21 Feb 2012

Imagine a future, where you are very far from your charging station for your electric vehicle, but you can relax as your car is charging as you drive.  If a team at Standford has their way, this future just might be sooner than we think.  A team of electrical engineers at Standford are proposing a system that would have embedded metal coils several feet apart on the highway.  The vehicle would have its own coil.  As the vehicle drives the embedded coils would wirelessly recharge the car's battery.

This technique is called magnetic resonance coupling and has already been proven in other applications such as a 60 watt bulb that was lit by MIT five years ago as an example.  Copper coils are tuned so they resonate at the same frequency and one coil passes the electric current to the other via the magnetic field.  The tuning is specialized so that you won't be fried while your vehicle is charged.

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21 Feb 2012

Ever wished you could take some of the more common surfaces around you and turn them into projection displays for showing off your YouTube videos?  The solution called LightBeam uses a pico projector with a webcam for tracking and reorienting the display to any surface, such as a piece of paper or book.  Watch how they rotate a coffee mug to change the channel as well.  This is all the work of Technische Universitat Darmstadt in Germany.  They intend to demonstrate at CHI 2012 in Austin, Texas in May.

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15 Feb 2012

A new company called Aereo is going to stream OTA broadcast stations for $12 a month launching March 14th, but with a catch.. it will only be available to those in New York City through Aereo’s HTML5-powered website.  Aereo will offer cloud-based DVR service on an internet connected device such as a media streamer, phone, tablet or tv.  Aereo does the streaming via large devices containing tiny, dime-sized TV antennas which are connected to the cloud, where those individual antennas correspond to individual users.  Given the limited accessibility of the service and potential backlash regarding copyright issues, it may be premature to put away your Slingboxes, however, such an idea is intriguing and could grow in time if allowed.

Source:  Aereo, Venturebeat 

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02 Feb 2012

Tobii Technology is using an Asteroids clone to demonstrate their eye-tracking softwareEyeAsteroids is controlled by the angle of a player's gaze.  Their tracking system sends infared light to the players corneas and determines the eye's position in 3D space via the reflections.

They have produced 50 EyeAsteroid cabinets thus far, selling them for $15,000 each.  If you happen to be at London's Trocadero, you can test it until February 17th.

Source:  Tobii, Joystiq

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19 Jan 2012

Romibo is a "do-it-yourself robot for therapy, education and fun" that is being introduced by Aubrey Shick, CEO of Origami Robotics of Pittsburgh, PA, developed at Carnegie Mellon University via the NSF-funded Quality of Life Technology Center (QoLT).

Origami Robotics is a startup company from QoLT that showcased their products at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas this year.

Robots such as Romibo have been shown to be highly therapeutic to children and other individuals with social, emotional and developmental disorders.  Robot therapy has been largely unavailable to the public due to the cost involved in the past.  This is where Romibo steps in.  Romibo can inspire kids to build social robots that are "pet-like" in nature and that are also affordable and able to adapt by making programming changes.

Later in this year, Romibo will be available as a kit online.  The kit will contain all the parts needed to create the system, which uses the Arduino open source microcontroller.  It will be able to operate autonomously or with remote control and also feature integration with Android and iPad systems. 

Thanks to its low cost and other innovative features such as viral distribution with online help as well as community workshops, Romibo should help start a new trend in social robot therapy and future innovation.

Read more on Romibo from their official press release here.

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18 Jan 2012

One day you may walk into work, sit down on your cubicle and spin around to do note taking and other work on your very own Smart Window, rather than an old school whiteboard.  Perhaps you will hop into your car and augmented reality information will pop up on the screen as you are speeding down the highway at 55 mph.  You may just simply gaze out your window and information related to the weather and your days events will appear.

Samsung is hoping Smart Window technology will do all this and more.  They have increased the LCD transparency by 20 percent more.

Below are two links showing the technology.  Especially interesting is the ability to switch the window to shutter mode, blocking out light.  The technology can also work as a one-sided panel, preventing an outside user from seeing the person/display on the other.

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10 Jan 2012


Need a ton of space in a very small form?  At CES there is the Victorinox 1TB usb flash drive, that will come in two flavors, one as a Swiss Army Knife style or a regular USB stick appearance.  These also have an LCD display on the side, which appears as of now to just show the size of the device.  Its ETA to consumers is sometime in September or October.  Here comes the shell shock...  A price just under $3000.  Its worth a look, just for its intriguing design, but at that price you could buy a whole bunch of space in different formats for a lot less.

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09 Jan 2012

Want to enjoy the perks of a 3DTV, but don't want to be hampered by bulky 3D glasses? Enamored with the glasses free technology of the 3DS? According to Engadget, at CES 2012 Toshiba has just revealed its new 55 inch, 4K, glasses-free 3DTV that up to nine people can watch at a time. Technological progress isn’t cheap, however - this piece of tech may set you back an estimated $10,000 sometime in the first quarter of this year. Is it too early to start writing letters to Santa…?

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