Every once in awhile we head over to Yanko Design to see what electronic concoctions the world's creative minds have come up with, and one that caught our eye today is the "QWERTY Keyboard For iPhone, For Real!"
If you fall into the physical keyboard camp, something like this is just what the smartphone doctor ordered, the only problem is Apple appears fully content flying solo with a virtual plank. This simple design addresses what some feel is a major shortcoming (while others don't) by sliding neatly over the iPhone and syncing with the device.
"The slick body docks in the phone and auto disables the virtual keyboard," Yanko Design explains. "An external jack hooks into place, at the bottom of the keys for charging the phone."
Sony arrives fashionably late to the video capture DSLR party with its new A560, the first DSLR in Sony's lineup that comes capable of recording impromptu moments in both AVCHD 1920x1080 60i or MP4 formats.
Sony said it equipped the A560 (and A580) with a new generation Exmor APS HD CMOS sensor processor, which together with the company's BIONZ imaging processor supports high-speed continuous shooting and a range of digital image compositing and processing functions.
Both cameras can freeze photos at up to 7fps in Speed Priority Continuous Advanced mode, and both come with a newly developed 15-point phase-detection autofocus system that purportedly keeps moving subjects in focus.
Other features include an articulating 3-inch LCD, 16.2 megapixels (A580) or 14.2 megapixels (A560), 3D Sweep Panorama, auto HDR, and up to ISO 25,600.
The A580 will ship in October for $749 (body only) and $850 (kit lens), while the A560 will arrive in the first quarter of 2011 for $100 less.
Officially, it's called the Assault Intervention Device, and what it does is fire off a focused, non-lethal beam of energy at the target, which in this case will be inmates trading blows with each other. But even though it's not a deadly laser, prison officers describe the sensation as "excruciatingly painful."
"We hope that this type of technology will either cause an inmate to stop an assault or lessen the severity of an assault by them being distracted by the pain as a result of the beam," said Bob Osborne, Commander of the Sheriff's Department of Technology Exploration Program. "I equate it to opening an oven door and feeling that blast of hot air, except instead of being all over me, it's more focused.
"And you begin to feel this warming feeling, and then you go 'Yow, I need to get out of the way,'" Osborne added.
Plans are in place to mount the device on the ceiling at Pitches Detention Center at Los Angeles County Jail, home to some 65 convicts.
"This device will allow us to quickly intervene without having to enter the area and without incapacitating or injuring either combatant," said Sheriff Lee Baca in a statement.
From the looks of things, Toshiba has no problem borrowing heavily from Apple's iPad design. Around the touchscreen sits a relatively thick black border, and around that is a thin silver bezel. All that's missing is the Apple logo on the back.
From a hardware standpoint, the SmartPad will be more than just an iPad clone. According to reports, the SmartPad will come built around Nvidia's Tegra 2 platform and Google's Android operating system. Whether or not Windows 7 is in the SmartPad's cards remains to be seen.
Also visible in the preview images are a handful of ports, including HDMI, USB, a memory card reader.
Melissa Thompson, a 27-year-old woman living in Salford, England, used to text message her boyfriend some 40 or 50 times per day. Now she holds the Guiness World Record for being the fastest typist on a phone, which she achieved using a Samsung Galaxy S smartphone.
Here's what Thompson typed to claim the record: "The razor-toothed piranhas of the genera Serrasalmus and Pygocentrus are the most ferocious freshwater fish in the world. In reality they seldom attack a human."
The previous record for typing the above blip on a smartphone was held by Franklin Page of Seattle, who took 35.54 seconds to type it all out. But Thompson not only broke that record, she shattered it by nearly 10 seconds, taking only 25.94 seconds to punch out all the characters.
According to Thomspon, she's not up to speed on her texting, despite having set the record. The reason? She now lives with her boyfriend and no longer fires off dozens of messages to him each day.
We have to hand it to Zachariah Perry, a 19-year-old sculpture student, blogger, and the man behind one of the coolest Iron Man Xbox 360 mods we've ever seen.
Perry took a standard Falcon HDMI-based Xbox 360 console and outfitted it with an Arc Reactor with bright white LEDs. "Also there is a ring of light around the outside of the Arc Reactor that mimics the ring of light around the power button," Perry explains in his eBay auction.
Completing the ensemble is a matching red controller and a 120GB hard drive with a "Stark Industries" label. Plenty more pics can be found on Perry's blog here.
Kia motors is taking the idea of plug-and-play to a whole new level with the unveiling of its all-new electric concept car simply called "POP."
The POP concept looks like a toy but is all serious business when it comes to hugging trees. Kia claims the POP puts out zero emissions while in use, and can seat up to three people in a frame that measures a scant three meters (just under 10 feet) long.
That's all the details Kia is willing to share, at least for the time being. On September 30th, Kia will show off its concept car at the Paris Motor Show, in which "further information will be released." In the meantime, have a glance at the handful of rendered pics.
Vizio has begun shipping its new lineup of "leading edge" XVT (Xtreme Vizio Technology) Series HDTVs with Full Array TruLED LCD HDTV technology, a fancy term that Vizio promises is all that and a bag of the most delicious chips on the planet.
"VIZIO is solidifying its position as a technology and performance leader with the introduction of the new generation of XVT HDTVs," said John Schindler, VIZIO VP New Products. "Our dedication to high performance drives us to use the best commercially available technology. Each of our XVT TruLED sets uses a Full Array with local dimming that produces an unquestioned superior picture. Many competitive manufacturers have decided to use only Edge Lit technology in their flagship products, but edge lighting results in an inevitable compromise in performance."
The way Vizio pitches its new lineup, the company's TruLED HDTVs trump even the competition's most expensive models with uniform brightness across the entire screen, a much better off angle viewing area, and "vastly superior black reproduction."
Other features include 10,000,000:1 contrast ratios (dynamic, of course), dual-band 802.11n Wi-Fi, and up to 240Hz refresh rate (55-inch XVT553SV, 47-inch XVT473SV, and 42-inch XVT423SV models).
Prices range from $700 for the 32-inch XVT323SV on up to $2,200 for the 55-inch set.
We have to hand it to ioSafe for taking constructive criticism to heart. The company's latest external enclosure, the SoloPRO, now features both USB 3.0 support and eSATA, two features that were missing from the original Solo.
Like before, ioSafe promises an insane amount of protection for your data, including the ability to withstand temperatures up to 1,550F for 30 minutes, or being submerged in liquid to a depth of 10 feet for up to 3 days. More than just marketing bullets, ioSafe backs these claims with up to a $2,500 guarantee towards the cost of third-party forensic data recovery.
"Both homes and businesses need to store ever-increasing volumes of data quickly without worrying about data loss. ioSafe has always been about safely and securely storing data locally and now with its introduction of USB 3.0 and eSATA, home and businesses can accomplish that more quickly than ever before," said Jerome Wendt, Principal and Lead Analyst at DCIG.
The SoloPRO will begin shipping October 1, 2010, and is available for pre-order now for $250 (1TB), $320 (1.5TB), and $420 (2TB).
Lian Li continues its barrage of new cases, the latest one being a new entry to its Mini-Q series, the PC-Q11. Billed as a "slim mini-tower designed for users who require more space and style," this new chassis comes ready to support mini-ITX and mini-DTX foundations.
The PC-Q11 measures 200x326x260mm (WxH.D) and weighs a little over 5.3 pounds (2.42kb). It comes with a modular HDD cage, 1.5mm aluminum alloy panel, a single 140mm fan at the front, a single 5.25-inch optical drive bay, support for up to two SuperSpeed USB 3.0 ports on the front, and two PCI expansion slots.
The PC-Q11 will start shipping later this month for $95 (silver or black), $115 (red), and $175 (white).