Test your food before you eat it

img Nutrinator Another piece of future-ware shown at the 2006 designboom / BUESSEL competition. David Tsai, the designer of the so called “Nutrinator” imagines its use in assessing and tracking food content to allows for more conscious and careful food consumption.

…Are there peanuts in it? Is there MSG? How many calories is this meal? Nutrinator will let you know.

To do so the Nutrinator will use microtomography to analyze the content of your meal. Well there you go.
While microtomography is used since a few years mostly in medical equipment but also to analyse food, the size of such equipment is still merely that of a whole cupboard. Not to mention the substantial computing power required to process the wast amounts of data. I don’t think we need to mention the price of such equipment today.

Anyway, its a great design and a good idea (while somehow a bit obvious already). We expect, with Moore’s law still intact, to see such equipment around in about 5-8 years but in a price region not suitable for Joe Average’s household appliances budget.
More likely uses could include electronic food tasters to check for poisoning or other malpractices to mingle unwanted substances into our meals.

Cutting Board with Integrated Scale

img missing Cut and measure ingredients with the same tool = one dish less to clean and less time spent. Sounds good but so far its only a design prototype.

The cutting scale was designed by Jim Termeer and Jess Giffin. It won the 3rd price at the 2006 designboom / BUESSEL design competition. The two designers estimate that it will be possible to manufacture such a scale in about 1-5 years by embedding the following electronics into cutting board material:

  • Strain gauge sensor grid technology that enables precise measurements to be embedded in a substrate (1-3 years)
  • Low-voltage PV (Photovoltaic) that would provide sufficient power (1-3 years)
  • “Electronic ink” display technology that does not use light and can be embedded into substrates (1-5 years)

We are looking forward specifically to the Strain gauge sensor grid technology where we can see lots of other applications in household and clothing goods.

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Turn E-Mail Spam into Flowers

img topic flowers Finally there is a tool to create something beautiful from all the email spam we receive every day or just to have fun with documents. Jeff Clark at Neoformix is providing an online application that generates artificial flowers from text. The application uses the open source toolkit from Processing.org and displays colors based on topics identified in the text. More text will generate more layers of petals. Rounder petal shapes are suggestive of emotionally positive terms (love, yes, peace) , and more elongated ones indicate negative terms.
The application will always generate the same flower for the same text and differentiates the following topics:

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Neuros OSD: First Open Source Media Center

img Neuros OSDNeuros made available beta versions of their new expandable open source media center called OSD this week to developers and testers alike.

The OSD (“open source device”) is a replacement of Neuros’s DVR set-top box loaded with masses of new features. It can record MPEG-4 video from analog sources such as cable or broadcast TV receivers, DVD players, and so on, to flash memory or directly to portable media players like iPods or PSPs. As it also comes with an USB and Ethernet port you can also connect drives or use it as network storage.

Bounties have been put up by Neuros for various add-on developments.

info based on article from LinuxDevices

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Philips Research: Cloths show emotions and T-shirts are glowing

img Philips lumalive In the last weeks Philips has shown impressive new technology and applications from their Research and Design centers.

integrates LEDs into normal wearable fabrics without compromising the softness or flexibility of the cloth.

Cloth that light up the emotions of the wearer
This application has been demonstrated with a series of cloths that express the emotions and personality of the wearer.

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Monty Python’s All Time Classics

img missing How to better start this blog then with a reference to some of the all-time classics from Monty Python’s. Thanks to the web you can do the time warp and watch some of their best sketches and songs on your computer. For those of you who don’t know the group Wikipedia has some background info (a bit dry) here.

I don’t describe the content of the videos links below, you have to see for yourself.

Warning: Users with limited capabilities for British humor should refrain from clicking on the links below!

Opening Credits: The Meaning of Life
link to video on YouTube
YouTube video: click on the image above to open.

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