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Paul Ridden

Mobile Technology

Hercules announces new eCAFÉ netbook with 13 hour battery life

The Guillemot Corporation brand Hercules has announced a couple of new 10-inch eCAFÉ netbooks – one less than an inch thick and the other promising at least 13 hours of "real use" battery life. Both feature a low-power processor, run a custom operating system and benefit from solid state storage. They also sport a display which folds into the body, and all physical connectivity options are placed at the sides.Read More

Music

Photon Fuzz guitar pedal uses infrared light to control distortion

Like it or loathe it, fuzz distortion effects units have been an integral part of rock music ever since a Maestro FZ-1 Fuzz-Tone made a guest appearance on Satisfaction by the Rolling Stones. Early fuzz boxes had rather limited scope for shaping tone, but that's something the new Photon Fuzz from Fea Labs certainly doesn't appear to suffer from. The unit gets its name from an active component in the circuit which uses infrared light to control the fuzz distortion element, and features its own octave stage, high, mid and low band EQ controls and internal DIP switch tone tweaking possibilities.Read More

Electronics

World's biggest touchscreen display unveiled at CeBIT

For the last eight years, German presentations specialist Stereolize has been helping Microsoft do its thing at CeBIT, and every year the company tries to top the previous year's efforts. For this year's trade show, the company went super-size – creating 234-inches of diagonal, interactive touchscreen loveliness that towered above the Microsoft presenters and left onlookers having to pick their jaws up off the floor. Read on, to see a short video showing the huge display in action ... Read More

Environment

T-box concept to capture wind energy from trains

As anyone living near railway tracks will tell you, speeding trains generate quite a bit of wind as they whoosh past. Industrial designers Qian Jiang and Alessandro Leonetti Luparini have come up with a device that's installed between the sleepers on a track, and as the train passes overhead, the wind drives a turbine to generate electricity. The T-box devices could be placed along railway or subway lines, and make good use of an otherwise wasted resource.Read More

Mobile Technology

Amazon launches Cloud Drive and Cloud Player

Amazon has announced the U.S. launch of new cloud storage and media playback services that allow users to securely store and access files and music from any web-connected PC or Mac, or Android phone or tablet. Amazon customers start with 5GB of free Cloud Drive storage, with the added sweetener of an additional 20GB of space for music files upon the purchase of an MP3 album from the online store. Stored music can be played from a computer's web browser – whether you're at work, at home or visiting friends or family. More online storage is available via purchase plans.Read More

Environment

Fruit fibers used to create 'green' plastic for cars

A research team from Brazil has developed a new form of plant fiber-based plastic that is claimed to be stronger, lighter, and more eco-friendly than plastics currently in use. Team leader Alcides Leão says that some of the so-called nano-cellulose fibers can be almost as stiff as Kevlar, but that the plastic differs from many in widespread use because the source material – such as pineapple and banana – is completely renewable. The researchers say that current production efforts are centered around the manufacture of automotive plastics, but future development could see steel and aluminum being replaced.Read More

Environment

Wysips technology can turn any surface into a PV power plant

Mobile phones sporting photovoltaic panels are nothing new but thanks to some lens wizardry, a French company recently showed off a prototype phone where the touchscreen display itself housed the solar-soaking cells. Similar to the lenticular optics which sends slightly different images to each eye for glasses-free 3D viewing, Wysips technology allows light to pass through a semi-cylindrical lens onto thin strips of photovoltaic cells below, while also allowing the surface underneath to show through. The developers say that many surfaces could potentially become self-sufficient power producers.Read More

Health & Wellbeing

PreVue would offer parents a live 4D baby watch window during pregnancy

Checking the health of a baby inside the womb using ultrasound has been going on for a good many years and can be a useful tool for detecting problems early. A new concept from industrial designer Melody Shiue proposes using the technology to enhance the bond between parents and the growing fetus. PreVue would take advantage of developments in e-textile research and advances in ultrasound technology to offer mother and father a live window into the various stages of their little treasure's development.Read More

Music

Groove on the move with the wireless Hyper Touch Guitar concept

There are now hundreds of dedicated music apps available for the iPhone and iPad, but these digital devices are not musical instruments in the traditional sense. Over a year ago, designer Massimo Battaglia set about bringing the electric guitar and the multi-touch interface even closer. His Hyper Touch Guitar concept is the result. It features a capacitive touchscreen neck with 24 fret positions, and either a small touchscreen pick zone or a version where the multi-touch interface continues down into the body from the neck. The guitar will also feature wireless technology that will communicate with equipment such as amplifiers and computer systems, and allow the player full freedom of movement.Read More

Electronics

Ideum unveils new museum-ready, 55-inch multitouch table

As its name suggests, the new MT55 HD Multitouch Table from Ideum features a 55-inch high definition LCD display which can support multiple simultaneous touch points. Standing at 31 inches tall, the powder coated, aluminum and steel pedestal table has a powerful quad-core processor and NVIDIA graphics running the show, supported by dual hard drives and DDR3 memory. A useful feature for the museum and tradeshow settings that the table is likely to find itself in, is the ability to lock the power switch out of harm's way and keep the ports hidden from view.Read More

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