Archive for the 'Gadgets' Category

Google Doodle to honor inventor of zippers

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Today Google honors Gideon Sundback, the engineer who invented the zipper in 1908 / 1914 with a doodle on their landing page…
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Humor: Google Glasses – a parody

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Google has recently shown us how they imagine the future with the introduction of Google’s own augmented reality glasses – aka “Project Glass”.

A more realistic picture how this might turn out can be seen in the video below. Now we are sure that Google will certainly enhance the display of ads within those kind of glasses by for example making them 3D, render those onto the surfaces of houses or having them read to you…

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Games: Kara becoming self-aware

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To demonstrate how different emotions can be expressed with PS3 graphics Quantic Dream created a short film about a self-aware robot.

Kara as the robot / android and the short film is called certainly gives us an idea what soon will become possible – how subtle emotions and moves of game actors can be tuned.

“Listen to David Cage”, co-founder of Quantic Dream and director on his intentions, what they wanted to demonstrate with this short film and how they arrived there with their experiences from Heavy Rain.

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Gadgets: Pre-chewed pencils

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With these pencils you can have a really lazy day at the office – you not even need to chew on them – they are already pre-chewed.

Four (natural wood) pencils for about GBP 1.5

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Weekend Activity: Build your own Zen Garden

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Japanese Zen Gardens are known for their calming effects and for centuries gardeners in Japan have cultivated, groomed and maintained Zen rock gardens and their dry landscape style called Karesansui (“withered landscape”).

Scientist analyzing one of the World most famous Zen gardens, the Zen rock garden of the Ryoanji Temple (Temple of the Peaceful Dragon) in Kyoto revealed that the calming effect is due to subliminal messages created by the arrangement of rocks and gravel. If they would have also asked the gardeners maintaining the beauty of that place, they would have learned that – as known to many practicing Zen – that maintaining or arranging such a garden has a calming effect of its own.

While you might not be able to feel the gravel passing through the teeth of your rake within one of these old gardens, you could create yourself a miniature version of a Zen rock garden and enjoy peace and quietness that way.

There are ready made miniature Zen garden sets available, but we put together a few links demonstrating how to create one yourself with parts you might…

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Augmented Reality: A monster on your desk

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If you want to try out augmented reality effects for yourself all you need is Flash and a web cam connected to your computer.

Uses the Papervision and the FLARToolkit flash components. You’ll find some more examples at the FLARToolkit web site (link below). The Boffswana page (link below) has step by step instructions and the PDF with the marker. Source code is available.

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