prototypes

Synaptics proximity-sensing Digital Photo Frame concept

Synaptics proximity-sensing Digital Photo Frame concept

Synaptics - who are behind the trackpads found on many notebook computers - have announced the general OEM/ODM availability of their proximity sensors, which up until now have only been available in Microsoft's Wireless Entertainment Desktop 8000 Bluetooth Keyboard.  The technology recognises user presence and can be linked to controls, backlights and other functionality; in the Microsoft keyboard, for instance, the system goes into standby mode automatically when the user moves away, saving battery life.  Synaptics have created a new digital photo frame, with proximity-controlled touch-sensitive buttons, to demonstrate possible applications.

 

SlashGear Week in Review – June 1st

SlashGear Week in Review – June 1st

The major news this week came out of Google's IO Conference, with the Android team unveiling the latest build of the mobile platform and a slick touchscreen handset to demonstrate it on.  We usually leave cellphone news to our sister sites PHONE Magazine and SlashPhone, but the Android handset - complete with compass-navigated Street View and slick animations - was too good to miss.  Considering the feedback over at Android Community, Google look like they've recaptured any momentum lost since MWC in February.

Dell working on ‘Mini Inspiron’ ultraportable budget notebook

Dell working on ‘Mini Inspiron’ ultraportable budget notebook

Looks like Dell aren't content to see rivals sweep through the budget ultraportable market, and want to pick up some market share themselves.  The company has confirmed - but only just - that it's working on a "mini Inspiron" with no official name, spec list or pricing details.  However Michael Dell himself told Brian Lam that it was intended as "a low-cost notebook meant for developing countries". 

Android touchscreen prototype: Live pictures & video demo!

Android touchscreen prototype: Live pictures & video demo!

We're still waiting for the full details from Vincent at the Google IO Keynote, but we wanted to share these first live photos and video of the latest touchscreen Android prototype.  Things have certainly moved on since the last version of the OS we saw: back then Google basically asked us to look past the slightly clunky GUI and concentrate on the potential.  This time round, there's no squinting necessary!  Graphics, animations, functionality, all is slick and up to speed. 

Check out the Android demo videos after the cut!

Xentex dual-screen folding laptop on eBay

Xentex dual-screen folding laptop on eBay

If you're looking for a laptop that nobody else will have - and that will interest everybody - ignore the MacBook Air, any Tablet PC or even Alienware's super-strength gaming notebooks.  Instead, stick a bid in for this Xentex prototype currently up on eBay: at first glance it looks like it should be a mockup, but this is actually a real, working laptop, it just so happens to be one with a folding chassis and twin swivelling screens.  The screens are in fact two 13.3-inch panels, and they can be independently rotated so that people can view them from each side.

Epson 13.4-inch A4 e-paper prototype unveiled

Epson 13.4-inch A4 e-paper prototype unveiled

You could be forgiven for thinking E Ink have cornered the e-paper market; after all, their Vizplex displays are currently used by Amazon's Kindle, Sony's Reader and eBook ranges from multiple other dedicated manufacturers.  Seiko Epson might give you cause to think again, however, having just unveiled a 13.4-inch, A4-sized screen at SID 2008.  That's almost twice as large as the company's previous display, which measured in at a mere 7.1-inches.

The NEC creates LCD in a pretty heart shape

The NEC creates LCD in a pretty heart shape

The NEC has developed a way to make TFT LCD panels able to feature shapes besides the average square or rectangle. Which is nice for those that would enjoy something a bit cuter, like a sweet little heart shape.

Wacom & E Ink develop pen-input ePaper displays

Wacom & E Ink develop pen-input ePaper displays

Digitizer specialists Wacom and e-paper manufacturers E Ink have announced a deal that will see the former's digital ink technology incorporated into the latter's low-power, paper-like electronic displays.  It will open up the market for eBooks and newspapers that can be annotated and those notes stored and exchanged.  The pair are describing the development as "the ultimate vision of an interactive piece of paper."

125-inch flexible plasma display just 1mm thick

125-inch flexible plasma display just 1mm thick

Shinoda Plasma has ignored the usual plasma/LCD rat-race and instead turned to developing larger, flexible panels for next-gen applications. Its latest prototype, a 125-inch film-type display, measures 3m long by 1m tall and is just 1mm thick. Currently it offers 960 x 360 resolution, obviously less than HD-compatible plasmas on the market today, but then again not many of the screens you see in the shops can be curved around your walls.

Sharp unveil highest-density methanol fuel-cell

Sharp unveil highest-density methanol fuel-cell

Sharp have announced the development of a prototype direct methanol fuel cell (DMFC) that it claims achieves the world's highest power density. The cell is constructed of a stack of multiple reed-shaped thin cells, sandwiched together with similarly shaped porous spacers. That increases surface area and maximises air-flow (essential for the fuel cell to produce power), resulting in 0.3W/cc power density.

Microsoft TouchWall inexpensive Surface multitouch alternative

Microsoft TouchWall inexpensive Surface multitouch alternative

Making DIY versions of Microsoft's multitouch Surface table seems to be so popular, even Microsoft themselves are getting in on the action.  Somewhat bizarrely, the company has developed another multitouch platform, this time coming in a whole lot cheaper than the $10k Surface.  TouchWall basically relies on three infrared lasers that scan the surface of a plexiglass board, and an infrared camera to register any touch against it; in Microsoft's demo of the system, they used a rear-projector, 4 x 6 foot plexiglass screen, and a basic Vista PC running the software app, Plex.

Check out the video demo of TouchWall after the cut

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