See Legos come to life with OASIS

Okay, this is about the neatest thing that you will see on Black Friday. Intel has been working on a system called OASIS (Object Aware Situated Interaction System) that combines projections with Lego.

This system uses cameras that can detect both objects and depth. As a result, it knows where the Lego toys are, and can even add a little bit of special effects with the practical application of some projectors.

I have a video of this OASIS in action after the jump if you want to see how it works, and it is the coolest thing to happen to Lego since the Mindstorms NXT.

Read moreSee Legos come to life with OASIS

University of Arizona working on Holographic Telecommuting

Apparently, someone really wants an age of holographic telecommuting. So that when we want to talk with someone on the phone or webcam, we will see an actual life-sized hologram of the person that we are talking to, like in Star Wars.

I’m seen some attempts at creating this effect, such as’s coverage of the 2008 election on CNN, plus this other glass-projection at the International Stationery and Office Products Fair in Tokyo, Japan.

Some researchers at the University of Arizona are very intent on creating holographic videos in real-time, and recording one’s holographic “telepresence” is as difficult as you might think.

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Shoot this light out with the Bang!lamp

When it comes turning an appliance off from a distance, you could use some Universal remote, or even the Clapper. Or you could use this Bang! lamp.

The lamp can be turned off with a special gun-shaped remote. All you need to do is point it at the lamp and pull the trigger. Not only does this “kill the light”, but the lamp shade will do a tilt thing, like it was hit with a bullet.

Of course, you might not want to leave this lying around when someone who is pro-gun control comes around. Of course, it is a plain white gun, and I don’t know how many real plain white pistols are out there.

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Very real-looking Android, the Actroid-F

So who is this woman in this picture? A better question is: what is this woman in the photo?

This is the Actroid-F. I realize that sounds like title for the theme of Beverly Hills Cop by Harold Faltermeyer, but according to the Guinness Book of World Records, Actroid-F is “the first true android”.

You have to watch the video after the jump to see Actroid F in action. I find that even though she is sitting down, she shifts her head around in a bobbing motion like a real person.

Read moreVery real-looking Android, the Actroid-F

Lum Smoke Detector with emergency lighting

Smoke alarms are such a normal sight that you don’t even notice them hanging from walls and ceilings anymore.  However, no one can ever claim that they’re an attractive addition to your home, they just happen to be incredibly useful.  This smoke alarm design is even more useful, plus it could actually be somewhat hidden from sight.

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Life-saving Bazooka wins James Dyson Award

In a situation where there is a drowning victim, having a boat nearby doesn’t always help. In fact, the drowning victim’s life usually hinges on the strength and accuracy of someone’s throwing arm. Here is a better way to throw a precious life-ring: shoot it with this bazooka.

I have a video of the Longreach after the jump so you can see the basic concept. Some of you might be wondering how it is possible to shoot this giant bullet that can magically transform into a floating device, but it uses hydrophobic or rapidly expanding foam. With a range of 150 meters, the victim can hold on until he or she receives the proper help.

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Writhing Umbilical Cord iPhone Charger

Umbilical cord and iPhone are two things I couldn’t possibly see landing in the same sentence, much less a gadget article’s title.  However, I should have known that the iPhone is capable of bridging all sorts of weird gaps.  The media artist Mio I-zawa has managed to create the strangest iPhone accessory I’ve come across.  Instead of plugging your iPhone into the usual cord, just imagine hooking it up to a squirming umbilical cord.

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Alarm clock literally starts the ball rolling

We have reported on many cool alarm clocks here, and many of them involve making the user do some activity in order for them to get up in the morning.

For example, the Flying Alarm Clock, which has a propeller device on it that you are going to have to catch and place back on the clock itself, should you want any Snooze time.

This one is merely a concept, at least for now. I don’t believe it has a name just yet, but for the sake of comparison, let us call it the rolling alarm clock. After all, the concept is similar to the Flying Alarm Clock, but instead of a propeller flying toy, it starts a ball rolling.

Read moreAlarm clock literally starts the ball rolling

What NASA could be launching into space soon

With the space program getting massive cuts, it is time to start thinking about the next generation of spacecraft.

This concept illustration that you see here shows that NASA is leaning away from spacecrafts that have to be strapped to tubes full of rocket fuel and going for ideas like this.

This is a wedge-shaped scramjet that can be launched on an electrified rail or gas-propelled sled that would hit orbit at Mach 10.

Read moreWhat NASA could be launching into space soon

Smart Finger measures without tape

This might be a sign that we’re all getting just a little spoiled when it comes to our touchscreens.  All of this just moving around your fingers to enlarge an image is just too much luxury for the human race.  Now people are even getting to the point where they don’t want to bother with measuring tape.  Instead you just pick up a couple of finger covers and they’ll do the measuring for you.  No tape necessary.

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