The Neural Impulse Actuator is the cutting edge in computer control. This new age device is a first attempt at actually using brainwave activity to control in-game actions. Unfortunately, it doesn’t really read your mind. The NIA captures biopotentials, which are different combinations of muscle, skin, and nerve activity. These are then translated into commands. The components are simple, a USB powered headband and an amplifier box to interface between the sensor and the computer. Packaged in are several software drivers that need to be installed before you get up and running, but other than that, setup is pretty straightforward. The program that runs the NIA lets you assign specific expressions to specific in game actions. If you are playing a shooter, for instance, you might want to assign the fire command to a dramatic facial movement like a sudden raise of the eyebrows. It certainly takes some serious getting used to and your first steps into hands-free gaming might be frustrating, but once you get going it is possible to cut reaction times and offer yourself the opportunity to avoid having to go to the keyboard as often. The price is a bit of a shock at $140, but if you go to second party vendors like Amazon or Newegg you will be able to find a better deal. Production is in flux since OCZ has handed over the project to a company called BCInet, but keep an eye out for new versions of this exciting controller.
Ever had trouble sharing your life with your friends and family while you’re on the go? Enter the newest Looxcie mountable camera, the Looxcie HD Explore. This little guy is perfect. The shots are all taken in glorious HD 1080p, and all of the features of the HD Explore can be manipulated using a Looxcie app on your smartphone. You can exert control over lots of different parameters with the app, including video quality and image-capture options. The Looxcie app even makes it possible for you to stream the video you are shooting live directly to your Facebook page. Secondary to these slick technical abilities, the Looxcie camera also boasts a wide range of physical clips and mounting options. You can even plant this bad boy on your windshield if you feel like documenting your vehicular escapades. Starting at $329.99, the Looxcie HD Explore is not cheap, but what you get is totally worth it.
With a 5.5” 1080p full HD screen and a 6.9mm profile, the Lenovo Ideaphone K900 is revolutionizing the world of the smart handset. The Android-operated Lenovo weighs in at only 162 grams and is built on an Intel processor. On the back, the camera snaps photos in 13 megapixels and boasts a wider aperture lens than comparable models. This combination makes the Ideaphone stand out among smartphones, as it can take really good pictures indoors where there is less ambient light. The construction is a sturdy polycarbonate unibody design with stainless steel alloy on the back. Set to be released in China first, it might be awhile before we can get our hands on these sets in the States, but once it moves into the market, Samsung better watch out. The Lenovo Ideaphone K900 is the real deal.
Ever wanted to turn your digital designs into physical models? The CubeX 3D printer is one of the only commercially available 3D printers in the world. The interior build volume can accommodate models up to 1030 cubic inches, an area large enough to fabricate objects as large as basketballs. In addition to this uncommonly large build area, the CubeX can be purchased with up to three print heads, giving it the ability to print in three colors at the same time. All those capabilities don’t come cheap, however. The top-of-the-line 3 head model will set you back $3,465, a price too high for most casual designers. The CubeX represents a move by the 3D printing industry away from affordability and towards more professional capability. For someone who needs a 3D printer to run a business, the CubeX offers an option that is reasonably priced and extremely powerful.
The HAPIfork is a fork designed to monitor your eating habits. The fork records how long you take to eat, the number of fork servings that you have during the meal, and time duration between each fork serving. The goal is of course to ensure that you eat slower in an attempt to have an impact on weight loss and healthy eating habits. Towards this end, the fork contains a motion sensor that can tell when it is being lifted to your mouth. If it feels that you’re eating too fast, the fork will vibrate in order to give you a gentle warning. There will be of course a smartphone app that can be used to track the information recorded by your HAPIfork, which will also include a coaching program designed to teach good eating habits. Machine washable once the electronics have been removed, the HAPIfork will be available in April with a projected price of about $99.
At the 2013 Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, the Samsung 85” S9 UltraHD TV was awarded the “CES Best of Innovation” award for a lot of good reasons. The 4k technology used in the screen creates a picture with a resolution that is 3840 x 2160. For those of you who don’t like to do math, that’s four times as many pixels overall as standard 1080p HD display. While there aren’t too many channels available right now in the UltraHD range, rest assured that there will be eventually. The S9 also features built in 2.2 channel speakers which are woven into the leaning design of the frame. Overall, a stunning piece of technology, and it can be yours if you have a spare $38,000 hidden under your mattress. If not, you may need to look into the S9’s smaller and less expensive cousins.