Seiko Shows Cellphone-Friendly Bluetooth Watch. “The huge display shows you that little envelope indicating that you’ve received a new message, and then can also reveal who sent it and the message subject. Continuously communicating with your cellphone, the device can either make a noise or vibrate your wrist when a call comes in. Seiko says it will start shipping a watch like this “by 2007” but didn’t reveal how much it would cost.”
Google Earth live flight tracking. “I’m a big flight tracking fan. When my bride travels on business I like to show our pre-schooler where Mom’s flight is on the map. This flight tracker has a Google Earth button labeled “NEW! Track this flight in 3D via Google Earth!” It downloads a Google Earth file and shows the flight as a location in Google Earth, updating every 1 minute. Perhaps not terribly useful, but fun for airplane and map geeks like me.”
HP India’s gesture “keyboard” for pen entry. “People using non-Roman characters never forget that these keyboards weren’t designed for them, and have spent decades searching for alternatives. The latest, developed by HP Labs India, is the gesture-based keyboard, which is actually a pen tablet that uses a stroke-based system to recognize characters in non-Roman languages. It was designed specifically to deal with languages in use in the subcontinent, such as Tamil and Kannada, but has potential for other Asian languages as well. The system was designed to be rugged, and to be usable by people with no prior experience with keyboards or the Roman alphabet.”
Satellites Will See More, Faster. “GeoEye says its next-generation satellite, GeoEye-1, will be capable of acquiring each day approximately 270,000 square miles of imagery, an area about the size of Texas. That’s about seven times the area covered by Ikonos, the best imaging satellite the company has running today. DigitalGlobe, the satellite imagery supplier for Google Earth, plans to launch its next orbital, WorldView 1, later this year. The company says it will be capable of collecting up to 193,000 square miles of imagery per day.”
Video-game tech hits classical music. “Best known for bringing characters to life in video games as well as in such films as “The Lord of the Rings” and “The Polar Express,” motion capture will allow researchers to create an animated model of Rabbath’s techniques for an instructional DVD titled “Art of the Left Hand.” “Francois is to classical music what Michael Jordan was to basketball,” says Hans Sturm, a double-bass professor at Ball State, who counts Rabbath as both mentor and close personal friend. “Nobody else does what he does. And I doubt anyone ever will.” The state-of-the-art technology will preserve Rabbath’s bowing and fingering techniques – his “fingering gymnastics,” as Mr. Sturm calls them – so that others can analyze the master’s approach to the double bass.”
Samchillian Keyboard Concept. “Israeli industrial designer Eitan Shefer has created the Samchillian keyboard, taking a novel approach to a musical instrument where you don’t play specific notes but select how they relate to the ones before them. For example, if you’re playing a C and then want to play a D, you just push the 1 key. There are two directional keys, 16 relative keys and eight finger positions, and when you want to bend the pitch or manipulate the filters, you tilt the unit from side to side.”
Sharp’s New Camera Module is Smaller than a Ladybug. “The Sharp LZ0P396D has a volume of only 0.07cc. The measurements are 5.5�5.5�2.43mm. Despite its small size it also supports 30fps enabling video capture.
The new Sharp camera module is aimed at mobile phones to be used as secondary camera.”
Get your drugs over wireless. “Details of a world-first wireless-operated implant to control the release of therapies have emerged. It’s hoped the device will herald a new era for patients reliant on regular and precise doses of molecules that have limited stability, or are very potent.”
Cool Wireless Router Bulb. “Liteon Technology Corp. apparently came up with an interesting design concept for home networking dubbed the Orb. It combines data transfer over power lines with wireless network access.
The wireless router component can be screwed into standard light bulb sockets to connect to the data network available on the power lines – neat idea.”
Socialist glory a stitch away in new Chinese game. “Doing good deeds, volunteering on building sites and obtaining Chairman Mao’s autograph are some of the objectives of “Learn from Lei Feng,” a new online game starring the Chinese Communist Party’s legendary hero. The plot revolves around Lei Feng, a humble selfless People’s Liberation Army soldier who, the myth goes, spent all his spare time and money helping the needy and serving the Party until tragically dying in an accident in 1962. “For beginners, sewing and mending socks is the only way to increase experience and upgrade,” said Jiao Jian, a young pupil and online game fan from the southern city of Guangzhou.”