The Livre, designed by Nedzad Mujcinovic, a student at at Monash University, is vying with Amazon’s Kindle to become the next-generation e-book reader.
The design won a Dyson Student Award in 2007. Perhaps the most important feature that makes this gadget stand out is it’s simple, easy-to-use gesture input scheme. Instead of pressing buttons, you simply slide your finger from corner to corner to turn pages, somewhat like a real book. Sliding two fingers skips by 10 pages, and three fingers goes 50 pages ahead.
The touch surface overlays an e-paper (or e-ink) surface, which is standard for these sorts of e-book readers. What does set it apart is the leather stitched cover, making the device resemble a real book.
Livre seem set to bridge our gap between traditional books and their digital counterparts. A device like this could help us transition to e-books with ease due to its intuitive nature. We hope to see a real-life version of Livre in stores soon, so Nedzad better work on making this a reality. Another pic after the jump. Read more »
Tags: e-book, e-ink, e-paper, livre, multitouch, touch
Posted in Computers
by Alex on February 26th, 2008
Apple today announced a much-anticipated update to their MacBook and MacBook Pro computer lines. The MacBook Pro has acquired some new features while MacBook remains mostly the same with the exception of a speed boost.
The biggest news is the addition of multi-touch to the MacBook Pro, the same one that’s found on the new MacBook Air. Users can now use two fingers to zoom, rotate, and scroll through their photos. Unfortunately, the new MacBooks still have the same old, boring trackpad.
Both lines have been upgraded to Intel’s new Penryn CPUs, meaning less heat and lower power consumption. That should certainly make new owners happier.
The rest of the upgrades are fairly minor. Processor power has been bumped up slightly to a base 2.4GHz for the MacBook Pro and 2.1GHz for the MacBook. Optional video memory has been doubled to 512MB. The MacBook Pro has also been upgraded to an LED backlight for the 15-inch models with the LED remaining an option for the 17-inchers. Hard drive capacities have also been increased to a minimum 200GB for the Pro and 120GB for the MacBook.
Other than that, the size, shape, and weight appear to be the same. We were looking forward to some new visual touches, but it looks like that’ll have to wait until the next round of updates.
Tags: apple, macbook, macbook pro, multitouch
Following on the heels of their ‘Advanced Multitouch’ patent application, Apple has filed a patent detailing a multi-touch device that would support a large number of gestures including typing, scrolling, pointing, and handwriting. The device would combine these gestures into a single mode-less ergonomic design.
From the filing:
“It should therefore appear modeless to the user in the sense that the user should not need to provide explicit mode switch signals such as buttonpresses, arm relocations, or stylus pickups before switching from one input activity to another. Epidemiological studies suggest that repetition and force multiply in causing repetitive strain injuries. Awkward postures, device activation force, wasted motion, and repetition should be minimized to improve ergonomics.”
The system would be able to detect a number of different hand configurations, allowing it to figure out what part of the users hand was interacting with it and reacting accordingly.
We think this advanced multi-touch system is really quite amazing. Devices like the iPhone and the Microsoft Surface have incredible possibilities for user interaction, and those devices only use a relatively simple form of multi-touch. This Apple patent gives light to a device with a much deeper level of gesturing than we have ever seen before, and we can’t wait to see what it looks like and how it works. Hurry up Apple, we want to get rid of our keyboards!
Tags: advanced multitouch, apple, ergonomic, multitouch, patent
Posted in Computers
by Alex on February 19th, 2008
A recent Apple patent application depicts mockups of an OS X “Gesture Control Panel” with options for a Standard Trackpad, Basic Multitouch, and Advanced Multitouch. Although the trackpad and basic multitouch options have already made their way to Apple’s laptops, the advanced multitouch features are very intriguing. Read more »
Tags: advanced multitouch, apple, gestures, multitouch, touch, trackpad
Posted in Computers
by Alex on February 4th, 2008
Have you heard of the Microsoft Surface? If not, it’s essentially a replica of an iPhone, only with multi-touch, powered by a full-blown computer, and with a much, much bigger screen. This thing is absolutely awesome – come on, who doesn’t want to be able to play with their coffee table?
Well, due to high consumer demand to bring this toy to their homes, Microsoft has announced that they plan to have Surface available sooner than their original five year prediction.
First, though, the tech giant still has to fulfill orders from the hotel, casino, and retail industries. Seeing as they are already behind, the future does not look too optimistic.
We hope, however, that Microsoft can keep its promise. A Surface might be replacing our coffee tables when it goes on sale and the sooner, the better.
Tags: microsoft, microsoft surface, multitouch, surface
We all know that Apple products aren’t the cheapest around, but according to a report by research firm Piper Jaffray that could change soon. The best part? The “coolness” factor doesn’t have to go.
In a report to clients, Piper Jaffray claimed that Apple saw the worst year-over-year growth rate in the history of the iPod. To change this, the firm thinks that Apple will have to change its strategy.
“In order to achieve this level of year-over-year iPod growth, we are expecting Apple to introduce cheaper, innovative iPods with Wi-Fi and multi-touch technology,” analyst Gene Munster wrote. “We believe that, despite a slowdown in growth in the MP3 market, Apple’s vision of the iPod line-up becoming a mainstream Wi-Fi mobile platform will have two results. First, it will spur growth in the portable media player market, particularly from the replacement cycle. Second, if Apple is able to lower prices on Wi-Fi connected and possibly touch-screen iPods, it will be able to maintain or grow its leading market share position,” Munster concluded.
Apple has yet to respond on the matter, but considering the company’s close ties to Piper Jaffray, these predictions are probably not that far-fetched.
Tags: apple, ipod, mp3, multitouch, piper jaffray, wifi
Posted in Computers
by Alex on January 17th, 2008
That’s right – PCs will soon have the same capabilities as the new MacBook Air when it comes to the trackpad, thanks to Synaptic. They recently announced a new touchpad with support for various gestures including scrolling, zooming, and trackball-like movement. Mark Vena, vice president of Synaptics’ PC business unit, said that we can expect these to hit computers in late March or early April.
My take? Although the technology definitely has the “cool” factor and I would order one on a new laptop, I don’t think this will increase productivity all that much. Scrolling is one of the most common tasks, and we have been able to do that with our touchpads for a long time now. How often do you find yourself zooming in on photos or rotating them? Synaptics is poised to allow you to do that faster, but I don’t mind clicking a button or two to do that now. I am hoping the company dreams up some new uses for this technology that will truly make it indispensable.
Tags: laptop, macbook air, multitouch, touchpad, trackpad