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08. 2.2006

Sony VIAO/ Intel showcase their wares at Heathrow Terminal 1

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If you happen to be traveling through London's Heathrow airport in the next couple of days, try to stop by Terminal 1 to check out Sony and Intel's "experiential stand," which showcases some of their latest efforts. On display are the new Sony VAIO laptops, such as the AR11S, as well as interactive and HD demonstrations.

Make it quick because the event ends on August 3rd.

Posted by Ray    Category: devices
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08. 2.2006

Mobile phone based surveillance system

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The mobile phone has had a long evolutionary journey from being just a phone to functioning as a camera, mp3 player, digital assistant, what not…and a personal style statement as well. Now this ubiquitous device can serve as your surveillance system too. 3rd-i, a provider of mobile security camera solutions, is going to launch the first ever mobile phone-based security system in the UK this month.

The system works this way – you first position tiny cameras in areas in your home, office etc. that you want to monitor. These 360-degree cameras are configured on your mobile phone so that when you're, say traveling, you can just press the assigned buttons on the mobile and get live video footage from the cameras. The video is streamed live to your mobile and can be accessed from anywhere in the world, depending on your mobile’s network coverage. And even when you are not watching them, the cameras can detect intruders based on infrared and motion sensors. As soon as an intruder is detected, the control center will send an alert to your phone. These images are stored at the control center for a month from the time they're captured, so that if you have switched off your phone, you can still obtain the evidence in case you've had a break-in.

The 3rd-i mobile security system will be available this month across the UK, and is priced at £200, which is very reasonable - considering what you would be spending if you were to hook up a CCTV system to serve the same purpose. Check out a usage demo on the 3rd-i site.

Posted by kanchana    Category: devices
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08. 1.2006

iCapOpener

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I am frequently disappointed by my iPod's inability to perform tasks in the real world. Well, not really. I bought it to listen to music on the go, but I do find it funny when people come up with some odd concept designs. This is the iCapOpener. I would've thought 'iCap' would've been catchier, but anyway... This is a little attachment that gives your iPod shuffle some additional functionality, namely the ability to open bottle caps. Relax after a music-fueled workout with an easily opened cool drink. For more pictures on a novel way to snap your shuffle in two, and to watch a little video, visit the Andalux website.

Posted by Stuart    Category: accessories
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08. 1.2006

ShieldZone invisible shield for portable devices

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Some people are persnickety about maintaining the pristine appearance of their portable devices (now say that fast 10 times), mourning every little scratch and dent as a little loss of innocence, and dressing them up in protective armor as if they're being sent off to war. So what if the case covers up the very thing that attracted them to their favorite gadget -- it's lovely, sleek, come-hither design.

But for those who like a more minimalist approach, ShieldZone makes shields that are invisible, using material originally "designed to protect the leading edges of military helicopter blades from wear and tear while traveling at hundreds of miles per hour." Though it won't cushion the fall if you drop your gadget onto concrete, it promises high quality, scratch-free protection that doesn't change the original appearance of your device. Each shield is specifically fitted for your particular PDA, cell phone, iPod, GPS, gaming system, watch, laptop, etc. (see full list of product categories on the site), and sells for $10 to $40.

Take a look at the customer-made demo video in which an iPod is viciously attacked by a metal key 12 hours after application of the shield.

Posted by Hoyun    Category: accessories
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08. 1.2006

Google Vision concept to explore physical objects

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I was recently given a pack of exotic fruit by a friend of mine who didn’t know the popular name for it. And the next day, in my quest to dig out the name, I googled and googled and googled . . . in vain. But I guess most folks would empathize with me because I really didn’t have an exact idea about what I was searching for.

So this new concept proposed by UK designer Callum Peden, called Google Vision, really excites me. It's a concept for a new googling device that will provide you with information about real-world objects based on the pictures that you take of the objects and feed into the device. In my case, if I could feed the photos of the fruit into this device, it would map the fruit with its actual name, origin and other relevant information (similar to Wikipedia) based on built-in image recognition mechanisms. The information would then be displayed on its roll-out LCD screen. The device will only make use of already existing technologies and building it would just mean putting all the parts together. Cool, huh? If Google (or anybody else) would sponsor this device, it would take google search out of the computer and into your hands. Literally.

Via I4U News

Posted by kanchana    Category: current affairs | devices
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08. 1.2006

Etsy is where we go to sell handicrafts

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I can't remember how I stumbled upon the website, but I managed to blow a large chunk of time looking at neat-o items that the craft kids have been making in their living rooms. Etsy is a year old site for selling sundry types of handmade goods. Knit sweaters, paintings, prints, engagement rings, and sock monkeys can all be found on their cute little sampler pages. The site makes their money in much the same way eBay does; $0.10 listing fees, and 3.5% of the sale price. Listings come with a firm price for purchase so there’s no bidding involved. My favorite portion of the site is the Alchemy section for taking bids from members for commissioned pieces. You too can be a generous patron to a bedroom Michelangelo!

Digging through such a large amount of handcrafted goods can be a hassle since no two crafters like to make sock monkeys the same way (1, 2). The digging is simplified by a couple of advanced search tools that can show items based on time criteria, geography, or featuring a dominant color. Their Color Shopper is one of the best I’ve seen, and greatly simplifies the hassles involved with trying to tie together the four walls of a room. Take their flash powered search tools for a spin; they’re just as fun as they are informative.

I know that Apartment Therapy covers Etsy occasionally, and the ReadyMade mag did a writeup on them a few issues ago.

Posted by Johnny    Category: wearables
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