Top 5 articles regarding gadgets in 2010
Aside increased rivalry between smart phone manufacturers, the past year has been marked by two other omnipresent trends. One of the most mentioned subjects last year were tablets, which are becoming gaining on popularity – a fact confirmed by the increased number visitors who are viewing our website from such devices. Another popular subject were 3D display technologies which, unlike tablets, aren’t as widely spread due to costs and a wide variety of implementations that get in the way regarding standards that could be set for potential content providers.
Here are the 5 most popular articles regarding gadgets in 2010:
The folks from PQ Labs demonstrated their G3 touchscreen technology at last year’s CeBIT by installing it into a coffee table called the iTable. They have essentially taken the idea behind the Microsoft Surface and made it less bulky and cheaper (at least the folks from PQ Labs claim it will be). There are several variations of their iTable and we wrote about G3 Plus version.
Two of the most notable features of the Surface are its multitouch capabilities (sensors around the edge of the screen in the iTable can register up to 32 simultaneous touch points) and the availability of a development SDK.
The patented electronic lenses from PixelOptics provide dynamic and intelligent optics by using a combination of chemistry, electricity, and components that detect if the glasses are tilted in order to correct visual problems such as presbyopia, or loss of near focus which is common in people over 40 years old. The electronic spectacles are able to automatically change focus as you lower your head to read a book, thus making bifocal spectacles obsolete.
The product, called emPower!, has been under development for 10 years and looks like an ordinary pair of spectacles. The only visible difference is a small button on the side, which is used to select one of three operating modes of behavior (automatic, manual, and manual off). The spectacles rely on a rechargeable battery which can be recharged in a charging cradle within two to three hours . The battery can hold its charge for up to 3 or 5 days, although the folks from PixelOptics recommend recharging every night.
Boogie Board Paperless LCD Writing Tablet is a digital twist on magic slates – slates you could write or draw on, and after you’d pull the foil on the surface the content would delete and you create new content on it. Kent Displays announced the forming of Improv Electronics, a new business unit focused on development and sales of consumer electronic products. This is the first paperless writing tablet which utilizes a pressure-sensitive Reflex LCD for the writing surface.
While most other LCDs are made on glass, the Reflex LCDs used in Boogie Board tablets are made of impact-resistant, flexible plastic. Because all Reflex LCDs are reflective and bi-stable, the Boogie Board tablet requires no power to generate or retain an image, and only a small amount supplied by a small watch battery to erase the content. You can erase the content with a simple press of a button located at the top of the device and it should execute over 50,000 times for one battery lifetime.
The company which designed facial recognition and location awareness systems for some of the best known consumer robotics in history, including the now-departed Sony AIBO robot dog and WowWee’s line of toy robots, introduced their competitor for the robotic cleaning market at CES 2010. Evolution Robotics presented Mint – their cleaning robot capable to serve as a floor sweeper and a mop.
Unlike other cleaning robots, the Mint has no openings to suck up dirt or water. Instead, the base consists of two big wheels and a removable pad holder. The holder is a crucial player in the Mint’s cleaning strategy. The robot goes back and forth on the floor in relatively straight lines and uses a side-to-side scrubbing motion, where the micro-fiber pad is rubbed back and forth on the floor. On the forward motion, the pad is depositing cleaning solution and on the backward trip, it’s picking up and trapping the dirt with the micro-fiber pad. By repeating the process, it simply continues to clean until its computer tells it it’s covered 100 percent of the room.
Although we don’t write about concepts (here’s an article why), we had to cover this story because the Indian government stands behind it. They unveiled the world’s cheapest “laptop” computer meant for students – a touch-screen device that costs $35. According to India’s Human Resource Development Minister Kapil Sibal, this touch-screen device could become available in this year.
The hand-held device is developed by researchers at the Indian Institute of Technology and Indian Institute of Science. It has all the basic features, including seven- and nine-inch (18- and 23-centimeter) Linux-based touch screen, 2 GB of RAM memory, Wi-fi connectivity, USB ports and is powered by a 2-watt system for use in power-deficit areas. It weighs 1.5 kg (3.3 pounds), and it has the ability to run on battery or solar power. Regarding the media it supports, it has an Internet browser, a media player, a reader for PDF files and has video conferencing abilities. One drawback to the computer is that it doesn’t have a hard disk. Instead, it realizes on a memory card to store files.
Another problem is the actual manufacturing at that price, since the developers hope someone will propose an offer to manufacture this tablet-looking gadget at such a low price. Only time will tell whether this project will be realized, or it will end as the project from MIT where the actual price became two times higher than predicted.