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Gadgets


Latest significant advancements in various gadgets. Reporting on the improvements in new gadgets and their impact and adoption.

New Apple Watch and Other Smartwatches Merely a Step In Technology’s Great Disappearing Act

When the first Samsung smartwatch was released last year, there was a collective groan. It looked like a smartphone for your wrist, boasting a fraction of the capability. It was huge, heavy, and ugly....

Pen that Scans and Draws in Millions of Colors Finally Arrives on Kickstarter

Ever bought a king-size box of colored pencils and marveled at all the names? Burnt sienna, cerulean blue, tuscan red. The world is overflowing with colors, too many to count or name. What if...

These Battery-Free, WiFi Devices Run On Radio Waves

In the last decade, mobile devices have become radically smaller and more powerful. The list of tech-related tasks that the miniature black monolith we all tote around has grown longer by the year. The next step in...

How to Virtually ‘Possess’ Another Person’s Body Using Oculus Rift and Kinect

Virtual reality can put you in another world—but what about another body? Yifei Chai, a student at the Imperial College London, is using the latest in virtual reality and 3D modeling hardware to virtually...

The Uncanniest Valley: What Happens When Robots Know Us Better Than We Know Ourselves?

The “uncanny valley” is a term coined by Japanese roboticist Mashahiro Mori in 1970 to describe the strange fact that, as robots become more human-like, we relate to them better—but only to a point....

How to Build an App With the Crowd

I have at least 7 really cool app ideas… but I have no time, and I frankly couldn't program them to save my life. Could you? I started looking into how I could design and...

“The World in 2025” Predicts Abundant Solar Power and Food, Tailored Drugs, Gene Therapies

In a recently released vision of the future, Thomson Reuters analysts predict solar power will be the dominant form of energy by 2025. Further, the report states genomic testing and manipulation will be common and lead...

Basic Smartphones Now Cheap Enough to Replace Feature Phones Worldwide

Earlier this year, Mozilla announced their project to build and sell a $25 smartphone. The firm, maker of the Firefox web browser and mobile operating system, now says they’ll begin selling the device in...

Robotic Hand Uses AI to Specialize Its Grip for Any Object

Your cat may think she’s your boss, but she would actually be your boss if it weren’t for a feat of engineering called the human hand, complete with opposable thumbs. It’s not easy to build...

Why Google’s “Ridiculous” Looking Car Is Brilliant

It’s not too surprising that the release of images of Google’s prototype robocar have gotten comments like this: Revolutionary Tech in a Remarkably Lame Package from Wired A Joy Ride in Google’s Clown Car says Re/Code I’ve also seen...

Singularity Surplus: Computer Convenience For FDA Data, Paper and Pen, Power Outlets

The Scribble pen can identify and reproduce 16 million colors you might come across in daily life. The pen uses a 16-bit RGB color sensor to identify the colors of objects and reproduces them...

No More Malls: 5 Disruptive Techs Transforming Retail

Five technologies are converging to transform the retail shopping experience forever. This is big. This isn't Amazon, it's Amazon x100. Very social, very local and very efficient. This will impact multiple industries. Though it applies to other...

Star Trek-Style Holodeck Coming into Focus at Lowe’s

We’ve all done it — gone into a store to figure out what we wanted to buy only to go home and buy it online from whoever offered the lowest price and free returns....

A Straightforward Method for Making Wearable Tech

Considering the pace of technological growth in recent decades, the convergence of humans and machines seems a foregone conclusion. Yet, unlike most machines, the body is far too flexible and squishy for modern advanced materials. So it falls on researchers to develop new...

GravitySketch Tablet Is a Portable 3D Augmented Reality Sketchpad For Designers

There’s an imposing wall dividing real world creation and digital design. To transfer a paper design to a computer, you need training and experience in technically demanding computer assisted design (CAD) programs. Instead, imagine if...

Thanks to 3D Printing, the Visually Impaired Can Have a Braille Mobile Phone

With free-market capitalism and its tried-and-true methods of mass production, mainstream consumers are inundated with more product choices than many have time to make, while smaller, specialized segments of the population find that even...

Can Google Tango Make Off-the-Shelf Drones Autonomous?

Personal drones are all the rage. Though hobbyist RC helicopters and planes have been around for years, today’s multi-rotor vehicles are easier to pilot thanks to GPS and a suite of onboard chips and...

Muse Headband Opens the Door to Brain-to-Computer Applications

FitBit, Jawbone, Aero: Wearable devices to track physical activity are everywhere. But technology advocates insist that’s not all the devices can do — not by a long shot. The tiny machines promise to track...

Leap Motion’s Gesture Control Finds Niche Uses in Medicine, Art and Augmented Reality

We first became acquainted with Leap Motion back in 2012. The company makes a small device about the size and shape of a pack of gum that uses infrared sensors and clever software to...

Wireless Charging of Phones From Across the Room? The Tech Inches Closer

Wireless energy transmission has been possible since Thomas Edison’s time, and in the last several years, especially, with robots gaining mobility and electric vehicles building consumer demand, we’ve heard almost daily promises that the days of tangled power cords are numbered. So why do the vast majority of EV drivers and smartphone users, not to mention robots, remain tethered to plug-in chargers and cables?

Chilean Incubator Wants Companies Using Tech to Help the Poor

Chilean not-for-profit Socialab runs competitions for technology-based business proposals that address some of the major problems wrought by poverty in the region: food insecurity, lack of clean drinking water, struggling public education and so on. Then it taps its virtual community of 300,000 users to identify the best ideas and fine-tune them.
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Inspired by Video Game, Makers Construct Wearable Wrist Computer for Space Explorers

Forget smart watches. What you really need is a full-on wrist-computer (3D printed, of course) that looks like it just fell out of a video game—because, basically, it did. A team of hackers from...

Twitter-like Consumer App Arrives for the Internet of Things

While the Internet of Things continues to grow, its adoption is progressing much more slowly than that of, say, smartphones. The trouble may go back to Steve Jobs’s famous talking point: The Internet of Things lacks a common platform that “just works” the way the iPhone did. Freeboard and Dweet, two modular products from New York-based Bugs Labs, are trying to solve that problem.

Beyond the Hype and Hope of 3D Printing: What Consumers Should Expect

The latest 3D printing Kickstarter smash hit, the Micro, raised its target $50,000 in eleven minutes. The Micro bills itself as the first truly consumer 3D printer—it plugs in with a USB cable, costs...

SCiO’s Handheld Scanner Aims to Detect Food Ingredients and Identify Pills

An Israeli company is offering a flash drive-sized scanner that can tell users what exactly is in the food or medicine on the table using near-infrared spectroscopy.

64 Billion Messages in 24 Hours: Key Takeaways From WhatsApp’s Massively Disruptive Statistics

In February of this year, Facebook's $19B acquisition of mobile messaging platform WhatsApp set a record for the largest software acquisition of all time. It set the value of WhatsApp at more than Sony Corporation. Most recently, the...

Data Scientist Hacks Monitoring Device, Puts Heartbeat Online

Data scientist Jen Lowe’s put her heart online. Open her site, One Human Heartbeat, and a cyclopean red eye blinks in rhythm to yesterday’s heartbeat. Lowe wears a Basis Band fitness tracker. Like other fitness trackers...

Google Glass Signals a Wearables Revolution

Google Glass is crazy fun, but don't worry if you missed your chance to buy a pair on Tuesday, when it went on sale to the public for $1,500. While the current generation of Google...

Singularity Surplus: Nowhere to Hide

7 in 10 American consumers say privacy concerns will keep them from buying Google Glass; a startup sells a DIY cyborg kit, syringe included; UW researchers show off scary-good age-progression software; rare genetic mutation makes siblings immune to viruses -- can we get in on that?

Don’t Have Google Glass Yet? Now’s Your Chance!

Google must get more free advertising than any firm on the planet. When they recently announced they’d briefly open their Glass Explorer Program to everyone in the US on April 15, major publications ran...

Want a Cheap 2,000x Microscope? Just Fold This $0.50 Piece of Paper

Stanford University physicist Manu Prakash has garnered attention for a microscope made of paper and assembled by folding in the origami style. Each device costs 50 cents and weighs less than 9 grams, even with a battery and LED light source built in.

Facebook’s Oculus Acquisition Disheartens Some, But Won’t End Virtual Reality Rebound

Palmer Luckey, inventor of the virtual reality headset Oculus Rift, was literally hacking VR goggles in his garage 18 months ago. Now, he’s a billionaire. A little over a month after paying $19 billion...

Beyond the SmartWatch — Startups Push Body Monitoring Wearables

It’s easy to be a skeptic in Silicon Valley. The probability a hot startup will be passé within a year or two is much higher than the probability it’ll be the next Apple, Facebook,...

Cheap Devices, Like Mozilla’s $25 Smartphone, to Bring More of Developing World Online

More than ever, the Internet is connecting people to information—if you live in the developed world. According to a recent Pew survey, however, most people in many developing countries are still offline. Broadening Internet access isn’t about building more infrastructure or selling laptops, however. Just as developing countries leapfrogged landlines with cellphones, they'll tap the Internet on mobile connections and affordable smartphones.

Google Adds Kinect-Like 3D Sensing to New Prototype Smartphones

How does a search firm keep its brand fresh and relevant? Not by talking about search. Google’s mastered the art of baiting the hook with exciting moonshot projects, and whether they pan out or...

Legal Heroin: Is Virtual Reality Our Next Hard Drug?

So video games are addictive—this we know. It comes down to dopamine, one of the brain’s basic signaling molecules. Emotionally, we feel dopamine as pleasure, engagement, excitement, creativity, and a desire to investigate and make meaning out...

Researchers Show Off Mind-Controlled Music Player

Scientists at the University of Malta think touch screens are for suckers. Mind-controlled devices? Now, that’s where it’s at. Outfitted in an electrode-studded cap, users of the group’s specially designed music software are able to play a song, fast forward tracks, and adjust the volume by merely looking at the screen.

Matter.io Wants to Make 3D Modeling Easy as Instagram

3D printing is increasingly an essential part of industrial processes. But for those lacking digital design experience and who aren’t daily fabricating rocket motors or bike parts—essential isn’t quite the word. MIT Media Lab’s Matter.io is on a mission to lure in the masses with user-friendly design software; software that vastly simplifies 3D modeling.

There Are 7 Billion Mobile Devices On Earth, Almost One For Each Person

The adoption of new technologies is accelerating, and nowhere is the trend more obvious than in mobile computing. It took telephones some 45 years to enter mainstream use in the US. Mobile phones took seven years. Smartphones just four. Today, according to Cisco’s 2013 global mobile data forecast, there are almost as many mobile devices (7 billion) as there are humans on the planet, and online traffic from these devices in 2013 was 18 times greater than the entire Internet in 2000.

X-Ray App Assists Doctors In Diagnosing Rare Conditions

The Irish company Experior Medical aims to make doctors better readers of diagnostic X-ray films by giving them real-world practice on the go on their iPads.

3D Printing Stocks Fall, But Long-Term Prospects Remain Bright

3D Systems, a big maker of 3D printers and accessories, recently lowered their profit estimate for 2013 and outlook for 2014—and their stock took a big hit. The decline extended to other leading 3D printing stocks, like Stratasys. Is it a sign of doom and gloom for 3D printing? Has the much-hyped technology finally jumped the shark? Maybe a bit. But the long-term potential is still there.

Wristband Lets Users Unlock Bitcoin Wallets With Heartbeats

The Nymi wristband that taps the user’s heartbeat as a biometric marker has said that it will also double as a bitcoin wallet. Is it revolutionary or just a digital twist on cash in pocket wallets?

Lifelogging Gear Is Small, Cheap, and Powerful, So Like It Or Not, You’re Going To Be Recorded

I’m sitting in a café with some forty other people. Most us are working on a laptop, and each laptop has a camera. In fact, many of my café coworkers also have a smartphone. These devices have a camera. Most have two. While there’s something like 100+ cameras within twenty feet of me, few of them are likely recording. But a (not-so-new) movement would change that. It’s called lifelogging, and if you have geekish tendencies, you’ve likely heard of it.

New Stratasys 3D Printer Makes Multi-Material, Full Color Parts in a Single Run

An industrial 3D printer hums to life at bicycle maker, Trek. The designers are prototyping a new hand grip of soft rubber layered over a core of hard plastic. Traditionally, the print job would require the designers to switch print nozzles and materials or to compromise the design to speed things along. However, Trek is one of the first firms to employ the multi-material, color Stratasys Objet500 Connex3 3D printer. And their new grip can go from design to printed prototype in a single step.

A Tile or Two to Keep Tabs on Things for the Absent-Minded

Some of us are more prone to misplacing items than others, but we’ve probably all lost something small and important at some point. Never fear. A more connected, smarter future has you covered. In this case, it’s by way of a small, white square called Tile.
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Robot Helps Identify the Perfect Cookie

The Cookie Perfection Machine makes individual cookies according to the user’s specifications, entered by computer, by meting out the specified proportion of each ingredient and dispensing them into a receptacle. A sheet of cookies thus becomes a “flight” of cookie recipes to taste, and the fastidious baker can identify which recipe is best.

The Humble Toothbrush Gets an Internet Makeover

To date, smart toothbrushes have tracked how long and how often users brush, displaying the data in a mobile app and, upon request, sharing it with the user’s dentist. But a newcomer to the field, Kolibree, tracks not just the quantity but the quality of brushing behavior.

Will Oculus Bring Immersive Virtual Reality to Consumers for $300 in 2014?

The Oculus Rift is a virtual reality headset. Though it is still a prototype, each time Oculus unveils a new update, the applause grows louder. The most recent version, dubbed Crystal Cove, received almost uniformly awed reviews after the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas earlier this month.

Parrot’s Latest MiniDrone Fits In The Palm Of Your Hand, Plus Jumping Sumo

When you hear drone, you may think of the army or Amazon. But a robot flyer can be just plain fun too, right? Parrot aims to bring drones to the rest of us with their new MiniDrone—essentially a scaled down, easier-to-fly version of their AR.Drone. And paired with their new Jumping Sumo two-wheeler? Good times.

Smarty Digital Ring Delivers Text, Email, and Social Media Updates Directly to Your Finger

You've glasses and watches get smart. Time to add rings to the list of everyday wearable items boasting microchips, miniature displays, and touch interfaces. Say hello to Smarty Ring.

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