Walyou http://walyou.com Cool Gadgets, New Gadgets, Tech News and Geek Design Fri, 29 May 2015 16:00:09 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=4.2.2 Kinect-Powered PomPom Mirror Highlights Fluffiness http://walyou.com/kinect-powered-pompom-mirror/ http://walyou.com/kinect-powered-pompom-mirror/#comments Fri, 29 May 2015 16:00:09 +0000 http://walyou.com/?p=216581

Snow White’s stepmother would have a hard time finding out who’s the fairest of them all, as everyone’s reflection in this Kinect-powered mirror looks equally fluffy.

New York artist Daniel Rozin seems to have developed an obsession for mirrors, considering that most of his portfolio focuses on them. His latest creation, simply titled PomPom Mirror, might convince you that Rozin is not a big fan of sharpness. The contraption makes use of a Kinect sensor, motors and plenty of faux fur pom poms to create fluffy reflections of whoever stands in front of it.

Obviously, the effect couldn’t have been achieved with a small number of faux fur pom poms and motors. With that in mind, Rozin employed 464 motors that turn 928 spherical puffs from beige to black depending on what motion is captured by the Kinect sensor.

People’s reaction to seeing this concept is preponderantly positive, with some of them even wanting to sleep on this mirror. Well, the surface definitely wouldn’t suffice, but maybe that’s what people should suggest Rodin to try in this future projects: a full length mirror that doubles as a fluffy mattress when not in use. After all, the ladies may want to admire their dresses, and the current PomPom Mirror cannot encompass their entire length.

The Kinect sensor tracks the people standing in front of the mirror and sends the data to a microcontroller that, in turn, flips the motors to determine the change in color. The reflection appears in real-time, but don’t expect instant reactions. After all, something as fluffy as this mirror shouldn’t make sudden moves, as they would contradict the whole concept. One might argue that the fluffy mirror has a life of its own, and if you’re considering its aspect and motion, you wouldn’t be that far from the truth.

In case the above video isn’t enough for you, and you happen to be in the Big Apple these days, don’t hesitate to visit the Descent with Modification artworks exhibition. Rozin’s PomPom Mirror is currently showcased there, and can be tested by any of the visitors. The exhibition runs through July 1, 2015, so don’t miss your chance of witnessing a completely unique form of art. Unique and fluffy, that is.

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Keep Warm During Winter with a Nerdalize eRadiator http://walyou.com/nerdalize-eradiator-data-furnace/ http://walyou.com/nerdalize-eradiator-data-furnace/#comments Fri, 29 May 2015 14:35:56 +0000 http://walyou.com/?p=216577

We keep hearing that winter is coming, so we might as well prepare for it. Dutch startup Nerdalize suggests to replace radiators with heat-producing data servers.

The Nerdalize eRadiator, as the Dutch company named its brainchild, is what others call a data furnace. In other words, behind the radiator looks there is a small server that generates up to 1000 watts of heating.

Tech giants know that maintaining a data center can often be a nightmare, due to all the heat that needs to be dissipated, so that the servers run properly. Nerdalize has figured that all that excess heat could be put to good use, and looked to a target audience that needs it: common householders.

There are two per-requisites to getting an eRadiator (well, three, if you also take money into consideration). Householders need to have a fiber-optic connection, as well as an external wall. Since this is basically a data server, it’s pretty obvious what the fiber-optic connection might be needed for. As for the external wall, it is required for dissipating the heat when it is not needed inside the house. That’s right, people are giving the option to turn off the eRadiator, case in which the server keeps going. Come to think of it, if people couldn’t turn it off, it would be impossible to stay indoors during the summer.

This is not the first time a company is considering using the heat generated by data servers to warm up something. The concept has also been studied by Microsoft Research, who also published a research paper about it, back in 2011. Three years earlier, in 2008, IBM used the waste heat generated by a data center in Zurich to heat a swimming pool in a nearby town. Nerdalize just proves that this could also be done at a smaller scale.

For the time being, only Dutch people can have a Nerdalize eRadiator set up inside their homes, and the whole operation costs between €400 and €500 ($440 to $550). It takes less than a year for the investment to return, which is pretty spectacular. Hopefully, the Nerdalize data furnace will find its way to other European countries, as most people with a fiber-optic connection wouldn’t mind hosting a data server in exchange for heat.

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Samsung patents a laptop with a phablet dock http://walyou.com/samsung-patents-a-laptop-with-a-phablet-dock/ http://walyou.com/samsung-patents-a-laptop-with-a-phablet-dock/#comments Thu, 28 May 2015 18:03:05 +0000 http://walyou.com/?p=216573

Samsung have just patented a laptop model that has an integrated dock to plug in a phablet. It’s easy: the phablet will be the heart that powers and gives life to this computer.

The United States Patent and Trademark Office has revealed a project by Korean giant Samsung that will attempt to refloat an idea Motorola had a while ago, with their Atrix line. Samsung intend to create a laptop that will use a phablet dock which will, in turn, act as the heart and core of this computer. And here’s the most interesting bit: Samsung devices all run on Android OS, but this laptop would be running the computer’s own version of Windows instead.

The patent does not clarify whether this laptop will be functional at all by using just the tablet, if it will posess an additional battery or just drain from the tablet itself, and leaves us with more questions than answers: could this merely be a keyboard and screen to attach to our Galaxy phablets, or something entirely different and more interesting?

The Korean giant has not made any comments on this topic, regardless of this information being revealed. We do not know for certain when will there be official information, product specs, or even a code name for this project. What is certain, though, is that Samsung seem to want to dip their toes on an segment of the market that has been rather neglected as of late, and hope to design a product that, if done well, has a lot potential.

Motorola abandoned the idea after the release of the Atrix 2, a device that was perfectly functional and good enough, but failed to catch the interest of the masses. Now, Samsung attempt to take this segment and replace smartphones with phablets instead – will this make a difference?

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SensorWake Alarm Clock Fills the Room with Scents http://walyou.com/sensorwake-scent-alarm-clock/ http://walyou.com/sensorwake-scent-alarm-clock/#comments Wed, 27 May 2015 20:25:48 +0000 http://walyou.com/?p=216559

Using aromas to wake people up is not a new concept, as alarm clocks emitting coffee or bacon scents were launched not long ago. SensorWake is looking to provide a bit more diversity, though.

Even though some smells could be classified as generally pleasant by most people, not all of us have the same olfactory preferences. With that in mind, Guillaume Rolland set up a startup called SensorWake, with the sole purpose of helping people wake up in a cloud of their favorite scent.

Swiss fragrance manufacturer Givaudan created the aromas found in SensorWake’s cartridges. The French startup has decided not to make any extreme choices, so they picked several scents that should please everyone. These include, but do not resume to: peppermint, ginger, espresso, hot croissant, chocolate, peach and strawberry candy.

Some might find these choices nauseatingly sweet, but I definitely wouldn’t mind waking up in a room that smells like ginger. I find that particular scent to be very refreshing, exactly what people need in the morning!

The uppermost image also has a cartridge with dollar scents, so that should teach Vespasian a lesson.

The cartridges will get empty after about 60 uses, so I imagine that this scent alarm clock will have a lot in common with printers.

While it may sound pleasant to wake up surrounded by an aroma you love, I find this to be a source of disappointment. I mean… what to good to smell espressos and croissants right after opening your eyes in the morning, if it’s not the real deal? Sure, this might motivate you to get up and spend some money to get a real espresso and some real croissants, but that doesn’t change the fact that the reactions resemble a sine wave.

SensorWake has turned to Kickstarter to help its scent alarm clock make the jump from merely a concept to a real thing. At the time of writing, backers had pledged more than half of the funding goal, which was set at €50,000 (US$54,570) by the developers. Since the early bird spots are long gone, you will have to back the project with at least €80 ($87) to get a SensorWake alarm clock in November 2015. If you’re a heavy sleeper, you might want to reconsider purchasing such a gadget.

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Retro Video Game System: Cartridges are back http://walyou.com/retro-video-game-system-cartridges-are-back/ http://walyou.com/retro-video-game-system-cartridges-are-back/#comments Wed, 27 May 2015 19:40:41 +0000 http://walyou.com/?p=216555

Get ready for some heavy nostalgia, as a completely new video game system promises to deliver content via cartridges: just like the old days!

Now that blu-rays are the default storage method for consoles, cartridges are a nostalgic thing that many of us miss and associate with the consoles of our childhoods. Ever since the N64, video game consoles have moved on to optical media, but the Retro VGS (Retro Video Games System) team view it differently, and think cartridges still can exist today. To prove their point, they are working in an upcoming cartridge-based games console.

This idea came from the mind of Mike Kennedy of the Retro Magazine, who is going to bring his project to Kickstarter where the community will be able to decide its fate this summer. Still, the idea seems pretty clear: retro-style gaming is ready for a comeback, and the experience just isn’t the same if the hardware doesn’t match. It’s like it’s 1989 all over again, thanks to this console and games like Shovel Knight.

The console’s name is still subject to change before it’s kickstarted, but it is being touted as Retro VGS. It will specialize in original 2D games made in a retro style, along with “16-Bit fan-favorite sequels” and some ports of mobile games that match the consoles’ vision and aesthetic. All of these games will release in cartridge form for the first time, so forget about patches, updates, and online play: this is just the game and the player, the way it was meant to be.

Kennedy’s team says the “RETRO VGS will reestablish the culture of video gaming, something that has been slowly dismantled over the last couple console generations. It will promote game ownership, tangibility and collectability. There will be no system updates, digital downloads or buggy games.” We’ll see about the bugs, Mr. Kennedy, but you have our whole support. Be sure to check out the project at the team’s Facebook page

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UBOX Amlogic S12 4K TV Box Mirrors Mobile Devices http://walyou.com/u-box-amlogic-s12-4k-android-tv-box/ http://walyou.com/u-box-amlogic-s12-4k-android-tv-box/#comments Wed, 27 May 2015 12:30:26 +0000 http://walyou.com/?p=216551

Most manufacturers of Android TV boxes assume that all the content you want to watch or listen to is already in the internal memory of the product. If you’d rather mirror your smartphone or tablet’s display, UBOX Amlogic S12 might be the best solution for you, as it also integrates Miracast and DLNA technologies.

UBOX Amlogic S12 (named so after the SoC it’s based on) packs plenty of horsepower to run 4K videos smoothly, and this feature is even advertised on the product itself. The chipset includes a quad-core Amlogic S812 CPU running at 2Ghz, and an octa-core Mali-450 GPU, which coupled with either 1 or 2GB of RAM (depending on the model) can offer a video playback experience for a fraction of the price of other TV boxes. The internal memory is of 8GB for both versions, and it’s almost a certainty that you will run out of space, especially if you are going to watch 4K videos on this TV box. However, U Box included a microSD card slot that enables you to expand the storage by up to 32GB. If even that proves insufficient, users have the option to add flash drives, external hard drives, or even access network storage.

Just in case Miracast, DLNA and 4K video playback weren’t enough, the Amlogic S12 runs xmbc or Kodi (as it is known now). Hence, it can handly all of the popular video file formats you might want to throw at it, not to mention that it will organize your video library so you can easily find your movies at a later point in time.

When it comes to connectivity, U BOX Amlogic S12 does not disappoint, as it includes HDMI, USB 2.0, SPDIF for digital audio, and AV output. As for the wireless connection, the TV box rocks Bluetooth 4.0 and Wi-Fi b/g/n. Connecting peripherals or network storage using these options should be a breeze.

Both versions of UBOX Amlogic S12 are currently available on GearBest, where they sell for $70.60 and $80.47, respectively. However, applying the coupon code UBOX1 will get the price of the 1GB RAM version to $63.89, while the coupon UBOX2 will get you the 2GB RAM version for $71.89. The presale on both models ends on June 1, and orders will be shipped soon after that.

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Stabilize Action with Blackview Hero 1 & 2 Cameras http://walyou.com/blackview-hero-1-2-action-cameras/ http://walyou.com/blackview-hero-1-2-action-cameras/#comments Tue, 26 May 2015 20:59:40 +0000 http://walyou.com/?p=216544

Most sports and action cameras have very expensive accessories that people have to buy separately, but Blackview decided to pack everything people could ever need with its Hero 1 & 2 cameras.

With such a name, it’s pretty clear who Blackview is going after. GoPro remains the leader of this market, but we have to admit that not everyone can afford one of their Hero action cameras, not to mention the expensive accessories. Hong Kong-based smartphone manufacturer Blackview is willing to offer a more affordable alternative in the form of its Hero 1 & 2 sports cameras.

It may sound weird for a company to launch two (very) similar products at the same time, but Blackview definitely wants to offer more options if it’s expanding to this new field. Hero 1 (pictured above) relies on SDIO Wi-Fi connectivity to upload, save, share videos online, or even play them back on a smartphone or tablet.

Blackview Hero 2, on the other hand, comes with a RF remote that plays a far more important role than you would expect. The companion device even has a display of its own, so you can watch from a distance what the sports camera is filming.

Other than that, both cameras are capable of recording video at 1080p, come with 1GB nand flash, and support microSD cards of up to 64GB. The 1050mAh rechargable lithium battery takes about 3 hours to charge and enables you to record videos for up to one hour, so it wouldn’t be a bad idea to carry a power bank with you if you intend to shoot longer videos.

The most important part surely must be the optics of these cameras. The 170-degree wide angle lens features optical image stabilization (or anti-shake system, as the manufacturer calls it), so action videos don’t end up shaky.

As mentioned before, these two action cameras come with a bunch of accessories, from underwater cases to helmet mounts, and a fair share of spare parts were also included. In this context, it’s easy to see how the Blackview Hero 1 & 2 action cameras get you more bang for buck that its counterparts.

GearBest currently sells Blackview Hero 1 for $139.98, but you can cut down the price to $129.98 by applying the coupon code GBHero1 during the checkout procedure. Blackview Hero 2 comes at the same price with the coupon code GBHero 2, so pick the one that best suits your needs and start shooting some action videos.

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LG create a paper-thin TV that can be hung anywhere http://walyou.com/lg-create-a-paper-thin-tv-that-can-be-hung-anywhere/ http://walyou.com/lg-create-a-paper-thin-tv-that-can-be-hung-anywhere/#comments Tue, 26 May 2015 18:14:27 +0000 http://walyou.com/?p=216541

LG have a new, fantastic concept for those who move their TVs every so often: one that can be “mounted” on walls just like magnets on a fridge.

The LG team have introduced a new, incredibly light and thin 55-inch television sporting a flexible screen that bends, and can be hung on any wall using magnets. This is a concept proof, and there is no certainties of when it will release in the market, or if will come out at all – the real focus of the event was showing LG’s vision for the future, and how important OLED screens are going to be moving forward.

Still the concept is impressive: less than a millimeter thick, and light enough that a few magnets can hold it to the wall, according to CNET, it makes this set pretty much paper-thin. Also, the idea of screens this flexible is exciting by itself.

LG is currently locked in a race with the Samsung team to develop fully flexible gadgets (TVs, smartphones, and so on) but it wasn’t really clear how any of this would benefit the user and be more than a vanity feature until we started seeing concepts such as this: can you imagine folding the TV around yourself (it’s light enough, anyways) in order to not bother the other people sleeping in the same room?

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Spotify adds podcasts and videos to their service http://walyou.com/spotify-podcasts-videos/ http://walyou.com/spotify-podcasts-videos/#comments Mon, 25 May 2015 19:49:52 +0000 http://walyou.com/?p=216535

Streaming giant Spotify has confirmed they will be adding videos and other content in order to remain competitive and offer more media to their users.  This measure comes at just the right time to give a fair fight to Apple’s imminent rival platform, formerly known as Beats.

One of the big pushes Spotify are doing come in the form of agreements with major media outlets such as NBC, ABC, MTV, TED, CBS Radio and BBC amongst many others, and according to their CEO Daniel Ek, this will only increase in time.

The announcement was made in New York City, where they also discussed the redesign of their mobile platform, where users will now be able to jump from a playlist to the other, and pick the right one for the moment of the day or age of the user.

“From the moment you wake up until you go out at night , the new homepage offers just the right music. Do you need a playlist for Monday morning? Done.  The right melodies to concentrate after eating? Covered. And because Spotify can recognize what you like or don’t, you will be sure to hear just the right music, chosen by our internal experts or straight from your personal collection, whatever the moment may be. The recommendations will adapt in time to your taste and mood”, said Ek.

Besides, the mode for runners (aptly called “Running”) will offer music not only based on the users’ likes, but also their rhythm, by using the smartphones’ sensors. As of now, this only works on iPhone devices, but in time…

These new features are already working in select countries, but the next few days should see them going live for all users in the rest of the world.

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Apple Will Employ Robots to Map Building Interiors http://walyou.com/apple-indoor-maps-robot-mapmakers/ http://walyou.com/apple-indoor-maps-robot-mapmakers/#comments Fri, 22 May 2015 13:30:33 +0000 http://walyou.com/?p=216520

Cupertino has found another way to compete against Google, and this time it’s the search giant’s Indoor Maps it’s going after. Apple Maps are said to include this feature as early as next month.

Rumors regarding Apple’s upcoming iOS 9 have started piling up a few months ago, and at that time, it seemed that the main focus will be on making the mobile operating system more stable and better optimized, instead of just adding countless features to it. More recently, reports regarding Apple Maps suggest that the company took an interest in mapping subway, train, and bus routes, as well as building interiors.

To make indoor maps, Apple won’t rely on 3D mapping smartphones such as Google’s Project Tango. Instead, it will use robot mapmakers whose moving patterns won’t differ that much from Roomba’s (pictured above in a timelapse photo). More than that, Apple’s robots will also be similar in size to the Roomba robotic vacuum cleaner. In terms of connectivity, however, there will be substantial differences, as the Cupertino company will equip its mapmakers with Bluetooth and one of its own technologies, iBeacon.

Of course, the first buildings to be mapped will include shopping malls, airports, and museums (in other words, buildings visited by millions of people a year), but I would suggest going even further, to map hospitals and universities. It became virtually impossible to get lost in the outdoors as long as you have a smartphone or a tablet, and an Internet connection, but somehow building interiors still represent a challenge that we will soon be able to overcome.

It took Apple two years since purchasing WiFiSlam (the startup that invented a technology that relies on ambient Wi-Fi signals to pinpoint your location) to come up with something in this field, but it is yet uncertain if the robot mapmakers will use the same technology. One can’t help but wonder if the indoor maps made by Apple will be any good. The competition is known to make far more accurate maps when it comes to the outdoors, so Cupertino actually has the chance to turn the tide. Not so long ago, Apple Maps was suggesting routes so illogical they could kill a Vulcan, whereas Google Maps have been showing people the right path (does this sound religious or what?!) for quite a few years now.

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