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Author Archives: Muna Breitem

Sound Collar Turns People Into Voice Puppets

human-speaker-collar-by-nic-wallenberg

Nic Wallenberg has created something called The Human Speaker. It’s a special collar attached to two wires at the front that makes your throat produce a sound without you doing anything more than opening your mouth. The collar transmits vibrations directly to the upper throat (bypassing the vocal cords altogether) and generates a surreal note that can be modulated by the wearer into different sounds, much as one would do when talking or singing. The system is only able to generate two notes at a time, so several people have to wear a different collar in order to produce a more complex arrangement. Or they can be composited together as they have in the video below.

It’s a strange effect, and The Human Speaker doesn’t seem to have any commercial applications or ambitions at the moment. It’s still worth taking a look, if only for the novelty of it.

[ The Human Speaker ] VIA [ Technabob ]

[ Enjoy a faster way to dial on your phone using a voice dial enabled phone. ]

Meet Ubi, The Voice-Activated Computer That Plugs Into A Wall Outlet

They call it “Ubi” because it’s meant to be a ubiquitous, essential and seamless part of your home environment. Just plug this tiny Android-based computer into a wall outlet and a WiFi chip will allow it to get online. From there it’s a matter of talking to it, and waiting for its answer. What can you expect from it? Well, the limit’s really in the programs that become available for it, but it will ship with: the ability to take notes, do web searches, give you access to recipes, control the climate of your home, serve as an alarm clock, and more. It’s running Android 4.1 Jelly Bean on an 800 MHz ARM Cortex-A8 processor with 1GB of RAM, which should be enough for its intended use. There’s temperature, humidity, and air pressure sensors, as well as an ambient light sensor. All of these, along with its many other components, make Ubi the kind of device that would fit right into the home of one who seeks to make technology an integral part of his life, rather than an awkward add-on.

It’s $189, but hurry because almost all pre-order slots have been filled. It ships in February.

[ Project Page ] VIA [ Werd ]

Tiny RC Quad-Copter Costs Less Than A Parrot Drone

Seems like quad-rotor copters are popping up everywhere: as taxidermied cats, as flying DeLoreans, as scary flying formations from hell and as an expensive attraction at the last two CESes. That last one refers to Parrot’s A.R. 2 Drone. Admittedly, it’s pretty high tech and fancy. But it’s also $300+. For $49 you can instead get the version from Brando which does pretty much the same things, only with less cowbell. The 6 AXES GYRO RC Somersault UFO even does flips, although it’s controlled through a traditional remote rather than with the iPhone (like the AR Drone). There’s no foam protection like there is on Parrot’s offering and there are quite a few buttons on that remote, which makes it not look quite as intuitive; a crash seems inevitable. But we don’t know. It does have gyro stabilization so hey, let’s not rush to judgement. Seeing as it’s $40, if you break it after 15 minutes, you won’t spend as much time crying about it.

[ Product Page ] VIA [ Techcrunch Gadgets ]