While we remain dubious about the legitimacy of using the word "invisible" when visible light isn't involved, that's what a team of engineers at Duke University have dubbed their creation. Seven years ago, they demonstrated their first "invisibility cloak" in a laboratory; now, thanks to 3D printing, the fabrication process is a lot more accessible.
The object -- which looks more like a Frisbee made of Swiss cheese than a wearable cape a la Harry Potter -- has a large hole in the center, with seemingly random holes in the disc. The size, shape, and placement of these holes have actually been determined using algorithms to disguise any object placed in the center hole from microwave beams aimed through the side of the disc, making it appear as though the object isn't there. … Read more
Google's Glass can shoot video with its built-in camera, but one missing piece is getting it right onto YouTube, which Google also happens to own.
Fullscreen, a Los Angeles-based company, has solved that with what it claims is the first YouTube app for Glass. The software, called Beam, lets Glass owners post their videos to YouTube, as well as automatically share them on Twitter once they're live.
In short, first-person crotch-shot videos will be uploaded to YouTube faster than ever.
That very same feature could eventually be added by Google at some point, but for now users either … Read more
BeamReader PDF Viewer is a free Android app that opens, displays, and saves PDF files and email attachments. It's compact and has most of the features you expect from a PDF reader, such as zoom, pinch-to-zoom, text wrap, bookmarks, and password protection. It's suitable for Android 2+ devices, but it doesn't seem to support Android 4 releases, and the developer seems to have stopped updating it. With excellent PDF utilities available from Adobe and others, and at the same price as BeamReader (free, as in no money) it's hard to see how it finds a place … Read more
Of the 750-plus channels Roku has to offer, there's one big guy missing from the pack: YouTube.
Considering its front-and-center presence on other platforms -- like Apple TV and Samsung Smart TVs -- its conspicuous absence might seem odd. But, Roku's CEO offers a logical explanation, noting that "YouTube insists on using HTML5 for its UI," and seemingly refuses to build a Roku-specific app.
YouTube's absence hurts so bad that even third-party developers have created channels almost exclusively designed to stream YouTube, only to be pulled days or weeks later.
As of this writing, there … Read more
Cost-conscious wireless consumers have figured out that you don't need to pay a hefty monthly data fee to a wireless carrier to still enjoy many of the apps and functionality found on smartphones.
Of course, there are limitations to going without a carrier data plan. For example, you can only access the Internet when you are in a Wi-Fi hotspot, which means you won't get coverage everywhere. And you will likely have to pay full price for an unlocked device. (You could always buy a cheaper one used or use someone friend's or family member's old … Read more
With the flick of a switch and a flash of green light, a network of veins springs to the fore, mapped out just below the surface of the skin. This is no medical lab -- it's a darkened suite inside San Francisco's designer Clift Hotel -- but I already see how the recent sting of a donation nurse thumping the inside of both elbows in search of a vein could, and should, be a nervy, time-consuming thing of the past.
The VeinViewer Flex isn't new. In fact, the first generation of VeinViewer debuted in 2006. But its use of infrared light to illuminate a hidden network within the body is seldom appreciated outside of medical circles.
Light, it turns out, and the projectors that channel it, can do quite a bit.… Read more
LAS VEGAS--Actiontec today showed off at CES 2013 its first wireless display kit called ScreenBeam. This is a Miracast-certified kit that allows you to display a mobile device's screen onto a big-screen TV.
Actiontec say ScreenBeam is one of the first devices approved by the Wi-Fi Alliance for its Wi-Fi certified Miracast program. This ensures that it's compatible with other Miracast-enabled devices.
Actiontec offers ScreenBeam as both a standalone wireless display adapter and as a kit. A standalone adapter works with existing Miracast-certified devices, including laptops, smartphones, tablets, and devices running Android or WiDi 3.5 and higher. … Read more
These days, almost every smartphone contains the same bag of tricks, with little to differentiate handsets, apart from the hardware and maybe some software extras.
Sure, one might have a better camera, more external or internal storage, and other specs that help us tell one phone from another. But on the whole, you can access e-mail, text messages, and social networks from them all, share photos and videos, surf the Internet, and install any number of apps.
This kind of uniformity is actually good news, since it means that even midrange smartphones can be just as capable as high-end products, even if they have a smaller screen or shorter battery life, for instance. Of course, there are some smartphones that stand out from the crowd for a certain physical or software feature. In no particular order, here's the current crop of unique handsets that have me looking twice.… Read more
Japan has some pretty high-tech trains, but bumpy rides are still common. If you're squashed between dozens of commuters and gripping a strap with one hand while holding reading material in the other, turning the page as the speeding carriage lurches to and fro can be downright dangerous.
That's why NTT DoCoMo has developed a prototype tablet that you can control with your eyes. The "i beam" has a gaze-tracking function that frees your other hand so you can hang on to that subway strap, or, for instance, pull a suitcase around if you're walking through an airport. … Read more