Japanese carrier KDDI’s never been shy about showing off its latest and greatest from its lab, and here at CEATEC 2011 we got to lay our fingers on a couple of its in-development smartphone sensory enhancements, along with a free-viewpoint concert concept that’s being researched on. The first demo we saw was actually the same haptic smartphone prototype that was unveiled back in May, but we thought it’d be nice to give it a go with our very own hands — read on to find out how well it performed.
Continue reading KDDI shows off sensory enhancements for smartphone users, throws a free-viewpoint virtual concert
KDDI shows off sensory enhancements for smartphone users, throws a free-viewpoint virtual concert originally appeared on Engadget on Tue, 04 Oct 2011 06:46:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.
When you need four digits and a coma to specify the amount of horsepower your car puts down, you know you’re talking about something very, very special indeed. Such is the case for the Concept One, the first car from virtual unknown manufacturer Rimac Automobili. The firm (which is Croatian, not Italian, by the way) has created this machine and given it four electric motors. They combine for an astounding 1,088 horsepower but, perhaps even more importantly, enable torque vectoring across all four wheels — varying the power at each corner to pull the car around turns.
That performance equates to a 0 – 62MPH time of 2.8 seconds, while the maximum range is rated as 600km (about 375 miles) thanks to a 9.2kWh lithium ion phosphate (LiFePO4) battery. It is, alas, just a concept for now, but with a little bit of funding the folks at Rimac hope to bring it to market. And we hope they do too.
Rimac Automobili unveils 1,088 horsepower Concept One electric supercar originally appeared on Engadget on Tue, 13 Sep 2011 11:41:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.
, frankfurt motor show
Ford already wowed us with the Evos concept, but the slinkiest hybrid we’ve seen so far here in Frankfurt has not four wheels but two. It’s a concept bicycle from Ford called — wait for it — the E-Bike Concept. It packs an electric motor built into the front wheel that can power it up to a maximum speed of 25 km/h, driven by a 9.2Ah battery. Or you can power it the conventional way by pedalling, torque conveyed to the rear wheel over a carbon belt. (Oily chains are so last century.)
Perhaps even more interesting is what rests up on the handlebars. No, that’s no iDevice — refreshingly it’s a Galaxy S II. Through some custom software, riders will be able to change suspension modes and of course monitor battery charge, not to mention get a little assistance from Google Navigation and maybe pump out some Pandora too. The word “Concept” in the title here and the spindly frame design should give you a clue about when this thing will see production — probably never. But, we’ll be back with an update if that ever changes.
Ford electric E-Bike Concept packs a Galaxy S II on the bars, motor in the wheel originally appeared on Engadget on Mon, 12 Sep 2011 15:23:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.
, electric bike
Ferrari’s been one of the most respected car manufacturers in the world since the 1940s, but it hasn’t exactly gotten there by being bleeding-edge. In the early ’60s, when rear-engined cars were sweeping the charts in Formula One, Il Commendatore — Enzo Ferrari — refused to take one racing, famously saying “the horse doesn’t push the cart along with its nose.” It would take many humiliating defeats before his company would finally put that horse where it belongs. Being an early adopter, obviously, was not a priority. It’s only in the past few years, with cars like the Enzo and 458 Italia, that Ferrari has truly embraced modern ideas of whizz-bang tech to make their cars genuinely faster — not just easier to drive.
That’s just the beginning. Automotive technology is finally starting to accelerate the way personal computing devices have for the past few decades. New means of propulsion are combining with ever-greater integrated systems and it’s easy to see this as leading us toward a generation of cars faster and still more efficient than anything we’ve yet seen on the roads. Ferrari calls this four-wheeled singularity the “hypercar,” and to get an idea of just what that car of the future might look like it invited 50 teams of designers from major universities around the world to compete. Join us as we look at some of the best creations.
Continue reading Engadget previews Ferrari’s future hypercars at the World Design Contest (video)
Engadget previews Ferrari’s future hypercars at the World Design Contest (video) originally appeared on Engadget on Mon, 12 Sep 2011 13:15:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.
So, let’s set the stage. You’re walking down a semi-busy street in a semi-foreign city. You’re curiously hanging close to the middle of the sidewalk. You bust out your smartphone and figure out that your so-called engagement just got “Complicated.” Your gait has an irregularity. You look up and spot what appears to be a local, eerily perturbed and somewhat flummoxed by your current position. You dodge left. So does he. You dodge right, knowing full well that it’ll only complicate matters when he follows suit. Before long, you’re tiptoeing around a stranger while a full-on traffic jam builds up behind you. You’ve just ruined the universe, and that’s not doing anyone any good. The solution? The University of Electro-Communications’s Vection Field, which hones in on large moving visual cues that “induce a sense of self-movement.” Funny enough, the lenticular lenses pathway here at SIGGRAPH actually worked — we never expected an optical illusion to solve such a monumental issue, but we’ll take it. Vid’s past the break, per usual.
Continue reading Vection Field controls traffic at SIGGRAPH, fictional cities from the future (video)
Vection Field controls traffic at SIGGRAPH, fictional cities from the future (video) originally appeared on Engadget on Fri, 12 Aug 2011 09:22:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.
Telepresence, say hello to your future. Humans, say hello to the next generation of Chancellor Sutler. All jesting aside, there’s no question that Big Brother came to mind when eying Sony Computer Science Laboratories’ Face-to-Avatar concept at SIGGRAPH. For all intents and purposes, it’s a motorized blimp with a front-facing camera, microphone, a built-in projector and a WiFi module. It’s capable of hovering above crowds in order to showcase an image of what’s below, or displaying an image of whatever’s being streamed to its wireless apparatus. The folks we spoke to seemed to think that it was still a few years out from being in a marketable state, but we can think of a few governments who’d probably be down to buy in right now. Kidding. Ominous video (and static male figurehead) await you after the break.
Continue reading Sony’s Face-to-Avatar blimp soars through SIGGRAPH, melts the heart of Big Brother (video)
Sony’s Face-to-Avatar blimp soars through SIGGRAPH, melts the heart of Big Brother (video) originally appeared on Engadget on Thu, 11 Aug 2011 13:30:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.
, face to avatar
MoleTop a little too passive for you? Fret not, as a team from The University of Electro-Communications popped by this year’s installment of SIGGRAPH in order to showcase something entirely more vicious. It’s air hockey meets bumper cars, and the InteractiveTop demo was certainly one of the stranger ones we came across here in Vancouver. Put simply, it’s a virtual game of spinning tops, where users use magnet-loaded controllers to shuffle tops across a board and into an opponent’s top. There’s an aural and haptic feedback mechanism to let you know when you’ve struck, and plenty of sensors loaded throughout to keep track of collisions, force and who’s hitting who. Pore over the links below for more technobabble, or just head past the break for an in-action video.
Continue reading InteractiveTop brings tabletop gaming to SIGGRAPH, doubles as Inception token (video)
InteractiveTop brings tabletop gaming to SIGGRAPH, doubles as Inception token (video) originally appeared on Engadget on Thu, 11 Aug 2011 08:05:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.
Cool game, or coolest game ever
? That’s the question we were asking ourselves when we first came across Garnet Hertz’s augmented reality-based OutRun project
— a concept car that weds Sega’s classic driving game with an electric golf cart, allowing players to navigate their way around real-life courses using only arcade consoles. Hertz, an informatics researcher at the University of California Irvine, has since brought his idea to fruition, after outfitting the system with cameras and customized software that can “look” in front of the car to automatically reproduce the route on the game cabin’s screen. The map is displayed in the same 8-bit rendering you’d see on the original OutRun, with perspectives changing proportionally to shifts in steering. The cart maxes out at only 13 mph, though speed isn’t really the idea; Hertz and his colleagues hope their technology can be used to develop game-based therapies for disabled users, or to create similarly AR-based wheelchairs. Scoot past the break to see a video of the car in action, and let your dreams converge.
Continue reading OutRun AR project lets you game and drive at the same time, makes us drool
OutRun AR project lets you game and drive at the same time, makes us drool originally appeared on Engadget on Wed, 03 Aug 2011 09:42:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.
, electric vehicle
, garnet hertz
How to solve the problem of controls cluttering up electronics devices? Simple: make the device the controller. That’s the simple but elegant solution employed by designer Hironao Tsuboi with the equally simply named Vol Speaker concept. The speaker is the knob — or maybe the knob is the speaker. However you choose to unravel this zen-like chicken and egg riddle, the result is pretty neat.
Speaker concept does away with the volume knob by becoming the volume knob originally appeared on Engadget on Wed, 27 Jul 2011 19:25:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.
, hironao tsuboi
, wolume speaker
Unless you’ve got a penchant for going the ultralight route, chances are you’ve got a DVD or other optical drive in your laptop that you rarely, if ever, actually stick a disk in it. This concept, dubbed disk+Mouse plans to put that space to good use holding a pointer that stores flat, but pops up in a conical shape when needed. Of course, by this time next year we’ll all probably be looking at physical media the same way we did floppies in the post iMac world and this will be nothing but a cutesy throwback with no place to go — just like those cassette-shaped USB drives.
CD-shaped mouse is perfect for our physical media-free future originally appeared on Engadget on Sat, 23 Jul 2011 19:15:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.