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Author Archives: Jonathan Kimak

WowPod Is A WeirdPod

By Jonathan Kimak

Artists Aristarkh Chernyshev & Alexei Shulgin have created some fan art for the iPod. Their gigantic wowPod takes an iPod and makes it human sized and warped. Looking at it for a minute makes me think that it may not be the only thing that is warped.

The interesting thing about this piece of art is that the wowPod actually works. Video and music really play from this work of…art.

I’m curious to see how Apple reacts to this. Will Steve Jobs et al. love the wowPod enough to feature it in an ad or buy it and send it to WillItBlend.com.

[ wowPod ] VIA [ Tuaw ]

At Least You Won’t Have To Water It

By Jonathan Kimak

Sega toys has released an interesting “toy,” the robotic plant called Pekoppa. Pekoppa has a grand total of one feature, it nods when you speak to it. That’s it, just nodding.

Maybe Sega has forgotten that for over a decade(probably two or three decades) there have been little dancing/singing plants with glasses on that also react to sound. Put on the radio and they’d go nuts, some even had their own music built in.

So why would anyone ever want to get this? The ad says that the plant is there as a good listener. If you’re talking to a real plant I can accept that, maybe it even helps the plant grow, who knows. But if you are talking to a robotic plant, then it’s time to go out and find some friends.

Cost $23.

[ Pekoppa the robotic plant ] VIA [ Gizmo Diva ]

What A Bright Idea(Pun Definitely Intended)

By Jonathan Kimak

This concept lightbulb seems kind of neat. Designers Hyun Jin Yoon & Eun Hak Lee came up with the idea to create a lightbulb that can pop-up from a piece of cardboard. What’s more is the lightbulb itself is also made of cardboard.

Simply flip up the cardboard cut-out and the lightbulb turns on emitting a tiny light. The bulb is powered by a tiny battery cell. The cut-outs would be small enough(53mm by 86mm) and flat enough to fit in a regular sized wallet.

So anytime you need a little light you could just crack open one of these.

Of course there are already millions of flashlights and glow sticks that can do the exact same thing but still, I wouldn’t mind seeing one of these in action if they ever get made.

[ Pocket Light ] VIA [ Ubergizmo ]

Ford MyKey Makes Parents Smile And Teenagers Frown

By Jonathan Kimak

Yesterday Ford announced a new technology known as MyKey that will be a standard feature on all 2010 Ford Focus Coupes and will eventually be added to other Ford model vehicles.

MyKey is a system that can limit the functions of the car depending on which key is used. The MyKey can limit the speed of the car to 80 miles per hour, limit the maximum stereo volume to 44% and have a sustained chiming for unbuckled seatbelts.

The idea for the MyKey is that concerned parents can let their teenage kids who have just recently gotten their driver’s license drive the car without having to worry about them as much. It would also reduce the chance of parents having heart attacks when they turn on the car and have an unexpected blast of music hit them at top volume.

Ford did some polling and found that parents of teenagers loved the idea of MyKey while the teenagers did not. The teens opinions changed however, if they would be allowed to drive the family car more often due to the MyKey features.

VIA [ AutoBlog ]

Alaskans Can’t Recognize A Solar Powered Car

By Jonathan Kimak

So Alaska is getting more attention now that Sarah Palin is a vice presidential candidate. And while this is not a commentary for or against people from Alaska, it is interesting that they didn’t recognize a solar powered car when one entered their borders last month.

Canadian Marcelo da Luz has been driving his solar powered car across North America for the past two years. And this September he made the trip to Alaska. His greeting? Someone called 911 claiming they saw a UFO. The police responded and pulled Mr. da Luz over to make sure he wasn’t an alien.

In Alaska’s defense they aren’t the only ones worried about an invasion from above; Marcelo has been pulled over a total of seven times during his travels.

VIA [ New Launches ]

Therapeutic Robot Helps Kids And The Elderly

By Jonathan Kimak

A while ago my now deceased grandmother had to move into a nursing home. The stress of moving into that place was nearly overwhelming for her and had it not been for our dog Tommy my grandmother might have died within the first month. The companionship between our dog and my grandmother gave her(in my opinion) 4 more good years of life. It also gave her someone to pet and talk to without worrying about what he thought.

It is this sense of companionship that robotics engineers at the National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology in Japan focused on during the 12 years spent creating Paro.

Paro is a fur covered robot that resembles a baby seal. Its function is to act as a therapeutic pet in situations where a real pet could not or should not be used. It helps both kids in hospitals and seniors in nursing homes relax and socialize and can really extend their life or at least their enjoyment of life.

Some nursing homes in the US already carry Paro and it’s likely that more will follow.

[ Paro ] VIA [ DVICE ]

Force Feedback Vest Now Supports World Of Warcraft

By Jonathan Kimak

TN Games is releasing a gaming vest called the 3rd Space Vest. The vest allows a player to “feel” the things that their on-screen avatar feels. Kicks, punches and even environmental effects such as the wind can be experienced through the vest. With support for WoW the vest will also allow a player to feel the effects of spells on their body. Other games like Call of Duty 2 and BioShock are also supported.

Feedback vests are nothing new and I’ve never been a fan. But if you’re curious and live in Los Angeles you can check out the vest at the E for All Expo starting today(October 3) and going until October 5.

[ TN Games ] VIA [ Digital Trends ]

Wii Will Soon Be Able To Load Games Directly From SD Cards

By Jonathan Kimak

For those lucky enough to have a Wii here is some good news; It will soon be possible to load WiiWare games directly from an SD card. For those of you who don’t know, currently the downloaded games have to be stored on the small 512MB internal memory of the Wii. Since that doesn’t allow for many games, people have been switching games off the internal storage and onto an SD card in order to load a new game and then switching the game back if they ever want to play it again. The constant switching can be very tedious. With the proposed update all that frustration will be gone and the Wii will have yet another reason to continue its dominance in the console wars.

The Wii will only accept SD cards that are 2GB or smaller so be sure to stock up on a few.

This is still far from happening however, as this feature will not be available until the spring.

VIA [ Engadget ]

USB Film Kit Lets You Act Like A Star

By Jonathan Kimak

Webcams, especially the cheaper ones, usually have problems in low light areas. The Hollywood Web Gear however, gives you both a webcam and USB powered light to make you shine. To add a further sense of self importance the camera and light are modeled after the vintage lighting used in old movies.

The camera supports both Windows and Mac operating systems. There is no listed resolution for the camera and coupled with the fact that the camera is only $18 and the light is $9 it means that while you will be able to use the camera in low light situations, your friends may just see you as a well lit blur.

[ Hollywood Web Gear Webcam and Light ] VIA [ Everything USB ]