(Source: Engadget) Don’t freak out or anything, but those wireless signals you bask in everyday could be watching you. Or at least they might, someday, if the work from a group of researchers at the University of Utah makes it beyond the lab. As Technology Review’s Physics arXiv blog reports, they’ve devised a means to modify a standard 802.15.4 wireless network (commonly used by home automation services like ZigBee) to actually “see” movement through walls, and with some degree of accuracy, no less. As you might expect, however, that’s not quite as simple as a firmware upgrade, and currently requires a 34-node network to keep watch on a standard living room, which is apparently enough to pin down moving objects within a meter or so. To do that, the system essentially bombards the space with an array of wireless signals and keeps watch on any changes in signal strength, building up a “picture” of the room in the process. No promises on a commercial version just yet, but the researchers see plenty of potential for it, and are even talking about a portable, GPS-equipped version that police or emergency responders could use before entering a dangerous area.
Harry Potter fans should go crazy about the new TV controller, “Magic Wand”. Rather than control your TV through various buttons, you simply need to wave the magic wand, as miraculous as Witchcraft! When you wave it counter-clockwise, the volume will be adjusted while the channels will be changed if you gesture up or down.
(Source: Gizmodo) It feels like the whole world is holding its breath for the Apple tablet. But maybe we’ve all been dreaming about the wrong device. This is Courier, Microsoft’s astonishing take on the tablet.
Courier is a real device, and we’ve heard that it’s in the “late prototype” stage of development. It’s not a tablet, it’s a booklet. The dual 7-inch (or so) screens are multitouch, and designed for writing, flicking and drawing with a stylus, in addition to fingers. They’re connected by a hinge that holds a single iPhone-esque home button. Statuses, like wireless signal and battery life, are displayed along the rim of one of the screens. On the back cover is a camera, and it might charge through an inductive pad, like the Palm Touchstone charging dock for Pre.
(Source: blogs.techrepublic) One of the scariest unknown technology risks of this decade is the issue of radiation from cell phones. There’s still an open question about whether long term exposure to these mobile devices will cause damage or disease to human beings.
The Environmental Working Group has a comprehensive new study (download the full report as a PDF) that surveys the scientific research on cellphone heath risks and provides radiation data for most of the current cellphones in use. Here’s how the EWG explained the mission of its study:
We at Environmental Working Group are still using our cell phones, but we also believe that until scientists know much more about cell phone radiation, it’s smart for consumers to buy phones with the lowest emissions. The U.S. government ought to require cell phone companies to label their products’ radiation output so that consumers can do the numbers at the point of sale. It doesn’t, so EWG has created this user-friendly interactive online guide to cell phone emissions, covering over 1,000 phones currently on the market.
(Source: Inhabitat.com) Music becomes a sustainable experience with Shepeleff Stephen’s solar-powered, bluetooth-connected Q-Sound (quantum sound) headphones. The Romanian engineering student’s sleek design combines flexible, hexagonal solar panels, wireless technology, and rotating earpieces for a futuristic yet practical product that powers itself on the go.
Since the headphones are Bluetooth-enabled, they can connect wirelessly to MP3 devices, cell phones–anything with Bluetooth capability. That means you can chat with your friends and rock out to music without moving a muscle. The Q-Sound headphones can also connect to any audio device with a 3.5mm jack.
(Source: Wired) Now that the June 6 launch date and the $300 (before a $100 mail-in rebate) price tag is official for the Palm Pre, it is time to take a closer look at how the Pre compares to the iPhone 3G.
When the Palm Pre was first announced in January at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, it offered features like universal search that scans contacts on the phone and the web, copy-and-paste and multi-tasking that were not available on the iPhone 3G.
(Source: Engadget) Aw, snap. Just when you thought the 4K market couldn’t get any more dominated by RED and the gang, along comes JVC to shake things up. For reasons unknown, the company has chosen now (and not a few weeks back at NAB) to unleash its prototype 4K and 8K camcorders, both of which boast D-ILA technology and can capture clips at a downright mind-blowing 8,912 x 4,320 or 3,840 x 2,160 resolution. There’s also a more “compact” sibling which does 4K only, but even it provides plenty of pixels to zoom and pan in unprecedented clarity on. So JVC — you, us, CEDIA 2009. It’s a date, cool?
This is pretty cool -
“By using a Google Streetview-like camera, a system with six lenses, not as a photo but as a video camera, an all-encompassing picture is captured. [...] From the point where the images were recorded, the viewer can look in any direction, let his eyes wander through the crowd, or stare at the ground or the air, which makes viewing a video an experience without boundaries.” - Yellow Bird press release
Ever wondered what it’s like to be trapped in a crowd of 600,000 Dutch clubbers? Now you know…