Jonathan grew up in Norway, China, and Trinidad before graduating film school and becoming an online writer covering green technology, history and design, as well as contributing to video game news sites like Filefront and 1Up. He currently resides in Texas, where his passions include video games, comics, and boring people who don't want to talk about either of those things.
At CES in January, Microsoft Research teased its IllumiRoom
concept, which involves projecting an image around a TV screen to enhance video games with additional visuals. Unfortunately, the company didn't offer much info beyond a short video that briefly showed it in action. But the team behind the project recently showed up at the CHI 2013 conference in Paris with some more in-depth details about how Illumiroom will not only expand the game screen, but completely alter the appearance of your living room.
For years now, scientists across the globe have strived to find a method that gives robots an accurate sense of touch
, and with good reason. A robot with an improved ability to feel would be better equipped to identify objects, judge its movements with greater care, and perform more tasks overall. In the latest step towards that goal, researchers at Georgia Tech have crafted a new type of touch-reactive material that's sensitive enough to read fingerprints and could provide robots with a sense of touch that resembles our own.
Henning Larsen Architects recently announced that it is preparing to construct a new campus near Copenhagen to house Microsoft's Danish headquarters. Rather than being exclusive to Microsoft employees though, the new buildings will feature offices side-by-side with student housing and retail shops.
When Coca-Cola found itself with an unused helipad on top of its building in Mexico City, the simplest thing to do would have been to strip everything down, leaving a bare rooftop. But that would have been a waste of usable real estate, not to mention just plain dull. Instead, the company enlisted the help of design teams at Rojkind Arquitectos and AGENT to convert the area into a sustainable rooftop garden and customizable office space.
Solar power may provide a clean, abundant source of energy, but we know the sun's rays are capable of much, much more. Aside from generating electricity, we've seen solar energy harnessed to produce drinkable water
as well, so why not combine the two processes into one system? That's what IBM and its collaborators are hoping to do with an affordable High Concentration PhotoVoltaic Thermal (HCPVT) system that uses cooling technology from supercomputers to harvest solar energy more efficiently and produce purified water at the same time.
If you've ever perused the rubber stamp section of a crafts store, then you know how pricey it would be to purchase just a handful of stamps, which could only print a limited number of images. That's why some intrepid designers at Quirky developed the Pixit, a reusable rubber stamp kit that allows you to create your own design and then change it to a completely different one whenever you want.
Over the years, we've seen a number of worthy attempts at turning our clothes into electronic instruments, from drum kits built into shirts
to a motion-activated MIDI controller concealed in a jacket
. The latest addition to the wearable instrument ensemble is "Drop The Beat" from industrial design student Wesley Chau, a vest outfitted with pads for a drum kit that musicians can rearrange and reprogram to their liking.
3D printers have been a hit with consumers for several years now, but designing anything for them still requires some basic knowledge of 3D modeling software. Otherwise, you're stuck just building whatever designs you can find online. With Doodle3D, you can draw simple 2D sketches on a computer, tablet, or smartphone, and then send them to a 3D printer to turn them into physical objects.
Sending messages in bottles has been around since at least the Ancient Greeks, but it's doubtful that anyone back then sent out a bottle quite like this. As part of a promotional campaign, Solo, a soft drink company based in Norway, recently built an 8-meter (26-foot) tall replica soda bottle outfitted with solar panels, a camera, and tracking technology and set it adrift in the ocean.
When it comes to eReaders, Amazon's Kindle
and Barnes and Noble's Nook
tend to get the most attention, but Kobo has put out a fair share of impressive e-book readers
as well. The company recently revealed its latest device, the Aura HD, which features a 1440 x 1080 resolution on a 265 dpi screen, making it the highest resolution eReader available.