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Computers

SoftStep KeyWorx offers foot-operated computing

Using one's feet works quite well while driving, so why not use them to control computers, too? That's what Berkley-based company Keith McMillen Instruments wondered, and ended up designing SoftStep KeyWorx, a foot-operated computer interface device. It's Mac and PC compatible, and offers 10 touch-sensitive buttons and a navigation pad, along with up to 100 macros that allow for customized commands and shortcuts. Read More

Games

The 'CRT Amusement Device' that spawned a multi-million dollar industry

On a cold morning on January 25, 1947 at the U.S. Patent Office, Thomas T. Goldsmith Jr. and Estle Ray Mann submitted an invention that is now recognized as one of the earliest examples of the video game - the "Cathode Ray Tube Amusement Device". Described it as a game of skill where a player sits or lies in front of a Cathode Ray Tube (CRT) mounted in a closet, the analog device was inspired by a radar commonly used in the second World War to control missiles. Using knobs to adjust speed and trajectory, a plane was represented by a single point and the scores were assigned by hand! Read More

Inventors & Remarkable People

Farseeing inventor pioneered computer music

Renowned computer generated music innovator Max Mathews has died at the age of 84. Back in 1957 Mathews wrote the program that enabled an IBM 704 mainframe computer to play a composition lasting 17 seconds – an achievement recognized as one of the first examples of digital synthesis of music on a computer. For the next 54 years Mathews pioneered the field of digital audio research and devoted most of his life to learning how computers could aid musicians in performance. Read More

Computers

Researchers tackle mouse control from a different angle

For many people with motor disabilities, the task of precisely moving a mouse cursor around a screen can be incredibly frustrating. While controlling a mouse cursor with the power of thought looks likely to be possible in the not too distant future, researchers at the University of Washington's (UW) AIM Research Group have created two mouse cursors designed to make homing in on onscreen targets much easier. Neither requires additional computer hardware and all the researchers are hoping for in return for the freely downloadable software is some user feedback.Read More

Computers

Eurotech launches Zypad WL1500 wearable computer

Around the time I was hoping to swap my Olivetti typewriter for one of those new-fangled Apple Macintosh things, Seiko also created the UC-2000 wrist computer. The images of the device docked onto a QWERTY keyboard strapped to someone's arm still raise a smile even now. That was decades ago, and the industry has moved forward at an incredible pace, but Eurotech's new Zypad WL1500 definitely has the look of the Seiko. Happily, the technology in the new Zypad is much more up-to-date. Eurotech says that it's faster and lighter than other members of its wearable range, and also benefits from a longer battery life and numerous communication options.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
Bicycles

iBike Dash CC turns your iPhone into a cycling computer

It seems like almost everything that once existed solely as an electronic device is now also available as a smartphone app, and cycling computers are certainly no exception. Applications such as Cyclemeter, B.iCycle and PedalBrain – just to name a few – all allow riders to use their iPhones to keep track of things such as speed, location, and distance travelled. Now, Florida-based Velocomp has thrown its hat into the ring with the iBike Dash CC (Cycling Computer) app and hardware package. Read More

Computers

DreamPlug offers compact, low power, performance computing

Applications developers looking for a low power, small form factor computing solution that won't break the bank will no doubt appreciate the DreamPlug from Globalscale Technologies. Expanding on the company's GuruPlug system, the new low-profile plug computer is powered by a Marvell processor, has half a gigabyte of DDR2 RAM and a generous helping of onboard micro-SD flash memory to store the Linux kernel and root system files. Physical connectivity and expansion options include USB, eSATA, JTAG and UART and the unit also has built-in Wi-Fi and Bluetooth wireless capabilities.Read More

Electronics

Veebeam wirelessly transmits computer content to your TV

If you're looking for an affordable way to stream high definition online movies to a big screen TV, then Veebeam could just be what you're looking for. The device comes in both standard and high definition varieties, and is made up of a wireless USB antenna that's connected to a laptop or computer and a receiver box that's hooked up to an HDTV. The system is said to be capable of wirelessly playing any content from one to the other, whether it's online movies, sports or news updates, digital photos or holiday videos. Read More

Science

Fruit fly research could lead to simpler and more robust computer networks

Over the years science has gleaned an enormous amount of knowledge from the humble fruit fly. Drosophila melanogaster was used to provide the post-Mendelian foundations for our understanding of genetics and has also been used extensively in neuroscience research. The latest fruit fly-inspired innovation could simplify how wireless sensor networks communicate and stands to have wider applications for computing. Read More

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