Geek

Flutter: cheap long-range wireless communication

The new "Flutter" Kickstarter project targets a cheap wireless board that outperforms Xbee or Zigbee, with a larger range of about 1000m+ (3200ft) and transmitting 0.6MBit/sec at lower frequencies (915 MHz) than the WiFi 2.4 GHz. Based on an Arduino system, the system embeds 256-bit AES hardware encryption and for $20 you get two boards to quickly construct your own wireless project. Unfortunately, European-based geeks still have to wait, because the 915MHz band is only open in North America...

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Sony camera comparison

Ever since Sony released the NEX series of cameras, I have been considering to buy one of these babies. However, their relatively large size related to the HX9V compact has stopped me. Basically, these cameras do not fit in your pocket, which means for me that I will not take it on every journey and not have it with at that unexpected moment. Then Sony surprised me again with their RX-100 camera. A truly amazing piece of hardware, packing a massive 1 inch sensor with a light-strong Carl Zeiss lens in a compact package. At 35.9mm thick, it less than 2 mm bulkier than the 34mm of the HX9V, which stilll fits any pocket (although it is slightly stressing your jeans pockets). At 1 inch (13.2 x 8.8mm), the RX-100 sensor is more than 4 times larger in surface than the 1/2.3" (6.17 x 4.55 mm) sensor of the HX9V. Obviously, this results in a much higher light sensitivity, larger dynamic range and better contrast. However, the image stabilization performs less than its smaller brother and the zoom range is strictly limited (the 3.5 times zoom from 28-100mm vs. the 24–384 mm, 16x).
Watch a very nice comparison between the HX9V, the RX100 and the NEX-5 camera:

Gaze tracking glasses

SMI just released their 2.0 revamped eye tracking glasses. They embed an HD camera and do not require any calibration. Your eyes are tracked at 60 Hz, and allows companies to measure the gaze of people for shoppers, sports, etc. Watch our friend Schwarzenegger explain how their new baby rolls after the break.

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The Oculus Rift: a new view on Virtual Reality

I still remember walking at the ICE floors in 2006 and being quite rather disappointed when trying out the last virtual reality helmet. Viewing angles were small and the resolution of the display was really poor. The experience of being complete being submerged into the game was completely lacking. Since last year, things seem to be changing, when the Oculus Rift was announced as a Kickstarter project. Everyone that has played with the prototypes is incredibly enthusiast, so I am pretty sure this will be the product of 2014 and truly win many awards in a way that Philips can only dream of...

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This trash bin is following you...

That personal data is important for marketing is a fact. Data gathering with cellular data from mobile phones might be number one on the list, but bluetooth and wifi sniffing are climbing the ranking ladder. The recently installed smartphone sniffers in the UK, however, had to be removed. Traffic on the streets of London was sniffed by recording MAC addresses of phones that passed the devices, neatly stowed away in trash bins. The bins were equipped with wifi and a screen that would show ads. The effective reach of the ads was measured using the speed of the people passing the bins. During the busiest day of the trial, about 100,000 phones were identified and in the first month, over a million unique devices were recorded.

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