prototype

CUPP hybrid PC pairs always-on ARM chip with Core 2 Duo [Video]

CUPP hybrid PC pairs always-on ARM chip with Core 2 Duo [Video]

Instant-on OSes aren't unusual these days on laptop computers, generally offering a fast-booting Linux based environment for basic multimedia playback, internet browsing and email that's separate from the core OS.  However, CUPP Computing is taking a different approach; the Norwegian firm has created what it describes as a hybrid PC, the "Computicator", with a regular X86 processor for day-to-day tasks in Windows 7 together with a low-power ARM processor, both of which can access all the notebook's ports and peripherals.

Video demos after the cut

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Emotiv brain-reading headset used for emotion-led video navigation

Emotiv brain-reading headset used for emotion-led video navigation

The brain-reading Emotiv Epoq headset might not be wowing gamers, but that doesn't mean there aren't more unusual uses it can be put to.  Robert Oschler - who we've already seen remotely-controlling his Rovio using brainwaves - has now turned to video navigation using emotions.  He's used various apps to train the Emotiv headset to index video according to emotion, which he can subsequently browse through according to how he felt at the time he saw the footage.

Video demo after the cut

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Microsoft Research RearType adds physical QWERTY to tablet back

Microsoft Research RearType adds physical QWERTY to tablet back

You could well argue that the real innovation at Microsoft is going on at their Research arm, where the latest oddball idea is a tablet PC with a split keyboard stuck to the back.  Each half of the 'board is rotated 90-degrees, so as to maintain the regular hand position.  Dubbed "RearType", the layout is the product of a new research paper [PDF link] and is designed to allow for faster text entry without blocking screen visibility or relying on tactile-minimal on-screen keyboards.

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Microsoft Menlo smartphone prototype spotted

Microsoft Menlo smartphone prototype spotted

Microsoft's Menlo "frankenOS", said to be an attempt by the company to develop a new mobile platform, has birthed its first prototype, with the suitably hacked-together device you see here being included as part of a new Microsoft Research publication.  According to "User Experiences with Activity-Based Navigation on Mobile Devices" [PDF link], the test hardware "is a prototype mobile device with a capacitive touch screen (4.1-inch diagonal, 800x480) running Microsoft Windows Embedded CE 6.0 R2 which incorporates a Bosch BMA150 3-axis accelerometer and Bosch BMP085 digital pressure sensor (barometer)."

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Compliant Shading Enclosure auto-cools buildings with sun-powered windows

Compliant Shading Enclosure auto-cools buildings with sun-powered windows

As architects try to reduce the amount of energy spent on air conditioning, high-tech electrochromatic glass products that sandwich LCD layers and are dimmable are becoming increasingly common.  Nonetheless, they still suck up power, and so that's why Brent Vander Werf's Compliant Shading Enclosure is so interesting.  A series of fabric apertures sandwiched in-between layers of doubled-glazing, his system relies on bistable springs that flex according to the heat from the sun itself, opening and closing the gaps as they move.

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