DT Daily: Quantum dots explained, hot laps in a vintage racecar, phone as desktop PC

Today on DT Daily: It’s time to learn about ‘quantum dots,’ take a lap in a no-tech race car, and could smartphones end up being the only computer we need?

Let’s review TV tech speak real quick: there’s CRT, LCD, LED, DLP, plasma, 4K, OLED and quantum dots. Wait, quantum what? Yep, quantum dots. OK, here’s the short course on this new imaging technology.

The ongoing problem with LED and LCD TVs – which is pretty much what everyone makes now – is that the colors and contrast they can show is limited. The reason is too complex to explain here, but suffice to say some people way smarter than us discovered that a sheet of precisely sized microcrystals can create a better light source that ups the color intensity and contrast abilities of the screen. Those sheets of crystals are made up of quantum dots.

Sony is using quantum dot tech, as is Panasonic. In fact, many TV makers seem to be adopting the technology, so expect to hear much more about quantum dots in the near future.

Modern F1 race cars have more in common with fighter planes than actual cars, what with all their bleeding-edge technology and computer-sculpted design. But 60 years ago, things were all so very different. And, maybe better.

That’s why this video is a must for gearheads everywhere. Vintage racer Frank Stippler hit record on his GoPro and took a 1958 Maserati 250F Piccolo for some hot laps around the dangerous Monaco Gran Prix circuit. Safety equipment? Gloves and a helmet! High tech gear? Probably the GoPro! Sound and fury? We suggest headphones and full screen. If you’ve got a car-loving bone in your body, there’s no better way to spend ten minutes of your life.

Modern smart phones are so powerful now, they can pretty much do work that required desktop PCs just a few years ago. Full screen HD video? Check. Gaming? Sure. Internet, music, email and more? Of course. So why not just use your phone as your PC? That’s the idea behind the Andromium project now on Kickstarter. Basically, Andromium is a special dock with an HDMI port that converts an android phone into a small but powerful full-featured PC.

The Andromium OS overlays the phone’s touch interface, and you use a keyboard, mouse or trackpad as on a regular computer. Pretty slick. In fact, we’d wager that in the near future, your smart phone will indeed become your main computer using just such a system. But if you want to give a go now, it’s just a $40 pledge away.

Your host today is Holly Resnick. Miss a day? Watch all the episodes of DT Daily right here. And be sure to catch our latest podcast.