One of the corollaries of increased urban density is nerve-shredding traffic congestion and billowing pollution. So anything that addresses these problems receives our applause – like the compact, battery-powered CarGo goods van that is designed to negotiate the urban jungle, making frequent deliveries without fuss or fouling the air.
A day after Microsoft took the wraps on its Project Natal motion control system at the E3 expo in Las Vegas, Sony Computer Entertainment has followed suit, showing off its own motion controller prototype for the PlayStation 3. And while the announcements have been popularly characterized as something of a “controller wars”, they're really a signpost pointing the way gaming has been heading since Nintendo stole the show with its Wii motion-sensing game console in 2006 – the need to capture the hearts and minds of the growing gaming audience, especially the moms, dads and similar less hardcore gamers.
“I love the sound of the violin,” explains Carlos Mendez. “Since I was a kid, I wanted to learn how to play it. But born in a poor country such as Nicaragua, my parents couldn't afford lessons.” It was this childhood affection for the stringed instrument that encouraged the young industrial designer to use part of his final project at the Art Center College of Design in Pasedena, California, where he graduated with honors in product design, to come up with an affordable way of learning the violin. So was born the concept of the “squidolin”.
Recently we reported on Japanese cellular provider KDDI releasing a Sharp waterproof, solar-powered cell phone
, which we believe has been renamed the SH002. Growing interest in both photovoltaic power as a clean and green source of energy and solar-powered devices has galvanized Sharp to release globally its new LR0GC02 solar module for mobile devices – which it claims is the industry's thinnest.
Mobile operator Orange and renewable energy specialists GotWind
know they’ve hit on a good, marketable idea. The companies have joined forces for a third consecutive year to showcase their outdoor charging solution at next month's Glastonbury Festival, the United Kingdom’s largest and hippest open-air music bash. This year Orange has unveiled a mobile phone charger prototype it’s calling the Orange Power Pump. By treading on what is essentially a standard camping air foot-pump, the kinetic energy created drives a small turbine inside the Power Pump. The energy is converted into electrical current, which recharges the mobile phone. The idea is not only simple, it cleverly encourages you to dance and charge your mobile at the same time.
Smaller car = less weight = less energy to get from A to B. It's a simple equation that's well understood by those looking to design the car of tomorrow
. Among them is industrial designer Alan Kravchenko, who caught our eye with this clean-lined concept for a compact urban commuter dubbed the Peugeot Clear.
Rebooting your PC after updating software is one of the more tedious aspects of working on computers. New award-winning software, called Ksplice, however, addresses this by enabling important updates, like security patches, without the need to restart – at this stage – Linux-based computers.
When in science fiction films android robots show anything other than blind obedience – or something akin to feelings – it tends to spell trouble for the human race. I, Robot
and Blade Runner
come to mind. So here we are, not even properly ensconced in the age of humanoid robots yet, and already researchers at Japan’s Waseda University and Kyushu robotics manufacturer Tmsuk
have conspired to create a robot, named KOBIAN, that can express a range of emotions. Uh-oh.
Sharp Corporation is releasing a new notebook PC with an innovative optical sensor built into an LCD touch pad – which the company claims is a world first – at the end of the month. While Sharp’s Mebius PC-NJ70A netbook
will only be released initially in Japan, the 4-inch track pad, which recognizes input by pen or touch, clearly signals the direction notebooks are headed. According to Sharp, a pen can be used to input drawings and text, while finger gestures on the LCD pad can enlarge, shrink or rotate items on the notebook screen – all in addition to the conventional ways a mouse is used. Users can sign their name to a photo before emailing it, for instance; or they can use two fingers to zoom in and out of internet websites to adjust them for the best view.
The 62nd Cannes Film Festival
opens today in 3D, with a preview of Up
, the new animation from Pixar/Disney. The 3D camera being used for the screening is the Christie CP2000-SB projector
with built-in Brilliant3D innovative technology. Christie is a technical partner to the festival through its partner, digital cinema service company XDC.