February has been an exciting month in the world of technology as we’ve experienced the joys of Mobile World Congress and viewed an obscene number of handsets, some of which will make it to our shores in the next year. Add to that the furor of the first ever London Fashion weeks show being filmed in 3D and we’re feeling extremely stylish as well as techie- a trend we’re noticing that designers are involving themselves in.
Augmented Reality Magic Tee for the Under Fives
Augmented reality seems to be the word on everyone’s lips at the moment, whether they’re talking about the latest AR greetings card , or just how this technology is going to change the world. Well the Brights & Stripes clothing company has taken this onboard and created something that appeals to the youth market. I’m talking about the rather sweetly named Magic Tee, which is suitable for kids ages 0-5 years old. The Magic Tee comes in four colors, emblazoned with little rainbows all over it. This T-shirt allows the user to directly interact with their computer and play with something they’ve called ‘The Rainbow Story’. When the child stands in front of the webcam wearing the Magic Tee a 3D animated weather story starts to unfold, with the movements of the arms creating wind and rain.
Whilst the technology used may not be that new, I’m very impressed that Brights & Stripes are catering to such a young market, as the implications for how tech-savvy the children of the future will be has just taken one huge step forward.
To see the Magic Tee in action they’ve helpfully created a video for us (see below)
Samsung i8520 Beam
Just when you think they can’t make phone any more interesting, along comes one which blows our preconceptions out of the water. Now that we’re used to mobiles with incredibly high megapixels, Xenon flashes and Zeiss lenses, how do you manage to impress a rather jaded tech journalist? Slap on a Pico projector, that’s how. Samsung have integrated a Pico projector into their latest handset to allow you to project images and movies onto any flat service. This will revitalize how we view photos on our phones as who would want to stare at images on a (admittedly not so piddling) 3.7 inch AMOLED screen when they can view them at in a lovely 40 inch capacity? We saw Nikon introduce this feature onto their S1000pj camera, and the fact that this has now entered the mobile market, shows just how much the mobile and camera field are merging together.
There’s more to the phone than just this gimmick though as it also features an 8 megapixel camera, 3.5mm jack and the Android 2.1 operating system. It comes with 16GB of internal storage, expandable via MicroSD and full Bluetooth and 3G functionality. It has a potential on counter date of Q3 this year for Europe, and looks like this device may be key in making owning a separate camera redundant.
The Puma Phone
Puma has a long history of being heavily involved in the sporting world, and now they’re turning their expertise into the phone market., Don’t worry, they’re not totally out of their depth as they’ve teamed up with Sagem Wireless for the technical know how. What they’re offering is a 2.8 inch touchscreen that features a 3.2 megapixel camera and the usual Bluetooth and 3G connectivity. What we’re more excited about though is the sporting angle of the phone as it comes with a built in pedometer, bike and running tracking, and rather unusually, a yachting compass. Just don’t drop it overboard, as they don’t say anything about waterproofing features.
They’re suggesting that the user experience will revolve around the live feeds of sporting news that will be integrated into the phone, but we’re rather more enchanted by the hefty solar panel that’s stuck to the back of the device. Could the days of multiple chargers and tangled wires be numbered? Just how much sun is needed to charge the phone is sadly undocumented, but we have hope that this rather large panel could come in very useful, Then again, sun in London? Who are we kidding?
Out soon, with the price currently TBD.
Lingerie Designer Chantal Thomass Creates iPhone Cases and USB stick
The amount of designer/tech collaborations has never been higher with everyone from Porsche to Vivienne Tam getting on the tech bandwagon and producing limited edition pieces that are very covetable. The latest designer to join this party is Chantal Thomass, a French lingerie designer. She has brought her knowledge of silk panties sand corsetry to play here with these rather delicious looking mobile phone accessories.
Keeping to her favourite colour palette of black and pink, we are offered a rubber iPhone case with her traditional lace embroidery and a key shaped USB stick that doubles as a necklace. Her collection is ultra feminine without falling into the sickly twee girly category, and the embellishments such as suede bows and velveteen ribbons really give it that je na sais quoi (well she is French after all).
Trekkies Set New World Record for Largest Gathering in Costume
Valentine’s Day is traditionally either spent with a loved one or staving off suicide with vodka shots in seedy bars. Getting dressed in full Star Trek regalia for a 10am meetup tends to be rather low on the list of priorities, but for hardcore Trekkies, it was an opportunity to show the world that Star Trek is their amour of choice. London’s Millennium bridge was the arranged meeting point, and Guinness World Record judges counted 99 fans in full regalia.
The event was organized by Namco Bandai in order to promote the launch of the MMO Star Trek online, but it was still impressive to see the amount of effort people put into their costumes, and the fact that cosplay is making it into mainstream awareness. Now that cosplay gatherings are officially worthy of a world record, it will be interesting to see what other displays get arranged, and just how wacky the participants get with their outfits.
[via Inc Gamers ]
Burberry Showcases Their Catwalk in 3D
February has been a big month for 3D broadcasts in the UK as we’ve seen SKY broadcast a football match in 3D and now the fashion world is lining up for their turn. London Fashion week has been making headlines once more, and this time it’s not just for the desirable clothes on the runway. They’re entering the techsphere head on, by allowing all the shows to stream online, so they’re available to those who don’t possess Vogue credentials. The digital schedule is showing all the shows as and when they go live, meaning that many an office worker can kill time by checking out the latest House of Holland collection.
It opens up Fashion Week to a global audience, and also allows the consumer to feel more involved. Burberry is taking this digital inspiration to a whole new level with the launch of the first ever catwalk show in 3D. Their show (broadcast on the 23rd Feb) streams in 2D as usual, but will also be available in select venues in 3D. Special venues around the world will host 3D showings of the runway, and fashionistas worldwide will have to somehow adjust to wearing those not so flattering 3D glasses.
Christopher Bailey, Burberry’s chief creative officer, said: “We are very excited we are hosting the first ever truly global fashion show. 3D technology will bring our global audience into the London show space allowing them to see the colours and fabrics, to hear the music and to be a part of that moment when it all finally comes together.”
Canon IXUS 130
Face and smile detection have been around for a while but the news of wink detection software brought a smile to my face. Canon have been researching new ways to make cameras more user friendly, and have come up with the ‘wink’ idea in order to play into the market of people who enjoy messing around with their photos. Previous face detection software used to focus on distance between facial features, but the developers of newest wink feature actually look at how the face crinkles up when it smiles or winks- a rather revolutionary way of creating technology.
The camera itself is a pretty impressive piece of kit, with more modes than you’ll know what to do with, including fisheye, miniature mode for tilt-shift photography and pets/food etc.
It also has 14.1 megapixels, a 2.7 inch LCD screen and a 5x optical zoom that can record video in 720p. Phew, if that wasn’t enough the face detection software can also be programmed to recognize 335 faces at once which you can store on the internal memory. They’ve also added a nice feature- the Face Self Timer which is triggered 2 seconds after you add yourself to the frame, so you better be quick at running around.
£280 from Play.