prototypes

Hon Hai security official turned in after iPhone prototype suicide

The Apple/Foxconn saga continues, and after the official statement from Cupertino yesterday tipped “investigations” into the death of 25-year old Foxconn engineer Sun Danyong there are now reports that a security official working for the majority stakeholder in the manufacturer has been suspended and handed over to Chinese government authorities.  In an official statement from Foxconn, they confirmed that the Hon Hai security official – identified only by his surname, Gu – has been turned in, and that the company “welcomes public discussion” on how they might improve their management.

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BlackBerry Storm 2 9550 gets video demo

BlackBerry Storm 2 9550 gets video demo

Don't ask how, but CrackBerry have managed to lay their hands on not one but two working BlackBerry Storm 2 prototypes, and seeing as they know we're all just a little bit interested in the upcoming touchscreen smartphone they've shot a demo video.  First-impressions are positive, with an improved SurePress touchscreen and better on-screen typing feel.

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Cellphone Microscope could ID diseased samples in developing world

Cellphone Microscope could ID diseased samples in developing world

A team of US scientists have developed a prototype portable microscope that would allow a cellphone camera to help diagnose potentially fatal diseases in blood and sputum samples.  The University of California team strapped a DIY microscope to a 3.2-megapixel Nokia N73, using cheap off-the-shelf parts that can nonetheless make out objects 1.2 micrometers across; a red blood cell is usually 6-8 micrometers in width.

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Apple “saddened” by Foxconn engineer suicide; waiting for investigation results

After news yesterday that a Foxconn employee in China had committed suicide after losing a valuable iPhone prototype, Apple have released a comment.  Talking to CNET, Apple spokesperson Kristin Huguet said “We are saddened by the tragic loss of this young employee, and we are awaiting results of the investigations into his death.  We require our suppliers to treat all workers with dignity and respect.”

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Home manufacturing machine gets working prototype [Video]

Home manufacturing machine gets working prototype [Video]

A regular complaint over at Instructables is that not everybody can afford their own laser cutting rig.  If DK Ahn has his way, however, precision cutting - of at least paper, wood and polypropylene under 2mm thick - would be available to the mainstream, thanks to his MOW microfactory.

Video demo after the cut

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Crunchpad “prototype” up for sale? We say fake

Crunchpad “prototype” up for sale? We say fake

We're not entirely sure what's going on here, but it looks as though a Chinese firm is attempting to sell what are claimed to be prototypes of the Crunchpad internet tablet.  Reminiscent of the "Prototype B" design, rather than the newer renders TechCrunch have been displaying, the confusing product page and Windows OS leads us to suspect that this is more about borrowing Crunchpad hype than it is selling off prototype designs.

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Senseg haptic feedback system creates virtual textures

Senseg haptic feedback system creates virtual textures

Haptic feedback was promised as the bridge between the UI flexibility of a touchscreen and the ease of use of buttons, but it's actually turned out to be of mixed effectiveness.  One company hoping to change that is Senseg, who have developed a new type of solid-state haptic feedback system that uses an electrical field to stimulate the receptors in the fingertip that would normally feel vibration.  The Senseg technology breaks down the display into an array of "tixels", each of which can be individually controlled and made to send out a different effect.

Video demo after the cut

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Dell Android MID/smartphone prototypes spotted?

Like Sony’s PSP phone rumors, talk of a new Dell smartphone refuses to die.  After the leaked image earlier this month, now the Wall Street Journal is tenuously suggesting that Dell have been experimenting with Android-based prototypes.  Two people who have seen the prototypes have described them as “slightly larger than Apple’s iPod touch”; however another person has suggested both that Dell may begin shipping the device later in 2009 or “the plan could be delayed or scrapped entirely.”

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Eyelight Dot Me watches from your ceiling [Video]

Eyelight Dot Me watches from your ceiling [Video]

Paranoiacs and the easily intimidated, look away now; the Eyelight Dot Me may just be a lighting prototype now, but one day it could be following you around your home.  Designed by Simon Schiessl and Felix Hardwood Beck, the light uses an array of LEDs to create a moving eye suspended from your ceiling; if it spots movement, it spotlights that person in a cone of bright light.

Video demo of the Eyelight prototype after the cut

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Samsung demo Hybrid e-ink video display

Samsung demo Hybrid e-ink video display

Pixel Qi's 3Qi display may be drawing attention right now, but Mary Lou Jepsen should stay on her toes: Samsung's LCD arm have been demonstrating a 10.2-inch color e-paper display that's capable of showing video.  The panel, which was shown at the recent SID expo, incorporates both e-ink and LCD technology, switching between "memory mode" and "dynamic mode" pixels.

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Freescale Smartbook concepts: ARM-based ultraportables

Freescale Smartbook concepts: ARM-based ultraportables

Nothing like a new niche to get the concept artists salivating, but this time it's Freescale Semiconductor who are working on possible Smartbook designs.  The company has commissioned six prototypes, ranging from the touchscreen-slate-with-QWERTY-ears you see here to a modular mini-notebook and a leather-clad clamshell.

Five more Freescale Smartbook concepts after the cut

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CrunchPad Tablet renders show new 18mm aluminum design

CrunchPad Tablet renders show new 18mm aluminum design

New renders of what's said to be the final design for Michael Arrington's CrunchPad internet and media tablet have been released, and its taken a big step forward from the last devices we saw.  Now crafted from aluminum, not plastic, so as to cut thickness down to 18mm, the CrunchPad still has a 12-inch touchscreen, WiFi internet access and a media player app.

Video CrunchPad demo after the cut

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