Buried within the pile of gadgets at Oregon Scientific’s CES booth were these two Time & Wireless Charging Stations. On the left we have the entry-level clock that’s already out in the market, whereas the bigger “plus” model on the right made its debut at the show, boasting the extra clock projection and weather forecast feature. Also shown along side were the customized iPhone 4 Qisleeves that Oregon Scientific will be offering online, and they actually had pretty high quality finish, too, especially with the texture coating on top of them. Do take a closer look in our hands-on photos below.
Category: Science Facts, New Age and New Tech
B&N Nook Color update released, brings Froyo, apps, and Flash, we go hands-on (video)
Obviously the biggest addition here are the apps themselves, and sadly we’re not talking full Market access — nor access to any of the standard Google applications like Gmail or Maps. Barnes & Noble has its own set of libraries that software developers must include and use, providing the unified experience the company wants to bring to its little ecosphere, making the look and feel of apps jive with the rest of the system. As to which apps will be available, we saw a number of games, cooking helpers like Epicurious, and, yes, Angry Birds — though we weren’t able to get the latter to install successfully. Continue reading
Lenovo and Swedish eye-control company Tobii have teamed up for a laptop prototype that uses eye-tracking tech to trigger certain actions on the computer. We’ve seen this idea before with smartphones, but the laptop’s bigger size and increased power makes it much more suitable–even useful, if Engadget’s hands-on is any indication.
Shown off at CeBIT today, the prototype is still a long ways off from actual production, if it gets there at all–Tobii estimates two years at the earliest, both for hardware and software considerations. But according to reports, it works flawlessly, able to recognize even very small movements with impressive accuracy. The prototype uses a sensor bar, rather than webcams like Microsoft’s motion-sensing Kinect, which is implemented as a thick bar at the bottom of the laptop’s screen. Tobii notes that the sensor has to be of a certain size to work properly, but that it could eventually be about the same thickness as a laptop’s natural bezel, which would obviously be ideal.
The demo was running on Windows 7, and had a few interesting ideas as to how to use the new input method. You can’t just have the cursor follow your eyes–it would be incredibly distracting, with the cursor flitting all over the place, and would lead to a lot of accidental movement and reaction triggering. Instead, there are specific places where the eye-tracking can be used, and many are triggered with a button press to avoid inadvertent selection: Look to the bottom of the screen to bring up the taskbar, or to the left of the screen to bring up a custom-made sidebar of recently-used media. It can also be used in concert with a Mac Expose-like app preview window–just look at the app you want, tap a key, and the app at which you’re gazing is selected.
If we’ve learned anything from the Kinect, it’s that this kind of sensing is a natural fit for games, and Lenovo put together a simple (though apparently very responsive) game in which you can shoot asteroids by looking at them (a superpower we’ve all wanted at some point). Of course, any kind of development is a ways off–hopefully we can see some implementation of this tech in computers soon, so we can see what it can really do.
I am starting this post off with something that is an excerpt from TV’s “The Big Bang Theory”. This was the first exposure that I was given to the Texai Remote Virtual Presence:
Now this may seem trivial and humorous, but this type of device has many practical uses in the future.
While working on the PR2, two Willow Garage engineers, Dallas Goecker and Curt Meyers, working 2000 miles apart, needed a more efficient method of interacting and collaborating throughout the day. Frustrated with conference table phones and video conferencing, Dallas and Curt applied their knowledge of building battle bots and the PR2 to create the first Texai prototype.
Dallas now spends the majority of his time working for Willow Garage by piloting his Texai from Indiana. Rather than being confined to the table or wall, Dallas now uses Texai to work and engage with co-workers here in Menlo Park, California.
Please view the video posted in the New York Time and Willow Garage for more.
New York Times Interview: http://video.nytimes.com/video/2010/09/04/science/1248068965210/robots-at-work.html
Willow Garage: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UkG-0ysZM6o
Cho Sinhyung and Jeon Jungjae has come up with a second life mobile phone concept. People often forget the importance of battery life and this concept helps them in improving the battery life of their mobile phones.
The Second Life Mobile Phone Concept works on the premise that we often forget about the battery life of our mobile phones, hence run out of juice, just at the wrong time. As a remedy (rather power-saver-option) the phone incorporates a double display. When in active use the AMOLED screen powers up in all glory and in standby mode the E-ink display gets active. This essentially means that the E-ink uses very little energy and the degree of transparency of the display shows how much battery is remaining. The more transparent the display, the less battery remaining. Continue reading
Everything is somewhat more gargantuan in Texas, so its only natural that Houston has its eye on having the largest network of electric vehicle chargers in the country. The plan is a privately funded brain-child of power plant operator NRG Energy, which hopes to install 150 charging stations in the 25 mile vicinity of downtown Houston starting in February. Chargers will be placed at common retail locations such as Walgreens and Best Buy, but given that 80 to 90 percent of charging will occur in homes, an $89 all-you-can-juice monthly plan will also include the installation of 240-volt charging systems in residences. NRG doesn’t expect to turn a profit on its $10 million investment for several years, but hopes that taking the proactive step will create a lucrative business in the future as electric vehicle prices (hopefully) hit the skids. The company also wants to build a similar network in Dallas in early 2011, and perhaps San Antonio and Austin in the future as well. Still, while the plans are admirable for the home of big-oil, compared to London’s government-backed 1,300 station plan, NRG’s Houston aspirations still seem positively Rhode Island-sized.
Source: Fuel Fix
The Obama administration is considering disabling cell phones in American cars, aiming to cut down on distracted drivers and cell-phone-related road deaths.
Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood, the nation’s preeminent anti-distracted-driving crusader, said in an interview on MSNBC yesterday that federal officials are looking at technology to disable cell phones inside cars.
“I think it will be done,” LaHood said. “I think the technology is there and I think you’re going to see the technology become adaptable in automobiles to disable these cell phones. We need to do a lot more if were going to save lives.”
Also on Thursday, the SecTrans launched a new “Faces of Distracted Driving” video campaign that features people who have been killed or lost loved ones because of inattentive drivers. The video features heartwrenching stories of children killed in crashes because of text messaging, and new videos are expected to be added every few weeks, according to the New York Times. Continue reading
The real-life housing market might be in the dumps, but a Hollywood real estate mogul is making a killing in the virtual world. Jon Jacobs, aka “Neverdie” in the massively multiplayer Entropia Universe, just sold a virtual nightclub for the actual price of $635,000.
Proceeds from the sale will fund Jacobs’ virtual planet-building ventures, which could in turn create actual revenue streams for Hollywood, the recording industry and traditional media sources. Really.
“Club Neverdie” is one of the hottest virtual properties in the Entropia Universe, the first virtual world with a real cash economy. An asteroid around Planet Calypso, Entropia’s first planet, is the club’s home. Jacobs bought the asteroid in 2005 for $100,000, after taking out a mortgage on his real-life house, according to Forbes.
Since then, Club Neverdie became a haven for other players visiting its bio-domes, nightclub, stadium and mall. Jacobs was making around $200,000 in actual cash every year from players purchasing virtual goods and services, Forbes explains. Continue reading
I am absolutely blown away by the things that are available these days. Sometimes, I am intrigued by the technology, but at the same time, frightened by the implications. Are we really destined to become a cashless society?
A new company, called Square is turning the credit card processing industry on its ear with an application available at the iTunes store. Available for the iPad, the iPhone and iPod Touch, Square enables you to take credit card payments for, well, just about anything.
Once you register for the free Square app they will send you a card reader that plugs into your mobile device and then, let the swiping begin. With no contracts or monthly fees. Receipts are sent electronically and you can track your sales all in one place. Transaction fees are settled nightly, instead of monthly and it’s available for use by anyone that would like to be able to take credit cards, not just businesses.
Now I cant help but ponder how this nifty little program is going to be used, and I’m not certain it’s all going to be good, but the one thing I am sure of is that my next garage sale is going to be a whole lot different than it was before.
Anyone want to buy a couch?
There is no way any market can dominate over the whole of a market base in a location. Probably that is the reason why I believe that Samsung Galaxy Tab is going to be an excellent competition to the running iPad market. Steve Jobs is always confident with his products but there is no way that one company rules forever. It might be one today and the other next day.
Apple is certainly the company that introduced Tablet PC technology to the world but the latest news coming from different parts of the world are a clear evidence that iPad is going to see a lot of competition coming in the next few months with the launch of Samsung Galaxy Tab followed by a number of Windows 7 Tablet PCs. The Samsung Galaxy S smartphones have been very impressive in the market and so will be the Galaxy Tab as expected by most of the analysts and me. Continue reading