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
The future of household lighting might be on the horizon. I know, it's not as exciting as a new iPhone or cheap broadband, but in practical terms, new low-cost LED lights being developed could fully replace standard incandescent bulbs and halogen tubes in just a few years.
The lights themselves aren't new, but according to Physorg.com, the Cambridge University-based Centre for Gallium Nitride has come up with a new way to manufacture gallium nitride, a man-made semiconductor at the heart of the lights.
This new technique means the bulbs can be produced en masse for about one-tenth … Read more
If you're under 40, you might think TVs always had remotes. The early ones were called "clickers," "channel changers," or "selectors."
Sure, there were TV remotes as early as 1956, notably the Zenith Space Command, but remote-controlled TVs didn't really enter the mainstream until the 1970s.
It's true that there weren't many channels from which to choose at that time, but changing channels or volume without a remote was a matter of getting up from the sofa, walking over to the set, and turning big, clunky knobs on the TV.… Read more
The worst part of installing a home theater is getting the little satellite speakers around the room without wires running all over the place. How about getting them installed right where the lightbulbs are, or more specifically, inside the lightbulbs?
This idea is what a few designers put together and call the SoundBulb.
Basically, they want to put a Bluetooth wireless speaker inside an LED lightbulb. The speaker then works independently from the light, or with the light, to create different levels of illumination depending on the level or pitch of the sound.
The speaker can be controlled at the … Read more
If you're lucky enough to be planning a new kitchen or a kitchen renovation, you're probably looking for ways to make the space more energy efficient. If you want under cabinet lighting and you don't think adhesive lights will provide the long-term solution you're looking for, consider the Kichler Design Pro LED Under Cabinet Lighting fixtures.
The lights are ultrathin, with a half-inch profile, and they last up to 40,000 hours, or about 20 years of normal use. And, instead of the blue hues that were once the hallmark of LED lighting solutions, these lights … Read more
Lighting is a critical element in the kitchen. Without good workspace lighting, you can't see what you're doing, of course, but lighting also sets the mood. At the end of the day, when you turn off the kitchen lights, the space is dark and uninviting. Add a little under-cabinet lighting, however, and the kitchen beckons, "Hey, it's okay. You can still have a glass of water or a snack before you go to bed."
But if you're not going through a total kitchen redo, how can you add in the high-end look of under-cabinet … Read more