A new Lumia phone from Nokia, this year’s Google I/O and BlackBerry Live — yep, it was a pretty hectic week for us, but also a good seven days for tech news. Even if Google didn’t have any truly new hardware for us, it’s started up its own on-demand music service, gave us more details on Google Glass, redesigned its Maps and, well, it was a very long keynote. Join us after the break for a numerical breakdown of that and the rest of the week’s big news.
A new Lumia phone from Nokia, this year’s Google I/O and BlackBerry World — yep, it was a pretty hectic week for us, but also a good seven days for tech news. Even if Google didn’t have any truly new hardware for us, it’s started up its own on-demand music service, gave us more details on Google Glass, redesigned its Maps and, well, it was a very long keynote. Join us after the break for a numerical breakdown of that and the rest of the week’s big news.
Each week our friends at Inhabitat recap the week’s most interesting green developments and clean tech news for us — it’s the Week in Green.
Eyes in the design world turned to New York City this week as New York Design Week officially launched. We hit the floors of International Contemporary Furniture Fair today to bring you the best new green designs from one of the largest contemporary design shows in the US — including Blackbody’s gorgeous OLED light trees and Tat Chao’s ethereal LED lamps made from recycled wine glasses. We also checked out the locally focused BKLYN Designs show, where design duo Bower unveiled an awesome magnetic LED lamp, made from discarded pieces of scrap wood. Lighting designer Adam Frank unveiled three inspiring new designs at BKLYN Designs: the LED Lumen lamp, which casts tree-shaped shadows from a little candle holder; the incredible Reveal Projector, which projects an image of outdoor foliage and sky through a window on a blank wall (good for tiny NYC apartment dwellers); and the 3D Hologram-ish LUCID Mirror, which displays a 3D image of illuminated clouds over your head!
There’s a new kid on the Arduino block, and it’s called the Arduino Robot. Launched yesterday at Maker Faire Bay Area, it’s the company’s first product that extends beyond single microcontroller boards. The Roomba-like design, which we first saw in November 2011, is the result of a collaboration with Complubot. It consists of two circular boards, each equipped with Atmel‘s ubiquitous ATmega32u4 and connected via ribbon cable.
The bottom board is home to four AA batteries (NiMH), a pair of motors and wheels, a power connector and switch plus some infrared sensors. By default it’s programmed to drive the motors and manage power. The top board faetures a color LCD, a microSD card slot, an EEPROM, a speaker, a compass, a knob plus some buttons and LEDs. It’s programmed to control the display and handle I/O. Everything fits inside a space that’s about 10cm high and 19cm in diameter.
Pre-soldered connectors and prototyping areas on each board make it easier to customize the robot platform with additional sensors and electronics. It even comes with eleven step-by-step projects and a helpful GUI right out of the box. The Arduino Robot is now on sale at the Maker Faire for $275 and will be available online in July. Take a look at our gallery below and watch our video interview with Arduino founder Massimo Banzi after the break.
Gallery: Arduino Robot at Maker Faire 2013
There’s nothing more frustrating than watching a product or service get announced, then having to wait an age to try it out. Nintendo hears that, and has announced via Nintendo Direct, that during E3 week, Best Buy will have playable demos of as-yet released Wii U games in 100 stores across the US and Canada. Given that no one was likely expecting any new hardware from the firm, it’s clear the gaming stalwart is looking for other ways to stir-up some interest. There’s no mention of titles, so we’re left to assume they’d be the games announced at the show. Either way, scratch out that week in June to make sure you find out first hand. Scrub right to the end of the video past the break to see the announcement for yourself.
Virtual football enthusiasts excited for Madden 25 (it’s technically Madden 2014 marking 25 years of the franchise) may want to head over to Amazon if they’re serious about watching actual NFL games. The online retailer has an exclusive Anniversary Edition of the game up for pre-order, which comes bundled with a 17-week pass for both Madden Ultimate Team cards and computer and mobile access to NFL Sunday Ticket. On top of getting all the 2013 regular season’s out-of-market matches, DirecTV subscribers can also snag a $10-a-month discount on the TV version (normally $225) for one year with a pro bono MAX upgrade. Joystiq notes that only 100,000 copies are up for grabs, split evenly between the Xbox 360 and PS3 versions. All it takes to get in on the action starting August 27th is $100 — $40 more than the standard edition, which can net you up to $400 in total savings on the services. Hit up the source link if you’re ready to secure your copy.
A good acronym also hints at what it does, and Visteon‘s new intelligent in-car concept, HABIT, is a good example of that. The Human Bayesian Intelligence Technology system — to give it its full name — learns the behaviour of drivers so it can automatically change the temperature, heat the seats and drop that Biohazard album just when you need it most. Factors such as weather, time of day and real-time road conditions all play a part, plus, of course a log of all your typical in-car interactions. It promises to go above just warming your behind on a cold morning though, offering intelligence that would be able to divine local radio stations that play your kind of jam when you’re out of town. It could also seamlessly mix these with your local / tablet / smartphone library and internet sources. Sound a little too creepy? Wait until you see the computer-generated demo video presenter past the break.
We know you’ve got questions, and if you’re brave enough to ask the world for answers, then here’s the outlet to do so. This week’s Ask Engadget inquiry is from Xan, who wants Cintiq functionality without paying Cintiq prices. If you’re looking to ask one of your own, drop us a line at ask [at] engadget [dawt] com.
“I’m a student and I’m considering staying on to do graphic design, and I really like the look of Wacom’s Cintiq devices. Unfortunately I couldn’t afford one even if I sold a kidney, so I was wondering if I could turn an Android tablet into a cheaper version? I figure a device like the Galaxy Note 10.1 with its Wacom digitizer would be a good fit, so is there a way to do it? Thanks!”
We’re sucking in air through our teeth, as we’re sorry to say, we can’t think of a way this could be done successfully. There’s a few problems like no software, a lack of bandwidth and doubts over the accuracy of a tablet to replicate such a sophisticated piece of hardware. That said, perhaps the forthcoming Surface Pro software update might solve this problem altogether, but an Android tablet? We’re not so sure. But if there’s anyone out there who has made it happen and wants to share their revelation, why not leave a note below?
Filed under: Peripherals
If you didn’t get enough mobile news during the week, not to worry, because we’ve opened the firehose for the truly hardcore. This week brought a new handset from Sony to the US and UK, updates to Nokia Creative Suite and three new (and very inexpensive) smartphones from Blu Products. These stories and more await after the break. So buy the ticket and take the ride as we explore all that’s happening in the mobile world for this week of May 13th, 2013.
The quantified self movement’s gaining steam, with companies creating all sorts of gadgets to track our activity levels, sleeping habits and even what’s going on inside our heads. Melon’s an EEG headband that taps into your brain’s inner workings to show you how well you maintain mental focus. We actually saw Melon’s prototype predecessor last year when it was called Axio, and while this new band packs largely the same components, the design’s been refined to a much thinner profile. As before, its got a trio of electrodes for sensing brainwaves, a NeuroSky chip for filtering out extraneous electrical noise and Bluetooth 4.0 for offloading data wirelessly. It sends data to iPhones (Android’s in development) running the Melon app, which translates that info into a focus graph — generally speaking, the higher the neural activity in your pre-frontal cortex, the higher your level of focus. Users then input contextual data tags like time of day, type of activity and the surrounding environmental conditions to allow them to track variables that may affect their focus.
Filed under: Wearables