While Paul is loath to reveal his age, he will admit to cutting his IT teeth on a TRS-80 (although he won't say which version). An obsessive fascination with computer technology blossomed from hobby into career before the desire for sunnier climes saw him wave a fond farewell to his native Blighty in favor of Bordeaux, France. He's now a dedicated newshound pursuing the latest bleeding edge tech for Gizmag.
A project to create an always-on connected computer that interacts with its user by voice first kicked off in August 2012
. Following its successful crowdfunding bid, the still in prototype Ubi went up for pre-order
2 months later, but it wasn't until earlier this year that the first beta units were ready for early bird testers and developers. Gizmag managed to get on the beta program
and found the hardware pretty much ready for prime time, but the user experience still needing some attention. Ubi's creators have been busying themselves ever since and have now announced that consumer-ready computers are available to buy.
A group of French hardware and software engineers who tired of having to spend precious time building streaming music playlists have created a new system that aims to serve up the perfect tune every time. Not only does Prizm learn to play music based on the individual tastes of whichever listener is in the room, but it can even decide which type of music is appropriate for what's going on in the room. The device can be used as a standalone connected music feeder or alongside a companion app.
Back in August, a company best known for its studio vocal and instrument microphones and USB mics for mobile devices announced its first foray into the headphones market with the launch of Mo-Fi
. Blue's big and beautiful over-ear headphones promised mobile music lovers a high fidelity listening experience regardless of the source music device. I managed to snag a quick listen
at a busy IFA 2014 in Berlin last month and came away wanting more. My ears have now spent more hours than I care to admit surrounded by soft Mo-Fi foam cushions and I find myself reluctant to remove these rather impressive retro beasts.
For the last few years, guitarist Andy Alt has been chipping away at a new kind of electric guitar pickup that allows a player to add a separate low end signal to the two lowest strings. A Little Thunder has been designed as a humbucker replacement and is reported to take only 5 minutes to install, without harming your precious guitar in the process. At the press of a button, git-fiddlers can bring a touch of funky bottom to a solo picking performance, making it a good fit for dark metal gods with hands too small for a 7 or 8 string shred machine or sonic scientists on the lookout for a new six-string laboratory for wacky riff-offs with the band's bass player.
Following in the footsteps of Hiroshi Ishiguro's eerily lifelike creations
, Toshiba introduced its very own take on the human-looking droid at Japan's CEATEC electronics trade show this week. The communication android has been built to communicate in Japanese sign language, requiring fluid and precise movement of its arms and hands.
If you're looking to tap into the versatility and portability of a full featured electronic drum set, you can probably expect to be left with a sizable hole in your savings. California-based e-drum maker Simmons has released a new 5-piece kit that could put the smile back on your bank manager's face. For under half the list price of Yamaha's TD-4KP V-Drums Portable
, the SD500's rugged steel frame offers a snare, three toms, a kick drum, two cymbals, hi-hat and pedal and a brand new trigger module with hundreds of available drum sounds.
Just over three years ago, a UK company looking to harvest the kinetic energy of pedestrians received its very installation order
. Since then we've seen Pavegen's tiles turn to the crowd
for school installs and being laid at the Paris Marathon
. Now the firm has partnered with Shell for its biggest undertaken so far – to give a run-down community soccer field in a Rio de Janeiro favela an off-grid power supply which benefits the whole community.
Almost every day, it seems, breakfast is accompanied by the debut of a next generation smartphone that makes our perfectly capable current models look positively antiquated. Whether you patiently wait for the end of your contract before upgrading or contact your provider straight away, you're existing pocket pal will likely be retired to a powered off eternity in an infrequently opened drawer somewhere. The folks over at Mindhelix want to give that old phone a new lease of life in the Rico home security and monitoring system.
A few years back, mathematician and musician Jules Hotrique combined two passions to develop a new arrangement of musical notes called the dualo principle. After creating a number of keyboard instrument prototypes based on this patented geometric model, he joined forces with his computer engineer and musician friend Bruno Verbrugghe to form the Dualo Company in 2011. Last year, the startup sold 40 pre-production twin keyboard prototypes, and now the first market-ready du-touch controller (for computer-based or MIDI instruments), synthesizer, multitrack looper/sequencer and follow me song learning devices have started shipping.
Earlier this year, IK Multimedia shared its product roadmap for 2014
with Gizmag, which included a brief overview of a 16 pad groove controller called the iRig Pads. We got a quick look at the portable digital beat maker and MIDI controller for the electronic musician on the move at IFA 2014
, but the company wasn't quite ready to release final specs. IK Multimedia has today announced that the device is now available for shipping.