Monday, March 31, 2014

Sony's 13-inch Digital Paper is the first device to use a flexible e-ink display

After almost a year of agonizing posturing by Sony, the semi-flexible 13.3-inch Digital Paper has finally been unveiled. For $1100, you can get your hands on the thinnest, lightest A4-sized e-ink tablet. The Digital Paper supports stylus input, has built-in WiFi, and lasts up to three weeks on a single charge. The key technology here is the new Mobius display from E Ink, which is very light and highly flexible — though it isn’t clear how much of that flexibility made it into the final Digital Paper product.
When it comes to displays, the problem — as far as weight and flexibility are concerned — has always been the substrate. The liquid crystals, the organic diodes, the capsules of ink, the transistors, the wiring — all of the key display stuff is already light and flexible. But you have to build all of that stuff on something heat-resistant and transparent —  i.e. glass. Glass is heavy (especially at larger sizes), and it’s very brittle (especially when it’s thin, which is necessitated by weight constraints). Glass is a terrible display substrate, basically, but sadly there hasn't been another option. Until now.
In the last few years, thanks to the development of new materials and low-temperature manufacturing techniques, it’s now possible to build displays with plastic substrates. These plastic displays are cheaper, lighter, and flexible (and thus more resistant to certain kinds of damage, too). Enter E Ink Mobius, which is basically the same e-ink tech as Pearl or Carta (found in various Kindles and other e-book readers), but on a flexible substrate. The E Ink website says that the Mobius display is 13.3 inches on the diagonal (i.e. the size of a piece of A4 or letter paper), with a resolution of 1600×1200 and the ability to show 16 levels of grayscale.
Sony's Digital Paper, with stylus
Sony’s Digital Paper, with stylus
When we first saw the technology back in May 2013, Sony helpfully had some of the Mobius displays outside of their chassis, so that you could marvel at their flexibility. Unfortunately, for the commercialized version of Digital Paper, there is once again a plastic bezel around the outside of the display. The Digital Paper website says nothing about flexibility, but in the video you can see some Digital Paper prototypes that appear to be at least semi-flexible, or not entirely rigid. In all likelihood, Digital Paper will probably flex a lot more than your iPad, and it will probably survive if you sit on it, or drop a book on it — but you can’t roll it up. That’s the next step, when we commercialize flexible batteries and circuitry.
At $1100 (shipping in May), Digital Paper is being pitched at education, business, and legal environments. Digital Paper appears to only support PDFs, but the website implies that software is included to convert Word, Excel, and PowerPoint files to PDF format. Stylus input appears to be accurate and high-resolution, though e-ink’s refresh latency might cause you some mental discomfort. 4GB of internal storage and a micro SD slot should give you plenty of space for annotating textbooks and documents. At just 357 grams (12.6 ounces), Digital Paper is by far the lightest large-screen tablet on the market, too (the iPad Air is a chunky 469 grams). Hopefully this is the beginning of an exciting, flexible-and-light-weight computing revolution!

Saturday, March 29, 2014

The Ultimate Spy Camera Will Be Lensless And Thinner Than A Pencil Point

As if today in tiny technology couldnt get any better, research scientists at Rambus have released details on the technology that could potentially revolutionize camera-imaging: utilizing a spiral-shaped sensor that maps light, and then lets a computer reconstruct the rest, these clear, glass-based cameras no longer need lenses—and can be reduced to sizes thinner than a pencil point. 
Images via
While the technology still has nowhere near the sensor-capabilities of even today's most low-end cell phone camera, it's the mechanism behind these tiny technologies that have us looking towards the future.
Instead of "seeing" the image in the way that a lens allows reflected light to hit a digital camera's CMOS ("complementary metal–oxide–semiconductor") imager, these are sensors that effectively filter available light into a spiral, which a computer is able to "reconstruct" to the likeness of the original image. Talk about a nightmare for image theory... 
Below, an image of what the lens-free cameras "see," followed by its computer reconstruction, followed by the original image. Not bad, eh?
While there's still no word on when these gadgets will become readily available to consumer technology, we've got a funny feeling when they catch on, we'll all be seeing things a little differently. 
Check out video footage of the lens-free camera technology making its debut at the Mobile World Congress. h/t Yahoo! News MIT

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Facebook Buys Oculus Rift For $2 Billion

I'm excited to announce that we've agreed to acquire Oculus VR, the leader in virtual reality technology.
Our mission is to make the world more open and connected. For the past few years, this has mostly meant building mobile apps that help you share with the people you care about. We have a lot more to do on mobile, but at this point we feel we're in a position where we can start focusing on what platforms will come next to enable even more useful, entertaining and personal experiences.
This is where Oculus comes in. They build virtual reality technology, like the Oculus Rift headset. When you put it on, you enter a completely immersive computer-generated environment, like a game or a movie scene or a place far away. The incredible thing about the technology is that you feel like you're actually present in another place with other people. People who try it say it's different from anything they've ever experienced in their lives.
Oculus's mission is to enable you to experience the impossible. Their technology opens up the possibility of completely new kinds of experiences.
Immersive gaming will be the first, and Oculus already has big plans here that won't be changing and we hope to accelerate. The Rift is highly anticipated by the gaming community, and there's a lot of interest from developers in building for this platform. We're going to focus on helping Oculus build out their product and develop partnerships to support more games. Oculus will continue operating independently within Facebook to achieve this.
But this is just the start. After games, we're going to make Oculus a platform for many other experiences. Imagine enjoying a court side seat at a game, studying in a classroom of students and teachers all over the world or consulting with a doctor face-to-face -- just by putting on goggles in your home.
This is really a new communication platform. By feeling truly present, you can share unbounded spaces and experiences with the people in your life. Imagine sharing not just moments with your friends online, but entire experiences and adventures.
These are just some of the potential uses. By working with developers and partners across the industry, together we can build many more. One day, we believe this kind of immersive, augmented reality will become a part of daily life for billions of people.
Virtual reality was once the dream of science fiction. But the internet was also once a dream, and so were computers and smartphones. The future is coming and we have a chance to build it together. I can't wait to start working with the whole team at Oculus to bring this future to the world, and to unlock new worlds for all of us.

Telemba: World Cheapest Tele-presence Robot Kit

Android on a Roomba.

Telemba is a affordable tele-presence robot kit. You can control the robot as a avatar of yourself, from distance via Internet. It consists of your Roomba, your Android tablet, and some parts we provides. You can own your robot very low cost if you have a Roomba and Android tablets! Check it out!

Homepage of the project (in English)

Follow us on twitter @telemba_en



Broadcom location chip promises longer wearables and true-AR

BCM4771 is the first Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS) 

MicroView: Chip-sized Arduino with built-in OLED Display!

  • Support for the Arduino™ IDE 1.0+ (OSX/Win/Linux)
  • 100% Arduino™ Compatible
  • Built-in 64x48 OLED display
  • Direct 3.3VDC - 16VDC power input, no power regulator needed
  • Standard DIP Package
  • Breadboard friendly or direct solder
  • Display: 64x48 OLED Display
  • Microcontroller: ATmega328P
  • Operating Voltage: 5V
  • Input Voltage: 3.3VDC - 16VDC
  • Digital I/O Pins: 12 (of which 3 provide PWM output)
  • Analog Input Pins: 6
  • Flash Memory: 32 KB
  • SRAM: 2 KB
  • EEPROM: 1 Kilobyte
  • Clock Speed: 16 Mhz
  • No other components required

A microscope with a gigantic multitouch display

 The multitouch microscope is an innovation developed by researchers at the Institute for Molecular Medicine Finland (FIMM) in collaboration with MultiTouch, a Finnish company.

 The innovation is based on two technologies created in Finland: virtual microscopy and a giant-size multitouch display. Traditional microscopes can only be used to examine a small part of a sample, says Johan Lundin. A virtual microscope can be used to create a comprehensive montage of the sample. The montage can consist of as many as 50,000 images. The result is an entirely new way of performing microscopy: by touching a table- or wall-sized screen the user can navigate and zoom within a microscope sample in the same way as in a conventional microscope.

Watch the video here:


Saturday, March 22, 2014

TiVo founders have created a new video entertainment experience

From the advert on facebook:

Buy Qplay now for $49 to join the early adopter release. Limited availability.

Infinite Qs of Video
Qplay automatically curates great videos based on your interests. Works on your iPad & TV.

Monday, March 10, 2014

Video chat with your dog.

Petchatz  $349.00
This interactive pet-cam thing lets you video chat with your pet when you’re away. You can also set it up to give him a treat or a “sniff” of the stuff he loves most. If he’s sleeping or busy giving his undercarriage a tongue-bath when you call, you can even record a video your pet will surely appreciate when he gets around to watching it. 

Sunday, March 09, 2014

How to get $4,274,700,000 worth of art on your TV using Google Chromecast

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: <>
Date: Friday, March 7, 2014
Subject: Story Idea: How to get $4,274,700,000 worth of art on your TV using Google Chromecast (Video Technology Magazine)
To: John Sokol

John --

I'm writing to suggest a timely tech story for Video Technology Magazine:  How anyone can put $4.2 billion dollars worth of art in their TV using Google Chromecast.

High-end art used to be just for the rich and famous -- something to appreciate at The Louvre or purchased at Sotheby's.

But now Google Chromecast is making billions of dollars worth of art available to everyone;  Much of the world's greatest art has just become available for free so that anyone, anywhere, can stream it direct to their TV, using Artkick [] -- a free app that turns home TV's into a digital frame for world-class art.

Now a billionaire's collection of visual masterpieces are available for display in your home today, including:

* $1,000,000,000:  'Mona Lisa' by Leonardo da Vinci
* $269,400,000:  'The Card Players' by Paul Cezanne
* $200,000,000:  'The Concert' by Johannes Vermeer
* $200,000,000:  'The Wedding Dance' by Pieter Bruegel the Elder
* $155,800,000:  'Portrait of Adele Bloch-Bauer I' by Gustav Klimt
* $150,000,000:  'Self-Portrait (with straw hat)' by Vincent van Gogh
* $141,500,000:  'Bal du Moulin de la Galette' by Pierre-Auguste Renoir
* $122,200,000:  'The Scream' by Edvard Munch
* $109,400,000:  'Irises' by Vincent van Gogh
* $99,700,000:  'Massacre of the Innocents' by Peter Paul Rubens
* $90,000,000:  'The Visitation' by Rembrandt
* $87,500,000:  'Le Mont Sainte-Victoire vu des Lauves' by Paul Cezanne
* $86,200,000:  'Water Lily Pond' by Claude Monet
* $85,000,000:  'Still Life, Drapery, Pitcher and Fruit Bowl' by Paul Cezanne

For the complete list of 32 paintings worth $4.2 billion, just let me know and I can email it over right away.  To display this grand collection of art on any TV, simply download the Artkick app [] and choose the "Most Valuable Paintings" view list.

I'm also happy to arrange an interview on this Chromecast topic with Artkick CEO Sheldon Laube (the former Chief Innovation Officer of PriceWaterhouseCoopers).  He is available for in-person (San Francisco or New York), phone, or Skype interviews from March 10 - 14.


Artkick [], now available for Google Chromecast, transforms millions of internet connected TVs into large interactive picture frames you control with your smartphone or tablet. Van Gogh’s Starry Night, NASA’s Hubble images from deep space, Ansel Adams landscapes, and contemporary photography are all easily and quickly viewable. Artkick is led by tech luminaries such as Sheldon Laube, former Chief Innovation Officer of PriceWaterhouseCoopers, and Abe Ostrovsky, the former CEO and then Chairman of Accelio Corporation (acquired by Adobe in 2002).

Tuesday, March 04, 2014

Verizon CEO: We see a Netflix deal ahead | ZDNet

Roku Stick: A Direct Chromecast Competitor

Roku has announced a new device, the Roku Stick, which will compete directly with Google’s Chromecast. The Stick will plug directly into a TV via an HDMI port and will be available for $50 compared to the Chromcast at $35.