Kids these days are way ahead of their parents when it comes to information technology, and maybe that's because they pick things up extremely fast. Either way, there is a growing market for kid-friendly keyboards as a stepping stone before they discover the joys (and horrors of addiction) of World of Warcraft and Instant Messaging. Among the notable keyboards released at this year's Toy Fair are the myPC Toddler that is spill-proof, washable and accompanied by an ergonomic children's mouse. The lack of a period key works great for parents as it prevents little John from stumbling upon teen angels on the Net.
[GDC 2008] Last year, we published about Emotiv, a brain/computer interface headset prototype launched at GDC 2007. Today, Emotiv unveiled the EPOC neuro-headset that allows gamers to control a video game using their thoughts, expressions and emotions. This consumer product is lighter, better designed and has more features than the prototype:
The Expressiv Suite (identifies facial expressions in real-time, so characters respond to the expressions of the player), has 30 new expressions in addition to the existing smile, blink and wink.
The Affectiv suite is now able to detect and respond to tension, frustration and meditation. Games will be able to respond dynamically to player emotions, enabling, for example, difficulty adjustment on the fly.
In addition to the movement-based actions (push, pull, lift, drop and rotate), the Cognitiv suite has a new category of detection based on visualization: the player is now able to command objects disappearance.
The iPhone's user interface was certainly a much talked-about point when the handset was first released last year, and I'm sure many out there would also like to see a somewhat similar multi-touch gesture user interface visit the Mac platform. Smart Scroll X allows that to happen on a more subdued scale, where the "Super Wheel" provides the Mac's trackpad with an iPhone-like scrolling feature. This enables users to control a host of trackpad settings as long as you have a simple system preferences plug-in. Another interesting feature is the "Grab Scroll", allowing you to get hold of a window and flick it across the screen. The Smart Scroll X is compatible with Mac OS X Leopard 10.5.2 and retails for $19.
US researchers have stumbled upon a method to use lasers to analyze our breath, helping detect diseases such as asthma and cancer. This technique has been christened 'cavity-enhanced direct optical frequency comb spectroscopy' - what a mouthful. It seems that the breath molecules which we breathe out can actually show whether we're ill or not - for example, excess methylamine can be used to detect liver and kidney disease, while ammonia on the breath could be a possible signal for renal failure and elevated acetone levels in the breath point toward diabetes. Well, I'm all for such tests since I'd hate being probed and poked all over the body just to diagnose a particular disease.
Symantec Corp. has just announced its online backup and restore service that targets small businesses. This online utility features a host of extras from Symantec, although there is no official word on what these features will be. The online backup & restore service will set you back by $25 a month for 5GB, and $38 monthly for 10GB. Multiply that by 12 and you get a pretty high number - I'd rather invest in a 500GB hard drive as my backup solution instead. Still, at least with online backup you don't have to worry about losing your physical media. Women, remember to scan all those precious wedding photos and upload them here so that you can save yourself a whole lot of tears and heartaches in case of a fire or flood.
Asus aims to bring HDTV to your desktop with its Asus HDTV Suite-HDMI. Perfect for those who do not spend too much time at home in front of a slim idiot box, this standalone TV box offers 1,920 x 1,200 resolution that allows one to use their monitors as a full HDTV set or as a multimedia center without having to turn on the PC. Sounds great if you're living in a cramped apartment where space is at a premium, although you won't be able to work while letting visitors to your home watch TV simultaneously.
The Atlas CPC-1200 GPS navigation system from Azentek is pretty interesting, as it is actually a Vista-powered PC smacked right into your dashboard. Of course, if you aren't interested in Vista's user interface at all, there is always the option to settle for Azentek's custom-designed interface. Some of the features you can expect to see include :-
Network Attached Storage (NAS) is slowly emerging as a single storage unit that could be easily attached to your home or business network, and could be accessed easily over your local area network. Today at Benchmark Reviews we have the QNAP TS-109 Pro Turbo Station All-in-one NAS server. QNAP TS-109 Pro comes with laundry list of features and the ability to expand the storage capabilities through the on-board USB and eSATA ports. Please read on to explore the performance and capabilities of TS-109 Pro as we compare it to the previously tested NAS products from other manufacturers.
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Here is a pretty neat product from ASUS that can transform a standard flat screen monitor into a HDTV. The device features HDMI, DVI / VGA, Line-in (PC Audio), VHF/UHF (TV signal in), S-Video & Composite & YPbPr(up to 1080p) inputs and HDMI, DVI / VGA outputs. The unit supports resolutions up to 1920×1200 [...]
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Available on February 21, T-Mobile customers can choose an unlimited voice, data and SMS plan for $100 per month. This might conclude the avalanche of unlimited plans for the large U.S carriers, but let’s see what smaller ones are going to do.