Highlights from the 2014 LA Auto Show

Education

The Sifteo Cubes Intelligent Play system has been updated so that up to 12 blocks can be u...

About this time last year we announced the release of Sifteo Cubes Intelligent Play - a system where age-old building blocks are given a thoroughly modern reworking, with cubes sporting a touch-sensitive color LCD display, onboard sensing technology, an embedded computer and games and puzzles sent wirelessly from a nearby PC or laptop. Now the educational gameplay system has been treated to an update. The addition of a new Sifteo Base to the system allows players of the next generation system to venture beyond the radio range of the previous version. The maximum number of cubes available for gameplay has also been doubled for more complex puzzles, to unlock new levels or just to get more family members involved in the action.  Read More

Ergo Electronics has launched a new budget-friendly ICS touchscreen netbook just in time t...

Thanks to Google, whenever we hear someone mention Ice Cream Sandwich we automatically think of recently released tablets or smartphones. Now there's another mobile computing format to consider with the launch of Ergo Electronics' GoNote, the UK's first touchscreen Android hybrid netbook. Pitched as the perfect modern homework companion and playtime buddy for students about to return to school, the budget-friendly device features a full-size chiclet keyboard and trackpad, and also brings touchscreen functionality to the form factor. If you'd rather opt for a cheap tablet, the company has also launched a new ICS tablet called the GoTab Epic V.  Read More

The child-friendly LeapPad 2 sports two cameras and comes bundled with five apps

Educational toy maker LeapFrog has released the successor to its child-friendly LeapPad and LeapPad Explorer tablets: the LeapPad 2. While the overall design of the tablet looks very similar to its predecessors, the LeapPad 2 sports some internal hardware upgrades, an improved high-resolution front camera, and an all-new rear camera - each of which can also capture video.  Read More

The International Lunar Observatory Association is to send a tested telescope on board Moo...

The International Lunar Observatory Association (ILOA) is being backed by Google Lunar X Prize contestant Moon Express in placing a small telescope on the Moon's surface to test and troubleshoot operating protocols for a fully loaded remote telescope. Last week, the ILO-X, the first ILOA telescope that will be sent to the Moon, was remotely tested by ILOA and Moon Express on the summit of Mauna Kea, and passed with flying colors. Later ILOA/Moon Express missions will include landing considerably larger telescopes at strategic locations on the lunar surface.  Read More

VTech's InnoTab 2 tablet for kids

We've seen several products which turn your touchscreen devices into children's toys, from the iTikes range to the SmartPet toy dog ... but what if you don't want to encourage your little one to play with your iPad? VTech is about to release the InnoTab 2, its latest tablet computer for kids, which features a five-inch touchscreen, camera, video and MP3 players … but is that enough to keep little fingers off your iPad?  Read More

A batch of PongSats aboard one of JP Aerospace's High Racks

With the increasing availability of things like GPS tracking systems, we’re hearing more and more about regular people using weather balloons to launch items into the sky’s upper reaches - examples have included a video camera, a miniature airplane, and even spacesuit-wearing teddy bears. While such efforts might get you interested in sending something of your own into almost-outer-space, the hassle involved in getting hold of all the necessary equipment could likely keep you from actually doing it. If you can fit your cargo into a ping pong ball, however, the folks at JP Aerospace will send it up for you.  Read More

TechShop is a company that provides a variety of tools and training to inventors, and othe...

We got to do some fun things at last month’s Go Further With Ford conference, such as test-driving the new Mustang and the purpose-built Police Interceptor. On the final night of the event, however, us conference-goers really got to enjoy ourselves – we got to make stuff, at the Detroit branch of TechShop. In business since 2006, the company now has five shops located across the U.S., all of which provide inventors and other people with access to advanced tools and know-how. We spoke to CEO Mark Hatch to learn more about what the group has to offer, and to whom.  Read More

The Hummingbird kit allows children to turn their art projects into moving, interactive ro...

Children generally love to create art and are fascinated by robots, so what if there was a way for them to turn their art projects into robots? Well, there is. Carnegie Mellon University spin-off company BirdBrain Technologies has introduced the Hummingbird kit, which contains everything kids (or adults) need to add powered movement and interactivity to their dragons, kitties or spaceships.  Read More

The Fretlight learning system uses LED lighting to show students finger placement on a gui...

I have to admit to a tinge of sadness as I report that both of the LED learning sleeve for guitar projects we featured back in April have so far failed to appear. Development of both projects is said to be continuing but Tabber withdrew its presence on Kickstarter after only two weeks to regroup and improve the product and the LED Sleeve didn't make its funding target. Fortunately, there is an existing system called Fretlight that uses lights embedded in the neck to show would-be players exactly when and where to place fingers on a fingerboard. The recent addition of the rather attractive FG-461 PRO electric guitar to the range offered the perfect opportunity to take a closer look.  Read More

LazyTruth is an app that searches your inbox for untruthful viral emails, and provides you...

Pretty much everyone has that one wide-eyed person in their lives who is constantly forwarding them emails about things like airplanes that disperse mind-control drugs, maniacs who hide under parked cars, and major corporations that are run by Satanists. While you may think about setting these people straight – and thereby helping to quell the online flood of malarkey – it can be a hassle finding the proper information to send them. That’s where the LazyTruth inbox widget comes in.  Read More

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