The emergence of holograms

Holo3A hologram ‘machine’, described as “the world’s biggest holographic display”, will soon be available to customers who may want one. Engage Production has just announced it will be distributing Holo, which creates 360 degree holograms which can be controlled with gestures.

Holo, a development of the 400 year old ‘Pepper’s Ghost’ illusion, is a 2.4 metre high, diamond-shaped device that was designed by Terence Conran and devised by London-based company Beagle Media. Continue reading

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The world of 2014 by Isaac Asimov

Blue swirlI was thrilled to find this gem by the New York Times on Twitter: someone asked American Sci-Fi author Isaac Asimov, who had visited the New York World’s Fair of 1964, to project his brilliant mind into the future and describe the world of 2014.

The world of 2014 he describes is at times terrifyingly familiar, at times farcical, scarily accurate yet bathed in the threats of thermonuclear warfare and lacking the lifesource of all things modern: the internet.

Setting aside my disappointment about the lack of under-water cities, hover-cars, moon colonies and IBM’s ‘robot-maid’ that could pick my clothes up from their happy storage space on my bedroom floor, here are top 2014 technology trends predicted by Asimov. Continue reading

#CES: 4KTV with glasses-free 3D

StreamTVUHDStream TV is introducing consumer-ready 4KTVs with Ultra-D glasses-free 3D technology at CES 2014. Of the various sizes to be brought to market by the company’s brand partners in 2014, the 50” and 55” models will be on display this week.

Some of the TVs will be accompanied by the seeCube-4K, an external device that converts a wide range of content, be it 2D or 3D stereoscopic sources, to 2160p glasses-free 3D in real time.

Stream TV says it has successfully ported its real-time conversion technology to the new Qualcomm 8074 processor and a second version of the TV will carry the conversion technology built into a chip, which it hopes will significantly reduce costs.

The Ultra-D technology converts 1080p/2 million pixel content into a 4K/8 million pixel viewing experience. Users can connect their satellite or cable service, VOD, Blu-ray player, Xbox or PlayStation, as well as watch Internet content from Netflix, Hulu, YouTube, Baidu TV, PPStv, iQYi tv, Totou TV and other video sites with ease.

Mathu Rajan, CEO of Stream TV Networks, commented: “There’s a lack of 4K content out there, but by generating millions of new pixels with depth information, we truly take advantage of what a 4K screen can offer.”

#CES: Introducing Roku TV

RokuThe Roku TV smart TV was announced today in advance of the 2014 CES show. The company plans to license the new reference design platform and software stack to manufacturers to build and distribute Roku TV models. TCL and Hisense are the first partners, with first demos expected today.

Roku TV says it is removing the complicated layers and menus that plague existing smart TV set-ups and give consumers a home screen that centralises all content sources: live programming, streaming, music.

Roku TVs can be controlled by a TV remote or a mobile device using the Roku app for iOS or Android. It supports modern casting standards including DIAL, which streams content from a mobile device to the TV.

TV manufacturers will receive the Roku TV reference platform complete with TV and remote control design as well as software and support. Like their Roku streaming player counterparts, Roku TVs will have full access to the Roku Channel Store filled with more than 1,200 channels that offer 31,000 movies and feature TV shows and live sports plus news, music, kids, food, science, tech, fitness, foreign language and other programming

#CES: quirky tech gadgets for 2014!

With the world’s biggest consumer tech show, CES, starting tomorrow in Las Vegas, there’s a lot of buzz about the latest phablets, screens, giant TVs and smartphones that may or may not, for the first time, cook you a full Irish breakfast with ketchup on the side.

But the beauty of CES sometimes lies in the more unusual announcements to be found in the bright lights of Vegas this week. I’ve picked a handful of the more intriguing ones to help us start January smiling:

The toothbrush that tells it like it is

KolibreeJust when you thought a toothbrush was one of the last straightforward, non-tech devices in your home, Kolibree steps in to analyse your brushing habits and display them on a mobile dashboard you can access from your phone.

Download the free mobile app, connect via Bluetooth and record every brushing. The data will then tell you if you brushed long enough and reached various parts of your teeth and gums. The app can be used solo or as a family to encourage the younger ones to brush their teeth properly for points.

For those who would enjoy a little coaching at the sink from Q3 2014, the price of Kolibree will range from $99 to $200 depending on the model including a free mobile app.

The chic hard-drive to make you go ‘oh-la-la

Lovers of beautiful objects will be keen to get their hands on the new silver-plated hard drive by LaCie and luxury brand Christofle. Following a first collaboration that produced the Galet USB key, the new object called the Sphère is a handcrafted hard drive enclosed in a spherical case of silver-plated steel through a manual plating process.

The 1TB hard drive connects to a computer through a single USB 3.0 cable that also powers the hard drive and connects to LaCie’s software suite. Continue reading