The patent-watchers over at Slashdot found this interesting submission: a patent application from Microsoft for an Adaptive heads-up user interface for automobiles. Reading through the obscure language of patents, we managed to glean that the engineers who came up with the system want to move all the information currently displayed on navigation screens, car stereos, cell phones, and instruments onto the windshield. The patent cites safety concerns with our current gadget-laden autos and selves, where people are constantly taking their eyes off the road to look at this or that screen. And instead of crowding the windshield with every bit … Read more
The latest testament to the geek appeal of blinking pixels are two handheld electronic musician interfaces called the Monome and the Tenori-On. Both are slated for a new release in the next few months and while they have a lot in common conceptually, there are a few key differences between the two that I'll explore here.
Even if you couldn't care less about electronic music, these products demonstrate stunning interface design (not to mention eye candy). Remember, it was an obscure music interface company named Jazz Mutant that pioneered the multi-touch screen interface long before the iPhone came to town. (Videos after the break.)… Read more
Of all the places to escape the noise of this madcap, technology-fueled world, yoga class is pretty high up there on the list. Maybe not for long.
Designer Hui-Zong Chen has created a concept for an AV yoga mat, complete with an scrolling "electronic paper" surface that streams video. The tube the mat/screen scrolls out of would also house speakers, an MP3 player, and a memory-card reader.
Think of this mat as an added challenge. After all, you know you're fully enlightened if you can meditate while simultaneously watching Deliverance, blasting Rage Against the Machine, and … Read more
There are many reasons to do your laundry: grass stains, spilled wine, and the sloppiest of Joes. But if you find yourself doing loads mostly because you've been sitting around the house sweating up a stank, then here is the ultimate godsend for you.
The Toshiba TW-3000VE washing machine also packs in an air-conditioning unit.
According to the Gizmodiva write-up (translated from Japanese), the machine not only washes your socks, but also cools the air in your laundry room and keeps it clear of mold.
The machines won't separate your lights and darks automatically, but it will be … Read more
"Open the donut box and pass me a glazed, Hal."
"I'm afraid I can't do that, Dave."
Keeping your diet in check and working out is a great way to lose weight, but robotic assistants are always a huge help.
The weight maintenance sociable robot project at the always fascinating MIT Media Lab has one goal: to help you shed pounds. The talking, face-tracking, eye-contact-making weight-loss coach is designed for in-home use.
The MIT Media Lab site has a video of the robot in action.
Daily and long-term exercise patterns and eating habits are … Read more
There's a lot of room for novel aircraft design between the gargantuan (the Airbus A380) and the flimsy (that balsa wood toy that never flew the way you wanted it to).
One such design that's getting some attention these days--from no less than the likes of NASA--is the "personal aircraft vehicle." The notion here is that small propeller-driven planes could someday become the Camrys and Escorts of the skies, whisking commuters to the office or on short business trips while also undoing the gridlock that defines the automotive life for so many of us working stiffs.… Read more
Forget about brain waves--the next biometric remote control may come from your mouth.
Researchers at Osaka University are trying to produce something positive from the irritating habit of grinding one's teeth, according to Digital World Tokyo. So far, the Japanese scientists have limited their experiments to a "simple switching system" that's linked to the often-unconscious act of molar-crunching, developing infrared sensors that can detect the motion of jaw and head muscles involved. Their contraption determines whether true grinding is taking place and, if it is, the system turns a CD player on and off accordingly.… Read more
CNET readers were so impressed with Sync, the in-car media application developed by Microsoft for Ford, that they voted it the winner of the People's Voice award for Best of CES 2007. Today Ford released details on how much the people are going to have to fork over to choose Sync on select 2008 Ford, Mercury, and Lincoln models: a pretty reasonable $395.
Those who do option up will get one of the most sophisticated media and communications systems available. As we found in our hands-on test, the Sync application, which runs on a Microsoft Auto platform, enables drivers … Read more
This month's Living with Technology package on CNET.com is a must-see for anyone who values form over function, or function over form, or form that enhances function.
As you may have already gathered, the key word here is form. This month, Living with Technology is all about design: the good, the bad, the future, and the new philosophies that are budding in today's designers.
Bluetooth developer Open Interface announced today that it has a new lossless audio codec that leaves the existing A2DP (Advanced Audio Distribution Profile) standard in the dust. The codec is called SoundAbout Lossless and promises low-latency, low-complexity, multichannel Bluetooth audio, without compromising audio fidelity. Open Interface's Chief Operating Officer Rick Romatowski ran a demo of the new Bluetooth codec at our CNET offices last week, and we were definitely impressed. Jasmine France and I viewed a few scenes from House of Flying Daggers and were blown away by both the sound quality and the undetectable latency introduced by the … Read more