Categories
Hardware New Technology

BBC micro:bit

microbit1

The BBC has announced the BBC micro:bit, a pocket-sized programmable computer which is to be given free to every child in year 7 (11-12 years old) across the UK. Its aim is to help children learn the basics of programming.

microbit

Technical specifications for the device will be available as open-source.

The device measures 4cm by 5cm and key features include:

  • Array of 25 red LEDs
  • Two programmable buttons
  • On-board motion detector or “accelerometer”
  • Built-in compass or “magnetometer” (includes an in-built magnet, and can sense certain types of metal)
  • Bluetooth Smart Technology
  • Five Input and Output (I/O) rings to connect the micro:bit to other devices such as the Raspberry Pi or other sensors

(Original Link: https://youtu.be/gJPRMPAbL3Q)

Software will include Blockly, Python and the Microsoft TouchDevelop platform.

https://developers.google.com/blockly/

https://www.python.org/

https://www.touchdevelop.com/

The BBC and partners have committed to provide up to one million micro:bits before the end of 2015. The micro:bit will also be made commercially available later in 2015

Product Partners include ARM, Barclays, element14, Freescale, Lancaster University, Microsoft, Nordic Semiconductor, Samsung, ScienceScope, technology Will Save Us and The Wellcome Trust.

Product Champions include, Bluetooth SIG, Bright Future, Cannybots, Cisco, Code Club, Coderdojo, Code Kingdoms, Creative Digital Solutions, CultureTECH, Institution of Engineering and Technology, Kitronik, London Connected Learning Centre, MyMiniFactory, Python Software Foundation, STEMNET, TeenTech and the Tinder Foundation.

Comprehensive details can be found at

http://www.bbc.co.uk/mediacentre/mediapacks/microbit

Categories
Hardware New Technology

Holus

Holus

Holus is a tabletop holographic platform that converts digital content from a computer, tablet or smartphone into a 3D holographic experience. It is being developed by H+ Technology a company based in Vancouver, Canada.

The Holus is pyramid shaped to reflect the display in multiple (4) directions. Future plans are looking to remove the need for the pyramid completely and display the hologram in mid-air.

(https://youtu.be/2QXaUgY1oXo)

An interesting project, currently live on KickStarter (June 2015), which has surpassed its goal of $50,000, having reached a current total of $270,567.

https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1314339634/holus-the-interactive-tabletop-holographic-display

Follow the progress of the project at the company web-site

http://www.hplustech.com/

Categories
Hardware New Technology

Magic Leap

In October 2014, Magic Leap announced it had raised $542,000,000 in funding from a group including Google, Qualcomm, the world’s leading phone chipmaker, Andreessen Horowitz, KKR, and Legendary Entertainment.

With this amount of investment this company is certainly one to watch.

You can get an idea about what they’re up to by examining details contained in a number of patents applied for by the company including:

PLANAR WAVEGUIDE APPARATUS WITH DIFFRACTION ELEMENT(S) AND SYSTEM EMPLOYING SAME
US20150016777A1

SYSTEM AND METHOD FOR AUGMENTED AND VIRTUAL REALITY
US20150032823A1

MagicLeap

So it would appear that they are producing a lightweight wearable AR/VR Headset which is likely to produce high-quality realistic images which may or may not be projected directly onto the retina.

More will become clear, in the meantime visit their website at

http://www.magicleap.com

Categories
Hardware New Technology

Microsoft HoloLens

The HoloLens is a product under development by Microsoft and is scheduled for release at the same time as their Windows 10 o/s. It provides functionality similar to other products in the realm of augmented and virtual reality – currently “hot” topics!

A hologram is an image of an object which is superimposed in your view of the real world. It is not a real object and cannot be felt or touched because it doesn’t have any mass. A user views the object using specially designed lenses or glasses which incorporate technology to create images on the lens surface. Some devices incorporate sound, through speakers, to provide a more immersive experience.

Microsoft HoloLens features see-through, holographic, high-definition lenses and spatial sound so you can see and hear holograms in the world around you. Complete with advanced sensors and a new Holographic Processing Unit (HPU) that understands the world around you, Microsoft HoloLens is able to run without any wires while processing terabytes of data from the sensors in real-time.

http://youtu.be/aThCr0PsyuA

(http://youtu.be/aThCr0PsyuA)

Further information is available from the Microsoftwebsite at

http://www.microsoft.com/microsoft-hololens/en-us

Categories
New Technology

Lightpaper

If light was available on a flexible sheet as thin as paper, how could you use it ? Lightpaper, developed by Rohinni, enables this possibility.

(http://youtu.be/wGJP62eISEA)

Examples using this technology are expected to appear in consumer products around the mid 2015.

More information can be found at

http://www.rohinni.com/

Further reading:

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-2891711/The-lightpaper-turn-walls-lamps-mean-end-lightbulbs.html

http://www.fastcolabs.com/3038890/rohinnis-lightpaper-is-incredibly-thin-and-printable

http://uk.businessinsider.com/lightpaper-technology-prints-light-like-paper-2014-11