Installation
passes of compression with changes in Disk is your best bet. | January 2017 | Digit | 59

Beats X earphones delayed Opera currency converter
First announced on september 16, Apples The Opera web browser for desktop gets a
Beats X earphones are likely to be delayed new inbuilt currency converter. Read more
Feature again. about it here:

Arnab Mukherjee guage. And this isnt even new, but it is Some of the features it offers are: an example of how AR can seamlessly Object recognition

integrate into our lives. Virtual buttons
ast month, Pokmon GO offi- Open GL support
cially launched in oh wait! Vuforia Smart terrain ability to recon-
Not again! Not another article One of the most complete SDKs for the struct terrain in real time
about augmented reality augmented reality platform, Vuforia Extended tracking
starting with Pokmon GO! It almost is perhaps one of the most feature- Cloud database for mage recognition
seems as if Pokmon GO and aug- rich AR development tools out there While Vuforia has paid versions
mented reality have become synonyms targeted at mobile devices. Like most that offer certain advanced capabilities
thanks to the events of last year. Thank- AR tech, it uses computer vision to for AR development, the free version is
fully, theres more happening which comprehend the scene in front of the still pretty powerful. The Vuforia plat-
will change this perception, and fast. device camera and identify surfaces. form supports Android and iOS smart-
We now have AR apps freely avail- Once identified, the orientation and phones and tablets as well as digital
able on Android and iOS, and they per- visualisation of virtual objects is kept eyewear. Developers can build Vuforia
form beyond the expectations we had in sync with the device orientation. apps in Android Studio, Xcode and
just a year ago. For example, the Google the Unity cross-platform game engine.
Translate app can detect text by using Its no surprise that Vuforia is the top
your smartphone camera, and translate choice for a lot of developers. Theres a
it on the fly using augmented reality. full list of developers and apps that use
You end up with the original text being it at which
replaced by software to look as if the Vuforia is one of the most popular AR you can check out. Apart from the free
book magically appeared in your lan- development SDKs version, the SDK also comes at either a

60 | Digit | January 2017 |

TrademarkVision Room-service robots
TrademarkVision is a new software that uses A hotel in Silicon Valley, California uses
machine learning and makes finding logos on the small robots, outfitted with 3D cameras for
internet much easier. room-services. Feature

consumer-level pricing or an enterprise to use Aurasma), is to use the Aurasma a URL with each Blipp, you can also
pricing package. SDK in an app youre developing, and implement highly engaging 3D content
The problem with Vuforia is the then leverage the backend cloud sup- that can vary from simple food recipes
absence of a complete framework port from Aurasma, but keeping your jumping out at you from ingredient
manual. The disconnected short tips own app UI and experience as undam- packets, to a full scale look designer
and instructions are not sufficient for aged as possible. inside a a fashion magazine.
beginners to find their way around As a developer, since the Blipp-
it. Also, in the free version there ARToolkit builder Script is a Javascript interface
are certain limitations on the cloud While Vuforia limits the developer in for Blippars AR engine, you will get
recognition technology, along with a terms of premium ceilings, Aurasma the freedom to define your own scene,
watermark on the AR experience once is simply not capable of full-grade VR.
per day. Somewhere in between those two is
ARToolkit, which has the added advan-
Aurasma Studio tage of being open source. This means
The potential of AR as an interactive that you get free access to the develop-
tool to gain popularity is immense, ment library. Among other features,
but not everybody is looking for a full ARToolkit supports 2D recognition in
fledged 3-dimensional augmented augmented reality and mapping addi-
reality experience. Besides, due to lack tional elements via openGL.
of budget, or developer skills, that may The library also allows advanced
not even be an option for some. Aur- marker tracking via the device camera, Blippar offers a diverse spectrum of AR
asma studio is a web-based augmented which is essentially how AR popularly experiences
reality development tool that requires works right now. This allows devel-
no installations or programming to be opers to create AR interfaces based on script custom effects and integrate with
implemented. In fact, you can imple- the location data they receive from the other applications. It supports native
ment an Aura, which is what they call device camera. exporters and advanced lighting and
one interactable experience, within Despite being free, ARToolkit materials effects. The basic plan for this
45 seconds. We should mention that suffers from the curse of poor docu- API is free, but is limited to very basic
this number was derived from a dem- mentation. And it would be fair to say watermarked blipps.
onstration video and actual times may that the test apps are quite difficult to
vary depending upon your device build. If youre willing to sweat it out And more..
and connectivity. on an open-source platform, you will be These are merely the popular tools
The studio itself is online and is able to develop apps for Android, iOS, that are already being used by a large
completely hassle free to use. All you Windows, Linux and Mac OS X. number of developers. This doesnt
need to do is follow these steps: mean that this is an exhaustive list,
Upload your trigger image this is In the interest of transparency, we want because augmented reality is still in
the image that the app will recognise. to inform readers that we use BlippAR its infancy, as are the development
Upload your overlay this is the ourselves to augment this magazine, but we tools and plans. With each new tool
content that will show up as the assure you of remaining completely unbiased competing in this space, and with
AR experience in our analysis of it. each new update for the existing
Resize the overlay to fit properly players, comes an even higher level
with respect to the trigger BlippAR of quality and immersion. To us, it
Place any additional interaction While Blippar is not mainly a develop- seems pretty obvious that a lot sooner
overlays and hotspots if needed, and ment platform, it does offer one of the than you think, an augmnented
save it. easiest ways for a brand to use AR. reality is pretty much going to be
Youre ready to go! Weve found that the Blippar app itself the new definition of reality. Just as
We tried it out and it is quite easy. has one the best image recognition fea- you cannot imagine life without, say
While the quality of the AR experience tures amongst the available apps, and Google, youre not going to even be able
is far from polished think more like that, combined with an AR experience to imagine a life without AR, and not
Pokmon GO its the ease of use that that you can build yourself makes for a in 20 or 30 years, but maybe as soon
is the attraction here. really strong contender. as 5 or 10. If youre just starting off on
The app itself looks quite cluttered, You gte a Blippbuilder tool that lets a career of development, you might
and it was hard to tell how a brand you develop an AR experience using want to ensure that you build some AR
would market itself on the app. What a simple drag-and-drop process. The skills, because this is one technology
would make more sense (if you wanted easiest outcome is redirecting users to that is here to stay. | January 2017 | Digit | 61

New Vine camera New airliner concept
Vine recently announced that they're This new airliner concept can help airlines
closing their service and rebranding the app easily rearrange and mix their sitting
Workshop to Vine Camera. positions.

If youve always wanted to show off your AWP-ing skills
in CS: GO to your friends, heres an extensive guide on
how to livestream your gameplay to YouTube.

Before we begin, there are a few

things you need to keep in mind. Youll
obviously need a good gaming PC and
a high-bandwidth internet connec-
tion for a seamless and good quality
stream. But you dont need to worry
if you have a poor internet connec-
tion because we were able to stream at
lower bandwidths of around 1Mbps
and on a system running a Second Gen
Intel Sandy Bridge CPU. Although the
stream might be strong but depending
on your ISP, your game pings might get
affected. In one of our test cases, the ISP
was able to simultaneously maintain
a stable ping and stream as well. The
shortcoming with low bandwidth
connections would be poor, pixelated
streams, even though your stream
could be running at 1080p and 60fps.
A better setup would also require
you to have another display so that you
could be playing on one display while
controlling and watching your stream
Abhijit Dey but now, it has become effortless to on the other. The best solution for a high livestream your gameplay, accessible to quality and seamless streaming experi-

everyone and not just to professionals. ence would be the use of a dedicated
ver the years, YouTube has Youll find premium software bundled streaming PC, where you play the game
witnessed a rise of channels with gaming laptops or even games, on one PC while the streaming PC cap-
hosting their gameplay reli- that have far easier setup controls. But tures your game and streams it online.
giously, whether live or pre- for this workshop, we will explore a This workshop will only be looking at
recorded ones. In fact, the most sub- free and open source alternative, and how to stream using a single PC.
scribed YouTuber, PewDiePie, rose to probably the most popular broad-
fame with his Lets Play videos. Earlier, casting service called Open Broadcast Downloading OBS
streamers relied on recorded footage Software, or just OBS. Currently, there are two downloadable

62 | Digit | January 2017 |

Engineering Rice New UberPool timer
Researchers are working on new ways to Uberpool now has a specific timer so you
reduce the amount of phosphorous that dont have to wait long for other carpool
plants waste. mates. Workshop

versions of OBS OBS Classic and love the customisation based on your Out of the three, Game Capture is what
Studio. Classic is the original software channels theme. The animated intro you should be opting for but there
the project was started while Studio is also acts as a buffer for the times when were times where a blank screen was
the revamped version. The advantages youre about to begin your live stream. output and the stream lagged during
of Studio is that the entire software has Rather than showing your desktop, switching. If it doesnt work out for you,
been rewritten from scratch and the you could display the animated splash Display Capture should be your option,
Settings menu has also been over- screen in loop. the only problem here could be your
hauled to make things easier. Another
advantage would be pre-installed
plugins, because earlier, you had to
install them individually in Classic.
Now, the question is whether you
should download Classic or Studio
and the answer is simple. New users
should definitely download Studio
since fiddling around with the different
streaming and encoding settings is a tad
bit easier than Classic. The main reason
would be the discontinuation of updates
from Classic whereas Studio has been
witnessing a healthy update cycle.
You can download OBS Studio here:

Setting up scenes and

When you start up OBS, youll be
presented with a blank window and
four sections below it. In the Settings
menu, the General tab includes a few The OBS Studio version offers an easy to use interface when it comes to tweaking
useful features and also an option
pick between a light and dark theme, a Create the first scene and name it entire desktop screen will be visible to
feature missing on Classic. A scene is something like Intro. Animated intros the viewers. But this can also be pre-
a collection of elements from different or any kind of video element can be vented by switching to your Standby
sources that ultimately forms the final added as a Media Source. If you want screen or intro when youre using the
screen that is streamed to your viewers. to save on bandwidth, and add just desktop, and switching to the Desktop
Multiple scenes can be added to a single a standby image instead of a looping Capture after opening up the game
stream and switched accordingly using video, you can add one or more from using hotkeys which register globally
hotkeys in between the stream. Its Image or Image Slide Show. In the same over any running process. If you wish,
smarter to assign a purpose to every way, you can also add text using the you can also add your webcam feed as
scene rather than adding multiple Text (GDI+) source. Along with an intro a source using Video Capture Device.
scenes for every single source since source, you can also add another image You can then move, crop and resize the
theres no restriction on the number or media source as Standby for the webcam feed wherever you want on the
of sources in one single scene. This times when you need to take a break screen. To follow the channels theme,
will make it less complicated to switch but still continue streaming or make you could add a border as an Image
scenes when youre in the middle of a changes in OBS on the fly. source around the webcam feed and
live stream. Sources are elements where Moving on to adding your gameplay also a logo somewhere in the scene.
your content will be pulled such as your as a scene, well create a new scene and There are many variations that you
desktop screen, webcam, mic audio, name it Game. Naming and assigning can try out by adding multiple sources
desktop audio, browser window, etc. hotkeys is important at the beginning to to the same scene and finding the best
As a means of making your live prevent any confusion later after youve composition you need. Once youre
stream look good, we would recom- added multiple scenes and sources. satisfied on the scenes, you can assign
mend using animated intros, borders To display your game, you have three hotkeys to them under Settings to
and overlays for your sources. These options including Display Capture, switch between them without opening
arent a necessity but your viewers will Game Capture or Window Capture. up OBS. Avoid assigning hotkeys that | January 2017 | Digit | 63

The Moskito smartwatch A blackhole "supernova"
This new smartwatch not only has a funny A black hole tears apart a star that passed too
name but it can also turn into a speedometer close to it resulting in the biggest supernova
Workshop for your bike. ever observed.

might be already used by the game or

desktop. This will create unnecessary
confusion mid-stream.

Adding stream settings

Your stream settings include the ser-
vices to where youll be livestreaming.
You can choose from Twitch, YouTube
and even Facebook Live. For this case,
well select YouTube/YouTube Gaming
and continue with the default Primary
YouTube ingest server. Your stream
key is unique to your channel and
needs to be entered in order to connect
the live stream feed to your YouTube
account. Head over to your channel
settings or Creator Studio in YouTube,
then Livestreaming, and enable Live
streaming privileges. Its fairly easy to
setup and once youre through, scroll
to the bottom of the dashboard and
youll find your stream key. Click on
reveal and copy-paste the key in OBS
The desktop capture mode streams your entire desktop
and hit Apply. You need to keep your
stream key private since anyone with
access to it will get access to stream
content on your channel. If you wish to
add Stream settings for other services,
the process is similar and all you need
to do is find the stream key in the
services dashboard and add it to OBS.
For Twitch, youll need to download a
separate tool called Twitch Bandwidth
Test to figure out the best server.

Experimenting with
Getting the right encoding settings
takes a lot of time unless someone else
with the same configuration as yours
has posted the optimal settings. Your
encoder settings are highly dependent
on the game youre playing, whether
its an FPS or an MMO or an RTS
game. The reason is different genres
have different rendering speeds and OBS output encoding settings lets you heavily tweak your audio output in the stream
accordingly, the encoding needs to be
capable of outputting it. Another factor and select the Simple mode since we tions and frame rates here: http://dgit.
would be how powerful your hardware wont be changing anything under the in/OBSYtSettings.
is, essentially your CPU and GPU. The Advanced mode. Youll have to enter Youll need to factor in your internet
Stream Settings Estimator http://dgit. your video bitrate in kbps at which bandwidth as well since the above rec-
in/OBSConfig web tool will give you your stream will be sent to YouTube ommendation doesnt consider it. Your
exact numbers on the settings you need or other streaming services. YouTube video bitrate should be around 80-85%
to populate in OBS. Head over to the has completely listed down the settings of your upload bandwidth that can be
Output menu under Settings in OBS youll need to enter for different resolu- acquired and calculated by running

64 | Digit | January 2017 |

SpaceX is ready Gym vs Tsunami
SpaceX announced that it is already ready to Architects and engineers in Westport,
launch its next rocket just four months after its Washington designed a gym that can withstand
last tragic accident. a tsunami. Workshop

Speedtest. Do note, Twitch has restric- Previews, dry runs and it live from a mobile device, preferably
tions to a video bitrate of 3,500 kbps going live on a different connection (cellular) or
(unless youre a partner). Facebook Before you go live to your audience, its you could ask a friend to watch. You can
Live has many restrictions on encoding important to test whether scene transi- try switching between the scenes and
settings such as no support for hard- tions are functioning properly. You testing all the hotkeys, and also observe
ware encoding, a maximum audio can right-click on each scene and go to whether the stream suffers frame drops
bitrate of 128, maximum resolution of Fullscreen Projector that will give you or freezes. If you notice these problems,
720p in 30 fps, and maximum video a preview on how that scene will look then youll have to go back to tweaking
bitrate of 4,000 kbps. like in the stream. You should do this the encoder settings and more tests.
Choosing whether you want to for every scene, just to be sure. The best If you have a strong internet
use software or hardware encoding way to check whether all your hotkeys bandwidth that can handle both the
depends on your rig. If you have a work is to record a session. When all streaming and watching simultane-
strong CPU like an Intel i7, then you the scenes and sources are final, hit ously, then you can have the YouTube
can pick the x264 encoder with audio the Start Recording button and it will Live dashboard running on another
bitrate at 160 and Encoder Preset on save a local copy of the entire session. monitor if you have one. This will
fast. Youll need to check whether your
CPU is capable of handling the dif-
ferent Encoder Presets where ultrafast
doesnt stress the CPU whereas slower
in intensive. You should definitely opt
for x264 encoding if you dont have a
discrete GPU.
But if you do have a decent or
powerful GPU, you could enable
hardware encoding and the corre-
sponding encoder to your GPU (AMD
or NVIDIA) will appear. Here, you can
again experiment with the encoder pre-
sets from High Quality to Low-latency Different streaming services support different parameters
High Performance. In our testing, we
found the hardware encoder to be You can refer to the recorded video to enable you to watch and reply to your
better at streaming with the GTX 1080 discover flaws and then move on to a chat messages and keep an eye on the
even though we had the i7-3960X. dry run online. streams health. It is also essential to
Do note that even the first dry run check your audio levels for each audio
Audio and video settings on your YouTube channel will send a input source. Sometimes, your in-game
There isnt much in the audio and video notification to your subscribers (if you audio could be overpowering your mic
settings since everything will be set to have any) that youve gone live. Hence, input and you will have to reduce the
default. You can choose between the it would be advisable to use a sec- volume for your desktop or in-game
sample rates and reassign your desktop ondary undisclosed YouTube channel audio source. Youll also need to check
audio and mic sources. In audio, Studio to experiment. for dropped frames in your stream at
sees an update over Classic to support After youve entered all the settings the bottom and there are numerous
multiple sources for desktop audio and in YouTube as mentioned above, hit reasons to blame for it. You can check
mics. Click on the dropdown menu for Start Streaming in OBS and the top bar out this comprehensive post that tries
Desktop Audio Device and Mic/Aux- in the YouTube Live dashboard should to solve this problem
iliary Device, and select your devices turn green or yellow or red. The dif- OBSDroppedFrames.
rather than letting the default setting ferent colours depict the quality of the Once your live stream is lag-free,
stay for better control over your stream. stream where green is the best and red youre ready to go live and face the
The video settings essentially ask is the worst. A preview should appear world to display your high level of
you to set the resolution and fps that in the window below where you can see skills or the lack of it. On a different
you want to output on your stream. the scenes from OBS. Start the game note, we do stream the lack of our
It could be 1920x1080 at 60fps or you want to stream and switch to that skills in CS: GO almost every day on
1280x720 at 60fps, depending on particular scene if youre using Game SKOAR!s official Facebook page. Make
your internet bandwidth and PC Capture. Since the game will run in full- sure you head over and like the page so
specs. Choose the Downscale Filter as screen, the best way to check whether that youre get a notification whenever
Lanczos only if you have a powerful rig. your live stream is functional is to watch we go live. | January 2017 | Digit | 65

Note 7 fiasco continues NASA goes social
A new software update for Samsung's Galaxy NASA announced two new accounts (Giphy and
Note 7 prevents it from charging completely. Pinterest) where they will share new GIFs from
Workshop space.

If you have felt the effects of the cash crunch,
read on to find out how you can use UPI to
make payments

Abhishek Balaji of currency in India. RBI gauges the for allowing the use of the computation volume of currency to be printed by power in their personal computers. The

the amount of gold reserves it has. That computing power is used to repeatedly
igital Payments in India is the biggest hurdle digital payments access and decode the various strings
took off more by force than face. For an economy to go completely of data that arise out of a mathematical
by choice. If youre one of cashless and digital, it needs to be formula. The formula, along with the
those affected by the sudden regulated. Right now, the only solution software used for mining the bitcoins,
move to a digital economy, we bring is to virtualise the currency. Services both are open source so there is more
you one such service which promises like bitcoins have a different take accountability with the currency.
to revolutionise the payment space in on digital economies. Instead of just While were far off from a com-
India. Digital Payments or most com- making the same currency virtual, pletely digital economy, India has
monly known as Plastic Currency is a bitcoins and other blockchain based announced recently a payment system
creation of twentieth century bankers known as UPI or Uni-
who wanted better ways to handle fied Payment Interface.
their money. Currency is an integral UPI borrows a few
part of any economy. These small tricks from bitcoins by
chunks of metal or paper represent a eliminating the need
real value in the world. The currency to exchange personal
in an economy is heavily reliant on the information such as
prosperity of the country. So, a country bank account details,
can be more prosperous by printing names or phone
and circulating more currency? No, just cryptocurrencies introduce a new type numbers when making any transac-
ask Greece. The amount of currency of digital asset. Bitcoins are decentral- tion. While normal online transactions
in circulation at any point of time is ized, which means that they are not are secure to a certain extent, the sheer
dictated by the amount of reserves of pegged against any form of resources or volume of transactions means that
wealth the state-owned bank has. For reserves. There is no central authority your personal data is being trans-
example, in India, the Reserve Bank that controls the currency and hence, mitted across the internet so many
of India is the federal bank which it might seem like a better option. times, that the risk of your data getting
regulates the printing and circulation Instead, it is a system to reward users compromised increases dramatically.

66 | Digit | January 2017 |

Feathered tail of a dinosaur Microsoft's LinkedIn acquisition
A 99 million year-old tail, with feathers preserved, Software giant Microsoft finalises a whopping $26
of a dinosaur was found in Amber in Myanmar, billion acquisition deal for LinkedIn.
Southeast Asia. Workshop

UPI works by partnering with the numbers and names, and you can have a limited set of participating banks. For
banks in India and every customer is multiple virtual addresses at multiple now, the banks which have gotten the
directly linked to their bank accounts. banks. For example, a virtual address approval from Apple for UPI transac-
Unlike wallet services such as Paytm or looks something like this digit@sbi. tions include Andhra Bank, Axis Bank,
FreeCharge, UPI is not a wallet. There Here, digit is a string that you can Bank of Maharashtra, Bhartiya Mahila
is no intermediary where the money is select, something like a username. Bank, Canara Bank, Catholic Syrian
stored for transactions. Instead, all the Instead of a username, you can
transactions happen directly through also use your phone number as
the bank accounts. 1234567890@sbi. The second
While not all banks have com- part of the virtual address speci-
pletely implemented UPI, there are a fies the bank in which the cus-
few which have released applications tomer holds the account. Each
already. A customer of the bank would bank has a short code, which can
have to download the application and be used here. The virtual address
obtain a unique address, which is the is the only information youll
only thing that needs to be shared in a need to initiate the transac-
transaction. Unlike bitcoins, the trans- tion. This is incredibly useful
actions are not anonymous, and there is for retail applications where it
always a record of these transactions. is often inconvenient to accept
The organization behind UPI is the payments through traditional
NPCI or National Payments Corpo- Net Banking. A shop owner can We used PhonePe to try out UPI
ration of India. If youve ever used simply store the virtual address
IMPS (Immediate Payment Service), in any medium such as QR Codes, Bank, DCB Bank, Federal Bank, ICICI
UPI is an advanced version of IMPS. NFC tags, RFID chips, Beacons etc. Bank, TJSB Sahakari Bank, Oriental
Today a few banks have gone live UPI also lets you initiate a payment Bank of Commerce, Karnataka Bank,
with UPI out of 29 banks that had request to a virtual address, like UCO Bank, Union Bank of India,
several wallet apps. The United Bank of India, Punjab National
person requesting must Bank, South Indian Bank, Vijaya Bank
only type the virtual and YES Bank. If you have an account
address and commu- in any of these banks, you can begin
nicate the URL to the using UPI right away. If your bank isnt
other person by any participating yet, you should contact
media such as physical you nearest branch.
media or digitally.
concurred to provide UPI service to According to the NPCI, a merchant Do you really need UPI?
their customers. We are confident PoS (Point of Sale) application could While the prospect of UPI sounds
that several banks will join UPI this create the UPI link with the correct interesting and exciting for digital pay-
year and the number will multiply parameters as specified and then ments, you wouldnt be using it much
further. Our focus is in line with RBIs transmit using sound to the customer unless there is widespread adoption.
vision of migrating towards less- device. Customer app or a utility app Very few merchants and businesses are
cash and more digital society. NPCI can listen to that sound, convert it aware of UPI and it is best to determine
has always been at the forefront to back to the link, and then launch the if your use case matches with the objec-
innovate and introduce new prod- UPI application on customer phone to tives of UPI. UPI can be substituted
ucts and services at par with global make the payment. The URL format is with a lot of other services such as
standards, said A. P. Hota, MD & described as: credit/debit cards, net banking, pay-
CEO, NPCI. By allowing the user to ment wallets and blockchain curren-
create a virtual address like an email upi://pay?parm-name=param- cies. So, if your needs can be serviced
address, the virtual address can be value&param-name=pram-value&... by one of these services, you can ignore
given out in the public for people to UPI.
transact. To send and receive money UPI also encourages deep-linking
through UPI, youll need a virtual within apps, so services can invoke UPI How to get started:
address which can be obtained from apps which are listening on a users Since UPI is built on a mobile first plat-
supporting banks. Only the banks phone to initiate a transaction. We now form, you can download your respec-
have an internal database, that links delve into the procedure for using UPI tive banks UPI app from the Google
the virtual addresses to account on most android and iOS phones, and Play Store or the iOS App Store. You | January 2017 | Digit | 67

Oil spills photography App for assault victims
Check out this link to see beautiful A reporting system for sexual assault victims
yet disturbing images of oil spills and where they can speak up without disclosing
Workshop industrial wastes. personal information?

can also choose from After creating the provided to the respective accounts.
one of the many 3rd account, youll be prompted Once this is authenticated, your bank
party apps that have to create a Virtual Payment account would be linked to the VPA.
sprung up. These apps Address or VPA, which is Thats it! Youre now registered to make
support multiple banks what youd be sharing with transactions over UPI. Easy, right?
and often have features everyone for receiving digital
more than the native payments. How do you transact?
bank applications. The Creating a Virtual Pay- To send or receive payments, youll
apps must be certified ment Address is like getting need the other persons VPA. You can
by the NPCI, although an email ID so you know the then add them as a contact with the
given the initial push, drill. The VPA must be in a VPA and start transacting. UPI does
the certification process set format: away with OTPs, so there are no hassles
isnt too stringent. when initiating transactions. Payments
You can start by username@bank_code can also be requested from the app.
finding the bank you use Step 2 : Activating This is useful for
and one that has already PhonePe UPI Account For example, if merchants who can
implemented UPI and you have an account request a payment
download the respective app. Although in ICICI Bank (Pockets), you can from a customer.
almost all banks have an app for UPI, create a VPA as john@pockets. When a payment is
you might find them clunky or unus- You can also use your mobile requested, the cus-
able. You can, however, use any banks number as the username. The tomer is notified and
VPA is linked to the when they approve,
bank account, making the money is trans-
it possible to link ferred instantly.
multiple bank accounts There will be service
to the same mobile charges for most
number and have a transactions unlike
unique VPA for each existing wallets.
bank account. After
you create the VPA, Step 3 : Link Bank Acc. Additional
youll have to link your Services
bank account to this VPA. Till Apart from sending and receiving
now, only your mobile number money, the UPI allow several functions.
has been linked to the VPA. Youll be able to Recharge your mobile,
Youll have the option to data card, DTH, broadband and pay
link any supporting bank you electricity bill and even pay insur-
Step 1 : Setting up PhonePe account to the VPA by just ance premiums.
verifying your mobile number. It doesnt make sense to use UPI for
app for registering and making trans- The app sends a request to the bank small amounts as the service charge
actions through UPI. We found that trying to match the phone number would be a significant chunk of the
only a couple of apps worked reliably, amount transacted. Most of the
we used PhonePe which is a third- UPI apps we tested also has a
party app. Once you download the feature to split the bill among
app, youll need to verify and link your friends. You can take advantage of
phone number with the app. This can this in situations where a group of
be done by sending an SMS automati- people might share a restaurant
cally. After your number is verified, bill and each person can pay their
youll be able to create an account with share by using UPI. And since
PhonePe, linking your phone number. it directly withdraws from your
After providing the details requested bank account, you dont have to go
such as your full name and email through the hassle of topping up
address, you need to create a MPIN, another digital wallet.
which is what youll be using the log Let us know what you think
into the app and authenticate some about this new system. Write to
transactions as well. UPI transfer options us on

68 | Digit | January 2017 |

Tips & Tricks

OPEN CAMERA in. Head over to Audio con-

Unlock your phone cameras trol options to increase or
true potential with these decrease the sensitivity.
10 tips on how to use open
camera Lock photo/
If you think that your video
phones stock camera app can orientation
do a lot, youll be surprised to When youre shooting video,
learn that Android lets you do the internet will collectively
much more with the Camera2 groan if youre shooting it
API. Unfortunately, youll in portrait. If you have a
have to download third party problem with the orientation
apps to fully experience the when you rotate your device,
features your phones camera you can lock the orientation
is capable of. Open Camera .......................................................................01 to landscape regardless of
Open camera is one such how the device is oriented.
Multimedia Tracking and Recommendations ...02
app that is completely free. It Or you can always record in
doesnt have ads and can be portrait and endure the col-
{ }
Tips & Tricks has its own page numbers, and does not follow the rest
used without any in app pur- of the magazines page numbers. This is done to ensure that you can lective hate. Set the orienta-
cut out and save T&T in a separate folder for later reference.
chases. So what can you do on tion under More camera
Open Camera which cannot controls in settings.
be done on your stock camera?
Read on to find out: Detect faces iour for the volume keys.
and not The volume keys can be used
Camera objects! to take a photo, toggle video
Stabilization You can enable face detec- recording, adjust the focus,
When youre shooting video tion in the settings menu and zoom in/out, change exposure
everyday, youd be lucky if let the camera focus on the level and toggle auto stabiliza-
you have a device that has faces that are recognized in tion. So fly through the app
image stabilization built the frame rather than having with the volume controls to
in. For now, it is a feature to manually select the focal take better images, faster.
reserved in the top flagship points. This makes it easier to
devices only. Open Camera shoot portraits and not having Control your
cleverly implements camera to worry about the person camera with
stabilization by using the going out of focus. your voice
accelerometer to show you You can set the camera to
the angle at which the camera Use volume automatically take a picture
is tilted. You can use this vir- keys to take a or start recording video when
tual spirit level to adjust your picture! you say a trigger word such Various settings that can be
grip so that the photos and Open Camera lets you cus- as cheese or set it respond tweaked
videos you shoot are perfectly tomize the volume keys to per- to loud noises. Youll find this
level. To use it, simply open form various functions when handy when trying to take a Save your
up Open Camera and look for using the app. You can head groupie or an usie. photos where
the readings on the bottom over to Settings>more camera you want!
left corner of the screen. controls and set the behav- Adjust audio If youre one of the lucky ones
sensitivity who managed to snag a good
Not all environments you phone with a memory card
record video in are the same, slot, you can take advantage
some might be more noisy of the increased storage by
than the others. Unless your setting Open Camera to save
phones mic adapts auto- the photos to the external
matically, youll be left with storage. This saves valuable
extremely noisy or muffled space in your phone for other
audio recordings. To counter content. You can change the
this, you can manually adjust Save location to any folder
the sensitivity of the micro- on the phone that the app has
phone to best suit the envi- write access to. Youll also be
Showing interface, stabilization, memory usage ronment youre recording able to customise the names of Vol 17 | 01 January 2017 | Digit

Tips & Tricks

handed and right handed be a pretty ordinary music Spotify

people and toggle the various streaming tool - just enter Open Spotify preferences
controls shown on the screen. the name of your artist and on Spotify by going to
Head over to Settings > On get listening to a mix of their Edit>Preferences
Screen GUI to play around songs. So whats this all Simply, check the
with the UI. about? Lets find out. Scrobble to box
and enter your
Burst mode Adding username and password.
Burst mode lets you services Now anything you listen
take photos in rapid succes- So one of the most powerful to on Spotify will be added
sion to capture memories uses of is something to your profile.
that are too fast to frame known as Scrobbling - when Anyone can check out
and compose a picture. You you listen to a song on some your profile at
can set how many photos platform, details about that user/[username] and go
the phone takes when you song are sent to another ser- through your music taste.
trigger burst mode. You go
from 2 to 10 and even set it to
Showing various camera click photos as long as youre
resolutions holding down the shutter
button. Use the burst mode
the files Open Camera would with caution tough. Taking so
be saving on your phone by many photos can fill up your
using prefixes. Add a prefix phones storage fast.
for a video or a photo file sepa- Open camera comes with
rately and you can make your a lot more features than the
life a bit easier by reducing the stock camera and is useful
frequency of manual photo for users who want complete has desktop apps for Windows, Mac and Linux.
organizing sessions. control over taking photos. As
with other third party camera vice - in this case, Desktop
Mark your apps, you can manually con- - and added to your profile. Whether youre on a Mac, a
photos and trol the exposure, ISO, resolu- This, in turn, provides Last. Windows or a Linux platform,
videos based on tion, frame rate, timer, color fm more data to understand all you need to do is down-
when you took effect, scene mode, HDR, flash your taste and suggest music load the respective Scrobbler
them! and white balance. Note that to you more accurately. Before application and install it. The
You can add stamps on photos the app may not be supported we proceed any further, you plugin will be running in
and videos with the date and on all phones as it relies on can head to and create the background to track the
time and even embed the loca- Googles latest Camera API. an account to try out these music that you play on native
tion information if permis- Check if your phone is run- steps. Here are some quick music players like the Win-
sions are granted. This will ning the latest version of steps on how to succesfully dows media player or iTunes.
help you catalog the photos Android available and keep scrobble your music from sev- For a Mac, even the music that
better and remember the your Google Services updated eral platforms onto, to you listen to on your iPod,
context to your photos when for optimal usage. generate accurate data about iPad or iPhone eventually
youre reminiscing your green your music taste. gets synced to your iTunes
and salad days. Add the times- MULTIMEDIA
tamps in any format you want, TRACKING AND
add custom text and even cus- RECOMMENDA-
tomize the style of the text TION
youre adding. for Audio is a powerful tool to
Customize track all the music that you
how the consume across multiple plat-
screen looks when forms in one place. How does
using the app that benefit you? You get to
Stock camera apps can have understand your own music
confusing UI and can be con- taste better along with get-
tent agnostic when it comes ting great recommendations
to interfaces. You can control from the tool itself. At the The Chrome extension Scrobbler works with many
the layout of the UI for left very basic level it appears to popular services

Digit | January 2017 Vol 11 | 02

Tips & Tricks

library and consequently, to Receive recommended And all the of the media centre as well,
your account. Spotify songs via twitter. cool things and sync everything back to
Transfer Last.fms loved is much more than a your account. This comes very
Web tracks to Spotify playlist. mere song tracking and rec- handy if youve been always
Even when youre generally ommendation engine. Head using a media centre for your
browsing the web and lis- Use over to media consumption.
tening to music on Youtube, extra stats to and you will category-wise When youre not watching
Soundcloud or other websites, visualise your implementations of different something online, you can
you can scrobble them to your music taste extentions of the API. still do a check-in via the account if you have Using data to There are standalone desktop website or the mobile
the Last fm Scrobbler exten- visualise your music taste is radio players, plugins for app. These are referred to ask
sion installed. a common use of Last.fms blogs and social networks, manual scrobbles. Apart from
Once the extension is API. Theres an easy to use and more options for showing this you can also manually
installed, Click on the notifi- tool known as Extra stats that off your listening trends using click the purple check marks
cation to open the login page lets you do that on Windows. all kinds of crazy charts. on all trakt platforms web-
on and then allow the Theres the Firefox site and app for any movie or
service access to your profile. Extension, which is similar TV show that you have seen.
Youre all set! to PandoraFM in that it sub-
mits your Pandora tracks to See Stats
Android and iOS; LastGraph, a wave Based on your his-
Install the app generator for your Last. tory, Trakt shows you some
Login with your account fm songs; Reverse useful stats on its own. On
credentials Neighbours, a tool that finds the platform, there are but-
Go to Settings and enable users that have you listed as tons which will dynamically
Scrobbling for all apps in their neighbor (which is Last. update to give you stats and
the list including Other fms method to let you follow progress info. When viewing
music apps users on its platform); Last. an episode or movie summary
Apart from these, Last.fms The taste for music! fm Desktop Generator, which page, youll see the play count
API can scrobble from a lot of generates a cool desktop for and the most recent date and
services. Feel free to try them Simply download the app you based on your time you watched the item.
out on your own. from and playlists, and the official Last. The view all link displays a
get going! If youre on Linux fm widgets, which basically full history of every time you
Supercharge or Mac you can request your allow you to embed your play- watched the episode or movie.
Spotify with graphs on the same page. list on your site or blog. Shows and seasons provide Another service that does this progress info including the
Last.fms scrobbling service in an even more detailed way for movies percentage watched, epi-
leaves nothing to complain is My Music Habits. and TV shows sodes watched, and episodes
about while Spotifys recom- Just like can scrobble remaining. The view plays
mendation service could use Get Wallpaper your music, can link displays a full history of
some help. Fortunately, if and scrobble your tv shows and every time you watched the
youre using Spotify theres Screensavers by movies. And just like Last. show or season.
a neat tool to help you - Spot- using data fm, Trakt itself does not
ibot. Spotibot offers a range There are numerous uses to stream content but mainly Use Trakt
of related services which data can be put shows you where you can through apps
to make work better but this has to be one of the find content. And a lot more. Trakt works on a number of
with your Spotify account. most interesting. What if you Read on to find out all that third party apps as well to
For example - could use your music tastes you can do with it. offer you a host of features.
Use the headline feature to to generate wallpapers and When you go to a theater to
enter the name of any artist screensaver for your Win- Build your watch a movie, fire up Movist
and generate a related dows PC? Turns out you can. watched and check in to what youre
playlist. Use Gijscos Desktop Gen- history watching. The app also syncs
Enter your user- erator for the wallpaper and The easiest way to do this is up plays from all your other
name to generate a playlist Music Quilt Screensaver for, scrobbling from your media connected devices. If youre
based on your listening well, the screensaver, by just centre. Trakt officially sup- watching TV shows, use
history. entering your user- ports Kodi, Plex, Netflix SeriesGuide or iShows 2 to
Once you have a playlist, name. These two services are and more. And most of the easily track where youre
drag an on screen icon onto Windows only, although there plugins from these services at. There are apps for all the
Spotify to play it. are more you can find online. analyse the watched history major platforms available, Vol 17 | 03 January 2017 | Digit

Tips & Tricks

Open Kodi (please make choose Configure in the

sure youre on the latest add-on informa-
version) tion screen, then choose
Select SYSTEM>Add- How do I authorize.
ons>Select Search> type in An 8 digit code will be
trakt>press enter or click displayed.
Done Go to
Select Script on your laptop, desktop,
Trakt>Select Install or mobile device. If youre
Wait for the Add-on ena- already signed into the
bled message in the bottom website, youll see
right corner of your screen. the screen below asking for
Trakt has the coolest 404 error page ever the code displayed in Kodi.
After installing the plugin, Click YES to allow Trakt
so try a few to find what you Get trakt on it should popup with instruc- for Kodi to access your
like best. Thanks to the com- Kodi tions on how to connect account.
munity support you wont This is how you can download your account. If you Return to Kodi after you
fall short of choices on the and install the trakt plugin dont see this, then follow see the success message.
implementations. on Kodi. these steps:
Configure the
Kodi plugin
After connecting your Trakt.
tv account, Kodi will refresh
and display the plugin con-
figuration screen.

Notice in the top User line, it
displays your connected user-
name on the right side. If you
want to re-connect to another account, go through
the connection steps again.

If youd like to ignore items
from being scrobbled to Trakt.
tv, you can do that in this tab.
Excluding HTTP sources
means any streaming content
will be ignore. Exclude spe-
cific paths if youd like ignore
local media from being scrob-
bled. For example, ignore any
shows your kids are watching
so they dont scrobble to your account.
These are the most pop-
ular services that youll need
to track. Both of them are
highly community driven, so
anything that we might have
missed out, youll definitely
find it online, along with
documentation. In fact, you
could even build your own
implementation! If you do,
Use the exclusions to avoid unwanted shows and movies being scrobbled let us know at

Digit | January 2017 Vol 11 | 04


[The Verge Corner]

This DIY project will guide you
on how to make the ultimate
retro gaming machine. All you
need is a Raspberry Pi, mouse,
keyboard, an output display and
a microSD card/card reader.

Can listening to your favourite
song amidst doing some work
really increase your produc-
tivity? Studies can prove that
for most type of demanding
tasks, anything but silence can
hurt your performance.

Researchers at the Panoptic Studio in Carnegie Mellon University

are trying to understand body languages to improve the way
robots relate to human beings. They also believe it holds the key
to the future of virtual reality.


Januarys are usually the
coldest time of the year in
most parts of India, and here is
how you can build the perfect
fireplace to beat the winter.

Wired town going wireless Writing a tweetstorm Who owns CRISPR?

FIXING THE INTERNET The Blacksburg Electronic Village Ever been annoyed when you want CRISPR is a DNA cutting technique
The internet has begun to at the time of their launch in the to write more than 140 characters used in scientific studies. This new
corrode. There are so many 1990s were the state of the art. on Twitter? Well, heres the best research is worth million of dollars
new bugs in the system and Today, with the passing of internet, way you can send multiple tweets and a patent hearing is tearing the
it is being rapidly exploited by the once vibrant network has at once to form a single continuous scientific community apart.
hackers and trolls. What is the become obsolete. message.
cost of all this? How can we fix it
entirely to make it alright again? | January 2017 | Digit | 73



is free and open You can have In Star Wars, the Organic Light-

source, app a pretty cool Death Star may Emitting Diode

development is easy and it also looking vacuum be represent as a (OLED) displays
works on almost everything. No suspended aquarium using a symbol of fear and oppression, are bright, crisp and incred-
wonder its the most popular glass jar or vessel to create a but to an architect, its just poor ibly more beautiful. But the
OS. if anything you build has a tank above the water level. This defence, limited amenities and technology is still very new and
screen on it, there are plenty of simple DIY project explains an overall bad design. Heres they are still very expensive.
reasons why Android should be how this is possible using what a couple of engineers and But are they worth the extra
the OS you work with and you simple physics and looks architects had to say about the cost? What about the content?
can find them here. totally cool. planet-killers vague design: Is it worth it?

Technology that died in 2016

2016 was a year full of farewells in the tech world, so heres a
recap of all things tech that will not see the light of day in 2017. By Souvik Das

very year the tech industry sungs hopes of crushing Apples flagship Pebble
bombards us with a barrage of iPhone 7. Although, Samsung has prom- Disappointing many fans of its retro
new products and fascinating ised to get to the bottom of the disaster. smartwatches, Pebble is now officially
technologies to pave the way dead. Well almost. The hugely successful
for our digital future. At the same time, Apple iPhone 5s, 6 and Kickstarter startup, Pebble recently sold
with each advancement in technology, 6 Plus
with each new phone, with each new app You can probably still buy them from
or software, the old goes out the window third-party sellers, but the iPhone 5s,
making way for more sophisticated 6 and 6 Plus have been officially dis-
gadgets and groundbreaking innovation. continued. Following the launch of
2016 was a year full of farewells in the tech the iPhone 7, the 5s, 6 and 6 Plus were
world, so heres a recap of all things tech unlisted from Apples website. With the
that will not see the light of day in 2017. 3 iPhones, Apple also said goodbye to the
16GB base variant and instead upped it
Samsung Galaxy Note 7 to a minimum of 32GB storage for all
The Samsung Galaxy Note 7 has already variants except the SE.
claimed top spots in our Most disap- all of its software assets to wearable
pointing phones of 2016 and Biggest Microsoft Lumia maker Fitbit. Fitbit is only acquiring
Tech stories of 2016 lists. Making an Microsoft was bound to kill the Lumia key personnel and software assets from
appearance for the third time around, the brand after the devices took a major Pebble. The acquisition excludes Peb-
Galaxy Note 7 bags the most noteworthy beating from competing brands. The bles hardware products. So yes, its time
tech death of the year. How not to rush a Chinese invasion in the mobile market to say adios to the Pebble Watch.
smartphone launch is a lesson Samsung didnt help either. Nevertheless, the
has learnt only too well. As the phone world is a better place without Lumia Microsoft Band 2
kept bursting into flames, so did Sam- smartphones and Microsoft seems to The Lumia smartphone range was not
have made a sensible decision. the only money drainer Microsoft had
under its belt. The Redmond based soft-
Nexus ware giant was also not doing too well
With the launch of the Google Pixel and in its fitness tracker business. The Band
Pixel XL, we finally bid farewell to the 2 was abruptly taken off the Microsoft
Nexus brand. The Mountain View tech store this year, even though its listing
giant apparently has no plans to con- page still exists. Microsoft also removed
tinue the Nexus project which began the software developer kit for the Band
back in 2010, using the Pixel name 2, indicating that it does not want more
going forward. apps to be developed for the same.

74 | Digit | January 2017 |



The effort to LeakedSource If you have blacklight and
unify quantum is a service seen the new how do you
mechanics that sends Spider-Mans make one?
and general email notifica- movie trailer, This is about understanding
relativity means tions about you must have surely noticed the important aspects of
reconciling totally different new breaches and offers a his new wingsuit. Here is a frequency and electromag-
notions of time. Understanding database of information stolen simple explanation on how netic waves. You can make
this research could very well in hacks. This is how they keep the new wingsuit can help an ultraviolet light using just
unearth the true nature track of over 3 billion hacked Spider-Man glide across chop- the LED flash light from your
of time. accounts in their database. pers and buildings: phone. Cool, isnt it?

However, the Band 2 is still available Reuters, the company pulled funding Apple AirPort WiFi Routers
for purchase on Amazon, but buying it from the project in September this year. As per a report by Bloomberg, Apple is
right now would be a mistake consid- Word is that the project was suspended getting out of the router business and
ering the company itself is washing its in order to streamline Googles hard- doing away with the router division in
hands off it. ware efforts. Interestingly, Google had the company internally. This means
earlier promised a developer edition of Cupertino will no longer be making
the product in autumn 2016, and even the AirPort Express, AirPort Extreme
announced a bunch of partners. In fact, or Time Capsule. Apple has reallocated
Google even showed the products to their staff to other hardware depart-
some international media outlets. ments as of now.

Picasa Hyundai i10

Google retired Picasa and moved on to a The Hyundai i10 also saw its last in 2016.
single photo service called Google Photos The popular hatchback will not be pro-
in February 2016. The new photos app duced by Hyundai anymore. This is the
was integrated seamlessly across mobile end to i10s 9 year production cycle and
Point and Shoot cameras and the web. Although, you can access even though the car might still be vis-
2016 has truly been the year when point your Picasa Web Albums data, including ible on the roads for a few more years,
and shoot cameras became completely your tags, captions, and comments, in Hyundai will not make any new i10s.
obsolete. With smartphone photog- the Album Archive.
raphy now rivalling DSLRs, point and Portable Music Players
shoot cameras vanished from retail MacBook Air 11-inch With streaming becoming a way of
shelves. Because who needs a bulky Following the launch of the MacBook life, the death knell for portable music
camera when one can just flash around Pro with the OLED Touch Bar, Apple players has been sounded. 2016 marked
the latest smartphone? announced that it will be discontinuing 15 years of the Apple iPod, but with
the 11-inch MacBook Air. In fact, Apple Apple Music in the fray, the company
Vine made it very clear that it will focus does not seem to have any intentions of
The death of Vine, a popular video-loop on the MacBook and MacBook Pro making another iPod. The future of port-
service owned by Twitter, came as a lineups going forward. However, the able music seems to be permanently tied
complete surprise to the tech world. Eve- MacBook Air 13 inch model, which saw to that of smartphones.
ryone knew the platform was struggling, a refresh in 2015, is still being sold by
but to pull the plug entirely was prob- the company. Cable connections
ably Twitter trying to tie up some loose Lastly, digital set top boxes and video
ends before finalising its own acquisi- streaming services have finally man-
tion. However, rumour now has it that aged to kill off local cable connections.
Twitter might after all be looking to sell There are a bunch of online streaming
Vine at a cheap price tag. services available for audiences to
keep themselves entertained. Binge
Google Project Ara watching and pay-per-view is the how
Googles Project Ara died an early death we do it now as the days of struggling
even before its modular phone saw the with a rooftop antenna or dish come to
day of light. According to a report by an end. | January 2017 | Digit | 75



Technology reviews
from the inside. This MOTO M FUJIFILM X-A10 APPLE AIRPODS
channel mostly com-
prises of smartphone

The all new Moto M has a uni- The new X-A10 is the Apple announced their new
body metal design and a fin- cheapest X-Series mirror- wireless earphones along with
gerprint scanner at the back. less camera from Fujifilm. It the new iPhones a few months
The phone is just 7.8mm thick has a 16 megapixel sensor ago. But after much delay they
and comes in two variants - A and an LCD display that can finally releases the Airpods.
3GB RAM version with 32GB tilt 180 degrees. The camera At its given price there are no
teardowns, durability
storage and a 4GB RAM with also comes with a 16-50mm reasons why we would recom-
tests and do-it-yourself 64GB of storage. f/3.5-5.6 lens. mend it to anyone.
repair videos. The cre- Price: `15,999/- `17,999/- Price: `34,000/- (approx). Price: `15,000 (approx)
ator labels all the parts
and accessories used in ABSOLUTE
the project and one can
easily follow his instruc-
tions for self repairs.

Top 3 Picks Make sure your bosses dont catch you goofing off
watching one of these videos playing on your screen

To get all these links in one History of Googles growth Method 1 Robot Penguins vs. Santa Claus
Duration: 06:00 Duration: 01:40 Duration: 08:04
easy to read page, make
How Google evolved from a Method-1 is a manned-robot If youre ever feeling jobless
sure you blip this page from small university project to the made by South Korean watch this bloody simu-
your smartphone. Worlds largest tech brand - company Korea Future lated battle between 11,000
the entire story, all here. Technology Penguins and Santa Claus

76 | Digit | January 2017 |

> code / creativity / community >
Angular is jumping
to Angular 4

2017 for developers

>>Here are some of the key trends that have shown
promise for the coming year > by Mithun Mohandas

lot many developments have happened over has open sourced its TensorFlow and DeepMind projects.
2016, quite a few trends have been over-hyped, Baidu, one of the biggest entities working on MachineLearning
with Big Data being one of them. And now with has also open sourced its set of libraries under the name Pad-
that having died down, the industry is making dlePaddle. And lastly, Amazon has integrated MXNet into
actual progress. Aside from lacking the right infrastructure their AWS ML platform.
and resources to base the industry on, these few years have With so many tools getting open sourced, the community
only been good for the conglomerates that had the money to is slowly going to get its hands dirty and from among all these
actually put big data to use. With really fast memory having
arrived and compute hardware with large caching becoming
more affordable, 2017 looks to be the year when were going to
see the democratisation of big data. Anyone can easily afford
consumer grade compute cards from NVIDIA or AMD and
get started with the number crunching. Moreover, we now
have access to Machine Learning tools that have a much more
beginner-friendly learning gradient. Google open sourced DeepMind
So what do we expect from 2017? Read on
will arise only one. While every Machine Learning library has
There shall be one its pros and cons, there are other factors that will come into
This last year quite a lot of proprietary Machine Learning soft- play when developers start playing around with ML. These
ware ended up getting open sourced by the giants from Silicon libraries will proliferate the developer community and at the
Valley. Elon Musk backed non-profit called OpenAI was set up end of 2017 we shall see one particular library becoming the
with the aim of building AI that is human friendly. Microsoft gold standard. This gold standard will then be adopted by all
open sourced their Cognitive Toolkit (CNTK), Facebook has major XaaS providers and will be better integrated with their
been putting its weight behind Caffe and Torch while Google platforms. Data Sets for these ML platforms will also become

*Coding Matters

*OpenAIs AI training *AWS CodeBuild *Firefox hardware report

>> Universe is a software platform >> AWS Codebuild is Amazons new >>Mozilla published analysis of
that allows any user to measure and build service for creating and testing hardware usage to advise web
train an AIs general intelligence. new software packages. developers about hardware market. | January 2017 | Digit | 77

easier to get your hands on as more and more companies are
releasing non-private data. Even those starting out can get their
hands on voluminous data sets pertaining to, lets say Amazon
Book Reviews or Dota2 Game matchups / results, Facebook
comment volume data, etc.

Hardware is affordable
High Performance GPUs that can really accelerate the pace of Banks are championing the development of Blockchain
Machine Learning like NVIDIAs Tesla and AMDs Radeon
Instinct have been announced. While both companies have had ance. Conceptualised by Satoshi Nakamoto for the now infa-
mous Bitcoin a form of cryptocurrency Blockchain is being
readily considered by banks for issuance of bank issued legal
currency. R3, a distributed database technology company that
leads a consortium of over 70 financial institutions has been
investing heavily in blockchain technology. R3 is seeking $150
million from its member companies to fund the development
of blockchain-based technologies for the banking sector, and
theyve already secured more than half of that amount. While
a few top names have left the consortium Goldman Sachs,
Morgan Stanley, Santander and NAB more have stepped in
to take their place.
Aside from traditional applications, Blockchains are also
being targeted at recording Smart Contracts. Simply put, Smart
Contracts are a bunch of conditional statements that form the
basis of a legal agreement between parties. The moment these
conditions are met, the Smart Contract gets executed. Ethereum
is a well-known platform that deals in Smart Contracts. And
there are a lot many other such as Maidsafe, Ardor, Synereo,
etc. which are all working towards creating the decentralised
internet. By the time their efforts bear fruits, we should arrive
at the end of 2017 and hopefully see Blockchain evolve.

IoT wreaks havoc

The Internet of Things is going to be huge, with over 6 billion
devices that are connected to the internet A figure thats
expected to exponentially rise in the coming years to hit the 50
billion mark by 2020. However, there is no uniform security
framework for IoT. All manufacturers implement their own
GPGPU is getting a massive push thanks to NVIDIA and AMD proprietary solutions which has led to an extremely fragmented
scenario. And in the midst of all this, weve had the very first
their GPUs being used for OpenCL and proprietary GPGPU massive IoT based botnet attack in October 2016. Now known
applications for a while, the move to smaller process nodes for as the Mirai botnet, this attack crippled the servers of companies
their transistors have resulted in a tremendous rise of compute like NetFlix, NYTimes, Paypal and Twitter.
power. Needless to say, the basic solutions from either company Cisco, AT&T, GE, Intel and IBM formed the Industrial
have become really affordable. While industrial applications Internet Consortium about two years back to focus on the IoT
would still require spending ridiculous amounts of money
to set up Machine Learning servers, it will be way easier for
startups to dive into the deep end without the fear of sinking.
This widespread adoption will lead to several off-the-shelf
solutions becoming a reality and thereafter, becoming even
more affordable. Be it GPUs, services on the cloud or neural
chipsets for the embedded market, the cost will go down.

Blockchain for all

Unless youve been living under a rock, youd have heard about
blockchain. Its a distributed database that maintains a steadily
growing list of ordered records. They are inherently resistant
to past records getting modified and have a high fault toler- Mirai Botnet was only the first

78 | Digit | January 2017 |

industry and to create a unified framework,
but it will take a few more attacks by mas-
*pointers the end of the year we should
see more pricing tiers in the
sive IoT botnets like the Mirai, before the >>Interesting PaaS offerings for GPGPU
developer videos
industry switches to high gear and comes use cases. And along with
out with a solution. It would be a lot better that, well also see a push
if Government agencies step in to keep the for cognitive computing,
corporates in check while these frameworks streaming media analytics and predictive
are designed. analytics in the same time.

Mixed Reality gathers steam

While VR and AR applications will continue *Machine Learning
to steadily grow, Mixed Reality will gain a
>>A video that showcases 10
foothold. Among the well known players, amazing machine learning based
currently only Microsofts Hololens and an products to inspire developers.
yet to be revealed MagicLeap project are
working on Mixed Reality. Both devices are
being readied for launch and should be out
before the H2 2017.

*Blockchain More GPGPU PaaS services to come in 2017

>>A TEDx talk on how blockchain
is shaping and moving beyond the With the rise of newer technologies to
bitcoin hype. analyse big data, weve seen a sharp fall in Hadoop usage. This fall started towards the
Mixed Reality is going to be big end of 2015 but in 2016, the big data com-
munity left Hadoop behind. Rival Apache
The myriad set of applications involving Spark has been experiencing similar ups and
mixed reality showcase its true potential. downs all across 2016. As programmers are
And since enterprise use cases are likely to slowly gaining data science skills on their
take the first step, we will see Mixed Reality own, those whod prided themselves as big
being used for visualising Big Data. This data gurus are going to be left behind as
in turn, will improve the decision making
*The basics of a
process where large complex data sets are botnet
to be factored. We should see plenty of such >>Also known as Zombie
data visualisation services pop-up thanks to Armies, Sheharbano Khattak
the Big Data industry. of the University of Cambridge
Computer Lab explains botnets.

PaaS will dominate cloud services

If one thing needs to be made clear is that
with the rise in growth and accessibility of
Machine Learning comes the realisation
about the kind of hardware thats needed
for applications. While in-house develop- Data Science is really going to heat up
ment can easily be carried out on off-the-
shelf solutions, going into production is an well. These roles, i.e. Data Scientists, Data
entirely different ball game altogether. *Windows Architects and Data Officers are all going to
As companies begin to realise that such Holographic get better defined and thus, a year down the
hardware come at a steep price and that set- >>Microsofts Mixed reality line were going to see a spike in demand for
platform expands the world
ting up all that hardware also incurs addi- such roles as well.
of augmented and virtual
tional expenditure. This is the reason why reality along with the Windows Some of the things mentioned earlier
cloud based services are doing so well in ecosystem. might feel good to you as a developer, some
the and machine learning is no different. not so much. But what cannot be denied is
All the major XaaS providers have already that 2017 is going to a momentous year for
started setting up GPGPU clusters. Towards the technology community. | January 2017 | Digit | 79

the developer side, how many people We wanted it to be motivative and
consume open source and how many not competitive. So we started working
people contribute to open source? About towards the Fitbit model. Everyone
99.3 per cent consume open source and knows running is healthy but it was
maybe less than 0.7 per cent Im being only after wearables came into the pic-
optimistic here are actively contrib- ture and started telling you how much
uting back. youve benefitted that you started getting
Now this is a problem that were motivated to run more.
trying to solve. So the roots of CodeCu- CodeCuriosity does that for you. We
riosity started off about 3-4 years ago at set up goals, you can choose goals and
Josh when we wanted our team to start then you start contributing on a monthly
contributing back to open source. We basis. The platform tells you how much
were finding it difficult for them to get you have contributed, how much is left
out of their daily grind to contribute. for your target and when you do hit your
>>Gautam Rege, Majority of them did it as an optional targets, you are rewarded.
thing. So after years of experimenting,
Co-Founder, Josh we had something called Open Source Digit: So how do you score a user?
Software>> Friday where nobody worked on their
daily work and just contributed to open
Gautam: We have an automated algo-
rithm which is open source and con-
>>We sit down with Mr. Rege to source projects. It worked for some tinues to evolve based on feedback. We
learn about their new initiative months before dying down. try to improve and try to score every
towards increasing open source We started brainstorming to figure open source contributions it could be
contribution from the community.> out that if open source contributions are a code commit, or raising an issue, etc.
fun, motivating and rewarding, then we Weve also been trying to integrate Stack-
Digit: What is CodeCuriosity and what had a solution. We started a competi- Exchange into CodeCuriosity.
are the reasons behind its inception? tion. And if participants were found to So once youre able to track all these
Gautam: Open-source is being used be among the top 5-6 people then they activities, you get rewarded points. And
everywhere today, if youre using an were rewarded. We tried this internally 10 points = $1, so you can actually start
Android phone then youre probably at Josh for the last one year and we got making money out of your open source
using some Open-source component. astounding results. contributions. So not only are you making
Even if you look at applications made on Once we started tracking peoples it fun, motivational and rewarding but
the iPhone, theyre probably using some activities on GitHub, we were able to youre also getting people to contribute
open source library at the core. Microsoft reward people for their work. And once back. So open source contributions
open sourced .NET, Apple open sourced we started doing that, we saw contribu- become part of your daily routine. This
Swift 2, these are the languages and tions increase. So we set up a platform is our aim. To ensure that we can tilt
frameworks prevalently used to make and called it CodeCuriosity to track open the balance of consumers:contributors
applications. These large companies are source contributions. And through this from 99.3:0.7 to 95:5. Even if we are able
moving towards open source. So open platform, we were tracking every activity convert 10% of the consumers into con-
source has become a very common that was being done every day. And we tributors, the results will be astounding.
aspect today. Now, moving towards were rewarding users. Because the benefits are huge!

*Nodes of Interest

*Android Things : *Minecraft Designer | *Botnet setup for Noobs

Getting started Code >>A step by step tutorial on how
>> Android Things is a new IoT >> You can learn basic coding and to setup your own botnet, without
platform based on Android OS. make your own Minecraft game. being an expert hacker yourself.

80 | Digit | January 2017 |

By Arnab knidarius Mukherjee

nybody who has been GAMEPLAY

playing or following any Steep starts you off at one of the many
of the recent Ubisoft drop off locations in the game. Its
titles such as - Watch main attraction - you can seamlessly
Dogs series, the Division, Ghost Recon switch between snow-boarding, skiing,
Wildlands - will have noticed that paragliding and wingsuiting your way
Ubisoft is certainly obsessed about across the white expanse of the Alps if
open worlds. Any of you who have youre at a standstill to begin with. And
played the Burnout Paradise instal- trust us, that choice matters! While
ment of the Burnout series will find you eventually might feel the snow-
themselves on familiar grounds with boarding is the coolest of the four and
Steep. On the other hand, even if that para-gliding is a slow, drab excuse
youve played Tony Hawks Pro Skater for the games lack of any faster trans-
or similar extreme sport games- any of port mechanism to undiscovered loca-
them - youll be at an advantage here tions, there are challenges that can
too! Well, enough of dwelling in the only be done in certain sports. And
past. Even we were getting a you WILL need that XP to level gold edition comes bundled with the
tad bit bored with the up and unlock additional Season Pass DLC, which brings in new
hordes of typical FPSs, drop locations, without sports, night challenges and a lot of
RPGs and multitude of which it is a real pain to digital content to the game.
me-too games that are 7 travel across the land- Talking about levelling up, there is no
released by the dozens, scape. At this point, we particular character development
so when the mountains should let you know that mechanism here. Sure, you can do a ton
from Ubisoft called, you we played the standard of cosmetic changes - from your wing-
bet we answered! edition of the game. The suit helmet down to your skiing shoes -

82 | SKOAR! | January 2017 | follow us on:


The game certainly kicks off by look-
MOAR! ing gorgeous, right in your face! From
PLATFORMS: PlayStation 4, Xbox One, the moment you start the game you
Microsoft Windows are thrown into amazingly beautiful
PRICE: PC - Standard Edition `1,799; visuals of the Alps, painstakingly rec-
Gold Edition `1,999; Season Pass DLC reated (at this point, it would start
`499. sounding like Ubisoft built the original
Xbox - Standard Edition `4,000; Gold Alps themselves) each detail about
Edition `5,350; Season Pass DLC `1,192. the mountain range, especially the
PS4 - Standard Edition `3,499 snow. The snow - oh boy, dont get us
REVIEWED ON: PlayStation 4 started on that! If this game gets a 10
DEVELOPERS: Ubisoft Annecy, Ubisoft on something, that would be its snow.
Montpellier, Ubisoft Paris, Ubisoft Kiev Beyond the snow, almost nothing
PUBLISHERS: Ubisoft is even close to accurate - be it the
weird ice textures that almost seem
handdrawn to the trees that look
Overall visual treat
ordinarily out of place, All of that
4 Player co-op can be a lot of fun
would have escaped attention if a
couple of bugs werent so disturbing-
Cons ly obvious.
Repetitive In our runs, we would often end up
Glitches in game physics and graphics between certain objects, inside
No skill development other players or even going through
something immovable quite inexpli-
cably. On the other hand, we often
but none of those changes will affect landed in spots from where it was
your riding even a little bit - unless youre impossible to recover without going
bothered by a snowman helmet with a to the last place where the game
twig going right through it. autosaved your location. Some of the
Well admit that the controls are a collisions in the game dont make
bit hard to master. And Steeps focus sense either. Steep leaves you with
on realism doesnt really help with quite a few of these questions, when
that. Every wrong turn, every missed In-game screenshots it comes to graphics, before it daz-
deceleration will cost you dearly as zles you with the next glorious sum-
you realise that even the slightest of mented are pretty nice. You can actu- mit you just unlocked.
bumps at certain speeds can lead to ally go to the Mountain View (this
some glorious bone-crunching crash- ones in the Alps, not California) and OVERALL
es. Well, at least the game gives you check out your previous saved runs Why does this review have only the
trophies for that! and redo them from any point of your above two sections? Because thats
Now, coming back to the open choosing! You can even share these pretty much it about Steep. The game
world mechanism - Steep has its eyes runs on social media, save them for doesnt offer you anything more and
strongly set on the social gaming redoing later, or even create a new doesnt pretend that it is. The
experience, but gets a few things challenge for your friends based on soundtrack is pretty average and con-
painstakingly wrong. To begin with, multiple parameters like time, freestyle sists of tracks that would fit into any
grouping up with a new player that you score and more. adventure sports setting.
see in-game requires a PlayStation Although, some of the special Just like the unabashed product
Plus subscription. We found that out Mountain story missions do get their placements in the game (Steep has
the hard way as one of us had chased own cinematic setting. These moun- Red Bull challenges and cinematics),
another player on skis for almost ten tain stories are actually quite fun to the game itself is quite straightforward
minutes before getting plastered with play - with each mountain narrating to with what it offers you - a fun exhilarat-
the big prompt. Also, at no point of you its description upon discovery, in ing way to let go at the end of a long
time did we see more than 4 players in its very own personality. And weve day. While a skill development feature
the same gaming world. That might done it all - from running over evil would make it much more relatable
have been intentional to avoid crowd- snowmen to following a trail of roses and competitive, in the end, true riders
ing this beautiful landscape. But on the snow to a frozen lake - and the only care about the thrill of the ride,
beyond this, the social features imple- mountain stories didnt disappoint. dont they?

follow us on: | January 2017 | SKOAR! | 83

Zombieland: The Video Game
By Sameer Psycho Mantis Mitha

f youve played the previous Dead Rising games, then youre probably a fan
of the franchise and know what to expect. I, however, havent played any of
the prequels. So if like me you are one looking to dive into the world of
Dead Rising, then read on. This review is for you.
At its core, Dead Rising 4 is a third-person open world game where your
objective is to kill all the zombies. Plain and simple. You don the role of Frank
West a former photojournalist now working as a college teacher. You and your

84 | SKOAR! | January 2017 | follow us on:


Microsoft Windows
PRICE: Xbox One: 3,999
Microsoft Studios

student Vicky Chu, are investigating a the one from the movie Edge of
military compound which is the site of Tomorrow and that isnt a bad thing.
Crazy weapons
the first zombie outbreak. As always, Add a bunch of customisable vehicles
Overall fun gameplay
things dont go according to plan and to the mix and you have one zombie
you are accused of terrorism by the apocalypse game that you will be play-
government, yada-yada-yada, zom- ing for hours to come.
Inconsistent frame rate
bies attack and you are there to face Speaking of hours to come, it will
Sometimes repetitive
the day. Thats the short version of the take you well over 20 hours to finish
story. The story isnt the most compel- one playthrough even if you arent
ling feature of the game and its there going to collect everything or do every-
just to get you from point-A to point-B. thing there is to do.
Dont expect a BioShock Infinite level Overall, the gameplay is a lot of fun
of storytelling in Dead Rising 4 and it and there is little to complain here. It is Coming to the sound, the voice
shouldnt be expected from a survival the ideal game to run through if you acting is quite cheesy but not overly
beat em up game like this. just got bullied, had a bad day at work so. There is too much sarcasm and
or want to steamroll over some zom- humour in the dialogue for you to
GAMEPLAY bies to vent your frustration. take anything seriously and thats a
Moving on to gameplay, this is where If there is one thing Id like to see good thing. The weapon sounds are
Dead Rising is a lot of fun. Kicking in the game, its split-screen co-op. punchy and the gurgling of the zom-
things off, there are a lot of customisa- It would be a lot of fun to sit on a bies getting squished under your car
tion options available for the main couch with a friend and kill hordes or being destroyed by your weapons
character and the sky is the limit for of Zombies. is satisfying.
how you want the protagonist to look.
There are also a lot of collectables and GRAPHICS VERDICT: DEAD RISING 4
blueprints to find scattered through- Moving to the graphics, the game isnt Dead Rising 4 is a fun game and one
out the level. Finding the blueprints for the best there is, visually but it isnt that you can play when you want to
new weapons can be quite fun. If you bad either. There are frame rate drops blow off some steam, or just lose your-
have played Ratchet and Clank or Sun- and texture pop-ins but all this can be self in the video game version of Zom-
set Overdrive and like the weapons in forgiven when you see the number of bieland. The weapons are interesting
those games, then you will love what Zombies that are rendered at a given and the story though cheesy, some-
Dead Rising 4 has to offer. It looks like point in time. If you have played The thing we like. The only two downsides
the developers have taken a leaf from Last of Us, then this is the exact are the dip in frame rate and the fact
the Batman Arkham games detective opposite. The Last of Us shows what that the gameplay can sometimes get
mode. You have access to something the world would be like if the Zombie repetitive and boring. If you are looking
very similar which will help you solve apocalypse became a reality. Dead for a serious World War Z-style Zom-
puzzles through this journey. There is Rising is the final battle from the bie game, then youre better off play-
also an exo-skeleton suit that looks like movie Zombieland. ing The Last of Us.

follow us on: | January 2017 | SKOAR! | 85

86 | SKOAR! | January 2017 | follow us on:

Gaming has come a long way from its

origins, and its seen a lot of changes along
the way, in its relatively short life it has
changed a lot, and were going to take a look
at them changes
By Manish Trigger Happy Rajesh

he first ever video game was games today. The main demographics of gamers in the past
invented all the way back in 1958. used to be teenagers and kids, they were the majority of the
Thats 58 years, 58 years of gam- market. Now however, the demographic has shifted to adults
ing and weve seen some BIG who are over the age of 30. Its probably because those same
changes along the way. Weve kids grew up and are still gamers but what were getting at is
come from our humble pixelated that easier games are less time consuming, and adults dont
pong beginnings to games that have too much time to game. However, we did see a shift
look so real its hard to distinguish recently, with the advent of Dark Souls, challenging games
them from movies. Of course graphics arent the only thing were becoming the in thing again. And all of a sudden there
thatve changed over time, theyre just the most easily was an influx of games that were challenging and existing
noticeable thing. Below the surface theres many things that games that were already challenging saw some limelight.
have changed as well, and the speed at which the world of Games now punished players for messing up; no instruc-
gaming changes and evolves today, you could be gaming in a tions, no guides, no spoonfeeding. Bet that didnt stop you
completely different way in just five years from now, if youve from going online and looking up a walkthrough though. But
been a gamer for a long time; for example from back when at the end of the day, most major game devs will lean
Sega and Nintendo were the Xbox and PS of today, then towards wherever the money is and the money is with the
youll probably be able to relate to a lot of what were about working adults. Anyway, that was the why, but were still

to say, so lets get right into it. going to b*tch about it now.
Insert back in my day meme here. If youve played on the
Games too easy? old consoles, or even old PC games, then you know the
Lets address and get the first few things out of the way struggle. You had to memorise level codes, you couldnt save
immediately. These are the most obvious things, and the first your game when you wanted, you had to progress far enough
one were talking about is how games spoonfeed players to reach a save point or risk having to do it all over again. You
these days. Now we know that there are several factors that couldnt look up the answer to a puzzle or anything online,
come into play when it comes to this particular trend in you had to tough it out yourself and figure it out. There were

follow us on: | January 2017 | SKOAR! | 87


walkthroughs and internet forums wait-

ing for you with all the answers. That
feeling of discovering or accomplishing
something on your own has gone, its
been missing from games for a long
time. The internet is your backseat driv-
er when it comes to games now.

Them graphics
Ahh, the graphics. The evolution of
games goes hand-in-hand with the evo-
lution of hardware, and theyve both
come a long way. But despite the huge
difference between graphics then and
now, we as gamers still love being picky
about graphics. Its probably a human
trait, wanting to find flaws in everything.
But we used to be awestruck by graph-
ics in the past, games that wed proba-
bly cringe at now were considered the
apex of graphics back in the day. Even
mobile games have better graphics
than many of the games that we used
to play even just ten years ago. But we
gamers are a hard bunch to please and
so well keep whining about the graph-
ics being meh. Till when will we keep
whining? We have no idea. 8k graphics?
16k? They say the human eye cant see
more than 30 fps, can it see over 4k?
(Note - this is sarcasm)

Remember when multiplayer meant
having friends over and plugging in that
player-two controller, or having your Some would say games are way easier now thanks to the internet providing you
walthroughs and playthroughs of every new game, literally handholding you through
keyboard crammed with hands, and
the experience
good old split-screen gaming? Local,
splitscreen, multiplayer gaming is all
but nonexistent nowadays, thanks to ing, which was a long time ago(okay, an expansion is Witcher 3s Blood and
faster internet speeds and better con- not that long ago), we used to be Wine expansion.
nections, among other things. Almost excited for expansions and DLCs. We The worst part however, is when
every game nowadays has an online expected huge new campaigns and publishers sell you an incomplete game
component to it, be it for security rea- new places to visit, new characters, and you have to pay extra for the DLC
sons, or otherwise. This has its advan- new abilities, you know the drill. They which should have been part of the
tages, such as updates and bug fixes represented big changes for that main game anyway! Theres a game
and whatnot. Well, theres no real disad- game you had already played oh so called DLC Quest that illustrates what
vantages per se, except for everyone many times. But these days DLC are we mean very well. In the game you
who doesnt have an internet connec- used to bait people into pre-ordering need to buy DLC to unlock the most
tion. Sucks to be them. Of course lets games (STOP PREORDERING GAMES basic of abilities, like jumping and being
not forget all the salt and toxicity that PEOPLE) and the worst part is the able to move backwards. Lets hope
exists in online games today. In the DLCs arent even worth it in most AAA companies dont get any ideas
words of the Human Torch, Flame On! cases. Nowadays they just end up from that game.
being aesthetic changes to your char-
Add-Ons, DLCs, and acter within the game and dont add Console Wars
Expansions much else to the game. The only Oh they did exist back then, just not on
When most of us here started gam- game in recent times to do justice to as big a scale as right now. But then

88 | SKOAR! | January 2017 | follow us on:


Gaming graphics has come a long way from

pixelated wonders to 4K wonderlands, but
has it affected the overall thrill that we feel?
Interestingly, we complain more about
graphics now than we used to, back in the
days. 30fps? Meh!

this cool DLC to get this cool secret youre getting thanks to these hard-
item you wont get anywhere else! Pre- ware advancements?
order for $99.99 only!
Being to able to stumble upon a hid- The rise of mobile gaming
den area, or come across a secret your- Games evolve as fast as hardware
self was one of the charms of being a does. And if theres anything else that
gamer, and then you would run to your has changed and evolved as much as
friends and share the experience with games have in these past few years, its
them. The same applies to secret char- smartphones. Everyone whos anyone
acters, whore not so secret anymore has a smartphone these days, theres a
and are now normally unlocked whole library of games to choose from,
through, you guessed it, DLCs. and a lot of them are free to play as
well, so its not surprising to know a
Hardware large percentage of the gaming popula-
Hardware, everything depends on the tion today is mobile gamers. To add to
hardware. Its the hardware that runs that, a lot of the oldies and games from
the games and therefore the kind of other handheld consoles are being
games you can run and how well they ported to smartphones as well.
will run all depends on your hardware. Remember how we said that the pri-
Back in the day we never really had to mary demographic was adults now?
Gaming consoles have changed a lot over bother about so many things in order Thats another major reason mobile
the years too, along with the games. to be able to play our games. We were gaming is doing so well now, since it
Theyve evolved into serious competitors really only bothered with the RAM and was something you could do in your
for the PC although PC Master Race
the CPU, and that was it, if you had a spare time, during transit, it was porta-
mostly wins. Interestingly, the war
between PCs and Consoles is one thing decent CPU and a good amount of ble and easy to access. Now however,
that hasnt changed over the years, RAM, (256mb of RAM was considered the ever changing beast that gaming is,
merely moved online. a good amount back then btw) you mobile gaming is actually moving more
These days, whether youre on a PS4 or were good to go. and more towards the mainstream, and
an Xbox you take certain things for
But now, maaaan, you need to have were already seeing tournaments for
granted - online gameplay, exclusives
and, well, being better than the other guy. lots of space, you need a good proces- games like Clash Royale.
sor, you need a good GPU that can han-
dle the game you want to play, you need And finally, us Gamers
again, there seem to be extremes for a good PSU to be able to handle that Yes, gamers! Weve changed a lot too!
everything these days. Oh well, you GPU, and you need a minimum of 4GB Of course theres the demographic
know what they say, if you cant beat of RAM nowadays if you want to be able change weve mentioned several times
em, join em. #PCMasterRace! to play anything without it crashing. already but were a very large factor
Back in the day if you had the best when it comes to the direction of
Secrets, Hidden Items of the best you were good for a long games, since what works and what
and Easter Eggs time. Nowadays the best keeps getting doesnt largely depends on us.
Hidden items pfft. Nothing is hidden updated so frequently its hard to keep
anymore, and if it is hidden, somebody up, and if you do its definitely Conclusion
online has bound to have found it to going to leave a rather The world of gaming is constantly
save you the trouble of having to find large hole in your pock- changing, evolving, adapting. It can
it yourself. Of course et. Would be nice to go take us by surprise sometimes and
these days DLCs back to simpler times disappoint us at times. But if weve
include secret right? But would you learnt anything from this article, its
items as well be willing to give up that were the ones who truly control
sometimes. Buy everything else the direction of gaming.

follow us on: | January 2017 | SKOAR! | 89

By Manish Trigger Happy Rajesh

ow let us get something out of for example: Fire, Ice, Wind, Earth,
the way immediately, were Thunder(Lightning) and Water. Here
PC gamers first and foremost, Fire beats Ice, Ice beats Wind, Wind
and Final Fantasy is an almost beats Earth and so on. This remains
completely console exclusive true for ALL Final Fantasy titles. No,
franchise, weve missed out Theres a reason behind that too, they dont work like Pokmon elements
on most of the Final Fantasys because people have come to expect a so Wind beats Earth, dont ask how, it
(yes including Final Fantasy VII, please certain production value from Final Fan- just does, ok?
dont hate us) but were totally willing to tasy games, so to an extent they know Next is the story, which in most
jump right into the franchise and its they cant go wrong with their purchase. cases usually puts you in the shoes of a
complicated world. So thats exactly There have been several Final Fantasy hero or sometimes even a group of
what this particular phranchise article titles released over the past few dec- heroes with a tragic backstory(in
is going to be like. If youre long time ades, some have been great, some not most cases) who has to take on some
fans of the franchise feel free to let us so much. We can assume that most of kind of behemoth task to save his or
know if we missed anything or if theres them did well, considering the franchise her war-torn world. The worlds are
something we should check out for is still going strong after well over fifteen huge and full of interesting places to
ourselves. And for the rest, lets begin titles. Almost all Final Fantasy games are see and explore, all while listening to an
our crash course in Final Fantasy! based in the same universe and share amazing soundtrack, which is a Final
certain common traits or attributes. Fantasy trademark now.
FIRST THINGS FIRST, Another common trait is the ability
WHAT IS FINAL FANTASY? WHAT ARE THESE COMMON to collect and equip items and weap-
From what weve gleaned from the Inter- TRAITS AND ATTRIBUTES YOU ASK? ons. Most will even let you customize
webs and our own experience with Final Most of them dont look similar on the skills and abilities and direct your char-
Fantasy XV, its messy, its confusing, its surface at all, which makes one wonder acters growth to suit your own play-
amazing; its basically what youd expect why theyre sequential sometimes. style. Then, of course, theres side
from Japan(stereotyping much?). Its a Most titles feature a similar story set- quests, lots of side quests, but thats
huge brand; if the game has Final Fanta- ting, and many of the core concepts are something weve come to associate
sy in its name, it sells like hot-cakes. the same. Take the magical elements with RPGs regardless.

90 | SKOAR! | January 2017 | follow us on:


The last common trait for most of the wild. When it does happen, the FINAL FANTASY I - VI
the titles is that everything boils down game tries very hard to give you an epi- The first Final Fantasy was released in
to one last epic boss fight which con- leptic seizure(just kidding) and youre 1987 by a little known company called
cludes the game. Final Fantasy games taken to a different screen. Now youre SquareSoft. It had what youd expect
are littered with boss fights, and most in the combat phase or battle phase of from a game named Final Fantasy in
of them are pretty darn cool, definitely the game, where you can command the 1980s, i.e., elves, dwarves, robots,
warrants having the word Fantasy in your characters with orders like temples, ruins, all that. The creator,
the title with the size of some of them. attack, magic, or item. When youre Hironobu Sakaguchi was a Tolkien fan,
Theres a lot of iconic bosses from Final back on the world map, or field section and based the game on his novels. As
Fantasy that are well known in the world of the game, you can go looking for for why the Final was there, its because
of gaming, Sephiroth for instance, he treasure, speak to NPCs, pick up new he wasnt going to make any more,
isnt one of the gigantic ones though. quests, all that RPG stuff. unless this one did well. Guess what?
These traits and attributes define Combat is turn based, and the agility
most Final Fantasy games, so even if stat determines how often your charac-
you pick up a new title, youll feel right ters turn comes up. Simply put, faster
at home, sort of. characters get their turn more often.
Now, if youve been paying attention You had to keep your resources, mana
thus far, youll notice that theres a lot of points and items in mind before taking
usually, mostly and almost in the any action. There wasnt too much
aforementioned paragraphs. Well if you emphasis on timing and such till latter Now its after the first Final Fantasy
did spot that, kudos to you and a pat on titles where combat started veering that things get a tad confusing. Square
the back! The reason of course is that more towards real-time. Of course, you went ahead and made two sequels for
there are Final Fantasy games that STILL have to keep your eye on your Final Fantasy Final Fantasy II, and III
dont share all those traits, theres Final resources and magic points. duh but released them only in Japan.
Fantasy card games, racing games, This formula where games are split So when Final Fantasy IV came out and
fighting games and even a rhythm into a combat phase and a field phase released in the States as well, it was
game. Remember how we said games is a staple among the main Final Fanta- called Final Fantasy II over there. This
with Final Fantasy in the name seem to sy titles, even if the strategies and happened again with Final Fantasy V,
sell like hot-cakes? Well evidently mechanics differ from game to game. which did not release in the States,
Square Enix knows that too. In fact, this is the formula thats promi- resulting in Final Fantasy VI which was
nently been used in most JRPGs. released in the States being called
OK, SO THOSE ARE THE COMMON Oh, and Cid, all Final Fantasy games Final Fantasy III when it did release in the
TRAITS, WHAT ARE THE GAMES LIKE? have a character named Cid in them. States. Yea, confusing, we know. This
Well in terms of gameplay, most Final Dont ask us why, they just do. should hopefully clear up your confusion.
Fantasy games are quite similar to Anyway, now that weve gotten past Final Fantasy - 1987,
Pokmon games. Theres a huge map what the games common traits are Nintendo (U.S. and Japan)
for you to explore, and random encoun- and what the gameplay is like, lets take Final Fantasy II - 1988,
ters can happen anytime youre out in a look at the games themselves! Nintendo (Japan only)

follow us on: | January 2017 | SKOAR! | 91


Final Fantasy III - 1990, ular of the lot. But everything changed enhance their stats, with each type of
Nintendo (Japan only) when the fire na- uhh, when Final Fan- magic and magic combination
Final Fantasy IV - 1991, tasy VII released. enhancing stats differently. You could
Super Nintendo (released in U.S. as Everyone has probably heard about also add elemental damage and
Final Fantasy II) this one, this is the game that put Final increase your resistance against cer-
Final Fantasy V - 1992, Fantasy on the map, and its been there tain elements. They also revamped the
Super Nintendo (Japan only) Summons, up until now a summon
Final Fantasy VI - 1994, mostly involved the summon showing
Super Nintendo (released in U.S. as up and doing massive damage and
Final Fantasy III) leaving. The new Guardian Forces ena-
bled the summons to fight alongside
Fortunately, Square have fixed this you and even gain levels through expe-
confusion and have re-released and since, for the past two decades. You rience for further improvement.
ported correctly numbered English ver- remember that Sephiroth guy we men-
sions in the States for all of the above. tioned earlier? Yea, hes from this game. FINAL FANTASY IX - 2000
We dont think wed be able to cover Anyway, when Final Fantasy VII hit FFIX and FFVIII were in the works
the plot for all of them, so lets just go the PlayStation in 1997 the world went alongside each other but took very dif-
through a few notable changes that crazy. The game used 3D models and ferent directions, with IX going back-
were implemented across the first six the backgrounds were all pre-rendered. wards, in both time (to a more medieval
Final Fantasy titles, in proper order. They didnt spare any expense on the setting) and even playstyle, returning to
The first Final Fantasy of course, CG movies either. This was 1997, every- the more traditional Final Fantasy
implemented many factors that are one was like Wow! This looks real af! gameplay and mechanics. The plot
typical in RPGs today, i.e., experience But FFVII was backed by more than revolved around Zidane Tribal, a young
points, random battles etc. But it also just fancy 3D models, the plot and nar- thief caught between warring nations
laid the foundation for following Final rative were gripping, and of course, the
Fantasy games with its element system heart wrenching plot twist that is
and story setting, among other things. remembered to this day also the
Final Fantasy II introduced us to the major reason behind everyone hating
ever-lovable chocobos, which look kind on Sephiroth so much.
of like ostriches and were rideable. This This in no way means that Final Fan-
is also where were first introduced to a tasy VII is the best one, its just the one (its always warring nations, damn poli-
character named Cid and a main cast that made the franchise well known. ticians!). FFIX had a feature called
of characters who were unique to the But one could say that Square hasnt Trance Mode which was similar to the
games story. managed to top the feeling that people Limit Break in FFVII. In Trance Mode
With Final Fantasy III we see the job got from FFVII yet. character skills were augmented into
system for the first time, where differ- superior, more powerful versions. Fans
ent jobs or classes had access to job or FINAL FANTASY VIII - 1999 of the series were happy with the series
class-specific abilities. FFVIII introduces us to a host of new return to its roots and the game was
Final Fantasy IV debuted the main characters including Squall, an critically acclaimed and well received.
active time battle system, which is angsty and moody teenager(this is a
like a mix between real-time and turn- recurring theme btw) and his time FINAL FANTASY X AND
based combat. The ATB system has spent in military school. FFVIII also X-2 - 2001 & 2003
since been incorporated by many introduced something called the Junc- Final Fantasy X is the first Final Fantasy
games. This is also the first Final Fan- tion System, which basically allowed to have fully 3D real-time backgrounds
tasy to incorporate save points and you store Para-Magic. It changed the and character voice acting. The ATB
healing locations. way magic was cast in the game so far, (Active Time Battle) system was
Final Fantasy V further tweaks upon which was by purchasing or acquiring swapped out for CTB combat, or Con-
and works on the job system, but oth- spells and using mana points or magic ditional Turn-based Battle combat. This
erwise didnt do anything new. points to cast them. You could also basically paused the game, or started a
Final Fantasy VI introduced Magicite Junction magic to a character and wait timer whenever it was the player
Crystals into the game which allowed characters turn, doing away with the
non-magic jobs to equip and use pressure of time. The traditional leveling
magic as well. system was done away with, and the
Sphere Grid was introduced, which
FINAL FANTASY VII - 1997 allowed for much deeper customiza-
Now up until this point, we could say tion and allowed characters to branch
that Final Fantasy VI was the most pop- out into various fields and classes.

92 | SKOAR! | January 2017 | follow us on:


FINAL FANTASY XIV (2010 - 2012)

FFXIV was released as the successor to
Final Fantasy XI, the next MMORPG in
the franchise. The game received an
Final Fantasy Xs story revolved overwhelmingly negative response on
around Tidus pro blitzballer appar- release and the servers were closed
ently and his quest to defeat a mon- just two years later in 2012.
ster named Sin who destroyed his
home city. And so he joins a Summoner FINAL FANTASY XIV:
named Yuna who is on her pilgrimage in A REALM REBORN - 2013
order to defeat Sin. acclaimed and received several game FFXIV: A realm Reborn takes place five
Final Fantasy X-2 takes place just of the year awards. years after the events of the original
two years after the events of Final Fan- FFXIV. After the overwhelmingly nega-
tasy X, making it the first direct sequel FINAL FANTASY XIII, XIII-2, LIGHTNING tive response that the original received,
in the history of the franchise. Both RETURNS: FINAL FANTASY XIII - 2010, then Square president announced that
titles were commercial successes. 2012 & 2013 the game was going to be completely
Final Fantasy XIII is the first single play- overhauled under a new team of devel-
FINAL FANTASY XI - 2002 er Final Fantasy to come to Windows opers. And true to their word, A Realm
FFXI is the first Final Fantasy to come to and is the first one to release on the Reborn was like a completely new
Windows and the first ever MMORPG PlayStation 3. It features much faster game and was very well received with
for Xbox 360. Its also the first MMOR- combat but has turn-based combat praise for not only its mechanics and
PG to offer cross-platform play elements. It used Crystarium to progression, but also for being able to
between the platforms. It offered most determine which abilities a character salvage the initial train wreck of FFXIV.
features weve come to expect from developed next and used Paradigm to Phew! Were done! And thats with-
MMORPGs today and functioned on a control AI and queue commands. out the recent Final Fantasy XV and the
subscription based model. It was pretty FFXIII has you fill the shoes of Light- plethora of Final Fantasy spin-offs!
good from what weve heard, and still ning, a former soldier, who has taken up Before we go into the conclusion for
enjoys a decent player base. arms against the government in order this mammoth franchise, wed just like
to save her sister who has been brand- to give a shout-out to the amazing
ed as an unwilling servant to some
Pulse based God. Confused? Not to


FFXII is the only main game in the fran- soundtrack that accompanies all these
chise to be based in an already estab- titles. If theres one thing Square has
lished world. Ivalice is where the worry, this is normal in Final Fantasy done right in these games, its picking
events of Final Fantasy Tactics takes games, were just as confused as you. the right music for the right moments,
place. FFXII brought with it several FFXIII is a victim of what we call the and that can make all the difference in
changes, for one, battles were now hype-train, so if youre looking to start ones experience in our opinion.
seamless, so you didnt switch playing Final Fantasy or have never
between a field phase and a combat played one before, wed advise you to CONCLUSION
phase. Additionally, the world map NOT to start with this one unless youre If the scale of this franchise is deterring
was now divided into different zones a fan of the franchise, or youll just have you from trying it out, dont be afraid!
and a Gambit system was introduced a really bad first impression and we Just jump right in. Feel free to start with
to control the AI accompanying you. dont want you missing out on the good earlier titles of the franchise as well;
Theres also the reintroduction of stuff because of that. Now before the they all offer a very unique experience
Chocobos and Moogles. FFXII revolves rabid fanboys lunge at us, the sequels despite being in 16-bit and quite a lot of
around Vaan the Sky Pirate, who works do attempt to knit out a lot of the prob- them have been remastered for mod-
together with the princess of Dalmas- lems and do succeed to an extent. And ern consoles and theyre available on
ca, a nation ravaged by war(again), to despite mixed reviews, Square Enix PC and smartphones too! So put on
stop the tyranny of the bad dudes. declared FFXIII and its sequels a com- your adventure boots and set off on a
Final Fantasy XII was also critically mercial success your own Final Fantasy.

follow us on: | January 2017 | SKOAR! | 93


You have to try these games out on your smartphone!

By Anusha Trillian Sinha

Distraint Dan the Man

he Oxford dictionary defines an the Man is a reiteration of
Distraint as the seizure of the quintessential retro plat-
someones property in order to former and will definitely
obtain payment of money owed, remind you of Mario. The game has
especially rent (we had to look it up 8.8 been created by Halfbrick Studios,
because we were not sure what it which you might recognise as the
meant). In this game, you play as
Price, a distraint agent whose job is Overpainted creator of Jetpack Joyride, Monster
Dash and, the go-to game for enter-

verpainted is a platformer taining small children, Fruit Ninja.
with one unique aspect. You Like all the others, this game too has
cant really see the plat- the characteristic pixelated graphics
forms. The entire level is complete- and polish of all the games made by
ly dark except for a few pointers Halfbrick. Unsurprisingly, the game
9 scattered across it and you have to features a man called Dan who is
figure out where the level is as you also a ninja. You can also play as
move along. The game functions a Josie the woman. Both characters
bit like That Level Again, another sprint across rooftops and clouds in
interesting platformer, because you
to tell widowed old ladies who smell have to keep playing the same level
of flowers and offer you pie to vacate but with minute changes each time.
their house because they havent Also, it is almost a copy of the PC
paid up. This cruel job eats away at game INK, which features the same
the soul of our pixelated protagonist premise and seems to have
but he continues nevertheless inspired Overpainteds design as
because he needs the money and well. Overpainted is the story of a
prestige. However, his job becomes white square who is determined to
much harder when mangled corpses jump into a spiral galaxy like thing
show up in the places he visits along suspended in midair despite the
with mysterious notes hinting at even fact that often there isnt even a
greater horrors that await him. way there. As your blocky character order to defeat the evil army
Taking advantage of the 2D moves around, it creates a trail of that has taken over most of the vil-
graphics, the game is just spread splotchy paint, thus revealing the lage. The controls are quite precise
across a strip in the middle of the level bit by bit. The focus of this and this is a game you will be good at
screen, leaving empty space on both game is trial-and-error, especially if you have ever played Mario or any
sides (the bottom one has huge con- because you cant see anything and other platformer, for that matter. The
trol buttons). The soundtrack is eerie you might end up going off the gameplay is pretty basic and there is
and together with the pixelated edge far too many times for your nothing new here except the variety
graphics in muted colours sets the liking. It is advisable to be cautious of weapons that you will come
atmosphere quite nicely. And the and proceed slowly, taking clues across. In conclusion, Dan is the Man
jump scares? Very effective. about the environment. and so are you.

94 | SKOAR! | January 2017 | follow us on:


Seen that you can respond with missing a tutorial. Once you
to each text. The story get the hang of it, you can also

een is a game that will be easy to builds up slowly and share heartbreaking stories
relate with for anyone who has engages you as you root from your life or a conversa-
ever used a text messaging ser- for your protagonist to tion between Darth Vader and
vice to get to know someone. In short get the girl. The game is his son. Story World is the in-
messages and casual back-and-forth, not so much about skill game community where you
entire personalities and motivations as much as it is about how well you can both upload your own stories as
are revealed in the game. You play as can read people and of course, how well as get others. The game looks
Mark Blythe, a high school student good you are at making people fall for exactly like Facebook Messenger, thus
who falls in love with the new student, you. However, this is just one of the adding to the illusion that its all real.
Nicole Tyler. Through texting, you will stories in this game. There is a story One of the more famous stories that
learn about her as well as other char- maker that you can use to create your you can play through in this game is
acters in the game, some of which own scenarios and then share them one based on Annie96 is typing, a
might be competing for your beloveds with people. However this interface is creepypasta that had gained fame on
affection. This interactive story game not as easy to use as you might like, reddit. Seen is an interactive story
provides you with a number of options especially due to the fact that it is game that will keep the attention of all.

Time Locker take. In this way, you are literally scrubbing through the
timeline. The game starts out slow, with only a few serene

ime Locker is based off the central idea in Superhot birds flying across the level but then quickly ramps up in
but the execution is different enough to warrantee a subsequent waves. A definite high point is when the ram-
play from even fans of the PC game. For those who paging orange T. Rex appears. Have fun killing that one! The
havent tried out Superhot, the basic premise is that time animals are of different colours and have different power-
only moves when you move. While Superhot is a FPS, Time ups or in-game currency that you can collect when you kill
Locker is a runner, featuring bright ani- them. There is no soundtrack except the
mals. You start playing as a shiny polyg- noise your bullets make and the scrub-
onal bear waddling across a stark white bing sound when you make the charac-
level. You are interrupted by a range of ter retreat. The game is a delight to play
polygonal animals, including a T. Rex as because you have time to strategize
well as other dangerous objects such as and hence exercise some clairvoyance
a huge tank which is bent on killing you. in planning your moves. In conclusion,
You shoot a bullet with every step you 9 Time Locker is worthy of your time.

Missing room. The dialogues speak to you and target to achieve every day but she

issing is a game for a cause try to evoke a sense of empathy for the never stops trying to escape. Your aim
and an especially good one at character (which they are extremely is to explore the nearby surroundings
that. The game was created as successful in doing). For example, and try to break out from the brothel.
a part of the Missing Project by Leela when you are locked up in the room The game is pretty heavy in terms of
Kejriwal, an artist and photographer to the dialogues prompt you to try and the range of emotions it will make you
raise awareness about the terrible escape. The situation is like one you feel. The graphics are brilliant and cap-
issue of sex trafficking in India and would encounter in one of the count- ture the spirit of dirty, crowded alleys
across the world. You play the game as less escape games. However, this is perfectly. The game environment feels
a young girl who has been drugged where the game shows you exactly like something you might have walked
and kidnapped and locked up in a how different it is. You simply cannot across in your everyday life.
escape. The characters are detailed, The game, thus, includes an explo-
with great voice acting as well. The sit- ration element as well as that of
uations youll find yourself in are terri- resource management as you have to
fying. Once your character grows up, keep track of your finances. There are
she is forced to walk the streets and a lot of hard hitting lessons in this
make offers to different men based on game and like all the best stories, the
9.5 the amount of money that they have hero retains a sense of hope even in
and how lusty they are. She has a daily the darkest of times.

follow us on: | January 2017 | SKOAR! | 95


Jrump Prime Peaks

ow that the spectacle that was rime Peaks is a really elegant
the US Elections is over and
people have more or less
8.3 reworking of Hill Climb Racing
an android staple of yore. The
made their peace with it, this game premise is the same, you are the
based on Trump is even more rele-
vant. It features a Donald Trump who
Beat Stomper driver on an outrageously twisted
mountain road and must do all you

jumps up into space from a starting eat Stomper is an endless can to stop the car from toppling
point which is a wall. He keeps jump- runner about jumping to the over and crushing your driver with it.
ing higher and the players aim is to beat. It features an energetic If you are a person who has ever
create platforms for him to land on little square that is quite a fan of seen a hill road, you will know that its
and then jump off of. He has the EDM and wants nothing more than not how things usually work. There is
potential to reach tremendous to jive to its own beat. Now that we a greater danger of driving off the
heights; if you play for long enough have successfully established char- sides than of driving up a 75 degree
you will even get to space! However, acter motivation for a geometric slope and toppling over. Still, let us
the major obstacle to Trump ascend- shape, it is time to look at how diffi- indulge the developers and overlook
ing great heights is the barrage of cult the game is to play. Not very, if this extreme disconnect from reality.
Mexicans that seem to be raining you have a sense of rhythm and There are two control buttons, one to
down from can keep track of a beat. Your aim is accelerate and one to brake. The
the sky. The to time the jumps at the right roads are strewn with hazardous
7 other presi- moments to make the square obstacles and coins. There is also the
dential can- bounce up to the next platform. question of fuel management as your
didates also Here, the platform moves accord- highly inefficient car runs out of fuel
try to knock ing to the pulsating music and you every few minutes and you must
Trump down have to make sure to land on this make your way to the next container
while don- piece of musically-inclined rectan- of petrol that hangs conveniently in
ning jet gle. As the square edges closer midair. To say that the graphics are
packs and towards its destiny of rising ever mind-numbingly amazing would def-
whizzing upwards, the beat speeds up and initely be an exaggeration but they
around the game become more difficult. are indeed amazing. The cars are
the sky. Each landing is punctuated with a beautifully designed and it is a pleas-
The game takes the most ridicu- resounding thud which shakes up ure to collect the money required to
lous elements of Trumps campaign the entire screen. There are a num- unlock them and then try them out
rhetoric and turns it into an enjoyable ber of levels that you can unlock on the track. Of course, it would have
runner. The graphics are really pretty depending on certain milestones, been even nicer if they were already
and even the shrivelled up orange like a certain number of plays or a
that is Trump looks pretty gorgeous score. Each new level features a dif-
in this new avatar. There are a num- ferent sound track, making them
ber of costumes that you can unlock worth the trouble undertaken in
and you can have the honour of play- unlocking them. 8.7
ing with a sailor Trump or with one in The game has one-touch con-
a crown and a Miss Universe sash. trols which make it quite easy to
Apart from Trump, you can also play. However, one wonders what
unlock other controversial leaders the game would have been like with
and watch them launch themselves two controls in order to manoeuvre unlocked but who doesnt love a
into space. In fact, taking the the square while it was still in the good challenge and some good old
#Kanye2020 campaign a bit further, air. The graphics are stellar, with level progression. An issue with this
there is even a Kanye West character. neon colours and flashing lights game is that it becomes quite diffi-
A problem with this game are that keeping time with the music and cult to progress after you reach a
there are too many ads that pop up really making the game one big plateau. The upgrades get costlier
after a bunch of replays and some- party. Ads pop up after a few until they become too much to afford
times the controls lag a bit. So while replays and are quite irritating and that forces you to play the same
the game doesnt offer much new, it especially in the beginning when level again and again. However,
takes a simple idea and executes it you are trying to get a hang of the despite the minor flaws, this game
pretty well and that is worth a bit of game. But once youre in the flow, has the somewhat niche achieve-
your time and even a few laughs. youll hardly notice them. ment of being the best hill climber.

96 | SKOAR! | January 2017 | follow us on:

Column Bazaar
Theres a dark side to the Internet All the latest and greatest products

Tried & Tested 104 of Things and you should be worried

about it 105 tested and reviewed so you make an
informed buying decision


Abhijit Dey have exceptional reaction time one could strike a balance THE COMPETITION and skills, but winning that between accuracy, comfort Our search came down to 15

round wouldnt have been and features. of the most popular gaming
he bombs ticking away, possible if your gaming mouse Weve gone through a mice in the market across a
you have your cross- fell short on accuracy. While number of variables and wide price bracket. This com-
hair positioned at the buying a gaming mouse, its tests to determine the per- parison will act as a guide
entry point. You spot always better to prioritise the formance and other aspects. that you can return back to
your enemy enter and pull sensor and shape rather than To learn how exactly these whenever youve made up
an inhuman flick with your drooling over RGB lighting. parameters were evaluated, your mind to buy your next
scoped weapon; eliminating Hence, we procured sev- we recommend that you gaming mouse. Apart from
them and winning the round eral gaming mice and com- jump to the How we tested the specifications and scores,
for your team. Of course, you pared them to find out which section to know more. the pros and cons of each mice

98 | Digit | January 2017 |

VirtualBox 5.1.12 Public shaming gamers
Oracle annouced the release of their new Capcom will publicly shame players with
VirtualBox 5.1.12 with Initial Linux Kernel profile icons for intentional disconnects and
4.10 support ragequitters. Gaming Mice

have been added to make it enemies even at a low polling G.Skill MX780
easier for you to decide on rate of 125 Hz. The Lite S is a While the MX780 does
your next mouse. great mouse at this price and impress us with its alien-ish
in terms of accuracy, the 3509 design, sturdy build quality
ASUS Cerberus sensor is definitely better than and multiple lighting zones,
The Cerberus is an entry the Cerberuss A5050 sensor Gamdias Zeus P1 RGB it fails on sensor accuracy.
level gaming mouse from that loses tracking at high In fact, in our testing, the
ASUS. At this price range, speeds. The cable attachment Hence, it suffered slight skips, MX780 won both on fea-
you cant expect high sensor location is quite low on every leading to further inaccura- tures and build quality, so
accuracy. In fact, we observed MasterMouse but because cies. A hard plastic surface kudos to G.Skill for picking
the tracking and malfunction of the Ss textured cable, a would be better rather than the right features and mate-
speed was pretty low (around noticeable amount of drag soft surfaces. The scroll wheel rials. We found the advertised
1m/s). Once the mouse crossed will hinder with your game- is placed noticeably higher DPI levels to be inaccurate
the tracking speed, the sensor play. This wasnt the case with and is highly responsive. The and had to calibrate them to
failed to register further and the other two mice, where one steady slope throughout the attain true CPI levels before
only started detecting again of them has a braided cable body makes it perfect for palm testing. The mouse functions
after it dropped below the whereas the other one has a grip, although a groove at the the most accurate on a white
threshold. We couldnt test flexible plastic cable. For the right and left click would have plastic surface whereas the
acceleration due to the low maximum advertised DPI of been more comfortable. Avago 9800 laser sensor
malfunction speed, but we 7200, we found the maximum drops accuracy drastically
didnt experience any accel- and true CPI to be around Gigabyte XM300
eration in the lower speed The XM300 is another ergo-
range. At lower speeds, the nomic mouse with ridges
mouse had great accuracy. on both sides which makes
The shortcoming of the sensor holding the mouse quite com-
to read data at higher speeds fortable. The CPI levels arent
should practically concern true, so we had to recalibrate
only those gamers who play them for testing, ending up at
in low CPI levels. The com- CM MasterMouse Pro L 950, 1800 and 3600. White
paratively high lift-off dis- plastic surfaces take a toll G.Skill MX780
tance will make aiming dif- 6600. The Pro L is the high- on the mouses ability to
ficult for gamers whore used end mouse in their lineup, the track, dropping smoothness on rough mouse pads like
to that technique. It has an focus being on using a close drastically. The unit we had our Razer Goliathus Control
ambidextrous design, offering to perfect sensor, the 3360, received skipped a step in the edition. The CPI levels had to
comfortable grip for both claw and the ability to switch the scroll wheel. This could either be recalibrated one more time
and palm grip. body design between palm be a defective unit or it wears just for the Goliathus mouse
and claw grip with remov- pad. Hence, if youre plan-
Cooler Master able parts. ning on getting this mouse,
MasterMouse Lite S, S we would recommend you
and Pro L Gamdias Zeus P1 RGB against using rough and soft
The Lite S is a comfortable The Zeus P1 is the brightest mouse pads. The highest sup-
mouse for people with small RGB mouse weve had in our ported DPI level mentioned
hands. It has a nice matte test labs and it surely looks is 8200, but our CPI calcula-
finish and on first glance, it brilliant. The RGB light ring tion came out to be around
looks and feels like a premium reminds us of the Razer 7800 on a white plastic sur-
mouse. But dont expect much Mamba but here, there are two face. The A9800 sensor suf-
of an impressive gaming expe- levels of the lighting around fers irregular acceleration,
rience since the mouse does the mouse. The switches have GIGABYTE XM300 sometimes positive while
perform poorly at higher low key travel and the feed- sometimes negative. Apart
speeds. This a concern for low back is great, making it our out sooner than expected. The from the sensor inaccuracy,
CPI level players. We didnt favourite for button spam- 3988 is quite accurate and the mouse comes with an
experience performance lag ming. The PTFE feet are too stable at higher speeds, and exhaustive set of features in
while flicking as compared thin resulting in the middle- considering the price being its software to customise the
to the Cerberus, and we were bottom portion of the mouse under `3k makes it worthy RGB light zones and easily
able to aim and take down touching the mouse pad. of buying. assign macros, becoming the | January 2017 | Digit | 99

New Hogwarts Battle 600 million Instagramers
Hogwarts battle is a new tabletop deck-building Facebooks photo and video sharing app
Harry Potter game where you try and beat Instagram now has over 600 million active
Gaming Mice Voldemort. users.


esting rig and setup: To maintain a cloth underneath. Measurements were marked recorded, a test limited by the reviewers ability
standard workflow, weve tested all the on the desk itself to avoid using a ruler every to swipe the mouse as fast as possible. This
mice on a single rig since we discovered time, which would have obviously introduced brings in a real world parameter into the score
how the testing software could suffer anoma- errors every time. Around this area, a rough and gives us information on how differently a
lies with certain settings. The software that we enclosure was made to restrict the movement mouse behaves on different surfaces.
used to test the accuracy of the sensors were of the hand to execute accurate motions. In the beginning, the CPI was calculated
highly sensitive to certain programs running in Performance test: To introduce objectivity, using the Measure tool in MouseTester and to
the OS which had to be disabled while some had we used several software. The most impor- bring in more accuracy, it was calculated in MS
to be enabled. Hyperthreading had to be enabled tant among them are MouseTester v1.5.3 and Paint also (moving the cursor to the left edge of
(usually enabled by default), HPET mode had Enotus Mouse Test v0.1.4. MouseTester has the canvas on x-coordinate 0 and then moving
to be disabled, USB Selective Suspend had to built-in plotting of sensor data that lets you the mouse one inch using a ruler, gives you the
be disabled, essentially, anything interfering generate graphs depicting many parameters DPI from the value of the x-coordinate). The
with the state of the CPU had to be disabled such as accuracy, polling rate, velocity, etc. CPI was calculated every time prior to running
to ensure they didnt utilise the CPU while We used MouseTester for every mouse set at any benchmark that involved an objective test,
recording the sensor data. Only the mouse 800 CPI to obtain the sensors accuracy when and also to verify whether different DPI levels
being tested and a keyboard was connected to the mouse was given a quick swipe on a cloth advertised by the manufacturer were accurate.
the rig while keeping the remaining USB ports mouse pad. Overall, only three CPI levels were Measuring the lift-off distance was done
free to avoid any error. used for all the tests 800, 1,600 and 3,200. using the age old DVD technique where the
Although a robotic arm clamping the mouse To maintain consistency, we ensured the swipe mouse was kept on one DVD and then more
over a spinning turntable would have been the speed between a velocity range of 2-2.4 m/s, added until the sensor stopped detecting. DVDs
ideal setup, instead we decided on restricting keeping the total time under 300 ms. Mouse have a standard thickness of 1.2 mm, so if the
the window of collecting the sensor data. This settings had to be verified in the OS (Windows sensor detected over one DVD and stopped
step ensured that the data gathered from the 10) as well, so the Pointer Speed was kept at detecting with the second DVD, the recorded
different mice fell under the same constraints the default 6/11 with Enhance pointer precision lift-off distance was 1.2mm. Lift-off distance
and it becomes easier to calculate a final disabled (since it introduces acceleration). customisation was switched off in the software
score. We used four different type of surfaces Enotus Mouse Test was used to obtain (if available).
to test including a cloth mouse pad, the Razer certain parameters, maximum speed being Response time was evaluated but it was a
Goliathus Control Edition mouse pad, a white an important one. The maximum speed at subjective test since it was dependent on the
hard plastic desk and a glass slab with a black which the mouse could detect movement was reviewers reaction time. This also gives us a

best looking RGB mouse. The around 120 g. The infinite side buttons, a better sensor mentation with GameSense
build quality is amazing with scroll wheel is a wonderful which is highly accurate, and where your actions and state
rubber coating, textured at the feature that we found our- finally custom manufactured in a game affects the lights
finger grips, held together selves using. Currently, the switches with Omron with a on your mouse. This feature
with a metal frame inside, and Spectrum version (RGB) is durability of 50 million clicks. works well and we tried it out
giving you options of replace- available as well, selling at The mouse is perfect for claw in CS: GO. Speaking about
able side skirts. around the same cost. You grip and the wide feet ensure the mice, the 100 is a great
know what to do. the necessary amount of fric- budget option for a small
Logitech Proteus Core tion is obtained. Our only gaming mouse with limited
G502 Razer Death Adder Elite qualm is with the limited control to the DPI settings in
The most popular mouse in Razer continues its tradition features in the software and the software whereas the 300
this comparison and a flag of improving the venerable the slight jitter at 1,000Hz. is a better option, meant for
bearer in overall accuracy, Death Adder every year, this Other than that, its close to a bigger hands and has a better
comfort, build quality, fea- time in the form of Elite. It fea- perfect mouse, and only time sensor. They are available in
tures and productivity, the tures the same iconic design will tell about its durability. different colours and accents.
G502 is a dream gaming with better texture on the
mouse for many. Continuing SteelSeries Rival 100 Tt eSports Ventus Z
the legacy of the Gseries, and 300 The Ventus Z brings back the
the G502s main attraction RGB lighting is present in meshed design we had seen
is the exclusive sensor the almost every mice in this on the Level 10 M Advanced
legendary 3366. But it comes comparison, and other than RGB. Although, the mesh
at a price and weight, the indicating DPI, none of them didnt offer any function-
latter being stressed because have necessary functionality. ality, other than just aes-
its comparatively heavier at Razer DeathAdder Elite SteelSeries has the best imple- thetics, in the latter because

100 | Digit | January 2017 |

Googel Land Lines 7-Elevens drone service
Land Lines is an interesting Chrome The Worlds largest convenience store chain
experiment that turns scribbles into delivers 77 customer products using drones.
satellite images. Gaming Mice

real world output on response time whenever with amazing features while some are plain and subjective. Although these aspects will be high-
the right or left click buttons were clicked. We comfortable. Scoring has been kept objective lighted in this comparison to make it easier for
used two different tools KeyResponsePK based on whether a particular feature is pre- readers to understand more about the product,
and Human Benchmark. KeyResponsePK sent on the mouse or not. They arent evalu- they dont affect the final scores.
calculates the response time between two ated based on how well they perform since Verdict: Essentially, the comparison will
successive clicks (more accurate) whereas the implementation may vary among different be concluded with three awards based on the
Human Benchmark calculates the average manufacturers. For example, the procedure to final scores. The first one is Best Performer,
reaction time. change the RGB lighting modes on the mouse or which goes to the one with the highest score
Acceleration was tested inside CS: GO and in its software wont be the same for two different achieved in terms of sensor accuracy only.
MouseTester at different CPI levels. Any form manufacturers. Software capability has also No other parameter related to other aspects
of acceleration in the system and mouse soft- been scored, and again, only based on avail- are considered.
ware was disabled before testing. The age-old able features and not ease of use. Outrageous The Best Buy award goes to the mouse
technique of shooting at a wall, swiping fast features havent been considered, only the ones with the highest score/rupee ratio. In this case,
to the right and returning back to the original that exist currently have been included. Things the score will include sensor performance,
position was employed. In MouseTester, X and such as modularity to replace certain parts, a along with the scores from features and build
Y coordinates are also traced that can give us DPI profile switch button, extra teflon feet etc., quality evaluation. This way, if a product hap-
an idea whether theres acceleration. have been added. pens to lack high-end features or build quality
To test angle snapping, we disabled it in the Build quality: To keep the scores objective, but has a lower MRP, the value for money
mouses software (if available) and drew dif- rather than scoring based on how good they score is automatically compensated. This is
ferent shapes on MS Paint. Drawing also gives felt, weve evaluated each mice considering our way of maintaining fairness for the entry
us an idea whether the sensor jitters at high the type of materials they use. Weve tried to level mice in the comparison which dont have
CPI levels. The best way to determine whether cover every part of the mouse in our calcula- flashy features.
prediction is implemented was to draw circles tion including the switches, cable and scroll The final, Editors Pick award is given based
at different CPI levels, slowly and rapidly. On wheel. The coating of a mouse is an important on the reviewers favourite among all the mice.
rapid circular motion, prediction can be easily aspect to its build quality hence, weve further This could either be the Best Performer or Best
detected where the curves of the circles form categorised the type of coating for various parts Buy or some other mouse that was close in
straight lines. of the mouse. The touch and feel of the but- winning one of the two awards. The judgement
Features evaluation: The mice covered in tons, as well as the supported grips (palm or is completely subjective, depending on daily
this comparison are diverse some are packed claw) havent been considered because they are usage and gaming experience of the reviewer.

of its useless location. But in a great productivity mouse should be on your list. Out of difference as reported in the
the Ventus Z, the lower palm because of the extra buttons the three that we considered other two mice, and had close
area sports the mesh that lets that can be assigned macros in the comparison, we loved values out of the box. Because
your palm breathe during using the software. Few of the the ergonomic design of the of the prominent bump at
intense gaming sessions. The buttons have poor tactile feed- EC2-A and how it perfectly the middle, the extra height
Avago 9500 is more accurate back, but its totally subjective took the shape of our hands. makes the mouse comfort-
on a solid coloured surface on your part. The software The maximum DPI is adver- able for palm grip users. All
but the acceleration can be does a great job of giving you tised as 3,200 but we verified of them use the 3310H sensor
as frustrating as seen on the granular control on what each from our MouseTester and which is highly accurate and
MX780. But if youre a high key press will do, giving you a Enotus tests, and found the have zero to negligible acceler-
CPI player, you dont need to list of predefined actions. true CPI to be around 3000. ation. But do note, the 3310H
worry. The Ventus Z also acts The ZA11 didnt have any CPI hates white surfaces and work
Zowie FK2, EC2-A and best on black cloth mouse
ZA11 pads. Speaking of the differ-
Zowies lineup of mice are ences, the FK and ZA series
so exhaustive that no matter are ambidextrous and low-
what size hands or grip pref- profile, while the EC series
erence you have, theyll surely is ergonomic (right-handed
have a variant for you. Players users). If youre the kind of
who love ambidextrous mice person who doesnt care about
will feel at home with the additional and mostly use-
FK2. Its built for gamers with less features but only care
smaller hands, but if you have about comfort and accuracy in
Tt eSports Ventus Z bigger hands, the FK series Zowie ZA11 a mouse, Zowie has them all. | January 2017 | Digit | 101

Gaming Mice

Brand ASUS Cooler Master Cooler Master Cooler Master Gamdias Gigabyte G.Skill
Model Cerberus MasterMouse MasterMouse S MasterMouse Zeus P1 XM300 MX780
Lite S Pro L RGB
Price (`) 1,500 1,500 2,500 5,000 5,999 2,990 5,429
Omron D2FC- Omron D2FC- Omron D2FC- Omron
Switch modules Yusya Huano Omron D2FC-F-7N
F-7N F-7N F-7N D2FC-F-7N
Durability (million) NA 10 20 20 20 20 20
Shape Ambidextrous Ambidextrous Ambidextrous Ambidextrous Ergonomic Ergonomic Ambidextrous
Plastic/Rub- Plastic/Rub- Plastic/Metal/
Material Plastic/Rubber Plastic Plastic Plastic
ber ber Rubber
Matte UV Matte UV Matte UV Textured Textured
Coating Textured plastic Textured plastic
coating coating coating plastic plastic
Cable Braided Plastic Plastic Braided Braided Plastic Braided
Length (mm) 124.86 117 117 130 127.26 130 130
Width (mm) 68.72 63 63.5 67.8 72.45 60 70
Height (mm) 40.11 38 38 38 40.85 43 38
Weight (g) 155 86 89 127 125 101 120
Cable Length (m) 1.8 1.8 1.8 1.8 1.8 1.8 1.8
Senor type Optical LED Optical Optical Optical Optical IR Optical Laser

Sensor module A5050 PixArt 3509 PixArt 3330 Avago 3360 PMW3336 Pixart 3988 Avago ADNS 9800

Max. DPI Level 2,500 2,000 7,200 12,000 12,000 6,400 8,200
No. of DPI Levels 4 3 4 4 6 4 4
Max. Polling Rate 500 Hz 125 Hz 1,000 Hz 1,000 Hz 1,000 Hz 1,000 Hz 1,000 Hz
Number of buttons 6 6 6 8 8 7 8
Acceleration Y Y N N N N Y
Angle Snapping N Y N N N N N
Lift-off dist. (mm) 6 6 2.4 2.4 3.6 6 2.4
Performance scores
MouseTester NA NA 19 33 53 45 24
Enotus Mouse Test 77 72 70 77 84 75 63
Other scores
Features 34 31 51 68 52 49 90
Build quality 79 73 76 77 81 74 90
Value for money 90 83 65 37 30 54 38
Overall 61 56 62 62 59 59 68

VERDICT drastically affect the mouses We reported CPI level dis- money award. Weve already
Best performer performance with something crepancies on almost every mentioned that its an entry
Steelseries Rival 300 as minor as a colour patch on mice but out of the box, the level gaming mouse. Looking
The comparison included the mouse pad. The Rival 300 had an accurate value of at the score sheet, Master-
several accurate sensors 300 consistently performed 800 set at the default level. Mouse Lite S falls short by
including the PMW3360, well in terms of precision on Although the Zowie FK2 won a whisker because of the
PMW3366, PMW3310 and rapid movements and perfor- in the MouseTester sensor companys choice to go for a
PMW3310H. It would have mance on different surfaces. accuracy and stability test, rubberised coating and tex-
been unfair to select the best the Rival 300 having secured tured grips, making it more
just based on the accuracy of second place in the same test, comfortable to use. It also
the sensor, while putting less and first in the Enotus mouse sports a gaming look which
importance on the collective test, bagged the first place title would certainly look good
performance over different in overall performance. sitting on your desk. But the
surfaces. This challenge was inaccuracy and malfunction
overcome by Enotus mouse Value for money anomaly that we observed
test. Throughout the testing, ASUS Cerberus during our MouseTester
we observed in real world SteelSeries It wasnt a surprise for the test runs at moderately high
tests how the surface could Rival 300 Cerberus to win the value for speeds, had us sceptical about

102 | Digit | January 2017 |

Gaming Mice

Logitech Razer Steelseries SteelSeries TT eSports Zowie Zowie Zowie

Proteus Core Death Adder Elite Rival 100 Rival 300 Ventus Z EC2-A FK2 ZA11
5,495 5,999 2,799 4,399 4,200 5,622 5,166 5,116

Omron D2FC- Omron D2FC-F-

Steelseries Steelseries Omron Huano Huano Huano
20 50 30 30 20 10 10 10
Ergonomic Ergonomic Ambidextrous Ergonomic Ergonomic Ergonomic Ambidextrous Ambidextrous

Plastic/Rubber Plastic/Rubber Plastic Plastic Plastic Plastic Plastic Plastic

Textured Textured
Textured plastic Glossy plastic Textured plastic Smooth plastic Smooth plastic Smooth plastic
plastic plastic
Braided Braided Soft plastic Soft plastic Braided Soft plastic Soft plastic Soft plastic
132 127 120.6 133 139 120 124 128
75 73 67.13 7 71.5 64 64 67
40 43 40 46 39.29 40 36 40
121 96 92 105 130 93 85 90
2 2.1 1.8 2 1.8 2 2 2
Optical IR Optical IR Optical IR Optical IR Laser Optical Optical Optical
PixArt 3366 PMW3389-T3QU PixArt 3059 Avago 9500 PMW3310H PMW3310H PMW3310H
12,000 16,000 4,000 6,500 11,000 3,200 3,200 3,200
4 5 2 2 4 4 4 4
1,000 Hz 1,000 Hz 1,000 Hz 1,000 Hz 1,000 Hz 1,000 Hz 1,000 Hz 1,000 Hz
11 7 6 6 10 6 8 8

2.4 2.4 3.6 4.8 1.2 2.4 2.4 2.4

66 22 22 75 47 36 90 72
81 71 62 90 83 66 75 68

63 49 50 45 69 31 34 34
85 84 66 80 80 63 63 63
37 28 53 43 46 24 30 29
67 55 56 65 67 45 53 50

recommending the mouse doesnt involve much hand that this is a universal design. We are all for ergonomic
for gaming, especially for movement but mostly twists Having used only small and mice, so if it wasnt the G502,
FPS games. However, youll in your wrist, you could be lightweight mice, the G502 it would have either been the
only need to worry about happy with the Cerberus. does feel heavy, but some of Zowie EC2-A or the Death
accuracy if youre a low CPI us were able to adapt thanks Adder Elite. With so many
player. If your FPS gaming Editors Pick to the adjustable weights. mice lying around, we got
Logitech Proteus Core the opportunity to experi-
G502 ment with different grips and
At the test labs, we were discover how it affected the
rooting for the G502 to win gamepla. After having tested
the comparison hands down. so many mice at a stretch,
It still remains our favourite weve been reassured that
gaming mouse because of eve- JANUARY 2017
the shape, comfort and accu-
rything it delivers. Holding racy of a gaming mice will
the mouse is a treat. The palm trump any of the RGB voodoo
bump perfectly aligns with being advertised to sell these
our hands every time, and gaming mice. Dont be fooled.
ASUS Cerberus each time its hard to believe Logitech Proteus Core G502 Until then, happy fragging. | January 2017 | Digit | 103


Its a (r)IoT
he Internet of Things grew bigger The momentary relief I experienced
than most of us expected and its con- when Id zeroed in on the cat as the culprit
tinuing to grow at a really fast pace. completely vapourised the second I saw my
Too darn fast. Rapidly advancing technology router pop up on Shodan. Im not going to
is a geeks wet dream but something as mention the make or model (obviously). But
pervasive as IoT which has digital commu- its a well documented issue with a really
nication as its core philosophy is missing popular brand. With even the most recent
one key ingredient security. Every vendor firmware not addressing the issue, there
has their own security framework, some wasnt much I could do to quickly remedy
are stringent while some are akin to a town the situation. While it was really cool to
crier who shouts out everything he hears. All screw around with my own router remotely,
vendors are quick to claim that their devices you soon realise how helpless you are. I now
use encryption while communicating but have DD-WRT running with an additional
not many are willing to divulge any details. script that activates periodically to issue a
Mithun Mohandas Given that the more energy efficient IoT kill command to the httpd service, so the
Asst. Technical Editor devices dont have SoCs powerful enough to issues taken care of.
handle SHA-256 encryption, they resort to The ease with which someone could
using weaker hashes like MD5. To reuse the locate an exploitable router, find the exploit
I discovered previous analogy, this would be like the town description and command line parameters
something else crier whod been gagged but allowed to write via forums, and then proceed to take control,
during my little and display whatever he heard. MD5 hashes within hours can get anyone paranoid. Using
security audit are so weak that you can look up their plain- Shodan anyone can locate unprotected IP
My router could text counterparts on Google. cameras, webcams and proceed to view the
be accessed from Towards mid-November we saw the first feed. We hear Mark Zuckerberg tapes over
anywhere on ever massive IoT botnet takedown an ISP his webcams for the same reason.
the internet. and multiple popular services like Netflix Security is pivotal for anything connected
and Twitter with relative ease. It gets worse. to the Internet but the lax attitude with which
The Mirai botnet, like all massive botnets companies treat it is heartbreaking. Security
in the past decade, has started to evolve. Its researchers have been talking about IoT for
finding newer ways to infect devices which ages but not much in the form of a unified
till now were assumed to be relatively safe. framework has come forth. Even the router
This is where the creepiness begins. issue had been flagged for over 4 months yet
One month after Mirai had struck, I was nothing was done to patch the same. Its only
casually browsing and started to notice my when the issue reaches mountainous propor-
mouse cursor slowly creep to the left. These tions that governments and companies take
things tend to happen every now and then, I action. So with that, I hope doom unto
wasnt using a mouse pad with my G502 and you all. I hope your nudes get captured via
it never needed one. I let go and observed it unsecured webcams and released on the
for a while, hoping that I could catch a little internets. I hope that industrial secrets get
twitch on the cable that might have triggered leaked thanks to easily exploitable back-
the ghost movement. Nothing. I forgot about doors in IP cameras. I hope this issue affects
the incident but a few days later, it happened enough of you for the authorities to accel-
again Theres a little thing about paranoia erate work on a unified security framework,
the magnitude of irrationality varies from especially for the banking sector. As we move
person to person. I prefer the term cautious towards going cashless, its a lot better if your
but the moment my mouse started moving privacy gets compromised rather than your
on its own again, paranoia kicked in. It life savings.
didnt take long to hunt down the source of
the ghost movements (it was my cat) but I
discovered something else during my little
security audit.
Let me know your thoughts on this My router could be accessed from any-
column at: @mithun_mohandas where on the internet.

104 | Digit | January 2017 |


Page 107
LG V20

Page 108
Radeon RX 480 G1


Page 109
The Digit Test Centre receives hundreds of products ZenBook 3
every month. Each of these products is put through
a series of tests and is finally given a score. The
final score is arrived at after considering a number
of factors and evaluating them in terms of features,
performance, value for money, build quality, and, in Page 110
the case of software, even ease of use. Jabra Halo Smart

For better understanding of our ratings, heres a

quick guide to our overall score
Extremely poor product. Page 111
10 to 30 Thermaltake Core
Keep away!

31 to 50 Strictly OK.
Not recommended Page 113
OnePlus 3T

51 to 70 Decent product. &MORE...

Go for it, but there may be better products out there.

71 to 90 Very good product.

Highly recommended.

91 to 100
Ground-breaking product.
Weve never seen anything like it before.
A definite must buy! | January 2017 | Digit | 105

AndroidThings by Google New Nokia handsets
Google launches the first developer preview HMD Global Oy, announces two new Nokia
for its new IoT platform, Android Things. feature phones following a comeback in the
Bazaar mobile market.

EPSON L655 VOID Wireless

Ink Tank System Dolby 7.1 RGB
Printer Great immersion and comfort; build
quality could have been better
Superb raster prints for

the average SOHO he 7.1 Dolby sur-
round sound works
through software,
Price99 not independent
24,9 drivers, as theres only Price99
one 50 mm driver in
each earcup. The headset
provides a huge soundstage
for games and
we were able to
distinguish the
sounds from the left,

he most prominent printing thanks to the ADF. right, front and back. Long earcups use memory foam
upgrades to the The nozzle configuration has pressing the dial on the left for comfort and the foam
EPSON L655 over also changed for the better earcup disables surround is covered with a meshed
the L455, which is with a more densely packed sound. The audio quality is fabric for ventilation. They
the last EPSON printer that arrangement. EPSON has immersive for FPS and open might look heavy due to the
wed gotten our hands on, replaced the SD Card slot world games. Its also great size but the headset is light,
are the additions of an Auto- with Ethernet. for watching movies but and you can wear it for long
matic Document Feeder, As for the printing not for music. The quality gaming sessions. But we
and automatic double sided performance, the denser of the mic is only good received an older unit and
nozzle arrangement sure enough for in-game chat and the swivel joints had become
does a much better job as TeamSpeak. The micro- really loose. Even the head-
it produces really accurate phone was found to have a band clamping pressure
75 prints. Moire patterns are hollow and muffled sound was weak, and sudden jerks
hardly seen, we had to really signature. The headrest and would displace the headset
squint to notice some within and the mics stem.
Performance............................78 the innermost circles of the RGB lighting is present
Build ...........................................70 standard Siemens-star. Even in two zones on each earcup
Value for Money ......................80
Features ....................................70
fine raster lines were accu-
rately reproduced. Photo
63 and we observed that keeping
them switched off using the
prints werent as impressive CUE software extends the
Specifications as we could easily notice Features ....................................75 battery charge immensely.
Nozzle configuration: 400 Build Quality ............................65
Black, 128 Colour; Droplet size: grainy texture over human The reasons to buy the VOID
3.3 pl; Ink: Black - pigment, skin, however, when we Value ..........................................50 RGB are if you wish to own
colour - dye; Printing resolution: tried printing high-poly a wireless headset with
4,800 x 1,200 DPI; Printing speed: count CMYK colour wheels, Specifications great audio immersion, RGB
33 ppm mono, 20 ppm colour; Frequency response: 20-20 kHz;
we couldnt notice banding lighting to match your rig and
Scanning resolution: 1,200 x Impedance: 32; Drivers: 50 mm;
2,400 DPI; ADF capacity: 30; at all. Quite impressive! Mic frequency response: 100-10 lastly, if youre a Corsair fan,
Interfaces: Wi-Fi, USB, Ethernet, The EPSON L655 does kHz; Mic impedance: 2.2; Mic to colour coordinate your for
Wi-Fi Direct; Weight: 7.4 kg charge quite the premium, sensitivity: -37 dB (+/-3 dB) maximum RGB madness. If
but the total cost of own- not the RGB, then the stereo
Contact ership is way better than Contact and regular black versions of
Epson Corsair
Phone: 1800 425 0011 cartridge based inkjets in Phone: NA the headset are available at
Email: NA the same price segment. Email: lower prices.
Website: Mithun Mohandas Website: Abhijit Dey

106 | Digit | January 2017 |

3D printed circuit boards Knowmail raises $3.5M
Next Dynamics builds a new 3D printer that Knowmail is an Israeli startup that wants to use
can even build circuit boards using multiple AI to help better managing of emails and other
materials. messages. Bazaar

LG V20
Niche appeal

f youre one of those quality is also just as good,
looking for a removable which means it is no match
battery, the LG V20 is for a Pixel or iPhone right
the only flagship phone now. The wide angle camera
that suits your needs. Despite produces fish-eye like images,
an all metal build, the phone which some may like, while
allows you to pop the back and many will not enjoy.
remove the battery. The LG V20 can take good
That said, the V20s metallic images under most lighting
build doesnt feel as premium. scenarios, and would have
The phones MIL-STD-810G been amongst the best some
certification comes at the months ago. Its just that the
expense of a premium feel. Pixel and iPhone 7 Plus have
You dont get the anodised changed the game recently,
aluminium that premium with the former being a major
smartphones are often known deterrent to the V20. The Pixel
for. Given that shock proofing has a much higher dynamic
doesnt really protect your dis- range, and better details and
play in practical scenarios, we colours than this one.
would have happily dropped it The LG V20 is also behind
for a more premium device. in terms of battery life. The
LG has chosen an LCD Price99 phone drops 5 per cent battery
panel this time, and the results are quite 54,9 over 15 minutes of gaming and runs for
evident. While the V20 is good in terms just over five hours on the PC Mark bat-
of colour reproduction and viewing angles, tery test. This is satisfactory by industry
the black levels are noticeably lower. Moreover,
theres some light leak near the edges, which
standards, but one still wishes for more. In gen-
eral, the V20 will only last a work day at best. 74
is more evident when the primary display is Where the LG V20 truly excels is audio
turned off. The part just below the secondary quality, and thats not just in terms of output.
panel will look somewhat greyish in this case. The V20 is the best smartphone for those Features .......................72
The secondary display remains more of a looking for good audio recording quality. A Performance...............70
gimmick. You can put your most used apps song played on an iPhone SE and recorded via Value .............................69
on this, or have the quick settings here, but it the V20, sounds better on the latter. The phone Design ...........................83
doesnt really solve a purpose, or become a fea- combines three Acoustic Overload Point micro-
ture you couldnt do without. Your phone looks phones to record audio, while a 32-bit Hi-Fi Specifications
different, but thats about it. DAC handles audio output. In both cases, the Display: 5.7inch QHD
That aside, the V20 is your regular flagship. V20 is the best you can get, rivalled only by the IPS LCD, 2.1inch 160 x
1040 pixel secondary
The Snapdragon 820 is as fast as ever, however, HTC 10, and that too in audio output only. The display; RAM: 4 GB; SoC:
the QHD display does reduce frame rates on LG V20 is a tad louder than the HTC 10, too. Qualcomm Snapdragon
gaming a bit. This will show up in benchmarks, To conclude, the LG V20 is a very good 820; Operating System:
but is hard to spot in real life. In general, the LG smartphone, but its meant for a very niche user. Android 7.0 Nougat;
V20 is as fast as any other flagship out there, If the removable back and battery, or good audio Storage: 32/64 GB;
Battery: 3200 mAh;
but youll have to take the phone off its power performance are not your priorities, you really Camera: 16 MP primary
saving mode to draw the full power of the SoC. wont make the best purchase with the V20. It + 8 MP wide angle, 5 MP
On the default mode, games lag quite a bit. is one of the few phones to come with Android Front Camera
The V20 also has a dual-camera setup on the Nougat out-of-the-box, but so is the Google
back. Unlike the Huawei P9 or iPhone 7 Plus, Pixel. At a `50k+ price point, Googles smart- Contact
though, it doesnt combine the power of two phones can do almost everything better than the Phone: 180901809999
lenses. Like the G5, you get a wide angle 8MP V20, barring audio performance. Email: Via web site
camera and a 16MP rear camera. The image Prasid Banerjee Website: | January 2017 | Digit | 107

Self-driving cabs Apples support app
Ubers self-driving cars start picking up Apple recently launched their own Apple Support app
passengers in San Francisco. where you can get in touch with a live support technician.

Radeon RX 480 4 TB
G1 GAMING 8G Colour coded storage

Why go for stock when youve got this? xternal hard drives
or mechanical hard
drives, in general,
have reached a
point where you cant really
differentiate between
two models based on
their performance.
Although, these 17,1
hard drives tend to
differentiate between
23,5xes) each other by offering

(+ T a
ou can easily is ideal if you have a more in terms of features
notice how liquid cooler for the such as cloud storage and On the inside, it is using
GIGABYTE has CPU as accidental leaks automated backups aside the same tried and tested
put some work into wont wreck your graphics from the overall design. 5400 RPM 2.5inch hard
the design and built quality card. However, this does With this particular offering drive which we have seen
of this card the moment mean that the components from WD, the biggest change in its previous generations.
you hold it. And theyve underneath the backplate comes in the form of the new After taking into account file
maintained the aesthetics will be starved for air. The square-ish design and a bevy system parameters, the user
to be in line with the look of GPU, especially, tends to get of colour options. While the gets about 3.63 TB of usable
their G1 Gaming series. The a little toasty but with two design is somewhat subjec- space. This means you pay
added RGB LEDs, power 90 mm fans, this GIGA- tive to what one may like, around `4.6 per GB, which
indicator LEDs and protec- BYTE unit is able to ward we personally would have is not very economical as
tive backplate give the card a off high temps for a little preferred a sleeker more external drives with similar
premium feel. The backplate longer than stock cards. rounded design. But having storage capacities are avail-
However, with the move to the option to pick from six able at almost half the cost.
14 nm FinFET, thats mostly different colours, sort of However, during our testing

71 taken care of. Performance

wise, the few extra MHz on
makes up for that. we observed better data
transfer rates compared to
the core clock do give you an its counterparts. We saw
Performance...........................70 inch of extra performance peak sequential read speeds

Build ..........................................78 over the stock RX 480. Which of around 246 MBps and
Value for Money .....................65 makes this card quite good write speeds of around 107.6
for 1440p and 1080p gaming. MBps. Random data from
Specifications We were able to push the card real world tests painted a
RX 480 Polaris; Stream to about 1350 MHz but with similar picture with the
Features ....................................70
Processors: 2304; Compute the temperatures hitting the data copy speeds averaging
Units: 36; Boost clock: 1290 MHz; early 90s we decided to scale around 110 MBps.
VRAM: 8 GB GDDR5; Memory back. Overall, the GIGA- Specifications On the software front,
clock: 8 Gbps; Memory bus Capacity: 4 TB; Interface: USB
width: 256-bit; TDP: 150+ W; BYTE Radeon RX 480 G1 3.0; Colour: Black; RPM : 5400; this WD My Passport comes
Power Connectors: 1x 6-PIN. GAMING 8G is a pretty great Dimensions: 110 x 81.5 x 21.5 mm; with its application suite,
upgrade to the stock card, so Weight: 250 g; Warranty: 2 Years including an automatic
Contact theres no reason why you backup software, password
GIGABYTE Technology shouldnt opt for one when Contact protection and drive health
Phone: +919810494944 Western Digital
Email: mayank.sharma@ upgrading to the new AMD Phone: 1-800-275-4932 check utility. Nothing we Polaris GPU. Email: Support site havent seen before.
Website: Mithun Mohandas Website: Hardik Singh

108 | Digit | January 2017 |

Merlin Bird Photo ID Air, by Lucid Motors
This mobile application can tell you exactly which Carlifornia-based auto maker Lucid Motors
species of bird you are looking at simply by taking revealed their first electric car that has a
a picture. 400-mile range. Bazaar

Corsair Carbide Air 740

68 A windy mini-castle for your PC

Performance................71 he dual-chambered design chassis is impressive. The handy
Features .......................72 of the Air 740 ensures hinged-window panel is a neat
Build Quality .............. 90 the separation of all feature. The only shortcoming
Value .............................37 the ugly cabling and in the structure is the absence
storage devices from the main of dust filters on the top and
Specifications components that require unin- bottom panel.
Motherboard support: terrupted airflow. The other We ran our stress tests
ATX, Micro-ATX and Mini- side houses all the extra cables on the rig with the default
ITX; PSU form factor: ATX
standard; Front I/O: 2x USB so you dont have to worry Corsair dual-140 mm fans on
3.0, Mic in and Audio Out, about cables messing with the front and a single 140 mm
LED light control; Drive air flow. And the generous fan on the rear. The i7-4960X
options: 3x 3.5inch HDD, number of rubber grommets didnt cross the 60 degree
4x 2.5inch SSD; Fans: 3x makes it easier to route them. Celsius mark on Prime95
120mm/2x 140 mm (front),
2x 1220/140 mm (top), 2x The chassis is huge and while the HD 7790 managed to
1220/140 mm (bottom), 1x a large amount of space will remain Price99 hold at around 61 degree Celsius on
120/140mm (rear) vacant if you just have air cooling. This the FurMark stress test.
could be filled up with radiators (on the The 740 is a premium chassis given its
Contact top and front and even bottom) or a custom price tag. It has an offbeat design and you
Email: liquid cooling system. Nonetheless, your system get massive expansion for future upgrades or will maintain stable temperatures in the factory for a better cooling system.
Website: shipped setting. The build quality of the entire Abhijit Dey

ASUS ZenBook 3
A MacBook alternative? 66

o begin with, the ASUS ZenBook 3 is which is too shallow. In contrast, the touchpad Features .......................77
powerful, fast, thin and light. on the ZenBook 3 is simple, smooth and a joy Performance...............74
Lets face it, the ASUS ZenBook to use. On paper, the ASUS ZenBook 3 is a Value .............................47
3 looks like an Apple MacBook, but beast and it almost performs like one. The Intel Design ...........................65
its more flashy and colourful. However, what Core i7 - 7500U processor churns out superb
makes this design fascinating is the fact that performance in office related tasks. However, we Specifications
ASUS has managed to include a full fledged observed some light throttling when we tried Processor: Intel Corei7
7500U; GPU: Intel HD;
Intel Core i7 Processor, a cooling fan, and heat running some games like Dota 2 on it.
RAM: 16 GB 2133 MHz
pipes within that ultra-thin chassis. Also, the As for the battery life, if you are performing LPDDR3; Internal
small chassis does not allow more than normal everyday tasks, the laptop easily Storage: 512 GB PCIe
one Type-C USB ports and lasts for 7-8 hours. However, SSD; Display: 12.5inch,
you end up carrying a if you are more into 1920 x 1080; Keyboard:
Island type; OS: Win 10;
dongle everywhere. streaming movies, the
I/O: 1 x USB 3.0 Type-C,
The 12.5inch laptop will at max. last 1 x Headphone/mic jack
display on the machine for four hours. Consider combo
is bright and beautiful. It has the ZenBook 3 if you want
good viewing angles and the narrow a great MacBook alternative. Contact
bezels add to its aesthetics. However, the Dell XPS 13 and Lenovo
ASUS has tried to imitate the shallow Price90 Thinkpad X1 Carbon are more cost
Phone: 18002090365
keyboard of the 12inch MacBook and 1,47, effective options.
Email: reachus@asus.
failed. The keys have 0.8 mm of travel, Hardik Singh Website: | January 2017 | Digit | 109

PS4 controllers for Steam Gotham City Sirens
Valve recently added an update on Steam. Based on DCs 2009 series Gotham City Sirens,
It now supports PlayStation 4s DualShock Margot Robbies new Harley Quinn movie is
Bazaar controllers. officially on its way.

Jabra Halo Smart Lenovo K6 Power

Calling essentials Comebacks are real

he Jabra Halo he Lenovo K6
Smart is a Blue- Power is somewhat
tooth headset with late to the budget
a lightweight neck- party, but it is
band that is unobtrusive. better competition than the
It includes drivers, micro- companys earlier phones.
phone and in-line controls, In terms of design or
with volume and answer/ even build quality,
play-pause buttons to the the K6 Power looks
right and the microphone like any other Price9
button to the left. Price9 budget device. It
Call reception is excep- has a metal back,
tional via the bi-directional, the camera module and
noise cancelling micro- fingerprint scanner have
phone. Noise isolation is offer rigid feedback which the same central location
reasonably impressive, but makes the tapping some- and there are no on-screen
it does pick up a fair bit of what difficult. navigation keys. There are
noise if someone is talking The Halo Smart retains subtle changes to the power
loudly right beside you. good connectivity with and volume keys, and the
In-call audio clarity is source. It experiences loss speaker placement, but
good, and the loud volume of signal at about seven thats about it. It is equipped dragon 430 SoC, Adreno
helps call clarity even feet away, but since this is with a 1080p panel. We 505 GPU and 3 GB of RAM
through intermittent net- a calling headset for those found the contrast ratios performs very similar to the
work. The audio balance is extensively on call, this may and colour saturation of the Xiaomi Redmi 3S Prime.
focused on clear mids, which not be a major problem. 720p panel on the Redmi 3S App load times and mul-
further heightens clarity. Another con is the struggle Prime to be better. titasking performance are
However, the soft buttons to get the right fit. Jabra does The Lenovo K6 Power better than last generation
include four ear tips, but we with its Qualcomm Snap- K-series phones. However,
couldnt get a comfortable fit this one is still slower than
with any of them. This also a 16 GB Xiaomi Redmi Note

69 affects the already-limited

passive noise isolation and 74 3. The audio output of the
device is nice with head-
degrades audio quality even phones, and music lovers
Features ....................................78 further than where it could Feature ......................................79 will like it at this price.
Performance............................64 have been with a better fit. Performance............................73 Lenovo claims about 13 to
Value ..........................................67 The neckband vibration Value ..........................................60 14 hours of battery life from
Design ........................................66 is a great addition for callers. Design ........................................83 the 4,000 mAh battery,
Music playback, though, is but we got about 12 hours
Specifications not impressive. Distinct lack Specifications on a single charge, which is
Weight: 38 g; Connectivity: of lows make it a mediocre SoC: Qualcomm Snapdragon still good. Further, the rear
Bluetooth v4.1; Speakers: experience. The app does 430; RAM: 3 GB; Storage: 32 GB; camera really shines. The
10 mm Neodymium magnet; not add much to it, although, Camera: 13 MP rear, 8 MP front; colour reproduction is good,
Impedance: 16 ohm; Mic Display: 5inch display with
frequency range: 200 Hz to there remains scope for 1920 x 1080 resolution (441 ppi); and it offers better details
6,300 Hz; Speaker frequency improvement. Battery: 4000 mAh; Operating than most sub-`10K phones.
range: 20 Hz to 20,000 Hz With up to 16 hours of system: Android 6.0 In essence, the Lenovo
battery life, the Jabra Halo K6 Power ticks all the right
Contact Smart is one of the more rec- Contact check boxes and with it,
Jabra Lenovo
Phone: 1800-425-3718 ommendable calling headset Phone: 1800-3000-7678 Lenovo has made a come-
Email: at its price point. Email: back in the budget segment.
Website: Souvik Das Website: Hardik Singh

110 | Digit | January 2017 |

NoBroker raises $7M A boring company
India-based property startup NoBroker Elon Musk says he might build a new digging
gets fresh funding of $7 million to expand company that will build underground routes to
its services. alleviate city traffics. Bazaar

Thermaltake Core P3
The most beautiful chassis weve ever assembled

Performance...............58 he P3 is a smaller visible. This was built for
Features ....................... 51 version of the Core RGB laced components.
Build Quality .............. 64 P5, both following The biggest disadvantage
Value .............................45 an offbeat open of the case would be dust
air modular design. Given accumulation since theres
Specifications the level of customisability nothing at all to stop dust
Motherboard form you can remove unneces- entry (except a magnetic dust
factor: ATX, Micro-ATX sary components such as the filter behind the fan mounts).
and Mini-ITX; PSU form
factor: ATX standard wall mounting bracket that This is where it drastically
(max. Length 200 mm); comes inside the chassis. A loses points in our final score.
Front I/O: 2x USB 2.0, 2x useful advantage for us was But this is usually the case for
USB 3.0, Mic in and Audio the option to orient its placement unconventionally designed
Out; Drive options: 2x horizontally or vertically as per need. cabinets. The 4960X touched
3.5inch HDD/2.5inch
Although the white colour looked Price0 63 degree Celsius on full load in
SSD, 3x 2.5inch SSD;
impressive, the paint around the screw 9,70 our Prime95 test while the FurMark
Fans: 3x 120/140 mm
holes wore out after the first attempt at 1080p preset stress test pushed the HD
Contact assembling the various components. This 7790s temperatures to 64 degrees Celsius.
Thermaltake shouldnt be a concern on the Black edition. On normal usage, the temps were average but
Phone: NA
Email: CS@thermaltake. The P3 isnt a cabinet for enthusiasts only. thats on air cooling. You can really go crazy
com The acrylic transparent window (no tempered with different layouts for liquid cooling.
Website: glass option) ensures all your components are Abhijit Dey

Coolpad Note 5
Not That Cool

ith 4 GB of RAM, the registering more than two to three
Coolpad Note 5 is touches. The Coolpad Note 5 comes
offering more memory
than any of its com-
with CoolUI 8.0, based on Android
Marshmallow. The Quick Toggles
petitors. It offers a metal body, are accessed by swiping from the
5.5inch FHD display, non-backlit bottom. However, trying to bring Features ...................... 80
capacitive buttons and slightly up the toggle seems to register Performance.............. 60
chamfered edges around the sides. touches on the capacitive buttons. Design ...........................69
On the back, the camera, There are occasional lags and Value .............................70
fingerprint sensor, speakers and a stutters that I came across while
small ridge below the speaker grille using the device. There are also Specifications
are placed at the same spots as the slight frame drops while playing SoC: Qualcomm
Redmi Note 3. Overall, the Coolpad high-end games. The Coolpad Note Snapdragon 617; Storage:
32 GB; Display: 5inch
Note 5 does not feel as well built as 5 comes with a 13 MP rear camera display with 1920 x 1080
its peers. and the images lack detail with resolution (441 ppi);
The colours and black levels on higher image noise. At the front is
the Note 5s display are satisfactory,
Price99 an 8 MP camera with flash, which
Coolpad India
and there is a colour shift when viewing 10,9 is a static LED in lamp mode. The device
Phone: 1800-1027-159
from angles, along with a very notice- has a large 4,010 mAh battery that lasts Email: Via web site
able bezel around the edge of the display. through an average work day. Website: www.
For the touch response, it seems to have trouble Shrey Pacheco | January 2017 | Digit | 111

Dark atomic clocks LG ProBeam projector
NASAs scientists believe that old atomic LGs new small form-factor laser projector
clocks can help test forms of dark matter from supports Miracast, Bluetooth and a 1080p
Bazaar the universe. video playback.

HIS RX 460 Kingston HyperX

iCooler OC 4 GB Cloud Stinger
Polaris Mini-Me Forget music, these are
great for gaming

aving used the
headset for a good
month, we can say
that these
are really comfort-
able for extended
period of time. The Price9
HyperX Cloud
Price5 Stinger opts for
9,6ax4es) a circumaural,

(+ T
ased on the reference GTX 960 closed-back
Polaris 11 or the Pascal based design for the ear
GPU the Radeon 1050 and 1050 Ti. Both cups. The memory foam on
RX 460 is a scaled cards are built to stay within the cups coupled with the
down version of the RX 480 the 75W thermal envelope right amount of clamping The microphone of the
targeted at eSports and low but only the 1050 acts as a pressure ensure a well Stinger felt quite close to the
power systems. With 896 direct competitor as it too is aerated environment on the audio capture source i.e. our
stream processors housed a sub-`10k GPU. insides of the cups. Weve voices! Moreover, the swivel
within 14 compute units, The HIS RX 460 iCooler had it on for approximately to mute function is handy.
the RX 460 aims to lay OC has decent build quality, six hours at a stretch with The active noise cancella-
waste to the sub-`10k price after all, with less than half next to zero discomfort tion on the microphone was
bracket. It boasts of a 112 the stream processors of the being experienced. quite effective at reducing
GB/s memory bandwidth RX 480, you dont generate feedback while streaming
which is the same as the much heat. The cooling fans clan matches where you
noise is distracting at peak have one too many people
workloads but those were 68 shouting right next to each

during synthetic bench- other. In our CS:GO audio-
marks. During gaming, only location tests, we were able
the occasional ramp ups to detect spawn locations
Build ...........................................70
Performance............................61 were audible. In gaming, the and rapid movement quite
Value for Money ......................60
Build ...........................................70 RX 460 is neck and neck accurately, weapon sounds
Design ........................................75
Value for Money ......................75 with the GTX 1050 with werent overly bass heavy
certain games performing which is what you want
Specifications when gaming. As for music,
Specifications better on the RX 460 while Driver: 50mm with neodymium
RX 460 Polaris; Stream some others doing well on magnets; Cup design: it doesnt make the cut.
Processors: 896; Compute the GTX 1050. Needless Circumaural, closed back; Songs like Pink Floyds
Units: 14; Core clock: 1090 MHz; to say, Doom, Hitman and Frequency response: 18 Hz - 23 Comfortably Numb or the
Boost clock: 1220 MHz; VRAM: Total War: Warhammer kHz; Impedance: 30 ohms; THD: live rendition of Yannis The
4 GB GDDR5; Memory clock: 7 ~2%; Cable length: 1.3+1.7m;
Gbps; Memory bus width: 128-bit; run quite well on the RX Connector: 3.5 mm TRRS; SPL: Rain must fall that feature
TDP: 150+ W; Power Connectors: 460 but games like Far Cry 102 30 dB @ 1 kHz; Weight: most of the mid-range
1x 6-PIN. Primal Witcher 3 do well on 275 g. spectrum seem lacklustre.
the GTX 1050. For eSports, At the end of the day, these
Contact it manages to keep the min- Contact are gaming headphones and
HIS Digital Kingston Technology
Phone: NA imum frame rate above 50 Phone: 1860 233 4515 in that department, they do a
Email: in CS:GO and Overwatch. Email: pretty good job.
Website: Mithun Mohandas Website: Mithun Mohandas

112 | Digit | January 2017 |

Magic mushroom for cancer Cracking a credit card
Studies confirmed that magic mushrooms can Researchers build a tool that can crack credit
help cancer patients experience less fear and card numbers, expiration dates and CVV in
depression. just 6 seconds. Bazaar

OnePlus 3T
Better than the best

ow do you make something that is the This, though, is no different
best-in-class better? Or rather, should from the OnePlus 3, which
you be upgrading a phone that begs the question as to why the
is already good? Well, that is OnePlus 3T is needed. The new
exactly what OnePlus is trying to do, battery doesnt really add to the
with the OnePlus 3T. The 3T brings battery life, despite the extra 400
small hardware changes, keeping the mAh boost to capacity.
aesthetics unchanged.
However, OnePlus says it saw Camera: Selfies galore
room for improvement, with the new The front facing camera is where
SoC, the Qualcomm Snapdragon 821, the main change is. It has been
16 MP front-facing camera and the upgraded to a 16 MP sensor. With
battery capacity has been increased it, the image quality of selfies have
from 3,000 mAh to 3,400 mAh. also improved. Photos come out
sharper than the OnePlus 3, while
Display and Design: details and colour reproduction
Same as last time are also better. It is amongst the
The OnePlus 3T looks and feels best front facing cameras weve
exactly like the OnePlus 3. The tested in a while.
only difference is the new gun- On the back, the OnePlus 3T
metal grey colour, using the uses the same 16 MP Sony sensor
same, robust metal build as its Price99 used in the OnePlus 3. It is PDAF (Phase
predecessor. The AMOLED display 29,9 detection auto-focus) enabled and is
used on the phone is still one of the best aided by OIS (optical image stabilisation).
around in terms of colour reproduction. However, it seems there are mild algo-
rithmic changes in the camera app, with Oxygen
Performance: A slight increase OS version 3.5.3. Images look more vibrant in
normal lighting conditions, and sharpness and
Equipped with the Qualcomm Snapdragon 821
SoC, the OnePlus 3T is slightly faster than its contrast are slightly better. Low-light images
predecessor. However, this difference is difficult look pretty much the same as on the OnePlus 3.
to spot on day-to-day usage. You can liter-
ally open 30 apps (we had more than 50 apps Bottomline Feature .........................77
installed on our test unit) and each one of those Jargon aside, the OnePlus 3T is really not a Performance...............72
apps will keep running in the background. big upgrade to the OnePlus 3. The processor is Value ............................ 90
Gaming experience on the phone is also indeed faster, but 10% is not noticeable in real Design .......................... 94
similar to that on the OnePlus 3, or any flagship world performance. If you have the OnePlus 3,
other Android phones. Its smooth, and does not youre not missing out on much. Specifications
SoC: Qualcomm
falter even if you play multiple games back-to- The 128 GB variant may seem more expen- Snapdragon 821; RAM:
back, or games like Asphalt 8 for long periods. sive, but paying 5k more for the extra storage 6 GB; Storage: 64/128
The difference is noticeable only on synthetic seems to make much more sense than what GB; Camera: 16 MP rear,
benchmarks. The OnePlus 3T is undoubtedly Google and Apple ask for. The OnePlus 3T still 16 MP front; Display:
faster, but not by a large margin. makes sense, compared to the flagship phones. 5.5inch display with
1920 x 1080p resolution
(401 ppi); Battery: 3400
Battery: Marginal increase Verdict mAh; Operating system:
The slight bump in performance is com- If you have a OnePlus 3, the OnePlus 3T is not Android 5.1
plimented by a 3400 mAh battery, which a big upgrade. If your budget is around 30-35k,
supports Dash Charging. The 3T can easily the OnePlus 3T is indeed the best smartphone to Contact
withstand a work days worth of moderate buy. It is the most value for money smartphone Phone: 1800 102 8411
usage. However heavy users may have to charge in the market today. Email: NA
the phone twice per day. Hardik Singh Website: | January 2017 | Digit | 113

Price watch Killer rigs
This time its all about smartwatches We tell you about the best

Street smart 117 and mobile phones under `25K which are
some of the most popular segments 118 components to look for at various
PC rigs at different budgets

The Chromebook query

Sometimes, all it of hardware and software that I was
takes is a CS:GO not completely sure of until that point.
For starters, there are a lot of them in
match to be all shapes and sizes and specifications.
convinced about While the India availability is sketchy,
the pros of a it would be wrong to deny that there
Chromebook. are Chromebooks that satisfy almost
every specific requirement need. Hmm,
Confused? interesting! So what exactly was my
Read on... friend thinking when he got a Chrome-
book for his brother?

Form factor
Well, I am aware since day one of the
ChromeOS that it is intended to be
lightweight. I can hear you smirking,
Agent 001 Chrome and lightweight?. Well, not if youre a heavy handed multi-tasker

like me. But for a major section of
ne thing about the PC over, I couldnt stop thinking about consumers, whose only needs are to
master race is that we Chromebooks. I had tried one in its browse, watch videos and use some
consider ourselves supe- initial days and frankly, it wasnt that apps, say, a 2 GB RAM Chromebook
rior - and with that comes great. The idea behind it - I liked that with a mid level Intel Processor would
the implied conclusion that everything part. But mostly it was almost destined make sense. And due to being light on
else is inferior. Consoles? Macs? It is a to fail, the way it was at that point. In the specifications, Chromebooks can be
generally accepted idea that nothing fact, even my reviewer buddies at Digit built to be extremely portable yet inex-
really measures up to the glory of a thought so. Has something changed pensive at the same time. I mean, would
full fledged all-component-blazing over this time? This definitely warrants you believe that there is a Chromebook
PC, and everyone should go for it. I more research. at the price of a mid range smartphone?
have a lot of friends who swear by the Turns out there is. That somewhat
PC master race and I am somewhat of Googles computing ticks off one major box making it gift
a loyalist myself. The thing is, some- experiment - the Chrome friendly. Someones getting one!
times it can get difficult for anyone to OS What else? Hmm, the guy wants
get a point across to some loyalists. The initial idea behind Googles to be a blogger, so mostly he would
On one Sunday afternoon, in ChromeOS felt quite impressive and be working on documents, browsing
between a few heated CS:GO death- audacious to me - an entire com- online, maybe upload a few pictures or
matches, one of my friends told the rest puting platform that ran nothing but a watch some videos. A Chromebook and
of the group that he had purchased browser. Wow! Right? Over the years, Googles suite of cloud based applica-
a Chromebook for his freshly gradu- I have noticed that the majority of us tions are perfect for this use case. Heck,
ated kid brother, who is an aspiring spend most of our computing time on even I could use a Chromebook if that
automobile-blogger. Of course, what web browser windows. So I had a lot of was all I did! But if I remember cor-
followed immediately was a massive expectations when Chromebooks hit rectly, that kid brother of my friend was
session of hilarious jokes and geeky the stores a paradigm shift, com- complaining about the spotty internet
insults (we all know what I am talking puting overhaul, etc. but was disap- connection in his hometown the last
about here, eh?), all targeted at the poor pointed soon enough. time we spoke. When offline, Chrome-
fellow who couldnt really say anything It was after I began my research books were little other than a dead
in his defence. But this brief exchange afresh recently that I came across a few laptop the last time I had laid my hands
had set some mental cogs into motion interesting confirmations about certain on them. Somehow, it didnt make sense
and even after the CS:GO session was Chromebook updates both in terms and at this point I had to verify some-

114 | Digit | January 2017 |

Recommended buys Industry connect
The very best products you can buy We talk to Pete Lau, Co-Founder of

119 right now spanning across 10 popular

tech categories. 120 OnePlus and Eddie Udagawa, VP of
Canon India Agent 001

thing that I faintly remembered about Netflix takes care of my TV shows and the distant past, so that you can see
Chromebooks - offline apps. movies, Google Play Music can handle that there are Chromebooks like the
my music collection and last time I ASUS C301 which go up to 64 GB of
Offline Chromebooks - Not checked, Google offers 100 GB of free onboard storage. There are plenty of
completely useless Google Drive storage for two whole good options in India that have 32 GB of
After a quick dig at the Chrome Web years if you purchase a Chromebook. storage as well.
Store and around some of my trusted All that and a device that doesnt even In fact, you could have the added
sub-reddits, it was evident that need to boot up each time you turn it on advantage of a flip 2-in-1 design with
Chromebooks had far better offline - just press the button and youre there, the ASUS Chromebook Flip. Chrome-
support when it came to apps now. ready to log in and get productive. books are essentially designed to be
There are over 200 apps on the Web lightweight and portable which makes
Store that work offline! Trust me, if my A Chromebook for al... them a perfect entrant in to the 2-in-1
surprise seems unwarranted to you most! form factor category.
compared to the Play Store, thats a Next time we had a round of CS:GO, I Most of them were convinced and
dead giveaway that you havent really made it a point to appreciate the guys reached the same conclusion that I had
used a Chromebook in its early days. perfect choice about the Chromebook just a couple of weeks ago - Chrome-
In fact, let us assume a situation for his brother. I could tell that he books are the perfect device for a popular
in which there is no internet and no almost audibly laughed at everyone group of users who, unlike me and you,
electricity (Yes, I just conjured up hell else but stopped himself. Maybe it isnt dont really care about the heavy lifting.
in front of your eyes!). Compared to a really a good idea to laugh at a lobby Who wouldve thought that a group
standard Windows laptop, A Chrome- full of people youre about to play a of people, including me at an earlier
book would be more reliable for its deathmatch with, eh? point of time, would see Chromebooks
owner, thanks to the offline support as So what followed were a series of in a new light due to a CS:GO match?
well as the great battery life that most questions directed at my statement Knowledge sometimes does come from
Chromebooks come with. That is, if you and in general about my betrayal to the the most unexpected of sources.
can survive without internet for 7-8 PC master race. That is, until I abso- Of course, some of them were still
hours. And the moment you come back lutely owned them in a few successive unconvinced as Chromebooks had no
online, everything syncs back into place, deathmatches while telling them about Steam support and doesnt look like its
including peace of your mind. Of course, a Chromebook perfect for their use going to get it anytime soon. For them, I
I swear by internet connectivity Wi-Fi case. Yes, there is a Chromebook for had no answer yet.
at my place and hotspots wherever I go. almost everyone. Almost. To all the
Go ahead, call me internet obsessed but TV show addicts and movie fanatics, I P.S - Some Chromebooks already have
Ill be having the last laugh when the suggest a full HD Chromebook in the Google Play support and some will be
cloud takes over the world! likes of the Acer Chromebook 14 to getting it soon. If youre planning to buy
Jokes apart, on the other hand a use your Netflix subscription to its full one, keep a tab on https://www.chromium.
connected Chromebook would do a lot potential. And if youre still looking for org/chromium-os/chrome-os-systems-
of things for me. For starters, I dont something to support all your offline supporting-android-apps to stay up to date
need to store any media anyways content, first you need to come out of with this feature.

Dolby for home Hey Sangsaptak, we think youre theatre system should be enough to
Dear Sir, I would like to buy a home confused between Dolby Surround and take care of your needs. We would
theatre system for my house. I want a Dolby Atmos. Dolby Surround sound recommend the Samsung HT-J5100K/
Dolby Atmos sound system. Essentially, systems deliver sound in a single plane XL 5.1 Ch Home Theatre system and if
when a horse is running on the TV, it using five or seven speakers strategi- you can stretch your budget, you could
should sound like the sound came from cally placed around the room. Dolby go for the Yamaha YHT-299 Home
the back to the front and I should be Atmos adds another dimension by Theatre System.
able to feel it even with my eyes closed. giving you spatial or 360-degree
If theres an activity on the left then only sound, where the sound is
the left speaker should give the sound delivered from the ceiling
and the same can be said for the other of the room. The query
side. Please recommend me a system you mentioned is for
and the accessories. Dolby Surround and
Sangsaptak buying a 5.1 or 7.1 home Yamaha YHT-299 | January 2017 | Digit | 115

Volkswagen launches Moia The history of small pox
Moia will be a new standalone mobility company A new mummy discovered suggests that
under VW that will specifically focus on mobility smallpox disease is just hundreds of years old,
Agent 001 solutions. not millennia.

If youre interested in Dolby Atmos genuine Cherry MX Blue switches Gaming mouse
for Home, youll have to shell out more whereas the Max uses Outemu Hi Digit, My Razer Death Adder 2013s
money since the entire system and switches which are cheaper variants, left-click is registering double-clicks
the setting up process is expensive. It but the advantage in the Max would be even when I click once. Its been almost
would be a good idea to future proof better build quality and backlit keys. two years since I bought the mouse,
but do note that you wont find abun- Mechanical keyboards are a refreshing and its been acting up for the last two
dant content supporting Dolby Atmos. update from membrane keyboards and weeks. Since the warranty period is
You will require Dolby Atmos enabled great for gaming and typing. If youre already over, I was wondering whether
speakers which would fire the sound looking forward to membrane or
upwards, giving you the spatial feeling, hybrid keyboards, then you could go for
while you can use regular speakers the Cooler Master Devastator II which
for the rest along with a Dolby Atmos is a keyboard and mouse combo.
enabled receiver. For the receiver, you
could go either for the Pioneer VSX- RAM for laptop
930-K or the Denon 7.2 AVRX2200W. Hello Digit, my name is Akash (huge
fan of your FastTracks and dmystify).
Gaming keyboard I need a little help from your side. I
Yo digit, Im a bit confused as I want want to buy an 8 GB DDR3L RAM for
to buy a good gaming keyboard for my my laptop. I already have in-built 4
PC. Please help me pick a keyboard. GB RAM but Im not able to identify
Following are the names of a few key- which RAM will work on my laptop. Razer DeathAdder Elite
There are dozens of 8 GB DDR3L
RAM from different the mouse can be repaired? Or will I
manufacturers. have to buy a new mouse? If it cant
Which one should be repaired, please suggest me a good
I prefer? Im gaming mouse at around `6k. Thank you
very confused. very much.
I hope you P.S. It would be great if you could
can give me recommend me an RGB gaming mouse.
proper guidance about this. I only Mohanvance.
Zebronics Max need performance. My laptops model
number is Asus X550JX (i7-4720HQ Hey Mohan, its been a common
boards. If you have any other keyboard 2.60 GHz, 4 GB RAM, 1 TB HDD, 4GB complaint with the DA 2013 and its
in your mind, please let me know. DDR3 NVIDIA GTX 950M Graphics). My nice that the mouse lasted you for so
Logitech K400 PLUS Wireless laptop is mainly used for software such long. This is a switch problem and can
Gaming Keyboard (Black) as Android Studio, Unity3d, Photoshop be solved by replacing the switch itself.
MARVO KM 400 Scorpion Wired USB CC, etc., and I only play a single game But youll have to open up the mouse,
Gaming Keyboard (Black) Cities: Skylines by Paradox Interactive. desolder the faulty switch and solder
Circle Armor Professional Gaming So, which RAM should I buy to meet all the new ones. It would be better to
Keyboard my minimum requirements. I know your avoid this if you dont have any
Generic Waterproof 2.4G Gaming team will give me the best suggestions experience with soldering. But if youre
Wireless Keyboard and Mouse so Im really waiting for your reply. already considering about purchasing
Circle Ballistic Professional Gaming Akash a new mouse, then give it a try and take
Keyboard the help of an experienced person.
Redragon ASURA K501 USB Gaming Hey Akash, you could go for RAM For around `6k, you could go for
Keyboard modules from any top manufacturer the trustworthy Logitech G502 Pro-
My budget is `3k only. Hoping you since they dont have much of a teus Spectrum. Or if you want to still
will reply soon. Thanks in advance. difference in performance. And since continue with the Death Adders famili-
Ayush you wont be gaming much, the regular arity and RGB lighting, go for the Death
base models should be enough. Hence, Adder Elite which has more durable
Hey Ayush, under a budget of 3k, you should only consider your brand switches than the previous generation.
you can buy mechanical keyboards preference and price. Most of them are Coincidentally, we have done a mouse
including the TVS Gold USB/PS2 and clocked at 1600 MHz, so you can pick comparison this month, so make sure
the Zebronics Max keyboard, selling at any one from Transcend, Corsair, you check it out. It might help you in
around `2k. The TVS keyboard uses Kingston or ADATA. making a decision.

116 | Digit | January 2017 |

Nvidia's own AI car Write apps for Google home
Nvidia made a new AI self-driving car and it Google is finally letting developers write applications
finally gets approved to test on California roads. and bring services for its Google Assistant. Price Watch

Mobiles under `25k happen to be one of the most popular segments,
here are some of the best ones you can get and while you're at it, check
out these smartwatches as well.


Brand Model Processor Clock Speed RAM Screen size OS Primary Camera Battery Rating Price (`)
Motorola Moto Z Play Qualcomm Snapdragon 625 3 GB 5.5inch Android 6.0.1 16 MP 3510 mAh 24,999
Xiaomi Mi 5 Qualcomm Snapdragon 820 3 GB 5.15inch Android 6.0 16 MP 3000 mAh 22,995
Samsung Galaxy A5 Exynos 7580 2 GB 5.0inch Android 4.4.4 13 MP 2300 mAh 21,900
Blackberry DTEK50 Qualcomm Snapdragon 617 3 GB 5.2inch Android 6.0 13 MP 2610 mAh 21,900
Gionee S6 Pro MediaTek Helio P10 4 GB 5.5inch Android 6.0.1 13 MP 3130 mAh 21,268
Huawei Honor 8 smart HiSilicon Kirin 650 2 GB 5.2inch Android 6.0 13 MP 3000 mAh 19,999
Lenovo Z2 Plus Qualcomm Snapdragon 820 4 GB 5.0inch Android 6.0.1 13 MP 3500 mAh 19,999
OnePlus 2 Qualcomm Snapdragon 810 4 GB 5.5inch Android 5.1.1 13 MP 3300 mAh 19,999
Xiaomi Mi Max Prime Qualcomm Snapdragon 652 4 GB 6.44inch Android 6.0 16 MP 4850 mAh 19,999
LeEco Le Max 2 Qualcomm Snapdragon 820 4 GB 5.7inch Android 6.0 21 MP 3100 mAh 18,000
Vivo V5 MediaTek MT6750 4 GB 5.5inch Android 6.0 13 MP 3000 mAh 17,982
ASUS Zenfone 3 Max ZC553KL Qualcomm Snapdragon 430 3 GB 5.5inch Android 6.0 16 MP 4100 mAh 17,499
OPPO F1s MediaTek MT6750 4 GB 5.5inch Android 5.1 13 MP 3075 mAh 16,990
ASUS Zenfone 3 Laser Qualcomm Snapdragon 430 4 GB 5.5inch Android 6.0 13 MP 3000 mAh 15,999
Xiaomi Mi Max Qualcomm Snapdragon 650 3 GB 6.44inch Android 6.0 16 MP 4850 mAh 14,999

Brand Model SoC Size Blurtooth ver. Compatibility Battery Weight (g) Price (`)
Garmin Fenix 3 HR NA 1.2inch v4.0 Android / iOS 300 mAh 86 g 52,990
Apple Watch Series 2 (42mm) S2 processor 1.5inch v4.0 iOS 273 mAh 40 g 48,700
Garmin Fenix 3 Sapphire NA 1.2inch v4.0 Android / iOS 300 mAh 85 g 43,990
Garmin Forerunner 735XT NA 1.23inch Yes Android / iOS 300 mAh 40 g 40,990
Apple Watch Nike+ S2 dual-core processor 1.7inch v4.0 iOS 250 mAh 40 g 39,900
Motorola Moto 360 (2nd Gen) Qualcomm Snapdragon 400 1.56inch v4.0 Android / iOS 300 mAh NA 36,485
Apple Watch Series 2 (38mm) S2 processor 1.7inch v4.0 iOS 334 mAh 32 g 32,900
Michael Kors Access Dylan Qualcomm Snapdragon 2100 1.65inch v4.1 Android / iOS 360 mAh 113 g 25,995
Michael Kors Access Bradshaw NA 1.4inch v4.1 Android / iOS 360 mAh 51 g 25,995
LG Watch Urbane Qualcomm Snapdragon 400 1.3inch v4.0 Android 410 mAh NA 25,734
Samsung Gear S2 Exynos 3250 1.2inch v4.1 Android 250 mAh 47 g 22,400
Huawei Watch Qualcomm Snapdragon 400 1.4inch v4.1 Android / iOS 300 mAh 61 g 17,999
Sony SmartWatch 2 ST-Microelectronics STM32F439 1.6inch v3.0 Android NA 122 g 14,990
Samsung Gear Fit 2 Exynos 3250 1.5inch v4.2 Android 200 mAh 30 g 13,990
ASUS Zenwatch 2 Qualcomm Snapdragon 400 1.63inch v4.1 Android 400 mAh NA 8,990 | January 2017 | Digit | 117

Everything youll ever need to build your own PC. Whatever your budget.

Basic rig = 31,506 Entry-level gaming = 54,016 Mid-range gaming = 82,965 High-end gaming rig = 1,16,916 Ultra high-end gaming = 2,74,434 Digit test rig= 4,51,508


Processor Intel Core i3 - 6100 8,892 Processor AMD FX8320 11,760
Motherboard MSI H170M PRO-VDH D4 8,563 Motherboard ASUS M5A78L-M/USB3 4,708
RAM Corsair Value CMV4GX4M1A2133C15 - 4GB 1,635 RAM G.Skill F3-10600CL9D-4GBNS 2,298
HDD Toshiba 1 TB DT01ACA100 3,325 HDD WD Blue WD10EZRZ 1 TB 3,599
Graphics Card Intel HD Graphics 530 0 Graphics Card GALAX GeForce GTX 1050 Ti OC 4GB GDDR5 12,607
PSU Cooler Master Thunder 450W 3,032 PSU Corsair VS450 2,930
Speakers None 0 Speakers Creative SBS-E2800 2.1 2,950
Optical Drive None 0 Optical Drive LG GH24NSD1 SATA DVD Writer 975
Mouse Logitech MK120 Wireless (Bundle) 850 Mouse Logitech MK200 (Bundle) 650
Keyboard Logitech MK120 Wireless (Bundle) 0 Keyboard Logitech MK200 (Bundle) 0
Sound Card None 0 Sound Card None 0
Sub-total (Excluding Monitor) 26,297 Sub-total (Excluding Monitor and Cabinet) 42,477
Monitor BenQ G615HDPL 15.6-inch 4,209 Monitor BenQ RL2240HE 9,239
Cabinet OEM Cabinet 1,000 Cabinet Cooler Master CMP 250 2,300
Total `31,506 Total `54,016


Processor Intel Core i5 - 6402P 12,910 Processor Intel Core i5 6600 16,800
Motherboard ASUS H170-PRO 10,530 Motherboard ASUS H170 PRO GAMING 12,132
RAM Corsair Value F4-2133C15D-8GNT 4,314 RAM G.Skill Aegis F4-2133C15D-16GIS 7,777
Seagate Barracuda ST1000DM003 1 TB + Seagate Barracuda ST2000DM001 2 TB +
HDD 6,830 HDD 10,985
Kingston SSD UV400 120 GB Kingston UV400 SSD 240 GB
Graphics Card MSI GTX 1060 GAMING X 6GB GDDR5 25,673 Graphics Card ZOTAC GTX 1070 AMP! Edition 37,350
PSU Seasonic M12II 520W 5,330 PSU Seasonic M12II-750 EVO 8,820
Speakers F&D F550X 2.1 3,849 Speakers F&D F550X 2.1 3,849
Optical Drive LG GH24NSD1 SATA DVD Writer 975 Optical Drive LG GH24NSD1 SATA DVD Writer 975
Mouse Logitech G100s (Bundle) 1,585 Mouse Cooler Master Devastator II (Bundle) 2,618
Keyboard Logitech G100s (Bundle) 0 Keyboard Cooler Master Devastator II (Bundle) 0
Sound Card None 0 Sound Card None 0
Sub-total (Excluding Monitor and Cabinet) 71,996 Sub-total (Excluding Monitor) 101,306
Monitor LG 22MP58VQ-P 7,919 Monitor BenQ GL2460HM 9,710
Cabinet Corsair Carbide SPEC 01 3,050 Cabinet NZXT Guardian 921RB 5,900
Total `82,965 Total `1,16,916


Intel Core i7-6700K + Antec Kuhler H2O Processor Intel Core i7 - 6950X (Extreme Edition) 1,43,000
CPU + Cooler 29,312
Motherboard Gigabyte X-99 SLI 23,399
Motherboard Gigabyte GA-Z170X-Gaming 5 17,900
Corsair Vengeance (2x 8 GB) CMK8GX- Apacer Panther 2666 MHz 32 GB
RAM 6,966 RAM 15,840
4M1A2400C14R (4x 8 GB)
WD WD30EZRX 3TB + Samsung 960 Pro HDD Western Digital WD40EFRX 12,444
HDD 512GB SSD 30,063
SSD Samsung 960 Pro 1TB NVMe SSD 43,000+Tax
Monitor Acer XB270HU 27-inch 144Hz 4K G-Sync 61,300
Graphics Card ASUS ROG STRIX GTX 1080 8GB 61,313 Graphics Card 63,250+Tax
Cabinet NZXT S340 Elite 9,450
Cabinet+ Cooler NZXT H440 + Noctua NH-D15 24,107
PSU Cooler Master V1000 1000W 15,023
Speakers Sony HT-RT3 5.1 16,490 PSU Corsair HXi1000i 1000W 16,699
Optical Drive LG Blu-ray WH14NS40 RW 5,849 Monitor Acer Predator X34 89,000
Mouse Gigabyte XM300 2,679 Optical Drive NA NA
Keyboard Steelseries APEX 350 8,249 Mouse Razer Death Adder Elite 5,999
Sound Card ASUS XONAR Essence STX 9,840 Keyboard G.SKILL Ripjaws KM780 RGB 14,770
Total `2,74,434 Total `4,51,508

118 | Digit | January 2017 |

From smartphones to gaming laptops, heres what we recommend for your next purchase!

Brand Model Price (in `) Brand Model Price (in `)
Lenovo Ideapad 710S 73,390 Google Pixel XL 67,000
Lenovo Thinkpad X1 Carbon 1,28,400 Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge 50,900
Dell XPS 13 94,990 OnePlus 3T 29,999

Brand Model Price (in `) Brand Model Price (in `)
GIGABYTE GeForce GTX 1080 G1 Gaming 61,499 ASUS Proart PA329Q 1,00,000
ASUS ROG STRIX GeForce GTX 1070 8GB 42,699 BenQ BL2711U 61,990
SAPPHIRE NITRO+ Radeon RX 480 8G 24,486 BenQ BL3201PT 1,00,000

Brand Model Price (in `) Brand Model Price (in `)
Lenovo Yoga 710-14IKB 77,890 Lenovo Ideapad Y700 91,990
Lenovo Thinkpad X1 YOGA 83,700 Dell Inspiron 15 7559 114,390
Lenovo Yoga 900 125,890 HP Pavilion 15-AU117tx 86,790

Brand Model Price (in `) Brand Model Price (in `)
Intel Core i7-6950X Extreme Edition 130,000 Samsung 960 Pro 1TB 43,000+Tax
Intel Core i7-6900K 81,500 ZOTAC Sonix Gaming SSD 480GB 33,799
Intel Core i7-6850K 48,250 Samsung SM951 512GB 23,199

Brand Model Price (in `) Brand Model Price (in `)
ASUS RT-AC5300 23,000 Zotac Magnus EN1060 73,599
TP-Link Archer C5400 22,900 ASRock DeskMini H110 65,499
D-Link DIR-879 16,690 GIGABYTE BRIX GB-BSi5H-6200 36,000 | January 2017 | Digit | 119

Dopamine on mice New Bluetooth 5
Scientists find a way to manipulate mice and New Bluetooth 5 said to bring a better support
make them lose track of time. Learn more here: for IOT, increased speeds and better range.
Industry Connect

Prasid Banerjee upgraded it. How do you justify it to those fans?

Lau: We actually listened to our fans.
he OnePlus 3 was launched When we launched OnePlus 3, some
about half-a-year ago, and fans liked Dash Charge, but they also
OnePlus has already brought wondered if the battery could last
forth an upgrade, with the longer. So, taking that feedback from
OnePlus 3T. Why? The company our consumers, we decided to use this
says its because it saw some room for new battery. For fans who are already
improvement. We spoke to Pete Lau, using the OnePlus 3, I dont think there
Founder, OnePlus, asking for some is a need to upgrade. But, if a person
explanations on this, his take on VR, doesnt have a OnePlus phone, the One-
their strategy for flagships and more on Plus 3T is the best phone to buy.
those lines.
From the OnePlus One to OnePlus
The obvious question first. Why did 3, youre now better known, but you
you upgrade the OnePlus 3 so soon? still cater to your fans. Do you have
Lau: The OnePlus 3 has been launched any plans to ever cater to the first
for almost half a year, and we thought time buyers, which India has a huge
we needed to improve on the product number of?
which is why we did it. Lau: Of course, we will cater to those
Pete Lau, CEO, OnePlus new customers. But, having said that,
When we met Carl Pei last time, the fans are still our first focus. Our

he had said you guys worked really brand and reputation is spread from
hard to make the OnePlus 3 perfect. mouth-to-mouth, so their loyalty is
So, how does the new hardware make very important to us.
it better?
Lau: Technology is always developing
3T loads Last year you hit two different price

fast. When we launched the OnePlus brackets, with the OnePlus 2 and
3, there was no Snapdragon 821. Now OnePlus X. Then you said youll stop
there is, and the CPU performance that and follow a one flagship strat-

actually increased by about 10% and egy, but this year again we have two
the GPU performance by about 5%. phones. So where is it headed? Are
Some people may think that this isnt you going to hit different price brack-

faster than
a huge improvement, but we yearn for ets soon?
perfection, and if we think even if we Lau: We wont continue with the
can add a little bit, then we will. OnePlus X series. We had an interview
The biggest change on the OnePlus
3T is in the battery. It has changed from
Galaxy S7 with some of our fans, and they said
they wouldnt buy the OnePlus X. They

3,000 mAh to 3,400 mAh, and the size said our brand positioning is in the
didnt change. The phone is as light- premium market, so theyll only buy
weight, but the battery performance our flagship phones. OnePlus repre-

Pete Lau
is two hours more. It took us almost sents the best of flagship smartphones,
half a years work for this battery. In so even if we have those lower ranged
the choice of the battery, we are like the devices, our fans dont want to buy
most conservative. Our principle is that them anymore.
the current battery has been used for The OnePlus 3T
almost half a year, and while theres no
problem with it, this new one is now
replaces the OnePlus Ok, coming back to the OnePlus 3T.
You said it brings a 10% improvement,
ready, so we can use it. 3 atop the companys which is what Qualcomm also says for
portfolio. Whats the the Snapdragon 821. But does it also
But OnePlus is a fan-oriented big idea here? bring Daydream VR support?
company, and youre telling them that No, VR isnt the reason for adding the
you launched a new phone half a year Snapdragon 821. I dont see VR head-
ago, they bought it and youve now sets having a very promising future.

120 | Digit | January 2017 |

AMDs Crimson ReLive Pokemon at Coffee shops
AMDs big graphics software update Pokemon Go partners with Starbucks turning
offers more tools and easier game sharing over 7,800 stores across US into pokestops
features. and gyms. Industry Connect

India through Canons eyes

Wondering what Canon
thinks about the Indian
market? Read on.

Mithun Mohandas

How is Canons PhotoMarathon

faring in India as compared to the
other countries in South East Asia?
Eddie: This was the 7th edition of
Photomarathon in India and we are
happy to witness the popularity this
event has gained over the years. The
ever increasing number of young-
sters taking up their cameras and
unleashing their creative self is reas-
surance to our constant efforts towards
encouraging a culture of photography
in India.
We feel confident and extremely
proud with the photographic capa-
bilities that Canon Photomarathon
managed to attract this year which is
immensely innovative and at par with
the global standards. Mr.EddieUdagawa, VP, Consumer Imaging and Information Center, Canon India
Looking at the success of the
platform, we intend to scale it up and We know that sales for DSLRs, Mir- eras. A better zoom and image quality;
engage enthusiasts from different parts rorless and Point and shoot have been focus on HD video recording and low
of the world. falling over the last decade globally. light photography are some highlights.
Is India exhibiting a similar trend?
Could you shed more light on the How is Canon adapting to this drastic With the demand for better picture
Indian community as per Canon? change in the consumer market? quality sans noise, rolling shutter
Between the professionals, amateurs, Eddie: India has seen a growing trend effect, etc., will we see cameras with
DIY enthusiasts, absolute beginners, in the DSLR segment. With the launch high performance CCD sensors in the
etc. How is the Indian community of our new cameras in the market in consumer segment?
different as compared to the rest of 2016, we see huge potential from our Eddie: The rolling shutter effect can
Asia and as compared to the world? entry level camera EOS 1300D and our be caused by a variety of reasons, use
Eddie: We have seen a lot of change mid- level camera EOS 80D. We have of a CMOS design being one of them.
since we first started Photomarathon in recently launched our flagship model However, these days, due to improve-
India in the year 2009. Initially, it was EOS-1D X Mark II and EOS 5D Mark ments in hardware fabrication as well
more of professional photographers IV which are high end professional as software the effect of rolling shutter
who participated in this live photo cameras and we see a huge demand for is minimal. Our advanced DIGIC pro-
contest, gradually over the years we these cameras. cessors are also able to correct this phe-
have seen photo enthusiasts, begin- So far, as the Compact cameras are nomena. Thanks to the many benefits
ners and hobbyists who have started concerned, Canon has been focusing on CMOS sensors enjoy over CCD sensors,
participating. This year we introduced the current compact camera portfolio CMOS sensors are being used not only
students category where students from especially in the Zoom range category in DSLR cameras but in smartphones
various schools participated. and high end premium compact cam- as well. | January 2017 | Digit | 121

Unwind Netflix Offline
2016 really wasnt the upbeat year we Netflix has enabled offline

Esc 126 were hoping for, so heres the Pessimists
Guide to 2017. Just in case.
viewing on their mobile apps



Arnab Mukherjee the one we all make, to save money. There are too many money man- Somehow, even though we try to agement apps out there for anyone to

keep track of every single rupee, at even try to complain about not having
ew year resolutions have the end of each month we have to get what they want. Whether you want
become an annual joke really lucky to have some money left location based tracking (Wally+),
for most of us we make with us. Well, why does this happen? or something that supports family
them with total dedication Mostly because at any given point of input (HomeBudget), or bill split-
on day one of a new year and some- time, we have to rely on our mental ting features and more extra features
times fail to keep them the very next estimates to track how much money (Walnut) there is literally something
day. Rather than looking at them as a we have. In fact, relying on mental for everyone. So the next time you
cultural phenomenon that you need estimates not only botches up the think about saying that you cant save
to follow, seeing them as an effective overall number but even leads to - have a look at your smartphone.
way to change things in your life is a misconceptions regarding which
much better thing to do. And if you area of spending needs more focus. I will not pre-order!
allow technology to help you keep This cannot be stressed enough - do
them, there is actually no way that not pre-order games. Or devices, for
youre going to fail. Here are some that matter. Companies that make
resolutions that geeks should find easy these things are repeatedly using
to keep with the help of technology. pre-order as a mechanism to push
their product even before actual
I will keep track of my money launch. What does this do? It leads
One of the most popular resolutions to a situation where a lot of people
one that even fails as popularly is get a product without knowing if its

122 | Digit | January 2017 |

Internet for all Thats huge!
CRTC declares broadband internet a PC Gaming market has grown to be worth
basic right for Canadians $36 Billion in 2016. Feature

good or bad, or if its even compatible if youve had trouble getting up for all
with your existing set of gadgets. this to happen - get Rock Clock! Now!
Also, if a game gives you pre-order In this app, you set goals to begin with,
bonuses that actually help you win and each day your alarm reminds
better, you know that the game isnt you of that goal with a motivational
being fair. There are players who have message from none other than Dwayne
waited for the actual launch and they The Rock Johnson. And yeah, this
deserve an equal chance too. An easy doesnt have a snooze button, Rocks not
way to avoid the urge to pre-order is a big fan of that one!
to think about all the other games that
you can buy with the money you dont I will go cashless
spend on pre-orders, especially during While the debate around the recent
a Steam sale. demonetization move still rages
on, there is no doubt that a digital
I will not be biased towards with detailed demonstrations of each economy and digital payments are
or against any particular particular exercise and follow-up actually beneficial to the country
brand queries to dynamically adjust the plan and you, for that matter. For starters,
Essentially, dont be a fanboy and dont depending on how its working out on every digital payment, youre
be a hater. Neither does you any good. for you. Along with this, get a fitness assured that the money is accounted
For starters being a fanboy makes tracker. Before you smirk - they work. for and the service youre paying for
you blind to the flaws of the company They might not be entirely accurate, will be given to you. No flying blind
and its product. Apple fanboy? Accept at least the lower-end ones, but having with cash. Also, with digital pay-
that the dongle-hungry Macbook one gives you a rough idea of how
was a bad design decision. Windows much you walk, your non-moving
fanboy? Silently think about Windows durations, etc. And knowledge is
8 whenever you feel the urge to hate. power, my friend.
On the other hand, being a hater
makes you blind to products or features I will not procrastinate
which are actually good from a certain This year get everything done. Gone
company. What could you do? Why, its are the days when you had to rely
simple! Just dont be biased see every solely on your memory and willpower
product as a fresh launch and give to actually be responsible and active.
every company an equal opportunity There are a number of note-taking apps
to win your favour. Grudges and biases out there and our favorite is Google
never did any good. Keep. It is the perfect combination of
simplicity and versatility. To begin
I will get into shape with, Keep allows you to colour code ments, your entire finance is mapped
You must know how important your notes so that you can identify out appropriately so you pay the
this is especially for us geeks who which note is about which topic tax that is due, not more, not less.
mostly spend our days sitting on a easily. Within notes, Keep allows to Along with that, of course, digital
chair in a stagnant position in front create checklists and tick them off. payments are way too easy these days
of a computer screen weve been Keep also allows you to set and almost everyone is doing them.
staring at for waaaayyyy too long. reminders for certain notes, even It leaves no requirement for you to
You will be horrified to find out that repeated ones. So each day, at a carry pocket change and each time
the number of spinal problems, particular time, a note could pop-up you transfer the money, by design you
heart diseases and other old age showing you your monthly goals. And get a receipt - so no more trouble with
issues are now very common in the those reimbursements! And on top of
below-30 demography. So, this time, that, most digital wallets offer tonnes
dont ignore the health resolution. of cashbacks and discounts so youll be
How can you keep it? Get apps saving a hell lot of money for that next
like Nike+ Training Club on your config upgrade youve been planning.
phone. This one in particular sug- Also, do try out UPI, its a pretty
gests workout plans depending on neat way to transfer money without
your requirements. And once you get revealing any of your bank or personal
started on a plan, each workout comes details. It works on top of the existing | January 2017 | Digit | 123

Elon Musk is the man! Back from the dead
Real life Iron Man just beat Mark Zuckerberg KickassTorrents, the popular torrent site
and Steve Jobs as the most admired Tech was revived by the original staffers
Feature Leader

IMPS infrastructure and payments are is the Steam summer sale every year.
as easy as sending an email. There are For movies, services like Amazon
tonnes of UPI applications to choose Prime have made things really acces-
from because UPI is bank agnostic in sible, and now theres literally no
terms of which app you use. excuse for you to pirate your favorite
movies or TV shows for that matter.
I will learn one new language Cmon, show your support and get an
this year actual online streaming account on the
One of the most interesting skills website of your choice.
that one can pickup over a years Everything from books to music
time is a new language. You might now has dedicated online platforms
think that theres no point in learning I will definitely try one new that not only make things easier to get,
another language like French, Japa- piece of tech but also cheaper. If you are a true geek
nese, Spanish, etc., but then youd be We often end up looking at the latest you will understand how another geek
very, very wrong. Learning a new piece of tech and sighing, I wish I would feel to see something theyve
language opens up doors to a lot of could get my hands on these. Thats worked on for months being shame-
things meeting and interacting the thing - you can! In todays world, lessly stolen right in front of their eyes.
with new people, the ability to watch no piece of technology is truly inac-
movies and read books in that lan- cessible - be it AR, VR, drones or
guage, and once, someday when you anything else. All you need to do
travel to that country you wont be a is go out and get your hands dirty.
tourist, youll be a traveller. To learn There are tons of exhibitions and
a new language, there are apps like makerspaces that have sprung up all
Duolingo which have gamified the over the country, which let you play
process. Duolingo takes you through around with these things. On top of
an entire course where you earn that, experiences like VR and AR are
points for your achievements in the becoming more accessible every day
learning process. Its a lot of fun. both in terms of price and usability.
And if nothing else works then take
the DIY route - use Digits workshops
and FastTracks and tonnes of other
online sources that can get you going.
You can order your materials from an I will educate
online store there are dedicated stores Yes, there are noobs in this world.
for almost every niche tech enthusiast There are people around all of us
market. Who knows, you might actu- who are not tech savvy, or even tech
ally end up building something that friendly to begin with. That doesnt
completely revolutionises the field! give you the right to make fun of them
and ridicule their inability. Always
I will not pirate remember that there was a time when
This one is non-negotiable. You dont you didnt know half of the tech things
deserve to call yourself a gamer or a that you do now. As a geek, it is your
fan if you actually pirate someones responsibility to teach and educate
work off the internet. There are literally others around you about the merits,
And when we talk about language, teams of people whove worked hard and even the demerits, of technology.
we also mean computer languages. If over months, sometimes years to make Teach someone how to experi-
thats your thing, definitely learn a new the thing that is now sitting on your ence VR through their smartphone,
programming language because gone computer for free. The least we could share some learning resources with
are the days when knowing just one do is pay them what they deserve. someone, show someone how to use a
language really well would be enough For games, if you cannot afford mobile wallet - trust us, these things
to be a good programmer. There are them at the moment they are launched will feel great when you see that person
tonnes of resources available online, you wont lose out on a lot. In fact, you effortlessly doing the things youve just
like free courses from platforms like will get to know if its good or bad by taught them. Not to sound cheesy, but
Udacity, free web tutorials from the the time you can buy it. And if you you WILL be making the world a better
likes of W3Schools and more. really want it all - save up. Our best bet place for technology.

124 | Digit | January 2017 |

More apps for DaydreamVR Cellular PCs in future
The virtual reality platform for Android is getting Microsoft says its working with Intel and
more apps and games including NextVR, HBO, Qualcomm to bring mixed realities and Cellular
Unwind virtual Lego etc. PCs in the future.

Pessimists Guide to 2017

2016 was a really bad year, we lost Alan Rickman, David Bowie and the glorious
Harambe. 2017 could really outdo 2016 if the following were to happen ...

Nuclear Kim Hackity Hack You get spied on

Fatty Kim the Third has been bawling With the US Presidential elections Technology companies have this
like a sullen child all this while. His over and the losing side whining nasty habit of spying on their users
constant threats to nuke the crap out about hackers having influenced and there have been some huge
of the America have started getting the outcome of the elections, 2017 admissions by certain Silicon Valley
old. But one of these days, a tired looks to be a year when countries go giants. Who knows if you discover in
North Korean military researcher at each others throats, at least in the 2017 that almost every social net-
might actually get things right and digital arena. Things could go hor- work, mail service and everything on
build Kimmy his first viable nuclear ribly wrong but one things for sure the internets were spying on you from
missile. But will Jonggy use it? WikiLeaks will have its hands full. the very beginning. *sigh*

Game of Thrones cancelled Aliens land on earth World War III

In a twist of events, something that Weve been wondering about it for The killing of Archduke Franz Ferdi-
George R. R. Martin is quite well ages, whether we are the only ones nand set off World War I in motion
known for, HBO decides to one up alive in this gigantic universe. The back in the days when all was fine
Georgie by pulling the ultimate Game answer though positive might not and dandy. And now with the tense
of Thrones death scene by cancel- bode well for us humans as any spe- atmosphere in Europe, Russias
ling Game of Thrones right before cies capable of interstellar flight will ambassador got shot dead by a
the April season premiere. We might have sufficiently powerful weapons lunatic. While experts believe this
probably go picket outside HBOs than us and well be delegated to the wont set off World War III, it surely
offices if that were to happen. role of food. Yikes! has become a cause for concern.

126 | Digit | January 2017 |

Oculus Carmel WebVR Discord hits 25m users
The developer preview for Oculus new Discord, the chat application for gamers hits 25
Carmel WebVR is out. Learn more about million users and can now be used in unreleased
it here: games too. Unwind

It is said that the anniversary issues are the toughest. But the
soothsayers at Digit have been wrong so often that Nos-
tradamus would have been ashamed for. Poor little homesick The Digit SKOAR! board
Manish ended going back to Hyderabad again, this time for
Christmas. With Jayesh out of the picture and Siddharth Difficulty level : Need new benchmark
down with a myriad number of diseases, Mithun was at his
Skills learned : Virtual Wintersports
wits end having taken on the brunt of the work load.
Quote of the month : Squeak squeak!
Nikhil was away for most of the month, he decided to pool
all his holidays and take most of the month off, and finally
when he did decide to come in, he got run over by a car. Not
the whole of him but just his foot. So hes practically been on
leave the entire month. Abhijit had a pretty fun month getting video at the Techfest having garnered more views than any-
to test plenty of computer mice. His testing methodology thing else so far. Last we saw Arnab, hed upped his hipster
would often be a little irksome, especially when hed jerk the cred and only responds if called The Arnab.
mice across the table creating sounds thatd only be heard at We have a transfer from the Delhi office, his name is
a dhobi ghat. Karthik or was it Karthek? The guy is yet to come out of his
Arnabs month was quite uneventful as most of them are shell and sits by his desk hunched over his laptop typing
except for when he went to the IIT Techfest. He took Young away mercilessly, ignoring all the fun and frolicking that hap-
Yanger along with him and ended up getting Yanger more pens a few feet away. It will take some time but he shall join
confused than he already had been. Arnab had his first viral the dark side as well. *vader breathing effect*

How we unwind

PC, Laptop
Tablet, Mobile

Rogue One
We were divided on this one, while most of the team
are ardent fans of the Star Wars franchise, the mere
fact that a good portion of the movie had been reshot
had naysayers spelling out the doom of the series. But
we decided to give Rogue One the benefit of the doubt
and boy, are we glad we did! The movie certainly lived
up to the others in the franchise even though its just a
spin off. The space battles were magnificient and having
experienced the movie in a Dolby Atmos theatre surely
helped. Its a pity that half the team didnt watch it, as
the ones who did can barely hold the spoilers. | January 2017 | Digit | 127




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