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Paul Ridden

Laptops

Tobii demonstrates eye-controlled laptop at CeBIT

Eye-tracking and control technology manufacturer Tobii Technology has teamed up with Lenovo to produce a prototype notebook which the user can control with the blink of an eye. The integrated eye control technology allows the eyes to point at, select and scroll icons or objects on the screen, or can be used in conjunction with more familiar input methods to enhance the user experience or increase productivity. The company is currently demonstrating one of the 20 fully functional conceptual prototypes at CeBIT 2011, along with other eye-tracking examples from its portfolio. Read More

Urban Transport

Getting on the right track with the OU Choose Your Way concept

Like many other regions of the world, Brazil has a transport congestion problem. Once seen as a city issue, traffic jams have spread to smaller and smaller towns. The designers of the OU concept propose a possible solution where existing roadways have rails installed and drivers of specially kitted-out vehicles can join road trains to flow through otherwise congested areas at a constant pace. The electric OU vehicle's wheels would operate in either an open configuration – for normal driving – or closed, for rail travel.Read More

Mobile Technology

Faster, thinner, lighter iPad2 gets cameras and March 11 shipping date

Given his recent health-related leave of absence, it was refreshing to see that Steve Jobs took the stage at today's Apple event to announce the forthcoming arrival of the iPad 2. It's lighter and thinner than the original, but packs in more features and more processing power. New additions include rear and front-facing cameras, an iOS update, smart covers, and a built-in gyroscope. Sadly, the only advancement on the connectivity front was the addition of HDMI via an optional adapter, and the carbon-fiber housing rumor looks to have been just that, a rumor.Read More

Children

Cubelets help make robotics a snap

Do you remember those colored building blocks you would use to learn words and numbers, or just construct mighty castles to keep your enemies outside? Well, they've now received a 21st Century update in the form of the Cubelets system. Currently made up of 20 colored blocks that snap together with the help of magnets, each one has a little computer inside which gives it different functionality to the others. One might be a sensor, another have wheels and another sport a potentiometer. The fun starts when you put them together. The behavior of the resulting robot depends on how the blocks talk to each other. Sweet. Read More

Games

ROCCAT introduces Isku illuminated gaming keyboard at CeBIT

CeBIT 2011 is near enough home turf for Hamburg's gaming specialist ROCCAT, so it's no surprise that the company has a new product to show off. As the name suggests, the Isku Illuminated Gaming Keyboard features 123 medium height, back-illuminated keys for ease of use in low lighting (or in the dark) gaming. The keyboard also offers new gaming possibilities with some wizardry that allows it to communicate with a mouse and technology that can double up certain keys for even more functionality.Read More
Good Thinking

Yill is one wheely useful mobile office energy storage unit

Although HP and others are breaking new ground in notebook battery life, there are times when you might find yourself away from the grid for a bit longer than your laptop battery can last. A mobile energy storage unit like Yill, from Germany's Younicos, is said to be capable of autonomously meeting the power needs of a computer workstation for between two and three days on a single charge of its own quick-charge batteries. Deployment of the drum-like power houses throughout an office could even help save energy bills.Read More

Automotive

Making waves with the Manta amphibious three-wheeler concept

Although I live by a river, I don't own a boat so am not faced with having to drag a trailer down to the water's edge and unload my dinghy every time I want to cross the great expanse. I might just be persuaded to spend more time on the water, though, if there was something like the Manta waiting outside my front door. The sporty-looking three-wheeler concept is designed to be run on twin electric motors, with the rear wheels taking care of propulsion on water as well as on the road. The design is amongst the entries chosen by this year's Michelin Challenge Design judges for display at the recent North American International Auto Show.Read More

Computers

Fujitsu shows off wireless PC display at CeBIT

Many of us can now wirelessly stream images from a computer to a screen over Bluetooth or Wi-Fi without too much trouble, but the display is still inevitably powered by cables. At CeBIT 2011, Fujitsu is showing off a working prototype of a 22-inch computer display that receives both images and power wirelessly. The power transfer is made possible by magnetic induction technology – similar to Powermat chargers – that's concentrated into hotspots built into office furniture or conference tables.Read More

Environment

UBC green energy project gets government cash injection

A first-of-its-kind biomass-fueled, heat and power generation system has been developed by a partnership between Nexterra Systems and General Electric, and is heading to the campus of the University of British Columbia (UBC) next year. The Bioenergy Research and Demonstration Project will meet around six percent of the total annual demand for electricity and up to 25 percent of the university's campus requirements for steam. UBC has just announced that the project has secured a substantial federal and provincial cash injection. Read More

Home Entertainment

Prodigy jack-of-all-trades media streamer announced

As digital media streamers go, the Prodigy from Xtreamer appears to be something of a jack-of-all-trades. The budget-friendly box can store its own content in a wide variety of formats, connect to external drives or wirelessly hook up with a computer. It has a dedicated internet browser specially tweaked for TV, can play Flash media and will work with Apple's AirPlay technology. There's USB 3.0 and HDMI wired connectivity, and audiophiles will appreciate the lossless audio options, while movie buffs get treated to full 1080p high definition playback ... but it's the new Flash GUI that's said to be the real vote winner.Read More

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