Archive for June, 2006

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The H-racer is a futuristic toy car that contains one of the most exciting and advanced technologies of the 21st century. This car operates on 100% clean fuel produced by a miniature solar-powered hydrogen refueling station that converts water to hydrogen using energy captured from the sun.

Cars running on clean and renewable fuel are the dream of many of today’s world leaders, engineers and scientists seeking to eliminate mankind’s reliance on fossil fuels in flavor of climate-friendly energy resources.

With new advanced in technology, hydrogen is on its way to becoming the world’s next fuel. Hydrogen offers many important advantages; it is non-toxic, renewable, clean to use, and the most abundant element in our universe. And by using fuel cell technology to convert hydrogen to electricity without any combustion, the technology is a significant solution to many of our global energy and enviromental problems.

No combustion occurs inside a fuel cell. The only exhaust resulting form hydrogen fuel cell cars is pure water. Fuel cell cars that use hydrogen as a fuel are also known as “zero emission vehicles.” Today, many of the world’s automotive companies including Toyota, GM, Ford, Honda, and Daimler-Chrysler, are developing hydrogen fuel cell vehicles with the hope of introducing this technology to the public in the near future.

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The H-racer toy car is the working miniature version of what is being developed in real-size cars of the future. This palm-size fuel cell car contains an on-board hydrogen storage tank, a fuel cell system connected to the car’s electric motor, and a hydrogen refueling system linking the car’s storage tank to an external hydrogen refueling station. Given its small size, the H-racer is also very safe as only tiny quantities of hydrogen are sufficient to power the car.

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Horizon has created a unique, patented miniature fuel cell car and hydrogen refueling station. For the first time, hydrogen is produced externally, can be fueled into an on-board storage tank. Once the car’s hydrogen tank is full, the refueling station can be disconnected from the car, and the car can run on its own hydrogen fuel cell system on board, with the simple flip of a switch. The car measures only 16cm X 7cm, making this the smallest fuel cell car in the world. Recently nominated for the Intel Environment award in Silicon Valley’s Tech Museum, Horizon’s miniature car is about to spread a positive message to a wide audience of children and adults around the world.

The price is set at $80 for the kit (car and fueling station)

More information about the technology
Buy the H-Racer hydrogen fueled car

MERL DiamondTouch

29, Jun 2006

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Mitsubishi Electric Research Laboratories (MERL) DiamondTouch table is the world’s first multi-user touch technology, allowing multiple people to work simultaneously, and the system knows who is who. DiamondTouch also supports rich gesture inputs, and it is debris tolerant (meaning that you can put your coffee cup on the table – no problem). This makes DiamondTouch a useful tool for supporting small group collaborative activities.

Currently the DiamondTouch table is available commercially only as a developer’s kit and includes: a selection of demonstration applications; a mouse emulator with onscreen keyboard to support common Windows applications; and a Software Developer’s Kit allowing the development of new software applications that support gesture inputs and multiple simultaneous users.

What is the objective

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Computers are good at facilitating collaboration between people in remote locations. However, when people are in the same place at the same time, computers tend to get in the way. DiamondTouch supports small group collaboration by providing a display interface that allows users to maintain eye contact while interacting with the display simultaneously (i.e., without having to take turns). DiamondTouch was first created in 2001 as an experimental multi-user interface device. Over the past few years, MERL has manufactured about 100 DiamondTouch tables, lending them to universities and research organizations around the world.

Technical Discussion

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DiamondTouch is front-projected and uses an array of antennas embedded in the touch surface. Each antenna transmits a unique signal. Each user has a separate receiver, connected to the user capacitively, typically through the user’s chair. When a user touches the surface, antennas near the touch point couple an extremely small amount of signal through the user’s body and to the receiver. This unique touch technology supports multiple touches by a single user (e.g., two handed touch gestures) and distinguishes between simultaneous inputs from multiple users. DiamondTouch tables are available in two sizes (32″ diagonal and 42″ diagonal display), while custom sizes and shapes are available on spec.

DiamondTouch Features
– Multiple simultaneous users
– Ability to distinguish who is who
– Rich gesture inputs
– Operation with objects on table
– Choice of 32″ or 42″ diagonal surface
– Control of any Windows software using mouse emulator
– Tools for developers to write multi-user, gesture-activated applications
with SDK and open API

Developer???‚?„?s Kit includes
The developer’s kit includes the DiamondTouch hardware and drivers, plus a software developer’s kit (SDK) that supports application development in Java, C, C++, .NET and ActiveX. We will include a few demonstration applications, as well as a Windows mouse emulator or DTmouse. With DTmouse and access to a pop-up on-screen keyboard, you can drive Windows applications out of the box. If you want multi-user capabilities or gesture inputs, you can use the SDK to develop application software. The DiamondTouch developer’s kit does not include a projector – you can use your own or you can purchase one from us. You will need to have the projection image aimed down onto the DiamondTouch table. Here again, you can purchase a floor stand and mounting bracket, or you can use something of your own design.

Pricing of the DiamondTouch
– DT81 (32″) developer’s kit* – $9,500

– DT107 (42″) developer’s kit* – $12,500
– Mitsubishi XD60U DLP projector – $2,300
– Mitsubishi XD490U DLP projector – $3,400
* There is no DLP projector included in the kits!

See MERL DiamondTouch in action

General features demo of DiamondTouch


Demonstration video of DiamondTouch working with GoogleEarth


And DiamondTouch when used for gaming with Warcraft 3

Get more information about MERL DiamondTouch
Download DiamondTouch product spec sheet in PDF

The keyboard from the Microsoft Wireless Optical Desktop 1000 set is labeled as spill resistant, so I decided to test that by pouring a cup of water on it… I just couldn’t resist not to try that “feature”. After all it is not like you can’t accidentally spill your cup of coffee or coke on the keyboard… 😉



Features
– Microsoft Optical Technology: Use on nearly any surface
Navigate with better speed, accuracy and reliability’the optical sensor tracks movement on nearly any surface without the hassle of clogged mouse parts.
– Wireless Freedom: Free yourself from cable clutter. Give yourself room to move – wireless mouse and keyboard products let you work without worrying about tangled wires.
– Longer Battery Life: Get more done without disruption. Work with less interruption with longer battery life.
– Multimedia Center: Enjoy fast access to your media. With the touch of a button you can easily access your favorite music, video clips, and media programs.
– Additional Features: Spill-Resistant Design, E-mail and Internet Hot Keys, My Computer and Calculator Hot Keys, Enhanced F-Key Functionality.


Watch what happens when I pour a cup of water on the keyboard…

The price of the Desktop 1000 keyboard/mouse kit is $29.99.

To get a Microsoft Wireless Optical Desktop 1000 kit…


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