REDMOND, Wash.--At Microsoft's TechFest, it takes a little imagination to see how the research technologies might eventually come to market.
A new video from Microsoft shows in an elegant, if utopian way, what it might look like if all of those gadgets came together several years hence. Earlier on Friday, Microsoft Business Division President Stephen Elop showed the video in a speech at the University of Pennsylvania's Wharton School of Business.
Imagine being able to control street lights with your mobile phone. This isn't a prank, but an eco-friendly solution now in place in parts of Germany.
The (I must add) responsible denizens there have put in place a system called Dial4Light that lets cell phone users turn on the street lamps only when someone actually needs illumination. We won't suggest this for streets like Harlem or the dodgier parts of Asia since it's so easily subject to abuse.
Much like your very own on/off switch at home, this one requires you to dial up the lights, … Read more
One of the most popular iPhone apps of 2008 wasn't a game or productivity app, or even a random sound maker. Surely many iPhone users reading this post have downloaded the app called Koi Pond, or have at least seen it on a friend's iPhone. It's one of the first programs I start up whenever I'm showing off my iPhone because it combines excellent ambient sound, crisp graphics, and you can make waves and "feed the fish" by swiping or touching the screen. There is no real goal to Koi Pond beyond enjoying watching … Read more
G-Force is a free visualizer plug-in for iTunes, which extends your options beyond iTunes' built-in visualizers for displaying colorful light shows to accompany your music. You activate G-Force like any other visualizer, just by selecting it while in iTunes, and then it shows complex, constantly changing visuals that move and react to whatever music you're playing. Because G-Force combines a huge number of shapes, colors, images, and other variables, this app produces millions of possible visual effects. What makes G-Force more interesting than many visualizers is hotkeys for quickly adjusting visuals on the fly (like skipping through effects or … Read more
Usually a blight is something you'd want to avoid, but according to Unplggd, if designer Vincent Gerkens has his way, the more blight out there, the better.
Fortunately he's referring to Blight, a concept that involves attaching solar panels onto venetian blinds. As the Unplggd article points out, Blight is a word play on "blinds" and "light," which I probably would not have figured out on my own. The panels soak up the sun during the day, and at night they light up your life. Or room. Or whatever you need illuminated, I suppose. … Read more
The lighting industry is changing from analog to digital technologies, a move that could bring traditional semiconductor and IT suppliers into lighting, said Philips Lighting CEO Rudy Provoost.
Before heading the 117-year-old Philips Lighting business, Provoost was CEO of Philips Consumer Electronics, a position that gave him a good understanding of the digital world.
"Over time, as the shift from analog to digital technology continues, we will indeed see companies in the ICT (information and communications technology) world probably get involved in digital lighting," he said.
Potential new competitors would be Asian high-tech manufacturers or semiconductor makers, he … Read more
Energy-efficient LEDs lamps have reached a point where they can compete with traditional lighting in some applications, but don't expect to find LED lightbulbs at the every supermarket tomorrow, according to Udi Meirav, CEO of LED start-up Luminus.
Luminus announced Monday a partnership with Japanese LED company Nichia to make components for LEDs lamps that give off white light. Until now, Luminus has made chips for colored LED lights that go into projectors and TVs. Other LED companies target commercial applications as well, such as public lighting.
Luminus' partnership with Nichia will result in LED lamps that give off … Read more
The iPhone 3G brought changes in shape, function, features, etc., relative to original model, but, to the dismay of many cell phone, photographers, the device retains the same 2.0 megapixel camera. Apple enhanced the camera by coupling the camera to the GPS features of the iPhone 3G to enable photo geotagging, but this did little to calm the complaints about the camera's resolution, lack of flash and other features available on a few other phones. Last October, I wrote a lengthy article about the state of photography on the iPhone and, months later, I'm still amazed by … Read more