It’s not all glitz and glamor at the Frankfurt Motor Show
this year and rather sensibly many manufacturers are focusing on practicality and economy
as well as style and finesse
. Ford is traditionally a safe bet when it comes to family-oriented motors and has introduced a new two-model C-MAX compact MAV (Multi-activity vehicle) range, which made its global debut at the show.
Those outside of the UK may not be overly familiar with the BBC iPlayer
, a streaming web-based TV service for the British institution’s range of channels that has seen burgeoning success and spawned a number of terrestrial and satellite-based rivals. It’s also worth summarising the aim of Project Canvas
, a venture by the broadcasting giant that looks to bring a similar streaming
service to the home and will notably look to incorporate other channels, on-demand services and web-based content from sites such as YouTube, Flickr and Facebook, as well as built-in PVR functionality though a set-top box connected to a TV.
The PMP market has received a bit of a boost recently and, following our early glimpse of i-Station’s T4 HD
, a rather unlikely contender in Viewsonic is looking to take a slice of a market that is traditionally dominated by rivals such as Archos
Volkswagen has recently announced a rather ambitious project that, for a change, has nothing to do with cars. Teaming up with regenerative-power company Lichtblick, it aims to install 100,000 co-generation power units in Germany as part of a concept called ‘SchwarmStrom’ which, literally translated, means ‘swarm power’. Successful application would allow Germany to abandon the use of nuclear and coal power stations and provide adequate backup to renewable energy
sources, reducing carbon dioxide emissions by up to 60%.
Despite having limited success in other countries, Japan enjoys nothing more than coming up with progressively weird and wacky designs for robots
, and it doesn’t seem to matter whether they have any real practical application.The latest entry into this category is the Polaris mobile phone robot, a spherical, mobile device designed to house a handset that, when not docked, will be busy recording data based on a user’s day-to-day activity.
Despite being around since the mid-nineties, eBooks
have never really taken off and this is mainly down to the fact that eBook readers, which have been available for about a decade, have proven prohibitively expensive and barely more convenient than lugging around a couple paperbacks. Sony
have seen relative success in recent times, along with the Amazon Kindle
, but a new competitor in the form of Asus
could be set to breathe new life into the market.
Ever since Electrolux introduced the couch-potato to the Tribolite
, vacuum cleaner manufacturers have been coming up with progressively smarter, more efficient ways to automate this common chore. iRobot has been busy refining the Roomba
and Dyson came up with something that looks more at home on the battlefield in the DC06
, but this time it’s LG’s chance to get involved and the new Roboking promises intelligent cleaning using a range of advanced sensors.
Supercars are 20 to the dozen these days and it takes something pretty special to elicit that all-important ‘wow’ factor from a modern production car. McLaren
is one manufacturer who is most certainly capable of such feats of design and engineering, and while it’s debatable as to whether the original F1 will ever be usurped in terms of pure aggression and innovation, subsequent models
suggest that it hasn’t lost its edge when it comes to jaw-dropping new designs. This claim is underlined with the release of the new MP4-12C, a car that most should agree from an aesthetics standpoint hits the ‘goldilocks zone
’ between the sublime and the ridiculous.
Those who subscribe to the theory that we’re part of the ‘YouTube
generation’ will be more than aware of how important it is for budding directors/rubber-neckers to have a video camera on them at all times, and if your mobile phone isn’t up to the task there are a range of portable offerings available that are designed for just such a purpose. Perhaps the most famous of these is Pure Digital’s Flip
, which got rave reviews
on release and is many a teenager’s tool of choice when it comes to capturing those unforgettable moments. Now it has a serious rival from Sony.
Older Gizmag readers may remember the Etch A Sketch
, a child’s doodling utensil that used aluminium powder and a glass screen to draw horizontal and vertical lines and the Magna Doodle
, a similar product that used a magnetic drawing board. A cheap and cheerful version of the latter, often called the ‘magic slate’, consisted of a pad and stylus that allowed scribbles to be erased by lifting off and replacing a film of plastic. This concept has now been rather cleverly turned into a Mouse Pad called the Scratch-n-Scroll.