Monthly Archives: October 2014

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Google Smart Contact Lens Lets Diabetes Patients Monitor Their Glucose Levels By The Second A smart contact lens does seem like the logical evolution of eye-mounted wearable gadgets — why look like a weirdo with Google Glass on your face when you can do everything on the sly? And while Google’s new Smart Contact Lens doesn’t exactly come with Glass’ functionality (cramming that much hardware into a piece of plastic that fits over your cornea probably isn’t feasible at this point in time), it does provide a glimpse into smart eyewear’s potential future. Aimed at diabetics, the contact lens allows wearers to constantly monitor their glucose levels. It can take as frequent as one reading per second, ensuring users get up-to-date information that can prove crucial to their well-being. The Google Smart Contact Lens performs its feat using a wireless chip and a miniature glucose sensor that takes it measurements […]

Want To Build A PC With 22 Hard Drives? Now You Can With The ASRock X99 Extreme11 Whatever weird, specific requirements you have for the next PC you’re building, chances are, there’s a part in the market that can accommodate even your most inane ideas.  Yes, even if that idea involved housing 22 different drives inside a single PC case.  If that’s what your heart dictates, simply include this ASRock X99 Extreme11 in the next month’s shopping list and you’ll be set. That’s right, a whopping 22 drives on a single board.  We’re not sure what kind of case you’ll need to house such a massive collection of rectangular slabs (maybe a desk PC?), but this is the motherboard that will let you put together a single computer that just happens to be a veritable, self-contained data center. Of those 22 ports on the ASRock X99 Extreme11, eight are SAS-3 […]

Android alternatives to the Apple iPhone 6 If you’re thinking about preordering the iPhone 6, first check out what’s on deck from its Android competiton. Thinking about preordering the iPhone 6? Try looking into these handsets first.  As the dust begins to settle from Apple’s event earlier this week, and preorders for the iPhone 6 (as well as its larger counterpart the iPhone 6 Plus) kick off this Friday, it may appear as if the tech giant’s new marquee handsets are the only phones worth considering. But for those who are on the fence about the devices, the smartphone market has tons of viable alternatives available now. These phones do most of the same things the new iPhones do (if not more), and there are a number of other handsets with big potential that are coming down the pipeline too. For more information about these phones, check out our breakdown […]

3D Robotics IRIS+ Drone Can Navigate And Record Subjects All On Its Own There’s no shortage of drones available in the market for aerial photography and videography.  When it comes to ease of use, though, it’s going to be tough to find one as newbie-friendly as the IRIS+. Made by 3D Robotics, it’s an erstwhile regular quadcopter drone, similar to the ones from Parrot and the dozen or so consumer drone manufacturers in the market.  Except it’s designed to eliminate the skills barrier, giving everyone, from tech-averse grandmas to clumsy kids, the chance to use a drone for aerial photography without watching their money crash into a useless pile of junk. The 3D Robotics IRIS+ comes with an integrated GoPro mount, so you can simply slap on an action cam without having to set up anything else.  Capable of detecting when it’s flown out of range or running out of […]

The Tulip Bath/Shower In a small bathroom there’s always a problem with space and the Tulip Bath/Shower designed by Piotr Pyrtek provides the solution. Saving space is not its only feature, having a number of characteristics that qualifies it as a luxury item, like underwater jets or massage programs. READ MORE

Ethernet is coming to cars More like this The next wave of cars may use Ethernet Virtual model car wireless internet security Once your car’s connected to the Internet, who guards your privacy? Researchers to name the most hackable cars at Black Hat One of the top microchip suppliers for the auto industry has announced its first automotive-grade Ethernet chipset and software, paving the way for car makers to install 100Mbps networks in vehicles. Data integration is often underestimated and poorly implemented, taking time and resources. Yet it Learn More The new processors from Freescale will connect in-car electronics and Wi-Fi routers over standard two-wire twisted pair cable, not CAT 5, making it robust enough to serve as a networking topology for vehicles. A move toward Ethernet reflects the fact that in-vehicle electronics are becoming more sophisticated to support autonomous driving, exterior and interior cameras, embedded displays and infotainment systems. […]

The Future of Adobe’s App Interaction Looks Pretty Awesome Adobe recently released a video in which it showed off forward-looking features for its suite of apps on the tablet. In the video, you see a woman manipulating a chair’s orientation just by twisting her hand in the air, you see paint being splattered from a smartphone onto a tablet and a circular vector drawing bending a line in real time. It looks like The Future, and technically it is. But in many ways, what Adobe is showing us is already the present. “There’s nothing in that video that we couldn’t do,” says Michael Gough, vice president of Experience Design at Adobe. “There are some things that would be time consuming or expensive to do, but there’s no fantasy in it. It’s just a question of, are any of them compelling enough that we need to do them right now and […]

Logitech K480: Finally, A Single Wireless Keyboard For All Your Devices Long gone are the days when we spent most of our time on a desk typing on a computer.  Chances are, you spend just as much time using a tablet or a smartphone the whole time you’re hunched down on a cubicle workstation.  As such, the world needs a keyboard that you can use to switch between them quickly.   The Logitech K480 is designed to do just that. A device-agnostic peripheral, it can work with PCs, Macs, iOS, Android, and even Chrome OS, so no platform is left untouched.  Even better, it can be paired over Bluetooth with up to three devices at a time, so you can use the same keyboard to enter data on an Excel sheet on Windows, respond to a text message on your HTC One, and type a message on FaceTime in your iPad, […]

How Box Plans to Use Design to Beat Microsoft (And Everyone Else) In the nine months since Satya Nadella took over as CEO of Microsoft, the company has been getting unprecedented love from Office 365 users and Wall Street alike. Meanwhile, Box CEO Aaron Levie, one of Microsoft’s perennial detractors, has been quiet. But not because he’s been sulking. He was busy looking for Ethan Batraski. Batraski is Box’s new vice president of design, and according to Levie, finding him was a year-long process. He’s the company’s first design executive, and it’s a critical hire. Batraski, who had a hand in the celebrated redesign of Yahoo’s mail and weather apps a few years back, will oversee Box’s entire product portfolio. His mandate is to bring new focus to the usability of Box’s apps, looking at the needs of individual users for design insights instead of simply trying to serve organizations […]

Robots Taking Over: Amazon Teases With Prime Air 30 Minute Package Delivery By Drones With the advent of affordable drones, plenty of things that were previously difficult and expensive have now become accessible and affordable.  Overhead photography and video work, for instance.  Same with delivering a payload of explosives into enemy camp (by explosives, we mean turd bombs; and by enemy camp, we mean the annoying neighbors).  We guess those same drones will make for a great courier delivery service, too, and that’s exactly what Amazon is planning with their Prime Air program. Amazon’s existing program is already impressive with its next-day delivery service, fulfilling customer orders within a short 24 hour window.  Looking to stay far ahead of the pack, though, is never a bad thing and the company is now looking to shave that further down by using drones to perform the deliveries in as little as 30 […]

Drumpants Put An Electronic Drum Set In Your Trousers A while back, we featured a wacky one-off product called Ubiquitous Drum Pants, which hooked up a pair of trousers with various electronics that allowed it to function as an electronic drum machine when tethered to a PC. Well, someone refined the idea and the contraption is now ready for primetime. Okay, we’re not actually sure about primetime, but they’re definitely going to try with the Drumpants. Billed as the “world’s first industrial quality wearable musical instrument,” it consists of an assembly of electronics that you can attach to inside your trousers using ultra-thin velcro pads. Once in place, simply tap on the corresponding control sensor to trigger individual percussion sounds just like a standard pair of electronic drums.  Easy. Drumpants uses two wearable strips with three touch-sensitive pads each that can be individually assigned any of 100+ pre-recorded sounds available […]

Sennheiser Urbanite: Hey Kids, We Can Make Headphones With Massive Bass Sound, Too   Sure, audiophiles love Sennheiser, but that kind of love doesn’t get you the kind of mammoth sales among the younger generation that made Beats an unprecedented phenomenon.  Sure, it’s probably too late to beat Dre, Jimmy Iovine, and Apple at their own game, but who says Sennheiser can’t bring a slice of that young people market into its fold?  That’s what they’re trying to do with this Sennheiser Urbanite. Just like Beats, it’s aimed at the cool, hip urban crowd.    Just like Beats, it’s going to have a massive bass that will make those thumping tunes really pop in your head.  Just like Beats, it doesn’t come with a design that looks straight out of the Sony Walkman era.  In fact, they’re very stylish, complete with some decent color options (Sennheiser still can’t seem to bring […]

Seed Racer The BIOME, in all its far-out organic glory. Future, please hurry! Photo courtesy eMercedesBenz Mercedes-Benz has been an innovator for decades. You can thank the German auto manufacturer for diesel and supercharged engines on passenger cars, antilock brakes, electronic stability systems and more. But nothing could be more innovative than the BIOME concept car, unveiled at the Los Angeles Auto Show in November 2010. Here’s how the official press release described the vehicle: “The Mercedes-Benz BIOME grows in a completely organic environment from seeds sown in a nursery. Out on the road the car emits pure oxygen, and at the end of its lifespan it can be simply composted or used as building material.” Engineers from the Mercedes-Benz Advanced Design Studios in Carlsbad, Calif., created the car as part of the Los Angeles Design Challenge, which called for a safe and comfortable compact car of the future that […]

What’s Scarier, Haunted Houses or Haunted People? Halloween season is the perfect time to watch horror movies, and a reliable standby of the genre is the haunted house story. Recent examples range from the understated (The Woman in Black) to the sensationalized (The Conjuring) to the crassly commercial (Paranormal Activity: The Marked Ones). Such tales of domestic tranquility disrupted by malevolent spirits have been popular for over two centuries, tracing their lineage back to The Castle of Otranto, generally regarded as the first gothic novel. “It specifically foregrounds the importance of the home, especially the ancestral home, the home with a certain amount of history to it,” says horror author and English professor John Langan. “Which does seem to have become one of the requirements for a haunted house setting.” Later books and films have largely followed that lead, featuring houses whose dark histories are replete with slaughtered children and […]

Absurd Creature of the Week: This Marsupial Has Marathon Sex Until It Goes Blind and Drops Dead In the forests of Australia, every year just before spring, there erupts a sexual frenzy unlike any other on Earth. It’s bigger than an ultra-romantic Neil Diamond concert, bigger even than spring break in Cancun. Here a tiny hyperactive marsupial called antechinus sprints around mating almost non-stop for an exhausting three weeks, with single romps lasting as long as 14 straight hours. Males relentlessly bound from partner to partner, as massive hormone releases in their bodies cause their immune systems to crash and their fur to fall out. They bleed internally. Some males even go blind, yet still stumble around the leaf litter hoping for one last tryst. In a few short weeks, every single male lies dead, leaving the females to raise their offspring. And so it seems that in perpetually dangerous […]