iCandy February 2011: Tech's Medical, Musical, and Mobile Muses
Innovations for improving the way we see the brain, play music, stay connected, and travel
You didn’t need a ticket to witness the 28 January performance of the New World Symphony at the New World Center in Miami Beach. The sounds of the orchestra were pumped into the evening air via 167 speakers while video of the performance was projected onto a 650-square-meter wall at an adjacent outdoor gathering space.
Photo: Michael McElroy/The New York Times/Redux
Pretty soon, we’ll be hearing admonitions against drinking and downloading. At its booth at the 2011 International Consumer Electronics Show in January, Nvidia showed off a gaming computer that also dispensed beer. The beer-keg computer, which contains two Nvidia GeForce graphics cards and an Intel Sandybridge processor chip, can quench gamers’ thirst with 9.5 liters of ale.
Photo: Robyn Beck/AFP/Getty Images
This menacing shark looks poised to devour the woman in its path, but it’s just a terrifyingly lifelike image on the world’s largest 3-D video display. The 200-inch monitor, created by engineers at Japan’s National Institute of Information and Communications Technology in Kyoto, allows viewers to see images in 3-D without wearing special glasses.
Photo: Kyodo/AP Photo
The guy in the blue shirt isn’t really there. “Graham” is one of two holographic announcers at the airport in Luton, a London suburb, that instruct passengers on what to do when passing through the airport’s security checkpoint. The aim is to usher them through the line more quickly.
Photo: Leon Neal/AFP/Getty Images
The multitouch screen on the Kitara digital guitar from Misa Digital Instruments, in Hong Kong, displays strings that a user can touch to make musical notes. The screen also doubles as the user interface for switching among the 100 sounds and six preprogrammed sound effects made by its synthesizer. The all-aluminum version shown sells for US $2900.
Photo: Robyn Beck/AFP/Getty Images
Imagine Google Maps for your brain. That’s sort of what researchers at Eindhoven University of Technology, in the Netherlands, have created with a software tool that converts MRI scans into 3-D images. Maps of the brain’s neural highways will help doctors in several ways, among them a more precise placement of electrodes for deep brain stimulation to suppress the seizures and tremors associated with Parkinson’s disease.
Photo:Image: Eindhoven University of Technology
Powered by the solar panels on its roof, this shipping container becomes a mobile Internet café with 11 seats. The portable computing center, which links to the Web via cellphone, is part of Computer Aid International’s effort to make information available in areas such as Nairobi, Kenya, where this photo was taken.
Photo: Tony Karumba/AFP/Getty Images
Talk about a rich media experience! Sony Ericsson’s new smartphone, the Xperia X10, can snap a picture of an image in a magazine, use image recognition software from NTT Comware to identify a person in your photo, and automatically pull up video in which that person is featured.
Photo: Karyn Poupee/AFP/Getty Images
Seems that snails are the new canaries. To track the health effects of fumes from an incinerator that burns sewage residue on the outskirts of St. Petersburg, Russia, the snails have been fitted with heart monitors and motion sensors. The mollusks, with respiratory systems comparable to those of humans, are living, breathing components of the incinerator’s exhaust monitoring system.