As February comes to a close, it’s again time to pick our favorite gadget from this month. Although this gadget is just a concept, we simply couldn’t resist. The winner for February is… Read more »
Archive for February, 2008
Designer Nuno Teixeira shows us his vision of what an iMac should look like. That vision is a huge, curved screen called the iView.
The curvature of the monitor is suited better to the natural curvature of the human eye. There is also a smaller LCD screen on the back, supposedly useful for students and graphic designers. As if that wasn’t enough, there are also two webcams, front and back.
Seriously, this thing would never, ever be made, but looking at it still makes us happy. We still don’t see the point of a screen on the back though. Shouldn’t the huge one on the front be enough for everything? More images after the jump. Read more »
French researchers announced recently that they have been able to transfer data optically at a speed of 16.4Tbps (that’s terabits per second, or about 17 billion kilobits per second). Yes, that’s over 11 million times faster than today’s DSL connections.
At these rates they were able to transfer 2.05TB or about 100 HD movies every second. The researchers believe their work could eventually lead to 100Gbps ethernet connections.
Perhaps the most surprising aspect of this is that the transfers weren’t happening over a few inches or feet. On the contrary, the data was traveling over a whopping 1,500 miles. With this the researchers have set a world record for bandwidth capacity by distance.
The research, performed at Bell Labs, involved several new technologies such as a “highly linear, balanced optoelectronic photoreceiver and an ultra-compact, temperature-insensitive coherent mixer.” Yeah, we have no idea what that means either.
So what will come of all of this? Bell Labs claims that this research will “pave the way to the future of communications.” Most importantly, the researchers’ work shows that the potential for higher bandwidth is present, and we just need to learn how to utilize it.
Sony’s in-house “odo” team, based in California and with some help from Japan, was put together to design devices that tap into the “creativity, curiosity, and energy” of children in developing nations and that are capable of operating in extreme temperatures without the need for power supplies. Their latest imagining is a self-charging digital camera.
The camera resembles a white, plastic pizza cutter, and it is charged by rolling the wheel at the top on any surface. 15 seconds of rolling should generate enough power to take one picture – not a bad tradeoff considering that the thing never needs to be plugged in. Read more »
Due to delays, Apple had to cancel the event planned for the last week of February and postpone the release of the much-anticipated iPhone SDK. It looks like a new announcement date has been set – March 6th.
One of the biggest gripes about the iPhone is its closed-source nature. With the announcement of an SDK, we will finally see third-party applications making their way to the iPhone. These new apps will allow users to take full advantage of their shiny, touch-screen toys.
Apple’s invitation to the event was sent via email and worded like this: “Please join us to learn about the iPhone software roadmap, including the iPhone SDK and some exciting new enterprise features.” It will be interesting to see exactlywhat enterprise features Apple is dreaming up.
In addition to all of this, yet another 3G iPhone rumor has sprung up. Analysts are predicting a 3G iPhone by mid-year, and that EDGE production will ramp down early so Apple can clear out current iPhone inventories.
It’s an exciting time for the iPhone, and we hope to keep hearing good news in the coming weeks and months that we can pass on to you.
Designers from Singapore have come up with a concept mouse that can use the heat generated by a laptop to power itself.
The DORmino mouse works by placing an oversize mousepad under a laptop which then collects the extra heat and turns it into electricity using silicon nanowires. The electricity is then sent to the mouse, resting on a different part of the pad, via an induction coil. This mousepad can be rolled up when not in use for easy transportation.
The mouse itself is an ordinary wireless mouse with the exception that it doesn’t ever need to be recharged. One of the more interesting features is a “touch screen scroller” which lets you scroll by moving your finger up and down a sensor on the mouse where an ordinary scroll wheel might be.
DORmino is pretty far-fetched, but is certainly feasible with today’s technology. However, it would probably be a bit expensive as all of this technology isn’t cheap. Either way, we love to see new eco-friendly innovations such as this. Diagram of how the DORmino works after the jump. Read more »
Researchers at the Department of Artificial Intelligence (DIA) of Universidad Politécnica de Madrid have developed an algorithm that is capable of detecting a person’s facial expressions. The software can analyze 30 images per second and categorize expressions as anger, disgust, fear, happiness, sadness, or surprise.
The software is capable of following a face around and spot its emotions anywhere in a frame. It can even work on recorded video, recognizing what expressions a face in the video is showing.
Although only a prototype, the software is capable of working on a regular desktop or laptop computer, allowing you to take it with you and use a webcam to analyze your expressions (in case you don’t know how you’re feeling at any given time).
This software has great potential for a wide variety of uses. For example, it might eventually be used as a sort of detector to see if a person is lying.
Check out a cool video of the algorithm in action here.
Sharp, partnering with battery specialist Eliiy Power, will soon start selling the world’s first storage battery for household electricity systems.
These new batteries will allow houses with solar panels to store the power generated by the sun overnight (a full day and a half if necessary), allowing them to operate independently of a power grid.
The companies involved hope that reducing the reliance on traditionally-generated power will help reduce Japan’s greenhouse emissions. Hopefully these batteries will make it to the States so we can do the same.
The price is expected to be around ¥500,000 (about $4,650) when the battery is released next year.
This new battery is expensive, but would pay for itself over time seeing as solar power is free after all of the equipment is installed. Besides, you’ll get that warm, fuzzy feeling knowing that you’re polluting less.