Hands-On Aigo F029 MP4 Watch

Here’s a hands-on preview on the Aigo F029 MP4 watch. Video…

The Aigo F029 available in 512MB ($150) or 1GB ($188). It comes with a 160 x 128 OLED display, USB-2.0 connectivity, SRS 3D WOW sound enhancement, an e-book reader, seven preset EQ modes, and 2.5-hours (video) / 4.5-hours (audio) playback

[via Techeblog]

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Researchers develop swimming, body-exploring robot

Researchers at Technion’s Faculty of Mechanical Engineering in Israel look to finally be seeing some results from their crack Innerspace department, recently announcing that they’ve developed a pint-sized robot that can swim its way through heretofore inaccessible areas of the human body. The bot uses two tails to propel itself along, carrying a camera with it to document the picturesque journey — eventually, the researches see the robot able to deliver medication straight to the source and even take biopsies. Of course, this isn’t the first attempt to chart a course through your various bodily passages. Pill-based camera exploration has been around for a comparatively long time, but depends on your body’s natural gastrointestinal movements to squeeze its way through your innards. More recently, scientists at Carnegie Mellon University developed a six-legged bugbot that can crawl through your intestines and be remotely controlled to ensure a thorough looksee. Technion’s bot still looks to be quite a ways off from catching a ride in your spinal fluid, however, with the project’s team leader estimating that it’ll be a few years before they have a completed product.

[Via Medgadget]

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YouTube named TIME’s Best Invention of 2006

YouTubeDespite the fact that 2006 isn’t technically over yet, and the fact that YouTube was actually founded in 2005, TIME Magazine has dubbed the video sharing site the best invention of 2006. And you know what? I agree. YouTube detractors have a lot of fodder for their criticisms, and YouTube is far from a perfect product or a perfect company, but in one fell swoop the company did what much bigger companies have been trying, and failing, to do for more than a decade: It brought video to the web. Now wait a second, I’m not saying that the web was videoless before that. I don’t know when the first video went on the web (if anybody does, I’d love to know what it was), but it was probably about 15 years ago. But YouTube made web video truly ubiquitous. Two years ago if you saw a video on the web, you knew that, with few exceptions, its creator had made a significant investment of time, money, technology, or all three. Now literally anyone with enough cash for a nice cell phone or a cheap digital video camera or video capture card can put video on the web with just a few clicks, and–the is the kicker–for free. YouTube did that. If YouTube hadn’t come along, someone else would have shortly and the web video revolution would still be upon us, but the history books never remember the guy who comes along and says, “well I could have done that.”

The TIME article cites the confluence of three “revolutions” that YouTube’s founders, Steve Chen, Chad Hurley and Jawed Karim, stumbled into as being integral to its success: Cheap video production tools (the aforementioned cell phones and cheap, if not free, editing software), the ubiquitous buzzword Web 2.0, i.e. the social web “exemplified by sites like MySpace, Wikipedia, Flickr and Digg-hybrids,” and the cultural revolution of customers “impatient with the mainstream media.” On top of those factors and Chen, Hurley, and Karim’s epic luck, I think two other factors deserve top billing: Broadband and Macromedia/Adobe. The lack of bandwidth and the lack of a browser-embedded video player that “just works” limited the success of YouTube’s predecessors, and broadband finally fulfilling its promises–or some of them at least–and Flash getting robust video support and finding its way into 97-point-something percent of Americans’ web browsers were integral to YouTube’s success.

At any rate, congrats to YouTube for this deserved accolade (do you think they get a trophy or something?). And if you’re into inventions of all kinds, TIME’s Best Inventions 2006 is a great read.

Worlds Smallest LED Wristwatch

Retsu by Saishin

I just got a press release from Tokyoflash announcing the ‘world’s smallest LED Wristwatch’. The watch is called Retsu and is from Saishin. As always the time is presented in a quite unusual fashi0n:

Amazingly simple to read, the lights race up to the digit then trail off leaving one light reconfirming the number. This is repeated for each digit to tell the time.

Retsu by Saishin[tokyoflash.com]