As if it weren’t hard enough keeping your house safe from debt collectors these days, now you have something else to worry about: a falling German satellite called ROSAT. The German Aerospace Center has estimated that the hunk of decommissioned, extra-orbital metal will enter the atmosphere sometime between 7:30pm ET tonight and 1:30am ET tomorrow. It’s unknown whether any of the thing will survive re-entry, but the 1.7 ton telescope mirror onboard very well may, striking the surface at a hasty 17,398MPH. The agency doesn’t know where it will fall, but did reassuringly say that it won’t hit Europe — German scientists basically telling the rest of the world to spend all night worrying while they doze away, peacefully. At least it won’t be taking any of its orbital brethren with it…
Downloaders of the Windows 8 Developer Preview have been proving their mettle the best way they know how: by getting it to run on systems it was never really intended for. Brent and the folks at Codesnack win the Real Utility trophy for their successful Boot Camp installs. Josh Blake gets the Damn I Look Good By Candlelight trophy for making the OS run on the MS Surface in his living room. Meanwhile, Marcin Grygiel has awarded himself the I’m HARDCORE!!! title for somehow getting it to run on a PC with just 128MB. Treat yourself to some intimate video evidence after the break.
Long since gone are the days of sitting at the breakfast table, drinking a cup of coffee and sharing the Sunday paper… or are they? The New York Time’s R&D Lab is developing a “kitchen table” based-on Microsoft Surface touchscreen technology, designed to take individuals that are normally face down in their iPads, back to the table for a more social way to consume and share content. The display gives multiple readers the opportunity to sit at the table and interact, with options to share across the surface by swiveling and enlarging images or articles. The Times envisions that it will also be a mode of discovery, where users could get more information on a certain product by placing it on the table to find prices and related NYT articles, which could also an interesting method for advertising — just be careful where you put that Starbucks cup.
Sydney’s nsquared is calling it “Seamless Computing” — software which unifies Windows Phone 7,Surface, Windows 7 Slate and Kinect. Begin designing a new home on your phone and then place it on the Surface to share between all the devices, then pick up the Slate to make some modifications before walking through a 3D model of the building, navigating with Kinect’s gesture interface. Software like AirPlay and Touch to Share already give you a taste for this sort of tech, but the experience that Dr. Neil Roodyn demonstrates in the video below is far more immersive — not to mention unspeakably cool.
Microsoft hasn’t exactly set the market ablaze with Surface, but Pioneer still wants its share of the extremely limited action. The company’s Surface competitor, the WWS-DT101 Discussion Table, we spotted back in December is finally coming to market this July… in Japan anyway. Up top is a 52-inch, 1920
Imagine you are so rich you want your own underwater pleasure vehicle, and you don’t mind dropping what is likely to be a boatload of cash get it, today may be your lucky, lucky day. A company called Raonhaje has developed the EGO mini-submarine which floats atop the water, but which boasts a submersible capsule for passengers to check out what’s going on beneath the surface. Sounds intriguing, right? Sure does! The relatively eco-friendly EV vehicle cruises at just less than five knots for four hours on a full charge. There are no details on price yet, but we expect it will be quite a lot. Video of the rendered model is after the break.
It’s practicality may be a bit questionable until folks actually start using Surfaces in their homes, but Amnesia Razorfish has now produced a rather unique way to share content between your smartphone and Microsoft’s would-be household device. The basic idea is fairly simple: just place your smartphone (or tablet) on the Surface, and then simply drag photos and other documents directly onto the device (where you can also, incidentally, preview them instantly). Exactly how that’s done isn’t clear, but the company says the so-called “Connect” system “utilizes a range of technologies including WiFi, Bluetooth, proximity detection, unique ID and phone accelerometer, depending on the type of phone and location.” Somewhat ironically, the system only works with iOS devices at the moment, but Amnesia Razorfish says it’s hard at work on bringing it to Android, Windows Phone, and BlackBerry as well. Head on past the break for the video.
Update: The lead developer on Amnesia Connect just chimed in to let us know that the system doesn’t actually use Bluetooth, and that it relies on a parallel Tcp- and Udp-Socket connection to get the screen syncing “as close as possible to realtime.” Any devices simply need to join the open WiFi network created by the Surface and then launch the app.
CES 2011 is a rat-infested place, and Genius has had a hand in it. With three new special mouse producs unveiled, they’re making sure barely anybody know what species of mice these are.
The Ring mouse, for example, takes the control surface of the surface altogether. It can be worn around a finger, has two buttons, but I can’t quite figure out how the control surface works – or if there even is one. Looks like it would be a snap to control presentations with it, but not much else. Wireless pen mouse? Yes, that would be the.. Pen Mouse. It works just like a stylus would on a tablet, only there’s no tablet involved. And to make it save energy, when not in use, it goes into sleep mode.
Not to go unnoticed in the devices-with-snazzy-names category, Genius made the Navigator 905 Vogue, which has to be the fanciest name for a mouse, ever. It has BlueEye technology, instead of the usual optical sensor used for wireless mice.
Microsoft was showing Surface 2 discreetly behind closed doors (even folks at the MS booth didn’t know about it, lol) and this second edition has been built in partnership with Samsung (we’re talking about the hardware only). So what’s new? Well, the new surface is less bulky and it looks arguably a lot better than the first iteration. Samsung did a good job with the display. The screen resolution is 1080p (1920×1080), which is pretty much the best that you can get for a display this size (40″).
Surface 2 now runs under Windows 7, which should make things a whole lot easier/convenient for developers, so with a bit of luck, apps shouldn’t be a problem whenever Surface 2 becomes a consumer product that’s somewhat affordable (it’s $7600 right now). My first request would be to have a TV guide/remote for my Media Center.
It’s also great if there are more than one person using it: this Samsung LCD display supports up to 50 multi-touch points. that’s a whole lot of busy fingers on a table. In short, Surface 2 has gotten a whole lot cheaper (it used to cost tens of thousands), thinner, sexier, and more developer friendly. photos and movie courtesy of Giiks.com
Microsoft’s Surface table computers never quite filled the lobbies of hotels and theme parks like we’d hoped, but the next-gen Surface is totally redesigned: smaller, maybe cheaper, and using a new touch technology that’s pretty gnarly.
Like the old Surface, it’s using infrared for touch detection, but now it’s using “pixel sense” technology, so effectively every pixel is like a little tiny camera. Meaning it can do crazy shit like you see above—that’s a sheet of paper sitting on the Surface. Obviously, there’s a lot of possibilities there, from insanely detailed touch detection to something like a living surface that’s more in tune to what it’s interacting with. The whole process is GPU accelerated, and it’s open for developers to tap and come up with even wilder uses.
The whole rig is built by Samsung, and under the hood it’s now a regular Windows PC instead of custom hardware—just shoved in a four-inch thick surface. Which is, believe it or not, a more lithe package than before, which was literally table-sized. On top is a giant sheet of Gorilla Glass, the largest touchable one yet.
It’s still nothing you should expect to bring into your living room unless you’re Bill Gates’ cousin, but it’s nice knowing that Microsoft is still trying to make it happen.