If you've ever tried to use the computer while babysitting, you know that the keyboard is essentially a busy box to babies, who love to mash it until they get a reaction, which you provide when they close the app you were using. Baby Computer Piano is a fun bit of freeware that offers a partial solution to the problem at hand (or two hands, even if they're tiny). It disables normal keyboard function, replacing it with a realistic piano sound. The mouse is unaffected, letting you surf the Web and perform other tasks while the wee one … Read more
This week, we have a giant NES controller perfect for Donald's purely hypothetical furry party. Plus, the creepiest robot baby yet, a turntable that plays trees, and a uncut "Star Wars" along with a cut-worthy Stormtrooper cake. In Geek news, Eric confesses that Star Wars: The Old Republic may be his new World of Warcraft.
"Eraserhead" baby, meet your match.
It seems engineers and tinkerers never tire of creating horrific human simulacra in robot baby form, or even robot fetus form. But the sheer nightmarish genius of this latest unholy spawn gives one pause. Behold it in the video below.
The silently mewling babe is a collection of whirring servomotors and flailing claw-arms, seemingly powered by unseen mechanisms beneath its blanket.
Its movements are perfectly lifelike, and yet its appearance is so alien-death machine-like that I get an overwhelming urge to cast it far into the Uncanny Valley from whence it came. … Read more
LAS VEGAS--The days of standing on a scale with your baby and then without it and measuring the difference are over--if it's worth spending $150 on an Internet-connected scale built just for your little one.
So hopes Withings, the French design company that introduced a smart baby monitor last year and is unveiling its Smart Baby Scale--coming in the second quarter of 2012--at CES this week. Made for iPod, iPhone, and iPad, the scale is the first to use Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and Bluetooth Smart connectivity for tracking the weight of babies and toddlers.
The specs: at 3.3 … Read more
LAS VEGAS--Along with introducing its InTouch Skype HD videophone for TVs, Samsung Techwin America today rolled out two new consumer video-monitoring cameras, the WiFi IP SmartCam and WiFi Video Baby Monitor.
Both cameras are designed to be very simple to set up and both will hit the market in March for $149.99.
Samsung claims the set-up is basically a no-brainer, requiring a single button push (or really two).
"Users simply locate the WPS [WiFi Protected Setup] button on the device and their home router," the company says, "and with a click of each, the two will automatically sync and the camera will be added to the network in less than 30 seconds."… Read more
The Origami isn't for parents who are into old-fashioned baby bonnets and bassinets. It's for parents who have purchased slobber-proof iPhone cases and Star Trek bibs for their little geeky angel. (The promo video features raunchy rock and roll music, in case you were still wondering about the target audience.)… Read more
In 1999, the American Academy of Pediatrics issued a statement that discouraged electronic media use by children under the age of 2. Today, the same group is releasing a follow-up statement that not only maintains its previous recommendations, but backs them up with a great deal of data to boot.
In 1999, as display screens were making their way into parents' and children's bedrooms alike, the pediatricians had limited data with which to work. But they had something of an expert hunch that kids younger than 2 reaped more negative than positive effects from media exposure.
In today's … Read more
The idea is that a pregnancy simulator might help a dude (or a lady who has yet to experience the joys of pregnancy) better empathize with pregnant women.
Even setting aside the obvious issue that the simulator wearer is not experiencing hormonal changes, and that he can take the simulator off at any point (oh, the freedom), there is something downright bizarre about a man who appears to be pregnant. (See video below.)
Get past the oddity and the Mommy Tummy 8.0 is actually an impressive little (and then rather suddenly big) gadget. It comprises a water bag, touch sensor, acceleration sensor, and fetal air actuator to simulate the growth, weight, and even movement of a fetus.… Read more
Too busy to keep up with the tech news? Here are some of the more interesting stories from CNET for Friday, August 26.
Apple has ditched the 99-cent video rental plan, which was offered through Apple TV and iTunes. Why? CNET's Greg Sandoval said, "The Hollywood studios and TV networks don't want another Netflix. Look around. They're trying to stuff that genie back into the bottle.&… Read more
2cute is a free, ad-supported app that lets you browse, download, and share images from the 2cute Web site--images that are empirically very cute (or as the app points out, in Japanese, "kawaii") of puppies, kittens, bunnies, and more. You can browse through large thumbnails of the pictures just by swiping left and right, and you can tap to rate, share, or download a normal or high-resolution version of the photo.
Flipping through the photos on 2cute is fun (with an occasional surprise, like a baby octopus or pygmy marmoset), and this app provides a great and easy … Read more