LAS VEGAS -- With the unveiling Wednesday of Suitable Technologies' Beam+, telepresence robots are becoming more affordable for many of the people who need them most.
Over the last few years, a range of companies have built telepresence robots -- devices that roll around, connecting people remotely through the use of video screens and microphones. But until now, many of the robots have been too costly for all but a few people, and have mainly belonged in the corporate world.
Imagine you went out to eat and sat down to a meal of pasta shaped like the Batman logo. If a collaboration between Italian pasta maker Barilla and Dutch research organization TNO comes to fruition, restaurants could one day have 3D food printers that make this a reality.
According to Dutch news Web site Trouw, the two have been working on a fast 3D food printer that prints pasta and is targeted at the restaurant market. Diners could bring a USB stick containing their 3D designs, and chefs could plug-and-print on the spot. … Read more
As automakers add more infotainment features, owners end up compiling a multitude of personal preferences in their vehicles, covering everything from favorite destinations to streaming music services to contact lists. But what happens when you buy a new?
Covisint, a provider of back-end secure data services, demonstrated a new concept in personal profiles for cars at the 2014 Detroit auto show.
In the demonstration, an owner could log into a Web site run by Covisint and populate a virtual garage with any cars she owns. She could upload her contact list from a smartphone and program in any other … Read more
A microscopic windmill could one day provide a portable method of charging devices. The tiny machines, just 1.8 millimeters at their widest point (10 can fit on a single grain of rice), can harvest energy from the movement of air.
They are the work of University of Texas, Arlington, research associate Smitha Rao and electrical engineering professor J.-C. Chiao. The pair envisions smartphone cases embedded with hundreds of windmills that could charge the phones therein when waved through the air or held by an open window on a windy day. … Read more
3D printing was among the industries at the nexus of CES 2014, and Brooklyn-based MakerBot stole the show. Onstage Monday of last week, during MakerBot's first-ever press conference in five years of attending the event, CEO Bre Prettis unveiled not just one but three new 3D printers. While many ohhed and ahhed at the mini-fridge-size Replicator Z18, the crux of the announcement was MakerBot's most inexpensive device to date, the $1,375 Replicator Mini.
It's certainly not cheap. But the Mini's price tag is low enough to rouse the ever-present speculation looming over 3D printing: the timing and form factor of the one product that will be first to encapsulate the potential of the entire industry and hand it to everyone in an understandable package. When will we see that device, the one that matches an appealing price point with enough functionality to unlock the mainstream market? … Read more
A newly published European patent application from Samsung details a method for controlling a smartphone through what basically amounts to head tracking with a front-facing camera. And while there's no indication in the document or from Samsung itself when or where we might first see this tech put in place (many innovations get patented but never become publicly available), intomobile points out that the application was filed in July, not too long after the release of the Galaxy S4, so it could be part of an R&D iteration cycle in preparation for creating a successor.… Read more
Over the course of the week, some clear trends emerged at this annual tech takeover of Las Vegas -- some we expected, while others were a bit more surprising. Wearable technologies like new smartwatches and activity trackers dominated the show (they must be able to multiply as quickly as rabbits... or Bluetooth speakers, which appeared this year with a level of ubiquity previously met only by iPhone cases).
LAS VEGAS -- The idea of customizing your handset beyond just its looks has been often toyed with, but rarely realized. At CES this year, ZTE displayed its concept Eco-Mobius modular phone at its booth, which maps out how someone could customize and change his or her smartphone, hardware piece by hardware piece.
Developed by the company's R&D department in China, the Eco-Mobius would make it possible to switch out and upgrade individual hardware components. For instance, say you are going to a wedding and would like to shoot sharper, higher-resolution photos. You could then replace your … Read more
Leaked from today's 404 episode:
- Peter Brown checks out the Razer Project Christine.
- Sony at CES: PlayStation Now, "Breaking Bad" and the "wow" factor.
- Gaming exoskeleton to pair with Oculus Rift headset at CES 2014.
- Oculus Rift Crystal Cove prototype: Head-on.