While some concept cars look as if they come from a future that never will be, others represent cars that will actually go into production. We've gathered the most realistic concept cars from the last auto show season to see how the near future will look.
Software plays a key role in the clean-tech world, whether helping consumers size up their carbon footprints and crunch the costs of solar panels, or aiding manufacturers in reducing toxicity throughout the supply chain.
Autodesk unveiled an add-in in April to enable designers using prototyping software Inventor to calculate the carbon emissions of an array of products.
The Sustainable Materials Assistant, available as a preview through Autodesk Labs, also adds up data about the toxicity and recyclability of materials used, and how the final result might comply with regional regulations.
Users must populate data fields with information about toxic ingredients, … Read more
Like moths to a flame, CES attendees were drawn to LG's prototype of Dick Tracy's wristwatch cell phone updated (of course).Based on currently available information, it's Bluetooth and GSM-based. It would have to be Bluetooth enabled, otherwise you'd look quite odd talking on the phone. No release date, no cost, no lack of interest. But here, at least is a picture.
Assessment: The watch phone would be coveted (if the crowds even near closing time were indicative) but the downside is that you'd definitely have to use a Bluetooth headset if you were out … Read more
There's a well-worn axiom in journalism that finding three examples of the same thing in short order officially constitutes a trend. With that in mind, take a look at this prototype Dell XPS laptop being shown under glass at the Dell booth. It's a 16-inch laptop, called the XPS 630i, and the unusual size displays images in a true 16:9 screen ratio (like your HDTV), rather than the 16:10 screen ratio found in most 14.1-, 15.4- and 17-inch laptop displays.
While Dell is the only PC maker showing off a 16-inch prototype to the … Read more
If NTT DoCoMo had its way, one day in the future users might be able to make electronic payments via their mobile phone while the handset remains in their pocket.
The Japanese cell phone operator this week showed off a prototype equipped with a sensor developed by Kaiser Technology that can send electric signals through the human body. Practical uses include opening doors to secure areas without flashing security cards or programmed personal preferences such as drivers' seat and steering wheel angles.
All these are still hanging in the air, though, as the company isn't sure if the technology … Read more
Who gives a hoot about bumping compact cameras from 10 megapixels to 12 megapixels? It's time for some digital camera features that will really open up new photographic possibilities.
Enter a prototype Casio is showing at the IFA consumer electronics trade show in Berlin. The camera can shoot 60 frames per second at its full 6-megapixel resolution, Casio said. And in video mode, it can shoot 300 frames per second. In contrast, even Canon's $4,500 photojournalist-oriented 1D Mark III can shoot 10.5 frames per second (though doubtless with higher image quality) and newer compact cameras' video … Read more
In a year dominated by game sequels, movie tie-ins and brand extensions, original video game ideas (referred to as original IP, or intellectual property) are hard to come by. Grand Theft Auto IV was on target to be one of 2007's biggest games before its recent delay, but two other franchise entries, Halo 3 and the latest Madden game, will clearly dominate the holiday shopping season. One of the reasons 2K's BioShock, released at the end of August, has generated such positive buzz among gamers is that it represents a rare high-profile stab at an original game.
Fortunately, … Read more
Its prototype, dubbed the "Hana"--which means "flower" in Japanese--has taken an appropriately Ikebana form that kind of looks like a silver-plated calla lily illuminated by an LED. Whatever it resembles, the lamp functions as an MP3 player with "full-length" speakers, according to Plastic Bamboo, though we can't quite tell what that means from this photo alone. Speaking of which, … Read more
It's UMPC day at the Intel Developer Forum in Beijing, and Intel offered plenty of examples of devices that would be built on the just-announced Ultra Mobile Platform 2007. The Fujitsu pictured here, spotted on UMPC Portal, particularly caught our attention: it looks like a consumer-electronics version of the LifeBook P1610 tablet, which has long been a niche product marketed to business travelers. It begs the question: will UMPCs ever move into the mainstream?
As a former hamster owner, I can tell you that this concept for a hamster-powered paper shredder is really, really inefficient. Sure, it's not a mass-market product, but rather a design concept by artist Tom Ballhatchet that will be on display in Milan next week. The device works like this: the hamster runs on the wheel, which powers the shredder, which shreds the paper into hamster bedding. Clever, right?
Um, here's another idea. Just put the paper in the hamster's cage. Hamsters' teeth never stop growing, which is why they constantly need to chew on things. Consequently, … Read more