Archive for June, 2012


An air-powered car

Only one word “WOW” ! Image

The AirPod is a three-seat and three-wheel car that runs on compressed air.

An air-powered car may not be a pipe dream after all. Tata Motors announced last week that it is beginning phase two of development to bring this technology to market.

Lightweight cars powered only by air have made the rounds on the auto show circuit for the past two years. But since 2007, the Indian automotive manufacturer has been working with Motor Development International, which is pioneering this technology, to make this highly conceptual propulsion system a reality.

Tata has successfully demonstrated the compressed air engine concept in two of its vehicles, and will enter phase two of the partnership agreement. The next step for the car maker, which owns Land Rover and Jaguar and is famous for making the world’s cheapest car, is to work with MDI to fine-tune the technology and processes needed to commercialize an air-powered car.

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The MDI OneFlowAir concept.

MDI has developed a handful of air-powered concepts, including the cutesy four-seater AirPod. It also makes slightly more conventional looking vehicles, such as the center-driven MiniCat and MiniFlowAir. The MiniFlowAir offers a 60-mile range when powered by air, or up to 550 miles when configured with a hybrid power train. MDI estimates that the MiniFlowAir could retail for 3,500 to 5,000 euros ($4,523 to $6,361).

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The MDI MiniFlowAir concept.

 

SixthSense

The latest Technology

Dreams are Coming true isn’t it ? “SixthSense” The name of this techy is well enough to describe this article. Friends here i am coming with one fascinating and phenomenal article, Hope you will like it.

‘SixthSense’ is a wearable gestural interface that augments the physical world around us with digital information and lets us use natural hand gestures to interact with that information.

We’ve evolved over millions of years to sense the world around us. When we encounter something, someone or some place, we use our five natural senses to perceive information about it; that information helps us make decisions and chose the right actions to take. But arguably the most useful information that can help us make the right decision is not naturally perceivable with our five senses, namely the data, information and knowledge that mankind has accumulated about everything and which is increasingly all available online. Although the miniaturization of computing devices allows us to carry computers in our pockets, keeping us continually connected to the digital world, there is no link between our digital devices and our interactions with the physical world. Information is confined traditionally on paper or digitally on a screen. SixthSense bridges this gap, bringing intangible, digital information out into the tangible world, and allowing us to interact with this information via natural hand gestures. ‘SixthSense’ frees information from its confines by seamlessly integrating it with reality, and thus making the entire world your computer.

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The SixthSense prototype is comprised of a pocket projector, a mirror and a camera. The hardware components are coupled in a pendant like mobile wearable device. Both the projector and the camera are connected to the mobile computing device in the user’s pocket. The projector projects visual information enabling surfaces, walls and physical objects around us to be used as interfaces; while the camera recognizes and tracks user’s hand gestures and physical objects using computer-vision based techniques. The software program processes the video stream data captured by the camera and tracks the locations of the colored markers (visual tracking fiducials) at the tip of the user’s fingers using simple computer-vision techniques. The movements and arrangements of these fiducials are interpreted into gestures that act as interaction instructions for the projected application interfaces. The maximum number of tracked fingers is only constrained by the number of unique fiducials, thus SixthSense also supports multi-touch and multi-user interaction. 

The SixthSense prototype implements several applications that demonstrate the usefulness, viability and flexibility of the system. The map application lets the user navigate a map displayed on a nearby surface using hand gestures, similar to gestures supported by Multi-Touch based systems, letting the user zoom in, zoom out or pan using intuitive hand movements. The drawing application lets the user draw on any surface by tracking the fingertip movements of the user’s index finger. SixthSense also recognizes user’s freehand gestures (postures). For example, the SixthSense system implements a gestural camera that takes photos of the scene the user is looking at by detecting the ‘framing’ gesture. The user can stop by any surface or wall and flick through the photos he/she has taken. SixthSense also lets the user draw icons or symbols in the air using the movement of the index finger and recognizes those symbols as interaction instructions. For example, drawing a magnifying glass symbol takes the user to the map application or drawing an ‘@’ symbol lets the user check his mail. The SixthSense system also augments physical objects the user is interacting with by projecting more information about these objects projected on them. For example, a newspaper can show live video news or dynamic information can be provided on a regular piece of paper. The gesture of drawing a circle on the user’s wrist projects an analog watch. 

by Pranav Mistry

We still don’t know absolutes about the next iPhone, but can iOS 6 give us any clues?

Apple’s WWDC may not have resulted in an iPhone announcement, but it provided the next best thing: a detailed look at iOS 6.

It doesn’t come out until the fall, and will only work on the iPhone 3GS and models after that, but a lot of iOS 6 features will be welcomed by any iPhone owner.

New versions of mobile software (be it iOS or Android) can often be as feature-packed and exciting as new phone models, and frequently kick a lot of new value down to older hardware.

The question is, can we look into the new features of iOS 6 to peer upstream at what Apple’s next iPhone might be like? I’ll try. Here are my best guesses.

Mobile Wallet
Passbook doesn’t introduce much that isn’t already available via other apps, but it’s Apple’s first baked-in commitment to digital ticket/coupon/account consolidation. The ability to add QR codes and other frequent-user cards may sound small, but if Apple can help pull the general public into using the iPhone as a digital wallet, then this could be the first step toward unlocking NFC and other swipe-to-pay functions in the next iPhone.

4G LTE
Obviously, the next iPhone will have 4G LTE. Duh. FaceTime will support cellular calls, seemingly just in time for these new 4G iPhones. Will FaceTime also support 3G calls? It should, since Skype already does, too.

Siri and Eyes Free: The new Siri
Last year, Siri was packaged as one of the main selling points of the new iPhone. This year, expect an improved, more integrated Siri and Eyes Free voice-control integration in certain cars as another new selling point. Some may have felt burned by Siri’s lack of responsiveness or utility in the past, but it seems that Apple is set on making Siri indispensable.

Turn-by-turn navigation
Don’t underestimate this feature. Apple’s move to own turn-by-turn, rather than offload the responsibility to an app, makes the iPhone (like the 4G iPad) a true navigation device right out of the box. Some of the iPhone’s new features, like Siri, have recently been more about software than hardware. Imagine Apple ads this fall focused on lost people finding their way, and so on.

A larger screen?
Apple’s new Maps app has impressive 3D flyover effects that could do with a bigger screen. Maybe this and Safari’s new offline reading-list feature could point the way to the new iPhone being touted as “better for reading” or “better for navigation.” A new screen is overdue; most of the Android and Windows 7 phone landscape has long since adopted larger displays. Apple would be playing catch-up to the rest of the big-screen phone industry

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1. Adjust your monitor’s position

A simple tweak to your monitor setup can go a long way in solving your eyestrain. For optimal comfort, your monitor should be 20-30 inches away from your eyes. Additionally, the top of your monitor should be at eye level, as you should be looking down at your work, not up.

 

If you need to raise your monitor, consider using risers, or even a stack of old hardcover books.

 

2. Tweak the lighting

An office setting with too much artificial or natural light can create monitor glare that quickly tires your eyes. So, if you can, turn off any harsh fluorescent lights and position your computer so that any natural light is coming in on either side of your monitor. Light should never be directed behind or in front of your screen.

 

Instead, use floor or desk lamps and position them on either side of your monitor so that they provide indirect lighting.

 

3. Use the 20-20-20 rule

Every 20 minutes, find an object about 20 feet away, and stare at it for 20 seconds. This trick from labnol.org is intended to exercise your eyes and give them a break from your monitor’s bright backlight.

 

If you need to, automate reminders for these breaks with programs like BreakTaker for Windows, or Time Out for Mac.

 

4.Try Gunnars glasses

Artificial light combined with natural light and your monitor’s backlight puts unavoidable stress on your eyes. One solution to consider is Gunnar glasses.

 

These specialized glasses, mostly aimed at gamers, are tinted yellow to offset the cool blue light your monitor produces. They also offer slight magnification, making it easier to read text (even for those who don’t normally wear reading glasses.)

They’ll set you back about $80, but from my experience, they make a big difference. The glasses come in several styles and custom prescription models.

 

5. Use a setup that’s easy on the eyes

When your work materials and tools are splayed out in different areas of your desk, you force your eyes to constantly readjust for their various distances. Fix this by putting your keyboard directly in front of your monitor, and your reading materials adjacent to it using a copyholder.

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http://howto.cnet.com/8301-11310_39-57445103-285/five-surefire-ways-to-reduce-computer-eyestrain/?tag=txt;title