So how do you show off the fact that you are Russia's largest private bank and at the same time curry a little favor with Moscow's ruling elite? You entertain 800,000 Muscovites with a world-record 25,500 square meter (275,000 sq. ft.) audio-visual projection show to celebrate Moscow City Day, of course.
Researchers are investigating a means of virtually projecting images from handheld devices onto computer screens. Beyond simply being a means of screen sharing across devices, the research looks at traditional projection - physically shining a still or moving image onto a flat service - as a metaphor for multi-device interaction. In a video demo, researchers manipulate the "projected" image on the larger screen using iPhone accelerometer controls and gestures.
The creators of the original TOOB
(Think Out Of Box) have spent the last two years researching and developing what they call the “world's first affordable dome screen.” Dubbed "TOOB Earth," the 4 foot diameter mini-IMAX screen is big enough for two people to sit in front of and, while it will obviously grab the attention of gamers and film-fanatics, its makers also see applications for the screen in simulation, medicine and education.
In terms of display size, smartphone manufacturers are faced with striking a balance between a size that is big enough to be comfortable to view and type on and one that is still small enough to fit inside a jacket packet. Advances in imaging technology have enabled miniature projectors that provide extra screen size in a compact form factor. This has led to a flood of such devices appearing at CES in recent years, such as the SHOWWX
laser pico projector. CES 2012
doesn't look like being any different with QP Optoelectronics announcing it will debut its LightPad that adds a keyboard and bigger display to a smartphone at the world's biggest consumer electronics show this coming January.
The Xbox Kinect
has certainly become a useful tool for innovation, with modders finding applications in medical imaging
, robotics, and even aids for the visually impaired
, to name just a few. Now it looks like you can add "topography" to that list with the development of the SandyStation. Created by two students in the Czech Republic, the SandyStation projects a realistic ecosystem over an ordinary sandbox, which can be altered in real-time.
Handheld projectors can be very useful devices when you need to project a large image on-the-go, but many of them lack enough brightness, resolution and battery life. California-based company AAXA Technologies has rolled out its P4 Pico Projector with the aim of addressing some of these issues - it offers 80 lumens of brightness, 75 minutes of battery life and can handle 720p videos.
Not so long ago, it seemed that a projector might become a standard feature on smartphones, like GPS or a camera. LG
released projector-equipped devices, but many manufacturers – including Apple – have not followed this path so far. If you need a projector in your iPhone though, it is now possible via a dedicated accessory, such as the Pocket Projector for iPhone 4 from Texas Instruments and Brookstone.
While great strides have been made in the development of humanoid robots, such as Honda's ASIMO
, giving robots a human face with natural expressions and movement has proven a difficult task. While some look to create lifelike faces and expressions
with motors under artificial skin replicating the function of facial muscles, German and Japanese researchers have joined forces to come up with a different solution called Mask-bot that sees a 3D image of a human face projected onto the back of a plastic mask.
Ah, the ant farm. It's somehow nice to know that in the age of apps and iPods, kids still like to watch colonies of ants fastidiously going about their daily business. The humble ant farm hasn't remained unchanged by technology, however. For some time now, instead of dirt or sand, commercially-available kits have instead come with a clear green gel. The ants are not only able to tunnel through this goop, but it also serves as their source of food and water. Educational toy company Uncle Milton is now taking the concept a step farther, with its Ant Farm Revolution. It's a cylindrical gel ant farm, with a built-in LED lamp that casts giant silhouettes of its ants on the user's ceiling ... or presumably onto the outside wall of a neighbor's house.
Finding your regular old pool table a little boring? Perhaps it needs some flames. Not real ones, but animated flames that are projected onto its playing surface and follow the balls as they move. If you're not a pyromaniac, you could instead go for an effect where the balls appear to ripple water as they roll across the felt, or one where they displace liquid to reveal an image of your choice that's hidden underneath. If this sounds like your kind of thing, then you might be interested in Obscura Digital's CueLight Interactive Pool Table System.