Transform your Wii Remote into a digital whiteboard, a multi-touch screen and more…

Here’s a cool video showing how inventor Johnny Chung Lee transforms the Nintendo Wii Remote – a $40 game accessory into a digital whiteboard, a multi-touch screen and a head mounted virtual reality gear. Johnny is a PhD Graduate student at the Human Computer Interaction Institute at the Carnegie Mellon University and his project was recently featured on TED.

I needn’t say more… the video speaks for itself. There’s just one word for it – breathtaking.

The software required to make this hack work can be freely downloaded from Johnny’s Projects homepage. And while I was digging up more information on Johnny Lee, I came across one more of his innovations… a foldable interactive display. Here you go…

Lightning fast Nikon DSLR D3 hits the market

Nikon D3 DSL CameraFollowing a long wait and a series of rumours, Nikon has unleashed what is being deemed as the fastest camera on this planet – the D3 DSLR (SLR Digital Camera). The new flagship product of Nikon features a mind-boggling ISO equivalent of 25,600.

This 12.1 Megapixel baby doesn’t just stop at that. It sports a 920,000-pixel VGA viewfinder with a 170-degree viewing angle with live view, a 51-point AF (auto-focus) system with 15 cross-type AF points, and a 200-6400 standard ISO range and can reach upto a maximum of 11 fps in burst mode. The super hi-tech (read sensitive) innards come wrapped with a magnesium alloy body that can easily withstand a sandstorm.

Those who’re already drooling over this (that includes me), here’s the spirit dampener – the price tag. It comes at a hefty, body-only $4,999.

Nikon’s been pretty quick in releasing a new batch of lenses too. Here’s a short but sweet list that’s bound to catch your fancy.

  • AF-S NIKKOR 14-24mm f/2.8G ED
  • AF-S NIKKOR 24-70mm f/2.8G ED
  • AF-S NIKKOR 400mm f/2.8G ED VR
  • AF-S NIKKOR 500mm f/4G ED VR
  • AF-S NIKKOR 600mm f/4G ED VR

Shipping starts in November … maybe … someday …sighhh!

Source: Gizmodo, Nikon’s Flagship D3 DSLR is Fastest Ever

Lightning fast Nikon DSLR D3 hits the market

Nikon D3 DSL CameraFollowing a long wait and a series of rumours, Nikon has unleashed what is being deemed as the fastest camera on this planet – the D3 DSLR (SLR Digital Camera). The new flagship product of Nikon features a mind-boggling ISO equivalent of 25,600.

This 12.1 Megapixel baby doesn’t just stop at that. It sports a 920,000-pixel VGA viewfinder with a 170-degree viewing angle with live view, a 51-point AF (auto-focus) system with 15 cross-type AF points, and a 200-6400 standard ISO range and can reach upto a maximum of 11 fps in burst mode. The super hi-tech (read sensitive) innards come wrapped with a magnesium alloy body that can easily withstand a sandstorm.

Those who’re already drooling over this (that includes me), here’s the spirit dampener – the price tag. It comes at a hefty, body-only $4,999.

Nikon’s been pretty quick in releasing a new batch of lenses too. Here’s a short but sweet list that’s bound to catch your fancy.

  • AF-S NIKKOR 14-24mm f/2.8G ED
  • AF-S NIKKOR 24-70mm f/2.8G ED
  • AF-S NIKKOR 400mm f/2.8G ED VR
  • AF-S NIKKOR 500mm f/4G ED VR
  • AF-S NIKKOR 600mm f/4G ED VR

Shipping starts in November … maybe … someday …sighhh!

Source: Gizmodo, Nikon’s Flagship D3 DSLR is Fastest Ever

Make your online payments safer with PayPal’s hardware Security Key

PayPal LogoPayPal, the reknowned online payment service has recently rolled out a hardware key, that adds an extra layer of security to your online transactions.

How does the so-called “Security Key” work?

PayPal Security KeyThe key is actually a small hardware device that works in conjunction with your PayPal and/or eBay account. Everytime you try to login into your account, you’ll be asked for a 6 digit number along with your normal login information (username & password). This information is generated by the key on a random basis, about every 30 seconds. That means everytime you login, you’ve to enter a different 6 digit figure. The key is customised for your account making it impossible for two such keys to generate the same number at the same time.

So how does that make my account secure?

Supposing you’re the victim of a Phishing Scam and somehow managed to give up your PayPal login information to the Phishers. Under normal circumstances they’d be able to login into your account and make good use (read abuse) of your money and credit cards associated with that account. However, now with this key – even if you unknowingly divulge your login credentials (as well as the current key code), no third person will be able to login anymore. When someone attempts to login with your stolen credentials, he/she is prompted for that 6 digit key again – which is going to be different than what had you used last time. The only possible means for someone else gain access to your account is to somehow physically rob you of the hardware key.

 

The key is really small and portable and can fit smugly on your keychain. You’d require to carry it around with you all the time anyway, as you are going to need it everytime you login. It’s now available for purchase for a one-time non-refundable fee of $5 from the PayPal Stores. There are no recurring (monthly or yearly) usage charges after that.

SkyKap: For all avid golfers, here’s a glimpse into the future of hi-tech Golfing

Golf BallAre you one of those fanatics who hit the fairway even before the first rays of dawn? Do you really take your game seriously and are continuously striving to improve your gameplay? SkyKap LLC brings you an all new and unique cool-tool which might help you do just so. The product – a GPS accessorised golf-cap called Advisor and was recently showcased at the PGA Merchandise Show, the largest golf exhibition in the world.

This might get you thinking – “so it’s just a golf-cap with inbuilt GPS. Whats the big deal about it?” Hold your horses for a while. This isn’t merely any GPS enabled golf-cap. To an outsider it appears to be a perfectly ordinary golf-cap – except that it’s not quite so “ordinary“. Built in to the brim of the golf cap or visor is a set of ultra-sophisticated electronics components that work harmoniously to function as a complete Golfing Information System.

The device is completely hands-free and operates through voice commands directed at it through a Speaker Independent Voice Recognition system. The commands are channelised through a small but powerful microphone placed inside the head band. The mic is of a quality parallel to the ones used by US. special forces personnel for field communications. What more – if you’re scared that such a powerful mic can misinterpret ambient noises like wind rustling through the trees or co-players’ chatter, be assured that there isn’t any reason to worry, at all. The audio isn’t picked up through conventional means. Rather a technique known as “bone conduction” has been employed here making the Advisor completely unsusceptible to wind noise and side chatter. In short, it only “hears” the wearer.

 

SkyKap Hat Details

The core functionality of the Advisor revolves around providing you with accurate data on yardage, track scores, pace of play, timing etc during a game. The mode of operation is quite simple. Whenever you require the services of the Advisor, you spell out a command prefixed with the word “Advisor“. For example, if you say, “Advisor Distance” a pleasant voice responds with yardage information or other related helpful details.

Since Advisor employs a state of the art GPS, positioning data is collected in real time and continually tracked against a detailed map of the users selected golf course and distances to green leading/center/trailing, water bunkers and fairway boundaries are calculated on the fly. This data is then whispered into your head as and when required by you. An easy to learn set of voice commands allows you to list anything from simple green distance to a full explanation of all the features in the range.

 

SkyKap Golf Course Mapping System

What more is that you can use this device virtually on any golf course in the world by simply plugging it into your computer through USB port and downloading the appropriate course data from the SkyKap Course Access Website. You can even upload course data for an unmapped course and earn credits as a reward. These credits allow you to download maps for any other courses you require.

Apart from that users are to review the entire history of their recorded play on the course from any saved game, and see every hit and recorded distances and use that information to improve their game. Though this can never replace your real-life golf-tutor, it can easily prove to be an indispensible companion by making you aware of every single factor that you need to consider at a particular step in the game.

SkyKap is all set to make you one hi-tech golfer. However, as of now the product is far from hitting the shelves. What was shown in PGA Expo was just a preview. Looking at there web-site one might conclude that the device still hasn’t gone into full-scale production and neither is the Course Access website fully functional. No pricing information is available yet. All said and done, this is one hell of a product to watch out for.

Visit SkyKap for more details…

P.S. This post is dedicated to my dad who’s one of the most avid golfers I’ve ever seen and loves the game to death. He’s happens to be the kind of player I described in the opening of this article.

Found via: GPSGazette

Multi-touch driven touch-screen technology similar to Minority Report might not be a distant reality !

I just came upon a really cool video demonstrating an amazing touch-screen technology that’ll soon go into mass production. The video distinctly reminds you of the movie, Minority Report. In the video, Jeff Han and Phil Davidson demonstrate how a multi-touch driven computer screen might change the way we work

What remains to be seen is how cost-effective this new technology will be and how soon it’s integrated into our present home computing paraphernalia. It can definitely act as a terrific visualisation aid in large presentation environments.

All said and done this could prove to be an invaluable tool for data analysts in large-scale explorations leading to a deeper understanding of the relationships between various entities.

Here’s a cool video demonstration of the iPhone & it’s features

CBS News managed to get an exclusive demo of the fabled iPhone from Apple. The full video is up at Apple’s site – but the same up for grabs at YouTube too. Here’s the YouTube version for you…

The finger-based navigation blew my brains and looking at it you’d feel that even a child could play pro with it !! What’s even more surprising is the amount of features Apple has managed to squeeze into it. The video might take a while to load, but it’s worth every bit.

P.S. You need a Macromedia Flash enabled browser to view the video.

Read the earlier coverage on iPhone

Belkin TuneStudio: Turn your iPod 5G into a full-fledged mixing station / DJ mixer

TuneStudio CloseupBelkin’s TuneStudio, another recent introduction at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) as well as at MacWorld Expo, is this wonder gizmo that turns your fifth generation iPod into a full-fledged mixing station.

TuneStudio innovates on one of iPod’s weaknesses – recording music – and proves once over again that with the right kind of accessories the iPod can be used virtually for anything related with music.

Simply plugging your iPod into TuneStudio transforms it into a 4-Channel Audio Mixer allowing you to create and digitally record mixes directly onto your iPod. A four channel mixer means you’ll be able to plug-in & assimilate audio from four sources, whether it be musical instruments or inputs from other iPods or microphones. The recordings are done in 16-bit, 44kHz quality – good enough for most purposes.

Each of the four channels sports a 3-band EQ, pan and level controls. Phantom-power-enabled XLR inputs provide up to 60 dB of microphone gain and the stereo compressor with makeup gain enhances audio dynamic, keeping audio levels within recording limits of the iPod. It’s generously populated with LED’s that indicate master audio level, power status, peak indication, compressor activity, and recording status.

According to Belkin…

TuneStudio is compact, portable, and tough enough to withstand life in a rehearsal room or in a garage. Bands can easily attach instruments and microphones to TuneStudio and record jam sessions directly onto an iPod. Podcasters can also use this device to record their shows either in a studio or on location.

PodCasters were kept in mind while designing the product. It can stream audio through the built-in USB port. It can even act as an external USB sound card, allowing the input of audio from a PC source as well as output to a PC from any of TuneStudio’s connector inputs.

TuneStudio Screenshot

Only flip-side is that it’ll solely work with 5G (Fifth Generation) iPods.

TuneStudio will goes on sale from the Summer of 2007 in Asia, Europe, and Australia and has been priced around $179.99.

For more information visit the TuneStudio Site.

iPhone… the king is born

After years of speculations and wild rumours flying around, iPhone finally made it’s debut at the MacWorld Expo. Even recently, it narrowly missed enlistment in the top Vapourware List of 2006, published by Wired News.

Apple CEO Steve added a super-punch to his shocking, stunning, surprising keynote address by unveiling the long awaited iPhone. The iPhone brings features of the iPod, digital camera, smart phones and even portable computing to one device – all under the same roof. To enhance the overall experience a widescreen display and an innovative input method called “Mutli-touch” have been thrown in.

While announcing the product, Jobs was noted saying, “Every once in a while a revolutionary product comes along that changes everything.” Jobs further added, “iPhone is a revolutionary and magical product that is literally five years ahead of any other mobile phone,” said Steve Jobs, Apple’s CEO. “We are all born with the ultimate pointing device—our fingers—and iPhone uses them to create the most revolutionary user interface since the mouse.”

The iPhone completely redefines the concept of mobile telephony and ushers in a new era of software power & sophistication in hand-held devices. What makes it such a beautiful product that seems to have set new boundaries for innovation is that there are no keys, neither aerial stubs at the top. Communication isn’t done through pushes or stabs, but strokes and touches. Hopes are being raised that the device will serve as a whopper of an introduction for Apple into the mobile market (a market that’s much larger, and more valuable, than that for MP3 players) thus bucking the trend set by the Motorola and Nokia.

Apple iPhone Screenshot

As per the new “Multi-Touch” technology, the iPhone features only a single physical button, called “home.” The phone is controlled by by sliding a finger across its touch-sensitive 3.5-inch display, which has a resolution of 320-by-480 pixels at 160 pixels-per-inch display.

Here’s a brief list of features:

  • 11.6 mm (thickness)
  • 3.5 in. (width)
  • Runs Mac OS X (access to Safari Web browser)
  • Touchscreen display with multi-touch support
  • 2 megapixel camera
  • 8 GB storage
  • Bluetooth with EDR and also WiFi
  • Quadband GSM (850MHz, 900MHz, 1800MHz, and 1900MHz) radio with EDGE
  • EDGE or WiFi, the phone switches to WiFi when detected
  • Seamless data syncing with a Mac, PC, or an Internet service
  • Google Maps: Satellite directions, traffic monitoring, and normal maps.
  • Random access voicemail
  • Widgets: Weather and stocks
  • Photo album lets you scroll through images with your finger and you can zoom in/out by “squeezing” or “pinching” the screen with two fingers.
  • The orientation of the screen (landscape or portrait) will automatically rotate based upon the orientation of the device itself.
  • Full iTunes integration
  • 3G capabilities to come in the future…

The iPhone sports three smart sensors which help in controlling it’s behaviour. A proximity sensor shuts down the display and touchscreen when the phone is held to the ear. An ambient light sensor automatically adjusts screen brightness to save power. Meanwhile, an accelerometer lets the phone know whether to display in portrait or landscape mode.

iPhone runs on Mac OS X and even has the Safari browser bundled in, enabling it to view full-fledged web-pages as compared to its WAP-based cousins from other manufacturers.

Also an all new feature is the iPhone’s dual battery module giving you far longer operability with talk-times or video display upto 5 hours and while music can be played upto 16 hours.

As of now iPhone is available in 4GB and 8GB variants and costs $499 and $599 respectively. At this price range, it’s a real serious competitors to all the mobile phone out there that offer similar functionality. However, it’ll be readily available for shipping only from June 2007 and requires a two-year contract with Cingular, the exclusive U.S. carrier. Apple plans to bring the iPhone to Europe in the fourth calendar quarter of 2007, and to Asia in 2008.

Source(s): CyberNet News, Macworld