Archive for December, 2006

A TV of square bubbles

A TV of square bubbles

Now that almost every Jack, Jill and Fanny has their swanky flat-screen TV mounted on the wall, you need to go a little bit further if you want to impress the neighbours when you invite them round for sherry and some mild wife-swapping.  Might I suggest the Zgiga TV 2?  Currently only in concept form, it's an amalgam of an LCD display and BluRay/HD-DVD player in a beautiful wooden case.

Being not fully flush with the wall, Zgiga is intended to serve as a somewhat decorative shelf for a phone, a vase or perhaps a bowl of car keys.  The black cube section is the DVD player, fronted with a touch-sensitive control panel.  Crafted by Ori Takemura, Zgiga TV 2 recently won a red dot online award in the Design Concept category.

qixen-p design studio [via Coolest Gadgets]

Voice Recorder gets RAZR keys

Voice Recorder gets RAZR keys

Damn you RAZR, with your fashionably acid-etched keypad and come hither stare - you're leading poor digital voice recorders down the path that leads to eventual public backlash and misery.  See, this naive model from Cenix, the NEZZ MVR-W700 (seriously, guys, great naming) is a perfectly regular recorder aside from the V3-esque keys running down its belly.

Features such as "Voice Operated Recording System" are just a fancy way of saying "sound triggered", while the usual mp3 playback and software-less recognition when plugged in via USB are to be expected.  However, as of posting AVING are showing a different spec-sheet (that seems to be for a model with a colour TFT display) than that for the MVR-W700, so it's unclear what sort of capacity can be expected.

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Go-Robo! Program Your Army of RoboSapiens

Go-Robo! Program Your Army of RoboSapiens

So you’ve got your army of RoboSapiens and RoboRaptors to terrorize your home or office with their little dance routines, but don’t you wish you could control them to really wreak some havoc? A new piece of software called Go-Robo will let you write your own programs to control any WowWee robot, including Robopets and Roboreptiles.

The programming language called GRIDScript (Go-Robo ID script) is easy to learn and hack, so in no time you’ll be able to simultaneously command an army of up to six WowWee robots. The full commercial release of the software will be available in Spring 2007, but for those who would like to experiment, Go-Robo beta edition is available now upon request.

Go-Robo! Train Your RoboSapien
[Via: RobotGossip]

Hitachi Claims First to Mass Produce 800×480 LCD Panel for Mobile Phone

Hitachi Claims First to Mass Produce 800×480 LCD Panel for Mobile Phone

According to Japanese site Tech-On, Hitachi has recently started mass producing what it claims to be the industry’s first 800 x 480 2.9-inch LCD mobile phone display panel. This is worth celebrating for folks who do a lot of mobile web browsing, as the new display is designed to eliminate the need for side scrolling.

The panel uses Hitachi’s proprietary LCD technology called IPS instead of general TFT. The difference between them is that with the IPS “a horizontal electric field causes liquid crystal molecules to rotate in a plane parallel to the TFT substrate.” Whatever that means, the end result is a wider viewing angle, better color reproduction, and faster gray-to-gray response time.

Hitachi Displays Launches 800 x 480 LCD Panel for Mobile Phone
[Via: Tech-On]

Wine will never be soiled

Wine will never be soiled

Wow! A great little gadget is now available on Amazon Japan. It is a device that lets you know when your wine has soiled... It is very hard to monitor your wine at all times, but this device certainly will fill this gap.

This device is a must for extreme wine-lovers or occasional drinkers. This would be a great gift for New Years, although it's not available to North Americans. The VacuView also sucks the air out of the bottle.

The VacuView is a grey piece of rubber, along with a yellow nub that pops up when it detects sour wine. It is available at Amazon Japan, and will probably be released  in the US later on.

VacuView lets you know when wine turns into vinegar [Via: Gearfuse]...

More on the Cowon D2 – UI videos

More on the Cowon D2 – UI videos

Blimey, two Cowon D2 posts in short-succession.  I just came across these videos of the UI in action thanks to the camera-work of Cowon Systems employee Kevin Kang.  Three clips, a starter introducing you to the menu structure and layout, then a more in-depth look at how it's usable with both stylus and finger, with a final video covering multi-tasking (impressive) and performance of internal flash memory versus SD cards (also impressive).

Video three is after the cut.

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Toyota FT-HS Hybrid on Steroids

Toyota FT-HS Hybrid on Steroids

Toyota has released several renderings of a stunning RWD hybrid concept car that will be unveiled at the Detroit Auto Show in January 2007. Dubbed the FT-HS Hybrid Sports Concept, this futuristic vehicle will have a 400-horsepower hybrid powertrain with a 3.5-liter V6 engine and a target performance of 0-60 in 4 seconds.

This “Prius on steroids” as some call it, is envisioned to replace the retired Supra and add more emotional punch to Toyota’s product line which hasn’t had a sports car since they dropped the Supra in 1997.
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UREN V1 Car UMPC video unboxing

UREN V1 Car UMPC video unboxing

Please excuse me while I weep like a cudgelled nun over the sheer prettiness of UREN's V1 UMPC, designed almost ideally for use as an in-car computer.  Normally this slim-frame beauty is only available in Korea (I really must go on a holiday there sometime, preferably with some embezzled SlashGear funds) but Bjorn over at UltraMobileLife has managed to import one and, being a generous sort, is sharing the pleasure of the unboxing with us.

UREN have managed to fit not only a 30GB drive for all your media, but a GPS receiver running with Microsoft's Streets and Trips software as well as an FM transmitter so that you don't have to bother with cables or quiet internal speakers.  As you can tell from the video, Bjorn is pretty impressed with it, and I know I'm looking forward to reading/watching his full review.

Photos of the unit after the cut...

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Cowon D2 covers all your mobile media bases

Cowon D2 covers all your mobile media bases

Not for the first time I find myself wishing I lived in Korea - because they get some of the coolest gadgets around.  This, my beauties, is Cowon's latest video-capable DAP, the D2.  Only to label it that is to do it a disservice; hidden behind that luscious 16m colour 2.5-inch touchscreen display is a T-DMB digital TV receiver, mp3 player with support for various common formats, and video player capable of handling H.264, MPEG4 and WMV9.  With the earphones acting as aerial (hence no ugly retractable stub hanging out the side) it can manage 30fps video which is pretty damned impressive.

Optional extras include expandable storage via what looks like SD and a docking station, while the pen-stylus seems to double as a handy stand.  Battery life is good for 10 hours of video, 9 hours of digital TV and a whopping 52 hours of music, and it's available in black, white, red, pink, and lime.

Many more photos of the D2 after the cut.

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EveR-2 Muse, the First Robot Pop Starlet

EveR-2 Muse, the First Robot Pop Starlet

The latest on the roster of hot fembots from Asia is the EveR-2 Muse, designed by the Korea Institute of Industrial Technology (KITEC). First introduced last October, she has since ranked fourth for her chart-topping pop song and is hailed as the world’s first entertainer-robot.

The EveR-2 Muse has 60 joints in the face, neck, and lower body to enable facial expressions and dance moves. However, I find her blank demeanor and facial detailing eerily akin to a made-up corpse or a stuffed coyote. I think the KITEC still have more work to do in the cosmetics department, so in the meantime I’ll just ogle images of the Actroid DER2 from afar.
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