We're just a weekend and a couple days away from Sony's big PlayStation event on February 20, and we have a guess at what the company might unveil. Yes, a PlayStation 4 could be in the cards, and we've already seen a leaked photo of the prototype controller, complete with a touchpad. However, there's now a second photo that provides a bit more detail.
In a world where facial recognition is becoming more and more prevalent, more and more citizens are concerned about their privacy, and with good reason. However, National Institute of Informatics professor Isao Echizen has created what's called the “Privacy Visor”, which are essentially a pair of glasses that fool most facial recognition scanners.
The designer known as Hartmut Esslinger has revealed an amazing treasure trove of never before seen designs from the Apple archives this week in a book by the name of "Design Forward." This book was launched this week at the opening event of an exhibition by the name of "German Design Standards - from Bauhaus to Globalization" and was delivered first to the folks at Design Boom where they've been allowed to display many of the images within. What we're being shown here is a set of Apple products designed - at least in part - by Hartmut Esslinger himself during his time with what would become one of the most iconic hardware companies in history.
Rapid prototyping isn't anything new, but making prototypes for future technologies in under a couple of hours is pretty incredible. In what almost seems like something you would see MacGyver do, a team of rapid prototypers have come up with working prototypes of several different technologies, including Google Glasses and the touch interface featured in Minority Report.
Japan has unveiled the prototype to their new maglev train that promises speeds of around 310 MPH. After more than five months of beginning work on the new train, the Central Japan Railway Company has finished the prototype and are ready to begin testing. Due to go into service in 2027, the train will be first used on a route between Tokyo and Nagoya, where it will travel 160 miles in just around 40 minutes.
The inventors with the world come up with interesting stuff all the time, but one new device from Boston inventor Steve Hollinger is particularly cool. Holliger has been awarded a patent for his throwable ball camera, which is bound to offer a new perspective on things. This ball camera could have many potential uses, with reconnaissance, search and rescue, and outdoor recreation being just a few of the examples Hollinger brings up in a statement.
Yesterday brought news of some Apple iPad prototypes kept secret until they were revealed in court documents, and now we've got even more pictures of freshly-revealed prototypes to show you, this time of the iPhone and the iPod Touch. Take a look at this first one below, which could be another version of the iPhone 3GS. We don't really know which generation this iPhone was planned for, but the inclusion of a home button and the lack of a front-facing camera makes us think that this one came along a little later in the iPhone's life.
Earlier in the year, a design team called ADR Studio created a camera concept based off the Instagram icon used for iOS and Android. Now the designer of Socialmatic, Antonio De Rosa, says the concept could see a fully working prototype before the end of the year. De Rosa recently returned from Singapore where he met several manufacturers based in Hong Kong, saying that he had secured a partner that will bridge the gap between the concept and the manufacturing.
I've spent a lot of time looking at strange keyboards. Anyone remember the miniguru? I even once spent a few hours browsing Cherry's website looking at the various high quality keyboard switches for an abortive project last year. That said, thank God for talented industrial designers like Michael Roopenian. Us computer users spend our time interacting with our machines primarily through the keyboard, it's the primary place where we touch and feel the physical presence of the machine. Usually we're rubbing our fingers all over a collection of cheap plastic keys. My current keyboard is an unimpressive slab of black plastic like I'm sure most of us are using. The Engrain keyboard is so pretty and I want one. Now.
By now we're all used to multi touch capacitive displays where the slightest brush of our fingers can zoom and pan the application. At Embedded World in Nuremburg, Toshiba showed off their prototype of a Resistive Multi-touch display using an ARM Cortex-M3 micro-controller. Most people don't have any problems with just using a capacitive screen, but in industrial and medical applications it's often necessary for the users to wear gloves, negating the benefit of capacitive screens. Resistive screens are also much less expensive than their same-sized capacitive counterparts, and are often more durable. Toshiba will have the ability to market this technology to touchscreen markets from ATM's to Point of Sale registers and beyond.