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The future of commuting: Toyota Fun-Vii

Posted by Andrey Malskiy Categories: Science, Transportation,

We’re all attached to our vehicles one way or another. They’re an extension of ourselves. With all that said, would you be willing to give up driving?

Now, we're not talking about giving up your car and relying on public transportation. Rather, we're talking about the general act of driving, controlling the speed of your vehicle, changing directions with a gripped steering wheel and the like. For many this might sound sci-fi-ish, but for manufactures like Toyota, it’s a concept for the near-distant future.

The Toyota Fun-Vii is a vehicle like no other. It allows the user to completely customize the vehicle to their choosing, be it to match their shoes or personality. The Fun-Vii concept allows the driver to place the vehicle into auto-drive, following a set route to preplanned destination. While the vehicle is in motion, passengers are immersed a fully customizable multimedia experience. Furthermore, the vehicle acts like a social hub. It can be used as a racing simulator or as a concert back drop for DJs.

Though it will be interesting seeing this vehicle on the road, there is no set date yet; other than the project release date of 20XX. So, you know, sometime in the next 89 years.


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Mercedes-Benz introduces DICE concept for in-vehicle gesture controls

Posted by Andrey Malskiy Categories: CES, CES 2012, Transportation, Videos,

 

By now you're all familiar with Kinect for Xbox 360. Kinect allows users to interact with the video game using hand and body gestures, as well as through voice commands. Though it’s still a relatively new concept, the same technology is slowly migrating into vehicles.

Mercedes-Benz debuted its gesture controls, known as Dynamic and Intuitive Control Experience or DICE, at CES 2012. DICE functions by using proximity sensors located within the interior of a vehicle, allowing the user to scroll and select a variety of functions. A highlight of DICE is the ability to select locations on the map instead of searching for them by name. DICE also always users to connect with friends, find information on local business around you, read text messages and control all your basic functions from car temperature to rocking beats.

The main issue with the system, as seen in the video, is the location of the driver. Though there are proximity sensors in the car, there is no set location of where the driver needs to be; often this creates issues for the system recognizing your gesture. Furthermore, there is an issue with safety. Driving is not a controlled environment—yet. There are too many ‘eyes on the road’ scenarios using DICE, often distracting drivers from focusing on the task at hand. Though this is only a concept idea, Mercedes-Benz says it’ll be another 20 years before the production version hits the streets, giving Mercedes-Benz plenty of time to work out the kinks.

Read More | Autoblog

WVIL: The amazing future camera concept

Posted by Andrey Malskiy Categories: Cameras, Design, Videos,

The WVIL (which stands for Wireless Viewfinder Interchangeable Lens) camera is one of our favorite gadgets from CES 2012, it's just too bad that it's just a concept and not actually real. Still, the concept alone is genius! If you're crazy about photography--or just cool gadgetry in general--this will statisfy your thirst. What you see is a camera with a removeable lens and viewfinder, which allows you to place the lens anyway, while controlling the viewfinder like you would any other mobile phone or tablet device. Meanwhile, we'll try to get ahold of Artefact, the company behind the concept, as they happen to be stationed here in Seattle. We've got one more video after the jump that shows what the camera would look like in a real-world scenario, but don't let it fool you! This is a meticulously planned out demo that isn't actually real. Still, cool concept.

Click to continue reading WVIL: The amazing future camera concept


Domino’s vows to deliver pizza on the moon

Posted by Andru Edwards Categories: Misc. Tech, Science,

Domino's on the MoonAccording to the Japanese branch of Domino's Pizza, the company says it will have a branch affiliate on the moon at an undetermined time in the future.

"We started thinking about this project last year, although we have not yet determined when the restaurant might open," said Tomohide Matsunaga, a spokesman for Domino's in Japan.

"In the future, we anticipate there will be many people living on the moon, astronauts who are working there and, in the future, citizens of the moon."

Click to continue reading Domino’s vows to deliver pizza on the moon


Bleeding Edge TV 383: How Ford SYNC Emergency Assistance will use GPS to break language barriers

In this episode we give you a look at the upcoming Ford SYNC Emergency Assistance feature, that is able to assist you even in areas where the native language is different than your own. It works by using GPS and cell tower locations to determine where you are in the event of an emergency. If SYNC knows you speak English, but you happen to need help in an area that speaks French, you will be contacted in English on your end, and SYNC will communicate to the responder in French, so that you can get the help you need.

Check out a video for a demo from #ForwardWithFord, which took place in Detroit, MI.

Big thank you to JackThreads for sponsoring the show - be sure to check them out, we've got exclusive invite codes that give you $5 to use towards anything you'd like.


Airbus says that by 2050 we’ll have transparent planes and biometric boarding passes

Posted by Andru Edwards Categories: Science, Transportation, Videos,

If you've ever been cheated out of a window seat on a flight, you'll appreciate the concept plane Airbus just revealed at an airshow in Paris. In its vision of what air travel might be like in 2050, the aircraft manufacturer showed a plane with a transparent fuselage, giving all passengers a panoramic view of what's outside.

"The idea is to have a technology for the fuselage that's a bit like bones of birds that allows to have large spaces that can turn transparent, in order to look outside and 'live' the panorama in which you are flying," Charles Champion, Airbus' head of engineering, told London's Telegraph (see video below).

Airbus didn't hold back its designers' imaginations in conceiving features for the future plane. Besides a see-through hull that would make Wonder Woman consider a copyright infringement lawsuit, the concept aircraft would also discard the traditional class system of first, business, and economy. Instead, the Airbus from the future would have three zones: a Vitalizing Zone, with "organically grown" seats that can massage you; a recreational Interaction Zone, with pop-up "pods" for things like private dinners and a holographic gaming wall; and a Smart Tech Zone, where the seats adapt perfectly to individuals' size and shape.

Click to continue reading Airbus says that by 2050 we’ll have transparent planes and biometric boarding passes


Ford to produce smart cars that warn each other of an impending collision

Posted by Andru Edwards Categories: Transportation,

ford smart car dsrc

Ford brought a small fleet of intelligent vehicles to San Francisco to showcase a technology that the company expects will be mainstream in about five years, from most automakers.

Two Ford Focus cars and a Ford Expedition were equipped with a technology called Dedicated Short-Range Communications (DSRC), which basically serves as a car-to-car wireless connection that currently serves as a crash avoidance system in Ford's implementation, and as a wireless toll collection mechanism overseas. Eventually, it could even be used for entertainment purposes.

Although Ford demonstrated the technology in a parking lot outside of AT&T Park, the company isn't alone in developing the technology. Ford, General Motors, Nissan, Honda, Toyota, Volkswagen, Audi, Mercedes, Hyundai, and Kia are all working together, plus truck, bus, and motorcycle companies, said Mike Shulman, the technical leader in Ford's Active Safety Research and Innovation department.

"Next year, we're doing a model deployment in a city where there will be thousands of equipped vehicles and trucks and buses all sending out these messages, and then the goal in 2013 is to start a regulation that will require this on all vehicles. Then, maybe consumer electronics companies would start designing products that could be retrofitted onto existing cars, because everyone sees the potential," Shulman said.

"Maybe five years from now, cars will be equipped with this," Shulman added.

Click to continue reading Ford to produce smart cars that warn each other of an impending collision


Will Facebook and Google still be relevant in 10 years?

Posted by Patrick Lambert Categories: Features, Social Media,

facebook google future

As the last decade ends and a new one begins, it may be interesting to look at what has happened so far on the web, and what it means for the next 10 years. In a time when Facebook is everywhere, now reported to be valued at $50 billion, having raised $500 million recently and being expected to raise another $1.5 billion in the coming months, it's hard to remember what it was like in the year 2000. The tech bubble had just burst, a lot of web sites had gone down in flames, the Y2K bug proved to be nothing, and Windows 98 was still the dominant operating system. Google was something few people knew about, using instead Altavista and Yahoo. Social media was a mostly unknown concept. Just think of what the world was without smartphones and connectivity everywhere. In just 10 years, technology changed so fast, especially online, that it's hard to wrap our heads around it. Let's take it one domain at a time.

Click to continue reading Will Facebook and Google still be relevant in 10 years?


PS4 won’t be download only; digital future still a decade away

Posted by John Kilhefner Categories: Culture, PlayStation 3, Sony,

PS4Usually around this time in a console’s lifespan we would already be knee deep in talks about the succeeding console, if not already playing it in our homes. However, with the constant updates and improved network capabilities the need for a new console every five years is no longer necessary. Though, Sony’s Kaz Hirai did mutter some words about the eventual Playstation 4 system, stating that a “digital future is over ten years away”, and the PS4 will definitely not be a download only console à la PSP Go. Hirai noted that this is because “we do business in parts of the world where network infrastructure isn’t as robust as one would hope, [and] there’s always going to be a requirement for a business of our size and scope to have a physical medium.”

Read More | Eurogamer

Hologram broadcast a reality in ten years?

Posted by John Kilhefner Categories: Broadband, Editorial, Internet, Science,

Cortana Hologram

Imagine, if you will, sitting in the local coffee shop waiting for your ever so tardy girlfriend to show up before your lunch break ends. Suddenly, she is right in front of you, only not in the way you had hoped. It’s a hologram, beaming straight from your cellphone right before your eyes. Her digital representative a fully rendered three dimensional image of her informing you that she will be there in 5 minutes. No, this is not science fiction - it’s the future. And the future is eye popping.

With the demands of technology growing by the second, our everyday bandwidth needs are increasing exponentially. Cisco and Verizon are both anticipating a quadruple increase in bandwidth requirements by the year 2014! This tremendous surge in our bandwidth needs can be attributed largely in part to the burgeoning 3D television market, as well as the growing use of streaming HD video.

Click to continue reading Hologram broadcast a reality in ten years?

Read More | Cnet

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