Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Cool new hardware

Here is a number of very interesting hardware technology developments worth checking out.

First, Jim Marggraff's LiveScribe 'paper-based computing', using a pen stuffed with technology. The New York Times has some pretty amazing details:

Instead of forcing users to write with a stylus on a computer’s slippery
display, Livescribe put the computer inside a plump ballpoint pen that is used
on paper imprinted with nearly invisible miniature dots. As a user writes, a
tiny camera near the pen’s tip watches those dots go by, recording what is being
written. (...)
The Livescribe pen is a more advanced version of the LeapFrog Fly Pentop
Computer, which itself has some impressive abilities, even if it is intended for
children. Fly users can draw a calculator on paper and make it work by tapping
the keys with the pen; a speaker in the pen plays back the results. Users can
also draw a piano keyboard on a piece of paper and play a tune on it. (...)
The pen, he said, will revolutionize the way millions of students take
notes. To demonstrate, Mr. Marggraff jots down some notes while talking with a
visitor. As he speaks, the digital recorder inside the pen captures his voice.
Once done, he taps the pen on a word he scribbled halfway down the page. The pen
immediately begins to replay the conversation, starting from the point in time
when Mr. Marggraff had written that word. He then skips back and forth in the
audio simply by tapping the pen on different places on the page. (...)
To generate excitement about the future potential of the Livescribe
technology, Mr. Marggraff performs a nifty stunt: he reaches into his pocket,
pulls out his business card and hands it to someone saying that if the person
jots down a note on the back of it with a Livescribe pen, the note could soon
land in Mr. Marggraff’s e-mail in-box.

From Microsoft, a great looking Surface computer. It reminds me of Jeff Han, showing his very cool display.

Sony has developed "a razor-thin display that bends like paper while showing full-color video", but "it has yet to decide on commercial products using the technology".

Also in the New York Times, HP's efforts to get more printing done. It will introduce a handheld printer.

Finally, the Times also wrote about advances in video conferencing.

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