No goofy active shutter glasses, no headache-inducing parallax barrier screens, no optical trickery here. This is a pure 3D display — unfortunately done at a resolution of just 8 x 8 x 8. It’s a hand-built LED cube created by Nick Schulze, powered by Arduino, and driven largely by Matlab. Yes, Matlab, an application you probably deleted less than three minutes after signing off on your calculus final. We can’t help you find that installation disc again, but we can encourage you to enjoy the video of this 3D matrix of blinkenlights after the break, and you can get the full details on how to build your own at the other end of that source link.
Motorola Droid now best Android phone ever *via DVICE Atom Feed by Stewart Wolpin on 10/28/09
A few weeks I go I proclaimed the Motorola CLIQ the best Android phone ever, asterisk, at the time it came out.
On Nov. 6, the new Android champion will be the Motorola Droid. That’ll make Verizon customers/Apple haters happy now that the carrier has a phone to match its vaunted 3G network, or will have when it becomes available on Nov. 6 for $200 after the usual contract stipulations and rebate.
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At 3.7 inches diagonal, Droid’s display is the biggest on a cellphone, yet the Droid is only a hair larger and actually a bit thinner than the CLIQ. Even better, the LCD is 854 x 480 (WVGA) or 400,000 pixels. Most similarly sized screens are 480 x 320. In less tech terms, text and colors are sharper, bolder and crisper than on any other cellphone LCD I’ve seen.
All Together Now
Droid is more than its screen and slide-out QWERTY keypad. To make non-verbal communications easier, Motorola borrows the contact-centric phonebook from CLIQ’s MOTOBLUR social-network interface. Contacts in your phone book include text and email data, but let you compose a message or post to varying your contact’s pages on social-networking sites such as Facebook without having to actually boot the Android Facebook app. Droid also handily merges all the info from contacts culled from varying app phonebooks and email contact lists, such as Facebook and Gmail.
Further unifying disparate functions, the home page-based Google Search now scours not only the Web but data on your Droid. For instance, if you do a search on U2, you’ll find websites, plus websites you’ve visited or bookmarked, apps, contacts or, optionally, YouTube and your music. You can change these search options in the settings.
Google Maps now comes with voice-prompted turn-by-turn directions and “layers” — instead of having to choose a normal map view or a traffic view or a satellite view, you can overlay these options on top of each other. You can also share your location with other Google Navigation users for keeping track of your peeps or coordinating arrival at a mutual destination, i.e., “I’m lost, do you see where I am? How do I get to where you are?”
I have some initial complaints. First, the 5MP camera is slow to process the large images. And, despite included image stabilization, indoor shots with the dual LED flash come out blurry if you don’t hold the camera stock-still until the shot is processed. Photos also can be geotagged, but oddly this is not the default setting. I’m not even sure why there is an option to begin with — what is the drawback to having all your photos automatically geotagged?
Like the CLIQ, Droid’s slide-out horizontal keyboard is three-line rather than four, which means you’ll need to tap ALT to access the number keys.
YouTube playback was hinky on my demo unit, especially when I tried to watch videos in HQ. They’d get stuck in “loading” and never actually play. Unlike other Android phones, there isn’t a “full screen” zoom option, which means videos that do play play in the middle third of the screen.
But Droid’s big, sharp screen makes everything easier to read, Android 2.0 adds the kind of intuitive interface that makes using a complex cellphone easier, Verizon’s EV-DO network speeds net surfing, and Droid’s solid metallic body fills klutzes with confidence.
Now all we need is an iTunes-like Android client software.
We’ve already seen phones like the HTC Touch Diamond and Touch Pro, but according to some legit-looking internal documentation, the HTC Opal is the official sequel to the original HTC Touch. Word has it that the Opal will ship with the 3D TouchFLO interface we’ve seen in the latest HTC products (which makes sense), but unfortunately, the spec sheet dated from July shows that the Opal still lacks 3G and features the same 200MHz processor as its predecessor.
Tokyoflash has done it again. Here’s Shinshoku, another watch that’s not easy to read but probably won’t stump that theoretical physicist we challenged with crazy watches once before.
Take a look at the animated pic here, and you can probably figure out how its configuration of 29 super-bright LEDs works. Hey, does this mean our readers are as smart as a theoretical physicist? Yes indeed, dear readers, I believe it to be so.
If this watch didn’t look so much like some kind of Klingon restraining device, we’d be ready to pick one up for its $139.50 price. Or maybe if you think of it resembling certain car engine parts, it would be more appealing to you. Either way, people will be asking you what the heck that thing is on your wrist.
You know, a cell phone doesn’t need to have a fancy touchscreen or a slide-out QWERTY keyboard to be slick looking. Simple design is oftentimes just as good, if not better, than complicated, flashy design. Just take a look at this LED cell phone, for example. It doesn’t even have a screen, but it outclasses many of its rivals through sheer simplicity of design.
Simply covered in lights and touch sensors, the phone uses a tiny amount of energy and is completely efficient. Its simplicity and efficiency make it perfect for developing countries, as it can be loaded up with simple AA batteries rather than with Lithium Ions that would need to be charged frequently. No word on this concept becoming a reality, but keep your eyes peeled.
Man, it looks like all these display keyboards are finally going from vapor to reality — United Keys, which has been pimping various versions of its Display Keys product since 2005, has just announced that it’s signed a deal with FoxConn to build a gaming keyboard with several OLED function buttons, and thats it’s aiming to ship by summer. Interestingly, United Keys told us it holds two US patents and several foreign patents on the tech, and that it’s searched for Art Lebedev’s claimed Optimus patents but “can’t find anything.” Fair enough, but there are definitely some other similar patents on the books, like Elkin Acevedo’s “display keyboard” patent, and Apple’s recent filing. Looks like there’s a giant, dorky light-up keyboard fight in the works, eh?
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