The Solar Ship is a little bit airplane, a little bit blimp and all good intentions. The hybrid dirigible combines the cockpit and landing gear of a plane with the top of a blimp, the latter of which is lined with solar panels. The green vehicle can take off from and land on short runways, an ideal feature in a craft designed to deliver supplies to areas hit by natural disasters or with otherwise rough terrains. The ship will come in three sizes, and the company will be offering up more public demonstrations next year. If you can’t wait that long, however, you can check out a test run after the jump.
Continue reading Solar Ship takes to the skies powered by good deeds and sunshine (video)
Solar Ship takes to the skies powered by good deeds and sunshine (video) originally appeared on Engadget on Mon, 24 Oct 2011 17:57:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.
, toronto star
Jersey girls and boys can now tap and pay their way around, but for the Garden State’s myriad of malls, cash’ll still have to do. Not so for the Ozzies Down Under who may soon never have to leave the comfort of food court chairs — if they’re packing a Nexus S, that is. Designed as a concept by University of Sydney start-up SDigital, special coaster-like “brand stickers” affixed to eatery “brand tables” would relay fast-food menus to mobile phones via NFC. Hungry, hungry humans would then make their selections, order up and receive a vibrating notification when the food’s ready. It’s a contactless payment solution not unlike the QkR platform MasterCard demoed for us last month. And given our ever-increasing crawl towards the bleak adult baby form factor of our potential Wall-E futures, we’d say this tech’s right around the public release corner. Head on past the break for a video demo of the tukkis-numbing, Foodcourtia tech.
Continue reading Brand Table concept revolutionizes fast food, NFC still won’t make it good for you (video)
Brand Table concept revolutionizes fast food, NFC still won’t make it good for you (video) originally appeared on Engadget on Sat, 22 Oct 2011 13:50:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.
, brand sticker
You’ve heard of power walking, but “power dreaming?” That practice’s usually the stuff of Buddhism, and now, could go a long way towards mending the psychic wounds of our nation’s bravest. With about 52% of PTSD-affected veterans reported as having disturbing nightmares, the U.S. Army’s working towards a virtual solution that’d marry the design of Second Life with laptop-displayed or 3D head-mounted, physio-emotional healing. The project, a form of biofeedback therapy which would create custom, stress-alleviating imagery for traumatized vets, is currently in the planning stage with Washington State’s Naval Hospital serving as its experimental base. Over half a million in funding’s already been put towards the effort which is expected to launch in full next year. And when it does, we’re hoping the tech resembles a certain Strange Days SQUID recorder — with happy thoughts, o’course.
U.S. Army urges vets to get outta their dreams and into the virtual world originally appeared on Engadget on Sat, 22 Oct 2011 00:37:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.
, psychic wounds
Here’s a little souvenir for Twitter addicts eyeing the upcoming PS Vita: at today’s debut event in Hong Kong, we got to see said console’s Twitter app in action for the very first time, and we were also fortunate enough to get some exclusive hands-on time with Sony’s in-house software. As you can see in our video after the break, the overall design feels very much in line with Twitter’s standard ID: the same shade of blue, the usual tabs on the left column, slick elastic scrolling in the timelines, and support for geotagging, hash tags plus photo attachment while tweeting. No surprises here, but hey, the app worked well for us.
That said, we were told that the app wasn’t quite finished yet, and Sony still couldn’t confirm whether this — along with the other dedicated apps like Skype, Foursquare and Facebook — will be ready for download by the time the Vita launches in Hong Kong on December 23rd (just a tad later than Japan’s launch on the 17th). In case you’re wondering, the Vita there will cost HK$2,280 (US$290) for the WiFi version and HK$2,780 (US$360) for the 3G flavor, both unsubsidized but cheaper than their Japanese counterparts. Of course, given that the console isn’t region-locked, feel free to go do some shopping in Hong Kong then — just save some for the locals, OK? Also, check out our gallery below for some close-up shots of the Vita’s music and video apps.
Continue reading PS Vita’s Twitter app shown off in Hong Kong, we go hands-on (video)
PS Vita’s Twitter app shown off in Hong Kong, we go hands-on (video) originally appeared on Engadget on Fri, 21 Oct 2011 06:20:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.
We’re not gonna lie: we’re on one. One heck of a crazy week, that is! Two big phone launches kept our feet close to the fire, and a couple of odds n’ ends rounded out the week in the way that only odds and ends can — oddly. It’s the Engadget Podcasters, live in a room together, at last, and with devastatingly informative consequences.
Hosts: Tim Stevens, Brian Heater
Guest: Dana Wollman
Producer: Trent Wolbe
Music: Devil’s Haircut
02:30 – Samsung and Google’s Ice Cream Sandwich event liveblog!
03:30 – Samsung’s Galaxy Nexus gets official: Android 4.0, 4.65-inch HD Super AMOLED display (video)
06:22 – Samsung Galaxy Nexus with Ice Cream Sandwich hands-on (video)
07:57 – Samsung’s Galaxy Nexus launches in November on NTT Docomo, Verizon, and more
08:18 – Android Beam takes us to the future of close-proximity data exchange (video)
18:00 – Motorola Droid RAZR unveiled: LTE, 4.3-inch qHD Super AMOLED display, available November for $299
27:00 – Motorola Droid RAZR hands-on (video)
29:15 – Motorola RAZR to get updated to Ice Cream Sandwich in early 2012
34:45 – Samsung’s Won-Pyo Hong: Galaxy Nexus wasn’t designed just to skirt Apple patents
38:37 – Motorola Motoactv hands-on (update: video with Dean Karnazes!)
41:45 – Research in Motion announces BBX, ‘combines the best of BlackBerry and QNX’
43:36 – Lytro camera hands-on (video)
46:45 – ASUS’ Jonney Shih: Padfone will ship in Q1 2012 with Ice Cream Sandwich
46:55 – Microsoft’s Andy Lees: Nokia will announce ‘its Windows Phones’ at Nokia World
51:36 – The Engadget Show
56:04 – Listener questions
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Filed under: Podcasts
Engadget Podcast 261 – 10.21.2011 originally appeared on Engadget on Fri, 21 Oct 2011 11:04:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.
It was just last week that we got to take home the Acer Aspire S3, the first Ultrabook to go on sale here in the States. Unfortunately, it doesn’t live up to the pillars laid out by Intel: its performance trails similar machines, its battery craps out early and the design, while portable, is too chintzy to make it a bellwether for skinny Windows laptops. Our verdict, in a sentence, was that you’d be better off getting a MacBook Air, or at least considering other Ultrabooks — namely, ASUS’ line of Zenbooks.
As it turns out, one showed up on our doorstep just a few days later. In many ways, the UX31 is everything the S3 is not: it has a gorgeous all-metal design and comes standard with an SSD and 1600 x 900 display (not to mention, a case and two bundled adapters). And with a starting price of $1,099, it undercuts the entry-level (and similarly configured) MacBook Air by two hundred bucks. So is this the Ultrabook we’ve all been waiting for? We suggest pouring yourself a large beverage, settling into a comfy chair and meeting us past the break. We’ve got a lot to say on the subject.
Continue reading ASUS Zenbook UX31 review
ASUS Zenbook UX31 review originally appeared on Engadget on Fri, 21 Oct 2011 16:25:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.
Tags: asus ux31
It’s certainly not very Zen, but AnandTech has pried open ASUS’ 11.6-inch ultrabook to see exactly what makes it all tick. The Zenbook’s innards are all tightly packed together inside the oh-so-thin casing, with the UX21′s slim-line cooler covering both of the Intel Core i7-2677M processors. The 128GB model has been given an ADATA SDD, while the bigger 256GB version runs on SanDisk storage, with the WiFi card contorted to squeeze inside the aluminum alloy body. ASUS has extended its design sensibilities outside of the tightly-packed casing, with the Microsoft serial number and certificate transplanted to the power unit, which leaves the Zenbook’s slick design lines and finish peacefully untainted. Those desperate for more details on the rig’s workings and accessories can find inner calm at the link below.
ASUS Zenbook gets taken apart, finds the peace within originally appeared on Engadget on Fri, 21 Oct 2011 09:10:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.
Tags: asus ux21
, asus zenbook ux21
, zenbook ux21
You’ve already gotten peek at it… heck, if you’re anything like us you’ve already been using the preview version of it. What are we talking about? Why the newly redesigned Gmail, of course. In late June Google started offering a vision of your web app future. It was a bit sparser, a bit more monochromatic and (dare we say) a bit more finger friendly. Well, it seems like the interface is about to become a lot less optional. A video was accidentally posted to YouTube today by Google (since pulled), offering a tour of the revamped email service. Most of it will probably look a bit familiar, but the Mountain View crew still has a few tricks left up its sleeve. For instance conversation views now more closely resemble IMs (with profile pictures) and the advanced search options are more easily accessible and prominently displayed. The themes are also getting updated with higher resolution wallpapers to better match the spartan UI. Not that you need any encouragement, but you should definitely check out the video after the break.
Continue reading Google spills the beans on Gmail revamp a bit early (video)
Google spills the beans on Gmail revamp a bit early (video) originally appeared on Engadget on Thu, 20 Oct 2011 16:08:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.
, preview version
, web app
We just witnessed quite the interview between ASUS chairman Jonney Shih and Walt Mossberg at AsiaD, and outside of revealing the Transformer Prime (and affirming that the impending Padfone would ship with Android 4.0), he also dropped a few other nuggets worth mention to the audience here in Hong Kong. For starters, he finally caved to Walt’s pestering about who his main competition was, specifically related to the new Zenbook. “The Mac[Book] Air,” he stated, chuckling slyly afterwards, but quickly continuing on to plug his own machine based on its own merits. Not surprisingly, he also expressed his confidence that Android tablets still had a lot of life left in the market, and he stated that ASUS is still on track to move its target — around two million — Android tablets this year. Moving onto the topic of netbooks, Shih noted that rather than being buried, netbooks are simply “evolving.” More importantly, however, was his subtle confirmation that a new ASUS netbook is en route: “You’ll see on our new netbook, it’ll be very thin.” In fact, he even suggested that the design may follow that of the Zenbook, but just… smaller.
When asked about his thoughts on people replacing laptops less frequently, and perhaps shifting disposable income to smartphones and tablets, Jonney maintained that all of those markets were key to ASUS’ success, and that none were taking a backseat. “We believe that this a very critical time, transitioning from the personal computing era to the ubiquitous cloud computing era.” Sounds a bit like another mantra we heard, truth be told, but ASUS has been riding the cloud bandwagon long before most other consumer companies even knew what it was. The original spate of Eee PCs had next to no internal storage; rather, they relied on accessing the web in order to deliver the bulk of their functionality. Jonney also noted that ASUS is attempting to tackle an interesting problem with its products, which is that few people can truly separate work and entertainment — in other words, you need products that adequately handle both worlds. We’re guessing a Padfone + Transformer Prime + Zenbook is his preferred trifecta to do just that.
ASUS’ Jonney Shih: Android 4.0 hitting tablets by year’s end, ultrathin netbook is coming originally appeared on Engadget on Wed, 19 Oct 2011 22:12:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.
We know that Samsung has the first crack at Android 4.0 with the Galaxy Nexus, but it’ll only be a matter of time before we begin seeing it show up on rival devices. HTC has already made an official statement on its plans (or lack thereof), and now it’s Motorola’s turn. Alain Mutricy, SVP Portfolio and Product Management, was in Germany talking up the European announcement of the RAZR, and slipped in a few details about Ice Cream Sandwich. Mutricy mentioned that while the company’s new flagship device was designed for Gingerbread, plans have been set to introduce the latest version of Android in the start of 2012, with a more precise date naturally on its way. Given past experience, however, it’s probable that the unbranded version of the device will get the refresh ahead of the Droid RAZR on Verizon, so US users may need to exercise a wee bit of patience here. Regardless, it’s time for the competition to step up — if the RAZR is next in line to get the OTA update, the Galaxy Nexus will have the spotlight all to itself for a fair amount of time.
Motorola RAZR to get updated to Ice Cream Sandwich in early 2012 originally appeared on Engadget on Wed, 19 Oct 2011 09:55:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.