Google over the next few months will be reviewing locales where it may build its experimental fiber network.
The search giant in February said it would build an experimental fiber optic network in an attempt to illustrate the art of the possible in a small number of communities in the U.S. Since that news, Google has been pitched by 600 responses from communities. Individuals also chimed in.
Now that requests for information are about over, Google will make a selection. Google said in a post:
Over the coming months, we'll be reviewing the responses to determine where to … Read more
LONDON--The same technology that exterminated the roller-ball computer mouse will claim another casualty soon: the four-way rocker switch that lets people point and click on countless mobile phones.
So asserts Jeff Raynor, principal technologist of ST Microelectronics' imaging division and a designer of the image sensors at the heart, or rather in the eyes, of optical mice. He spoke at the Image Sensors Europe conference here.
What will extinguish the rocker switch? What Raynor calls the "fingermouse"--a small, smooth pad you can sweep your finger over to direct a mouse pointer on a screen. Some newer BlackBerry phones sport the devices.
Fingermice use exactly the same image sensors as optical mice, but they're mounted upside-down, pointing upward toward a finger rather than downward toward a desk. The sensors take 400-pixel images, then recognize the movement of features in the photo sequence--desk irregularities or fingerprints, for example--to gauge motion.
Raynor's company makes silicon-chip image sensors for optical mice, so one shouldn't be surprised by his enthusiasm, but he is in a position to know what he's talking about.… Read more
It came too late for Jesse James. There was a time, indeed, when John Edwards might have found it very useful, but that time has surely passed.
In life, timing is everything. So while researchers at Karlsruhe Institute of Technology in Germany claim that they have made a breakthrough in invisible-cloak technology, there are far too many mortal souls who can only wish that they would hurry up.
According to the Associated Press, the German scientists managed to successfully hide from greedy eyes a tiny bump in a layer of gold.
When I say "tiny," I mean 0.… Read more
There's a "Wizard of Oz" joke to be made here: The city of Topeka, Kansas has unofficially changed its name to "Google" in an attempt to get on the Mountain View tech giant's radar as a test bed for new fiber-optic technology that would bring it Internet connections at top speed.
The Topeka Capital-Journal wrote that Mayor Bill Bunten signed a proclamation Monday that designates the town as "Google" for the duration of March, in an attempt to make it a more palatable choice for a test market than some of the … Read more
SAN FRANCISCO--SPIE, an international society founded in 1955 to advance light-based research, gathered this week in San Francisco for SPIE Photonics West, a huge industry exhibition showcasing some of the newest developments in optics and photonic technology.
Companies exhibiting at the show, which ran from January 23-28, unveiled the lasers, fiber optics, lenses, medical optics, nano interfaces, and optoelectronics that are powering the next generation of consumer gadgets.
A stunning new image taken by NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter creates an optical illusion. The image might look like rows of trees on the Martian surface. But in actuality, they are probably veins of basaltic sand along sand dunes, Candy Hansen, a member of the MRO team, told the Chicago Sun-Times.
This isn't the first time images from the Red Planet have piqued the public's interest. Images released last year appeared to show forests of trees; in 2008, NASA released an image that appeared to be a person sitting on a rock but turned out to be … Read more
Las Vegas--If you've ever watched the motion user interface scene from "Minority Report" and thought to yourself, "I WANT THAT," then check out Light Touch from Light Blue Optics, an interactive projector with a surprisingly accurate touch response.
At its core, the Light Touch is a simple handheld computer running Windows CE, but it uses holographic laser tracking to project a 10.1-inch virtual touch screen onto any flat surface. From there, you can control everything from scrolling through photos to selecting MP3s and dragging folders around the desktop. The laser also does double-duty by ensuring that the image stays in constant focus even across long distances.
We demoed the unit at the Light Blue Optics booth at CES 2010, and came away surprised at the accuracy of the laser. The projection only lights up to 15 lumens, which seemed dim compared to normal fluorescent viewing, and we're skeptical about its outdoor performance; however, we left with a skip in our step knowing that "Minority Report" might become a reality sooner than later.
Want your own demo? Check out the Light Blue Optics Web site for a video of the Light Touch in action.
More photos after the jump.… Read more