Looking at my iPhone yesterday, I noticed that there was a crack about a centimeter long right up the middle of the back of the handset coming straight from the charging area. It's hardly noticeable and I'm sure my iPhone will continue to work, but it definitely serves as a reminder that when my two-year contract is up in June, I'm going to be ready for a new iPhone.
You've probably heard of or even owned a computer that automatically turns off its hard drive when it senses shock or heavy vibrations. That is an example of sensitive human-machine intimacy. Another example I like is tilting the iPhone to use it as the driving bar for my racing games. Well, that nifty human-to-computer interaction is about to go to whole new level.
HP announced Thursday a new inertial-sensing technology that enables the development of digital micro-electro-mechanical systems (MEMS) accelerometers that are up to 1,000 times more sensitive than those in high-volume products currently available.
A MEMS accelerometer is a sensor that can be used to measure vibration, shock, or change in velocity. When implemented, this allows the device to "feel" the environment it is in.
According to HP, the new sensing technology--the result of HP's 25 years of nano-sensing research--includes multiple detectors as part of a complete sensor network and therefore is capable of real-time data collection, management evaluation, and analysis. This information enables users to make better, faster decisions, and take subsequent action to improve safety, security, and sustainability. … Read more
Waterslide Extreme is a free arcade racing game sponsored by the British credit-card company Barclaycard, based on one of their TV commercials in which a waterslide weaves between the buildings of a city. The interface of Waterslide Extreme is intuitive and easy: you steer by tilting your device left and right, and you can slow down by either pressing a touch-screen brake button or tilting your device back (with options for calibrating and adjusting accelerometer sensitivity). You can choose a male or female avatar, with first- or third-person view, as you slide down nine separate levels, collecting power-ups and point-award … Read more
Real Racing is the best racing game we've seen yet for the iPhone and that's no small feat, considering the number of racing games out there for the platform. The game features excellent graphics, a well-designed control system, several game modes to try, and an online component to compare best track times. You also can unlock 30 different cars in three different classes, including several hatchback, sedan, and muscle car models.
What sets Real Racing apart from other racing games are the controls. While other games have done a fairly good job with controls on the iPhone, the … Read more
iBowl is a fun, free bowling simulator that makes excellent use of the iPhone and iTouch's movement sensors. iBowl's simple and intuitive interface shows you looking down a bowling lane at a set of pins. You just drag your ball left or right to position it, hold down the "Bowl" button, and then swing your arm forward and back as if you were actually bowling to release the ball and determine its speed. iBowl has some fun extras like the ability to choose your ball color and send your score to a friend, but the gameplay … Read more
When I first glimpsed the leaked photos of Apple's skinny, rounded-screen redesign of the iPod Nano, I have to admit I was a bit skeptical. It seemed so unlike Apple to revisit the older designs of its first- and second-generation Nano, and the wing-shaped form seemed a bit odd. Holding the Nano 4G in my hand, however, I'm starting to think that last year's squarish design was just an awkward, forgettable phase in the Nano's development. This year, Apple has set the Nano back on track with the thinnest, lightest design yet, and features that are … Read more
Long before before $4 a gallon became the national average, many newer cars already included dashboard instruments that gauged fuel consumption. But it's the older gas guzzlers that arguably needed them more, to show how much money was being wasted models manufactured in the pre-hybrid era.
That's why the K.A.T. Matrix 3-Axis accelerometer may come in handy as a reminder of how much careless driving costs at the pump, depending on one's performance in horesepower, G-forces, quarter-mile speeds, and 0-60 clock time. Or, as Dvice says, it can be a badge of honor for those … Read more
In a project that's grabbing headlines this week, researchers at the University of California, Riverside and Stanford University are recruiting laptops to help them monitor seismic activity. The Quake-Catcher Network is a distributed network of laptops running software that takes advantage of a built-in accelerometer to monitor and report seismic activity. (The accelerometer's primary purpose is to detect a fall or shock to the chassis in time to stop the hard drive from spinning, though it's been a key element in several fun hacks, including the Smackbook [video] and SeisMac.)
Based on the same software as the … Read more