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September 15, 2005



Issue #53 - September 15, 2005 [excerpts]

Techstyle News is a free monthly newsletter providing summaries and commentaries on stories related to the next generation of mobile technology and style, produced by Thinking Materials.

APPLE UNVEILS NEW WEARABLE MP3 PLAYER: Apple has introduced the iPod nano, a completely new iPod that’s thinner than a standard #2 pencil and weighs only 1.5 ounces. The iPod mini replacement is available in 2GB ($199) and 4GB ($249) capacities in either white or black designs. The ultra-compact device features a high-resolution color screen, Click Wheel, and offers up to 14 hours of battery life. Apple has announced several new accessories for the device, which the company calls the “most fashionable and wearable iPod ever.” The new gear includes lanyard headphones, which integrate the headphone cables into the lanyard; armbands in five colors, including gray, pink, blue, red and green; a set of silicone “Tubes” in five colors, including pink, purple, blue, green and clear; and dock.

PHILIPS SHOWS PHOTONIC TEXTILES: Philips Research has shown prototypes of its photonic textiles—fabrics that contain lighting systems and can therefore serve as displays. The researchers have managed to integrate flexible arrays of multicolored LEDs into fabrics without compromising the softness of the cloth. The LED substrates are also capable of displaying Windows Media Player-style visualisations and feature responsive sensors so that the patterns of diffused light displayed can change according to how they are handled.

SIRIUS ANNOUNCES NEW WEARABLE MUSIC PLAYER: Sirius Satellite Radio has unveiled its first wearable music player. The new device includes enough storage capacity for up to 50 hours of recorded Sirius content or audio files. Unlike XM's portable device, MyFi, Sirius's product will not be able to receive satellite signals on the go. Rather, it must be plugged into a docking station. The move comes as satellite radio players try to expand from the auto market. Both Sirius and XM have online streaming music services and "plug and play" devices that let users hook up to Sirius both in their cars and in their homes.

RESEARCHERS CREATE POWER BACKPACK: Scientists at the University of Pennsylvania have developed a backpack that can actually generate electricity as its wearer walks. The suspended-load backpack can generate about seven watts of power solely via the motion of the person carrying it, which is achieved by detaching the pack’s frame from the load it carries and harnessing the energy generated as the load moves up and down on vertical springs. The actual energy generated depends on the weight of the load and how fast the person walks, but is usually enough to charge several handheld devices at the same time. The pack is reportedly comfortable to wear, and doesn’t weigh significantly more than a conventional pack.


ISMAR 2005 IN VIENNA: Mixed Reality and Augmented Reality are highly interdisciplinary fields involving signal processing, computer vision, computer graphics, user interfaces, human factors, wearable computing, mobile computing, computer networks, distributed computing, information access, information visualization, and hardware design for new displays and sensors. MR/AR concepts are applicable to a wide range of applications. The International Symposium on Mixed and Augmented Reality, ISMAR, is the premier forum in this field and will be held in Vienna on October 5-8.

WICON AMERICAS IN SANTA CLARA: Wireless Connectivity (WiCon) Americas, to be held in Santa Clara on October 5-6, is the one stop shop for wireless connectivity solutions in the US. It's a high-level conference and exhibition to address leading wireless technologies such as Bluetooth, NFC, UWB, Wi-Fi, WiMax and ZigBee and the huge potential of the wireless networking applications they enable. The conference will focus on the convergence and co-existence of these technologies and their integration into mobile and computing devices. In addition the show will highlight some of the real life applications of these technologies in key vertical markets.

SIGDOC 2005 IN COVENTRY: SIGDOC 2005, to be held in Coventry on September 21-23, will provide an opportunity for the exchange of information related to exciting new research and empirical results in areas such as documenting mobile, pervasive and component-based systems, information design for delivery in a pervasive-computing environment, design for new communication media, culture and communities communicating in a pervasive environment, gathering and presenting information from pervasive computing networks and usability of information in a pervasive environment.

MOBILE HCI 2005 IN SALZBURG: MobileHCI provides a forum for academics and practitioners to discuss the challenges, potential solutions and innovations towards effective interaction with mobile systems and services. It covers the analysis, design, evaluation and application of human-computer interaction techniques and approaches for all mobile computing devices and services. The conference will be held in Salzburg on September 19-22.

CEATEC JAPAN 2005 IN TOKYO: CEATEC JAPAN is the largest international exhibition in Asia for the technology and electronics sectors, including the fields of imaging, information, and communications. Experience all the recent trends in IT and electronics, from technologies that showcase futuristic lifestyles to products that will be on store shelves during the upcoming winter season, including several new wearable devices. The fair is held in Tokyo on October 4-8.

Posted by jo at September 15, 2005 11:05 AM