See that? It’s not your daddy’s flip hybrid tablet — it’s the new dual-display laptop prototype from the fine people at Samsung. The body of the notebook is certainly in the vein of a MacBook Air or ultrabook, with slim metal slides that taper off into a point. The palm rests, meanwhile, are a brushed metal, with black chiclet-style keys above. On the bezel above the screen is a camera.
The magic, however, doesn’t happen until you close the thing, turning on a display on the hood. Yep, it’s yet another attempt to capitalize on Windows 8′s dual-nature. Inside, you’ve got a fully functioning laptop and outside you’ve a touchscreen tablet that, yes, utilizes everyone’s favorite proprietary stylus, the S-pen, and there’s also a rear facing camera on the outside. Perhaps it’s all that functionality packed inside, but this prototype is certainly heavier than your standard ultrabook, and unlike most systems, a lot of that weight is located in the display — we’re sure there’s a fair amount of internals located up there.
This being a prototype, the Samsung rep we spoke with had no clue on what such a device might cost or when it might come to market — or even if this thing will ever see the light of day, so don’t get your dual-hopes up just yet. The hybrid was sitting right next to the 2,560 x 1,440 Series 9 prototype we recently scoped out and in front of a wall of concepts that explore the brave new world of elastic form factors to their fullest. Check out a video and some notes on the other devices after the jump.
If there’s a large display as part of your workstation, you know how difficult it can be to keep track of all of your windows simultaneously, without missing a single update. Now imagine surrounding yourself with three, or four, or five jumbo LCDs, each littered with dozens of windows tracking realtime data — be it RSS feeds, an inbox or chat. Financial analysts, security guards and transit dispatchers are but a few of the professionals tasked with monitoring such arrays, constantly scanning each monitor to keep abreast of updates. One project from the MIT Media Lab offers a solution, pairing Microsoft Kinect cameras with detection software, then highlighting changes with a new graphical user interface.
Perifoveal Display presents data at normal brightness on the monitor that you’re facing directly. Then, as you move your head to a different LCD, that panel becomes brighter, while changes on any of the displays that you’re not facing directly (but still remain within your peripheral vision) — a rising stock price, or motion on a security camera — are highlighted with a white square, which slowly fades once you turn to face the new information. During our hands-on demo, everything worked as described, albeit without the instant response times you may expect from such a platform. As with most Media Lab projects, there’s no release date in sight, but you can gawk at the prototype in our video just after the break.
Texas Instruments demos first OMAP 5, Android 4.0-based reference design, promises it in laptops next year (video)
Texas Instruments promised us a new helping of OMAP right around a year ago, and sure enough, OMAP 5 processors will be sampling to partners as early as next week. Texas Instruments’ Remi El-Ouazzane (VP of OMAP) just debuted an OMAP 5-based reference design (or “development platform,” if you will) on our CES stage, a solid four years after OMAP 3 debuted on a nondescript Archos tablet. OMAP 5 brings along a pair of cores and plenty of power savings, a dual-GPU architecture and more raw horsepower than the average simpleton is used to handling in a single palm. We saw quite a bit of swiping through Android 4.0.1, and as you’d expect, everything looked decidedly snappy. 720p video at 30 frames per second is no real chore, with the platform capable of pushing 1080p material at 64 frames per second (130 frames per second without screen refresh limitations). Of course, with everything being hardware accelerated, we can’t feign surprise about its future on netbooks and laptops. To quote Remi:
Is this not the craziest thing we’ve seen at this year’s CES? Behold the Nikiski: an Intel prototype with a see-through touchpad that stretches across the entire palm rest. It’s unclear who makes the laptop, but Intel was keen to gush about that sprawling touch panel. Mr. Eden demonstrated some effective palm rejection, so that if your hands brush the touchscreen while you’re typing, you won’t lose control of the cursor. If this seems senseless, given how spacious trackpads already are, know that this panel doubles as a secondary display that can show webpages and other content when the laptop is shut. It looks like Intel’s got it on display here for the press to play with, so we’ll be getting hands-on as soon as we can.
Want Honeycomb on your TV? You can take your chances with a Google TV-enabled set from Sony, or you can get the full Android experience by adding a connected tablet to your HD mix — if Istanbul-based Ardic gets its solution out the door, at least. The Turkish company’s prototype uses a 10-inch Android Honeycomb-based tablet to power a 65-inch LCD with 1080p support for basic gestures, like pinch and zoom. The display currently has two touch sensors, but a version with four sensors is on the way, which will bring multi-touch support. The tablet is powered by an NVIDIA Tegra 2 SoC, and includes 1GB of RAM, 16GB of flash memory, dual cameras, HDMI, USB, microSD and 3G and WiFi connectivity. A dock enables instant connectivity with the OEM TV, including HDMI for video and audio, and USB for touch input (a wireless version is in the works as well).
The devs customized Android to support 1080p output, and it appears to work quite seamlessly, as you’ll see in the embedded video. And this isn’t simply another goofy demo or proof of concept — the Turkish company is in talks with education and enterprise customers and hopes to bring this setup to production as a more power- and cost-efficient smart board alternative. The company eventually hopes to offer displays in a variety of sizes, that will all be powered by a pocketable device, such as a smartphone, but watch in wonder as the 65-inch proto we have today struts its stuff in the video after the break.
Chinese mobile customers face a similar dilemma as their American counterparts: they have to choose either China Unicom’s WCDMA network, China Telecom’s CDMA2000 network or China Mobile’s more obscure TD-SCDMA offering. Needless to say, this can be a real headache for phone fanatics stuck on a carrier that doesn’t support their desired devices, unless they don’t mind surfing the web on 2G radio (if compatible at all). Luckily, nowadays Motorola tends to take good care of all potential Chinese customers whenever it rolls out a new Android phone, including the Droid RAZR (aka XT910, pictured right) in this case. Read on to find out what these two new phones are about.
It very well should after the countless hours spent engineering it into its current form. If this is the first time you’ve ever read about PETMAN, be warned that it represents the farthest frontier of robotics. Asinine Terminator references aside, PETMAN could finally bridge the gap between robots in their current state as dull machines to the arrival of cyborgs. But don’t worry, that’s still far off.
Also, if you are very familiar with the PETMAN program (strange name, huh?) then you’d recall it’s earlier variant from a post two years ago. Skinny and a little awkward, right?
That was all the way back in 2009 though. The new PETMAN is a real piece of work–it can even pose for dramatic pictures. But what is it really for?
Hazardous environments, for starters. See, Boston Dynamics is one of the few privileged firms that are actively working to produce the U.S. Army’s crash test dummies. Basically, PETMAN (stands for Protection Ensemble Test Mannequin) will endure life threatening environments and exposure so that humans don’t have to die doing the same thing.
Its current incarnation doesn’t have a head though. No worries, since a neck and head assembly are coming soon. Expect a post on it.
Source IEEE Spectrum
We’re here in Berlin, covering IFA 2011, and Panasonic’s getting things started by showing off a concept camera, its first with a twin-lens capable of shooting 3D stills and video. Alas, the company’s press release is light on technical info, though it does reveal the system’s built on dual 4x lenses with “thin, folded” optics. Hopefully, we’ll see this thing in person while we’re in town and learn a bit more. In similar news, the company also announced the HDC-Z10000 (pictured), its first 2D / 3D camcorder with an integrated twin-lens. The camcorder records 1080p / 1080i AVCHD 3D video, has dual CMOS sensors with a combined resolution of 13.1MP and a glasses-less 3.5-inch LCD. It’s also capable of 3D macros as close as 17.8 inches — a record for twin-lens 3D camcorders, according to Panasonic. As the company’s been known to do, though, it’s holding off on revealing any details about pricing or availability, so it looks like we’ll have to save that for a rainy day.
Think SIGGRAPH’s all about far-out design concepts? Think again. A crew from the Tokyo Metropolitan University IDEEA Lab was on hand here at the show’s experimental wing showcasing a new “musical interface,” one that’s highly tactile and darn near impossible to walk away from. Upon first glance, it reminded us most of Yamaha’s Tenori-On, but the “universal input / output box” is actually far deeper and somewhat more interactive in use. A grand total of 16 solenoids are loaded in, and every one of ‘em are loaded up with sensors.
Users can tap any button to create a downbeat (behind the scenes, a sequencer flips to “on”), which will rise in unison with the music until you tap it once more to settle it (and in turn, eliminate said beat). You can grab hold of a peg in order to sustain a given note until you let it loose. There’s a few pitch / tone buttons that serve an extra purpose — one that we’re sure you can guess by their names. Those are capable of spinning left and right, with pitch shifting and speeds increasing / decreasing with your movements. The learning curve here is practically nonexistent, and while folks at the booth had no hard information regarding an on-sale date, they confirmed to us that hawking it is most certainly on the roadmap… somewhere. Head on past the break for your daily (video) dose of cacophony.
At a time when ARM and Android are dominating the mobile computing world, Intel’s only just starting to catch up with some green robot-friendly prototypes, like these Oak Trail-based 10-inch tablets at Computex 2011. Starting from the left we have the Intel Green Ridge, Foxconn F150, Quanta QXZI, an unnamed Compal device, Intel Marco Polo 2, and Intel Carrot. Sadly, Intel wouldn’t give the names of the ODMs behind its reference tablets, so your guess is just as good as ours.
With the exception of the Gingerbread-powered Foxconn slate, these were all running on Honeycomb 3.0.1 OS — well, we say running, but just barely. As you’ll see in our hands-on video after the break, most of the devices were struggling to keep up with the launcher animation, and needless to say, Intel wasn’t keen on letting us test video playback on them. We also noticed that Android Market was missing on the prototypes, but Intel assured us that it’ll be available on the final products, and that current Android apps are already supported by Oak Trail. In terms of build quality it left much to be desired, though this is forgivable at a trade show; it’s the software that we’re concerned with. From what we’ve seen here at Computex, Android on Oak Trail is far from ready, so it’ll be interesting to see if Acer can actually pull off a July launch for its rumored Oak Trail Honeycomb tablet.
The laboratory that taught us all to love again via kissing machine is back, and this time, thankfully, it’s got its mind on other things. Kajimoto Labs at Tokyo’s University of Electro-Communications showed off a prototype for a touchscreen capable of transferring tactile information like the location of onscreen icons to the user’s palm, while a layer of gel positioned behind screen helps it conform to the shape of the sensation-receiving hand. What use could such a technology serve? Well, there’s surely a lot of potential here — take, for example, visually impaired users, who don’t otherwise get a lot of information from touchscreens. A less noble example was offered up by a representative from the lab in the form of game where the user can feel ants crawling on his or her hand. Terrifying, and hopefully not compatible with the lab’s previous invention. Video of the touchscreen after the break.
You know how we said that 780bhp electric pipe dream Jaguar had last year wasn’t going to be anything more than a concept? Well, we were wrong. Sort of. You see, the British automaker has just announced its intention to produce a limited run of 250 C-X75 supercars in partnership with Formula 1 team Williams, however the retail model will eschew the craziest aspect of the original design — the twin turbine engines at the back. Those will be replaced with a four-cylinder, turbocharged petrol engine, which will aid the four electric motors (one attached to each wheel). Don’t worry, though, this tweak has actually made the C-X75 accelerate even faster, as it’s now rated to go from 0 to 60mph in under three seconds. 2013 is when the earliest production of this road-faring beast is expected to commence, with prices starting at £700,000 ($1.15 million), and there’s even a glimmer of hope that a version with the gas turbines will also be built at some point down the line. Crazy, just crazy. Check the C-X75 out on video after the break, where Jay Leno gives you a tour around its dramatic design.
It may not look like it, but that sleek black thing pictured above is actually a microscope. Designed by engineers at Germany’s Fraunhofer Institute for Applied Optics and Precision Engineering IOF, this little guy boasts a 5.3mm optical length, rendering it slim enough to fit in the palm of your hand, yet powerful enough to deliver images at a scanner-like resolution of five micrometers, over a wide surface area. Fraunhofer’s researchers achieved this balance by essentially tossing out the manual on traditional microscope design. Whereas most devices slowly scan areas and construct images on a piecemeal basis, this handheld uses several small imaging channels and a collection of tiny lenses to record equal sized fragments of a given surface. Unlike conventional scanner microscopes, all of these 300 x 300 square micrometer imaging channels are captured at the same time. With a single swipe, then, users can record 36 x 24 square mm shots of matchbox-sized objects, without even worrying about blurring the images with their shaky hands. The prototype is still two years away from going into production, but once it does, engineers say it could help doctors scan patients for skin cancer more easily, while also allowing bureaucrats to quickly confirm the authenticity of official documents. We can only imagine what it could do for Pac-Man. Full PR after the break.
With gas prices topping $4.50 per gallon in some parts of the country, a car that costs a fraction of a penny per mile to drive (and looks like it belongs on the road) is sure to get our attention. The 275-pound, 2,200MPG Celeritas appears to be the closest we’ve come to having a solar-powered car that could one day take to the streets, however, which explains why the vehicle scored first prize in the Urban Concept category in this year’s Shell Eco-marathon. While it can only transport a single person (the driver), the car includes headlights, taillights, a trunk and even backup cameras. Notably absent from this version are air conditioning and a license plate — the latter of which would (naturally) be required before the car becomes street legal. The Purdue University design team chose “Celeritas” (Latin for “swiftness”) as the name for this soon-to-be-street-legal roadster, though in a category that’s notorious for slower vehicles, we wouldn’t expect the prototype to fly past us in the fast lane. Perhaps we can get Celeritas and IVy together for some alone time before we’re dropping Hamiltons for a gallon of regular?
Electric vehicles may have that instant torque thing going for them, but they’re still a bit behind when it comes to giving heart palpitations to those diehard petrolheads. Hoping to change that perception, Nissan is setting up to unveil a brand new concept vehicle, dubbed the Leaf Nismo RC (that stands for Racing Competition, not “radio-controlled”), which strips the one-size-fits-all Leaf down to its constituent elements. The drivetrain is still 100 percent electric, however it’s now powering the rear wheels instead of the front, while things like the rear seats, trunk, audio system, carpeting, and navigation have been completely removed. A carbon fiber chassis helps the Nismo RC keep weight down to 2,068 pounds (938kg), equivalent to just 60 percent of the original Leaf’s heft. Yes, the Leaf is now lighter! In performance terms, you’re looking at a car that can hit 62mph within 6.85 seconds, max out the speedometer at 93mph, and last a terrifying 20 minutes under racing conditions. This prototype vehicle will debut at the upcoming New York Auto Show and will thereafter help Nissan research better aerodynamics and, presumably, slightly better energy efficiency.
Olion's Moov caught on video beaming an iPhone to a TV using a little WHDI and a lot of magic (Video)
Chubby DIY iPad cases aside, there aren’t too many options if you want to bring video wirelessly from a mobile device to a wall-mountable TV. The Moov from Olion is one of the few, but sadly it doesn’t really exist just yet. Don’t be thrown off by a name shared with a windshield-mounted GPS, this is a battery-packing case for iPhones. Slot one in and you get instant, wireless streaming of data to a WHDI-compatible receiver. Video resolution is fair at 1,024 x 768 while latency is said to be less than 1ms at up to 30-feet in range. That’s quick enough to get your Need for Speed on, as shown after the break, while the internal battery is said to provide enough juice for three hours of video streaming. Olion doesn’t have a shipment date or price in mind right now, still searching for partners of the manufacturing kind. If you have the requisite means of production maybe this could be a match made in silicon — and in love.
What might Android gaming look like on a Samsung Galaxy S II? You’re staring it in the face right now. We spotted Samsung’s Orion / Exynos 4210 at GDC 2011, showing off the power of its dual-core 1GHz ARM Cortex A9 CPU and Mali-400 graphics on a nice big 1080p television screen — with a completely playable asteroid obstacle course that ran at a butter-smooth 60 frames per second in stereoscopic 3D. ARM representatives told us the chip actually has even more headroom, but was actually constrained by its HDMI 1.3 port, and could push stereoscopic content at up to 70fps if their reference board had HDMI 1.4. When we asked if there were any plans to publish the TrueForce space shooter demo, ARM said it might indeed be done; the company’s thinking of releasing it on the Android Market as a benchmark of sorts.
Cords suck. They tangle, they get lost, they’re never long enough, and you never have the kind you need. Indeed, wireless displays are nothing new — but when you hear “wireless display,” you typically think that they’ve managed to cut the video cable alone. Well, Fujitsu’s taken it one step further here at CeBIT this week, throwing together what it claims to be the world’s first totally wireless desktop display — no video, no power. The imagery is handled via wireless USB and can connect to any appropriately-equipped PC, while the juice is sucked in using a newly-minted proposed standard for wireless power delivery called SUPA (developed with the likes of Fraunhofer) that can function over wide surface areas — in this case, an entire desk. Right now it’s just the display, but it’s easy to imagine how phones, laptops, tablets, and anything else that requires continuous power or a quick, convenient recharge could benefit from this arrangement rather than needing a special mat (which is, of course, corded) lying around. Fujitsu tells us that SUPA can deliver about 25 watts in its current incarnation, which isn’t going to keep your gaming PC going — but it’ll certainly handle your typical handheld device (or, in this case, a 22-inch monitor).
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