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Web and print solutions that stand out from the crowd!
Web and print solutions that stand out from the crowd!

Unconundrum's posts

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Jelly allows you to ask questions you can't easily Google for: what painting is this? who has the best Pizza in New York? what's this rash on my arm? - use the App to take a photo, draw on it, add a question and post it to the Jelly platform.

This isn't a new Social Network, instead you give Jelly limited access to Facebook and/or Twitter so it knows who your friends and friends-of-friends are. When people within your social networks log into Jelly they see your questions, and likewise you can see and answer their questions.

Questions are posted to the Jelly website, only accessible through a direct link you can then email to other friends or have the App post to Facebook or any other sites your phone can post messages to.

It's a very new service - but very easy to use. Give it a try next time you're stuck for an answer!

Jelly - as in Jellyfish, because they have a loose network of nerves that act as a "brain" similar to how Jelly loosely networks with Facebook and Twitter - was created by Biz Stone, a co-founder of Twitter.
Introducing Jelly

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True wearable HUD developed by Innovega

Innovega has unveiled a combination of contact lenses and glasses to project a high-definition Head Up Display across the whole of your field of vision (which is what everyone wishes Google Glass achieves, but doesn't).

The iOptik glasses hold two projectors that project onto the glass, not the contacts. The contacts (which can be prescription) have a sub-millimeter 'bump' in the center that allows you to see incredibly well half an inch from your eye where the imagery is being projected.

As you can see from the example image it doesn't necessarily obstruct your view but can be put around the periphery - but relevant imagery can be put into your direct line of site (driving directions) or encompass it entirely (movies, for which you'll probably need a white wall to watch properly).

Unlike Google Glass this is currently only a projection system - it needs to be paired with a device (such as an Android tablet) to provide the imagery, sound and interactivity. This has an advantage in keeping the device lightweight and totally upgradable, but for a fully immersive experience you'll probably be wanting to pair this with other forms of wearable computing to enable voice and motion commands.

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The super-thin smartphone in the video from Queen's University's Human Media Lab has what looks to be a Kindle style e-ink display, but it's unique feature is it's both flexible and self-flexing - so it can deform at will, such as curling about when a call comes in.
Think of it as the new 'vibrate' - when your phone is on silent or you have headphones, you'll either feel the phone squirming in your pocket or have the movement catch your eye as it curves up on your desk.
Personally I'd like to see it crawl about a bit, so in case of missing phones you can send an SMS to get it worming out from beneath whatever it's hidden under.

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Throw away your mouse and embrace an entirely new way of controlling computers!

Here's a new wearable controller peripheral due to ship before 2014 - the MYO Bracelet has 6-axis motion sensors to detect arm movement, but much more interesting are the muscle activity sensors that measure the arms electrical activity so sensitively it can discern individual finger movements.

These sensors combined could at least spell the end for your computer mouse, gaming console movement trackers, but more importantly the MYO Bracelet opens up the possibility for true gesture-based computer control.

The device uses a low-power Bluetooth connection, and is compatible with Windows and Mac OS, with APIs becoming available for Android and iOS devices.

Thalmic Labs CEO Stephen Lake takes us behind the scenes at his R&D facility for some great technical insights:
MYO - Behind the Scenes at Thalmic Labs

The other video attached to this post is a promo real that gives a great insight into how this device could be used to both replace and improve existing interfaces for business, education, gaming, sport, home computing as well as remote controling real-world devices from kids toys up to military drones.

The MYO Bracelet is available for pre-order now at

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Eric Schmidt talks to BBC radio about the latest developments in Google's self-driving car, the Glass consumer release, some of Googles recent legal troubles around the world, Eric's recent visit to North Korea and much more.

The photo? How the Google driverless car "see's" the world around it.

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World's first Braille Smartphone for the blind.

Sumit Dagar of India has been developing a Braille smartphone for the last few years, and his company is being incubated at the Center for Innovation Incubation and Entrepreneurship in Ahmedabad - giving his product a real chance of becoming a reality. 

The phone uses a haptic touch screen with a grid of pins that move up and down to form Braille characters or outline images and videos.

There's more information at the Times Of India:  
And check out Sumit Dagar talking at the 2011 TED conference: 
Sumit Dagar - Touch screen phone for the visually impaired.  

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Ever wished you could control your computer or phone with a thought? Samsung have begun researching brain-computer interfaces to enable users to control their devices by focusing their thoughts.

It's not new technology by any means - Electroencephalography (EEG) devices have been used since the 1990s to allow the severely physically disabled to interact with computers: moving cursors, navigating in an up/down/left/right manner.

However it takes some time to master the technology, and non-invasive EEG equipment (i.e. skullcaps or headbands rather than surgical implants) suffer from poor signal resolution, making it harder for the computer to accurately analyze your brainwave activity - resulting in at best a delayed response, at worse false readings. Currently it would be easier for the user to use their hands or voice to control a device than an EEG headband - presuming they can use their hands or voice.

Samsung is aiming to improve non-invasive EEG to eventually create a range of wearable consumer brain-computer interfaces devices that will be intuitive to use for the average user. Hopefully they will also improve the state of the technology for disabled users while they work towards perfecting their consumer devices.

Read the MIT Tech Review article for more on Samsung's research:

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Pheed - the next big social network?

There's a lot in the online opinion pieces about Pheed, most of it concerning the lack of distinguishing features, the confronting tattooed man on the sign-up screen, and the general futility of taking on behemoths like Facebook and Twitter. Pheed users are mocked for signing up to a social network doomed to fail.

It's true that Pheed isn't all that different from Facebook. You post content, people in your network see it, comment on it, share it - and that's pretty much it. There are some neat extra features: you can easily Share and Like posts to Twitter, Facebook and Tumblr (something offered on every website except Twitter, Facebook and Tumblr) - Pheed doesn't try and isolate you. If your content is compelling enough you can choose to make your account subscription-only, earning money for both yourself and Pheed.

These are the only real compelling technical differences, but what justifies Pheed's success is quite simple: 80% of Pheeds users are aged 25 and under, while 80% of Facebook and Twitter users are aged 26 and upwards.

Facebook is where your Mum and Dad live.

Facebook and Twitter have got too crowded with too wide a demographic - Pheed is for people that don't want to sift through a sea of unfunny "I'm a mom and survive by drinking wine" postcards just to get to the interesting stuff, nor do they want to worry about their entire family or their boss casually observing everything they post. No wonder Pheed offers Facebook and Twitter tools - you have to throw Mum and Dad a bit of love every now and then or they'll up sticks to Pheed as well.

This is what upsets the authors of these vitriolic articles: they know Pheed isn't intended for them at all, they've been left behind. Just being online isn't cutting edge anymore - maybe Pheed will fail, but that's what's exciting about being on the frontier. What are you worried about, losing your contact list? Then stay at home, granddad.

Generational Change has hit the Internet.

Pheed users aren't pouty rebellious teens - far from it. They've grown up and moved on to explore, leaving the oldies behind where they're quite comfortable.
It doesn't matter if Pheed will be the next big thing or not, what matters is Facebook and Twitter are no longer cemented as the end point of online achievement.

Kick down the old institutions, let the innovation begin anew.

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Glass has finally shipped to the first developers - and there are a few surprises. Firstly, Glass doesn't actually sit in front of your eye to overlay your general vision - you need to glance up and to the right to view the screen. This means it's not going to be useful for the "augmented reality" uses people have been brainstorming, such as overlaying game environments, running constant facial-recognition to overlay names for forgetful users and so on.

Glass is also not usable on it's own: it will need to be paired via Bluetooth with an Android Smartphone at all times (running a Glass App), otherwise it won't be able to do anything. In some ways this is understandable: you want to reduce the weight on your head and exposure to radiation from mobile-network usage, but it would be nice if Glass came with a sim-card loaded but otherwise dumb device to pop into your pocket, with optional pairing to smartphones - otherwise Glass comes across slightly as just a 'second monitor' for your phone.

A more pleasant surprise is the confirmation that Glass does not have a speaker in or near your ear, but does indeed use the rumoured Bone Conduction Transducer we recently saw Patents for.

Full tech-specs can be found here:  
Some first impressions by one of the early-adopting developers (with actual screenshots of the interface self-taken by his Glass) make up this enlightening article:

And, if product un-boxing is your thing, here is a Glass-shot video of an early adopter unboxing their Glass - which best shows how useful Glass can be for shooting POV videos of this kind:
Glass unboxing video through Glass
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