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Canon introduces Web Access software for multifunction devices

July 24, 2005 Canon already the major player in the networked imaging solutions arena, but the latest move by the company is still an interesting one. The Canon Web Access Software Kit is the first ever Web browser to be designed to run on multifunction devices. Unique to Canon, the software allows the use of Canon multifunction devices (MFDs) as"information kiosks" that access and print information directly from an intranet or the Internet. This makes it ideal for organisations that have a significant number of staff who do not have access to PCs but who need to access forms, documents or information on the company intranet, such as in retail, logistics or manufacturing industries.  Read More

Wireless monitoring of your laundry

July 24, 2005 Mac-Gray is America’s largest provider of laundry facilities management services to college and university residence halls, which makes the company’s latest announcement significant. The company is adding wireless capabilities for its LaundryView monitoring system so it can now connect to a school's network using either its wired or wireless network infrastructure. The LaundryView eMonitoring System, part of Mac-Gray's Intelligent Laundry Systems, enables students to have real-time information about the status of the washers and dryers in their campus laundry rooms from any device that has a web browser.It’s a small step but a significant one as it is the first of many that students will encounter in monitoring the many things that are important to them. This is the second Mac-Gray product we’ve featured in recent times, so we guess that makes the company on the extreme side of innovative. We’ve previously featured the company’s craftworks fridge (which looks like a tool chest) but it also makes energy-efficient MicroFridge appliances.  Read More

Motorsport without the motor

July 22, 2005 Fancy your very own Bentley or Pininfarina limited-edition, extreme gravity race car and a spot on the grid of what we believe will become a very prestigious race series? The cost is US$30,000 but it’s one of those rare opportunities to get in on the ground floor of something that could be big, and we think that Extreme Gravity Racing will be big! Really big!! Last year the series began to take the shape of the vision of its founder Don MacAllister with automotive manufacturers building cars for the event - Porsche, Volvo, Mazda, Bentley, Nissan and General Motors. This year they will be joined by Audi, Oakley, Pininfarina, Volkswagen, Lamborghini and Chrysler plus corporations wishing to participate can simply roll up on the day to find their limited edition high-tech Bentley or Pininfarina Gravity Racer painted in company colours. There’s also a pit row tent for clients, employees, friends and family and a dinner and luxury accommodation package for three nearby. If you’d like to run a pre-event day choosing your driver from employees or clients, Extreme Gravity can provide 16 identical cars and stage that too. At the end of the weekend, you get to keep the car produced by a world famous auto design studio.  Read More

Anniversary of Vannavar Bush's famous essay describing the MEMEX machine

July 21, 2005 One of the most important works in scientific history was published in July 60 years ago – an article in The Atlantic Monthly entitled “AS WE MAY THINK”. Written by Vannevar Bush, the article describes the “memex” – a theoretical analog computer designed from the cutting edge technologies of the day to enable access to large amounts of information. The machine and linking systems Bush describe are remarkably similar to today’s hypertext and Ted Nelson who coined the term, hypertext" in the 1960's, acknowledges his debt to Bush. Bush was a visionary and his work in creating the environment which nurtured the development of what became the internet is well documented in several excellent articles in Wired magazine and ibiblio. "Consider a future device for individual use, which is a sort of mechanized private file and library. It needs a name, and to coin one at random, ``memex'' will do. A memex is a device in which an individual stores all his books, records, and communications, and which is mechanized so that it may be consulted with exceeding speed and flexibility. It is an enlarged intimate supplement to his memory." - Vannevar Bush The original article can be read for free on-line at the Atlantic Monthly which is still published. VIA SLASHDOT  Read More

Ingenious Bag Handle

July 19, 2005 Proof that an ingenious new invention doesn’t require Bluetooth, a 5-GHz processor and a room full of MIT graduates. As anyone who has ever struggled to carry a half dozen plastic grocery bags will tell you, there has to be a better way t han having those plastic bags cut into your fingers and cut off the circulation. Designed to carry 50 lbs. of stuffed grocery bags, the EZcarry soft-grip handle is a comfortable soft-grip handle that makes carrying grocery bags, department store bags, dry cleaning hangers, and more, much easier. It works by evenly distributing the pressure of shopping bags across the hand so the weight no longer cuts into a person's hand, palm, or fingers. Shoppers just hold onto a cushy purple and blue handle.  Read More

Reusable fold-up drink tray

July 19, 2005 This simple invention looks set to destroy one of the traditional global rites of passage – learning to carry four or more alcoholic beverages at the same time as learning about the effects of drinking alcohol. This ingenious device is the brainchild of Sydnesider John Braams, who was tired of carrying drinks back to his mates in flimsy cardboard trays. Says John, “the cardboard trays we all know and hate are poorly designed – they are unstable because the centre of gravity is above the carrier. Also, when wet, which often happens when you’re using them to carry beverages, they quickly deteriorate and can fall apart.” The Skoona Moova is a simple plastic flat fold-away tray that has been designed to make carrying four large glasses easy. Surprisingly, because the tray allows the weight to be balanced evenly, moving heavy drinks is effortless, and there is less spillage as the device is sturdy and won’t collapse. With two Skoona Moovas, you can carry eight drinks, and it’s re-usable, so when you’re finished, you fold it and store it in a pocket or handbag, office drawer or glove box until it’s next needed.  Read More

Biometrics eliminates ''Buddy Punching'' and provides enhanced self-service functionality

July 19, 2005 The benefits of biometric employee ID terminals may not be entirely obvious in terms of ROI, but some interesting results came through recently from Nucleus Research, an independent research organization, that has been studying the benefits and ROI of biometric Kronos 4500 Touch ID terminals. Nucleus found that these kiosk-like terminals help organizations save, on average, 2.2 percent of gross payroll annually, by using biometric technology to eliminate "buddy punching". With the use of employee self-service through the terminals' unique Smart View transactions, they also are able to help organizations save as much as $210 per employee per year.  Read More

New beer tap pours beer four times faster and increases keg yield by 30%

July 19, 2005 Beer is big business - the world consumes 150 billion litres of beer annually and in America alone, beer is a US$78.1 billion dollar industry accounting for 54% of all alcoholic beverage sales in dollars. Which is why the TurboTap is such an important invention - the oddly-shaped elongated beer tap pours beer four times faster than existing beer taps at the same time as increasing keg yield by up to 30% and reducing training time to roughly 60 seconds. By increasing the number of customers that can be served in a given time by bar staff, the TurboTap can significantly increase throughput at peak times, and reduce staff numbers across the board. For the customer, it will mean shorter queues and a perfect beer every time. It’s a classic case of recognising the important problem and the founder of TurboTap, 31-year-old Matthew Younkle did just that in seeking out the technology to pour a faster, more consistent beer.  Read More

Child Automobile Helmet links to video, music and game systems to encourage use

July 17, 2005 Amateur inventor of a children's lightweight automobile helmet, Michael P. Fleming has filed a formal patent application with the United States Patent and Trademark Office for his new child safety device. There is currently no child safety device designed specifically for head protection of children inside automobiles but Fleming believes the need for one is clear. To make the device more attractive to children, Fleming's design makes it compatible with audio and video devices found in many of today's automobiles. It can also be hooked up to handheld gaming systems popular with children.  Read More

Optimus Keyboard by Art.Lebedev

July 16, 2005 Moscow-based design studio Art. Lebedev may be Russia’s largest design house but it didn’t quite expect the reaction it received when it posted its latest creation, the Optimus keyboard. The keyboard uses OLED technology so that every key is a stand-alone display showing exactly what it is controlling at that moment. Accordingly, you can switch from language to language, or program to program and the functionality of the key will be reflected in the image it shows. If the response to the company’s web site posting is any indication, the keyboard is already a runaway hit, with 230,000 page views and an average two emails a minute from people wanting the keyboard. In brief, the keyboard is likely to become available in 2006, will be OS-independent and “will cost less than a good mobile phone.” It will be open source (a software developers kit will be available) and companies can OEM the keyboard. Indeed, there may even be an ergonomic version.  Read More

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