Could someone please get me a working Portico, please?

by Mark R

When it comes to applications on tablets, developers really have to think outside the box in order to create the next addictive thing. Right now, Microsoft Research, Intel, and the University of Washington are working on the Portico, which allows the user to interact with the world outside of the tablet. You can watch a video after the jump if you want to see a demonstration, and I highly suggest …

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New software helps the visually impaired with their touchscreen

by Mark R

The past half-decade has seen a real touchscreen revolution, as far as mobile phones and tablet PCs are concerned. However, what good is this revolution to the visually impaired? Fortunately, Adam Duran (a senior at New Mexico State University), Adrian Lew (a Standford mechanical engineering assistant professor), and Sohan Dharmaraja (a doctoral candidate) have created an astounding interface designed specifically for the visually impaired. You can watch how it works …

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I Want SCANDY! To scan my documents with my smartphone!

by Mark R

In case you missed the joke in the title of this posting, it is an allusion to a song called “I Want Candy” by 80’s band Bow Wow Wow. The SCANDY is a very cool device that allows you to scan a document with a smartphone. This is something that I have done before at libraries. I find that when I do this, I can’t help but feel like a …

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Boston Dynamics AlphaDog is great robotic mule

by Mark R

The people at Boston Dynamics have created the AlphaDog, a robotic mule that is capable of carrying 400 pounds. Not surprisingly, this project has been developed by DARPA. I’m guessing that the purpose of the Alpha Dog is to be a robotic beast of burden when the troops are deployed. Now you won’t have to have the soldiers who carry the heavy equipment, as this robo-mule will do it for …

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Origo, the toy 3D printer that makes more toys

by Mark R

In the future, every household will have a 3D printer like they have a 2D printer. You will note that I didn’t put a year on this, because I’m not stupid. Every time I read a sentence that starts with “by the year” it hardly ever comes true. However, this Origo 3D printer could bring 3D printers into households sooner than later. The Origo is currently a concept from designers …

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RePro3D system lets users play with and touch digital 3D characters

by Mark R

This is the RePro3D system, and it is under development by Keio University in Japan. My Source calls it a miniature holodeck, but I don’t believe that this is an accurate description. You can see in the video after the jump what it actually is, and it combines several technologies. The user looks into this box, and projectors create a naked-eye 3D fairy character. An infrared camera tracks the users …

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This concept aircraft carrier is mostly made of ice

by Mark R

During World War II, there were a lot of technologies proposed that seem outlandish by today’s standards. One of them was by a British inventor named Geoffrey Pike, who wanted to build an aircraft carrier that was mostly composed of ice. He wanted to build it using Pykrete, a material that is 86 percent ice and 14 percent sawdust. You might be thinking that the only place to build a …

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This gaming technology shows what it feels like to get shot or stabbed

by Mark R

I have seen video-game accessories that give the user haptic feedback in the form of small vibrations, to indicate that he or she has been hit. This research group at the University of Electro-Communication takes it one step further as it wants to show users what it is like to be stabbed or shot. I don’t believe that this is done in a way that actually feels as painful as …

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