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Articles in the Gadgets Category

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[7 Dec 2011 | 4 Comments | ]
Bottle Up Your Emotions in a Jar, then Unleash them on the World.

At Make Tokyo Meeting 07, I came across a group of students from the University of Tsukuba, who believe the best way to release bottled up emotions is to actually shout them into a bottle. Their invention is called the “Wat Bottle”, from the Japanese word watto which means to cry out suddenly in a loud voice.
It’s pretty simple; open the lid, scream the source of your frustration into the jar where your voice is recorded, close the lid and shake the jar to amplify the sound, then open the …

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[6 Dec 2011 | One Comment | ]
Stretchable Elastic Electrical Cable

Spandex makers Asahi Kasei Fibers have used their expertise on stretching to develop the world’s first elastic electrical cables. This invention called ROBODEN is to be used in the field of autonomous robotics to reduce the amount of space taken up by conventional wiring. Wiring in robotics usually has to be long enough to allow parts to move freely about their full range of motion. The problem is; there can be a mess of loose wires when the parts contract, ROBODEN stretches and contracts with the movement of the parts …

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[3 Dec 2011 | One Comment | ]
Toyota’s Smartphone Card – Fun Vii [Video]

Minds were blown at Tokyo Motor Show 2011 with Toyota’s unveiling of their concept car for the “not-too-distant future”, the Fun Vii (Vehicle, Interactive, Internet). This is a car whose entire surface; both interior and exterior is a full color display. The vehicle is able to change color, display images and video, and also interact with the driver as would any internet connected personal computing device.

Their really flashy video presentation showed the driver using an augmented reality display while driving, snapping a photo with his smartphone and the transferring …

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[15 Nov 2011 | 8 Comments | ]
“Aerial 3D” True 3D Hologram Projector

I came across this awesome hologram projector exhibited by Burton Inc at DC Expo 2011. What makes this device impressive, is that it actually produces true 3D images. Unlike other holographic devices that rely on trickery such as overlapping 2D images to give the illusion of 3d, the Burton hologram is formed by points of light generated in actual 3D space.

The device shown at the expo was a scaled down version of their “Aerial 3D” technology called the SRV-5000 (Super Real Vision). In the past, Burton has displayed larger 3D …

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[24 Oct 2011 | One Comment | ]
Dynamic 3D Structures [Video]

The University of Tokyo’s Naemura Lab displayed an interesting prototype designed for dynamically expressing 3D shapes. These KineReels are extentable rods which when put together can be used to form a variety of shapes. What sets the KineReels apart from other 3D shape displays is their incredibly tall extended height compared to their retracted height. When in storage the rods are 120 mm and can reach a whopping 3000mm when fully extended. What makes this even more impressive is that this is achieved using commercially available tape measures as rods. …

Gadgets »

[14 Oct 2011 | One Comment | ]
Bad Breath, Hunger, and Alcohol Level Detector Apps for Android [Video]

Japanese cellphone operators DoCoMo had a strong showing at this year’s CEATEC (Combined Exhibition of Advanced Technologies 2011). The company exhibited a number of Android based mobile devices centered around monitoring health and diet. Among the devices on display were a food photograph analyzer, a hunger/fat burning detector,a breath checker and a breathalyzer.

The hunger analyzer consisted of a smartphone mounted on a cradle attached to an acetone detector. Acetone is a compound that is released by the body when we metabolize fat, so we produce more acetone when we’re hungry. …

Gadgets »

[9 Oct 2011 | 4 Comments | ]
Analyze Calorie Info from Pictures of Food.

On a diet? How would you like to know how many calories you will be taking in from a meal in a restaurant by just taking a picture of it. DOCOMO is working on a application which analyzes pictures of food to give a rough estimate of how many calories are contained within. At the demo we saw a smartphone running an Android app used to take pictures of meals (actually pretty convincing plastic food). The photos were then uploaded to a server where the user is presented with 10 …

Gadgets »

[21 Sep 2011 | One Comment | ]
3D Characters You Can Touch

RePro3D is a naked eye, multi-perspective 3D display that allows users to “touch” 3D characters. Using an infra-red sensor, the system recognizes the position of the user’s finger and the displayed 3D character responds to the virtual contact. The group is also working on a device worn on the finger that simulates for the user, the sensation of touching something when the character is poked.
What are the possible uses of this technology? According to Keitaro Shimizu of Keio University:
“There are many attractive characters in animations and games, but since those …

Gadgets, Robots »

[3 Aug 2011 | No Comment | ]
Robot that Walks on Water [Video]

Robots, they can fly, walk like humans, walk on walls and now even walk on water. Chinese researchers have developed a microrobot that mimics the movement of the aquatic insects water-striders, experts at gliding on the surface of water. Though not the first water walking robot, the scientists claim that this is first to be practical, agile and cheap.
The microrobot’s body is about the size on a quarter. It has 10 thin water repelling wire legs that keep it afloat and two shorter motor powered legs that propel it. The …

Gadgets »

[27 Jul 2011 | No Comment | ]
Concept Laptop Flips Through Data

Many complain that e-readers could never compare to the satisfaction of flipping through a book. The “Real Notebook” laptop concept was created with these people in mind. This design provides all the features of a laptop but has dual monitors, one which is sturdy that is used as a touch screen keyboard and the other which is flexible that bends to simulate the flipping of pages.
Designer Kim Min Seok proposes using bendable AMOLED screens to pull this off. I myself am really looking forward to mainstream gadgets that use flexible …