Tag Archives: Gadgets

Build Smart Gadgets Quick and Easy with .NET Gadgeteer

Microsoft .NET Gadgeteer is an open-source toolkit for building small electronic devices using the .NET Micro Framework and Visual Studio or Visual C# Express. This allows embedded and handheld devices to be built and programmed quickly and easily. .NET Gadgeteer was devised by the Sensors and Devices group at Microsoft Research Cambridge. Now, the open-source project is maintained by Microsoft and is intended to enable hardware designers to build and release .NET Gadgeteer-compatible products.

gadgeteer

A .NET Gadgeteer system is composed of a mainboard containing an embedded processor and an array of modules which connect to the mainboard through a simple plug-and-play interface. There are lots of .NET Gadgeteer modules available today: display, camera, networking, storage, input controls, and more. A variety of hardware vendors are building components for .NET Gadgeteer. The first .NET Gadgeteer hardware – Fez Spider kit by GHI Electronics is also available now.

.NET Gadgeteer devices are programmed in C# using the .NET Micro Framework. .NET Micro Framework is an open source platform that expands the power and versatility of .NET to the world of small embedded applications. This allows developers to use their existing knowledge of .NET programming on the desktop, Web or phone to embedded devices.

With a modular hardware architecture and powerful software, .NET Gadgeteer allows even someone with little or no electronics background to build devices made up of components like sensors, lights, switches, displays, communications, motor controllers, and much more. It is a great tool for hobbyists as well as for educators and researchers to quickly develop prototypes.

Dell To Launch 7" Tablet Soon

Looks like the wars is heating up and will have a lot of competition in the coming months. Just within a week of RIM announcing the  Tablet PlayBook, WSJ is reporting that Dell might also launch their own 7" Tablet shortly.

Dell Tablet

According to WSJ, Dell CEO Michael Dell had flashed a 7" tablet at the Oracle conference a week ago, however, there was no release date specified for the tablet.

Dell China President Amit Midha confirmed to WSJ that the tablet would be running , which is becoming a norm for most of the tablets which are going to be released in the holiday season. However, a Dell tablet might be unlikely this holiday season and may be released within the next 6-12 months.

A few weeks ago, bookies were betting that HTC would be the first to release a tablet in 2010, however, announcements like these might boot that odds at risk. Other than that, the Samsung Galaxy Tab is also making quite a few waves in the industry, and it would be interesting to see who wins in this new and open market of Internet tablets.

Apple does have a strong foothold right now because iPad is the only device selling right now, but with introduction of more devices, iPad might lose that initial glory. Also most of the tablet devices that are announced pack in more features than iPad has and might also be lower priced than it.

Back in January I had predicted several internet tablets, though none of them except for iPad are out yet, I am definitely waiting to see which one I get my hands on.

Image Credit: Reuters

Sony Ericsson Unveils LiveView™ for Android Phones

So which one of you saw the strikingly built-for-a-watch-strap iPod nano and exclaimed I WANT!before realizing that it’s not all that great an accessory in real life? How about something similar that is actually a great accessory and works with your Android phone?

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Enter Sony Ericsson LiveViewâ„¢ a Bluetooth enabled 128×128 OLED mini-display that does a host of things such as announcing the number of unread messages, RSS items and other such notification while managing to look sleek and tidy. It also has four touch-enabled areas:-

The Sony Ericsson LiveViewâ„¢ uses Bluetoothâ„¢ connectivity to wirelessly pair up to a compatible handset. The LiveViewâ„¢ features a 128×128 pixel, 1.3 inch organic LED (OLED) display with four touch areas. LiveViewâ„¢ also has two additional keys for on/off and select. By default, it can function as a remote control for the music player, display messages and feeds from the phone and social networking services, and also display call information and calendar reminders

The size of the Sony Ericsson LiveViewâ„¢ is 3.5 cm x 3.5cm x 1.1 cm, and the battery will last up to four days during normal usage. The LiveViewâ„¢ will work with most phones running Androidâ„¢ 2.0 and above. A list of compatible phones will later be available on www.sonyericsson.com/liveview.   LiveViewâ„¢ is compatible with Bluetoothâ„¢ 2.1 technology. The Sony Ericsson LiveViewâ„¢ will be available in selected markets from Q4, 2010.

Made specifically for Android phones, Sony Ericsson will also release the SDK to make the device work with many applications that can be accessed by any phone running Android 2.0 or up.

Considering that the XPERIA Android line of SE phones are to update to 2.1 in October, it is safe to assume that the device will be released after October, perhaps in the Christmas season. Keep a look out!

World’s Fastest CPU IBM z196 Clocks 5.2 GHz

I purchased my own computer back in 2000 something and that gorgeous beauty had a Intel Pentium3 1.1 GHz processor. Since then, I have changed several computers which have simply grown in speed and processing power.

Using the same 1.1 GHz processor would definitely make my work look like a chore today, however, thanks to hardware manufactures like Intel and AMD, I am assured of getting a better experience every time I use a PC. But here is something that will engulf all the currently available CPUs in the market, an IBM processor name z196 which clocks in 5.2Ghz.

The IBM z196 processor can execute 50 billion instructions per second, which makes the current generation of desktop processors look like a pauper. The CPU also has 1.4 billion transistors. The CPU also has a 64KB L1 instruction cache, 128KB L1 data cache and a 1.5 L2 cache.

However, don’t expect this CPU to make to desktops anytime soon, it costs several hundred thousands of dollars and was designed for IBM’s mainframes.

(Source: Tom’s Hardware)

iPad Goes International, Launches in Nine Countries Today

This is it, the worldwide (at-least in 9 countries) wait for Apple’s next-gen plaything, , is over. Today, 9 countries will be able to purchase the iPad in retail stores starting 8AM.

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Apple iPad goes on sale in Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Spain, Switzerland and the UK on May 28, 2010. This worldwide launch will allow Apple to further increase the sales of iPad which has already sold in millions in the United States.

The International release of iPad was delayed by a month due to manufacturing issues based on the high demand for the device in US. However, everything aside, if you are in any of the above countries listed above, you can wake up and say hello to the iPad.

There are few reports which say that there are already huge lines in retail stores in Japan, which is touted as the electronic district with most users toting high end gadgets.

Will you be in a line to buy a iPad today in your country, do let us know and send us pictures of the stores you are buying the iPad in.

HP Drops Slate Video To Counter iPad Frenzy

For the past few days, almost every tech site has been writing about the which was released to public a day before Easter. It is not that iPad is out of the news yet, but HP has just released a video of the upcoming HP Slate on and from the looks of it this one is a definite beauty.

HP Slate

HP Slate, which will run on has a camera for video support, multi-touch support with pinch to zoom, USB ports, SD memory expansion, Adobe Flash support and more. With all these features and possibly more, PC World has dubbed the device as an iPad killer, however, it is really too early to call anything a iPad killer yet.

However, there is no denying of the fact that the HP Slate as of now is a superior device than the iPad with the Slate adding several pieces of hardware missing from the iPad. The HP Slate also runs on Windows 7 which would make it compatible with a lot of software already available for Windows. In addition to that, inclusion of a camera in the Slate along with USB ports makes it a much closer replacement for the netbook as opposed to the iPad, which lacks both of these.

HP Slate is not yet ready for sale and there is no release date available right now, however, considering that iPad just launched it would be critical for HP to get the device out as soon as possible to capitalize on the user interest in tablets.

Watch a sneak peek review of the HP Slate embedded below to see the beautiful device in action.

Lenovo Launches IdeaPad S10-3T Tablet In India For Rs 30,740

Even before Apple could launch the worldwide, Lenovo has given it a major run for its money by launching IdeaPad S10-3T, a new multi-touch netbook tablet in the Indian market.

Lenovo IdeaPad S10-3T Tablet

The IdeaPad S10-3T is one of the cheapest tablet to hit India and will provide competition to the Apple iPad, HP Slate, Notion Ink’s Adam and more. IdeaPad S10-3T is a mid-range tablet which comes with a multi-touch touchscreen and pinch to zoom features which are also present in the and iPad.

Lenovo IdeaPad S10-3T Netbook Tablet

The tablet netbook has a 10.1" screen and can be rotated 180 degrees to turn into a tablet. The device will have a Intel Atom N450 processor and will run on . The device also has a LED based 16:9 widescreen display for better media experience.

The low-end model will also come with 1GB DDR2 Ram and a minimum of 160GB hard drive. Battery life will be good with a 4 cell lithium-ion battery and the tablet will way less than 1.5KG or 3 lbs and will be 1" thin.

Lenovo IdeaPad S10-3T comes with the DirectShare feature, which allows users to synchronize files with another notebook without having to connect to the Internet. In addition to having face recognition features which have been a part of most Lenovo laptops.

Lenovo IdeaPad S10-3T will sell for Rs 30,740 in Indian markets and will be available in Lenovo exclusive stores and other stores which sell Lenovo devices.

So will you be buying the Lenovo IdeaPad, considering that it is available for cheap and can be a good alternative for the iPad, which does not have any release plans in near future in India.

Twitter Tuesdays | 10 Really Amazing and Extraordinary Uses Of Twitter

We all use Twitter for status updates, sending messages or, if we go really far, sharing media. These are the only uses we could think of when we came to know about Twitter. However, there are people who saw much more potential in the 140 character technology. Here are some really amazing and out of the box things they came up with:

1. Tweet Museum:

Odessa Begay is a graphic designer who thought tweets are too texty. So every Tuesday this designer turns a celebrity tweet into an awe-inspiring illustration. The collection is called the Museum of Modern Tweets.

Tweet Museum

2. Twitter Powered Pop Corn Machine:

You read it right! When somebody mentions #popcorn on Twitter, this machine serves up a fresh batch of popped corn. The process includes tweet triggering the movement of a belt and transferring a kernel of unpopped corn into the popper. The video below explains exactly how it works.


3. Twitter Powered Laundry Room:

If the popcorn machine isn’t good enough for you, meet the laundry room that tweets every time a washer or dryer gets empty. The room is locates in a dormitory building at Olin College.