The CNET News crew had a Wii bit of fun in 2008, from a shocking workout to a superhero turn.
Reporter Michael Kanellos broke in the new year breaking a sweat--and then some. The CNET News veteran got on an exercise bike and hooked up to the Compex Sport, a device that electrically stimulates nerves to build muscles via electrodes. The reporter then turned shock-jock as he pedaled the exercise bike, receiving jolt after jolt, for a rather stimulating cycling session.
Riding though San Francisco Bay Area traffic can be maze-like, so Tsuboi tested a UC Berkeley-Nokia pilot program using a GPS cell phone to navigate iffy traffic in the area. Traffic conditions don't often include 60-foot long buses driving themselves. But Tsuboi also took a ghost ride for a mile-long test run.
On the green transportation theme, reporter Martin LaMonica checked out the Hydrogen Road Tour in Billerica, Mass., where the first hydrogen fueling station in the state was opened. A caravan of vehicles took part in a two-week cross-country trek of hydrogen-powered vehicles.
Roving reporter Tsuboi made quite a few treks in search of cool tech. In Pittsburgh, Tsuboi visited the Wood Street Galleries for an exhibit exploring how artists visualize our future relationship to consumer electronics. Items included hybridized robotic dogs and a piece called "Cellphone Disco." Back in the Bay Area, Tsuboi and the CNET News multimedia team encountered the pinging, dinging, and clinging of the Lucky JuJu pinball museum as they examined the mechanics behind the classic machines.
Pinballs gave way to bowling balls--virtual ones at that. Tsuboi visited a Northern California senior center where folks play Nintendo's Wii bowling to stay in shape, keep sharp, and have plenty of fun. Wii gaming fun also extended into the "alternative" medicine realm, as Tsuboi and crew saw at San Francisco's St. Mary's Medical Center. A trauma rehabilitation doctor there prescribes Nintendo Wii sessions as part of treatment, which seem to help patients forget their pain.
Tsuboi went from human pain to superhuman as she morphed into "Iron Woman" via motion-capture technology at Industrial Light & Magic's San Francisco headquarters. A special spandex suit translated Tsuboi's movements instantly to an Iron Man character on the screen behind her.
The year in videos ended with Tsuboi surfing the Web from the sky with Virgin America's Wi-Fi in-flight service. Unlike the Compex Sport device Kanellos tried out, this service wasn't such a shocking development.
CNET News' Michael Kanellos takes a ride with the Compex Sport, which electrically stimulates nerves to build muscles. It's an efficient, legal, and very painful way to beef up athletic performance.
The climbing robot from Stanford University doesn't have sticky feet at all. Instead, Stickybot relies on gecko-inspired technology to scale walls. One day this tech may also enable us to climb like Spider-Man...err, Gecko-Man.
At San Francisco's Exploratorium, artists and designers show off the fashion of the future--from a smoke-sensitive skirt to a vest that doubles as a video game controller.
It's all strikes and smiles at one senior center in Northern California as grandmas and grandpas play Nintendo's Wii bowling to stay in shape, keep sharp, and have some fun.
An exhibit at the Wood Street Galleries Pittsburgh explores how artists visualize our future relationship to consumer electronics. From hybridized robotic dogs to a piece called "Cellphone Disco," each work is meant to question viewers' level of intimacy with tech.
Don't be distracted by the flashing lights and the pinging, dinging, and clinging. The game of pinball puts some serious technology to work. Lucky JuJu, the only pinball museum in the country, teaches the history and mechanics behind the classic machines.
It's environmentally friendly like a traditional bicycle, but it has the zip of a scooter. Getting 20 miles per charge with a max cruising speed of 20 mph, Ultra Motor's new electric bike doesn't come cheap, at $2,600.
From scooters to off-road trucks to utility vehicles, all sorts of plug-in hybrid electric vehicles are on display at the Plug-In 2008 car conference in San Jose, Calif. It's the world's first showcase of its kind.
CNET catches up with the Hydrogen Road Tour in Billerica, Mass., where the first hydrogen fueling station in the state was opened. A caravan of hydrogen-powered vehicles is participating in the cross-country trek, which will end in Los Angeles.
If you see a purple Yahoo bike on the road, smile for the camera! As part of a new publicity campaign, Flickr has tricked out 20 bikes worldwide with GPS and Wi-Fi-enabled cameras that document the view from the handlebars once every minute. Those photos are then instantly uploaded to a Flickr photo stream.
It's a freaky sight: a 60-foot long bus driving itself. The wheel is turning, but there are no hands moving it. It's also a sight that passengers may soon have to get used to if initial testing of a UC Berkeley engineering program gains support and eventually public approval. CNET takes you for a ride on a one-mile test section in the San Francisco Bay Area.
When Iron Man is released on DVD, expect to find lots of behind-the-scenes footage about the making of this blockbuster. Some of the most captivating and fun technology used is motion capture, which CNET News' Kara Tsuboi was all too eager to try out at Industrial Light & Magic's San Francisco headquarters.
For any home hobbyists or tech lovers, the show Prototype This is going to be your new favorite TV show. In each episode, the four hosts attempt to turn their wacky ideas into a reality. CNET spends a day with the crew on location in the San Francisco Bay Area to learn about a waterslide simulator, a "pyro pack," and a robot that can climb stairs.
With the popularity of GPS-enabled cell phones, it makes sense to use that mapping technology to plot traffic speeds. A new UC Berkeley and Nokia pilot program tests out the tech in the San Francisco Bay Area, where CNET News' Kara Tsuboi gives it a spin.
Imagine sending e-mails, browsing blogs, and booking your next trip with ease while soaring above the clouds. CNET tries out Virgin America's new in-flight Wi-Fi service. The conclusion: we'll no longer be able to slack off during business trips.