Could there be a GPhone?
It wasn't the kind of grand announcement we were expecting, but Isabel Aguilera, CEO of Google Spain and Portugal, has supposedly spilled the beans on the GPhone, confirming for the world that our favourite search engine is indeed working on a mobile. She also mentioned they were working on 18 other projects, many of which could initially appear strange, but would ultimately be in line with Google's whole innovation motto. Why Aguilera would bypass Google HQ and release info on the GPhone is beyond me, so we're not 100% convinced yet, and you shouldn't be either. Call us skeptical, but we'll become believers once there's an official announcement, not a thread of "could be" quotes.
Smart car seat detects drowsy drivers
Researchers from the University of Tokyo, Oita University, the Shimane Institute of Health Science and Delta Tooling, an industrial equipment manufacturer, have developed a prototype smart car seat capable of detecting when its occupant is on the verge of falling asleep. The researchers began by studying the physiological signs of 100 sleepy subjects, focusing particularly on the changes in pulse and respiration that occur 10 minutes before falling asleep. They then developed a system of sensors that could both detect these changes and be embedded in the seat. The seat is equipped with a pair of pulse-monitoring pressure sensors in the seat-back and a set of respiration-monitoring sensors underneath. Though the seat can sense when the driver is sleepy, it is not yet equipped to respond. The next step will be to outfit the seat with an alarm function that is automatically activated when its occupant becomes drowsy. We can expect to have this technology commercially available in five years.
Part motorcycle, part roaster, part four-wheeler - that's what comes to mind after one look at the 2008 Can-Am Spyder. Powered by a 990cc V-Twin engine, the Spyder also features a vehicle stability system that includes anti-lock brakes, traction control, and stability control systems. Its Y-architecture gives it a unique look with two wheels in the front and one in the rear, but it also brings into question whether or not you'll need a motorcycle license - best to make sure before taking a test drive.
The new Creative Live! Cam
We're already deeply satisfied with the Creative Live! Cam Optia, a highly refined webcam which we use and dig every day, and now the company has improved upon that with the Creative Live! Cam Optia AF, moving up the mega-pixel age from 1.3 to 2.0 and adding auto-focus. That larger sensor gives you sweet 640x480 video at 30 frames per second, improving upon what already looks excellent, especially for a webcam. Creative's also put a new dual microphone on board and added audio noise reduction--a wel-come improvement--and smart face tracking software that will keep that mug of yours in the centre of the frame. This autofocus model conveniently pans a useful range and tilts a full 270 degrees. Available in April, expect its initial retail price quote of 154 USD to shrink once it hits the street.
Intel and BMW Announce in-Car Data Protocol
In a sign of the continuing interest that consumer electronics makers have in your other living room, which is to say your dashboard, Intel and BMW announced that they have developed standards for in-car electronics to share data. They've already got actual manufacturers of entertainment gear on board, including Harman and EDAG, who Intel's EU chief Christian Morales said were "almost market-ready."
Introducing the 205-inch HDTV
Technovision is showing off their 205-inch LCD at CeBit, that makes the formerly buff Sharp 108-inch LCD feel downright pathetic. That's enough space to park two mini coopers on, side by side. Luxio, the Italian company in operation since 1987, specialises in displays for outdoor areas. So this is like a jumbotron. Except for the inside, and HD. I refuse to believe that these are single pieces of glass. Likely they're comprised of a few panels joined together like some of the "big" TVs we see. Regardless, that much glass -- over 15 feet by 8 feet -- forming a single picture, is cool. I have no idea when this item will be for sale but I can almost guarantee that you can't afford this TV.
New Video Watermark Tech Traces Bootlegs Back to Pirates
Future set-top boxes and gateways from Thomson SA are going to come with video watermarking tech that will allow investigators to pinpoint the origin of pirated videos. The tech, NexGuard, identifies "individual copies of the films distributed digitally to cinemas or on DVD as preview copies for reviewers and awards juries." Before video content leaves a gateway or set-top box, it embeds a watermark unique to each device using the box's digital video chip. The watermarks identify both the "network operator distributing the content" and the individual device. A spokesperson said that people "should not be upset about this unless they are widely redistributing content." Thomson sees it as a way to "slow down piracy without limiting the use of the consumer." So, if you feel upset or limited, that means you're a pirate.
Compiled by IMRAN H. KHAN
Source: Gizmodo Online.
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