Archive for the ‘Futuristic’ Category
Although ASUS is a bit late to the smartphone game, it’s chairman Jonney Shih has announced that they will be releasing a smartphone in the US by sometime in 2014. It will more than likely be an Android powered device, and if it’s any better than the Padfone Infinity, than it should also have some impressive hardware. The Padfone Infinity has a 13mp camera, a 5-inch 1080p display and a 1.7 GHz quad-core processor.
With stiff smartphone competition from their competitors such as Samsung and HTC, ASUS will have it’s hands full trying to release a product to top handsets such as the Galaxy S4. Only time will tell if their foray into the US market will be a hit, or a flop.
Get the whole story at Phonedog or AllthingsDigital.
This beautifully designed tablet features dual 7-inch screens and a multi-touch interface. Sounds like a dream list of the long rumored Apple Tablet, but it’s not. These are just some of the features of the Courier, Microsoft’s new secret tablet.
The most stunning feature is the dual 7-inch screens, making this more a Booklet than a Tablet. They are multi-touch, designed for writing, drawing, and flicking with a finger or a stylus. They are connected with a single home button. (more…)
We may have seen a little too many new bicycle concepts and designs for urban mobility. Not many of them come enter the production lines. But here comes Grant Ryan, from New Zealand, with his foldable electric two-wheeler for urban travel. It is known as the YikeBike. It is marketed as “the world’s first super light electric folding bike” and CNET has called it “the alternative to the Segway.”
The YikeBike will be available in 2010 at the price tag of US$4,860 (Country laws concerning wheeled vehicles apply).
- Weight: 9.8 kg (21 lbs)
- Frame: Carbon composite
- Price: Between €3,500 and €3,900
- Drive: Electric chainless
- Brakes: Electric anti-skid, regen
- Speed: 20 km/hr
- Power: 1.2 kW, 30min re-charge
- Battery: LiFePO4 – fast charge
- Range: 10 km
- Fold size: Super compact 43 litres
- Seat: Leather super comfort
- Height: 163 cm – 193 cm limit
- Wheel: 20” hubless
- Weight: 100 kg limit
- Lights: Built in LEDs
You can view a promotional video here:
You might have seen those tv commercials on your tubes a few years ago featuring light swirls that magically make up words or images; or your friend showed you his portfolio of photographs with glowing light swirls on dark backgrounds. While these can be achieved through long exposures and stop-motion animation, the Halo LED spraycan will let you do this with more style and flare. It is a DIY project by Aissa Logerot, who made use of light emitting diodes, rather than paint. That means no permanent damage to anything, and no paint to deal with.
Obviously it only lasts temporarily and it even charges itself when shaken like a true graffiti spray can should be! (more…)
With the advancement of technology, we have become more dependent on using several gadgets in our daily activities and routines. Usage of these gadgets require a lot of energy, which is most likely in the form of electricity, for them to work. The Paris-based International Energy Agency estimates new electronic gadgets will triple their energy consumption by 2030.
To address these growing demands for electric consumption, we will cover seventeen innovative gadgets that are not just useful and practical but have less impact on the environment with their use of sunlight as the main power source.
1.Samsung Blue Earth Eco-Phone
A touchscreen solar-powered phone called “Blue Earth” has been unveiled by Samsung Electronics. Slated to be released in the latter part of this year, this mobile phone is made from a recycled plastic called PCM, which is recycled from plastic water bottles. The phone is designed to symbolize a flat and well rounded shiny pebble. It is the first such phone to the market and charges up via the solar panel on the back of the phone, which is designed to generate enough power to make a call anytime.
Adding to those green credentials, both the handset and its charger are free from harmful substances such as Brominated Flame Retardants, Beryllium and Phthalate. Its phone features like Bluetooth settings, screen brightness, and backlight duration can be adjusted in an energy-saving mode called “Eco mode”. Other eco-friendly phone features include a built-in-pedometer which calculates how much CO2 emissions have been reduced by walking as opposed to taking the car. Detailed specifications and pricing information of this new mobile green advocate are due to be released prior to its market availability in the next few months.
2. Suntrica Solar Strap
Suntrica Solar Strap is a charging solution that gathers solar energy by the high-efficiency and flexible solar panel and store the energy into an internal lightweight battery, with a capacity of storing 3.7 Wh, for instant or later usage. It is a lightweight, flexible and wearable solar panel that can be integrated with any clothing designed for harsh outdoor use. When folded it only measures 144 x 97 x 25 mm and weighs only 60 grams.
It is capable of charging up any gadget that runs on 5V or less, such as your usual MP3 players, mobile phones, game consoles, GPS devices, digital camera and other personal gadgets. This gadget is a high-quality response to the mobile consumer electronics’ charging challenge in developing markets having limited access to electricity. For pricing information you may contact its manufacturer – Suntrica, the leader in flexible and high-efficiency solar charging solutions.
3. Chromasun Solar Powered Hybrid Air Conditioner
Planned to be released in the latter part of this year, the Chromasun air conditioner contains photovoltaic and solar thermal technology that harvest light and heat from the sun. Using a combination of mirrors, receivers and concentrators, the unit is able to offer better efficiency than of traditional solar cells. It uses less silicon than a conventional solar system with the same power rating because it uses Fresnel concentrated lens as part of the thermal system.
The solar air conditioner system generates electricity from the solar cells and it doesn’t require copious volumes of water or huge arrays of solar panels. With its promise that it will change the way you think about rooftop solar, this innovative gadget is out to deliver a good alternative to cool your hot evenings.
4. Fully Automated Solar-powered Lawn Mower Robot
The solar lawn mower robot (RBZG001), designed for commercial and home use, with solar energy and network technology, is a truly innovative product available in the market today. It uses solar power to charge itself while its network technology has a stable and strong force to move, trim the grass and climb the slopes.
The mower features technology such as high intelligence of image identification, telenet video inspection, and automatic function of identifying route, avoiding obstacle, stopping sliding from slope, spraying scrapes while working or collecting scrapes at planned location. No pricing information is available as of the moment, but I’m sure it won’t be so cheap for frugal buyers. (more…)
Us tech and Sci-Fi aficionados are always on the lookout for the latest and greatest. We’re constantly starving for the best, bleeding-edge technology, and we drool when we watch the Star Treks and Minority Reports of the world thinking, “we’ll never get there.” Think again, because here are 10 gadgets from movies that became a reality. Some of these may not be in mass production yet, but if we’ve made it this far, just think of the possibilities.
- Minority Report Style Gesture Based Computers
This one has been mentioned several times before, and there are plenty of videos showcasing the different advancements in touch/gesture-based computing. All you have to do is Google “minority report computer interface” and you’ll get many hits, including a TED conference video demonstrating different applications for the technology. Find out more here from PopSci.
- Magnetically Tethered Flying Vehicles
Yes. Just yes. According to Gizmodo, researchers at Cornell have been playing with superconductors and permanent magnets. They’re looking to use this to keep spacecraft tethered together without touching just like the pod racers in Star Wars. Fast forward a few years though, and we’ve got ourselves magnetically tethered advanced spacecraft.
- Universal Translator
Obviously this won’t translate alien languages, but it will translate almost any language in the world on the fly, back and forth. We have our handy Mr. Ray Kurweil, futurist, inventor extraordinaire to thank for this. Check out his universal translator. (more…)
It was in the 1920s when light-emitting diodes were first invented. Today, eighty years later, LEDs come in variable colors, brightness and wavelength – visible, ultraviolet, and infrared. LEDs have a lot of advantages over traditional lighting which include lower energy consumption, longer lifetime, size, and robustness.
In this article, we will cover fifteen LED hacks that are jaw-dropping, eye-catching and overall awesome. I have decided to group the list based on their use, from trivial and entertainment use to medical uses and architectural purposes.
1. Huge Sky Screen at “The Place” in Beijing, China
Imagine strolling down a street, and 25 meters above you is a giant LED screen display… with dragons and marine animals floating! This massive display located at The Place shopping center at the heart of Beijing, China was placed before the Olympics of 2008. Considered as the largest LED screen in Asia, it has dimensions of 250 meters in length and 30 meters in width. The sky screen plays majestic shows like seascapes, a dolphin show, among others. Note that the biggest LED display belongs to the display screen at Fremont St., in Las Vegas which is made of 12.5 million LEDs and has a length of 460 meters.
2. LED Cyclist Jacket
Yes, there are a lot of shirts and pants and other wearable materials out there which make awesome use of LED. Take, for instance, the Iron Man Arc Reactor. But for the usefulness of this next one, I think it should count in my top choices. When she was a Ph.D student at the University of Colorado, Leah Buechley has created an electronic clothing, the signal jacket for cyclists. As you can see from the image above, this is simply ingenious and the usefulness of this goes overboard. The LEDs are powered and programmed by a sewable computer chip which was designed by Leah, herself. For those of you interested in making one, click on the link above for instructions.
3. LED Cubes – Cubatron
LED cubes are a dime too many but they are nonetheless interesting and an awesome use of LEDs for trivial and entertainment purposes. LED cubes can be as small as the basic 4x4x4 (pertains to the number of LEDs) or could be more extravagant like that of the Cubatron UV with a 100x100x100 matrix or a total of 1,000,000 LEDs. Surely, this is an expensive project to make. The Cubatron UV has its roots down to the first Cubatron, which is now proudly in display at the ultra chic W Hotel in Dallas. The Cubatron (8x8x8 feet) used to be the world’s largest 3-dimensional full color light sculpture, a title which now belongs to the Big Round Cubatron (40 feet in diameter, ten feet in height). The latter made its debut at Burning Man in 2006 and has since been shown at different festivals, events and places. Led cube are perfectly characterized with these words, “a word of art at rest, a hypnotic experience once the micro-controller takes charge.” (more…)
The minds of inventors and designers never cease to amaze us with the concepts that they create. Especially those that find their way into the reality of production.
A majority of the most popular concepts involve future computing and communication technologies. From cell phones to mobile computers with amazingly intelligent, creative, and portable technology. But there are also many great designs that have functionality and practicality outside of computing and communications. Even though functionality and practicality drive many designs, entertainment value and the idea of the product being just plain fun sometimes takes over.
This list, which is part 1 of this series, shows just a glimpse into some of those amazingly creative concept gadgets.
1. The Nokia Morph
With the cell phone market saturated with different styles, colors, and functionality truly original concepts are a pleasant change from the standard. The Nokia Morph is one of those concepts. It takes advantage of nanoscale technologies to create a mobile device made with flexible and transparent materials that are extremely strong. The flexibility allows it to change shape and can serve different functions depending on the configuration. The nanotechnology can be self-cleaning, improving the lifespan of the device in several ways. It also incorporates surfaces that naturally repel water, dirt, and fingerprints.
The Morph could also take advantage of solar power converted from the surface of the device allowing for smaller batteries that quickly recharge with a longer lifespan. One other new capability is the ability to sense the environment. For example, analyzing air pollution, or telling you if the produce that you are about to eat should be cleaned before consumption. It will be interesting to see if a concept such as this will come to market and if it happens any time soon (in concept years, that is). (more…)
Tired of paying for excessive phone bills? VoIP and Skype have your solution to decrease that monthly bill. Cut the cord and save money on your phone bills using VoIP technology. If you haven’t tried Skype on your computer yet, you definitely should and we have put together some gadgets that will make it much easier to do so.
Here are 21 of the coolest gadgets that have the capability to provide you with excellent VoIP, and Skype service.
1. IPEVO TR-10 Conference Phone
The TR-10 allows a user to Skype with other Skype users, landlines, or mobile phones. Even better the TR-10 lets you communicate with all three at the same time through, the conferencing capabilities it has. Have more than one friend? The TR-10 lets you conference up to nine additional people including yourself, hence the name TR-10.
The TR-10 can operate in both headset and speakerphone modes. A simple flip of the switch redirects the sound, and the TR-10 instantly changes into a headset. Mobility is not a problem with this device, with it’s size being about the same as a spare toothbrush, and toothpaste, only 15cm long. Communication with others is not all this jewel does, it also has the power to act as a high quality voice recorder for those too busy to take notes.
2. Star Trek VoIP/Skype Phone
Want to join the Star Trek hype? Then this is definitely the phone for you. Proving to be one of coolest designs to be seen in the development of Skype and VoIP phones. The Star Trek Skype/VoIP phone works through simple USB connection, and is compatible with both Windows XP, Vista, and Mac OS X 10.5. The Star Trek features speaker phone, volume controls, and mute. The added special feature is the ability to produce some of your favorite Star Trek sounds and phrases.
With over 21 special sound effects, I am sure it will take awhile to get bored with this one. Also don’t worry about having to stay directly by the computer when plugged in, the Skype phone features a 6 foot USB connection cable which can give you a little freedom to roam. This is definitely a keeper for all the Star Trek fans out there.
3. iRiver’s Wave Home
Looking for something that can do a little more than just the usual VoIP or voice recording? iRiver’s Wave Home not only does VoIP, but it also many other multimedia functions. It contains a 7″ LCD screen, and a wireless headset that not only does the duties of an average headset, but can be used as remote to control the Wave Home Station. The gadget comes packed with a 1.3 megapixel camera, this will come in handy when you want to participate in a video chat. The list of impressive features doesn’t stop there.
Want to surf the web? iRiver’s Wave Home has it covered, along with taking pictures, playing music, and providing a host of useful widgets. Interested in the weather? Your covered. Traffic, news? Your covered. The list can only continue to grow with the capabilities of this multimedia masterpiece, iRiver continues to impress those looking for multimedia units for VoIP communication. The estimated price is rumored to be around $400 and should come out sometime this year. Sadly this gadget only does VoIP but they are looking to offer a service like Skype.
4. Verizon Hub
The Verizon Hub is the first major release of a multimedia unit from the leaders in telecommunication. The Verizon Hub gives you the ability to use your normal broadband connection to place calls, minus the usual charge. This gadget gives you unlimited nationwide calling, automatic anonymous call rejection, and scheduled call forwarding.
Of course the Verizon Hub comes packed with multimedia essentials.
- Chaperone (for those with Children, or maybe your spouse.)
As you can see in the photo, the Verizon Hub features a beautiful high resolution screen, to make using it a little easier on the eyes. Verizon has set themselves up for a future of profitability, if the Verizon Hub gains popularity. (more…)
Amateur and student inventions have a long and noble tradition. We all know about Youtube or Ford, but did you know that the guy who invented TV was also an amateur? (thank you, for making Firefly possible.)
Lately, amateur science has been making strides all over the place thanks to better micro-chips, modular components, and huge advances in miniaturization and nanotech. Today’s amateurs (or “independent inventors,” as they are sometimes called) have a lot more to work with than their sprocket-wielding ancestors, and it shows. Here are a few of the most recent, and coolest creations.
- The Uno Electric Unicycle
This hip-looking uni-wheeled electric bike was built, designed, and conceived by 18-year-old Ben Gulak. Sick of smog, he decided to create something that could be a viable alternative to driving, something like the Segway, only… way cooler. He came up with a cross between an electric bike and a motorcycle, with two wheels side-by-side. The bike is stabilized by gyros; to speed up, you lean forward. He designed it for commuters, and you can ride it for between 2 and 2.5 hours before it needs a recharge. He built it with the help of his grandfather, who is also a tinkerer and worked as an engineer, so he had all the necessary equipment on hand. The secret? The Uno is powered by electric wheelchair motors.
- The Flying Car
Although I’m still waiting for something that looks like Luke’s landspeeder before I’ll believe that the future has truly arrived, this will have to do in the meantime. Its inventor, MIT student Carl Deitrich, calls his creation a “Personal Air Vehicle.” It’s a hybrid airplane-car, built to make short trips between 100 – 500 miles using the hundreds of small public airports and runways that dot the country.It’s about the size of an SUV, but unlike an SUV this baby only seats two, plus luggage. It uses gyroscopic control in the air, and once you land at the airport you don’t need to “de-plane” and wait with a hundred other people to snatch you luggage from the conveyor belt – instead, you just flip the “Personal Air Vehicle” into “Personal Ground Vehicle” (car) mode, fold the wings into the body, and hit the highway.The construction of the plane includes all the standard vehicle safety stuff – seatbelts, crumple-zones, etc, but under the hood there’s definitely something special. It uses an ultra-efficient rocket engine that doesn’t require a turbo-pump to deliver the fuel, so it’s both cheaper, and lighter, than any other engine of its kind, which is what makes the whole thing possible. And while Deitrich admits that the idea for a flying car is nothing new, he’s the first guy to actually have one in his garage.
- The Wall Scaling Batman Style Belt
This utility belt is just like Batman’s, but real. It can lift 250lbs (ie: Batman plus his suit) 50 feet in 5 seconds. It’s supposed to be used for good – towing things, getting soldiers into hard-to-reach places, helping firefighters get up buildings (last year, another guy created a device that will help them get down again), etc. But we know better: it’s just completely cool to be able to scale buildings. There are several models being created now that get you up further, faster, or carry more weight, but the idea is the same.
- The Wearable Computer
Debuting at TED this year was an invention by another MIT student, Pranav Mistry, whose speciality is human-machine interface. His “SixthSense” computer system is wearable, and it’s hard to describe, except to say that it is completely awesome and kind of crazy.It uses a real-time gestural interface – a camera around your neck and watches your hands, and a projector beside it allows you to project data onto walls, or onto your hand, or onto anything else, and interact with it as if it were real – using a projected calculator, checking a projected wristwatch, or rearranging projected photos.Some of the most wow-inducing examples presented at TED include a Wall Street Journal that, when pointed at, turns interactive, playing its lead story as a video, projected right onto the paper. You can play, pause, and enlarge the video by pressing the projected buttons underneath it. The set up is basically a laptop, camera, and projector, and the whole thing is internet-enabled, so you can look up product specs and compare prices right in a store, for instance, by pointing at an item and making a certain motion. It’s a hardware mash-up of found technologies from everywhere, but Mistry has put them together into a completely mind-bending package.
- The Invisibility Cloak
This cloak invariably invokes comparisons to Harry Potter, but it’s not quite that good – yet. Japanese prof Susumu Tachi and his grad students created what they call a “retro-reflective projection system,” which basically means that what’s on one side gets projected onto the other. The jacket is made up of special reflective beads, which function like cats-eyes, reflecting almost all the light back to the source with a minimum of scattering (the effect they harness is the same one desponsible for “red-eye” in photos). When the rearward image is projected onto the front-facing beads, their shape and highly-focussed nature makes the picture look three dimensional… more or less. Each bead acts like a giant pixel. Watch the video to see it in action.