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Monthly Archives: December 2011

VUDU Launches On Xbox 360

By David Ponce

VUDU is a movie streaming service that was acquired by Walmart in 2010. It became relatively popular due in part to the fact that it starts streaming instantly, as opposed to other services which require some buffering time. And it’s been announced that VUDU is now available on the Xbox 360. This means you can purchase or rent movies directly from your console, and if you have Kinect, you can do this with hand gestures or voice control. As an incentive, Walmart is offering a $4.99 credit towards your first rental or purchase.

[ Press Release ] VIA [ Joystiq ]

DenGyo Rectenna Harvests Lost Microwaves

By David Ponce

Looks like people are still trying to harvest stray electromagnetic waves and convert these into usable energy. Some of you may remember the huge controversy we generated two years ago with news of RCA’s Airnergy, a device that claimed to make electricity from WiFi signals. Most of you agreed this was bunk as there was just not enough power in these signals. Ok. But what about microwaves? Japanese company DenGyo has announced the Microwave Regenerative Converter, which is what they call a “rectenna”. This stands for antenna and rectifier, smushed together, and not for anal antenna. The idea is that you’d place the device inside a microwave oven and any energy that doesn’t go directly towards heating up your food would be converted back into electricity through this device, up to 100W. Since the water content of your food determines the oven’s efficiency, the rectenna would be doing the most converting with old stale bread or some similar dry things.

If you follow the links, you’ll be treated to all manner of mathematical formulas. We can’t understand them, but we think this could work. Any engineers want to set us straight?

[ TechOn! ] VIA [ Reddit ]

Giant Playable Pinball Machine Projected Onto Building Facade

By David Ponce

The people of Lyon, France, recently got to experience a high-tech treat. Carol Martin and Thibaut Berbezier from company CT Light Concept created an interactive installation that projects the image of a giant pinball machine onto the face of a theater, the Celestins. The setup uses 3D mapping tech and conforms to the contours and reliefs of the theater, turning these into various bumpers and ramps. What’s even better is that the whole display is playable, with the controls in the hands of people in the crowd. Yes, even sound effects are included.

Dubbed the “Urban Flipper”, the project was part of the city’s yearly lights festival.

Video after the break.

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Pleather Alligator Skin iPad 2 Case For Those With Alternative Tastes

By David Ponce

So you like yourself a little gator, huh? That Smart Cover nonsense for the iPad 2 was just too corporate chic for you, so you need something that speaks to the Crocodile Dundee in ya. Yeah, we got you covered, hermano. This here fake alligator skin cover fastens with an elastic band. Doesn’t sound too fancy until you realize that it wakes the iPad 2 from sleep when opened and does the opposite when closed. There doesn’t seem to be no magnet magic like a Smart Cover, but there ain’t no need for that as you’ll be slipping the tablet inside of this thing, friend. There’s even a peephole for that Apple to shine through.


Keep readin’ for pics and links.

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Find My Car Smart App For The Truly Forgetful

By David Ponce

There are a ton of apps that help you find your car once you’ve forgotten where you parked it. They all suffer from a fatal flaw: you have to tell them where you’ve parked as you leave your car. Let’s be honest here: after a while, you’ll also start forgetting to do this. So that’s why the Find My Car Smart app one-ups them all. Using Bluetooth 4.0, the application works with a paired-up USB adapter that shuts off as you turn your car’s ignition off. The program on your iPhone 4S notices this and makes a quick note of your GPS coordinates. If you later can’t recall your spot, launch the app and find out. Yes, you do need an iPhone 4S as that’s the only iDevice that uses Bluetooth 4.0, now known as Bluetooth Smart.

The app and related USB dongle and car charger are on the one place where people with good ideas can connect directly with the marketplace: Kickstarter. However, the funding goals have been more than reached and you can get yourself the entire kit for as little as $30. Shipping in January 2012.

[ Product Page ] VIA [ Engadget ]

spnKiX, The Electric Rolling Shoe Things

By David Ponce

Walking, as they say, is very last century. Why exert yourself in any form when you can get technology to do it for you? Taking a step in the right direction (get it?), the spnKiX motorized shoes, from product designer Peter Treadway, let you get around without walking around. You simply put them on (while still wearing your regular shoes) and off you go. A hand-held remote controls your speed, which tops out at 10mph with a range of 2 to 3 miles. It’s not much, really, but maybe enough for a quick trip to the grocery store. Or walking the dog. Charging then takes about 2 hours. They’re made from fiber reinforced Nylon plus Aluminum, and the batteries are lithium ion.

Peter has already made over 30 prototypes of the spnKiX and is ready for prime-time. But he needs your help with the quintessential Kickstarter campaign. He’s trying to raise $25k, with a single pair of the motorized shoes setting you back $375. $950+ gets you a special edition with black wheels. If all goes well, you’d get your shoes by March 2012.

Hit the jump for video and links.

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iPhone Mod Lights Up Its Logo

By David Ponce

It might be a little hard to get your hands on one of these at the moment, but if you’re lucky you can apparently buy a DIY modification kit for the iPhone that will give you a backplate with a luminous apple logo. You will have to do the installation yourself (or ask a friend of yours whose hands don’t feature 10 thumbs), though it appears easy enough. You just have to replace the stock backplate with this one, and also affix a light panel on the inside. It will light up when the screen turns on and stays on for 15 seconds after. It’s also lit when you’re talking on the phone, even if the screen is off.

Due to fears of Apple getting all legal on them, their main store has run out of stock. It does appear they’re still selling the kit through the Chinese taobao store, so you might be able to get one. It’s $42.

[ Main Store ] AND [ Chinese Store ] VIA [ Techcrunch Gadgets ]

Paracord Is Survival Cord Disguised As Belt

By David Ponce

You never know when the need might come to rappel down a building. So it might make sense to go around holding your pants up with carefully braided 550 paracord. When that moment comes, simply take the belt off, pull the tab and you have 80+ feet of cord at your disposal. You might look a little stupid going down a building in your underwear but if things get to that point, we suspect that’ll be the least of your worries. We’re also not sure just how hard it’ll be to braid it back into its former belt shape once you’ve deployed.

Still, it’s $28.

[ Product Page ] VIA [ Boingboing ]

Ferrite, The Interactive Liquid Sculpture

By David Ponce

“Ferrofluids are colloidal liquids made of nanoscale ferromagnetic, or ferrimagnetic, particles suspended in a carrier fluid (usually an organic solvent or water). Each tiny particle is thoroughly coated with a surfactant to inhibit clumping.” You’ve probably seen it before in impressive videos of it being manipulated by moving magnets around, looking somewhat like an alien substance. It’s an impressive effect and it’s one that you can now reproduce at will on your desk through this Kickstarter project. Coming in two sizes called Ferrite and Ferro, the desk toys are made from a high quality glass tube and an aluminum base. The larger vessel Ferrite stands 8.5″ tall with a 5″ diameter base. The smaller vessel Ferro is 4.25″ tall and 2″ in diameter. You’re provided with a neodymium stylus so you can play around with the material.

Currently 30% funded, $100 will get you the Ferro while $125 the Ferrite. $175 will get you both.

[ Kickstarter Project ]