Thursday, 15 January 2009

Gesture-Controlled TV : The New Future Remote Controll

We're all used to hitting the power button to switch on our television but could a wave do it in the future? Both Hitachi and Toshiba are demonstrating motion sensing televisions at this week's Consumer Electronics Show and say they could be on the market in as soon as two years.

The remote control has relieved generations of couch potatoes from the hassle of getting up to change channels, but is there an even easier way? Toshiba and Hitachi both showed prototype gesture-controlled TVs at CES. A small infrared camera watches the viewer's hand movements and translates them into action. Wave at your TV to switch it on, control the volume with circular motions or navigate a large number of video files in three dimensions with your hands.

The Toshiba TV employs three-dimensional hand gestures to allow users to navigate recorded video content. You can zoom in or out from a screen full of video clips by bring your hands closer together or further apart, start it with a gesture and then fast forward or reverse through the clip with side-to-side movements.

Toshiba said it was looking into the technology for possible use on its Cell TV, a TV set based on the powerful Cell processor. The TV is due on the market in Japan this year but the technology won't necessarily be in the first model.

The prototype, which uses a tiny Canesta 3D sensor for gesture recognition and a Hitachi TV can be controlled at distances up to 3 meters (9.8 feet) by simple hand gestures. For example, a rapid wave will power up the set, and a circular motion will change either the video source or the channel. The technology can also discriminate between single- and two-hand gestures, providing additional command options. Because of the underlying Canesta 3D sensor's immunity to extremes in room lighting or decor, the interface can work both in and out doors.

Look for it in TVs in the next two to three years . Now, we’ll all just have to wait and see what this new concept entails. It would be fun to watch the whole family waving and throwing their hands up in the air trying to change the channel, especially if each member want to watch different shows.

LG Watch-Phone : The Most Futuristic Gadgets

While watch phones were formerly reserved for James Bond flicks, smaller tech companies have been reaching to release the first practical watch phone with no luck. Expensive, cheap and clunky - it simply hasn’t been done. Fortunately for tech buffs everywhere, the sharp looks, capable functionality and appropriate size of the LG Watch Phone will make it the first mass appeal watch phone to hit the market.

LG Electronics' watch-phone is a complete 3G cellular phone in a wristwatch-style form factor. The LG-GD910 phone has a 1.4-inch touchscreen display and is based on the WCDMA (Wideband Code Division Multiple Access) mobile network standard. It packs the latest 7.2Mb-per-second HSDPA (High Speed Downlink Packet Access) data system, so downloads should be fast. It can also make video calls via a small camera above the top right corner of the screen. Other features include Bluetooth, an MP3 player, a speakerphone and a text-to-speech function.

Coupled with a blue tooth headset, the LG Watch Phone will allow for convenient communications with the luxury of wearing a stunning piece of jewelry and without the annoyance of having one more thing in your pocket.

The watch-phone is also waterproof. It's scheduled to go on sale in the second half of 2009 in Europe. Pricing and plans for other markets were not announced.

The Sony VAIO P Series, Netbooks the next big small thing

Tiny laptops could soon be as ubiquitous as mobile phones as computer makers continue to refine their cheap "netbook" machines with new features including touch-screens and GPS navigation.

At the 2009 CES Show in Las Vegas, Sony upped the ante by unveiling a mini-laptop with a twist, Sony VAIO P Series. It has a widescreen 8-inch display and measures 24 centimeters wide by 11 cm deep and 2 cm thick, giving it a form factor that, according to Sony, allows it to be slipped into a jacket pocket or handbag. An advantage of the wide form-factor is that the keyboard can be made slightly larger. The key pitch on the Vaio P (the distance from the center of one key to the center of the next) is 16.5 millimeters, considerably more than on keyboards used on some of the small form-factor netbooks currently available.

Every SKU has the same 1.33Ghz Atom inside (the Z series not the pokier N)—not incredibly speedy, and 2GB of RAM. The built-in 3G is Verizon only, and they wouldn't comment on a GSM version. It's based on the Intel Atom processor and will be available in North America from February for around US$900. That's for Vista Home Basic—you've gotta drop a grand to get real Vista. Otherwise, the 4 different SKUs vary based mostly on storage—60GB starting up to a 128GB SSD in the $1500 model.

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