This is the last of my end of summer highlights of interesting tech news. Aside from being interesting, perhaps they also illustrate how technology is getting more personal now.
- The creative, Munich-based augmented reality company, Metaio, showed off a way it can turn any surface into an augmented reality touchscreen. The company notes that this is their:
vision of the near future for wearable computing user interfaces. By fusing information from an infrared and standard camera, nearly any surface can be transformed into a touch screen.
- Also from Germany, the Fraunhofer Institute for Integrated Circuits announced a few days ago an app for Google Glass that analyzes what its camera sees and assesses the emotional state of the person in front of the Glass wearer. It even takes a guess at the person’s age. It’s an extension of their previous work, offered as SHORE technology. There’s a video demonstrating this at http://youtu.be/Suc5B79qjfE
- The Swiss startup company, Noonee, announced its Chairless Chair which is built around a portable exoskeleton, of sorts. You can see more in this video and learn more from the recent CNN report “The Chairless Chair, an invisible chair that you can wear”.
- As part of its RISE basketball tour in China, Nike unveiled the LED basketball court to train athletes. This new facility in Shanghai, called the House of Mamba, has motion sensors capturing the actions of the players and LED displays providing direction on the floor. There’s a picture below, but to see it at work, you should watch the video at http://youtu.be/u2YhDQtncK8
- In another example of the blending of the virtual and physical in urban environments, there’s Soofa’s urban hub. As they describe it:
a solar-powered bench that provides you with free outdoor charging and location-based information like air quality and noise levels by uploading environmental sensor data to soofa.co. The smart urban furniture was developed by Changing Environments, a MIT Media Lab spin-off.
- Toshiba Corporation announced that it will add a new dimension to its healthcare business by starting production of pesticide-free, long-life vegetables in a closed-type plant factory that operates under almost aseptic conditions … and will start shipping lettuce, baby leaf greens, spinach, mizuna and other vegetables in the second quarter of FY2014. http://www.toshiba.co.jp/about/press/2014_05/pr1501.htm
That’s it for reports from around the globe. Next week back to analysis and questions about where we’re headed.
© 2014 Norman Jacknis