Currently targeted for January 2015 is a $50 modular smartphone which would include the Ara chassis, low-end processor, a display, Android OS, a battery, and WiFi. Google’s Project Ara would use components that are held by electro-permanent magnets. The modules would attach as Phonebloks to an endoskeleton. Additional modules could be easily attached such as new displays, processor, additional batteries, or storage.
Within 11 minutes of M3D launching their Kickstarter campaign for The Micro, they hit their $50k goal. I found out about it later that evening (same day it launched) and it was already at $650k. The next day it is at $1.3 million already and still 28 days to go as I write this article. This is going to be one of those blockbuster campaigns…
I ended up ordering one of the very first batches, mine is scheduled for November. You can’t really go wrong for that price and it will be fun to play with.
People like me have a crazy number of tweets to track. As I write this article I am sitting over 45,000 tweets with over 200,000 followers. Sifting through all of these tweets historically becomes near impossible. A neat Twitter tool has been released allowing people to lookup the very first tweet of any Twitter account. It is called first-tweets.com
Most adults read about 200 to 250 wpm (words per minute). Spritz helps you double or triple your reading speeds by displaying one word at a time. It helps keep your eyes centered so you aren’t moving, a similar principle to what they teach for speed reading (taking in large chunks of words at a time and minimizing movement).
There have been a number of apps that have tried to succeed in the providing information regarding your ambient location. SocialRadar works by providing you with real-time information regarding the people around you by connecting to your Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Google+, Instagram, and Foursquare accounts to pull information about locations and recent activities. Know who’s nereby, see how you are connected to them, and discover what they have been up to. You are able to control aspects of your privacy. It does this by combining your phones location with chatter from the social networks. It is currently available for iOS and they are working on a version for Android and Google Glass.
Automatically block/hold texts and calls while driving. Automatically lock your phone. Three apps available which can help out: Drive First by Sprint, DriveMode by AT&T, and Safely Go by Verizon. They can each restrict inbound phone calls to a list. They all block texts and you can customize an automatic reply if desired.
In an effort to appeal to the avid outdoor enthusiast and extreme sports thrill seekers, Ricoh is introducing a new line of three different digital cameras that are classified as “rugged” and highly durable. The WG-4, WG-4 GPS, and the WG-20 are the latest upgrade of the Pentax WG line and are said to be durable and tough enough to withstand the most extreme temperatures and weather conditions in addition to their ability to be used in deeper underwater photography.
Even though 3-D printers are becoming more and more affordable, the much needed 3D modeling software is still proving to be extremely complex for the average consumer to manipulate. Sixense is a virtual reality software firm that is trying to make the user’s experience more intuitive and engaging by introducing the new MakeVR technology.
A new UK-based company is attempting to bridge the digital gap in Third World countries with the new Portable USB OS Drive called Keepod. The inspiration behind this noble enterprise came from a small 500,000 resident community in the slums of Nairobi, Kenya. There is no safe water supply and basic sanitation is completely non-existent. There is no education system except for unorganized, smaller “street schools” that are run by inexperienced and undereducated adults who are trying to offer their children a better future. Only 10% of school-age children manage to go to college. As you might imagine, digital technologies and Internet access is a luxury that these people simply cannot afford.
Waterloo Labs has recently come out with the Paintball Picasso. As they sum it up… Paintball Markers + Servos + Webcam + 3D Printing + Laser Cutting + NI myRIO + LabVIEW = AWESOME. The system consists of three robotic paintball guns controlled by servos. They fire more than 10 paintballs a second and can be controlled in a variety of ways to create art. Check out the video.