prototypes

Mitsubishi 3D Touch Panel tracks proximity, hover

Mitsubishi 3D Touch Panel tracks proximity, hover

Mitsubishi have been demonstrating a "3D Touch Panel" that can recognize both direct contact and finger proximity.  Based on a mainstream 5.7-inch 640 x 480 capacitive touch panel, the new proximity tech can sense a finger up to 20mm from the screen surface as well as the speed at which it is moving.  Mitsubishi envisage the system being used for mobile devices, with proximity used to control a mouse pointer or possibly bring up a context menu.

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Sony demo hybrid fuel-cell concepts

Sony demo hybrid fuel-cell concepts

Sony has been demonstrating a number of fuel-cell concepts, ranging from portable power units to rechargers and even home speaker systems that have their own methanol power-source.  Of most interest are the two devices seen here, which may look like retro radios but in fact combine a rechargeable Li-Ion battery with a methanol fuel-cell.

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Wearable projection computer project: Internet ‘sixth sense’

Wearable projection computer project: Internet ‘sixth sense’

A group of MIT students have developed a wearable computer that projects its display onto any nearby surface, and is controlled by hand gestures and voice-recognition.  A prototype was demonstrated at TED this week, capable of projecting a watch face onto the user's wrist after they trace a circle over it, capturing images framed by their fingers, and pulling up information about an individual and projecting it onto them during conversation.

Video demos after the cut

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NVIDIA Ion platform gets tested: promising HD and gaming performance

NVIDIA Ion platform gets tested: promising HD and gaming performance

After talking the big talk last week, NVIDIA are looking to walk the walk this week with preview samples of the NVIDIA Ion reference nettop hitting at least two review sites.  Both LaptopMag and PC Perspective have been playing with the Ion platform, which couples an Intel Atom CPU with NVIDIA's GeForce 9400 chipset for improved gaming performance together with 7.1 HD audio and Blu-ray full-HD video.

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CES 2009: ASUS Shared Computing Concept

CES 2009: ASUS Shared Computing Concept

If the Eee Keyboard is a concept ASUS could pretty easily bring to market, their Shared Computing Concept is slightly more left-field.  Designed around an origami theme, the notebook has a quad-fold format whereby the screen and keyboard sections fold into - and cover - the hardware.  More interesting than the physical design, however, is the software; ASUS are really pushing the idea of collaborative working.

The software emphasizes shared experiences, either online or locally.  For instance the laptop can be folded flat for two people to work at, or two of the devices can be pushed back-to-back and automatically interfaced.  In one video demo, four people were shown collaborating on a presentation, sorting images and charts together while communicating through instant messaging.

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HP Voodoo Firefly concept gaming notebook gets hands-on

HP Voodoo Firefly concept gaming notebook gets hands-on

As monstrous beasts of laptops go, HP Voodoo's prototype Firefly certainly stomps its way near the top.  Intended to demonstrate some of the innovation coming out of the hardcore gaming team, the Firefly pairs a 17.1-inch 1920 x 1200 main display with a 4.3-inch 800 x 480 sub-display underneath (similar to the Fujitsu N7010), together with Intel's 2.4GHz Intel Core 2 Extreme Quad Core processor, 4GB of RAM, a pair of ATI Mobility Radeon HD 3870 GPUs running in CrossFire mode, and a 7,200rpm 250GB hard drive.  That's comfortably enough to run Far Cry 2 with its graphics set to max.

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