I started the day with a post on interactive skirts and felt I could write some more about them.
HearWear, by Younghui Kim and Milena Iossifova, is a skirt that turns the urban noise into colourful light patterns. A sound recognition module is driven by a micro-controller to perceive and qualify varying characteristics of noise patterns. The microcontroller is programmed to activate a number of LEDs and electroluminescent wire.
A couple of years before, Fionnuala Conway and Katherine Moriwaki created something similar: the three Urban Chameleon reactive skirts influence and change perceptions of one's surroundings. "Touch" changes visual properties upon contact. "Speak" reacts to urban noise, and "Breathe" visualizes pollution and urban exhaust as it travels through the garment.
Francesca Rosella and Ryan Genz at CuteCircuits have developed the KineticDress that changes pattern with the wearer's moves. If you stand still, the dress is just black, when you move the garment slowly lights up with a blue-circles pattern that creates a magic halo. The Skirteleon is made from a laminated fabric that changes color "on-demand". It is blue in the morning when the wearer is working, then shows a pattern with animal characters when the wearer is with friends for an drink, and in the evening it displays a Japanese pattern.
Samsung has just announced two new mobile phones that can convert spoken words into text messages. The speech-to-text is called VoiceMode and works alongside something called QuickPhrase which lets you send pre-programmed messages like "I'm running late" just by speaking the words (I'm assuming the process needs no manual input at all, to differentiate it from VoiceMode).
These phones look as big as models with full alpha keyboards, but judging from the size of the screens probably have impressive camera/video capabilities. And you can text while driving without being a menace on the highway.
I hope Samsung brought these to CES; I'd like to see how accurate the voice recognition is.
Out of the Closet, created by NYU's Interactive Telecommunications Program student Sonali Sridhar, is a pair of skirts that use radio frequency detection to mimic each other's colors when in close proximity.
A wears her outfit that displays the colours that have been initialized. As A gets nearer to B, a radio frequency sensor picks up the signal and pulses the skirts that start interacting. They recognize the intitial colors, mix them and display the shared color on both outfits.
Reminds us of the Courtly Bags and Love Jackets of Despina Papadopoulos
After an arduous 18-hour trip (almost arrested for forgetting to leave my pepper spray in the car and bringing it into Dulles Airport. After an hour of "processing" during which I believe I was entered into the international terrorist database, I discovered my Treo was missing and was egged on by some airline workers to get back on the shuttle bus to retrieve my phone even though the flight was leaving in 10 minutes. Honestly I've never seen more enthusiastic people in my life; they were cheering, they were crying, it was like the last scene in a movie where Hugh Grant is trying to stop Julia Roberts from getting on a plane because if she takes off, he will never be able to contact her again as she apparently has no postal service, telephone, or email. How could I let them all down? So I ran back to look for my phone. I didn't find it. And we missed our flight. We got a flight through Denver but had to spend about 6 hours in CO, hoping that we'd get on a flight on standby, and praying that the snow and fog wouldn't close the airport. It takes less time to get to Tokyo) we're in Las Vegas for CES. It's going to be a quick trip, we're only here through tomorrow morning (the conference goes on through the 8th), but eager to see what new products are introduced.
Ryan Block at Engadget has a detailed account of Bill Gates's keynote address last night at the Hilton Theater (soon to be the Manilow Theater) if you want a blow-by-blow. Instead of a speech, Conan O'Brien was on hand to interview Gates Late Night-style, making the event immeasurably more entertaining, as Conan almost worked up a sweat trying to get a laugh out of the ever-laconic Gates. It looks like "convergence" is about to become a hated buzz word again, since Microsoft is eager to bring television to the PC, mobile phone, and the, um, television. This time in High Def. After explaining how easy it would be to make the operating system Media Center 2005 control all your audio/video devices, there were three big tech glitches in the product demos, including a blue screen of death. Oops.
Conan noticed something that I noticed too.
There aren't a whole lot of women here. Conan said the theme of this year's CES was "gadgets aren't just for geeks.... they're for nerds and dweebs too." He also said it was the whitest crowd he'd ever seen and joked that CES was definitely not a "magnet for the ladies". Alright so this picture proves absolutely nothing but we did a random sample of 5 rows in the theater, and averaged that there were 5 women per row of 33 people. That's 15%. Just eyeballing the crowd, that seems overly generous, actually. I don't think it's CEA not making an effort as Carly Fiorina of HP and Judy McGrath of MTV are both giving keynotes, but it's distressing to see. But after last year's CES conference session on women and technology which made much of the study showing that women actually spend more on electronics than men, there is no such content addressing this issue this year other than the "Gadgets are a Girl's Best Friend" exhibit which includes a low-end camera with a vanity mirror. Lovely, that's all we need, megapixels, what's that, giggle.
Lots of products and pictures coming later today.
You have to be slightly out of your mind for wearing such fake nails, but apparently they are a hit in Japan.
Available in green, pink, yellow, etc.
I remember seeing one of these wooden keyboards on a Will & Grace episode; that was a couple of seasons ago, therefore I assume that SWEDX wooden computer products have been around for a while now. So, if you already know about the wooden keyboard, mouse and monitor, then maybe you would be interested in checking out the Auravision EluminX Illuminated Keyboard.
It has internal lighting which allows you to type in the dark. Now if it,Aeos also super quiet then it,Aeos the perfect keyboard for those of you who share a studio apartment with a late night computer user.
ZapToPhone is selling ,AeuTsunami Aid Ringtones,Aeu and the proceeds will be donated to UNICEF,Aeos tsunami relief effort. The ringtones consist of the affected countries national anthems and the donation amounts vary with each country, reaching a maximum of $9 for the Indonesian National Anthem ringtone, the country that was hit worst by the tsunami.
Image from NYTimes
If I would own the EG, a ,Aeufuturistic,Aeu wristwatch by EleeNo, I would first need a lot of time to be able to answer this simple question, then I would need some more time and finally I would probably still give you the wrong time. Trying to read the time on this watch is like solving a Rubik,Aeos cube!
The EG, available at TokyoFlash for $71.42, uses graphic patterns to tell the time. To better understand how the graphic patterns work, take a look at the picture at the end of the product description ,AeP I am still looking. Maybe I should start trying to figure out the PIMP series first.
In this era of tightened airport security, there's a growing trend among companies of proposing new products -- such as bras and shoes -- designed to let passengers pass smoothly through the checkpoints.
Cloudyreason's "Flip Flop Socks" are one of those "airport-friendly" --though not very stylish-- items. They offer warm feet and the potential for a smooth trip through airport checkpoints.
I'm not proud to write this but I'd rather miss the plane than wear those FFS.