Versatility is a key ingredient in the home kitchen. There is only so much room to store so many appliances. Whether they get stashed in a cupboard, in the back of the pantry, or even right out on the counter, there never seems to be enough room to keep them all. When it comes time to clear out the cupboards and make room for new stuff, the choice becomes clear which ones must stay and which must go; and when it comes to appliances, usually the more it can do the better.
Most onscreen keyboards, like those in the iPhone or other smartphones, have no tactile feedback, so you need to look at the screen and the virtual keyboard to make sure of the correct input. However, this might soon change, thanks to haptic technology, a mechanism that allows the screen to "touch" you back.
One of the major developers of this technology, the Immersion Corporation, announced Tuesday a new product that powers touch-feedback effects in touch-screen computers, the TouchSense 2500. The company claims that this product enables drop-in integrated circuit solutions to drive haptic effects that bring the user … Read more
I have seen the future of toys, and it is augmented reality.
That was my conclusion Monday after seeing Mattel's i-Tags, new technology that will be included with action figures the company will make for "Titanic" director James Cameron's new film, "Avatar."
For those not familiar with augmented reality, it's an overlay of digital information or imagery on top of real-world objects. AR, as it's known, "is a field of computer research that deals with the combination of real-world and computer-generated data (virtual reality), where computer graphics objects are blended into … Read more
Machines like this one operate on the principle of convection: an item can be brought to the temperature of a surrounding medium (like air or water) at a faster speed if the medium is moving over its surface. As in the case of the wine shop water bath, some … Read more
CARLSBAD, Calif.--In between the big name CEOs speaking at D: All Things Digital, Kara Swisher and Walt Mossberg also have a few tech companies on stage to show their wares.
A short while ago, electronic book maker Plastic Logic showed off the user interface of its touch-screen reader, which is due out early next year. The interface seemed simple, although the page turns on the prototype seemed interminable.
The company wouldn't reveal pricing, but did say that the device will have both Wi-Fi and 3G wireless, though it did not specify the carrier. As for color screens, they said they have it working in their labs, but it won't be a next year kind of thing.
Currently, the CTO of force feedback specialist Immersion is showing a couple new technologies, including a prototype touchscreen keyboard. When a user presses a key on the soft keyboard they not only see and hear which key they have pressed but can feel it as well.
"It is a very natural experience," said Immersion CTO Cristophe Ramstein. "Sounds are not as profound as touch to give you this feel."
The second demo was what the company is calling "hapticons," essentially adding feel to an electronic message. He sent a love note to Mossberg, with his screen pulsing to a beating heart.… Read more
My family loves soup--as long as there aren't any chunks in their bowls that might be vegetables. Any time I make a pot, I get the fun of pouring hot soup into the blender, pureeing it and then pouring it out. Not only do I have a pot to clean up afterward, I have the blender and all its bits and pieces.
Immersion blenders make this whole process much simpler. All you have to do is stick the immersion blender in the pot and turn it on. Less mess, automatically. The Bosch MIXXO hand blender is an ideal immersion … Read more
Haptic technology maker Immersion said Tuesday it has settled its legal dispute with Microsoft.
The maker of tactile feedback technology for mice and joysticks sued both Sony and Microsoft in 2002 for patent infringement. Though both suits were settled, Microsoft filed a separate suit against Immersion in June 2007 and asked the court to enforce a portion of a sublicensing agreement between the two companies that stated Microsoft would get a portion of Immersion's settlement it received from Sony. Immersion countersued, alleging Microsoft had breached a confidentiality agreement.
More than a year later, Microsoft and Immersion have called a … Read more
Here comes a new way for advertisers to capture attention: software that turns 2D images into 3D simulations when consumers play with them in front of a Webcam.
Total Immersion's D'Fusion system is composed of a kiosk, Web cameras, and software capable of recognizing, tracking, and rendering images.
It works like this. Customers view themselves on a screen through a Webcam and hold up a 2D picture. Suddenly the 2D picture pops up and consumers see themselves holding a 3D simulation of the product in the brochure on the kiosk's video feed. Sometimes it doesn't work: … Read more
Microsoft said on Monday that it has filed suit against Immersion, a company whose technology adds tactile feedback to joysticks and other controllers.
Immersion had originally sued Microsoft, along with Sony, back in 2002., but the two companies reached a settlement in 2003. Under that deal Microsoft agreed to pay Immersion $26 million for licensing rights and for a stake in the company. However, Microsoft said Monday that Immersion has not lived up other terms of that deal, including a provision that requires Immersion to pay Microsoft "based on certain business and IP licensing arrangements."
"We entered … Read more
If you've been playing with Google's new Street View feature--that $25 billion time suck--you may well have wondered how the heck they took those 360-degree images while driving down the street.
Well, wonder no more. Thanks to our good friend Xeni Jardin at Boing Boing, we now know that many of the images, at least those shot outside the San Francisco Bay Area--were shot using this fairly disco-ball-esque device by the outside contractor, Immersive Media.
What's not clear just yet is if Google used the same kind of camera in the Bay Area, where the company … Read more