Tuesday, August 26, 2003

"Paper Feel" Technology

BBC News > J.Fildes > Hi-tech tome takes on paperbacks

Researchers at Hewlett Packard have developed a prototype electronic book which can hold a whole library on a device no bigger than a paperback.

BCC News Image

The interesting point about this ebook is that it tries to stimulate the human experience with real paper - flipping the page.
The pages are turned by running a finger along one of the strips. Stroking the strip at different speeds allows the reader to speed read or casually browse the book.

from [Gizmodo]

Mouse Innovation - Tilt Wheel Technology

Microsoft is reinventing the mouse wheel, adding "Tilt Wheel Technology" for horizontal scrolling and smoothing the vertical scroll motion.

Microsoft is planning to launch three mice with the new tilting wheel on Sept. 3, one corded and two cordless operating at 27MHz, a company spokeswoman said. The mice will also have a feature that lets users toggle between open applications on a PC by pressing down on the wheel, she said.

The new Microsoft mice will be sold worldwide. Further product and pricing details will be announced at launch. Pricing is expected to be in line with Microsoft's current mouse portfolio, which ranges from $34.95 to $44.95 for corded and 27MHz cordless mice. Microsoft's Bluetooth mouse costs $84.95, according to Microsoft.

PC Watch Image

PC Watch Image

From infoworld.com, PC Watch

'Smart' Changing Room

A British company has developed a 'smart' changing room that tells clothes shoppers what not to wear.

Installed in a changing room, an array of about six cameras would feed data to a computer running software that matches particular styles to individual body shapes.

The inventors say it could provide advice like "your bum looks too big in this" - or words to that effect.

Are they serious about this? Will you go into this kind of changing room where your photos will be taken and recorded?

By Ananova from SmartMob

Computer system 'can land aircraft without air traffic controllers' by year 2020

Elizabeth Day of telegraph.co.uk said that British Aerospace scientists have developed a revolutionary airborne computer system that they claim can land aircraft safely without human air traffic controllers. It will enable a pilot to determine an aircraft's landing path simply by pressing a button in the cockpit.

The aim is to eliminate human error, save on fuel and increase flight safety. Wonder if they have done enough to ensure a failure proof system in the first place.

Illustration from Electronic Telegraph

Some facts from Computer system 'can land aircraft without air traffic controllers'
- The company plans to introduce the system, which has so far cost £76 million, half of which has been funded by the European Commission, in three phases.
- BAE plans a full-scale trial introduction for leading airlines by 2008.
- By 2020, they envisage that air traffic controllers will have been entirely replaced by the system, which will take all the decisions currently made by humans.
- If successful, it will also threaten the jobs of 40,000 air traffic controllers worldwide.

Note : 2020 is the Year for Malaysia >> Vision 2020

Saturday, August 23, 2003

Reproducing the Precious Moments of your Life

Nikkei IT News (Japanese) reporting on Prof Aizawa's Wearable Video Project at University of Tokyo - "Sensing your brain waves and reproducing the precious moments of your life"

In future, this gadget, capable of structuring & summarizing huge video data of the person's experience, will allow you to record your entire life!

Research Homepage (Japanese) : http://www.hal.t.u-tokyo.ac.jp/research/DLM.html

Friday, August 22, 2003

Touch & Feel the Future

A very cool & interesting Video Clip made by NTT Docomo envisioning Year 2010.

"Vision 2010 - Beyond The Mobile Frontier"
Real Player : 64kbps  300kbps
Windows Media : 64kbps  300kbps

Wednesday, August 20, 2003

Spray-on Nanocomputers at hospital by Year 2013

The Edinburgh Evening News writes that "spray-on computers the size of a grain of sand are set to transform information technology."

Scientists at the Edinburgh University have just been awarded a £1.3 million grant to develop the "ubiquitous computing" technology which uses tiny semiconductor specks that can sense, compute and communicate without wires.

Researchers are already working with staff at Edinburgh hospitals to develop a method of using the computers to monitor heart patients at home.

They plan to spray the nanocomputers on to the chests of coronary patients, where the tiny cells would record a patient’s health and transmit information back to a hospital computer.

And this isn't the only application envisioned by the scientists. Professor Arvid, who leads the project, thinks our current computer interfaces, typically a keyboard or a mouse, will completely be replaced by these nanocomputers.

Arvid said: "In the future, computers will be able to be diffused into the environment. There won’t be a sharp division -- barricades will just disappear into the background.
"One way to achieve that will be computers the size of a grain of sand. Just by spraying them on to objects, you can computerise them. They would create a network which can transmit wirelessly to each other.

"In a cubic millimetre, you can have a sensor for heat, pressure, light and so on, but also a computer and wireless technology."
And when will see these nanocomputers? Sooner that you think. According to Arvid, the technology should be ready within four years.

And these spray-on nanocomputers should be at work in hospitals, schools and shops in less than ten years.

From : Spray-on Nanocomputers Are Coming

Friday, August 15, 2003

Smart Buildings

Can building automation systems overcome interoperability problems to assert control over our offices, hotels, and airports?

If only you could work in a building where you could keep your office as you like it, icicle-cold, while your neighbor turns hers into a sauna. If only your office lights and computer could flicker on every morning when you swiped your security card in your building's lobby, so that you would be ready to work when you sat down with your first cup of coffee. And while we're on this flight of fancy, wouldn't it be reassuring to know that your building would shield you from harm in the event of an earthquake, or even a chemical or biological attack?

Buildings could do all these things and more, if only they had brains.

As it happens, a few buildings already do, and they're getting smarter. The brainiac of buildings, the U.S. Pentagon, opened for business on 12 September 2001, the day after terrorists crashed a plane into it. Thanks to a network of digital sensors and controllers that let operators close dampers and turn off fans, the fire from the crash was confined to one wedge of the building.

Read More

Evolving Robots

If you can imagine robots that redesign themselves depending on what they're asked to do, you may be picturing one of those dark futures where machines rule the planet. But let's try a different spin. Self-replicating machinery will one day be common, reshaping itself on the fly to help us explore new environments, "growing" new tools when the existing ones can't handle the job at hand.

PAUL GILSTER reports on The Golem Project at Brandeis University. The project develops autonomous systems for robot design.

Another Robots Related Project : A step closer to the Terminator - Judgement Day?

Thursday, August 14, 2003

A step closer to the Terminator - Judgement Day?

This article reminded me about the Skynet in Terminator 3.

The U.S. Joint Forces Command (USJFCOM) has started Project Alpha, a think tank whose goal is to replace human fighters by autonomous robots by 2025. In this article, USJFCOM gives some details about the project.

Gordon Johnson, the Unmanned Effects Team leader for Project Alpha, said one of the goals is to create a unique DoD service to coordinate the efforts done by the Navy, the Air Force and the Army. Johnson added that autonomous robots will be more capable than humans: more lethal, cheaper, faster and with unmatched sensing capabilities.

And these fighting robots will probably not look like humans. This means there will not be any Terminators in our future.

This summary contains more details about Project Alpha."

PalmButler - Wireless PC To TV Gadget

Danish Company Homelinc introduces Palmbutler.

Palmbutler makes your PC's digital media (streaming content, DivX movies, DVD's CD audio, MP3, photos, you name it) available anywhere in the house.

The Palmbutler Linkbox converts the PC's sound and video signal into a radio- and TV channel, which in turn is distributed through the home's antenna network.
The Palmbutler software creates a menu on your TV, showing the PC's digital media. This makes it easy to navigate through the PC's movies, music or photo files. The TV-menu can be modified to fit your requirements.
Scripting allows you to extend its capabilities.
With the wireless remote control you can navigate through the PC's digital media, no matter where you are in your home. The remote control communicates wirelessly with the PC and has an indoor range of 40 meters.

i4u reported about the Sony RoomLink before, which is a similar product. See also HP Digital Media Receiver EW5000 and and the Motorola Simplefi

Boot-able DiskOnKey USB Flash Drive

M-Systems introduces Automatic Boot Feature for its Smart DiskOnKey® USB Flash Drives.

Making the DiskOnKey bootable through the basic input/output systems (BIOS), the Company implemented open source, general publicly licensed FreeDOS developed by FreeDOS.org. Engineers at M-Systems devised a methodology for the computer's motherboard to initiate data transfer once it has recognized the DiskOnKey is plugged into a USB port. All DiskOnKeys carrying the DOK T4 chip are boot capable, which can be easily activated through the specially designed bootability graphical user interface (GUI).

Smart chips making daily life easier

"Your medicine is out of date" is not what you would usually expect to hear from your bathroom cabinet, but it could be very soon.

It is all thanks to what is being called "ubiquitous computing", which means sticking programmable microchip sensors onto everyday household objects to make them a little bit smarter.

The microchips have sensors attached to them

The microchips can be attached to any everyday object


Mobile Content - Where's it going?

There's an interesting article on The Failure and Future of Mobile Content in Brighthand by Ted Ladd, in which he describes four popular myths about why he thinks it's failed so far, and where it's going in the future - although as someone writing this article on a pda on a train, which I'll ftp via IRDA and a mobile phone using GSM/GPRS, I'm not entirely sure what he means by failure...

The "myths" are:

  • 1. It's a technical problem

  • 2. It's a management problem

  • 3. It's an economics problem, or no cash post-crash

  • 4. It's a bad experience

  • Now I'd argue with calling most of those myths, but the second half of the article is more interesting. Here he discusses the future of mobile content and describes four generations of mobile content

  • First generation: Same but smaller

  • Second generation: Alerts

  • Third generation: Exclusively mobile

  • Fourth generation: The Disappearance of Mobile Content

  • A breakdown of these generations is reasonably straightforward; the first generation was about trying to reproduce existing web information in a more managable format for smaller screens and limited input capabilities; the second is about using mobile devices as glorified pagers to alert people to content that could only easily be accessible from a desktop; the third is generating mobile specific information, things that are only really relevant to a mobile environment; and the fourth being where the difference between mobile and other environments has for the most part dissappeared.

    Using this world view I guess the most that people are seeing is the third generation, either through niche applications that run on the mobile device or specialised content viewed on a web or wap browser. Although the majority of people are more likely to be stuck in the first generation doldrums of poorly implemented wap versions of existing sites.

    What's going to help moving to the next generation?
    A lot of these niche applications rely on data that's been scraped from other web pages or collated by search engines and the like. The big problem with this is that HTML is a lousy format to extract relevant data from, especially when so much HTML is invalid tag soup. Sure Google is God and all that, but pose it a slightly harder question like "which mobile network would give me the best coverage for where I live and work, and my journey to work?" and Google will flounder; One can do this sort of information searching with a web browser, but it's slow and tedious. There's coverage maps for many networks on the internet and even databases of cell towers, but the information is not available in a simple machine readable form.

    One way that this conundrum might be resolved is to use proper semantic markup, XHTML and RDF for the content and CSS for the presentation layer.
    Danny Ayers has an example of how this approach would be useful for complex queries here, his example is "has anyone Dan Brickley knows blogged about IM recently?" This is the sort of query that'd be possible to evaluate manually but a nightmare programatically unless one had decent semantic data to work with.

    How can I help?
    If you're a content provider (weblog, news provider, whatever), the first step is to serve up valid HTML, if it's
    hard to do that, you're probably doing things the wrong way anyway, and if you're only supporting one browser then you're certainly barking up the wrong tree. Next step, consider CSS, in this way you seperate your content from the presentation, the CSS ZenGarden has a multitude of different stylesheets that demonstrate how effectively CSS based design can decouple your content from the layout. Next, metadata - webmonkey has a good introductory article on metadata.

    If you're just a user, you can still do plenty to aid the creation of better content, first off get a better browser by which I don't mean Internet Explorer which
    A. has only had bugfixes since about version 4,
    B. Microsoft have ceased active development of and
    C. has notoriously poor CSS and standards support. Next, if you go to a website and it doesn't work with your browser, doesn't validate or would be improved with extra metadata, let the webmaster know, in the long run you're helping everyone that uses that site.

    By Jim Hughes

    Intel's WiFi chair

    [Gizmodo] To promote its line of Centrino wireless chips in Britain, Intel has commissioned the Design Laboratory to create a line of WiFi-enabled furniture with wireless access points built-in. The chairs themselves are made of computer cables encased in clear resin (which is meant to make good use of all the cables we'll be throwing away now that the wireless era has arrived) and are intended to be setup in places like train stations and hotel lobbies so people can get online.


    Sanyo's TV cellphone

    [Gizmodo] First Samsung, then NEC, now Sanyo has a prototype of a cellphone with an integrated digital television tuner. The new phone has a 2.2-inch organic electroluminescent display, two built-in digital cameras, 128MB of internal memory, and we think (it's hard to tell from the translation) that it can function sort of like a TiVo and save up to 30 minutes of television programming.


    The Guide Robot

    [Gizmodo] South Korean company Woori has a new guide robot designed to show visitors around at trade shows and exhibitions:

    The robot is able to guide spectators to their destination and provide them with information using a liquefied crystal display (LCD) monitor as well as voice recognition and response systems, the robot maker said. By recognizing voice, the robot actively delivers user-needed data in voice files, image files and moving image files, it said.
    Oh, and buried right at the bottom of the article it says that Woori is also working on a "cleaning robot" which we hope does more than just vacuum floors.


    This is kind of scary: one in nine five to nine-year-olds has their own cellphone in Britain. Besides concerns about exposure to dangerous levels electromagnetic radiation (which are probably unfounded), it just seems a little weird to think of a five year-old kid walking around with their own cellphone. On the other hand, maybe someone will make their first million marketing a cellphone to toddlers.

    # My First Cellphone #

    lets blog towards the future~ yeah!

    Modified by JuicyEgg.com | Original design by Elque 2007