Most sane people would agree that cardiovascular exercise is a pretty boring way to get fit and, unless you’re working out with a friend, a little extra visual stimulation would rarely go amiss. The Nintendo Wii has already had a decent crack at bringing a bit of fun to boring routines with the Wii Fit
and EA Sports Active, and seems to have picked up one of the minigames from the latter as the subject of its latest peripheral revolution.
Despite the music industry being relatively slow to catch on to the fact that accessing music online is clearly the way forwards, the phasing out of DRM
and appearance of innovative new services
that offer consumers more choice, convenience and easy access to tunes, suggests that things are finally falling into place. One area that is often omitted when discussing the pros and cons of online is the environment, and it stands to reason that there would be a noticeable impact when you remove the cost of both printing CDs and delivering them to the consumer.
Though most multimedia phones tend to have external speakers for, albeit meagerly, pumping out tunes for other people’s benefit, they tend to be less common on MP3 players as companies prioritize slim and pocket-friendly designs. The most notable "hybrid" to take a chance in this market is Samsung’s K5
, which offers a clever slide-out design to keep things relatively compact while allowing for the widest possible stereo image. This approach has now been aped by Korean company Green Power
as a solution for the iPod.
Recent developments in the military sector have demonstrated an increasing importance in protecting troops in the field, whether this be by automating vehicles
or enhancing armor-based protection
and maneuverability. BAE Systems
has decided against picking a specific area to test with its M1151 Survivability concept but, instead, has lumped a range of technologies into a single vehicle, and is currently unveiling the fruits of its research at the AUSA (Association of the United States Armys) annual exposition in Washington.
It should come as no surprise to hear that texting while driving
is a particularly dangerous thing to do. Recent studies have shown that drivers are 23 times more likely to get into an accident if they are texting and an astonishing 46% of teens have admitted occurrences of driving while distracted as a result of fiddling with phones.
A new product called TXTBlocker
addresses these issues directly by disabling a number of phone functions, with the specific impact decided by a choice of settings available from an account page online once you subscribe.
It seems clear that our ability to more efficiently harness forms of renewable energy is vital to the future of our planet, but aside from the archetypal 'hamster in a wheel', few models have effectively relied on energy generated from living creatures. The River Gym is one of the more innovative concepts to break water in recent times and looks to cash in on our desire to exercise to stay fit and healthy by capturing the energy we expend when burning calories.
Danish firm Phase One, a leading digital imaging technology company, has unveiled the most recent result of its partnership with Japanese camera manufacturer Mamiya
, boasting that its medium format 645DF can claim a number of unique benefits.
The fight for more environmentally-friendly ways of living continues and this time household appliances are getting a boost from innovative French manufacturer De Dietrich, which has come up with an efficient new way to clean the dishes - less power, recycled water and detergent-free.
Though it may not make it into everyone’s ‘top ten’ list of most desirable technological developments, replacing the spaghetti-junction of wires that typically gathers behind a desk or workspace would undoubtedly be a welcome advance. Wireless peripherals are helping the situation somewhat and wireless power
will be a massive boon once perfected but, in the meantime, we’re looking to technologies like optical cables
to handle high-volume data transfer. Intel’s recent research in this area should be of particular interest, since it’s designed to replace or augment connections used in consumer-based electronics, such as USB2.0, HDMI, Firewire, DVI and the like.
Finding inspiration from nature in order to refine and advance modern technologies is nothing new; Mercedes’ bionic car
was an interesting example and we’ve also seen a new ‘smart fabric’ based on the design of pine cones
. Perhaps one of the most inspiring species, certainly in the plant world, is the lotus, which has already contributed to the development of fog-free windscreens
and other surfaces along with improving the efficiency of solar cells
. Now NASA is looking to the Lotus Leaf to develop a non-stick surface for use on spaceflight equipment.