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Daily Archives: Tuesday, February 12, 2008

My Weight Loss Coach For The Nintendo DS To Include Pedometer Accessory

Ubisoft My Weight Loss Coach (Images courtesy Kotaku)
By Andrew Liszewski

It’s nice to see one of the probable causes of weight gain being used as a solution to the problem. Ubisoft has just announced a new title that should be available this summer called My Weight Loss Coach. The game, which is targeted at casual and presumably overweight players, uses a combination of customizable coaching sessions and a pedometer accessory to promote and track physical activity. The pedometer can be synced to the DS, and will not only keep track of your daily physical effort, but will also help you balance your food intake. Unfortunately there are no photos of the accessory at this time.

Rumor has it the game was originally titled My Powdered Donut Eating Coach, and was to be targeted at players with ambitions of competing in the MLE (Major League Eating) or to those who just didn’t feel like exercising. But concerns that players would become too obese to play future Ubisoft titles caused the company to switch directions. I think it was a good decision, since I’m sure we all remember the fallout from the N64 game, My ‘Put Gravy On Everything’ Coach.

[ Kotaku – Ubisoft Helps You Lose Weight ]

Opto-Isolator – Artwork That Stares Back At You

Opto-Isolator (Images courtesy Golan Levin)
By Andrew Liszewski

Here’s a unique piece that explores the idea of how artwork would respond if it knew we were looking at it. The Opto-Isolator sculpture is a black box with a robotic, human-sized blinking eye in the dead center. It responds to the gaze of whoever’s staring at it with a series of “psychosocial eye-contact behaviors” like looking the viewer directly in the eye, studying the viewers face, looking away coyly if it’s stared at for too long and even blinking exactly one second after you do.

While the photos themselves are pretty creepy, you’ll want to check out the YouTube video showing the Opto-Isolator in motion. At times it can be frighteningly realistic, even if the blinking action sounds louder than a clapboard.

The Opto-Isolator was designed and built by Golan Levin and Greg Baltus, and was recently exhibited at the Bitforms Gallery in New York.

[ Opto-Isolator ] VIA [ Cribcandy ]

HG XBox 360 Controllers Come Custom Modded With Duplicate Buttons

HG XBox 360 Controllers (Image courtesy HG Controllers)
By Andrew Liszewski

If you’re really into multiplayer on XBox Live, you’ll embrace any advantage you can get your hands on. So you might want to check out what the people at HG (or Head in the Game) Controllers are now selling. They feel that having to take your fingers off the analog sticks to push a button is a waste of precious reaction time, so they’ve created several modded variations of the XBox 360 controller with duplicate buttons placed on the underside. These can be pressed using the fingers that are holding the controller, giving you a split second competitive advantage over those playing with a stock controller.

The HG controllers have different combinations of the A, B, X and Y buttons on the back while a Halo 3 specific version also includes a duplicate of the right shoulder button. For games requiring a specific button to be continuously pushed, there’s also a toggle switch mod that can be added to the corner or center of the controller.

The Halo 3 and 4-Button modded controllers are the most expensive at $89.99, while a 2-Button version is $69.99. The toggle switch mod can also be added to any of them for $12.50 to $17.50 depending on where it’s installed.

[ HG Controllers ] VIA [ Xbox 360 Fanboy ]

Send Text Messages With The D:Scribe Pen

D:Scribe Pen

By Luke Anderson

I’ve always had poor handwriting, especially with cursive. Nowadays I can blame it on the fact that I type everything, but when I was a kid there was really no excuse, except that I was usually in a hurry when writing. Needless to say, I can type much faster than I write, and it looks better too. However, for those of you that enjoy writing everything, or to send text online, here’s an interesting concept design.

The D:Scribe is a pen that recognizes your handwriting, and sends SMS messages that you scribble down. It communicates with your phone via Bluetooth to send the messages. It can also store your doodles, which can be retrieved on your computer at a later time.

VIA [ Yanko Design ]

AT&T Replaces T-Mobile’s WiFi Service At Starbucks

Starbucks Card

By Luke Anderson

I’m one of about a dozen Americans that almost never goes to Starbucks. There are at least three of them within 5 minutes of my house, so distance isn’t an issue. I just have no desire to drink expensive coffee and pay for WiFi access when I have all of that in the comfort of my own home. If I still had my old AT&T DSL, I wouldn’t have to worry about paying for internet while sitting there at least.

According to an announcement, AT&T will be replacing T-Mobile as the wireless internet provider in all 7,000 Starbucks locations. Of course, AT&T announced not long ago that customers that subscribe to their DSL service will be given free access to all WiFi hotspots, which will include the Starbucks locations.

If you’re not an AT&T customer, you can still purchase two-hour sessions for $3.99 or a monthly membership for $19.99.

[ AT&T ] VIA [ UberGizmo ]

Energizer Light-On-Demand Scoffs At Blackouts

Energizer Lightstick

By Evan Ackerman

Without electricity, my life would come to a standstill. It’s sad, I know. In the event of a blackout, Energizer should be able to at least keep my lights on with their new rechargeable light sticks, which are LED lights with built-in rechargeable battery packs. The reason that these light sticks are better than, say, a rechargeable flashlight is that they’re designed to function as integrated parts of Energizer’s Light-On-Demand system. The light sticks act like normal LED light bulbs in Energizer desk lights, wall lights, etc. until the power goes out… And then thanks to the internal battery packs, the lights just stay on, for up to 20 hours. You can even take the light sticks out and move them to wherever you need. If you still don’t have electricity after 20 hours and haven’t killed yourself due to boredom, you can keep the light sticks on by replacing the rechargeable packs with conventional alkaline batts. The Light-On-Demand system and light sticks should be available at Target this month, but pricing information (and the website, for that matter) doesn’t seem to be available yet.

Update: More info here; looks like the products will range from $24.99 – $69.99.

[ Light On Demand ] VIA [ Energizer Press Release ]

Animal Sense Device Turns You Into An Ant

Animal Sense Device

By Evan Ackerman

Alright, so it doesn’t actually turn you into an ant, but it might help you feel like one. A really goofy one, but what’s wrong with that? These three devices emulate some of the characteristics of three different animals: pretend you’re a giraffe by adding 30 centimeters to your height, pretend you’re a bird with a headband that lets you sense geomagnetic fields, or pretend you’re an ant with a VR helmet and a 50x camera in your “foot.” As you might expect from the picture, these are all designed for kids, but that wouldn’t stop me from putting on the ant helmet and crawling around my back yard for a bit. A few more pics of the ant helmet (and views from the 50x camera) after the jump.Continue Reading

Dynaflex Powerball Docking Station Seems Like Cheating

Dynaflex Powerball Docking Station (Images courtesy Edmund Scientific's)
By Andrew Liszewski

Where I used to work we were given a Powerball as a promotional gift, and being able to get it up to speed from a dead stop was as much a workout as keeping it going once it was spinning. So to me, this Docking Station that will automatically get the Powerball spinning at up to 18,000 RPM at the push of a button is kind of a cheat. Of course there were some people at the office who were never able to get it going from a dead stop, and for those lacking the necessary coordination and natural rhythm this is probably a necessity. But as far as I’m concerned being able to do it all on your own is half the challenge.

You can find the Docking Station which includes a Dynaflex Powerball at Edmund Scientific’s for $59.95.

[ Dynaflex Powerball & Docking Station ]

Your Apartment In A Box

Apartment In A Box

By Evan Ackerman

This is a little bit humiliating to admit… But… I move around so much that I actually own less furniture than fits in the little 31″ x 47″ box in the above picture. What’s in the box? Oh, just an armoire, a desk, a height-adjustable stool, two more stools, a six-shelf bookcase, and a bed with a mattress, all of which can be moved in and assembled by 2 people in 10 minutes without tools:

Apartment In A Box

Don’t believe it’s possible? I didn’t, until I saw the video (after the jump).Continue Reading