Best Buy is offering the Samsung SCH-U370 with Verizon's service from its retail stores and Web site. The U370, a relaunch of the Samsung Reality (SCH-U820), has a 3-inch touch-screen display, a 3.2-megapixel camera, and a slide-out QWERTY keyboard. It also houses Verizon's VCast music service with Rhapsody playback, Bluetooth, and Microsoft's Bing search. The U370 costs $49.99 with a new two-year service agreement.
Would you wear this digital sombrero for a better gaming experience?
As seen in the vid below, the Immersive Digital Entertainment VR system provides a high-def, 360-degree display showing virtual objects that users can manipulate with their hands. User motions are tracked with high-def motion-capture cameras from Vicon.
The VR experience seems very realistic and smooth. Takahiro Akiyama of collaborator 4D Brain suggests the helmet could also serve as a brain-machine interface and react to what the user is thinking. If BMI technology were incorporated in the device, it might be able to display scenes matching certain brain wave patterns. For instance, a beach when the user is trying to relax.
That would be cool, but the entire concept is dubious. … Read more
Va-va voom! The FitBot just got busty.
The shape-shifting robot mannequin, previously only available with a male physique, now comes in female form too. Score one for robot gender equality.
The robot is part of a virtual fitting room service for online retailers created by Estonian start-up Fits.me. Customers shopping for clothes at a participating site enter their measurements online (height, chest, arm length, torso, and so on), then see photos of a real-life mannequin shaped just like them (only headless) "trying on" items in various sizes and styles.
To be clear, shoppers are not watching the robot try on clothes in real time. When a retailer signs up for the service, Fits.me snaps pictures of the bot trying on the garb in the shop's inventory and stores those photos in an online database that shoppers access later. (Watch the vid below for a safe-for-work demonstration of the naked lady FitBot trying on clothing.)
The FitBot aims to tackle online fashion retail's biggest hurdles--the lack of a fitting room and resulting hassle of having to return ill-fitting clothes. Instead of just eyeballing clothes online and guessing which size would work best, shoppers can get a more accurate sense of whether a garment will look fab or get them nominated for "What Not to Wear." … Read more
LOS ANGELES--Though it won't be available in stores until at least 2012, Nintendo unveiled, and gave a name to, the hardware successor to the Wii, known at this point as Wii U.
True to many rumors and predictions, Nintendo unveiled at this year's E3 a new console with an attention-getting tabletlike controller, complete with its own 6.2-inch touch screen. This multifunctional tablet will form the centerpiece of what the Wii U will be about.Related links Wii U gaming hands-on Shigeru Miyamoto Q&A: Wii U E3 2011: Complete coverage
The tablet controller With a glossy … Read more
Collision detection systems usually use some sort of front-facing radar or laser array to monitor the distance between a moving vehicle and the car ahead of it. A new app call iOnRoad takes a different tack by using little more than a smartphone to provide collision detection with an augmented-reality view.
Once a smartphone running the app is mounted on a car's windshield or dashboard, iOnRoad combines the visual information collected by the smartphone's camera with GPS and accelerometer data to provide information about the road ahead on the smartphone's display. The vehicle in the lane ahead … Read more
NXP Semiconductors has developed chipsets for CFL and LED light bulbs that allow the devices to be operated remotely via wireless networks and portable devices, the Dutch chipmaker announced this week.
The GreenChip iCFL chipset for CFLs and GreenChip iSSL chipset for LEDs have been adopted by lighting manufacturer TCP.
The bulbs can be turned on, turned off, or dimmed.
Both chips operate at the IEEE 802.15.4 standard, the low-rate wireless personal area network (LR-WPAN) standard for many wireless networks, including ZigBee, used to support home smart meters, smart appliances, and security systems.
But the bulb chipset has … Read more
Mobile Make Out is an iPhone app on a mission. It wants to help your cheating heart get some release without completely destroying your real relationship. The free app works by connecting to another user over Wi-Fi or Bluetooth. You then smooch away on a pair of lips on your iPhone's screen while your app partner mashes lips on his own device.
This raises an interesting question. Is kissing someone else through your iPhone considered cheating? The app makers encourage you to invite your colleagues, friends, and strangers at parties to join you in your kiss-a-thon. Try explaining to your significant other why you were caught making out with your mobile phone. Somehow, I don't think that will go over well.
The best part about Mobile Make Out's marketing is its insistence that loving up your iPhone is "almost like the real thing." I'm not quite ready to test that out, but I suspect that necking the cold hard glass of an iPhone is pretty far from the real thing. The app does give a helpful warning that too much lipstick can damage your iPhone. So, ladies, go easy on the Avon.Related links Cloud Girlfriends teach you how to fake it How to kiss your Facebook friend online for real Blow a Valentine's kiss with your iPhone
There is a catch. It takes two iPhones to make the app work. That means having a potentially embarrassing conversation with the object of your crush. "Um, excuse me. Sorry to interrupt you in your cubicle as you're crunching spreadsheets, but would you mind downloading an app that will allow me to virtually smooch you up during work hours? Yes, I am married, but this is purely platonic, of course." Good luck with that. … Read more
Panasonic recently released a nifty iOS app called the Viera AR Setup Simulator based on augmented reality. The software is compatible with the iPhone and iPod Touch and utilizes the camera in these devices to provide users with virtual visualizations of Viera flat-panel TVs set up in their rooms. What's more, the telly's perspective will automatically adjust in real time according to the user's viewing angle (see above video for a demonstration).
Wilson joins us on the show, Max Headroom style from the CNET office in San Francisco. Tune in to the first half where we grill him about his loyalty to the East Coast and why he refuses to take showers in the office. We also have a couple stories in the rundown about teens asking Yahoo about Osama Bin Laden, a Nintendo 3DS augmented reality icon, a Japanese kissing machine, and yet another privacy breach from the already befallen Sony PlayStation Network.The 404 Digest for Episode 812 Japanese engineer creates Facebook kissing machine. Dude tattoos Nintendo 3DS augmented-reality icon on his arm. Yahoo search trends prove teens don't know Osama bin Laden. Sony hacked again. Episode 812 Subscribe in iTunes (audio) | Subscribe in iTunes (video) | Subscribe in RSS Audio | Subscribe in RSS Video… Read more
Wilson mysteriously disappears on this beautiful Wednesday, but Natali's pulling a twofer this week and filling in to help us with today's rundown. To her delight, a new augmented reality app is bringing future tech from the Harry Potter series alive, a PhillieBot will chuck the first patch at tonight's game, and a new iPhone case protects more than just the device inside.The 404 Digest for Episode 803 Robot to throw first pitch at today's Phillies game How did that RFID chip end up in my suitcase? On a related note, Natali brings this delightful Jamaican tale to our attention. The JustinCase prototype fights for safe sex. Thanks to Attariq for drawing this picture of The 404! Episode 803 Subscribe in iTunes (audio) | Subscribe in iTunes (video) | Subscribe in RSS Audio | Subscribe in RSS Video… Read more