It might be thirty years since you've even thought about Pong, the earliest video arcade game, but believe it or not, the ancient two-dimensional tennis sports game is making a comeback in 2010.
On today's episode of The 404 Podcast, we discuss the future of video games and how students at the Imperial College in London are developing a pair of special glasses that allows players to control paddle movement using their eye movements! The new technology holds particular promise for people with physical disabilities that might soon get the chance to join the gaming community. The glasses are fitted with infrared light sensors and a webcam that links a laptop to the player's eyes, and although the hardware only costs $35 to make, the eye movement system itself costs around $36,000, so don't expect to control Modern Warfare with your eyes anytime soon.
The big news of CTIA 2010 is Sprint announcing the HTC Evo 4g, the first available handset to run 4G in the US. Its list of accolades is impressive and blows away the competition: 4.3-inch display, micro-USB port, 8.3-megapixel rear facing camera in addition to a VGA lens on the front for video calls, and perhaps the most impressive--a kickstand! So far Sprint has rolled out its 4g network in 27 cities and plans to expand to NYC, Boston, D.C., SF, and more by the end of the year. The HTC Evo 4g certainly grabs our interests, but Jeff is shaking at the prospect of a phone worthy of replacing his 8th Palm Pre. Could this be the one? We'll get CNET's Cell Phone Editor Bonnie Cha in the studio soon to get the inside scoop.
Both of those stories plus an family-sized Calls From The Public on today's episode of The 404 Podcast!EPISODE 547 Subscribe in iTunes audio | Suscribe to iTunes (video) | Subscribe in RSS Audio | Subscribe in RSS Video
Sprint Nextel is using Wi-Fi to sell its 4G WiMax wireless broadband service.
The nation's third largest wireless carrier has at least a year-and-a-half head start over its closest competitor, Verizon Wireless, when it comes to 4G. But to capitalize on that lead, the company has to win as many subscribers for its service as quickly as it can. Verizon plans to launch its 4G network later this year.
In its race against the clock, Sprint is leveraging a tried-and-true technology, Wi-Fi, to help entice consumers to sign up for its service. The reason is simple. There are millions … Read more
PALM DESERT, Calif.--The 2010 Demo Spring conference has come to an end, and in its wake we have a new crop of companies new and old with ideas that promise to make our cars, pockets, businesses, and living rooms better.
Prior to the start of the conference, we wrote up a few of the top companies to watch. And after seeing their presentations, we're naming our favorite pitches and products from the two-day conference.
Why would anyone launch yet another e-book format? That's the obvious question we had at DemoSpring when watching the short pitch by Neverend Media's Chris Kubica. His new format is quite different from existing e-books, because it's designed to support subscribing to a book the way you can sign up for an RSS feed, and it has a return channel to the author built into the format. Plus it has a smart social component.
PALM DESERT, Calif.--Companies have been trying to shoehorn the Web onto consumer TV sets for the past 15 years. However very few have been able to turn it into a profitable business, or, at the very least, something that finds a balance between being powerful and easy to use from the couch.
Still, some of those early missteps have led to hardware makers now putting Web services like Netflix, Twitter, and Facebook into their latest TV sets and Blu-ray players. There's also a growing group of companies that are trying to bring the entirety of the Web to the living room instead.
Three of these are launching new product iterations this week at the DemoSpring conference: GlideTV, Hillcrest Labs' Kylo Browser, and Viaclix. All three attempt to bring a full Web-browsing experience to TV sets.
Hillcrest Labs has actually been kicking around since 2001, and introduced its "Loop" remote control in early 2007. This is a special circular mouse that has had its buttons and ergonomics optimized for use on the couch. The tech inside it was also the source of a patent dispute with Nintendo over its Wii remote controller.
What the company introduced at Demo was a new browser called Kylo that works on both PCs and Macs, and makes use of the company's Loop hardware to make it easy to hop around the Web, and Web video sites. While users are able to download Kylo free of charge, and without buying a $99 Loop remote, the company is hoping it will spur sales of the remote.
Also offering special mouse hardware was GlideTV, which introduced a revamped version of its couch-friendly browser. Unlike Hillcrest's Loop, GlideTV makes use of a touch pad. Though it too is about finding Web video content to watch in a nontraditional Web browser. Its big new feature is that it scours the Web for new content, then separates it into channels. The new version also adds predictive text input so users aren't pecking out too many characters in a text search. … Read more
PALM DESERT, Calif.--Apple is leaving behind clever mobile-app developers--and it's evident at the DemoSpring conference. Three interesting and potentially useful mobile apps were introduced here Tuesday on other platforms--Windows Mobile and Android--because these platforms allow background processing, and the iPhone does not.
When the 3.0 version of the iPhone operating system came out, it added background notification, but through a server-based push mechanism that only gives developers a few capabilities for sending notifications to phones. It's not true background processing like you have on a computer or on other smartphones. An advantage to the Apple scheme, … Read more
PALM DESERT, Calif.--Here at DemoSpring 2010, one of the "Alpha pitches"--those from companies not yet developed enough to make it to the main stage--is Medl Technology, which is trying to bring its 13-inch battery-powered, USB-driven portable computer monitor to market.
It's a nice product, but very niche. Geeks who want more working real estate on the road, or pitchmen who want a secondary monitor when they're doing on-screen presentations might find it worthwhile to carry this secondary display. But I don't predict success for this product; the market's just too small.
On … Read more
PALM DESERT, Calif.--Gwabbit, the contact-slurping tool that launched at last year's Demo conference has made the much-needed shift to the cloud.
The new tool offering, which the company is calling the "gwab-o-sphere," takes the contact information gathered from incoming e-mails and syncs it with updated information from places like Twitter, Facebook, and Salesforce.com. If changes are made by these users in any of these locations, the updated information is ferried back over to Gwabbit, where it's synced back out to all the clients with the Gwabbit plug-in installed.
The need for services like … Read more
Motolingo's Motoriety is a neat tool that marries the data your car is generating in real time with the power of a smartphone to bring some pretty modern capabilities to older cars. There's hardware, software, and a Web service involved in the product, but it looks like it should all work together well.
The hardware component is a small black box that you plug into your car's diagnostic port (all cars built after about 1996 have them). It communicates via Bluetooth to software on your smartphone and monitors things like road speed, engine performance, and the causes … Read more