Researchers from the University of Southern California have successfully created an artificial functioning synapse circuit, the same as those which allow electrical impulses to be passed between neurons deeps within our brains.
This is a particularly big development and means that scientists are now one step closer to creating larger, synthetic parts of the brain.
In the long-run this will not only be a huge technological feat, but will help those who have suffered brain injuries and work towards creating more intelligent systems and robots.
As more photo applications enter the mobile app market and the camera capabilities of the iPhone improves, it's no wonder people are leaving their cameras behind in favour of their smart phones.
Black Design Associates has created a new concept that combines iPhone 4 photography with a Leica fixed lens rangefinder camera, which could be used as just a case but also enables optical zoom, shutter dials and flash.
Obviously it's still a just a concept but does look great, particularly if you're a bit of a photography fanatic.
Apple's home page today reads "finally" referring to the launch of the new white iPhone, which has been a long time coming due to a series of technical problems.
It's certainly good to see that Apple can pick fun at the situation a little!
The white iPhone is now available from $199 for the 16GB version and from $299 for the 32GB device from the Apple store.
Image via Apple.
Although there are plenty of virtual worlds, fake identities and secret lives played out online, more and more people are using the Internet (particularly social networks) in a way that is no longer distinct or separated from their real lives. In fact an increasing number of people switch between online and offline worlds quite naturally, whether that be speaking about a real life experience on Twitter or talking to someone in real life and arranging to go and meet them on Facebook Chat later.
This is why the idea behind TweetingSeat is so interesting, as it provides a real location that people can visit which will then tweet and stream live video of what the user is doing online. It does seem like a bit of a gimmick and to be honest I'm pretty sick of seeing the Twitter bird everywhere as it is. But it's still a nice experiment, I just wonder if anyone will actually go and sit there if they know all of their followers might be watching in anticipation of their next move...
Everyone here in the UK (and those much further afield as well, I imagine) is getting ready for tomorrow, to see the marriage of Prince William and Kate Middleton now known globally as The Royal Wedding.
As much as some people pretend they're not interested, there's certainly a sense of excitement in the air in London today as people hang bunting, put up flags and begin preparations for the various street parties taking place all over the country.
However, what I find most fascinating about the big day is just how much is going to be shared, streamed and updated online while the couple exchange nuptials in Westminster Abbey.
The Pool Bike is designed to offer much more resistance than a standard exercise bike because it's meant to be ridden in the shallow end of a swimming pool!
According to OhGizmo, the deeper The Pool Bike is in the water the more intense your workout will become and it's been designed to improve both strength and endurance whilst putting less strain on your body.
Obviously it's completely waterproof despite having an LCD display and I can imagine it being a big hit in hotel pools as part of fitness classes and water work-out routines.
Available to buy from Hammacher Schlemmer for $899.95.
A new online game currently seeking funding on Kickstarter aims to create a virtual world from your tweets.
Tweetland, which currently has two games in production, Love City and a racing game called Route 140, aims to use tweets to make things happen in the gaming environment, so if someone tweets about zombies, they'll appear in the game! However, it's not just any old tweets that appear within Tweetland, it's been specially created to pick up mentions of things like cars, shooting stars, zombies and fireflies.
It's a really clever idea to use tweets and social networking updates to inform what happens elsewhere. However, judging from some of the rubbish people tweet about, we're glad that not everything is pulled into Tweetland!
This week Facebook will be introducing a new feature to the social network called Deals, which will be rolled out to five US cities in the next few days.
If you're sick of getting food and grime on your iPad when you're trying to cook, then try the Chef Sleeve. Although it may look too simple to work, the material the sleeve is made from is hard wearing, crystal clear and fully touch responsive.
You don't even need to worry about cleaning it afterwards, just dispose of it as it's 100% recyclable. The sleeve is ideal if you like to cook and play with your gadgets at the same time or if you have kids that like to get their grubby paws on things!
Via Kitchen Contraptions.
These new ballpoint pens hold twice the amount of ink as their straight and simple counterparts because they're "sprialled" inside.
Not only will this mean that you'll save money by buying less pens, but it's better for the environment in the long run. Well, there'll no be one pen being thrown away now when before there was two, so it's not an incredible saving, but every little helps!
I love the idea, especially considering it'd look great in a transparent pen and it saves on ink. However, I can't help but think that the ink will get stuck even more than usual if it's in a spiral tube...
Our favourite has to be the simple smile.
Prices vary and they're available to order directly from Chao & Eero.
Popgadget is once again teaming up with American Express to give our readers a chance to win a $100 American Express Gift Card. Over the next couple of weeks, I'll be exploring all the vast options available through the Membership Rewards Program and choosing my top 5 picks in three points categories: 25,000 points, 50,000 points, and 75,000 points.
As a new mother and a gadget fanatic, I expect that most of my favorite finds will be focused in baby gear and electronics. Right now I'm looking for the perfect high chair as well as anything that will educate and entertain (preferably at the same time) my one-year old son. I'm also going through a bit of a gadget accessories obsession at the moment, so I'm looking for the perfect cases for my iPad 2 and MacBook Air. I also need to find a few gifts so I'm hoping to find something besides just gift cards (although they are the perfect last-minute gift for anyone).
As I post my own favorite finds, I'd love to know what your top five favorite finds in each price point category are as well. At the end of the program (after I've posted my top five picks in each point category), we'll pick a winner for the $100 Amex gift card.
If you're a little sick of being invited to play pretty pointless and mundane games on Facebook then Talkie's new social game, Ecotopia, might be for you.
The social gaming company has created a platform which draws together Facebook and philanthropy, rewarding real-world, eco-friendly actions with points within the game.
I know a few regular travelers who see no harm in taking free toiletries, towels and other random items from hotel rooms as they pass through from one place to another.
However, several hotels have now decided that enough is enough and towels and linens should be off bounds to cheeky travelers. The hotels in Honolulu, Miami and Manhattan have begun sewing specially designed RFID tags into towels, so if someone attempts to take one off the premises the chip will set off an alarm that alerts the staff on reception.
One hotel has already reported saving around $15,000, so expect to see this system rolled out across many more hotels, spas and resorts in the future.
Teleportation has been rife in sci-fi fiction for years. Look at the way the Star Trek team casually teleport themselves around the galaxy on a near hourly basis, or the devastating effects of teleportation on Seth Brundle in Cronenburg's 1986 classic The Fly.
But, it's something that scientists here in the real world have yet to master, much to the dismay of those who have to sit in heavy traffic every morning as part of their daily commute, or people who can't stand to travel by plane.
However, earlier this week Discovery News reported that scientists in Australia and Japan have successfully teleported "packets of light", so surely the next step is teleporting us to the office in the morning, right?
The general public have begun recycling more and more in recent years. However, a lot of recyclable materials still unnecessarily make their way to landfill sites, which is why Finnish company Zen Robotics has been working on a solution.
The team are currently developing a robot specially designed to sort through trash and pick out the materials that should be recycled. During initial trials the robot, which is essentially just an arm with a gripper connected to a super intelligent computer, was able to correctly identify around 50% of the recyclable materials that passed it. Although that's not everything that should have been plucked out, it'd be an incredible improvement if that much material was no longer wrongly being sent to landfill sites.
Today The Guardian in the UK revealed that security researchers have found a "hidden file" in all iPhone devices that stores the locations of everywhere users have been.
If default screens, colours and settings make you feel boring and confined, then you'll be happy to hear that Gmail now allows users to change their background image to anything they please. Simply sign into your account, go to the Themes tab in Settings and away you go!
We've also just read about another piece of customization news which comes in the form of the Pimp Your Screen application for iOS devices. In the past you'd have to jailbreak your iPhone in order to customize a lot of different features but now the Pimp Your Screen app lets you change a range of different things, including your lock screen and icon skins.
The app is available from iTunes for $0.99 USD.
Urbio is a new urban garden concept that aims to make boring walls a little more green and interesting.
The system works with a series of super powerful magnets that connect the small eco-plastic pots to the main walls or even each other.
Urbio is ideal for people that love gardens and yet live in small city centre apartments where only a few lucky ground floor residents have the chance to grow flowers and plants.
The Urbio concept is currently seeking funding on KickStarter
Via Life Scoop.
Bamboo is one of the most sustainable materials when it comes to crafting products from wood, which makes us love this sleek and hard-wearing laptop case from Silva Ltd even more.
The case has been hand-made specifically for 13" and 15" MacBooks, with a leather strap, lined interior and a feather light weight of only 2lbs. At $179.99 it's a little expensive for what is essentially just a laptop case, but totally worth it if you're looking for something sustainable and a little more natural than the ultra shiny alternatives on the market.
Available for $179.99 from Silva Ltd.
Today Google has announced that users in the US will now be able to edit Google Maps, adding or changing the names and details of locations throughout the nation that the Google team didn't get quite right or include the first time round.
The Google Map Maker allows anyone to make changes to Google's phenomenally popular navigation service straight away - but of course all amendments will need to be approved first so hold off adding that castle to the end of your street just yet...
The promotional video for the new addition focuses on sharing "local knowledge" whether that be your favourite places to eat, visit or shop. It also suggests that graduates should map out the routes and top locations for students arriving at college in a brand new city. I remember my first few weeks at university being pretty overwhelming and details about the quickest route onto campus or the best place to grab a coffee on the way would have been much appreciated!
The new app allows users to do everything you'd expect from a note-taking app, including saving notes, geo-tagging and categorizing as well as much more...
Scientists, thinkers and academics love to explore the ins and outs of why and how we use technology as part of our daily lives, particularly focusing on whether it has a damaging affect on the way we think and act.
There have been countless studies that supposedly reveal we're overloaded by information, our brains are now wired differently and we find real-life social interaction harder than ever before.
However, a study by professors at Claremont Graduate University revealed that using social networks like Facebook and Twitter actually releases a hormone called Oxytocin, which is referred to as the "cuddle hormone".
Over the years we've seen robots and computers being taught to do many weird and wonderful things, particularly actions that mimic human behaviour.
Now Google is funding a new project that aims to teach computers how to regret bad decisions so they don't make them again.
Whether it's to just store this information, show off a little or act as an incentive to go that extra mile tomorrow, as summer approaches more and more of my friends and contacts seem to be using their mobile devices to get fit.
So, it's interesting to see that Reebok has recently launched a new app called Promise Keeper which instead tells your friends when you plan on taking a run and then tells them whether you've gone through with it or not. It's a good way of promoting the new Reebok ZigTech running shoes and although it seems a little like you're being peer pressure into exercise, it could certainly prove to be pretty useful and motivational at the same time.
This new concept design from DiciannoveDieclDesign is not only a great idea for tight spaces, but looks very sleek and futuristic. It may appear to be a regular bath tub, but then turn it over and it's a normal wash basin underneath.
Via Yanko Design.
Popular mobile photo sharing network Instagram has gone from strength to strength since it launched late last year. Recently the Instagram trend has spread even further after a number of start ups have begun offering services which use your photos in a range of different ways...
Postagram is an app which allows users to print out or send Instagram photos from a mobile device.
StickyGram turns your favourite Instagram photos into cute little fridge magnets. I ordered some of these a few weeks ago and they came packaged up with a lovely note from the StickyGram team!
Mapstagram is a clever service which maps out Instagram photos in real time.
After the release of the Nintendo 3DS earlier this year, it's clear that you no longer need special glasses in order to enjoy a 3D experience. Therefore, it comes as no surprise that other manufacturers are experimenting with these kind of technologies as well.
According to Cnet, researchers in France are currently working on providing users with 3D for Apple's iPad and iPhone devices without the need for glases.
Digital cameras have given photographers, amateurs and everyday people alike so much more choice and freedom when it comes to the convenient editing, printing and sharing of their photos.
However, I'm sure there are plenty out there who miss the process of adding new rolls of film and waiting for them to develop, so deliberately chose older analog models for that exact reason. Well, The Digital Film camera concept from designer Park Hyun Jin attempts to re-ignite some of that old magic!
The new Wrap 920 video glasses from specialists in eyewear and display technology, Vuzix, really are incredible. Put these fancy spectacles on and you'll be transported into your game like never before with new 3D video and head-tracking capability.
The device is compatible with a range of PC games including Call of Duty, Batman and World of Warcraft and also has an augmented reality version available.
However, we'd never recommend you wear them out of your front room as you'll look like you're an extra on the set of a cheap sci-fi flick.
The Wrap 920 VR Bundle is available for around $499.99 from the Vuzix website.
Via Shiny Shiny.
Augmented reality technology has been used as part of many apps and promotions over the past few years.
If you're a fan of cute, retro space invaders then don't feel ashamed if you want to start introducing them into you home. Just remember less is more...
I'm not really a tea drinker myself, but when I do indulge in a cup or two I usually just throw in a tea bag and use hot water straight from the kettle.
However, the Tesera Teemachine from designer Tobias Gehring turns making a cup of tea into a rather beautiful and precise art. The minimalist automated machine can control everything including brewing time, quantity and temperature, so you've got no excuse to not be making the perfect blend every morning.
Via Yanko Design.
The "checking-in" phenomenon created by FourSquare has since spread into entertainment and now applications like Miso and GetGlue allow users to check-in to things like TV shows, films, sporting events and books.
Like all good ideas that seem to be gaining traction online, Facebook is already allegedly looking to stake its claim on the entertainment check-in.
Over the past few weeks, Facebook has introduced check-in functionality to not only specific locations, but specific events and is now looking at more ways to exploit it. According to Tech Radar, Facebook is looking to team up with broadcasters so that each TV show has its own event on Facebook that users can then check-in to, which enables them to interact with other users whilst they're watching the same show.
Social networks have certainly become a key destination when it comes to talking about shows and live events as they happen, just look at Twitter when a big reality show or sporting event is taking place and it's all anyone seems to be discussing with one another!
If you're a fan of "old school" gaming then you'll be happy to learn that Atari has just released a package of classic favourites to iTunes.
According to Crenk there are 17 classic Atari games and 92 Atari 2600 available as part of the package which users can now download to their iPhone, iPad or iPhone devices.
A few of the games (like Pong!) come free with the initial download of the app but then users need to spend a little extra to get more, around $0.99 for separate packs of 25 or $14.99 for the whole lot.
The app itself is very easy to use and allows users to scroll through all the original arcade cabinets for each game, which I'm sure will make avid gamers feel a little nostalgic!
Numerous online retailers, like auctioning website eBay and group discount service Groupon, have always set time limits before the offers or products are no longer available. However, Swedish retailer Papercut has taken this idea to a whole new level with Speedsale, which only gives customers a matter of seconds before they need to decide to buy an item.
The retailer presents a series of products in quick succession and the customers then have around four seconds to decide if they want to buy or not before the item is "swept away". It doesn't sound that dissimilar to other services until you find that you can't click on items you've already seen to purchase them and oh did we mention that there's crazy, frantic background music playing while you decide!
The GoPan lens is a clever accessory that can be added to the iPhone 4 in order to create 360 degree panoramic videos.
Just like other lenses available for the iPhone, the GoPan can be easily clipped onto the device, but what makes it really stand out from the rest is it can be used to record videos from all angles simultaneously. Because everything around you is recorded at exactly the same time, you can then go to the GoPan website, or just use the special app, in order to chose which perspective or angle you want to view, edit or zoom into.
The GoPan lens is still a prototype but the company is looking for funding to bring it to the masses in the near future. Unsurprisingly, it's already received a lot of interest on Kickstarter so let's hope to see it on the market within the next year.
Via Shiny Shiny.
There are countless web design tools available that give you specific, detailed information about the size, color and position of fonts in relation to other elements, but if it's just the name of the font you're after then this bookmarklet couldn't be more simple to use.
All you need to do is drag the little button up to your bookmarks bar, click to activate it, then everything you hover over will display the font name in a little grey box to the side. Magic.
We love these super shiny iPhone cases designed for Marc by Marc Jacobs. Whether you're an iPhone 3Gs or iPhone 4 user there's a choice of two slightly different styles to accomodate your handset and both come in a choice of metallic pink, turquoise or hematite (bronze).
When fashion designers venture into the realm of tech, the result is sometimes a little impractical and (dare I say it) pretentious, but these cases are subtly branded and usable, the only question is which colour should we go for?
They're both available from Neiman Marcus for $38.00.
Via Chip Chick.
Continuance is a set of cute little white and pink batteries that have USB ports on the side. They're rechargeable and can be carried with you to charge up any electronic devices that are lacking power.
Unfortunately the continuance batteries are only an IF concept design entry, but a product this compact, useful and simple could certainly be developed in the future.
Via Yanko Design.
If you sometimes find yourself overwhelmed by the amount of video content that's available on the likes of YouTube, Vimeo, Daily Motion, Facebook or Myspace (the list could really go on and on!) then try Vidque.
Vidque is a new platform that focuses on quality over quantity, allowing its users to collect their favourite video content together in one place from all around the web. You can then follow the content different users have curated, which gives you much more variety than following specific channels on YouTube made by only one user.
Swiss Miss likens the process to the way in which broadcasters collect together different TV shows then present them back in a continuous stream. It's also similar to other platforms that focus on collecting and curating content instead of creating it, like Tumblr and Pinterest. Just like these services, it'll be fascinating browsing through Vidque to see if the video content users curate mirrors their personality, interests and passions.
Via Swiss Miss.
This smart phone concept from designer Dave Schultze is pretty impressive, with a range of features, including solar charging batteries, adaptable interfaces and a slide out keyboard. But, what stands out the most about this device is the structure, which, as the name suggests is just like a regular flip phone with three times the flip!
The device looks impressive and there's certainly a lot of scope for different functionalities, from typing to watching a movie to playing video games. However, would we have to sacrifice on quality or speed to squeeze in all of the different uses?
I'd also worry that the flip out sections could make the handset much more prone to breakage than the likes of an iPhone which doesn't depend on extra appendages.
Who knows whether the triple flip will prove popular, or whether it'll even be made into anything more than a sleek but too-good-to-be-true concept.
Via Yanko Design.
If you've still got a few old cassette tapes lurking in cupboards and attics, then gadget maker Thanko's cassette tape to MP3 converter could unleash a range of memorable recordings, songs and mix tapes that have been locked away since the age of the CD player.
Cassette Mate connects to a computer through a USB port and the software allows users to save the music and recordings as MP3 files. According to Geek.com the software can even identify the breaks between songs and goes on to save them as separate tracks.
The device is designed to have a very retro feel about it and I'm sure that it'll prove to be popular, particularly as it's so inexpensive and easy to run at only $30 and powered by two AA batteries. Available from the Thanko website (Japanese).
On April Fools' Day the media love to fill our heads with stories that sound a little crazy, but could just be true. Here are some of our favourite tech-related pranks that have been doing the rounds today...
These cute and shiny Micro Gem Headphones from Japanese company IDEA are perfect if you find ear buds often fall out when you're on the move or working out.
The ultra-light headband ensures they stay in place, the colourful little spheres are refreshingly different from run of the mill headphones, whilst still being small and discrete and the sound quality is pretty impressive too.
They come in metallic shades of pink, orange and silver and are available to buy from Charles & Marie for 25 euros.
Via Swiss Miss.