Philips and Apple’s ambilight technology appeared on the market already some years ago and despite it’s incredible cool design Philips and Apple are going a little bit further by introducing Hue light bulbs. Hue light bulbs are directly connected and can be controlled by your mobile iPhone or iPad. The user is able to create light settings based on favourite photos, or to choose from expert light recipes to help you relax or concentrate, or even set timers to help you wake up and pace your day. According to it’s direct control and its flexible lighning settings there will surely be countless application possibilities for this new Philips Hue bulbs in a makers home. All you need to start connecting your home’s lightning scenes is to buy a Philips Apple Hue Starter Kit which comes with a bridge and three bulbs and costs 199$ within the Apple store.
Today, i received one of the first samples of the new Arduino Educational Starter Kits by RS and i have to admit that beside it’s cool design this educational starter kit is one of the most exiting collections of electronics i have ever tested. It comes in combination with an Arduino Projects Book that gives a detailed description of each Arduino experiment on more than 170 pages. For each project, Massimo Banzi, co-founder of Arduino gives an online video instruction, in which he explains the details. The tutorials start from the very beginning, how to set up your Arduino development environment and explain in simple incremental steps how to build more complex examples, that include all kinds of sensors, motors and even a LCD display (all part of the Arduino Starter Kit).
The entire Arduino Starter kit really contains an impressive collection of electronic components and all parts you need to start immediately. It consists of following major parts:
- Arduino Projects Book
- Arduino UNO Board
- USB Cable
- Wooden base
- Jumper Wires
- Temperature sensor
- Tilt sensor
- LCD screen 16×2 characters
- Lots of LEDs
- DC Motor
- Servo Motor
- H-bridge motor driver
- Diodes and resistors
Here are some pictures i took during the unboxing of the Arduino Starter Kit.
Today, the new version 2.0 MobileVNC was released! MobileVNC now comes with full Win32 support and Websocket HTML5 client included (noVNC). MobileVNC implements a tiny, copy to install, VNC server that offers remote control for your Windows CE and Win32 based devices. The range of supported devices ranges from mobile barcode scanners, Point-Of-Sales terminals, industrial terminals and smartphones. The MobileVNC server offers tiny footprint and low prices (9.95€ for full commercial license/device). MobileVNC represents an easy solution for remote control and maintenance of a large number of distributed Point-Of-Sales (POS) or logistics terminals.
Txtr, one of the leading European ebook marketplaces, recently announced txtrbeagle a low end external eInk reading device. By offering no cable connection, no WLAN and only Bluetooth to connect to a specific Smartphone-App that converts and transmits books in raw image format, the txtrbeagle dispenses a powerful CPU as well as power consumpting multimedia features. This low energy strategy allows extremly long periods of operation with just two AAA batteries and a price around 10 Euro. txtrbeagle offers a resolution of 800×600 and an internal 4GB storage, which is enough for storing 5 books in raw image format. According to it’s extreme low price as well as it’s easy connectability to smartphones, several companies already announced ideas to use txtrbeagle as external eInk display for various application scenarios.
Today, the Windows Mobile mountain bike cockpit app MoMo was published under the Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported (CC BY-SA 3.0) license, that allows you to share and remix the original MoMo Biking Cockpit under the condition of attributation to the author. The Biking Cockpit was written in C# and offers a useful feature set for tracking your biking routes and to export these routes in various open formats, such as standard CSV and KML. The biking cockpit also gives you a good overview on actual stats of your ride, such as speed, travelled distance and altitude diagram:
In the recent MobileVNC release, the Windows CE and Windows Mobile based VNC server software solution added support for HTML5 viewers. In fact, MobileVNC added the popular Kanaka noVNC viewer. The Windows CE VNC server opens a tiny HTTP server and serves this HTML5 based noVNC viewer. The user just has to open a Web Browser that supports HTML5 (e.g. Chrome) and view the Windows CE device right away out of his Browser. A detailed description of this new HTML5 feature can be found here.
California-based Double Robotics has published a self balancing Telepresence Robot Double balances an iPad on top in order to enable people to virtually visit museums anywhere worldwide. By connecting to this Double telepresence robot you can perform a museum tour by actually driving and looking around with your telepresence avatar robot. This could also be a great device for virtual meetings or telepresence tours/visits in companies and between project teams. The robot is able to move around and to elevate the iPad at the normal height of your eyes in order to get a good overview. By using the camera, microphone and speaker a remote conversation with other real or telepresence avatars is possible. The robot contains a battery that lasts for a tour of around 8 hours, which is quite enough to nearly visit any museum, except maybe The Louvre or the Vatican Museam in which you barely scrap the surface with an 8 hour visit 😉
Connecting Light is a sensor networked, digital art installation along Hadrian’s Wall World Heritage Site. The Connecting Light installation consists of hundreds of large-scale, light-filled balloons transmitting colors from one-to-another, creating a communication network spanning over seventy miles. Visitors are invited to send messages to this sensor networked light balloon chain along the wall. The installation is open to the public from Friday, August 31st to Saturday, September 1st.
A clever move by Samsung, after they lost over a billion$ to Apple in court, is to spread Google’s Open Source Android operating system to as many different devices as possible. One of these devices was published this week in form of a new Samsung Galaxy Camera. Samsung is the next big vendor after Nikon and Polaroid that publishes an Android based Camera device. Samsung Galaxy Camera offers a 16 magapixel cmos chip and 21x optical zoom. Samsung Galaxy Camera already ships with the recent Android version Jelly Bean 4.1.
Due to the fact that Android offers access to a large amount of software and apps, the Samsung Galaxy Camera offers a collection of software features, such as to allow users to organize their photos in folders directly on the camera.
Here is another nice example for a visual Internet map by Ruslan Enikeev, who visualizes the Internet nodes of different countries and regions as galaxies of stars. The distance between these stars, model a bi-dimensional presentation of links between websites on the Internet. Every site is a circle on the map, and its size is determined by website traffic, the larger the amount of traffic, the bigger the circle. The Internet map is a non-commercial project. Its main goal is to let the people see beauty of the Internet:
Another really famous visualization of the Internet’s backbone structure was created by Stephen G. Eick from Bell Laboratories in 1993:
The arc map displays a 3D network structure as arcs curving smoothly above a flat map of the world. The data being visualized is Internet traffic flows between fifty countries, as measured by the NSFNET backbone in 1993. The colour, thickness and height of the arcs is used to encode the traffic statistics for particular inter-country links. The arcs are also partially translucent so as not to completely obscure lines at the back of the map, while their height above the base map is in relation to total volume of traffic flowing over a link. This has the effect of making the most important (high traffic) links, the highest and therefore most visually prominent on the map. The user has considerable interactive control over the arc map, for example the arc height scaling and translucency can be varied. The map can also be rotated and scaled, so that the user can view it from any angle.
One really cool example by Felix Heinen, it was his final year work in information design, shows the the variety and attitudes of members from an internet community like Facebook. In a first visualization he shows the functions each member uses as well as additional demographic information. The second visualization shows a geographic orientation where the members of a community are located worldwide:
The book ‘Visual Complexity’ by Manuel Lima combines design and complexity to explain the art of information and knowledge extraction out of graphical visualizations. Visual Complexity presents one hundred of the most interesting examples of information-visualization by the field’s leading practitioners. Many popular examples try to visualize Internet or social graph related aspecs, such as traffic, site links or even social connection between a huge amount of nodes.
Manuel’s Web site Visual Complexity shows hundreds of different examples for large scale data visualizations, such as social graphs, nike running tracks, research networks, technology connections, wikipedia edits during global crisis and incredibly more: