University of Chicago to get a mechanized library

Just yesterday, I reported on the Yobot, a robot arm that will be stationed at a Yotel near Times Square New York, and its job is to take ones bag for safekeeping and file it with others.
This Joe and Rika Mansueto Library at the University of Chicago looks rather similar in operation, but it is essentially a robot librarian and not a bag check-in. It has about 35,000 metal bins in a five story chamber, which is enough for millions of books.
If a patron wants a particular book, he or she can request it, and one of the robot arms fetches it from the five story chamber located underneath the new section of the library. The books are not sorted by any sort of Dewey Decimal System or other numerical classification, but by size.

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Jacko Steps are straight out of Billie Jean video

I was listening to the radio in the car yesterday, and Michael Jackson’s Billie Jean came on the air.
While my wife and I were questioning the lyrics, I couldn’t help but think of the video for the song. I swear, Michael Jackson’s videos took music videos to a whole new level back in the 1980s.
I’m not certain how old our average reader actually is, but find the Billie Jean music video online and watch it if you have never seen it before. Not to be too much of a spoiler, but it shows Jacko walking on sidewalk tiles that mysteriously glow every time he puts his foot on them. Now you can have these glowing steps in your own backyard with the appropriately named Jacko Steps.

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Star Trek resort coming to Jordan in 2014

Some of you might remember how we reported on a Chinese amusement park that is based (loosely) on World of Warcraft and Starcraft. I suppose it was time that someone made a decent Star Trek theme park, and this one will be in Aqaba, Jordan.
Not that the Star Trek experience at the Las Vegas Hilton wasn’t good, but it was just as expansive as this one. This is Rubicon Group Holding’s Red Sea Astrarium, and RGH and Paramount Recreation plan to turn it into a “multi-sensory 23rd-century experiences, culminating with a state-of-the art space-flight adventure that takes real-time immersive entertainment experiences to bold new heights”.
This resort is expected to be completed sometime within 2014, and it is about 184 acres at an astronomical cost of $1 billion.

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MyWeather.com – Weather gets Personal


Has anyone ever wondered about the weather reporting lately? Its gotten to a point in my neck of the woods that if the weatherman says its going to rain, I break out the sunglasses and tanning lotion. My 15 year old knee injury is a much better predictor of the weather than my local news. The weather at my house is quite different than at my parents, who live only 9 miles away, but they live in the valley.
Finally there is something different, MyWeather.com is changing the way folks receive and use weather information with a brand new, free app for  iPhone and Android devices and an app for the iPad will be available soon. MyWeather.com is the most precise compilation of weather information for customers anywhere in the world, MyWeather is six times more precise in providing location-specific weather conditions than its competitors and offers users completely personalized weather reports tailored for their lives, locations, and interests, whether they’re online or on the go.

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PowerSkin has battery charging cases for cell phones

There will probably always be a market for any accessory that can give a mobile device more power, and the most prominent that I can think of is the Juice Pack from mophie.
PowerSkin is getting in on this battery case territory as they have cases for all sorts of models. I got a chance to try out the model for my Droid X, which is the model that you can see in the photo.
The boast is that the Powerskin can give you twice the power, and I believe that claim. They also claim that it is “lightweight”, and this is partially true. The one I received for the Droid X is 3.8 ounces, and, in comparison, the Droid X is 5.3 ounces. In short, the Powerskin nearly doubled the weight on my phone, which is a noticeable difference while talking.

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Hitachi iPJ-AW250N Ultimate Interactive Projector begins to ship



The Hitachi iPJ-AW250N Ultimate Interactive Projector is the latest model to be announced by the Japanese company, where it is capable of delivering the entire functionality of an interactive whiteboard – sans the board, of course. How does this happen without some sort of technological wizardry? We hope to explain it to you further below.
No pixie dust or magic is used when the iPJ-AW250N is in action, but rather, it will rely on infrared communication, where the iPJ-AW250N is capable of turning any flat surface into an interactive whiteboard. Of course, this will happen without having to make spatial sacrifices or being shackled by installation limitations of additional hardware.
Apart from that, the iPJ-AW250N will also utilize ultrasonic communication that goes a long way in overcoming interference issues associated with devices that communicate via the infrared spectrum.

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The Prism 200c Backpack can see through walls

Before I begin this posting, let me put an image in your mind that is straight out of a spy thriller. It starts with a guy like the one in the image, wearing a backpack and leaning up against a brick wall. He then takes out a cell phone and Bluetooth earpiece and looks like he is texting and talking on the phone at the same time. However, this is not the case.
The man who is just chillin’ is actually a federal officer. The backpack he is wearing is actually the Prism 200c, and it is giving him a 3D view of what is behind the wall. He is using his smartphone as a display, and, on his Bluetooth headset, he is instructing his strike team their next move.
It sounds like what Jack Bauer used to do on 24, but this Prism 200c is true. The 200c, developed by Cambridge Consultants, is able to use ultra-wideband signals in order to see through brick, concrete, or wood to obtain a 3-D view of the people inside from in front, to the side, and even overhead.

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Augmented Reality Tattoos work well with the Nintendo 3DS

About one year ago, I did an article about augmented reality tattoos. It was a Beunos Aries-based software producer who had the AR marker on their flesh, thanks to a company known as ThinkAnApp.
A YouTube user name Cranberryzero realized that the 3DS is a terrific excuse to get his own AR tattoo, and he posted his work and the results on I Heart Chaos. You can see the video after the jump, and the results are quite impressive.

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Strandbeest now available on 3D printers

Some of you have never heard of the Strandbeest, which are creations of Theo Jansen. They are kinetic powered sculptures that appear to walk on their own. The last time we mentioned them was last year.
Standbeests can be quite large and are often made of light wood. They sound very difficult to make, but what if it is possible to make these Strandbeests from something as simple as a 3D printer?
Of course, I don’t see anything simple about 3D printing, and it’s not like all of us have a 3D printer like we have a 2D printer. You can see in the video after the jump how a giant blob is made and how it has to be chipped away into what looks like a pre-assembled toy.

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The Gymygym Chair – Workout at Work


My husband pointed out a common thread to most of my posts. That if a gadget cuts down on the amount of physical exertion required to do a task, I’m all for it. Well, just to prove him wrong, I’m going to introduce you to the Gymygym Chair, the world’s first ergonomic office / exercise chair designed for the busy executive.
The Gymygym’s patented flat bungee seating system is designed to conform to you, providing you with the perfect combination of give and support wherever you need it, but the coolest part is that GymyGym incorporates four unique and discretely integrated exercise stations in the body of the chair, allowing you to exercise and strengthen all your major muscle groups, all while hammering out the details of your next big deal at the office.

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