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.
Like many folks, when I was a youngster I used to wear lots of button badges to proudly show what bands I liked. Imagine how cool it would be to allow friends to plug a set of earphones into your badge and let them listen to your favorite bands too. That's exactly what the Playbutton MP3 player will allow you to do. Each device will carry one album's worth of music, have controls on the back to play and skip tracks and adjust EQ, and contain a Li-ion battery for up to five hours of continuous playback.
While computer systems are now very capable of recognizing vocal input, they offer minimal interactive feedback. A team of Cambridge University researchers have now developed a system that can not only detect a user's emotional state, but can also make expressive responses of its own. Using a robotic likeness of the godfather of the programmable computer, Charles Babbage
, the team has hooked the system up to a driving simulator and created a computerized driving companion and navigator that reacts to the driver in much the same way as a human passenger.
San Diego's Grace Digital Audio has announced that it will be introducing three new Internet radios at CES 2011
in Las Vegas, all sporting color screens. If the 50,000 or so local, national and international stations are not enough to satisfy, the new batch will also gain two new services to complement existing offerings from the likes of Pandora, CBS Radio, Live365.com and NPR. They also represent the first color Internet radios with 802.11n connectivity.
There are several options out there when it comes to taking a portable music player in the pool or to the beach. You could opt for a waterproofed iPod
or a dedicated player like Speedo's Aquabeat
, but if you really want to downsize then Fitness Technologies diminutive UWaterG2 might be worth a look – it's billed as the smallest fully waterproof MP3 player around.
Probably the most famous example of a twin neck guitar is the Siamese SG used by the likes of Jimmy Page and Don Felder – the Gibson EDS-1275. With its new Doubleneck guitar, Veillette Guitars has managed to narrow the gap between the two necks in a lightweight package to offer a more comfortable experience for the player. Angular bridges also mean that the guitarist can pick hard or strum wildly on the upper 12-string section without fear of accidentally encroaching on the 6-string's domain.
If you want to wake up gently to a sunrise, there are a couple of things you can do. You can invest in one of the many digital alarm clocks that start a simulated sunrise (like PURE's Twilight
or Philip's Wake-up Light
) or you can leave your curtains open and wait for the sun to shine through them. Taylor Franklin Hide believes that he might have a third option in the form of the LUMI – a high-tech sleeping mask with faux sunrise technology built-in.
Schiit Audio is set to release a new headphone amplifier which pumps out ten times the power of a typical model. The Lyr has been principally developed to drive high power orthodynamic headphones coveted by audiophiles for their excellent soundstage, and which require more juice than a personal media player's amp can provide. The power amp also features an adaptive output technology that dynamically adjusts depending on the headphone load.
Loud snoring is not just a tiring irritation for partners but can also be a sign of sleep apnea. The National Institutes of Health reports that more than 12 million Americans suffer from the most common of the three varieties - obstructive sleep apnea, where the upper airway is repeatedly blocked during sleep. There are a number of treatment options already available and Minneapolis-based Inspire Medical Systems is about to add a shocking new addition to the treatment options on offer. The new system - which is about to enter clinical trials - electrically stimulates the nerve at the base of the tongue to keep it from blocking the air's journey to and from the lungs, and so offers the patient a good night's sleep.
The three world records that QinetiQ applied for after its Zephyr
High-Altitude Long-Endurance Unmanned Aerial Vehicle completed a successful 14-day flight in July 2010, have been confirmed. The aircraft has now officially been ratified as staying in the air longer and achieving the highest altitude of any surveillance craft in its class, and setting the absolute duration record of 14 days and 21 minutes.
Some view the development of swimsuits that help athletes to go faster as a natural evolution of the sport, but others believe that training and technique should be the deciding factor that separates winners from losers. After seeing numerous world records get smashed by suited up swimmers, the sport's governing body decided to side with the latter camp and put the brakes on the high tech sportswear. The Corsuit however, is not designed to be worn during competition, and its inventor believes it could help swimmers to achieve natural speed advantages without breaking any rules.