Archive for August, 2011
"Transcendenz is a system integrated into an object, a pair of glasses. But it’s not the glasses which matter, it’s what’s happening when you’re wearing them. While using Transcendenz, the perception of the world around us is transformed. This transformation aims to reveal an invisible philosophy, hidden behind the everyday world. Transcendenz changes the reality around us in a way that makes us think differently. The metaphysical is everywhere, it just doesn’t show up in the same way than the physical, which we can touch or see. It is our reflection, our thought which makes philosophical ideas visible in our minds. Transcendenz proposes to transform these metaphysical thoughts into immersive experiences. "
Solar OLED Tiles Transform Skyscrapers Into Zero-Energy Displays
"These eye-catching UrbanTiles could turn skyscrapers into zero-energy light displays by harvesting energy during the day and releasing it at night in an array of customized graphics. The dual-sided linking tiles drape over the exterior of a building, and they flip from outward-facing solar panels to OLED panels to create a large-scale dot matrix illuminated graphics. This amazing concept may not be very far off from reality, granted the rapid pace of OLED technology"
OnLive Teams Up With GameSpot To Embed Game Demos In Reviews
"Game reviews are always inadequate, in that while they can describe how it feels to control your guy, or how the level design is frustrating, you can only kind of get it. Video reviews help, but you can never be sure you and the reviewer are on the same page — more so than with books and movies, I’d say. OnLive and GameSpot are hoping to change that up a bit by adding instant game demos to reviews, so if you’re curious how a game plays, you can just… play it."
‘Smart Collar’ in the Works to Manage Wildlife Better
"in the same way that the smartphone changed human communications, what might be called the “smart collar” — measuring things that people never could before about how animals move and eat and live their lives — could fundamentally transform how wild populations are managed, and imagined, biologists and wildlife managers say. The collars, in development in academia and intended for commercial production in the next few years, use a combination of global positioning technology and accelerometers for measuring an animal’s metabolic inner life in leaping, running or sleeping. From the safari parks of Africa to urbanized zones on the edge of wildlands across the American West — places where widespread interest in the devices has already been voiced, scientists said — the mysteries of the wild might never be the same."
Wacom Inkling May Become My Favorite Gadget of All Time
"While there are other ink-to-digital pens out there, the difference here is Wacom’s pressure technology. Recording 1024 levels of pressure, the Inkling will capture ever nuance in your drawings. This is how it works: Take the stylus and receiver out of the neat portable box. Clip the receiver on top of any paper notebook and start drawing. Don’t worry about space: the receiver can store thousands of pages, according to Wacom. When you are done after a day, connect the receiver to the computer via USB and browse all your drawings, exporting the ones you like to Photoshop or Illustrator or any typical graphic format, from TIFF to JPG."
Glassboard is a Cross-Platform Private Chat Board for iOS, Android and WP7
"Right away you’ll be asked to set up your first board, which is a stream of content only people you invite can view. You can set up as many boards as you like and invite people to specific projects. It comes with a few nice settings, including push notification "quiet hours" that will automatically disable notification during times of your choosing. It’s also non-existent on the web and everything is stored on Glassboard’s servers, so if you’re working on a project with a few people and want to communicate on your mobile but still have privacy, this should do the trick."
After A Hot Start, Justin.tv Spins Off Socialcam, Its ‘Instagram for Video’
"Last spring, just in time for SXSW, Justin.tv launched a new standalone video app that has a simple purpose: it lets you share short videos with your friends with just a few taps. The app adopted a model that’s very similar to Instagram’s, with a ‘follow’ system and quick sharing to services like Twitter and Facebook. And it got off to a strong start, with 250,000 downloads in its first month alone."
Downloadable Personalizable Swimwear
"LemonBow is a new Dutch swimwear brand that produces bikinis without using a needle and thread. A computer controlled laser makes it possible to fabricate on-demand bikinis and bathing suits. Designers Ellis Droog and Romy van der Broek collaborated with Waag Society, the Dutch institute for art, science and technology, to develop the laser technology needed to produce the colorful bathing suits. With this new technique is becomes possible to make a bikini specially for your sizes by simply adjusting the file. The two young designers are now gearing up to fine tune the laser cutting process and will soon start to sell bikinis in an online webshop."
Déjà Vu Creates an iPhone Visual Memory Database That Organizes Itself
"Chances are you use your iPhone’s camera to take pictures of things you want to remember. Déjà Vu is an app that helps you keep track of everything in your virtual visual memory by taking those photos and using image recognition to automatically categorize them for you. Of course, you can also categorize them yourself, but that’s not quite as fun."
A World Map That Doubles As A Bio Of Its Creator
"In the image above, gray flags denote friend’s houses — Ceci, Juan, Elena Alvar — and blue flags, for the gym, locate his regular hot spots. Chamartin, a little-admired train station by the Spanish architect team Corrales y Molezun, is highlighted because it’s Melgar’s hometown stop on the train. Speech bubbles appear throughout the city neighborhoods, filled with comments that Melgar has heard or experienced over the years there. Some museums, like the Reina Sofia, are highlighted while others are ignored completely."
Bring Up Reminders By Scanning Everyday Objects
"Touchanote could be the Post-It-Notes killer that makes everyday objects into digital reminders. Touchanote works together with Evernote and NFC technology. It simply stores your existing Evernote content and links on an NFC tag, so every time you tap the tag with your NFC-enabled phone, it will automatically bring up the note. What that essentially means is that you can stick an NFC tag on your table to remind you of your to-do-list, or have one on the fridge to bring up favorite recipes."
Fascinating First-Ever Images of an Electron In Orbit
"It was only two years ago that IBM showed us an image of a complete molecule, atomic bonds and all, but today’s news does that one infinitesimally-sized breakthrough better. Ladies and gents, behold the first image of an electron’s path. Utterly amazing stuff! The IBM breakthrough was amazing enough, but now we have images of the electron’s orbital path around a nucleus! This is good, good news, because until now physicists only had models and hypotheses to work with."
‘Simple Harmonic Motion’ installation at the Roundhouse by @memotv
"Simple Harmonic Motion is an ongoing research and series of projects by Memo Akten exploring the nature of complex patterns created from the interaction of multilayered rhythms. Shown at Ron Arads Curtain Call at the Roundhouse last friday, this ultra wide video is mapped around the 18m wide, 8m tall cylindrical display made from 5,600 silicon rods, allowing the audience to view from inside and outside"
Video: “Eyeborg” Replaces Eye With Functioning Wireless Video Camera
"Spence has worked with a team of engineers to adapt an endoscope into a working in-socket video camera. It’s turned on by waving a magnet near it, at which point it will begin transmitting a wireless video signal to a handheld LCD viewer. Absolutely incredible"
playgo USB wireless audio streaming
"playgo USB’ works on its own wireless protocol over a range of about 75 feet, so requires neither a wi-fi connection nor special software. up to four receivers can connect to a single transmitter, and the audio can come from almost any source, including music files, streaming web radio, services like pandora and grooveshark, and movie and video playback"
Donut – IBM tape loop machine inspired sound sequencer for iPad by The Strange Agency
"Inspired by the IBM tape loop machine, Donut is the latest release from The Strange Agency. This sound sequencer is a strange one, like the old IBM machine, it makes time two-dimensional by first creating a three dimensional loop and two dimensional sound. It does this by first looping a linear track, then multiplying it into stacks and finally taking the loop stack, and wrapping it itself into a loop, just as the original linear recording is looped."
How a smartphone camera can cut fuel costs 20% at rush hour
"Mount your smartphone in the dash of your car and it could join a network of smartphones that watch traffic lights and tell you how fast to drive to get to the next traffic light without wasting gas. Researchers from MIT and Princeton say the technology, called SignalGuru, helped drivers cut fuel consumption by 20% in tests done in Cambridge, Mass. The see-all cameras could also note fuel prices and available parking spaces or, who knows, who’s looking hot in lines outside crowded clubs."
GIF.TV: Digital Addiction At Its Finest
"Welcome to GIF.TV, the Internet’s digital equivalent of a never-ending amusement park, where the idea of entertainment is driven by humor, nostalgia, and, memes. Click the remote control to a different channel and enjoy a frenzied kaleidoscope of repeating images, guaranteed to keep you distracted endlessly. Who knew that the Graphics Interchange Format (GIF), a bitmap image format introduced by CompuServe in 1987 would evolve into its own television channel."
Photographer Spends Hundreds Of Thousands To Create 8×10 Digital Sensor
"He decided he’d commission the world’s biggest color digital back. After some haggling and assurances that yes, he was serious, a prototype was put together in Februrary of 2010 and the production unit delivered in early 2011. He calls it the Maxback. It’s fully 8×10″; for comparison, Hasselblad’s best digital back, the CFV-50, is 36.7×49.1mm. Feinberg says the largest available backs are about 4.5x6cm."
Sony’s Subtitle Glasses Mean the Deaf Can Watch Movies in the Theater Too
"What we do is put the closed captions or the subtitles onto the screen of the glasses so it’s super-imposed on the cinema screen, [making it look] like the actual subtitles are on the cinema screen," he said. After trying them out, Charlie Swinbourne seemed pretty pleased with the effectiveness of the special specs. "The good thing about them is that you’re not refocusing. It doesn’t feel like the words are really near and the screen is far away. It feels like they’re together.""
The First Fully Stretchable OLED
"To make their device entirely pliable, the UCLA researchers devised a novel way of creating a carbon nanotube and polymer electrode and layering it onto a stretchable, light-emitting plastic. To make the blended electrode, the team coated carbon nanotubes onto a glass backing and added a liquid polymer that becomes solid yet stretchable when exposed to ultraviolet light. The polymer diffuses throughout the carbon nanotube network and dries to a flexible plastic that completely surrounds the network rather than just resting alongside it. Peeling the polymer-and-carbon-nanotube mix off of the glass yields a smooth, stretchable, transparent electrode."
The First Fully Stretchable OLED
From Norway, a Spotify for audiobooks
"Currently in beta, Ordflyt lets audiobook fans listen to their favorite works for free from Windows, Linux or Mac PCs, wherever and whenever they want; iPhone or Android apps are coming soon. The effort, which is a collaboration between Cappelen Damm publishers and Aspiro, is initially focusing on Norwegian books, but English titles are planned to follow. Some 150 audiobooks are currently available for free, amounting to more than 1,000 hours of listening time; more are available for purchase and download"
3-D Design Simplified
"People can use EndlessForms without any prior 3-D design experience. The user begins by choosing an object from a randomly generated gallery. The site creates a new gallery of variants of the chosen object, and the user selects one of the variants. The process repeats, gradually refining the design into the shape the user desires. Users can share this shape with other users and, if they wish, send the object to a 3-D printing service to render it in a variety of materials, including plastic, silver, and gold-plated steel. A five-to-seven-centimeter plastic model typically costs less than $10."
Experimental antenna-clothing outperforms regular antennas
"One of the latest innovations in smart fabrics, however, allows a person’s clothing to act as multiple antennas. Developed at Ohio State University (OSU), the system could prove particularly useful to soldiers, who don’t want to be encumbered by a protruding whip antenna. While this is not the first time that clothing has been used to send and receive radio signals, the OSU technology is unique in that it uses a computer control device to facilitate several antennas within one piece of fabric. The engineers have created a prototype, made by etching thin layers of brass onto commercially-available FR-4 flexible plastic film, then sewing that film onto conventional fabric. Four patches of the plastic were attached to a vest on the chest, back and both shoulders. These were wired to the controller, an inch-thick metal box slightly smaller than a credit card, which was worn on a belt."
Design Your Own Clothing With This 3D Simulator
"Set in Spain, Crearmoda allows users to design their own clothing and then offer up those designs for voting and incorporation by others. A 3D simulator is at the heart of Crearmoda, giving users the means to customize shirts, hoodies, umbrellas and scarves with rhinestones, embroidery and images, among many other options. Pricing is determined by the options selected. Manufacturing is done locally where possible, and Crearmoda’s blog page is dedicated to helping designers and artists share their creations for voting and possible use by others on the site"
Sony allows would-be TV owners to size up virtual models using AR
"A user first needs to download an online template and print it off at home. This is then placed in the desired location of the new TV – either mounted on a wall or on a flat horizontal surface. The user then takes a photo with a camera or smartphone and uploads the image to the tool’s web page. The TV Size Guide tool will recognize the marker and replace it in the rendered image with the chosen TV, automatically working out the scale from the size of the template marker. Users can choose different sized TVs until the best fit is found, and images can be saved to thumbnails to compare views/sizes and then the augmented scene downloaded in PDF format."
IBM Builds Biggest Data Drive Ever
"A data repository almost 10 times bigger than any made before is being built by researchers at IBM’s Almaden, California, research lab. The 120 petabyte "drive"—that’s 120 million gigabytes—is made up of 200,000 conventional hard disk drives working together. The giant data container is expected to store around one trillion files and should provide the space needed to allow more powerful simulations of complex systems, like those used to model weather and climate."
3G mobile data network crowd-sourcing map by BBC News
"Despite operator claims of 90% or more 3G coverage, there are still many notspots, including in major towns and cities, according to the map. Those testers able to receive a data connection only got a 3G signal 75% of the time. For nearly a quarter of the time they had to rely on older 2G technology. 2G typically offers around one tenth the speed of 3G "mobile broadband"."
Handroid: Japanese Company Shows Advanced Robot Hand
"Operators can control each finger remotely (the Handroid can mimic the operator’s movements), for example in environments where it’s too dangerous to use human hands. At 740g, the Handroid is very light, prompting ITK to look into possibilities to develop a prosthetic hand that could be controlled by brain waves or cerebral nerves."
motion-powered energy harvester fits in shoe
"the electricity generated can be used to directly power a range of mobile devices via physical connection to the microfluidic device; or alternatively the harvester can be integrated with a wifi hot spot to reduce the power consumption of wireless devices, increasing the duration of a battery charge by up to 10 times. instep nanopower is working on a prototype device that fits into the sole of a shoe, capable of generating about two watts of power and thus recharge a standard cell phone battery over the course of a two hour walk. a commercially ready device is expected within two years."
Mapping the Seating Habits of MIT Graduate Students
"The Visualizing Seating Habits [skyrill.com] diagram is based on a relatively simple idea: it captures the seating habits of a class of MIT System Design and Management graduate students attending a specific class (15.514, I am guessing this is Financial and Managerial Accounting) during the summer of 2011. As "all names have been anonymized", I suppose the names have been replaced by pseudonyms. This would be a good tool to correlate against architectural quality (e.g. light, temperature), or final exam scores, I think. "
PhotoLive for Chrome Downloads Your Facebook Photos for Easy Migration
"Whether or not you’re planning to migrate from Facebook to some other service or you just want to back up all of your Facebook photos for posterity, PhotoLive is a Chrome extension that lets you download your photos an album at a time. Once installed, the PhotoLive extension adds a button at the top of each Facebook photo album that you can click to download all of the photos in that album at one time. The app doesn’t need your Facebook credentials to do so either: as long as you have access to the photos, whether you’re logged in or not, PhotoLive can download the album."
Account Chooser: A Better Way To Log In To The Web?
"Essentially, Account Chooser appears to be a way for website owners and publishers to alter their traditional username/password-based login systems to one that supports multiple identity providers. Such a system would also allow people to easily switch between accounts. For a website owner or publisher, the system could increase sign-up and login rates, as well as reduce costs from hijacked accounts and users who have trouble logging into their account for whatever reason"
A GPS-Enabled Flashlight That Could Save Lives
"Designed by Ahhaproject, it’s a personal beacon equipped with GPS that can receive signals directly via satellite at high elevation and transfer the data to an iPhone. That means hikers can map a route even when they’re out of cell-phone range — on top of a peak, say, or dangling off the side of a cliff. And they can do it with the device’s light as their guide."
Kno Turns Textbooks 3D
"The 3D feature right now works only with models of molecules in chemistry textbooks. It converts the standard chemistry notations indicating how atoms are bonded together in a molecule into a spinning 3D model along the margins. These 3D models can be enlarged and rotated to give students a better visualization of how each one appears. Of all the new features Rashid showed me, this one impressed me the most because Kno is taking the original text and making it a richer experience on the iPad. You can’t do this on paper. And you can imagine 3D models appearing for other types of 2D content such as blueprints, engineering diagrams, or other types of illustrations. "
Dozuki Gives The User Manual A Digital Makeover
"The program will provide manufacturers the chance to create digital how-to instructions or service manuals, which can then be made available as downloadable PDFs or through dedicated mobile apps. Technicians can suggest changes to the documents, so unlike regular manuals, they will remain up-to-date and relevant. Dozuki will also provide a community platform so “expert customers” can voice their opinions, and a searchable knowledge base with a Q&A. "
Boeing demonstrates swarm technology
"In flight tests over the rugged terrain of eastern Oregon last month, different types of UAVs worked together to search the test area by autonomously generating waypoints and mapping the terrain, while simultaneously sending information to teams on the ground. The mission used two Insitu-manufactured ScanEagles and one Procerus Unicorn from The Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory (JHU/APL), which communicated using a Mobile Ad Hoc Network and swarm technology developed by JHU/APL. "This is a milestone in UAV flight," said Gabriel Santander, Boeing Advanced Autonomous Networks program director and team leader. "The test team proved that these unmanned aircraft can collect and use data while communicating with each other to support a unified mission.""
Advanced Electrodes for Better Li-Ion Batteries
"The new anode is made of germanium nanotubes. It charges and discharges five times faster than previously reported silicon anodes, lasts through twice as many charging cycles, and is easier to fabricate. Its 400-cycle life matches that of graphite and is long enough for portable-electronics batteries, says Jaephil Cho, a researcher at South Korea’s Ulsan National Institute of Science and Technology, who led the new work. "These anodes meet the practical requirements of lithium-ion cells," Cho says."
exfm Discovers, Archives, and Socializes Music While Browsing
"Once the extension is installed, every time you visit a web site that offers free mp3 streaming or downloads, the extension will add those songs to your exfm library, which offers simple navigation using panes. It does not have the option for playlists, but you can "note" songs which works exactly like starring in Spotify"
cineskates portable tripod dolly
"three wheels fit onto joby’s gorillapod focus tripod, requiring only a ballhead to attach one’s camera to the device. the wheels utilize a ‘cinetics connect’ snap-on mechanism that is designed for extensibility as cinetics expands the offerings of wheels and tripods capable of being used in the ‘cineskates’ system. jensen envisions, for example, robotic or remote controlled wheels that can clip on in place of the standard model, and a larger trpod and wheel system."
Dwolla Launches “Proxi” For Proximity-Based Mobile Payments
"With the new “Proxi” (beta) feature, Dwolla founder Ben Milne explains that the company is looking to accomplish much of the same thing that NFC makes possible, but without the need for expensive hardware. With NFC, there’s added security, because you have to be physically present to pay. Proxi uses GPS for that same reason. When launching Proxi, the mobile app pulls up a list of those who are close to you and able to accept payments, including both nearby users and merchants. And like everything else Dwolla does, Proxi considers users’ security first. For example, you can control whether you want to be visible only to your contacts or to a wider range of Dwolla users, you can control how long you will be visible, and you can control the distance at which you are visible, with settings for 300 ft., 1 mile or 5 miles"
Samsung’s Solar Panel-Equipped Netbook Charges In The Sunshine
"Equipped with a photovoltaic (PV) panel on its back cover, the netbook can run on solar power for about an hour if exposed to sunlight for two hours. When the battery is fully charged, the netbook can be used continuously for up to 14 hours. Up to 1000 charge cycles are supported by Samsung."
"Robonaut (R2B) powered up for the first time on the ISS on August 22nd, 2010. It was put through a two hour power soak. This test was an initial checkout allowing the team to monitor power and thermal levels. R2 performed as expected and is scheduled for a movement test on September 1st."
Cane 2.0: The Tacit Is Hand-Mounted Sonar For The Vision Impaired
"The Tacit, a hand-mounted system that pings surroundings and transmits distance information to the user, is one of those. While the reliable white cane and occasional accommodations for the blind and vision impaired ameliorate the difficulty of navigating the world sans sight, technological advances that are both useful and ready for deployment are few and far between. […] The system uses two ultrasonic sensors that can detect the distance of objects between 2cm and 3m away. Mounted facing off to the right and left, they can be swept across a room and will be able to sense most common obstacles and dangerous objects. They send their signal through an Arduino Mini controller, which governs a pair of servos. These servos each press a loop of foam down on the wrist: the closer the object, the harder they press. The whole thing is powered by a 9V battery and straps onto either hand."
Lockheed Martin’s Samarai monocopter – you won’t believe how this thing flies
"When in flight, the whole aircraft spins around in a circle, with the disc at the center. A remotely-adjustable trailing-edge wing flap allows users to steer it. […]Unlike the U Maryland flyer, it even has an onboard video camera that transmits a live feed to the operator. Because that camera (which is mounted on the disc) is constantly turning around, it doesn’t obtain video in a normal fashion. Instead, it captures one frame at the same point in every rotation, those frames combining into one continuous relatively steady shot. By varying the point in the rotation at which the frames are grabbed, users can virtually "pan" the camera 360 degrees.
Editing Community Kibin Helps You Proofread Your Writing Fast And For Free
"Unlike WordyHQ or earlier Web 1.0 professional editing services, Kibin is an editing community that allows you to upload a piece of writing and get it edited and proofread for free in a matter of 24 hours. You have no idea how much I want this to succeed. Okay so you say that there’s no such thing as a free anything … Well the way Kibin works is that users can accumulate points for editing other people’s work, and use those points to get their own work edited. If you don’t have the time to edit other people’s work, or just suck at it (eh, hem) you can pay 50 cents for a Kibin credit (founder Travis Biziorek tells me that credits average out to one cent a word, so that a 1,000 word essay costs around $10 with the option to pay more if you need a faster turnaround) and use those credits to buy editing time. Biziorek says that edits usually get done in under 24 hours."
Codecademy: A Slick, Fun Way To Teach Yourself How To Program
"Codecademy’s initial signup process is very clever: there isn’t one, at least at first. As soon as you land on Codecademy.com you’ll be prompted to complete the first lesson, which involves printing out and finding the length (in letters) of your name. It isn’t until you’ve made it through a few lessons that the site prompts you to create a user account, when it reminds you that if you don’t register, all of your progress will be lost. At which point you’ll probably register. […] As you progress through the lessons, you’ll rack up points and trophies, which are displayed on your profile. Friends can check out your profile to see how you’re progressing, and it isn’t hard to imagine the site building out additional social features, like leaderboards and competitions."
Sony’s 3D Binoculars Cost Too Much For the Average Bird-Watcher and Petty Crim
"The Dev-3 and Dev-5 models shoot 7.1MP photos and 3D video. Both models also shoot full HD video if 3D wrens aren’t your cup of tea, and have image stabilisation last seen in Sony’s range of compact cameras. So why spend an extra $600 on the Dev-5? For the GPS receiver, so you can geotag photos and video, plus the 20x digital magnification."
The NYC Restaurant That Runs Solely On iPads
"According to Business Insider, the waiters and waitresses can take orders, send them to the kitchen, and swipe customers’ credit cards to pay for the bill. The customized POS (Point of Sale) system, which takes the form of an app on their iPad, can access the table and seating chart, as well as a full visual food and drinks menu. Each ordered item can be selected from the library of menu options and is then sent wirelessly to the kitchen and bar, which means no need for a trip to the terminal to repeat the order. Using iPads also works out cheaper than the POS systems usually used in restaurants, which cost at least $30,000. The customized app, 8 iPads and credit card swipers cost around $18,000 in total."
Visualized: A School Day as Data
"By putting RFIDs on children and monitoring their interactions over a single day, researchers have produced one of the most detailed analyses ever of the roiling, boiling social free-for-all that is school. The findings, published August 16 in Public Library of Science One, document the minute-by-minute interactions and locations of 232 children aged 6 to 12 and 10 teachers. Reconfigured as pulsing network maps and flows of color are the universal experiences of middle school: the between-class rush, playground cliques, snatched hallway conversation and the fifth-graders who are too cool for everyone else. “We can compare different types of assumptions or modeling with a model that takes into account all interactions,” said Alain Barrat, who studies complex networks at the Institute of Scientific Interchange in Turin, Italy."
DIY Printable Houses With WikiHouse & Google SketchUp
"WikiHouse’s ultimate goal is to allow people to download free, open-source housing structures, which can then be modified and customized using Google SketchUp. Once you’re happy with the design, you can simply print out the construction pieces with a CNC router. The CNC will cut 18mm sheets of plywood that can be stacked for easy freight and assembled just like a wooden 3D jigsaw puzzle.The constructed structure will be ready to clad, glaze, wire, plumb and finish."
App Shows Road Accidents In Augmented Reality
"new campaign in Russia created by the Moscow Ministry of Internal Affairs, tackles road safety with an intriguing app for smartphones. The app uses geolocational technologies to augment reality and allow the users to instantly see car-related deaths, accidents and injuries that may have occurred in that particular area. You can view the accident in more details with photos, videos and information."
Low-cost, networked device tests drinking water for safety
"New York-based Water Canary uses patented spectral technology to dramatically reduce the time and money it takes to test water for disease-causing pathogens. Offering a cost per test that’s a fraction of those associated with current solutions, its maker says, the Water Canary also requires minimal training and almost no education or even literacy on the part of its operator. Those using the device need only press a button to learn whether their water is safe to drink. Not only that, but because the device is capable of transmitting its GPS-tagged data across any available wired or wireless network in multiple formats, the Water Canary can also provide a geographically relevant and actionable visual analysis for use by others."
BookLamp Analyzes Over 30,000 Data Points To Recommend What To Read
"BookLamp uses algorithms to analyze the text of a book, measuring and storing over 30,000 points of data and building what it calls ‘BookDNA.’ Each book on the site has story, language and character DNA, made up of different elements like settings, actors, dialog and description. Users on the site can enter the name of an author or a book title they like and BookLamp will find books with a similar DNA."
Mercedes Offer Gran Turismo Gamers The Chance To Race David Coulthard
"UK Formula One fans are being given the chance to race against David Coulthard. He will be behind the wheel of a Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG supercar, and his competitors will be using the same car on the same track but on the Playstation 3 racing game Gran Turismo 5."
Wearable Technology Should Be Simpler. Here Are Eight Ideas
"Wearable tech has been evolving for decades, but WIMM’s modular platform makes it more lucrative for designers and developers. An Android-based operating system paired with hardware features like a touchscreen, accelerometer, and magnetometer are supplemented by a Micro App store and services that enable licensees to quickly apply the technology. "They aren’t fully functioning apps you’d find on standard app stores," says WIMM’s vice president of product marketing Tim Twerdahl. "They’ll deliver a simplified experience appropriate for our device.""
IBM creates learning, brain-like, synaptic CPU
"IBM’s learning digital neurons can dynamically rewire their synapses based on their inputs, just like an animal brain. The neurons remember their recent activities — which synapse they triggered — and as these communication channels are used their weighting (importance) increases, just like a software neural network. With 256 neurons and 65,356 synapses in total, each neuron can make at least 255 connections with other neurons, for a total of almost 17 million different combinations."
New Bionic Leg Thinks and Moves Like a Real Limb
"Developed at the Vanderbilt University the leg uses both a powered knee and powered ankle, operating in unison to lift the foot and swing it forward naturally, eliminating the dragging-gait seen with traditional prosthetics. It also uses an advanced sensor suite to monitor the leg’s motion, momentum and position, feeding that data into processors that predict the user’s intention and react accordingly. The leg’s anti-stumble routine, for example, monitors the leg’s position and momentum. If it senses the user stumbling, the leg automatically lifts the foot clear of the obstacle before replanting in on the ground. The leg itself weighs a scant nine pounds, requires 30-40% less energy input from the users and, with the help of new battery technology, run for three days with normal use."
"The key innovation is the new radio design that the shield uses for jamming. "If you just do simple jamming [broadcasting radio noise on a given frequency], then the attacker doesn’t get the information, but the doctor doesn’t either," says Dina Katabi, another developer of the shield and an associate professor of electrical engineering and computer science at MIT. Instead, the shield allows a jamming signal to be broadcast while it simultaneously receives data signals from the implant and relays them over a secure link. So doctors can still download data and confirm adjustments even while the shield is jamming an attacker."
Panasonic Pocket Server Streams Video And Music To Your iPhone/iPod touch
"The so-called DY-PS10 is a “pocket server” that wirelessly streams videos, music and pictures from an SD/SDHC/SDXC card to these devices. The mini server uses IEEE 802.11b/g Wi-FI, comes with a USB port and is sized at just 66.8×117×13mm (weight: 82g). It supports video in MP4 format, MP3 files and JPEGs. Panasonic specifically targets users of DIGA hardware, for example TVs (who can take the SD card out of those devices to use it in the DY-PS10)."
Sincerely Launching An iOS Photo App Monetization Platform: Picture Printing For All
"So if a developer decides to charge $1.99 for their in-app photos, they would keep $0.70 of that (again, the developer keeps 70 percent after the initial $0.99 threshold). For this fee, Sincerely handles all the billing and address collection as well as the actual logistics of printing and delivering the photos. They also handle the customer support surrounding the entire process. And the platform allows developers to have a branded space on the actual photo printouts."
Flash memory has “fingerprints”: distinctive subcritical manufacturing flaws
"University researchers have developed a way to check the authenticity of NAND flash. Pegged as a method to defeat counterfeiting within the manufacturing chain, this method would allow companies within the hardware industry to verify the flash chips. And whilst analysts state that this is not likely to be something that consumers would be particularly interested in, it does bear a striking similarity to the idea behind camera fingerprinting (to marry an image to a specific source camera) – so perhaps some sort of consumer awareness of the perverse uses might be of benefit?""
ShutterVox Takes Photos When it Hears the Magic Word (Cheese!)
"ShutterVox is a unique take on the smartphone camera in that it has no shutter button at all. Instead, it listens for specific trigger words before it’ll take the photo. All you have to do is tell your subjects to say "cheese!" loudly and ShutterVox will know what to do."
YC-Funded Science Exchange: A Central Marketplace For Core Research Facilities
"The company is working to build out a central database that lets researchers look up where they can outsource an experiment, and how much it will cost them. It also processes the transactions, so researchers and universities don’t have to worry about making sure their payment systems are all integrated with each other (Science Exchange makes it money by taking a commission on each transaction). Average experiment prices are around $5,000 — and despite the commission universities oftentimes save money, because they can find core facilities with lower fees. And Iorns says that the universities with underutilized core facilities, which typically charge higher fees, can close them without having to worry too much about their faculty leaving, since they’ll be able to more easily outsource their experiments."
Cops Use Wi-Fi Detector to Bust Kiddie Porn Pervs
"After powering on, the AirCheck immediately registers all of the wireless networks in the area and allows you to monitor signal strength, bandwidth, and the number of connected computers. AirCheck also comes with a wand-like antenna, which allows you to track any device connected to the network like a homing beacon."
Solar-Powered Soldiers to Revolutionize Australian Combat
"The panels can be worn on a soldier’s helmet, uniform, backpack, or tent, according to Igor Skryabin, the project’s development manager. And, at only 45 microns thick, the sliver cells would slash the weight on a soldier’s shoulders to a dramatic degree. “Currently, soldiers are dependent on electrical power provided by a conventional battery to power these devices,” he says. “Each battery has a different endurance and reliability level and each rechargeable type requires its own kit, compounding the bulk and weight that needs to be carried.”"
Onesheet, The About.me For Bands, Adds 10,000 Artists In Just Over A Month
"Bands want a simple, automatic (and promotion-friendly) way to maintain an eIdentity, and Onesheet does this in a way that’s not unlike About.me. As Alexia wrote last month, Onesheet thus enables bands to create and verify their identities through Facebook or Twitter and connect easily with third party services like Soundcloud, Bandcamp and ReverbNation. (As well as social media services like Posterous, Tumblr and YouTube.) Bands can customize their Onesheet’s design, making changes to simple stuff like font and widget positioning, but they really don’t have to get their hands dirty, because their pages update themselves through connections with those other third party platforms."
Plask is a programming environment for multimedia and computational design..
TableDrum iDevice app turns any surface into a virtual drum kit
"With the app active on your iPhone, iPad or iPod touch, you need to grab yourself some household, kitchen or office objects that happen to be lying around and place them within range of your device’s included (or external) microphone. The app recognizes the different sounds made by tapping each object with a pen, pencil or finger and each sound can then be assigned to one of the four drum pads on the screen – such as the top of an upturned coffee cup for the snare, the plastic casing of a computer mouse for the hi-hat or crash cymbal, the thud of a table top for bass drum, and so on."
5D glass storage could revolutionize medicine, computing
"Not only can the standard three dimensions be used — vertical and horizontal position on the piece of glass, and varying depth depending on the duration of the femtosecond laser pulse — but the wavelength and polarization of the light can also carry data. These nano-structures are absolutely tiny, too — just a few nanometers, much smaller than a DVD or Blu-ray disc — so we could be talking about an incredibly high-density storage medium."
fusiongarage grid operating system
"featured on the company’s ‘grid10‘ tablet and ‘grid4‘ smartphones, gridOS from fusiongarage is a operating system built on android, providing an intuitive user interface designed around a grid layout and wheel click navigation concept, while still supporting android apps. the fluid layout of the homescreen is based on a large pannable gridspace. applications are primarily viewed on a split screen containing a left and/or top menu bar, with the applications running in the main space of the screen on a tile layout. a wheel-based interaction system facilitates cross-application browsing, permitting text to be highlighted and then with one click used to generate search results on wikipedia, map applications, media providers, and other sources."
Drivers Get Paid By Auctioning Off Available Parking Spots
"Parking Auction is a new iPhone app that enables a free market system for public parking, connecting drivers who are leaving their spots with those who are searching for one. Currently available on Manhattan’s Upper West Side, the service allows drivers to post and accept bids for their parking spot. The legality of the sale of public spaces has been in question, but Parking Auction argues that drivers are not technically selling space, but only information that a parking spot is about to become available."
Real-World Drone Avatar Projects Video In Midair
"The blimp is equipped with a front-facing camera, microphone, built-in projector and WiFi module that allows it to broadcast live video in midair. This combination of UAV (unmanned aerial vehicle) and telepresence technology that combines to create the first real-world drone avatar is still in the development stage and not expected to be marketable for another few years."
‘Time of the Sky,’ Watch by Ryohei Yoshiyuki
"Time of the sky II is a watch created by Japanese designer Ryohei Yoshiyuki that displays the different colors of the sky every few seconds, referring to the real sky. The sky color is mean to remind you to look up at the real sky, from time to time, in this busy life of ours. ‘we are always looking at some kind of window, on the computer, mobile phone and so on. and now a small window on one’s arm…’"
Contour+ Camera Unboxing
"First impression, i’m impressed with the Contour+ ~ nice packaging, solid chunk of hardware, and the 1080p video quality with GPS and bluetooth connection to both iphone and android devices as monitors are great (though a bit finicky to get connected at times)"
Glance – Cell Phone by Alan Gerardo Farías
"The slim, minimal Glance phone by designer Alan Farías is tight-jean friendly and features a genius little screen on its bottom side in addition to the larger main screen, so even when your phone is in your pocket you can take a discreet glance down to check the battery, see who’s blowing up your email, texts, twitter, or even to casually check the time."
Service rewards computer owners for their idle CPU time
"CPUsage’s CirrusGrid is a distributed computing solution that harnesses the processing power of hundreds or even thousands of computers during times when they would otherwise lie idle. Individual and business partners can sign up with CPUsage to contribute their computers’ idle time by installing dedicated software; CPUsage promises it will never interrupt their own use of their computers. In exchange, computer owners are rewarded with cash or with points, which are redeemable in CPUsage’s online store for electronic and home goods, gift cards for major restaurants and retailers, video game points like Wii Credits and Xbox Live points, and more. CPUsage’s organizational customers, meanwhile, get a fast, secure, low-cost and highly scalable solution to their high-throughput and high-performance computing needs."
"Adding solar cells to liquid-crystal displays could help recover a significant amount of energy that’s ordinarily wasted in powering them. Two research groups have created light filters that double as photovoltaic cells, a trick that could boost the battery life of phones and laptops."
Build Websites Without Having Any Coding Knowledge, With Adobe Muse
"Adobe has a new Muse—graphic designers. While "Muse" is just a working title, the beta of the graphic design software has gone live which lets users work around the fact they don’t know a scrap of code. This means they can publish HTML websites without actually writing any CSS3 or HTML5. "
How a Dying Woman Watched Her Daughter’s Wedding via Skype
"On the wedding day I showed up and saw the laptop in the ceremony venue, I was told [Ashley's mother] was definitely not going to make it to the wedding but they were working on getting Skype set up for the ceremony. They did get it set up by the time Ashley walked down the aisle and and she witnessed the entire ceremony. It was beautiful and emotional and Ashley and [husband] Beau stopped and said a few words to her during the whole thing. After the ceremony they set the laptop up in the reception hall and people stopped by to chat and talk with her, she got to witness everything and it was amazing and sad all at the same time. A few weeks after the wedding Patty passed away but I know Ashley is so glad that because of technology she was able to share the day with her mother."
"Converse is a dual keyboard translator where two people can communicate with one another even though they speak different languages. Basically, one person will type in let’s say English and it’ll be translated to Spanish on the other side of the screen while another person types in Spanish and it’ll be translated to English on the other side. Get it?"
The Things We Keep: Every Object Has A Story
"The Things We Keep is a brilliant short film by Danish artist, Christian Svanes Kolding. Included in MoMA’s Talk To Me: Design and Communication Between People and Objects exhibition and inspired by the opening credits of To Kill a Mockingbird, feast your eyes upon a constantly moving visual story of the things we hold onto, the items which are constants, and objects bearing extra meaning during times of transitions and frequent coming and going."
Mirror Lets Kids Try On Virtual Outfits
"This mirror is a large, high-definition screen with a hidden camera that displays video of the user, tracks their movement and is able to overlay virtual clothing onto their body. Unlike other AR devices, the Disney AR mirror simulates cloth physics and allows the virtual outfits to move naturally with the viewer’s body. Besides traditional apparel, cartoon character and movie franchise items are available to sample, including Pippi Longstocking’s hair and Star Wars Stormtrooper helmets."
Nike+ Dynamic Paintings Of City Runs
"YesYesNo, in collaboration with DualForces, developed an installation for Nike retail stores and produced software that allowed runners to create dynamic paintings with their feet using their Nike+ GPS run data. During a two-day workshop at Nike headquarters, participants’ runs were recorded and paintings were made based on the speed, consistency and unique style of each person’s run, which they could then take home as a high resolution print."
Clever Girl: Facebook Lets You Export Friends’ Email Addresses, But Makes It Opt-In
"This small checkbox is perfectly in line with Facebook’s argument that users should have control over their data. And when people (or Google) complain that they can’t export their friends’ email addresses, Facebook can say it’s not because it’s holding them hostage — it’s that users simply aren’t interested in sharing that data. But, again, Facebook knows full well that most people aren’t going to go digging through settings to check that box. Many of them probably don’t know the ‘Download Your Information’ option exists, and they certainly haven’t put much thought into whether their friends should be able to download their email address as part of that archive. The box isn’t checked, and it’ll stay that way."
Stick-On Electronic Tattoos
"Researchers have made stretchable, ultrathin electronics that cling to skin like a temporary tattoo and can measure electrical activity from the body. These electronic tattoos could allow doctors to diagnose and monitor conditions like heart arrhythmia or sleep disorders noninvasively. John A. Rogers, a professor of materials science at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, has developed a prototype that can replicate the monitoring abilities of bulky electrocardiograms and other medical devices that are normally restricted to a clinical or laboratory setting."
Researcher Predicts Your Facebook Friends With Frightening Accuracy
"Stanford University’s Jure Leskovec knows more about than you think. With the right tools and information, the computer scientist can predict the next person you will friend on Facebook. Leskovec picks this lucky person by compiling and analyzing all your online social activity. Tweets, retweets, friends and likes, he looks at them all. With about 50% accuracy, he can predict the people who will make their way to your friends list."
Live video painting iPad app by @jamesalliban
"Composite allows you to remix your surroundings to create compositions. Users can paint pictures using live video stream by simply pointing their iPad towards your subject drawing over it. A variety of control over the brush and video stream is offered to allow for a range of different aesthetics. These include brightness, contrast, colour offset, alpha, blur and thickness."
Tag Technology Matches Melody To Apparel’s Mood
"Brazilian music branding company Gomus has enhanced the fitting room experience with an RFID platform that recognizes information on embedded tags in the clothing to create unique musical environments for each particular garment. As a shopper tries on an article of clothing, the system recognizes embedded information stored on each tag in order to create specific musical environments. By matching the mood of the clothing with music, the smart technology attempts to add a degree of personalization to an impersonal experience. The technology is being implemented in select Brazilian clothing stores."
Metaio’s Augmented City Demo May Answer The Question Of AR’s Utility
"Rather than viewing it as an animation or a cartoon, I imagined some of the examples within it at normal scale in a real city and myself in that city and subject to the meta information at hand. I began to imagine some real world scenarios of my own: What if I worked at an architecture firm and the virtual facade of our building could be changed to the firm’s best known designs? What if I worked at an ad agency where client reels could be displayed on the outside walls of the office building? What if a new breed of car advertisements were actually driving on the road (that one’s probably a legal or compliance nightmare but cool nonetheless)."
WhiteMagic: Sony Shows Next-Generation LCD For Cameras And Phones
"Sony announced WhiteMagic today, a “next-generation”, 3-inch TFT LCD screen that boasts 1.23M-dot full VGA resolution. What’s special about the display is that it has two distinct modes: if switched to “low power mode”, power consumption of the backlight is pushed down by over 50% to 125mW, with Sony saying brightness in this mode is still comparable to that of conventional LCDs. When choosing “outdoors mode”, WhiteMagic’s brightness can be boosted from 470 cd/m² to an impressive 1,000 cd/m², while power consumption of the backlight in this mode (300mW) stays about as high as that of conventional screens. By way of comparison: the iPhone 4 reaches a maximum brightness of 500 cd/m²."
New ticketing service guarantees sell-out gigs
"First the artist sets up their show on the site by entering the city, date, ticket price and then, most crucially, the “set-off point” — or minimum number of tickets needed to sell to make the show profitable. The artist promotes the show via their website and social media, and fans purchase tickets through Ticketometer. Once the set-off point is reached the artist is notified to reconfirm the event, and fans are charged. If the set-off point isn’t reached then the show is removed and fans fully refunded. Gauging interest before an event means musicians can create shows in cities or towns previously thought to be risky, and are in a better position to negotiate with venues. Venues benefit as pre-sold attendance guarantees business, and the concept is risk-free for fans. Though the current site is in beta, more functionality is being added with more connectivity to social media to benefit artists, venues and fans."
inTouch Interactive Device by Shan Lin
"inTouch is an interactive cube with inbuilt camera, display and connectivity. More like the baby monitor, but in a grown-up version, to stay in touch with family and friends while you are away in college. The fun and playful design makes it easy to access and is quite intuitive as modular networking cubes."
Disney’s Surround Haptics creates ‘virtual actuators’ to generate high-res tactile feedback
"In the quest for more immersive entertainment experiences, researchers at Disney Research, Pittsburgh (DRP) have developed a new tactile technology called Surround Haptics. Instead of just relying on sound and vision – and in the case of video games, vibrating controllers – the system uses a low-resolution grid of vibrating actuators to generate high-resolution, continuous, moving tactile strokes across a person’s skin. They claim the system is able to create smooth, continuous tactile motion, akin to the feeling of someone dragging a finger across someone’s skin, rather than the discrete tactile pulsations or buzzes commonly used in today’s haptic technology."
Algorithmically Generated Realistic Sound On Show At SIGGRAPH
"They’re making an engine for producing the sounds of colliding objects by simulating the materials of the objects themselves in a virtual space, and then calculating the forces and vibrations that would be produced. Academically it’s a challenging proposition, but it has plenty of practical applications as well."
Motion capture system makes actors the camera instead of putting them in front of it
"For use in motion capture, SfM isn’t used primarily to analyze objects in the person’s surroundings, but to estimate the pose of the cameras on the person. The researchers used Velcro to mount 20 lightweight, outward-facing cameras on the limbs and trunk of each subject and calibrated each camera using a reference structure. When each person performed a range-of-motion exercise the system was able to automatically build a digital skeleton and estimate where the cameras were positioned in respect to that skeleton."
Viddy: Like Instagram, but for Videos
"Viddy’s not-so-secret weapon is its production packs, downloadable sets of video effects and background music that can be added to a video clip to make it much more intriguing. The Internet diva iJustine has a clip that instantly demonstrates Viddy’s power. A 15-second shot of iJustine standing before her phone, turning left and right, would be boring. But with a tap of Viddy’s Glam effect, she slowed the video to half-speed, colored it a retro blue-gray with occasional flashes of light, and added a dramatic guitar-and-trumpet jazz track. She looks like she’s in a Quentin Tarantino film."
Table Comes Alive With Digital Paint
"It’s a wooden table top that can be drawn or written on by dipping a finger, fork, chopstick or spoon into the digital ink. Members of the family can draw a picture or write a message while they interact with each other. Also, they can connect to an electronic device and transfer the image directly to the device of anyone who is absent from the dinner table."
jenny bv lee: immateriality – the future human
"I designed a collection of virtual digital skins that was inspired by morphogenesis and mineral crystalisation processes. a series of radical non-human like aesthetics were fashioned, to engage the public to consider if we have the tools to-redesign ourselves, would we still look, feel and be human? I also worked in collaboration with a company called holition who deal with a range of 3d technologies in particular augmented reality. augmented reality technology blurs the boundaries between the real and the virtual worlds; it superimposes graphics, audio and other sense enhancements over a live view of the world. holition and I designed and developed new ways to utilise and implement the AR to enable a more tactile and tangible response to technology, bridging the gap between the immaterial and material worlds. we translated the digital skins into the technology, and developed face-tracking ar to create a virtual experience that would enable the public to interact and visualise the future technological impact on society and the self."
With Biophilia, Björk Creates Album Art For The 21st Century (It’s An App!)
"Her latest, Biophilia, ups the ante by offering an interactive experience of the album comprising 10 apps (enclosed within a "mother" app), one for each song. The theme of the album is ambitious, too: life, the universe, and everything, to put it simply. (When your promo video is narrated by legendary naturalist-filmmaker David Attenborough, you’d better aim high.)"