HoloLens Developer Warns of Overheating Issue

2016 may be the year of virtual reality, but Microsoft is carving its own path with its augmented reality headset, the HoloLens, which launched its Development Edition yesterday. While the HoloLens has been criticised for its small viewing area, low resolution, and limited app sizes, a developer working with the headset has warned that the most immediate concern could be how much heat the HoloLens generates.

David Dedeine, CCO for Asobo Studio, which developed the games Young Conker and Fragments for the HoloLens, has expressed his worry that Microsoft’s AR device could become too hot to wear for long periods. Unlike VR headsets, such as the HTC Vive and Oculus Rift, the unteathered HoloLens packs its processing power into the headset itself, meaning that the processor is effectively on your head, rather than in a connected PC.

“The most important thing is to really be economical […] you would never need to do this with console or PC—it’s all about consumption of energy, battery savings,” Dedeine told PC World. “Even more important, it’s heat—to not make the whole thing get too hot, as it would be uncomfortable to the user.”

Should the HoloLens breach its defined high temperature threshold, it will immediately shutdown any app that it is running, in order to protect both the headset itself and your poor head.

It should be recognised that the current iteration of the HoloLens is the Development Edition, and as such is sure to undergo many refinements before its consumer release. Augmented reality is still new territory, and it remains to be seen whether Microsoft can do the concept justice.

“I say that there is a continent of gaming, and VR is just a new peninsula on that continent,” Dedeine says. “AR is an entirely new continent.”

Raspberry Pi 3 May Suffer Overheating Problems

The Raspberry Pi Foundation recently released the latest iteration of its credit card-sized mini computer, the Raspberry Pi 3, to glowing reviews, praising its improved speeds and onboard WiFi and Bluetooth 4.1, but on reddit user has noticed that, under certain circumstances, the board might be prone to serious overheating problems, with temperatures approaching 100oC.

Reddit user ghalfacree posted a photo of his Raspberry Pi 3 (above), taken with a calibrated Flir thermal camera, which showed that the computer’s BCM2837 SoC hit temperatures of 97.3oC.

“The new BCM2837 system-on-chip gets far, far hotter than its predecessors,” ghalfacree wrote on reddit. “This image was taken using a calibrated Flir thermal camera while the Pi 3 had been at 100% CPU load – but no GPU load – for five minutes, and registered nearly 100°C (212°F). I confirmed the temperature with a K-type contact probe, and also by poking the chip.”

“Don’t poke the chip. It hurts,” ghalfacree added.

“I’d recommend picking up a small heatsink for the Pi 3, the first Pi that I’d actually say is worth doing so, and if you’re reusing an existing case keep an eye on the temperature – you may need to make a cut-out to increase the ventilation, especially if you’re using an enclosed slice-style case like the original-design Pimoroni PiBow (which has been modified with a heatsink cut-out specifically for the Pi 3.)”

“Oh, and don’t trust the built-in thermal sensor: when that picture was taken, the internal sensor was happily reporting sub-80°C (176°F) temperatures,” ghalfacree warned.

In response to the post, Raspberry Pi 3 co-creator Eben Upton assured customers that they should not experience overheating issues under normal operating conditions, and the reddit post in question was regarding stress testing.

“[C]o-creator of the board Eben Upton has said that – outside of synthetic tests that place the board’s processor under prolonged strain – the Pi 3 is highly unlikely to behave in this way,” ZDNet reports.

Microsoft is Recalling Surface Pro Power Cables Due to Overheating Concerns

Microsoft’s Surface Pro range offers superb flexibility due to detachable keyboard, integrated stand and responsive touch screen display. These type of devices are becoming more popular and could theoretically replace traditional laptops. Microsoft’s early vision for the original Surface didn’t go as planned and had pretty severe restrictions due to Windows RT. Thankfully, Microsoft implemented in their pro line-up full Windows integration and support for Win32 applications. The only real downside to take into consideration is the price, which can exceed £1000 for certain configurations. Clearly, this is a costly endeavour but Microsoft appears to be targeting the Surface line at professionals requiring excellent build quality and a high specification.

However, in a statement issued to ZDNet, it appears the Surface Pro, Surface Pro 2, and Surface Pro 3 sold before July 2015 have been encountering overheating problems with the included AC adapter. Microsoft’s official findings reads:

“As a result of damage caused by AC power cords being wound too tightly, twisted or pinched over an extended period of time, a very small proportion of Surface Pro customers have reported issues with their AC power cord. We will be releasing details of how customers can obtain a free replacement cable shortly.”

This isn’t going to do Microsoft any favours and raises questions about their ability to produce durable hardware. On the other hand, at least they have openly admitted the technical problems and preparing replacements for all affected customers. It’s still unknown when the replacement service will begin but I wouldn’t be surprised if Microsoft started the RMA process in the next few days. The advent of ultra cheap chargers from online auction sites can be tempting, but a large amount of these haven’t been approved and can pose, in extreme circumstances, a fire risk. Always spend a little bit extra and buy an official charger.

What do you think of the Surface Pro range?

Reports of iPhone 6S & Plus Randomly Powering Down

Smartphones have moved on leaps and bounds over the last decade, the processing power which is confined within a portable device is quite mind-blowing. But, these devices do have their problems which include generally poor battery life and a tendency to break if dropped, unlike that Nokia 1100 model which would puncture the floor while leaving the phone unharmed.

Talking of glitches, there seems to be a new problem which has been reported by many consumers who have upgraded to iOS 9 while using the iPhone 6S and iPhone Plus. According to reports via various tech forums, the devices in question “randomly and unexpectedly power off” which is certainly inconvenient. Users also report that their phones power down even if the battery is fully charged while others have noticed the home button felt warm or even hot. These reports have been mainly attributed to the above models, although one consumer noted similar problems on the iPhone 5S.

Below are responses from consumers concerning this issue

“I overslept this morning, because my phone quit working overnight! (no alarm) I tried the power button, but it was unresponsive. When I went to try a hard reset, I BURNED my finger on the home button”

The screen was off, and the phone rang. The screen remained dark, but the ringing kept going, but couldn’t be answered. The home button was EXTREMELY hot, and the only way to get the screen back on was to hard boot it (home and power buttons)”

“Happened twice, bought 6s+ (9.1 beta 2) on Friday was dead on Saturday night while charging. Happened again Monday afternoon. Reset all settings and nothing since. Am currently running beta 3.”

Consumers have since upgraded their phones to iOS 9.0.2 and are waiting to see if the problem reappears. There is speculation although no firm conclusion as of yet that the glitches might be down to the A9 processor within the iPhone 6S, which had two manufacturers; TSMC and Samsung.

Unfortunately, the nature and power of these phones will always lead to glitches and errors, Apple will need to ensure such instances are dealt with in a speedy manner with the aim of avoiding potential negative consumer views of the brand. Consumers will also be hoping that any bug fix updates do not introduce new problems to their devices, as in the case of the botched bug fix for iOS 8.

Thank you cnet and macrumors for providing us with this information.

Solid State Batteries “Could” last a Lifetime

Among the many annoyances of a tech lovers life which includes, overheating, constant patching, hacking and dropped connections, there is the term battery or lack of considering your average smartphone is dead by the end of each day. Don’t get me started on your run of the mill double A battery, it was fine for a Gameboy, until you had to unreel a long wire with a plug on the end to continue playing, but not for today’s hi-tech toys.

Hopefully, an evolution is on the horizon after researchers at MIT and Samsung have developed a new approach to one of the three basic components of batteries, which in this case is the electrolyte. The premise involves developing a solid electrolyte instead of the current liquid used in today’s most common rechargeables. Current batteries use a liquid organic solvent whose function is to transport charged particles from one of a battery’s two electrodes to the other during charging and discharging, this process has been responsible for the overheating and fires which have caused high-profile disruption.

Another advantage of a solid state electrolyte is the ability to limit degradation to near 0; therefore such batteries could last for “hundreds of thousands of cycles.” Researchers also state these batteries provide a 20 to 30 percent improvement in power density. This means the amount of power that can be stored in a given amount of space can be increased.

By reducing these factors, researchers are hopeful this technique will improve efficiency and waste of the common battery, which in turn will benefit consumers. On a side note, it will be interesting to note how you would put this into practice with the aim of analysing if these batteries would really last for hundreds of thousands of cycles. Indefinite lifetimes in theory, let’s see what a Galaxy S6 makes of that.

Thank you MIT for providing us with this information

Image courtesy of computerworld

Rocket League – Killing Servers and Overheating Consoles!

Only good things happen when the sport of football is combined with racing within a PS4 game, the game Rocket league was updated with new monthly PS Plus update which sounds good for fans until the moment your console overheats along with the game servers.

Fans of this hybrid began to get stuck into the game so much so that a few hours later players were ejected from the battle. According to the developers, the servers suffered a “hug of death”. This is a technical term known as witticism. The update also caused the menu screen to work the PS4 so hard that the fans went into overdrive and shut many players’ consoles down.

A fan on Reddit summed it up with this post “Hello. This game just melted my PS4. It made the console to go on extreme temperatures even when not actually playing, but just browsing menus. Fan begged mercy until whole system crashed. This game isn’t clearly optimized for PS4 yet. Just a word of warning for fellow players”

As of writing this problem seems to be persisting but the dev team are working to improve the service of the game, until then, if you are a Rocket League player then make sure it does not blow your PS4 up.

Thank You The Games Cabin for providing us with this information

Image Courtesy of vg247.it

Snapdragon 815 Said to Have Lower Operating Temperatures than Its Predecessor

There have been a lot of talks regarding Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 810 and its alleged overheating problems. However, despite its latter issue claims, no conclusive tests or evidence have been found to pin it officially on the processor being faulty.

It is said that a few reports have been spotted, especially from the HTC One M9, where high operating temperatures have been noticed. The issue however seems to have been fixed in the Snapdragon 815, having an operating temperature of 38°C compared to the 42°C registered for the Snapdragon 801 and 44°C reported on the 810.

Thank you NextPowerUp for providing us with this information

Apple Recalls European iPhone Chargers Due to Overheating Issues

A new announcement from Apple has come to light informing user with European 5W iPhone chargers to check to model number of their charger in and in a large number of case to then to a replacement program that has been setup after it was discovered that a number of chargers with the model number A1300 were overheating, posing a huge safety risk to its user(s).

The adaptor in question was shipped predominantly between October 2009 and September 2012 with the iPhone 3GS, iPhone 4 and the iPhone 4S and additionally on its own as an accessory. Given the huge area the uses the European 2-pin plug, the number of chargers that Apple are referring to is in the hundreds of thousands, if not millions.

The replacement program which Apple have set up, asks users to look on the mains end of the plug and to check the details of the part they have. The faulty plugs are identified by a block grey ‘CE’ marking and above the right hand pin, the model number A1300 is printed. Users that have anything other than A1300 are not affected. Once confirmed, users should head to their nearest Apple store of authorised service center, where they can exchange their charger for free. Those who are unable to get to a store can contact technical support where a replacement can be arranged. In both instances the serial number of the corresponding iPhone is required for verification of the charger.

This latest discovery adds yet another part to the growing list of recalls and replacement programs that Apple have had to set up, so whilst it is all and well jumping on to the Apple bandwagon, on the greater scale, their track record for faulty products doesn’t quite sway in their favour.

Source: The Verge