Highlights from the 2014 LA Auto Show

Rick Martin

Mommy Tummy is a pregnancy simulation suit, on display at Tokyo Make Meeting

One of the more popular exhibits at Tokyo Make Meeting this past weekend was Mommy Tummy, a pregnancy experience simulation system developed by Kosaka Laboratory of Kanazawa Technical College. It allows men (and others who have never carried a child) to not just feel what it's like to be pregnant, but to also gradually experience the changes. The Mommy Tummy suit is pumped full of water, and the onscreen display updates you as to how far along your pregnancy has progressed. The man's breasts will get bigger as well – did I just write that? – via a pair of inflatable balloons on the front.  Read More

Ryo Yamamoto has repurposed Wii's Balance Board, to create a Diet Chair

Here's a very clever hack of a Wii Balance Board from engineer Ryo Yamamoto that was on display at Tokyo Make Meeting 06 this past weekend. Mr. Yamamoto's "Diet Chair" is essentially just a regular chair, but with a Wii Balance Board sitting underneath the seat. What's smart about this is that it allows the chair to send feedback to the computer where the user's weight can be monitored over time.  Read More

Elecom's new headphones built to hold iPod Shuffle

Here's a clever set of headphones from Japanese manufacturer Elecom that are specifically built to hold the latest iPod Shuffle. The company has created a very simple neckstrap/headphone unit that slips over your ears, and then your iPod shuffle docks right into the ear-piece. The obvious benefit here being that there is no longer any long headphone cord to get in your way.  Read More

Vladimir Kramnik squaring off against the Chess Terminator

For almost as long as we've had computers, humans have been trying to make ones that play chess. The most famous chess-playing computer of course is IBM's Deep Blue, which in 1997 defeated the then World Champion Garry Kasparov. But as powerful as Deep Blue was, it didn't actually move the chess pieces on its own. Perhaps that's a trivial task in comparison to beating the best chess player of all-time, but still I was pleased to discover this recent video of a chess robot that more closely fits the true definition of a chess automaton.  Read More

HP's new Mini 5103 netbook

Differentiating between the model numbers that make up the HP Mini lineup can be tricky, perhaps even more so with the competing Inspiron Mini series from Dell out there. The new HP 5103, however, does have a lot under the lid to make it stand out.  Read More

The Icon charging unit for iPhone

We've covered a number of iPhone portable chargers in the past, ranging from the well-known Mophie Juice Pack to the environmentally friendly iCharge Dx. There are countless solutions that will ensure that your green battery indicator icon stays fully green, the difference with this iPhone charger is that it's been designed to resemble that very same indicator graphic. Appropriately, it's called the Icon.  Read More

The Tokyo Flash Kisai Wasted watch

As crazy as most of Tokyo Flash's watches are, the company just might have set a new standard with the a new psychedelic design, appropriately dubbed the Kisai Wasted. With a hypnotic multi-colored array of LED lights on the face, this latest watch is sure to be a hit (no pun intended) with the stoner demographic.  Read More

Panasonic's Power Loader Light exoskeleton

We've covered a number of amazing exoskeletons here on Gizmag, ranging from the solutions for paraplegics – see REX Bionics' and Berkley Bionics' exoskeletons – to the downright wacky Kid Walker mecha for children. Last year we saw Activelink's Power Loader, an exoskeleton that takes its name from the suit of the same name in James Cameron's Aliens. The company, a subsidiary of Panasonic, has now come out with a lightweight version, appropriately named the Power Loader Light.  Read More

China has launched its own online mapping service, called Tianditu.cn or 'Map World

China recently launched the state-sponsored Tianditu.cn or "Map World," the country's homegrown answer to Google Maps. While it's an impressive initial effort, the mapping system does resemble Google's a little too much, and it also performs poorly once you navigate outside of Chinese borders.  Read More

Lenovo's ThinkCenter M70z is a multi-touch Windows 7 all-in-one desktop

As a longtime fan of the ThinkPad line, I have to admit to being more than a little curious about Lenovo's new ThinkCenter M70z just released in Japan. More than a little clunky-looking, this all-in-one desktop PC is marketed to Enterprise customers and runs Windows 7. With a multi-touch display, the M70z invites you to lay your hands all over it. Think of it as iMac's heftier, more promiscuous cousin.  Read More

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