HotSpot Episode 41: Smartphone-Controlled Smartplane

Mon, 12/02/2013 - 10:20am
Eric Sorensen, Coordinator of Multimedia Development

This week on WDD’s HotSpot, brought to you by National Instruments:

  • You thought the quadcopter was fun? Well check this little diddy out from Germany-based TobyRich. This RC aircraft is iPhone controlled, simple, crash proof, and connects instantly. It can be flown with one hand. All users have to do it slide their thumb to go up and down, and tilt the phone to turn. It also analyzes situations and automatically makes adjustments and corrections. Using the latest BluetoothSmart wireless technology, the phone features simple Touch and Go connection.
  • MIT researchers have developed a nano camera that can operate at the speed of light. This three-dimensional camera has the potential to be used in medical imaging, collision avoidance detectors in cars, and to improve the accuracy of motion tracking and gesture-recognition devices used in interactive gaming. According to MIT, the camera is based on “Time of Flight” technology like that used in Microsoft’s recently launched second-generation Kinect device, in which the location of objects is calculated by how long it takes a light signal to reflect off a surface and return to the sensor.
  • The Associated Press has reported that Microsoft and Sony have delivered their newest generation of high-powered video games, and just in time for the holiday season. Bringing cutting-edge computer graphics right to your living room, both consoles promise state-of the art entertainment for years. However, there are a few differences: According to the AP, the Xbox one comes with a Kinect camera and microphone. Once sold separately, the Kinect now understands a wide range of verbal commands, so you can change cable channels, launch Skype calls and find movies and music without ever touching a controller. The PlayStation 4 is less ambitious. First and foremost, it's a game player, and you operate it the old-fashioned way: by pressing buttons on a controller you hold in your hands. That said, the PS4 doesn't skimp on non-gaming activities. You can also use it to watch movies from such services as Netflix and Hulu Plus or to listen to tunes from Sony's Music Unlimited.
  • Punch Through Design has introduced its Cortado devices, which centers on a custom Bluetooth 4.0 LE chip that enables wireless programming, and helps the board last for more than a year on a replaceable watch battery. The Cortado is wirelessly programed with Aduino code from all the well-known platforms, including iOS, Android, Mac, and Windows; connecting you physical things to the digital world.

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