sensors

Ubuntu Prototype Showcases Face Recognition to Manipulate User Interface [Video]

Ubuntu Prototype Showcases Face Recognition to Manipulate User Interface [Video]

For now, our computers are still generally accessed by the soon-to-be-old-fashioned keyboard and mouse. Even as touchscreens grow in popularity, we're still not losing our main points of input quite yet. But, that doesn't mean the PC has to stay in the "now" forever. Thanks to Christian Giordano, it's been revealed at the Canonical design blog that Ubuntu is currently in the process of creating a prototype that uses facial recognition, plus other sensors, to allow users all new ways to interact with their PC.

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Smart Traffic Lights Could Reduce Wait Time by 30 Percent

Smart Traffic Lights Could Reduce Wait Time by 30 Percent

Traffic lights aren't all that bad. And cities all around the world have done their part to make it easier for drivers to get to one point, with a few wait times here and there. But, if you've been driving at "odd times" of the day, then you've probably learned that sometimes you won't always see the lights turn as quickly as you want them to. But, thanks to a couple of researchers, that could change in the near future.

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Soft Touch Alarm Clock Concept Has an Inflatable Wristband

Soft Touch Alarm Clock Concept Has an Inflatable Wristband

When you think of an alarm clock, you think of a simple system that does pretty much one thing: tell you what time it is. The Soft Touch alarm clock takes things to a whole new level, though, and does quite a bit more. Specifically designed for the hearing impaired, the Soft Touch is a system that not only tells you the time, and looks good doing it, but also alerts owners of impending danger.

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Researchers at UC Berkeley Create New Artificial Skin, Robots Rejoice

Researchers at UC Berkeley Create New Artificial Skin, Robots Rejoice

It seems that several research teams at UC Berkeley are hard at work. With a separate set somewhere else on campus creating backpacks with lasers, there's this team working on what may be the first useful artificial skin ever produced. Synthetic skins have been on the "to-do" list for a long time for scientists all over the planet, but hurdles like poor conductivity, or fragile skin have prevented a suitable creation. But, that looks like it's all about to change.

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Billboard in Japan Can Determine Your Age and Gender, Recommend Soft Drink Based on Profile

Billboard in Japan Can Determine Your Age and Gender, Recommend Soft Drink Based on Profile

It seems that Japan is taking these interactive billboards seriously. When the idea was first postulated, it seemed that only vending machines would be getting the makeover, and the interactiveness would be limited to simply getting directions and picking your favorite drink. But, now a 47-inch (the vending machines were "only" 46-inches) billboard in Shinagawa is showing us that the future is indeed already here.

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Robotic Wheelchair Uses Distance Sensor to Follow People

Robotic Wheelchair Uses Distance Sensor to Follow People

Robotics such as this, which showcase the idea that robots can be explicitly utilized to help humans, has us eagerly anticipating the future. Just watching the video below, which shows how easy the wheelchair handles following a human companion around, makes us realize how helpful robots will be the more advanced they become. That whole "self-aware" thing aside, this robotic chair from the Human-Robot Interaction Center in Saitama University, in Japan, is a great way for helpers to help those confined to a wheelchair.

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DIY LED Air Sensing Balloons Light Up to Signify Air Quality

DIY LED Air Sensing Balloons Light Up to Signify Air Quality

Being able to test the air that you breath on a regular basis is becoming a real thing that people worry about, so if we have to start doing it, of course we're going to find ways to make it so that it's cool to look at and use, right? And, if you can do it yourself, it just makes it so much better. In this case, all you need is some pretty big balloons, some LEDs, and air sensors, and you'll be good to go.

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R2-D2 Toy Responds to 40 Voice Commands, Will Play Tag

R2-D2 Toy Responds to 40 Voice Commands, Will Play Tag

Every time you watch Star Wars, and R2-D2 rolls out into the scene, do you ever find yourself thinking, "Hey, I want one of those."? Well, if you have, there's a brand new way for you to get your hands on one. This new toy, powered by a bevy of batteries, is designed to bring R2-D2 to life, as much as that's possible, anyway. With the ability to walk around your home in that trademark waddle, and respond to your voice commands, it will definitely feel like you've got the real deal.

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Smart Shirt Keeps Tabs on Athletes in Real Time

Smart Shirt Keeps Tabs on Athletes in Real Time

Athletes get paid a lot of money to make sure that the watching masses all over the country are entertained. More than that, though, they get paid a lot of money to do what they love to do. But, one of the easiest ways for all of that to come crashing down is exhaustion, which can, in turn, lead to injury. In baseball, for example, a pitcher's life --and career-- is wholly centered around that throwing arm of his (or hers). So, what if there was a way to track how that pitcher was doing in real time?

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