At the 2007 Frankfurt auto show, German automakers had hybrid cars and concepts on display. Up until now, European automakers seemed uninterested in employing hybrid technologies, but Mercedes-Benz, BMW, Porsche, and Audi have all stepped up to the plate. Mercedes-Benz has an actual hybrid SUV ready for production, while the other automakers have concepts that strongly indicate future hybrid powertrain development.
GM goes flex-crazy with the Flextreme concept, throwing around its new favorite marketing term like a flexy flexible flyer. This Opel-branded concept runs on GM's new E-Flex powertrain. It has FlexDoors for the passengers and a FlexLoad rear gate. But the only thing anyone will pay attention to are the two nonflex Segways stowed in the rear.
Volkswagen dropped a bomb at the 2007 Frankfurt auto show in the form of an unexpected little concept called Up. Actually, it's more of a grenade, as the Up is a city car--small but able to hold four people. What makes the Up interesting is that the engine is in the rear, a configuration Volkswagen used with the original beetle. And from its press materials, Volkswagen suggests that the Up could be as iconic. That remains to be seen. Although we like the clean look of the Up, it doesn't stray far from the Golf's design.
It … Read more
No, this isn't from today's Main Event. But as the Apple hype machine churns at full throttle before the opening act, it's only natural for people to dream.
To wit: The "iRing" is an ingenious concept that combines fashion jewelry and iPod control with built-in Bluetooth technology to adjust volume and playback. Following the iPhone's touch-screen influence, it has touch-sensitive "function strip" too--though we wonder how practical it is for a piece of hand jewlery to have that feature, as it would seem to get bumped around a bit and might accidentally … Read more
If we had to guess, the leaked shots of the HP Virtus over on Engadget this afternoon are the result of HP and Voodoo's joint design efforts. All we were able to get out of HP is that this is a concept image, and that it's not coming out any time soon. Looks nice, though.
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
Every once in awhile (OK, a lot), we feel compelled to mention an item simply because its photo is so bizarre--even if it's only a concept. That's certainly reason enough to discuss the "Renovatio" from Confederate Motor, a motorcycle that looks something like a cross between a Civil War-era steam engine and the monster in Alien, with a touch of Tron for good measure.
When brilliant ideas smash against the banks of your brain and threaten to overflow the narrow borders of a digital sticky note or notepad, mind-mapping software can contain the surge, and more--it can divert thought flows into manageable streams. Part brainstorming notepad and part presentation software, FreeMind's freeware canvas for Mac and Windows provides a visual, quasi-linear outlet for complex ideas.
FreeMind isn't the only software for the job, and it doesn't do everything, but when commercial mind-mapping products such as ConceptDraw Mindmap and Mindjet MindManager cost between $150 and $300, quibbles over FreeMind's minor function limitations seem suddenly petty.… Read more
Case in point: One overly enthused gamer has come up with a conceptual combo of Guitar Hero and Nintendo's DS Lite. As SlashGear points out, the dimensions of a real guitar controller would make such a product difficult to impossible, but that's not the point. The issue is one of overload, people. When we said, "Get a grip," … Read more
Here's one that's been making the rounds recently--well, actually, anything remotely pertaining to a "flying car" seems to get a nod on every tech blog within a week. (Hmm, I wonder why?) This one, the Moller M200G, actually seems more along the lines of a personal flying saucer. Allegedly, it's actually in development and will sell for a paltry $125K. You'll be able to zip around about 10 feet off the ground at a speed of 50 miles per hour. (No, eco-geeks, I don't know what the mileage or emissions stats are.) And … Read more