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Posts Tagged ‘technology’

This really funky bit of advertising was for Wordsworth books by Saatchi and Saatchi AtPlay, and has a brochure come alive to visually depict what the words on the page are-it’s so cool it’s practically geek. I’ll let you watch the video to better understand what I mean (you’ll need to click through to see it; I can’t seem to link to it from here). The coolest part is that this took place in the V&A Waterfront right here in my hometown!

The advertising is being called “augmented reality”, and I suspect we’ll start seeing a lot of this in months to come. I like the direction that advertising is going: it’s becoming more than just telling consumers what and where and why, and actually involving consumers. What do you think about this?

[Link: Cherryflava.com - Wordsworth books goes freaky trippy with SA's first brochure that comes alive]

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InventorSpot blog have an article that details a new bit of functional technology in the form of a watch that you wear on your fingernail and lights up when pressed. Bad news is that the watch hasn’t officially been released to market yet, but I’m hoping it shows up really soon.

The miniature watch is translucent, and designed to fit the average fingernail. The display of the watch includes the time, date and AM/PM indictor which appears in clear format until lit up. This strange watch for your fingernail becomes even trendier at nighttime, as each design lights up in a different color when the tip of the fingernail watch is pressed.[...]Wearable gadget fanatics and the fashion forward can consider wearing a tiny watch on every fingernail, with each watch programmed to a different time zone around the world.

Now that is seriously awesome! I want one!

[Link: InventorSpot - World's smallest watch for your finger nail]

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Ford—the guys who make cars, not the guys who travel into space with towels—are introducing a brilliant new technology that makes me feel a lot better about handing the keys to the car over to a teenage driver. The technology, called MyKey, will debut in 2009 in new coupe models, enables the non-teenage owners of the car to program settings into the key that encourages safe driving and limits potentially harmful teen-driving behavior.

According to the article:

“Ford not only offers industry-leading crash protection and crash
avoidance systems, we also are committed to developing new technologies
such as MyKey that encourage safer driving behavior,” said Susan
Cischke, Ford group vice president of Sustainability, Environment and
Safety Engineering. “MyKey can help promote safer driving, particularly
among teens, by encouraging seat belt use, limiting speed and reducing
distractions.”

So how does the MyKey do all this? The new technology will enforce limitations such as: a seat belt reminder with audio muting on the radio until the belt is buckled, earlier low fuel warnings, driving and parking assistance, a top speed limitation of around 120kph (80mph), traction limiting to reduce tyre spin, and a limit of the audio volume to 44% of full volume.

Brilliant! I’m changing car brands as soon as my kid is old enough to drive!

[Link: Cartype - Ford introduces MyKey, via BoingBoing]

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Scientists have developed a thinking cap that can unlock the powerful potential of the brain. According to the article:

The device uses tiny magnetic pulses to change the way the brain works and has produced remarkable results in tests. Wearing the hairnet-like cap for a few minutes improved artistic ability and proof-reading skills.[...] The Sydney University researchers used a cap equipped with magnetic coil to zap the left side of the brain. This side generally sees the ‘bigger picture’ and suppresses the detail-hoarding right side.

Wow…I’ll have ten of those, thanks! According to researcher professor Allan Snyder:

[...]the experiments show we
all have hidden talents, we just have trouble tapping into them. [...] I believe that each of us has within us non-conscious machinery which can do extraordinary art, extraordinary memory and extraordinary mathematical calculations. We don’t normally access these skills because they are the  machinery behind our daily lives and everything we do. We are only interested in the answer, not the working that went on to produce the answer. When you make complex decisions, or even catch a cricket ball, you are not aware of how your brain is performing all these complex tasks. My theory is that there is a lot happening and maybe you could see it by shutting off that conscious part of the brain. [...] ‘Imagine if I could temporarily give you a child’s look at the world.

Make that 20! Where do I place my order?

[Link: Daily Mail - The 'thinking cap' that could unlock your inner genius and boost creativity]

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Insanity reader Cybadelic pointed me in the direction of this fun bit of insanity. The strange part is that it’s not as thoroughly insane as it looks on paper. The idea looks old, since the headline at the top of the page says that this was published in the December 1988 issue of Popular Mechanics. Anyhow…

The gist of it is this: the article says that the Russians wanted to build a concrete submarine. The C-sub, they claim, can drop way below the depth that regular metal subs can–the so-called crush line. Furthermore, C-subs are harder to detect via sonar, because they fade into the background.

Now I haven’t read about this actually happening, but I did see a page where someone had actually built one. Whether it was successful or not, the article doesn’t say. But at least the idea, despite sounding like utter insanity, might be something else indeed. Google, by the way, pulls up over 1.5 million results for concrete submarines, so the idea may be more popular than you think.

[Link: Popular Mechanics]

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This is oldish news, but it’s still so insane it’s cool. A gravestone manufacturer in Japan has started offering QR Codes on the stones it churns out. The code is readable by properly outfitted mobile phones, and reading the code will open the phone’s browser window and link to a web site with details and (pre-death) photos of the deceased.
It’s a good way of remembering the deceased, but the question is how long the technology will be viable. Mind you, I can just see a new hobby forming: tomb hunting! Collect them all! “I’ll trade you a Jenkins QR for the Watkins QR you have there!”

[Link: Mainichi Daily News via BoingBoing]

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Over at Core77 design blog is an entry about devices on the market that enable you to obtain the absolute last possible squeeze of toothpaste from the tube. Some of them, like the one pictured, squeeze the toothpaste from the bottom upwards, while others feature a turnkey operation. Personally, I’ve never felt the need to use one of these devices, primarily because I don’t see the need to get every last scrap of toothpaste out of the tube–but you might feel differently. Either way, it’s an surprising look at what exists to fill this market.

So…how do YOU get the last from your toothpaste tube? Or don’t you bother?

[Link: Core77, via Presurfer]

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