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Top 5 articles regarding gadgets in 2011

By Rob Aid
6 January 2012

top-5-2011-gadgets-robaidTablet and e-reader rivalry significantly increased last year, and tablet and cell phone companies focused on product improvement rather than placing entirely new products on the market. Indian government managed to produce Aakash – the $35 tablet for students, simplified version of adorable Keepon robot became available as My Keepon robotic toy, and companies were releasing more affordable 3D printers.

Here are the 5 most popular articles regarding gadgets in 2011:

5. H2O Shower Powered Radio – World’s first water powered radio

h2o-shower-powered-radioThe H2O Shower Powered Radio provides users with a convenient, and energy-efficient, means of listening to their favorite radio stations while in the shower. The motion of water flowing through a patented H2O micro turbine used to create energy to power the radio. The radio dispels the need for disposable batteries, as the integral battery recharges as the shower runs.

H2O Shower Powered Radio turns on automatically when the shower is used. It is capable to memorize the last chosen radio station and speaker volume. The radio even allows users to carry on listening after the shower is turned off; using any excess energy stored in an integral Ni-Mh rechargeable cell.

4. Sifteo cubes combine digital and tangible entertainment into one

sifteo-cubesDavid Merrill and Jeevan Kalanithi, the researchers that initially made the Siftables prototype while they were students at the human-computer interaction at the MIT Media Lab, co-founded Sifteo Inc. and presented Sifteo cubes at the Consumer Electronics Show 2011. They represent a different approach used for information interaction which allows physical and natural way to interact with information.

Sifteo cubes are designed to used by adults and children older than 6, and they are are wireless 1.5-inch blocks with full-color screens that respond to motion and interact with the player and each other, as soon as they are picked up and moved around. They come in packages of 3, and the current software allows interaction between up to 6 cubes. Although it may be enough for interesting games, we’re a bit disappointed because it limits the number of elements used in learning games (such as spelling or math games).

3. Lytro light field camera could be the future of photography

lytro-light-field-cameraLight field science and computational photography have been extensively researched for more than a century in academic environments. The light field fully defines how a scene appears, from the foreground to the background and everything in between. Unlike conventional cameras, which capture a scene in two dimensions, light field cameras can capture all of the light traveling in every direction through a scene in four dimensions.

Lytro, Inc. developed a light field camera that can capture all of the light rays in a scene in a way that offers new photographic capabilities, such as focusing a picture after it is taken. Lytro cameras enable interactive, living pictures that can be endlessly focused and refocused by both the photographer and the viewer, bringing new creative possibilities to photography.

2. Solarball portable solar device creates drinkable water

solarball-1One out of eight people in our world don’t have access to drinking water, causing nearly eighty percent of sickness and disease in developing regions. Although it is not the first kind of product which utilizes the process of evaporation to create drinkable condensation, the Solarball uses this common process in a unique way by combining efficiency and simplicity of user interface and design.

Developed as Jonathan Liow’s final year project during his Bachelor of Industrial Design, the Solarball provides up to 3 liters of drinkable water per day. Its spherical shape enables it to capture light and heat from all 360 degrees, and its compact form ensures that heat is collected and stored within the capsule as quickly and efficiently as possible.

1. Celluon evoMouse and Magic Cube offer alternative for input peripherals

celluon-evomouse-1According to folks from Celluon who came up with evoMouse, it is the evolution of the computer mouse which allows you to emulate the mouse with gestures of your hand. evoMouse looks like a small digital animal, and its two infrared sensors which form the eyes of the animal project an area in which your hands can function as if you really were using a mouse.

The evoMouse works on nearly any non-reflective, opaque and flat surface, requires very little space, and it enables you to use your hand as a pointer instead pushing around the usual physical mouse. By using it, you can perform common mouse operations using only your fingers. You can control the cursor, click and select, double-click, right-click and drag with basic hand gestures. It also features multi-touch functionality where you can use gestures to achieve functions such as scroll, rotate, zoom, forward and back.

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