Monday, January 31, 2005

Wackiest of What's New

We see so many interesting, useful and creative gadgets that sometimes it's refreshing to see something that's just complete bunk. We were blessed with the arrival of two such products this year from Japanese toymaker Takara, both variations on a theme--the Bow-Lingual, which promises to translate your dog's woofs into words, and the Meow-Lingual, which does the same for cats. True breakthroughs in these areas would have been a worldwide sensation, of course, sparking furious debate and ushering in a new speaking class of domestic animals. These products did no such thing. Indeed, Sophia Yin, a canine vocal communication researcher who tested the Bow-Lingual by feeding it recorded barks, found that it translated the same set of woofs differently at different times. Alan Beck, director of the Center for the Human-Animal Bond at Purdue University, also dismissed the device as a "silly toy," pointing out that dogs communicate more through body language than vocalization. He also noted that cats are even more complex and rely heavily on olfactory signals. Authenticity notwithstanding, 300,000 Bow-Linguals have been sold in Japan, at approximately $120 apiece. Those who'd like to waste even more money on dubious translators will also want to check out last year's WhyCry baby interpreter.

I new someday that a product like this would come and hopefully work. If it does not, than I feel sorry for all those people wasting hard earned money on a toy. on the other hand if it was proven to translate dog and cat sounds, then I'll be quick to buy, I'd like to know what my dog is saying when he gets yelled at.

Tuesday, January 18, 2005

VisionCare Implantable Miniature Telescope

Here's a blinding statistic: 1.6 million Americans age 50 and older have significant sight loss from age-related macular degeneration (AMD). AMD causes the center of the retina to deteriorate, producing a dark spot in the middle of the victim's visual field. Until now there has been no effective treatment for those with "dry" AMD (the most common form). But the world's first telescope implant, a 45-milligram wonder from VisionCare, replaces the eye's lens, magnifying the central portion of vision so it projects across a larger area of the retina. After the brain and eye adjust to the change, the blind spot shrinks and central vision is markedly improved (at a slight expense to peripheral vision). The telescope is in the final stages of clinical testing.

I think that it is creepy to have a telescope in your eye. As long as it's helping poeple, it does sound like a pretty good idea.

Friday, January 14, 2005


For years, science fiction writers have tempted us with tales of lands that exist only in cyberspace, where you can create a spanking new virtual version of yourself and pursue an alternate existence. After five years of development, There Inc. has opened the virtual doors to such a world, and it makes online chat rooms seem as old as Grandma's Victrola.

Im a big fan of The Sims, which is a computer game where you become someone else and live their life how you want. There, I think is a similar idea but more advanced and probably more realstic feeling when you're there. The price isn't too bad either. Just $20 to regestar and $5 a month. The only bad result of this is that we'll possibly be seeing less people actually socializing in the "outside" world.

Wednesday, January 12, 2005

JVC's GR-HD1 HD Camcorder

JVC's GR-HD1 uses Mini DV tapes and a 1.18-megapixel progressive-scan CCD chip to capture razor-sharp images in widescreen. The top resolution is 720p, which is not the highest available (that would be 1080i), but on a high-definition monitor GR-HD1 video images are so crisp you can count blades of grass on a lawn.

If i had enough money to just go and buy this, I would. Technolgy like this can give people a chance to really unleash their movie making skills or simlpy make high quality home movies. The only disadvantage I can say really, is that you can only record an hours worth of video onto just one mini DV tape.

Wednesday, January 05, 2005

Wave Cannon Wave Parks

"The $250,000 pool will be equipped with ten 30-foot-long, 2-foot-diameter stainless steel tubes that use compressed air to fire pulses of water into the pool, producing a 4-foot surfable break every 5 to 20 seconds."

Although i'm not much for surfing, this new whirlpool wave park might even change my mind. It gives a whole new meaning to wave pool. Unlike the rectangular shape we normally see, the cirlce shape makes it more efficient and doesn't waste energy of the waves.

Splashpower Splashpad

"Now Splashpower's wireless recharging technology lets you charge any compatible portable device by just laying it on a special pad. About the size of a place mat, the SplashPad generates an electromagnetic field, which is picked up by a SplashModule built into each device."

When i saw this article I immediately got excited about this product. What amazed me is that it can charge anything you place on the mat. As long as the charger outlet is about one centimeter from the mat, it'll charge. Hopefully this will be made to be sold in the near future because I could use this a lot at home.