GeekBytes: Android and Lasers and Snakes, Oh My!
Welcome to the first-ever edition of GeekBytes! GB aims to bring you all the other notable news the rest of GeekTech didn't get to in a bite-size, quick-read format.
Today, check out an impressive giant tablet device, read about how Ice Cream Sandwich is already getting ported to other devices, and be amazed at how hologram technology is coming on.
It looks like 3D technology is being put to further use to create a pretty awesome laser show. Researchers at Burton Inc have made use of their own tech to use lasers instead of a screen to project 3D objects, creating a hologram-like display. It works due to the lasers emitting light in particular locations, creating "plasma excitation" from oxygen and nitrogen. The hologram works both under water and in air, and can produce 50,000 dots per second with a frame-rate of 10-15 frames per second (and getting better!). Color combos can also be created by simply adding red and blue to the green lasers used in the example below:
Ok, so as much as it may have been a dream come true for hardcore Android fans, the giant tablet is more a clever digital content receiver solution on an LCD. Basically, if you are looking for a way of using your Honeycomb-powered tablet on a TV screen, Ardic may have an answer for you. They've set up a 65 inch LSD touchscreen to be powered by and act like a tablet--it's got 1080p support too (normal Android tablets can be customized to support this), so even tablet gestures like pinching and zoom work. The LCD also has Wi-Fi and 3G connectivity, 1GB RAM and 16GB flash memory, cameras, and HDMI input. Evetually, the display-come-tablet will be available in a different size, but think how cool it would be to play Angry Birds on a 65-inch screen. You can check out a video of the LCD in action over on YouTube.
Just a day after Google released the source code for Ice Cream Sandwich, the next major release of Android, one hacker going by the name of "pfefferzlinaro" on YouTube has manged to get it running on a PandaBoard mobile development kit. So far the hack seems to run quite effectively, so it will be interesting to see what other tinkerers will have in store for the upcoming Android OS. See how PandaBoard perfoms in the video below.
If you are not a fan of snakes, you may want to stop reading now. A team lead by Charlie Brinson have decided to create a robotic replica of Titanoboa, a humungous snake that apparently slithered its way across the land millions of years ago. Not only is this replica 50 feet long (and weighs a ton), but has also been programmed to writhe around in a snake-like fashion using hydraulics. Eventually, someone will sit astride and control this mechanical beast while the rest of us look on in awe--which we should, because the team want to see if the way a snake moves could be replicated within modes of transport, prompting new designs within technology and construction. Visit the robotic snake's website to see its moves.