Channeling the many functions of the modern home into one centralized hub has been the focus of a growing number of home automation devices
. With that said, many still rely on some form of manual control, be it through voice, touchscreen or gesture. Vivint is looking to ramp up the automation
in home automation with Vivint Sky, a smart home system designed to learn and adapt to its users' habits.
An abundance of sensors
speaks to the popularity of tracking sporting performance. But extending this technology to an extreme sport like skateboarding raises another set of questions. How can a device be attached to the board without affecting performance? And, even if it is possible to quantify a sport so deeply rooted in the expression of personal style, is there a point? A group of skaters from Buenos Aires, Argentina feel there's much to gain by tracking flips and spins and have developed Syrmo, a motion tracker that fits discreetly underneath the trucks to gauge everything from air time to the force of your ollie.
We've already seen rings that unlock doors and mobile devices
, show the time
, act as a mouse
or display notifications
from a connected mobile device, but, like the Fin
, the Ring from California-based Logbar aims to take finger wagging to the next level. Featuring Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) connectivity, the Ring is designed to allow control of mobile devices and home appliances, make electronic payments and even type text in mid air with a wave of a finger.
Some take their air guitar playing more seriously than others, but even for those exerting the most energy, those perfectly struck imaginary chords are heard by nobody's ears except their own. Aura, an electronic instrument that translates hand gestures into music, could be just what these highly animated faux musicians need to get a little more reward for their efforts.
When you combine sports with technology, you can end up with some serious improvements to the game. The NBA and Stats LLC is rolling out the SportVU motion tracking system, which uses six cameras to collect various types of data for the purpose of statistic tracking.
If someone says that they want to steal your heart, be careful. They may be trying to get into your computer files. The Toronto-based biometrics company Bionym wants to replace old-fashioned passwords with Nymi; a bracelet that uses the wearer’s heartbeat in place of passwords. According to the developers, the system delivers a secure and convenient means of identification that also provides the potential to control devices using gestures.
By effectively turning any flat surface into a multitouch user interface, Haptix
has the potential to consign the humble computer mouse to the IO history books. Now the development team has announced plans that could kill off the physical keyboard too. Ractiv has partnered with Asetniop
creator Zack Dennis to bring his chorded virtual keying concept to life.
Multitouch and the tablet were made for each other, but there are times when you wish your hands were transparent so you could see what's hidden beneath them. Waving digits in mid-air would appear to offer some hope of liberating your hands from the touchscreen, and certainly wins points for coolness, but hitting a precise area of nothing to activate an icon or confirm an action may well seem like way too much effort when you could just reach for a trusty mouse. The Haptix system from Ractiv combines elements of both to make any flat surface multitouch, freeing your hands from the touchscreen and making the mouse obsolete.
If you keep getting your gadgets wet because you can’t part with them while taking a bath, maybe it’s time for you to reevaluate your options. As it turns out, it only takes a Kinect camera, a projector, some waterproofed speakers, half a year of coding and an enormous amount of ingenuity to turn a regular bath into an interactive entertainment hub. And that’s exactly what a group of researchers from Koike Laboratory at Tokyo’s University of Electro-Communications have done as part of their quest to explore the field of natural user interface design. Their AquaTop Display takes immersive entertainment to a whole new level, unattainable with regular, impenetrable touch displays.
With systems like the Kinect
and Leap Motion
, controlling a gadget with just the wave of a hand is starting to become much more commonplace. The one drawback to those gesture-based devices however is that you never actually touch anything. No matter what you see on the screen, you're still very aware that you're just moving your hands through the air. The Pittsburg branch of Disney Research may be able to change that with Aireal, a low-cost haptic system which fires out small rings of air that allow people to feel virtual objects.