Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Eye Controlled Arcade Game from Tobii

EyeAsteroids is a new arcade game released by Tobii, infact it is the first and only eye-controlled arcade game. It works by tracking your eye movements. Your mission is to destroy all the asteroids which are hellbent on destroying the earth by just glancing at them. Swedish company Tobii specializes on eye tracking mechanisms and they have interests in assistive technologies for helping the disabled, R&D on computer interaction, psychology research, vision research, etc.

Tobii had earlier demoed an eye controlled laptop in association with Lenovo at CeBIT 2011. Watch the video from Engadget below.

Firefox 8 available to download

 Mozilla has released a newer version of its popular web browser, Firefox. Important changes in Firefox 8 :

  • Add-ons installed by third party programs are now disabled by default
  • Added a one-time add-on selection dialog to manage previously installed add-ons
  • Added Twitter to the search bar for select locales. Additional locale support will be added in the future
  • Added a preference to load tabs on demand, improving start-up time when windows are restored
  • Improved performance and memory handling when using <audio> and <video> elements
  • Added CORS support for cross-domain textures in WebGL
  • Added support for HTML5 context menus
  • Added support for insertAdjacentHTML
  • Improved CSS hyphen support for many languages
  • Improved WebSocket support
  • Fixed several stability issues
  • Fixed several security issues

Download Firefox 8 :

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Spotify arrives on Windows Phone

Spotify has launched its Windows Phone app at the WP 7.5 event held in NYC yesterday. Spotify has made use of the multitasking and app live tile features introduced in Windows Phone Mango. Also the styling is entirely based on the Metro design principles which looks neat. Music player controls are accessible through the lockscreen also.

- Search, browse & play millions of tracks.
- Explore & play your friends' playlists, top artists and tracks.       
- Stream over WiFi or 2.5/3G - all your existing playlists are available.
- Offline playlists - play your music without an internet connection.
- On-the-fly sync - every track you add to a playlist appears on mobile and computer.
- What's New view.
- Receive music from friends via the inbox.
- Starred tracks - tag all your favourites into a special list.

 You can get the app from here.  Some pics of the app follows.


Images Credit: Business Insider / Matthew Lynley

All-new Asimo Robot from Honda

Honda has today unveiled an all-new ASIMO humanoid robot in Tokyo equipped with world's first autonomous behavior control technology which helps it to continue moving without being controlled by an operator.

ASIMO is now having the capability to sense the movement of people around it and respond according to that. For example, it can predict the direction in which a person will walk the next moment and can avoid collision by choosing an alternate path to walk. ASIMO is now capable to walk, run, run backward, hop on one leg or on two legs continuously. Honda has given ASIMO a multi-fingered high functional hand equipped with tactile and force sensors in each finger, thereby helping it to perform tasks such as picking up a glass bottle, twisting off its cap, holding a soft paper cup to pour a liquid without squishing it, perform sign languages, etc.


The all-new ASIMO is now advanced from an “automatic machine” to an “autonomous machine” with the decision-making capability to determine its behavior in concert with its surroundings such as movements of people. At the beginning of the development process, the following three factors were identified as necessary for a robot to perform as an autonomous machine, and the technologies required to realize these capabilities were developed.
1) high-level postural balancing capability which enables the robot to maintain its posture by putting out its leg in an instant.
2) external recognition capability which enables the robot to integrate information, such as movements of people around it, from multiple sensors and estimate the changes that are taking place.
3) the capability to generate autonomous behavior which enables the robot to make predictions from gathered information and autonomously determine the next behavior without being controlled by an operator. With these capabilities, the all-new ASIMO takes another step closer to practical use in an environment where it coexists with people.

Key specifications

 Height 130cm
 Weight 48kg (decreased 6kg from previous model)
 Operating degrees of freedom Total: 57 degrees of freedom (increase of 23 degrees of freedom from previous model)
 Running speed 9km/hour (previous model: 6km/hour)

Boot to Gecko - Mobile OS from Mozilla

'Boot to Gecko' is an interesting mobile OS project from Mozilla which is in its earlier days of development.
B2G is an early-stage, exploratory project with the goal of building a complete, standalone operating system for the open Web. We believe that the next frontier for Web applications is full device integration, so that Web developers have the same capabilities as those building for OS-specific stacks. Boot To Gecko is intended to identify those missing device capabilities and other application needs, and design standardized solutions for app developers to use. 
It aims to enable developers to develop web apps which are equivalent to the native ones found in iOS, Android, WP7, etc and plans to make use of them. Mozilla makes it clear that they don't want these web apps to run only atop B2G or in Firefox. The B2G dev team now consists of only 3 people doing part time coding for this project, but they are planning to ramp it up. They are also open to cooperation with OEMs. Current roadmap reveals that we may see a product demo in Q1 2012.