We may still be some way from having lifelike humanoid robot helpers,
but there's no doubt robots are getting more helpful, friendly and
domesticated. Blue Frog Robotics' new Buddy robot is designed to be an
affordable family companion. It can help with communications, home
security, edutainment and even elder care.
Researchers at the University of California, Davis and Berkeley have managed to miniaturize low-depth ultrasound technology to create a fingerprint sensor that can scan your finger in 3D. This low-power technology, which could improve on the robustness of current-generation capacitive scanners, could soon find its way to our smartphones and tablets.
After showing the world a prototype throwable camera in 2012, Bounce Imaging is sending 100 of its Explorer cameras to police departments across the US. The Boston-based company originally conceived the idea of a throwable camera in an attempt to improve safety for first responders, but quickly gained interest from police departments whose personnel are often forced to jump headlong into potentially dangerous situations without a clear picture of what they'll face.
There are already external door-mounted cameras that stream video of visitors to users' smartphones, plus there are cameras that fit into existing door peepholes,
recording shots of visitors and displaying them on an LCD screen.
Peeple, however, is kind of a combination of the two. It peeks through a
standard peephole, and it transmits video of what it sees to your phone.
Velasso has set out to make bicycle security easier, by making the
unlocking process automatic. As soon as users get within Bluetooth range
of their parked bike, its built-in locking mechanism will automatically
We've seen a wealth of smart home security devices appear on the market in recent years, but we're still waiting for a comprehensive solution that's simple to set up and easy to maintain. That's a gap that BuddyGuard is hoping to plug with Flare.
In an age of Twitter, Facebook, and texting, a physical mailbox may seem like a relic of the dead (letter) past, but postal theft is still a big problem and people still get annoyed at fruitless journeys to the curb. The Gate smart mailbox is a 21st century variation on the old switch-and-doorbell mailbox alert setup that not only lets you know when the post arrives, but is also intended to combat theft.
Bicycle commuters who regularly ride at night would no doubt appreciate
having lights that could be left on their bike all the time, with little
chance of them getting stolen. That's why Fortified Bicycle Alliance
first introduced its Defender
headlight, which can only be removed using a specialized tool. Putting
out just 50 lumens, though, it's certainly more of a "be seen" than a
"see the road" light. That's why Fortified more recently introduced its
considerably brighter Aviator headlight and Afterburner tail light. We gave them a try, to see how they stand up to real-world use.