Archive for January, 2009
Hitachi Wooo Adds Another Dimension to Cellphone Screens
"The phone’s 3.1-inch display is the first of its kind to have 3D-capabilities and can be swiveled horizontally to be more TV-like. There’s not a lot of content being offered to accompany the phone right now, which is just as well since Hitachi doesn’t recommend that people use the 3D feature for too long. Kids under the age of 6 shouldn’t use it at all."
New $3 Light Bulb 12 Times More Efficient, Lasts 60 Years
"Cambridge University researchers have developed a $3 LED-based lightbulb that is 12 times more efficient than regular tungsten light bulbs, three times more than low energy ones. It lights up instantly, lasting for 100,000 hours"
Cube-Shaped MP3 Player Lets You Roll It Around to Control Playback
"Hacked Gadgets uncovered this device, which is built from scratch by an Japanese engineer calling himself ChaN. The MP3 player uses a three-axis accelerometer, enabling it to sense tilt, inclination and shock. The device features no buttons, and has a SD card slot, and a small, 2.1w speaker for playback. Plus it has an audio jack to attach a second speaker."
Eigenfactor: Visualizing Information Flow in Science
"Citation Patterns" provides an overview of the whole citation network in a circular graph. The colors represent the 4 main groups of journals, which are further subdivided into fields in the outer ring. Line size and opacity represents connection strength"
Media Synesthesia: Editing Sound With Photoshop
"In an example of a kind of media synesthesia , John Keston uses Photoshop to process sound. The magic bridge between the audio and visual worlds that makes this possible is a program called Photosounder, which turns images to sound, and viceversa. After making an image file in Photosounder, Keston applies Photoshop filters and then exports the resulting image back out into an audio file."
Downloads: Folder-RSS Monitors Folder Changes Through RSS
"Folder-RSS is a small application that allows you to specify a folder and how you want that folder to be monitored. Using the command line—the author includes a sample batch file and a detailed list of the command line parameters—you can set it to monitor a whole directory or just certain sub-folders, set filters for specific file types, and limit the age of changed files monitored. If you mess up on the terminal syntax, Folder-RSS pops up a detailed menu of the right way to type your preferences. Once you’ve set up Folder-RSS, you can plug the location of the .XML file into any local feed reader. To use a remote feed reader such as Google Reader you’ll need to provide some way for the remote server to access the file on your computer—one way would be setting up a home web-server to host your feed"
Intel researchers demo RF energy harvester
"INTEL researchers have released details of an ambient RF energy harvesting technique they have developed to power a typical wall mounted house-hold weather station complete with LCD screen from energy collected via a TV antenna pointed at the local TV station antenna 4 km away."
Perch Computer by Sylvia Spencer
"Computers and technology still intimidate many elderly and at the rate technology is progressing its sure to make arthritis seem like bliss. Hitching a ride to the techno-highway is the Perch Computer, which incorporates the fun element while offering intuitive navigation. A touchscreen coupled with a key system makes the device easy-to-use and understand. Naturally, visual representations of the various programs are easy to comprehend."
Baby Name Brainstorm: Interactive Baby Naming
"Baby Name Brainstorm [babynamebrainstorm.com] is an interactive, animated name graph that helps future parents to find names with particular aesthetic and semantic qualities. Names can be selected (e.g. "Andrew") and explored within several contexts, such as "sounds like" (e.g. "Andreas"), "found in" (e.g. "Andrews") or "contains" (e.g. "Andre"), while also pointing out some facts (e.g. "Andrew" being one of the Apostles, "James" being one of the Tank Engines)."
Implantable sensor simplifies blood pressure readings
"With the new method a tiny pressure sensor, which has a diameter of about 1 millimeter is placed directly into the femoral artery in the groin and measures the patient’s blood pressure 30 times per second. The sensor is connected via a flexible micro-cable to a transponder unit, which is likewise implanted in the groin under the skin. This unit digitizes and encodes the data coming from the micro-sensor and transmits them to an external reading device that patients can wear like a cell phone on their belt. From there, the readings can be forwarded to a monitoring station and analyzed by the doctor. Because the researchers use special components in CMOS technology, the system requires little energy. The micro-implants can be supplied with electricity wirelessly via coils."
Prism 200 Lets You See Through Walls
"This compact, portable and durable product uses advanced signal processing to highlight moving people and objects in cluttered environments, through doors or brick, block and concrete walls. prism 200 is easy to use and with the press of a button, operators can switch between front, plan or profile views for a complete picture. The user can also observe the scenario in a 3D view, where the perspective can be rotated to look at a room or building from various vantage points."
"[…] at present, a typical silicon solar cell only absorbs about two-thirds of the sunlight that strikes it, while the remaining third is reflected. Shawn-Yu Lin, a professor of physics at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, has developed an anti-reflective coating (actually seven layers of coating) that raise the absorption of a solar panel to almost 100 percent. A typical silicon solar cell with this anti-reflective coating will absorb 96.21 percent of the sunlight that strikes it, and less than 4% of the light is reflected."
Alocola Adds Location Awareness to Websites Across the Internet
"Alocola, which works alongside the iPhone’s pre-installed Safari browser, was designed as a tool for people looking for geographically-aware information as they surf as well as web developers hoping to add location-based dimensionality to their sites. Once installed, the Alocola permission window pops up just like other location-aware applications’, then once received, returns to Safari and passes the location along as part of the URL."
Tokyo’s E-Paper Disaster Signs Help You Escape Earthquakes, Godzillas
"The multi-part displays, measuring at 1m x 3.2m and supporting a 240×768 resolution have been placed alongside a few main thoroughfares in the city, and are intended to give pedestrians disaster response instructions. E-paper is perfect for application like this, for a few reasons. A dynamic display is incredibly valuable in a disaster, as it can change its contents to suit the details of a specific situation. A traditional LCD panel would be the most obvious choice for such a thing, but it suffers from excessive power requirements and a lack a durability, which are crucial limitation for the earthquake-prone region."
A Tool to Verify Digital Records, Even as Technology Shifts
"On Tuesday a group of researchers at the University of Washington are releasing the initial component of a public system to provide authentication for an archive of video interviews with the prosecutors and other members of the International Criminal Tribunal for the Rwandan genocide. The group will also release the first portion of the Rwandan archive. This system is intended to be available for future use in digitally preserving and authenticating first-hand accounts of war crimes, atrocities and genocide."
Pirate radio project joins graffiti artists with cellphones
"The "Future Pirate Radio" project is a combination of a cellphone application that reads QR Codes and printable stencils for graffiti artists to put up the codes on local walls. When photographed, the codes produce radio broadcasts streamed live over the Internet. Although it seems like a hard way to find a radio broadcast (searching the streets) we will most likely see more of these types of apps surface through our mobile devices."
"The gameplay is what you’d expect: killing dragons, teaming up against enemies, upgrading weapons. What’s different is that the environment is a Google Map that surrounds your current location by a few blocks, so you can only see other players that are nearby in the real world, and finding other monsters to battle means physically moving to a new location. The result is a combination of straightforward video game play combined with the fun of discovery found in geocaching."
World’s smallest fuel cell promises greener gadgets
"The new device has just four components. A thin membrane separates a water reservoir above from a chamber containing metal hydride below. Beneath the metal hydride chamber there is an assembly of electrodes. Tiny holes in the membrane allow the water molecules to reach the adjacent chamber as vapour. Once there, the vapour reacts with the metal hydride to form hydrogen, which fills the chamber, pushing the membrane upwards and blocking the flow of water (see image, top right). The hydrogen is gradually depleted, though, as it reacts at the electrodes beneath the chamber to create a flow of electricity. And when the hydrogen pressure drops, more water can enter to keep the reaction going"
Camerabag Adds Analog Depth to iPhone Images
"Never Center has created a clever iPhone application named Camerabag, that styles images to look like photographs from classic cameras of the past. Different filters can be applied to existing images or to photos taken live. Users can choose between the Helga, 1974, Lolo, Cinema, 1962, Mono and Infrared modes that add different gritty, moody washes over the often bland looking camphone photos."
Micro-Boat Walks the Walk–On Water
"Miniature electrodes at the rear of the thumbnail-size vessel neutralize the surface tension of the water there, thereby allowing tension at the front to tug it forward. An electrode on the side of the boat enables it to steer clockwise. The device moves at a speed of 0.16 inch (four millimeters) per second, or about a foot (30.5 centimeters) every 1.5 minutes. That might seem slow, experts say, but it is in the same league as previously developed devices that rely on surface tension for forward progress."
New Paint Could Block Wi-Fi From Nosey Neighbors
"While we’ve had RF-blocking paint to cellphone signals for some time, manufacturers have been thwarted when attempting to stop higher frequencies, like we have on home networks. Now a team of researchers from the University of Tokyo has developed an aluminium-iron oxide that blocks radio frequencies up to four times beyond existing anti-RF technologies. The paint puts out a magnetic field that resonates at the same frequency as the electromagnetic wave (in this case, a radio frequency) you’re looking to block."
Stretchable Electronics with a Twist
“The new mechanical design strategy is based on semiconductor nanomaterials that can offer high stretchability (up to140%) and large twistability such as corkscrew twists with tight pitch (e.g., 90 degrees in 1cm). Potential uses for the new design include electronic devices for eye cameras, smart surgical gloves, body parts, airplane wings, back planes for liquid crystal displays and biomedical devises.”
QXL Founder Tim Jackson To Launch DVD Lending Site LendAround
“First, the site is focusing on loaners, not outright permanent trades. And the goal is to let your friends browse your DVD collection and borrow what they want, and LendAround keeps track of who has what. That removes the issue of people forgetting who borrowed what.”
Embedded book prototype
“Besides the [below], which uses touch-sensitive LED circuitry and shape memory allow and a paper ratchet to activate components in a book, he also has a sort of quiz book, that lights up when you put people on family tree in the right sequence, and simple laminated circuit.”
New networks take nature’s pulse
“In Antarctica and California’s Sierra Nevada mountain range, they measure snowpack. On volcanoes in Ecuador, they sense tremors. In Australia, they track invasive cane toads. And in Cambridge, Mass., they sit atop buildings and street lights to monitor weather changes and air pollution. “The potential is unfathomable,” says Kirsten West, principal analyst at West Technology Research Solutions in Mountain View, Calif. With no wires to hold back innovation, “you don’t have to worry about the physical network.” Already a $120 million market, networked outdoor sensors will benefit from a boom in low-power microchips. Ms. West estimates that demand for the latest chips will grow 34-fold to $680,000 by 2013.”
The i-LIMB Bionic Arm
“The i-LIMB Hand is controlled by a unique, highly intuitive control system that uses a traditional two-input myoelectric (muscle signal) to open and close the hand’s life-like fingers. Myoelectric controls utilize the electrical signal generated by the muscles in the remaining portion of the patient’s limb. This signal is picked up by electrodes that sit on the surface of the skin. Existing users of basic myoelectric prosthetic hands are able to quickly adapt to the system and can master the device’s new functionality within minutes.”
“For example, people wanting to send a message to “Michael Genesereth” could simply type his name as a recipient, and his most recent e-mail address would automatically be selected. A user could also send a message to a group such as “all professors who graduated from Harvard University since 1960.” SEAmail can handle both of these examples, Genesereth explains, without requiring the user to spend time doing research or keeping an address book up to date. In SEAmail, a user selects recipients for a message in much the way that she would set up a search query. The parameters can be as simple as a person’s name, or as complex as sets of logical requirements. But the system is limited by how much information it has about potential recipients. “To realize the full potential, we need to have rich data about the people who are sending messages to each other, their interests, and so forth,” Genesereth says. Within an organization, he says, there’s usually a lot of available data.”
Japanese firms unveil ‘robocop’
“Two Japanese companies have unveiled a security robot that can be commanded from a mobile phone to hurl a net that traps suspected intruders. It moves at up to 10km/h (6mph), and can be controlled by someone seeing real-time images on a mobile phone. The small robot is built on wheels and is equipped with sensors that can detect the movements of intruders.”
LEGO experiments with interactive packaging
“When someone walks up to it, with the packaging facing the box, a 3d-model appears which can be manipulated by twisting and turning the packaging.”
Innovid Launches New Form Of Video Advertising: The Clickable Canvas
“Today, an Israeli startup called Innovid (see earlier coverage) is doing its part to help advertisers move away from the pre-roll with technology that allows for things like virtual product placements inside videos and turning entire surfaces into clickable canvases. In the demo video above, for instance, you’ll see different advertising effects projected onto the walls of a room, from a Pong game that you can play to a RSS feeds running across the baseboard as a ticker to funny creatures whose eyes you can move with your mouse.”
Pop-up learning tool teaches in tiny bites
“Users hoping to learn something new—whether it’s French or trigonometry—begin by signing up for free with Popling and installing its Mac or Windows desktop software on their computer. They then subscribe to specific “poplings,” or topics they want to learn. There are more than 150 poplings currently available, including 11 languages and topics in math, business, science and technology, among others. Based on their choices, Popling’s desktop software will display pop-up flash cards on their computer throughout the day, timed to the frequency they choose. A language card, for example, might display a new vocabulary word, or quiz the user on one they’ve already learned. If the user ignores a pop-up it will go away, but if they click on it, they can see the full version and answer the question it contains.”
Meal-planning site helps friends care for friends
“Users begin by creating an account along with a meal schedule for the recipient featuring a list of their favorite foods, gift card options, contact information, maps and directions. They then choose friends and family near and far to ask for help, either via home-cooked meals, food delivery or gift cards to a local restaurant. An e-mail is sent to all those people, who can then sign up for particular days using MealBaby’s calendar planning tools; the system blocks out each date that’s spoken for.”
Coming Soon: Touch Screen Vending Machines
“Recently debuted at CES, the Sapient designed Samsung uVending machines feature a huge, fully featured touchscreen which uses animations and interactive menus to assist and enrich your soda ordering experience. They are also outfitted with WiFi to alert owners to dwindling supplies, or update digital content.”
Free Newspaper Venture Depends on Local Blogs
“The Printed Blog will publish blog posts alongside other Weblike content, like user-submitted photographs and readers’ comments. The paper will be printed on three or four 11-by-17-inch sheets of white paper and laid out like a blog instead of in columns. Users will eventually be able to log on to its site, theprintedblog.com, to choose which blogs they want in their edition, and editors will decide which posts make the paper. A city the size of Chicago could have 50 separate editions tailored to individual neighborhoods.”
mEgo Raises Another $2.5 Million For Its Multimedia Social Avatars
“mEgo’s widgets allow users to import information from sites like Flickr, Facebook, and Twitter, which are then presented alongside customizable avatars (you can see an example below). Each source of information can be associated with a different button on the widget that users can place themselves. For example, in the widget below music buttons are positioned on the avatar’s ears and display the user’s Last.fm profile when clicked. mEgo widgets can be placed on blogs and most social networks, and see around 30 million impressions per month.”
Print your kid out in 3D
“A clinic is offering mothers bronze models of their unborn babies.
The London Ultrasound Centre, near Harley Street, is the first in the country to offer the service, which allows parents to ‘celebrate’ their babies in the womb. A 3D printer uses ultrasound images to build a cast of the child. The models cost £1,200, take up to two-and-a-half weeks to make, and are created when the mother is at a safe stage of pregnancy at 24 weeks.”
Microprinter – Google calendar, iCal, weather, Dopplr…
“The microprinter is an experiment in physical activity streams and notification, using a repurposed receipt printer connected to the web.
I use it for things like reminders, notifications, and my day at-a-glance, but anything that can be injected from the web and suits text only, short format messaging, will work.”
Crowd-Sourcing the World
“Now Nathan Eagle, a research fellow at the Santa Fe Institute, in New Mexico, is launching a project similar to Amazon’s Mechanical Turk but that distributes tasks via cell phones. The goal of his project, called txteagle, is to leverage an underused work force in some of the poorest parts of the world. Eagle says that distributing questions to participants in such developing countries via text messages or audio clips could make certain tasks more economical, such as the translation of documents into other languages, or rating the local relevance of search results. It could also provide a welcome source of income for those involved.”
I Am Here: One Man’s Experiment With the Location-Aware Lifestyle
“On a sunny Saturday, I spotted a woman in Golden Gate Park taking a photo with a 3G iPhone. Because iPhones embed geodata into photos that users upload to Flickr or Picasa, iPhone shots can be automatically placed on a map. At home I searched the Flickr map, and score—a shot from today. I clicked through to the user’s photostream and determined it was the woman I had seen earlier. After adjusting the settings so that only her shots appeared on the map, I saw a cluster of images in one location. Clicking on them revealed photos of an apartment interior—a bedroom, a kitchen, a filthy living room. Now I know where she lives.”
Kiss-o-Meter Alerts You To Breath That is Unsafe For Smooching
“This compact Kiss-o-Meter alerts you to bad breath 80% better than breathing into cupped hands. Now that’s progress. All you need to do is breathe into the device and the analysis will return as one of five outcomes: Kiss me, Possible, Maybe, Risky, and Never.”
USB Stress Ball Allows You To Virtually Strangle Your Enemies
“Apparently, squeezing, twisting and punching this oddly shaped “ball” will transfer the action to your computer screen. In other words, if you squeeze the ball, a photo of your boss on the screen will also be temporarily “squeezed.” The same goes for any work you might be doing—like an unwelcome email or spreadsheet. It also features strength and squeeze games to help you pass the time at the office.”
GPS Coin by Ju-Wei Chen
“The Inbi-Out coin tosses a 50/50 chance of where you should eat, drink, hang out, etc.., and displays the final decision on a tiny embedded screen complete with GPS coordinates and directions. It’ll also record every destination you go to into some magical databank for future reference (or dystopian spying).”
The Yu Type: salvation for two-fingered typists
“The Yu Type is a compact computer peripheral that sits on the keyboard in the user’s eyeline, displaying words as they are typed. Designed to improve speed and accuracy, it avoids the need for less accomplished typists to keep switching their focus from keyboard to monitor.”
Capturing the Power of Whirlpools
“Instead of channeling the water directly through a turbine, vortex hydropower creates a spinning vortex, and draws energy from the swirling water. This approach makes it possible to generate energy without completely blocking the waterway and eliminates the need for much screening or filtration. Small debris is not a problem for vortex generation as it would be for a conventional turbine. Furthermore, fish are able to pass by the vortex chamber without harm.”
“Inside this square box, three different technologies are employed to harness sunlight. Firstly, 18% efficient silicon solar cells are mounted on a set of Venetian blinds to deliver PV electricity. Secondly, thin fluid-filled pipes absorb thermal energy which can be used to heat a house’s water supply. Finally, because the aforementioned blinds can be rotated to let in sunlight, the Photensity also “harnesses” sunlight by acting as a skylight during sunny hours (when there is no sun, it turns on an electric light).”
NiceCritic Sends Awkward Messages Anonymously
“Save yourself an embarrassing moment with the NiceCritic.com website, which can anonymously tell that co-worker to wash their hands before they leave the bathroom, or at least stop trying to shake your hand.”
Crochet pattern generator
“Georgia Tech grad student Matt Gilbert has been making some awesome crochet from a pattern generator he made, finding inspiration in acoustics. He and I share a strong opinion that computing and iterative crafting (crochet, knitting, weaving, etc.) have much in common.”
The Effects of Chart Size and Layering on the Perception of Time Series Visualizations
“Data visualization consultant Stephen Few has just posted an excellent article [perceptualedge.com] about a recent time-series visualization called the Horizon Graph. Originally developed by data visualization software firm Panopticon, Horizon Graphs can display about 50 sets of time-series values on a single screen.”
Yamaha AvantGrand Digital Piano Vibrates in All the Right Places
“Yamaha went to work on AvantGrand, an ingenious digital piano that uses strategically-placed resonators to pound the pianist with sound and vibrations, just like the real thing! In fact, the Yamaha CFIIIS concert grand was used to create the digital samples for this piano, and that is the real thing. Even the pedals were tweaked to more closely resemble the mechanical feel of a traditional string and hammer piano.”
Mini Projectors in the City: Its Going to be Big…
“A couple of days ago we posted about the company easyweb using high end ‘geoaware’ projectors to beam images onto architecture in the city. While not on the same scale a new trend is emerging using mini projectors to display images while on the move around the urban scene – after all the city is a canvas there to be used.”
Wireless charging mat
“Powermat’s wireless charging device, scheduled to come out later this year, is both a fine antidote to cable clutter and an expression of minimalism: It’s just a thin, white or black mat.”
Breakthrough Spintronics Single-Electron Pump To Bring Faster, More Efficient Processors
“By using the electrons spin, you can transport more information faster and using less energy than with normal chips, which just push electrons. The invention could lead to the development of “spintronics“, which some people postulate as the future of information technology.”
Schlage Lock Can Be Opened Online
“The Schlage LiNK deadbolts offer keyless entry into your home with a 4-digit access code that can be entered, activated, deleted, or disabled on the locks 11-digit push button keypad. The coolest aspect of the lock is that you can access a special website that allows you to unlock the deadbolt from any web enabled phone or device.”
Contact Lens Kinda Makes You Cyborgy
“I CONTACT is essentially a mouse fitted to your eyeball. The lens is inserted like any other normal contact lens except it’s laced with sensors to track eye movement, relaying that position to a receiver connected to your computer. Theoretically that should give you full control over a mouse cursor. I’d imagine holding a blink correlates to mouse clicks.”
Bike-light that paints a laser-lit bike-lane on the road around you
“LightLane is a concept gadget that paints a bike lane around your bicycle with laser-light as you pedal through the night”
The Year of Listening
“The first dozen or more sounds are already up; you can listen to them at his blog. Note that you can play several files simultaneously, so it’s quite interesting to move up and down the page and start different files at different times; the blog becomes a kind of musical instrument made of field recordings, used-defined audio landscapes on demand.
You can listen to melting snow, a small stream, the inside of Grand Central Station, sand on the beach in Hawaii, and so on – acoustic snapshots of life on the planet.”
Cutting Home Energy Use Could Be a Game
“His idea would feed a home’s smart meter data into a massive multi-player online game where the more you reduce energy consumption, the more points you gain. All homeowners in the online community would be competing, but also working together for a common good. The concept is based on hugely popular games like World of Warcraft and Second Life.”
‘Clam’ Two Lens Camera by Gowoon Jeong
“Sometimes the best expressions happen behind the lens. The photographer is the one left out of group photos but with the CLAM, moments can be capture from both sides of the aperture. There’s a lens on both sides of the camera. When you press that shutter button, two pictures are taken at once. The exterior LCD shows what you photographed. Open the CLAM and a smaller interior LCD shows what you, the shutter bug looked like. Cool concept except I’m sure most of my expressions would be squinty faces.”
Bigger, Stretchier Graphene
“Korean researchers have found a way to make large graphene films that are both strong and stretchy and have the best electrical properties yet. These atom-thick sheets of carbon are a promising material for making flexible, see-through electrodes and transistors for flat-panel displays. Graphene could also lead to foldable organic light-emitting diode (OLED) displays and organic solar cells. However, it has not been easy finding a way make large, high-quality sheets of graphene.”
Electronic Inks from Carbon Nanotubes
“Carbon nanotubes hold promise as a material for making thin, flexible electronics like displays and solar cells. But one stumbling block to making transistors out of them has been achieving the right combination of electrical properties in the nanotubes. Now a simple chemical processing method developed by researchers at Cornell University and DuPont overcomes this obstacle and provides a path toward low-cost, commercially viable electronic inks.”
Uni by qixen-p
“By using the accompanying software, the user can choose the fonts, colours, backgrounds, positions of the digits and the design of the hands. Universality is attained in that each user will display individuality and creativity. The watch is made of soft coated plastic that contains a 96 x 96 pixel OLED display, a mini USB and a built-in accelerometer to activate it with a flick of the wrist. Unfortunately, this award-winning product design is not yet available”
Slicethepie Goes Beyond American Idol, Might Save Labels
“SoundOut lets labels upload a song into the system for $20 to $50 in exchange for a detailed report, viewable 24 hours later (screenshots are from the 19-page sample .pdf), which indicates whether a song caught on with listeners and if so, which markets the band or label may want to target. Promisingly, Courtier-Dutton said, multiple tests have shown Slicethepie’s system to be consistent. If you run the same song through the service, he said, it generates ratings within 5 percent percent of each other.”
MRI for Viruses
“Magnetic resonance imaging, or MRI, is a mainstay of medicine and neuroscience research. It can noninvasively probe deep inside tissues and gives information on the presence of specific chemicals. But because the magnetic forces that it detects are so tiny, MRI isn’t very sensitive: it typically reveals structures on the millimeter to submillimeter scale. Now researchers at IBM Almaden Research Center, in California, have developed an MRI scanner with resolution 100 million times better than that–good enough to image individual viral particles. With further refinements, the technique could one day be used to generate 3-D images of individual molecules.”
tele-presence robot and digital nail printer
“mattel is releasing the barbie beautronics line combining beauty and
electronics. one of the first designs in the range is the digital nail printer which prints custom designs on your finger nails in only a few seconds. the system comes with a collection of designs but user can also design and upload their own creations. the system uses cosmetic grade inks printed with thermal inkjet technology.”
Big screen games you play using any phone
“PhonePlay is a cool new platform for public screen gaming. We work with clients to do custom public game installs that catch people’s attentions and pull them in.”
DIY 3D scanners roundup
“The RealView 360⁰ 3D Desktop Scanner is being billed as the world’s first desktop scanner capable of capturing objects in their full 360⁰ topographic glory, suitable for scanning mugs, model space ships, D&D figurines, and whatever else fits on its base.”
Web site to tilt-shift your photos
“TiltShiftMaker.com gives your photos that delightful tilt-shift look.”
Casio’s Dynamic Photos Makes Green Screen Effects Without Green Screen
“You basically just take a video and then take a still shot of the background. The camera then is able to cut the subject out of the background and place it on any other background you’d like. At the press conference they demonstrated the function against a perfectly white background, which obviously produced very clean results, but who knows how well it’ll work against a less uniform background. But really, it’s a pretty easy way to do pretty basic green screen work without even dumping the video out of your camera.”
Physical pixels attack local neighborhood
“Ping Genius Loci” by Aether Architecture is an architectural installation built from 300 radio networked, solar powered, and self-sustainable intelligent, analog pixels. The pixels are placed on a 20 by 20 meter grid and interface with people walking through the grid.”
U.S. scientists learn how to levitate tiny objects
“U.S. scientists have found a way to levitate the very smallest objects using the strange forces of quantum mechanics, and said on Wednesday they might use it to help make tiny nanotechnology machines. They said they had detected and measured a force that comes into play at the molecular level using certain combinations of molecules that repel one another. The repulsion can be used to hold molecules aloft, in essence levitating them, creating virtually friction-free parts for tiny devices, the researchers said.”
Stealth project mixes sound creation with 3D lighting effects
“The “Stealth” project uses a NOVA 3D grid of LEDs to display a 3D light visualization. The “piece acts as a collaborative spatial musical instrument where each “missile” of light emits sounds based on its relative position and the conditions it encounters along its trajectory.”"
Smartground by Tamer Nakisci
“Designer Tamer Nakisci’s “Smartground” is a playground connected to the internet. Once a child steps onto the playing field, they are in the online battleground with every other child on the planet. Fighting for their lives! Or just points.As each child enters play, their network is notified: gadgets, keychains, pendants, of their friends and opponents light up, challenging them to also come play at a Smartground site.Games are played with the different 3-D pieces available at each Smartground site in conjunction with touch-sensitive LEDs.”
Motorola Unveils The World’s First Carbon Neutral Cellphone
“By partnering up with Carbonfund.org Motorola offsets the energy to manufacture, distribute, and operate the phone by investing in renewable energy sources and reforestation. Once the phone reaches the end of its life cycle it can be easily recycled by placing it in a prepaid envelope that is provided in the box. Additionally, the phone’s packaging consumes 22% less material and the manual is printed on post consumer recycled paper with soy-based inks.”
“Daytum is a home for collecting and communicating your daily data. Begin tracking anything you can count and display the results immediately… or just look around and see what other members are recording.”
Eee Keyboard: An Entire Touchscreen Home Theater PC
“Featuring wireless HDMI, it’s a “fully functional PC” with full QWERTY and a mini secondary touchscreen. Asus was vague as to if/when we’ll actually see the Eee Keyboard come to market (though we’re pretty sure it’s a semi-real product), but it’s a fantastic concept for a home theater PC if we’ve ever seen one. Through wireless HDMI you could potentially make any television into your monitor (complete with audio playback) without having some huge PC taking up space.”
Eco-Gadgets: Exploiting the Shame Meter
“Consider a 2007 study by P. Wesley Schultz of California State University, San Marcos, of hundreds of households in that college town. All the residents were informed about how much energy they had used in previous weeks. They were also told the average consumption in their neighborhood. In the following weeks, the above-average residents significantly decreased their consumption. Unfortunately, the below-average customers allowed their usage to rise. So Schultz had a smiley face added to a below-average bill and a frown to an above-average bill. This simple nudge prompted excessive users to cut even more yet discouraged savers from drifting higher.”
RFID and silver jewellery collar
“Designed by artist Amy Johnston, Hidden Agendas is an open mesh collar constructed from 45 RFID tags. Each tag, which can be read by an RFID reader, is programmed to display an image, quote, or question about tracking, surveillance and projection of identity.”
Tagtool live drawing interface
“Sam’s Tagtool is a digital drawing tool well suited for live performance. Simplifying basic controls for visual art creation, the device makes use of a Boarduino to process fader/button input for a mini-ATX PC with graphics tablet. Instructions are available for building either a suitcase or mini version – bringing the straightforward interface of a musical instrument to visual artists/animators = Excellent.”
mTABLE: Design and Manufactured Via Mobile Phone!
“The mTABLE is designed by sculpting a computer generated image of the table surface, choosing dimensions, materials and colors. These parameters are directly transmitted to the computer controlled production facility for the manufacturing of the custom designed mTABLE which is then shipped to you in approx 8-12 weeks.”
If It’s Hip, It’s Here:
TV’s to Have Netflix Streaming Built In
“Bypassing a set-top box makes watching on-demand content even easier, and gives Netflix a small advantage over rivals in the streaming video game including Amazon and Apple. Streaming content is gaining in popularity, on both the small screen of the computer and the “big” screen of the TV, but critics hope that LG and others will add to the functionality of these devices to allow for more open media streaming from other content providers such as Hulu and Youtube.”
yorozu audio sound revolution kit
“using the yorozu audio sound revolution kit you can create instant speakers from paper, boxes, posters, cartons..basically any flat surface. users simply have to place the vibrating extension of the kit onto a flat surface with the included adhesive sheets, plug in the audio source and let the music begin.”
License Plate Texting
“Say “Plate” then begin with the license plate number. e.g. 7k66665, then continue with your message, you left your car door open and your lights on. To add a license plate number, or add/modify/remove contact information, visit www.whyhonk.com. WhyHonk marks the emergence of a truly “mobile” social network. You can send a voice message to any car you see by calling (916) 502-3498 and leaving their license plate number along with your message. It’s then converted to text and added to their searchable database. You can search your license plate number for messages online or on their mobile site (WhyHonk.mobi) or register it to get the messages straight to your cellphone.”
Text Messaging For Nuclear Subs: OMG It’s WW3!
“The system they are proposing dubbed “Deep Siren” works by deploying a communications buoy through the sub’s trash chute. Once the submarine is far enough away, the buoy ascends to the surface and sends a message to the command center via satellite. When a connection has been established, it lowers an antenna deep into the water where “a transducer takes messages, translates them into acoustic energy and sends a pulse out through the water in an area greater than 50 nautical square miles.” After a number of days, the buoy will either sink by itself or by the order of the command center. During the time that it is active however, hundreds of text messages can be transmitted.”
“the design is essentially like a lego for musical instruments, the parts can be assembled and reassembled in
any configuration allowing the creation of completely new instruments. an online community to share iterations
and ideas accompanies the zoybar.”
Borange: A Social Activity Timeline For Your iPhone With Free Group Texting
“Borange is very well designed, and feels like a natural extension to the address book. To get started, you scroll through your list of contacts, checking off the ones you’d like to send your availability information to (you can also send out mass notifications to groups or your entire contact list). Contacts that are Borange members will see your available times listed as part of a comprehensive timeline that also includes schedules from their other Borange-using friends.”
It’s Not How Many Followers You Have That Counts, It’s How Many Times You Get Retweeted
“A better proxy for authority than the absolute number of followers someone has on Twitter may be how many times their messages get retweeted. Retweeting occurs when someone takes an original message on Twitter (a Tweet), sticks an “RT” in front of it, and spreads it further to their followers. It’s another way to separate some signal out of the cacophony of Twitter.”
Softbank’s Speeek iPhone App Translates Spoken Japanese to English On the Fly
“Speeek is an app that can recognize up to 1,500 spoken Japanese phrases and translate them into either English or Chinese. Pocket Babel Fish? Yes please.”
Toward opal-based billboards?
“Nature News reports that British and Canadian chemists have developed synthetic opals that can very quickly switch between various colors when a few volts of electricity are applied to them. The developers, who said they’re ready to sell the technology today, added that their ‘photonic ink’ (P-Ink) material could soon be used in electronic books or advertising displays. [...] This “is an opal-based technology that provides electrically tunable color of any wavelength. By coating this material onto an array of pixels, a full-color display can be created wherein the color of each pixel can be varied at will. Switching of a P-Ink pixel in response to a voltage increasing from left to right.”
RareShare: A Community For People With Rare Medical Problems
“Since launching over the summer, the site has grown each month by between 35%-50%, and now has over 700 communities associated with different disorders. Given the nature of the site, the numbers are bittersweet, but it’s nice to know that so many people are finding others they can connect with. Vistitors to the site are invited to contribute information and their personal experiences regarding each condition, and are also able to make contact with other users that are facing the same issues. Most communities offer a description of the condition, along with links to relevant websites that contain more specific information, and there’s a forum where the users can collectively give each other advice.”
“The media space is composed by a RSS feed pool containing 733 sources. Starting from an official list of Spanish media, the authors classified all the sources and their RSS feeds through denotative categories (topic, type and impact), while also tagging some of them with connotative categories. Once the RSS feed is downloaded, and an in-depth scanning of the news is performed, each post is matched against the OpenStreetMap street database to check if a street, a place of interest or a district in the city is mentioned. When a particular news item is related to a specific element of the city, a Murmur comes to life.”
LG Transmissive/Reflective LCD Will Work Just as Well Outdoors as In
“Both technologies are fairly mature, but to date hadn’t been combined in any usable way. LG’s Backlight Data Signal Switching Technology will allow users to switch between the indoor and outdoor modes with the press of a button. As an added bonus, switching to the reflective mode reduces LCD power consumption by about 75%. The initial run will be a 14.1in display for notebooks, but there’s no reason we shouldn’t soon see this in a variety of sizes and applications.”
Crazy IBM ThinkPad W700 Has Integrated Secondary Display
“The new IBM ThinkPad W700 has an integrated secondary display. Foldable, 10.6 inches of it, with 768 x 1,280 pixels and LED backlight. Color us impressed.”
An online address for the offline world
“Targeting grandparents and other consumers who may not have computers or Internet connections, Presto gives online family members a way to include their offline relatives in the “loop” with emails, photos and other online communications. The connection is made via an email address at presto.com, assigned to every offline user, and the Presto Printing Mailbox, a machine that gets connected to their analogue phone line. When online contacts send messages and photos to the user’s presto.com address, Presto’s mail service transforms them into printable, full-colour e-letters. The Printing Mailbox automatically retrieves those messages up to five times a day and then prints them out for offline perusal.”