Sunday, December 12, 2010

Chinese Company Launches Solar-Powered Air Conditioner

China's Gree Electric Appliances has developed a solar-powered air conditioner that can transmit excess of energy to the power grid.
The company hopes to sell its first 500 units in the United States. Then it looks forward to selling the device in China.
It is worth mentioning that the air conditioner mainly makes use of solar energy. According toHuang Hui, chief engineer of Gree Electric Appliances, when there's not enough sunlight the device uses electricity from the power grid.
The demand for solar-powered air conditioners in China is continuously rising and the company plans to start producing its second generation solar-powered air conditioner in January 2011. It says that the device will run on solar energy solely and will produce zero emissions, reports English.Xinhuanet.

Cricut Cake Printer - Make Various Cake Decorations at Home

Cricut Cake printer is a perfect tool for house parties. This is not an ordinary printer - it was developed to make various cake decorations with just a push of a button.
Making a cake decoration with Cricut Cake is as simple as using a traditional printer to print a text. The device cuts various shapes, words and motifs into frosting sheets, cookie dough, chocolate and soft candies.
To make a decoration the user doesn't need a computer. The only thing that is needed is to select the preferred letters or shapes and press cut. After the printer did its work, the user just has to peel away the cut shapes and begin the decoration.
There is an entire collection of such printers that also includes Cricut Mini (a device that is smaller and less expensive) and the Martha Stewart Cricut.
It is worth mentioning that the 3 printers from the collection include food cutting cartridges, 12 inch x 12 inch food-safe cutting mat, stainless steel cutting blade, keypad protector, quick start guide, DVD with detailed instructions and a cleaning guide, reports 7gadgets. The printer is currently available at $399.99.

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Thursday, November 25, 2010

Intel to Create 1,000-Core Processor

The current prototype Intel chip features 48 cores, but in the near future it could be turned into a 1,000-core processor.
Intel researcher Timothy Mattson mentioned that the architecture for the company's prototype chip is "arbitrarily scalable."
"This is an architecture that could, in principle, scale to 1,000 cores, [Because] I can just [simply] keep adding, adding, adding cores," Mattson was quoted as saying during the Supercomputer 2010 conference.
At the same time Matson reminded that if over 1,000 cores are added, the diameter of the on-chip network that links the cores would surpass the optimal size parameters, which could negatively influence the performance.
For more information regarding Intel's Single Chip Cloud Computer (SCC) click here.

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Chess Terminator - Robotic Hand that Rivals Ex-World Champ Kramnik

A chess robot built by Konstantin Kosteniuk, the father and coach of Alexandra Kosteniuk, who holds the title of women's world champion, has recently rivaled former world champion Vladimir Kramnik.
Dubbed "Chess Terminator", the machine represents a chess-playing robotic arm that not only thinks about the next move but actually grabs pieces on the chessboard to move them. After making its move the robotic arm presses the chess timer.
It appears that the machine is also energy efficient. According to its inventor, "Chess Terminator" can play 24/4 for 3 years in a row.
Although the robot was for the first time unveiled in June, recently it played a blitz match against former world champion Vladimir Kramnik.
Regarding the way the machine works, it does not really see the board, but it's connected to it. Each piece on the chessboard features special sensors and the Chess Terminator can detect their position and how they were moved. According to the received data the robot considers the next move.
Undoubtedly such concept has a number of drawbacks. One of them refers to draw offer, i.e. when Kramnic made a draw offer, the machine just kept on playing. The final result of the game was a draw, reports Chess In Translation.

Nokia Team Builds Ice Touchscreen

A group of specialists at Nokia in Finland decided to develop the world's first ice touchscreen. It is worth mentioning that there's a tradition in Finland to make various ice sculptures throughout the long cold winter. This tradition inspired Antti Virolainen and his team members to create the device.
"We decided to see if we could make an ice sculpture that was interactive," said Virolainen.
A 25-centimeter-thick river ice, weighting 1 ton, was delivered by a firm in nearby Oulu. Then, using a chainsaw, the piece was cut into 50-centimeter-square parts. The team used these parts to build a 2m x 1.5m ice wall. Then the wall was blasted with a heat gun to make a smooth surface.
To make the wall interactive the Nokia team used a digital projection technology. The ice touchscreen makes use of rear-diffused illumination (RDI). It is worth mentioning that this technique was for the first time used in Microsoft Surface, a table-based interactive touchscreen presented by the software giant in 2008.
At the back of the ice touchscreen the team installed a near-infrared light source along with a series of near-infrared cameras that are focused on the front surface, reports NewScientist.
When a person places their hand on the ice, it reflects the light towards the infrared cameras. Each camera collects a signal which allows a computer (connected to a projector) to locate the hand position, size and motion. The computer used the gathered information to project images beneath the hand.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Eton Presents Soulra - Solar-Powered iPhone and iPod Dock

Eton's Soulra is an iPhone dock that was built to be used outdoors. The sound system boasts high-efficiency solar panel that allows the device to harness solar energy in order to provide music whenever you are. Soulra measures 11.9 x 6.6 x 3.5-inch (301 x 168 x 89 mm).

The system has a rubberized aluminum exterior that allows the dock to resist tough weather conditions. During a sunny day the device can play music and recharge itstwo-cell 2000 mAh, 7.4V lithium-ion battery pack, while at night or during a cloudy day the dock offers enough power to play non-stop music for 4 hours, which charging the iPhone and iPod.

Two 11W full-range speaker drivers are located on the left and right sides. Under the cover located between the speakers there is the docking bay that is not only compatible with the iPhone, but also with a number of Apple's music players, including different generations of the iPod, the Nano, the Touch and Mini. Besides, there's an audio line-in socket at the back, which allows connecting another player to the dock.

The underside of Soulra's cover features a 5.11-inch (130 mm) square solar panel. The latter was made using high efficiency monocrystal solar cells and boasts a maximum power output of 230 mA / 2 W. If you want to own this device, you will have to pay $ 200.

[via Gizmag]

LG to Launch the World's First Dual-Core Android Smartphone

Previously LG mentioned that it will bring some upgrades to its Android Optimus line of handsets, and it did.

A new smartphone from LG boasts an8 megapixel camera that allows you to shoot 1080p video.

In addition, the phone features two cores which make it the world's first dual-core Android smartphone. 

There has been little information on the specs but it is known that the phone has a 1500mAh battery and can be connected to a PC viamicroUSB.

It is expected to hit the market early next year, bringing NVIDIA's Tegra 2 into the smartphone market.

The phone has a front-facing camera. Besides, its memory can be expanded with the help of microSD slot. 

[via Engadget]