Is it art? Sure. But it's also the most mesmerizing coffee table we've ever seen.
Is it art? Sure. But it's also the most mesmerizing coffee table we've ever seen.
Your Technotronic playlist aside, running on a treadmill is inherently boring because you're stuck in a room running on the same platform. But what if you could switch things up and simulate actual, real-world topography?
The NordicTrack x7i Interactive Incline Trainer, which goes for $2,000, is loaded with Wi-Fi to interface with iFit Live, a fitness database that pulls actual trail and marathon routes from Google Maps (which, though not supported in the limited official workout library at this time, should really include Google Moon). Among the trails that are included: the Delicate Arch Trail at Arches National … Read more
Galactica is an interactive light show, a relaxing app that lets you manipulate spacey visual effects to the sounds of ethereal background music.
As is often the case for apps like this (i.e., with arguably zero "usefulness") the value of Galactica comes down to how well it's designed and executed. Fortunately, Galactica makes excellent use of the touch screen, and the quality of the music and the app's cosmic "fireworks" are consistently good. The interface encourages playfulness, with a simple flick to send a stream of light shooting across the screen, a double-tap … Read more
If there's one lingering sensation after this year's CES, it's that already big and high-resolution TVs are trying very hard to get even more realistic and compelling to consumers. As proven by movies like "Avatar," 3D can be about more than things flying out of the screen at you like that old Joe Flaherty sketch from SCTV. 3D can be about immersion, and one of the true hoped-for killer apps in 3D TV is sports programming. I'll be the first to admit that I'd be excited about a 3D broadcast of a Jets game; in fact, 3D could help gain perspective on camera angles, and help with sports like baseball in helping keep track of field distances and fly balls. Plus, of course, it would look cool.
Would 3D or any other future form of TV ever replace the experience of being at the game itself, though?
I ask because I am a New York Jets season-ticket holder. My father, Michael Stein--otherwise known as "Jetmike"--has had season tickets for 44 years. He's been at Shea and Giants Stadium and even the Polo Grounds since the Jets were the Titans, and has only missed games to go to medical school in Italy (where, sadly, he missed the 1969 Jets Super Bowl). He also is a huge home theater buff; he owns a Pioneer Kuro TV and has 7.1 surround in his living room media center. I asked him whether there was anything that could lure him to give up being at the game and stay home instead.
He had no hesitation in his answer. "I go for the camaraderie," he said. "At the game, 80,000 people become one."
I can attest to that, as we both braved 19-degree weather for the final Jets game at Giants Stadium on January 3 for a remarkable night football experience. But our viewing angle, despite having good mezzanine seats, is far from ideal. A TV broadcast can zoom in and show slow-motion replays. Being at the game can show the whole field, but TV already has an advantage in quality.… Read more
Las Vegas--If you've ever watched the motion user interface scene from "Minority Report" and thought to yourself, "I WANT THAT," then check out Light Touch from Light Blue Optics, an interactive projector with a surprisingly accurate touch response.
At its core, the Light Touch is a simple handheld computer running Windows CE, but it uses holographic laser tracking to project a 10.1-inch virtual touch screen onto any flat surface. From there, you can control everything from scrolling through photos to selecting MP3s and dragging folders around the desktop. The laser also does double-duty by ensuring that the image stays in constant focus even across long distances.
We demoed the unit at the Light Blue Optics booth at CES 2010, and came away surprised at the accuracy of the laser. The projection only lights up to 15 lumens, which seemed dim compared to normal fluorescent viewing, and we're skeptical about its outdoor performance; however, we left with a skip in our step knowing that "Minority Report" might become a reality sooner than later.
Want your own demo? Check out the Light Blue Optics Web site for a video of the Light Touch in action.
More photos after the jump.… Read more
Create photo slideshows using Flash technology with Fortop Album Creator. Choose a template, select your photos, and Fortop Album Creator will create a slideshow. You can upload MP3 files for background music, too.
The interface is attractive, with a good variety of templates to choose from. A Help file is there when more assistance is needed. Creating a slideshow is easy, but saving the file is tricky. It's important to select "create loading HTML file" when saving your slideshow. Choosing that option lets you view your slideshow in your computer's browser. Fortop Album Creator's native … Read more
Do you feel like you need one more music game for the holidays? It's getting pretty strained, isn't it, between The Beatles: Rock Band, Guitar Hero 5, DJ Hero, Band Hero, and now this very family-friendly-oriented spin on Harmonix' franchise, Lego Rock Band. Taking two gaming hits--games based on Lego, and Rock Band--and combining them sounds like a slam dunk, but how does this all work out? We played it and have our thoughts.
Good news: you won't need new instruments. Lego Rock Band uses the same drum/mic/guitar compatibility system that's finally starting to become an industry norm. The other fun thing about Lego Rock Band is its weird, whimsical settings and sense of humor. All the Lego games, from Indiana Jones to Star Wars, have shared a Charlie Chaplin-ish winking humor with frequently cute/bizarre overtones, and the rock "battles" aboard pirate ships and other settings makes for music videos worth watching in the background. Other than that, it's standard Rock Band stuff. The game is developed by TT Games, the group responsible for all the other Lego titles, so it feels consistently similar to what you might be expecting, except with a Rock Band engine attached.
Bad news: 45 included tracks span pop and mainstream, and the game will also access the online catalog of Rock Band DLC tracks--but only ones that are considered family-friendly. That means some songs won't make the import cut. The censorship is annoying, but the Lego versions of rock stars almost make it worth it.… Read more
AutoRun is the handy Windows feature that automatically starts a program when, for example, you insert a CD-ROM in your PC's drive. Whether you're a network administrator or a newbie, an installation program that starts right up with a professional-looking interface is a reassuring sight. Good installation programs don't design themselves, though. Someone put it all together and put it on disk. You can, too, with AutoRun Pro Enterprise II from Longtion. It's designed to let anyone create interactive front ends for downloads, CD-ROMs, and other such applications, regardless of skill level. It lets you bring … Read more
Forrester is about to release a new report on “Adaptive Brand Marketing: Rethinking Your Approach to Branding in the Digital Age,” in which it proposes replacing “brand managers” with “brand advocates.” Advertising Age provides a sneak peek at the ‘new 4 Ps of Marketing’ presented in the report: permission, proximity, perception, and participation. Other core elements include: “embracing an expanded role for consumer intelligence, focusing on strategic brand platforms, and empowering a federated organization."
A fervent advocate of marketing as a cross-organizational catalyst for change myself, I wholeheartedly agree with BBH Labs which believes the Forrester report points to … Read more
If you need help with geometry studies, this app may be just the assistance you're looking for. Tutors and homeschoolers alike will find features to appreciate in this easy-to-use tool.
GEUP launches a screen-size window, with an editing pane that takes up most of its space. This pane is edged along top and its left side with a row of icon-stamped buttons. Although the icons may initially intimidate novice users, familiarity will increase with practice. Students can't necessarily learn geometry by using the tool alone, but using it in connection with a textbook or study guide will certainly … Read more