Top 10 Tech This Week [PICS]
By Charlie White, Mashable, 29 April 2012.
By Charlie White, Mashable, 29 April 2012.
We found a boatload of spectacular tech from which to choose this week, and strangely enough, futuristic and fascinating devices seemed to be coming at us in pairs.
What do we mean by that? We found a pair of bridges, one for an iPad and one for computers, a pair of inventions that involve passive cooling, a couple of items that involve vapour in mysterious ways, a pair of high-tech pins, and then two speedy conveyances that both relate in some way to Ferrari.
Confused? Don’t be - you’ll love what we’ve discovered this week, finding only the coolest and most worthy technological advances, designs and products for your perusal, right here on Top 10 Tech This Week.
1. Brydge to Somewhere
This is not the first iPad keyboard case I've seen, but Brydge for iPad comes the closest to simulating a laptop when you partially surround your beloved tablet with its aerospace-grade aluminium.
Its keyboard is just about close enough to get Apple's lawsuit lawyers fired up, and once you place the iPad into its hinge-like maw, you can tilt the screen back just like a laptop.
Brydge for iPad, Folded View
See how that hinge works as a holder too? Cool. And MacBook fanboys will adore the way this configuration mimics the object of their desire.
Brydge is a Kickstarter project, so if you pledge US$170, that's like voting for its development. Its creators tell me they're well on their way toward meeting their funding goal of about US$90,000 for the first run of this attractive and desirable case/keyboard.
Brydge for iPad, Like a Laptop
Looks gorgeous to me, but for the kind of work I do on the road, I'm going to need a little more horsepower and a few specific apps that aren't yet available on an iPad. But for doing some leisurely emailing and a bit of Facebookage, this could certainly do the trick.
2. Ivy Bridge Processors
Here's another bridge: There's nothing like a brand-new processor from Intel to kick up some excitement, and this one is code-named Ivy Bridge. Why should you care? These quad-core chips bring new tech's most magic combination: They're faster, yet more efficient.
Look for new PCs (such as this HP all-in-one announced this week, among many others) and laptops sporting the faster/more efficient processors forthwith, but you'll have to wait about six more weeks for the even-more-efficient dual-core ultrabook versions of the processor - set for release on June 5.
3. Hyper-Efficient Abode
Here's the winner of an international "ultra-low energy house" competition, with a design created by a Bulgarian company that calls itself dontDIY. This would be the perfect house for the post-Apocalypse: it's designed to passively gather so much of its heating from the sun that you won't even need a furnace, and it's so well-ventilated it'll keep you cool on those hot days, too. What little energy the house does need is provided by a 270-square-foot photovoltaic array on the roof.
Hyper-Efficient Abode Cutaway View
The international competition, organized by Passive House Bulgaria, requires each competitors' design to qualify as a official "passive house," adhering to a strict list of standards that end up saving lots of energy by using the most efficient technology along with an abundance of clever design.
4. Cooler Art
Speaking of passive cooling, a company called Fanless Tech has turned a component that resides inside your computer into an art form. What is this gorgeous copper sculpture? It cools the processor inside the computer, and completely eliminates the need for that loud fan that makes PCs so doggone noisy.
Too bad this uniquely designed heat-sink will be hidden inside a computer box - but that's easy to fix - just get yourself a desktop PC with a window cut into the side so you can admire the beauty of this gleaming cylinder of coolness and quietude.
5. Element Case Vapor Dock
You want to ensconce your delicate iPhone in a snazzy case, but then you're forbidden from using a charging dock. Not anymore with the Vapor Dock from ElementCase, which will accommodate an iPhone wearing any of the company's beautiful cases, which fit perfectly.
Fits in ElementCase, Bumper Cases and More
We tested the dock and discovered it accommodates a lot of other cases as well (as long as they're not too big), including Apple's bumper cases.
Vapor Dock includes a built-in charging cable which wraps itself neatly in the base, and even slightly enhances the sound from the iPhone's puny speaker - it didn't amplify the sound but made it a bit fuller. It's a lovely piece of machined aircraft grade aluminium, but along with that kind of quality comes a dear price: US$120.
6. Netgear R6300
From Vapor cases to vaporous Wi-Fi standard: Did you know there's a much-faster Wi-Fi standard on the way? Netgear is ready with its R6300 Wi-Fi router, the world's first router that lets you blast 802.11ac Dual Band Gigabit wireless connectivity - that's three times quicker than today's fastest Wi-Fi (802.11n). And, it's backward-compatible with all your current Wi-Fi devices.
Netgear R6300 Details
Releasing such a router is rather academic at this point, because there are no devices that can take advantage of this next-generation Wi-Fi. But I think it's exciting that soon, Wi-Fi will approach the speed of Ethernet, letting you move huge files all around your house without tripping over any wires.
7. Illuminating Memory Pins
Look at what LED lighting technology makes possible: pushpins that light up. Used along with a split corkboard with a layer of aluminium sandwiched in between, the pens draw their power from that electrically charged aluminium, lighting up they're pinned to.
This clever design won a well-deserved Red Dot Design concept award.
8. Flash Drive Safety Pin
Now we take you from pushpins that light up to "Bulavkus," safety pins with flash memory on board. Created by my favourite Russian designer Artemy Lebedev, his explanation for this whimsical device is as follows, "For finding Bulavkus in a flash, simply fasten to any fabric material and spare yourself frustration of digging through pockets."
9. Italo, the Ferrari of High-Speed Trains
This speedy new transportation system is being called the "Ferrari of trains" for good reason - Nuovo Trasporto Viaggiatori (NTV), the company running the trains, is headed by Ferrari boss Luca di Montezemolo. This French-built bullet of the rails is as fast as a Ferrari, zinging along at 186 mph.
The locomotive-less train can actually go 220mph, but the Italian rails can't handle that kind of speed. Even Italo's top speed is not nearly as fast as many Asian bullet trains like the one in China that goes 310mph, but it's certainly beating anything the U.S. is running these days.
10. CH-Auto Lithia Sporty Electric Car Prototype
Speaking of Ferraris, when Ferrari announced this week that its first hybrid car is due in 2013, Chinese R&D company CH-Auto wasn't going to take that news lying down. At the 2012 Beijing International Auto Show, the company rolled out Lithia, a sporty electric car the company claims has a driving range of 93 miles on its lithium-ion batteries. Sounds about like the Tesla Roadster.
But how fast is it? Not much else is known thus far about the car, except that it will be sold in China. How did the Chinese learn how to design and build such a beauty? Perhaps its CEO, former GM design manager Dan Darancou had something to do with it, you think?
[Source: Mashable. Edited. Top image added.]