The One Laptop Per Child program was started at MIT and features truly innovative and inexpensive designs, meant to make technology accessible to everyone, and put laptops in the hands of children and communities in developing countries, and rural areas all over the world. The program, backed by Red Hat and Google, would make use of bleeding edge innovations in the technology world, including wireless broadband, DVD capability, and flash memory instead of a hard drive. And, it’s electricity-optional, since it charges with a manual crank, not unlike some emergency flashlights and similar items.
The proposed $100 machine will be a Linux-based, with a dual-mode display—both a full-color, transmissive DVD mode, and a second display option that is black and white reflective and sunlight-readable at 3× the resolution. The laptop will have a 500MHz processor and 128MB of DRAM, with 500MB of Flash memory; it will not have a hard disk, but it will have four USB ports. The laptops will have wireless broadband that, among other things, allows them to work as a mesh network; each laptop will be able to talk to its nearest neighbors, creating an ad hoc, local area network. The laptops will use innovative power (including wind-up) and will be able to do most everything except store huge amounts of data.
This project should be one to watch - it’s great to see technology being put to a use that can contribute to the greater good.
Read More | One Laptop Per Child
The iVod Video Crystal is the latest high-end iPod case from our friends over at Vaja. Available in ten unique color combinations (for both the leather and the crystals,) the iVod Video Crystal is a sturdy leather case for your 5G iPod or iPod nano. These cases feature Swarovski crystals encrusted into the leather, a leather strap with silver appliques, padded interior, and access cutouts enabling the usage of all ports and touch functions. Of course, glamor does come at a price - in this case, $340 USD.
Read More | iVod Video Crystal Customization Page
Motorola has announced that the PEBL will be available in four new colors. If black just isn’t your thing, you will soon have the pleasure of choosing from pink, green, blue, or (what we like to refer to as) Gear Live orange. Naturally, we expected to see a pink version, just because Motorola seems to want to make sure all of their unique phones have a version for the female demographic (see pink SLVR) - but seeing the other colors announced actually pleases us.
We’ve gone from pink to “whoa” - leveraging our leadership in color and design to make the PEBL expressive and refreshing. This is a product you choose because you want it, not because you need it.” says Jim Wicks, Motorola VP and Director of Consumer Experience Design.
File this under “weird-but-cool.” Most of the time, tomatoes are notoriously hard to grow. However, the Upside Down Tomato Garden could change that - and it looks “space age” at the same time.
This ingenious planter takes the toil out of growing tomatoes by elevating the planting bed and allowing your vines to grow downward from holes in the bottom.
And, as a bonus, the top side of the planter can be used to grow herbs, flowers, or anything else you might think of putting up there.
Read More | Hammacher Schlemmer
Amazing in it’s simplicity, here’s a suprisingly innovative solution for keeping your plants happy and healthy. Not exactly “high tech” but it does add a certain “steampunk” or “cyber” look to your indoor garden, with all that hose.
This device automatically waters up to 20 plants for up to 40 days without the need for a spigot or power outlet. Up to 20 drippers attach to a 32’ PVC hose that runs from the systems reservoir to your plants and then back again; a single dripper placed in each plant takes care of watering, or you can use several drippers in larger plants. A washable polyamide filter removes rust, dirt, and other impurities so drippers wont clog.
It sells for $99.95 at Hammacher Schlemmer.
Read More | Hammacher Schlemmer
Watercooling was once a niche market enjoyed only by those with a knack for tinkering, but in the last year or so has begun to invade the mainstream. Even Intel has taken notice and decided to get in on the action with their Advanced Liquid Cooling prototype. The cooler was designed by enthusiasts in Intel’s engineering department, who would like to see the company shy away from their current view toward overclocking (that it’s evil). The team wanted a watercooler that was robust, reliable and efficient enough for mainstream use and that differed from current kits on the market, which were viewed as complex and flimsy.
What they came up with was a centrifugal pump that uses a brushless DC motor, a CPU block with a copper core, and a radiator cooled by a 120mm fan. All of the items are tied together with solid metal tubing, with the pump residing on top of the CPU block. Everyone has their own opinions as to the optimal location of the pump in a watercooling loop, but apparently this design works well for Intel. Their test system, which houses a 3.8GHz EE CPU, was overclocked to 5.01GHz. Although we have no idea what the ambient temperature was during the test, the CPU remained stable at 62 degrees Celsius which is well within spec limits.
Intel is looking to have the cooler go from prototype stage to actual production, and because commonly available parts were used to build it, they expect it to sell for less than $50 USD. Watercooling enthusiasts may argue design specifics and compromises made, but watercooling for the masses is a notable goal.
Read More | Bit-Tech
The Square Eclipse is a wall light that uses a series of LEDs to provide illumination. Control is exerted over the lighting scheme with a micro-controller, which can cause its cluster of 24 full spectrum LEDs to display a dizzying array of colors for your enjoyment. The lights move in a pattern suggestive of an eclipse and to quote Orange22, “shift the focus from the center of the object to it’s perimeter.” Considered to be a Limited Edition, each light is signed by the designer and carries a price tag to reflect the intended eliteness. $3000 USD of eliteness to be exact.
When a non-electric toothbrush calls for a product review, you know something about it has to be special, right? Well, just trust us. We have taken the OHSO Marko travel toothbrush and put it through the paces to show what a little ingenious, outside-the-box thinking can add to a practice that we didn’t expect to see much innovation come in to. If you ever have to go somewhere where you think you might need your toothbrush, we tell you why the OHSO is the only solution you will ever need to that problem.
What’s ugly as can be, has 8 wheels, and goes from zero to sixty miles per hour in 4.2 seconds? It’s Eliica, the $260,000 electric-powered vehicle built by the Keio University in Tokyo. Eliica has been around for a while, but it’s state-of-the-art as it uses nothing but Li-Ion batteries for power and can achieve a top speed of 230mph with a range of 185 miles (obviously not at top speed). For a bit of flair, Eliica even sports gull wing doors. Obviously a case of excess in every way, but it’s interesting to see what can be done with a little know-how and a lot of money. More details can be found on Eliica’s official bog, provided of course you can read Japanese.
Seiko Instruments has produced a working prototype of thier TR-006 Bluetooth watch; a watch that should probably be sent back to the drawing board for re-design. Seriously, the size of this thing is huge, and while the guy (whose arm appears in the picture above) looks malnourished and underfed, there’s no getting around the watch’s massive dimensions. On the upside, the watch can display your phone’s signal strength, Caller ID information for incoming calls, SMS messages and more. Pre-set rings are available to alert you to the aforementioned calls and messages and for when a bit of quiet is needed, it can vibrate as well.
If you’re into having large objects strapped to your arms,
then the TR-006 might be right up your alley.