MTI Micro are demonstrating the latest version of their portable fuel-cell technology, in the shape of a GPS reference design prototype. Powered by the company's Mobion fuel-cell, which relies on easily exchangeable methanol packs, MTI Micro are claiming the system provides up to three times as much energy as in a typical GPS with four AA batteries. In the case of this particular design, one fuel-cell manages up to 60 hours of continuous use.
We've seen exoskeleton suits designed to grant their wearers super-human strength, but they tend to look somewhat obvious. Fine if you're an attention-seeking superhero, but less of a selling point if you're an elderly person with mobility problems. Honda have thankfully come to the rescue, though, with their 'Walking Assist Device'; worn as a straightforward belt with thigh straps, the 2.8kg unit promises to lengthen a user's natural stride by supplementing their own muscle power.
A team at Microsoft Research have developed a prototype interface [pdf link] for mobile devices that responds to twisting, squeezing, flexing and stretching to control and on-screen GUI. The system, called Force Sensing, relies on very small manipulations of a handheld device - in this case a modified Samsung UMPC - with different gestures mapped to navigation and other controls. Visual feedback, such as interfaces twisting or bending, apparently decreases the learning time necessary for users to adapt to the new controls.
The U8 MID prototype Lenovo have been flaunting lately is, frankly, lovely, and Josh Bancroft was lucky enough to get some serious hands-on time with the device - and the Aigo MID - at Intel's Mobility Software Enabling Lab this week. Comparing the Lenovo MID to a prototype MID device we've seen in photos before, a Samsung Q1 Ultra Premium UMPC, a Fujitsu Lifebook UMPC and Josh's own iPhone, he's promising in-depth video of each new device, but until now this Flickr gallery will have to sate us.
Mio, long time manufacturer of GPS devices, is partnering with ATX, a major provider of telematics services in both the US and Europe. The types of things this partnership will bring you include lots of location-aware types of data including local weather, weather for your planned destination, in-depth traffic info, and business directories that change as the respective businesses open and close.
Well, looky here, we have a new Android OS prototype device still coming from HTC. All the previous models we have seen have been white, and looked considerably different, and one of the prototypes was some dark color, but it was a giant touch screen ala the iPhone, so this is a new 3rd prototype, which bodes well for development, but what’s different.
Nokia, I take it back. When you showed your 2008 concept video last month, I mentioned it was all strikingly iPhone-esque; now, I've seen the light and I realise you're actually leading, not following. Yes, the phone in the video has a vaguely Apple theme to the UI, but we now know it does what Cupertino can't do: proper, spatially-contextual haptic feedback.
Despite being left out of the Android fun & games, Nokia seem to be doing alright for themselves; over at Symbian-Freak they've been playing with a prototype of the upcoming N82, the latest in the Finnish company's high-end cameraphone range. It should be enough to cause ructions over in the LG Viewty camp, too, with 5-megapixel Carl Zeiss optics, xenon flash and autofocus.
Remember the cute little Linux-powered MTube UMPC prototypefrom last week? Well, if you were having doubts that you could pack a VIA 1.0GHz CPU, 8GB of flash memory and 2.8-inch VGA touchscreen into a super-small casing, together with WiFi and WiMAX, andhave it actually work, then consider your doubts quashed; Bjorn Stronberg over at UltraMobileLife was allowed to finger the MTube for a whole minute, and of course he filmed the whole sordid experience.
A team at Vanderbilt University has been hard at work and has come up with a prosthetic arm whose characteristics are far closer to that of an actual human arm than anything else so far. The weight is pretty close to the same and its capacity for lifting and other tasks is pretty on par too.
I guess the biggest problem with battery powered arms was that in order for the arm to be able to lift anything it required a huge battery causing for a significant increase in weight making the bionic arm feel even more alien. This rocket-fuelled/steam-powered arm solves that problem by creating enough power on the fly to lift stuff and still managing to keep it all in a compact package.
Japanese are not the only people that can create cool gadgets, a phone manufacturer in China has got some nice prototype of wristwatch phone called Cect mobile watch phone.