Thursday, 30 June 2016

Furby gets updated again for the smartphone era

Furby A good Furby doesn’t die, it just runs out of batteries. And maybe, if you’re lucky, it evolves every few years or so. Back in 2012, Hasbro brought the cuddly little iconic monster back from the toy grave with an electronic update. A few years on, the company is back with yet another major refresh to the line, aimed at an even more tech savvy consumer. Heck, it’s right there… Read More

Wednesday, 29 June 2016

Google researchers teach AIs to see the important parts of images — and tell you about them

artificial intelligence This week is the Computer Vision and Pattern Recognition conference in Las Vegas, and Google researchers have several accomplishments to present. They’ve taught computer vision systems to detect the most important person in a scene, pick out and track individual body parts and describe what they see in language that leaves nothing to the imagination. Read More

Decentralizing IoT networks through blockchain

brokenchain Imagine a washer that autonomously contacts suppliers and places orders when it’s low on detergent, performs self-service and maintenance, and schedules its cycles to take advantage of electricity prices; a connected car, smart enough to find and choose the best deal for parts and services; a manufacturing plant where the machinery knows when to order repairs for some of its parts… Read More

Apple doubles down on photography with new Shot on iPhone campaign

Sydney, Australia Apple knows that the battle for people’s pockets is going to be fought in part in the photography space. With iOS 10, the company is making it even easier to get to the camera in a hurry, but in an effort to remind people that they’re already carrying a great camera around with them, Apple is launching a new round of its popular Shot on iPhone advertising campaign. Read More

The Pleurobot robo-salamander crawls and swims like a real amphibian

_X3A9216 The mad roboticists at the École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne have produced another biomimetic mechanoid — this one based on the lithe locomotion of the salamander. “Pleurobot” imitates the amphibian’s ambulation with its own articulated vertebrae, allowing it to slither along on land or at sea. Read More

XYZprinting’s new 3D printer is designed for the classroom

XYZprinting Likely best known for its low cost 3D printing/scanning all-in-ones, hardware maker XYZprinting is making its first focused play in the education space with the da Vinci miniMaker, a $229 device designed to offer up entry-level desktop 3D printing to K-12 STEM classes. The inexpensive 3D printer is designed for ease of use, featuring push-button printing and auto-calibration, along with… Read More

Tuesday, 28 June 2016

Cryptography pioneer Marty Hellman calls for compassion in personal, cyber, and international threats

hellman2 It’s been a long time since Marty Hellman and his collaborator Whitfield Diffie ushered in a new era of private communication with their invention of public key cryptography — but better late than never when it comes to winning the Turing Award, referred to by some as the Nobel Prize for technology.. I talked with Hellman about tech, global politics, and keeping relationships alive. Read More

Writing aid for the blind provides a case study for “compassionate engineering” at Carnegie Mellon

comp_eng New mobile games and robot butlers are all well and good, but there are also many applications for the latest technology in poverty-stricken school districts and in the service of the disabled. A Carnegie Mellon project that targets both of those things is described by its leaders as an exercise in what they call “compassionate engineering.” Read More

Doppler Labs intros Here One, with improved live audio tuning and music streaming

Here One Hero3 The folks at Doppler Labs have come a long way in a few short years. The company, led by Noah Kraft and Fritz Lanman, first launched with a fully mechanical ear plug for concerts. Last year, they launched the Here Active Listening System, which put a tiny micro-computer in their users’ ears, letting them control which frequencies they want to hear. Today, however, all those steps… Read More

Snowfox trackerphone is another mobile alternative for parents to give kids

SnowFox Finland-based Internet of Things startup Haltian, which back in 2014 crowdfunded an IoT developer device aimed at lowering the barrier of entry to building connected devices, is lining up its next IoT device: a tracker phone for parents to give younger kids. Read More

Devialet announces a golden speaker for the discerning music lover

Gold Phantom - Background Rose Gold From fancy chocolates to jet airplanes to teeth, gold makes things better. Devialet took this to heart when they introduced their 4500 Watt Gold Phantom, a powerful speaker with gold-plated side panels and audio quality that, in the right environment, is out of this world. Devialet, as you recall is a French speaker company that has 80 patents in the realm of music reproduction. Their… Read More

Hands On with Even, $99 earphones customized to the way you hear

FullSizeRender (10) Dr. Dre may make some of the most popular headphones on the planet but Beats are likely tuned to the way Dre likes to listen to the music – with heavy bass. You are not Dre and your ears and my ears and everyone else’s ears hear a slightly different way. Even your left and right ear have a distinct way of listening to different types of sounds. Even is a new set of earphones… Read More

Happy Atoms launches to teach kids about the wonders of molecules

500x620_gif_new-model While I absolutely despise most STEM toys I’m going to give Happy Atoms a pass simply because it is aimed at educators and not for the home market. Created by chemistry set maker Thames & Kosmos along with Pittsburgh-based Schell Games, Happy Atoms teaches kids about building molecules using magnetic atoms that connect in “happy” ways. The entire kit comes with… Read More