Google Android application challenge winners

The Google Android team recently launched a challenge to encourage development for their new cellphone based platform. Part of the first phase was to narrow down the 1,788 submissions to the best 50 application ideas. They’ve posted the complete list of winners on their website and put together a little slide show(PDF) as well. As part of the challenge some $10,000,000 is up for grabs from Google.

We browsed through the list and found a lot of social this and family that; nothing overly exciting honestly. There were a few interesting application ideas in there though:

  1. BioWallet - Biometric authentication system that uses iris identification.
  2. Talkplay – Video and voice message system, see and talk to your friends while on the go.
  3. Writing Pad – A unique way to enter text into your phone where common words are replaced by simple strokes.

The Android platform will probably cause the largest adoption of Linux based cellphones yet. We can’t wait to see what the homebrew community does with the platform and so much development for an unlaunched phone is amazing. Apple seems to go out of their way to lock us out, where this platform couldn’t be more open. With 3G support, WiFi, SQlite, Virtual Machines, GPS and much more what’s not to like.

Have any of you experimented with the Android SDK?

[via LinuxDevices]

Touchscreen turntables, scratching without vinyl


While we were researching the AudioCubes, we ran into this amazing DJ system by designer [Scott Hobbs]. He calls it the ATTIGO TT, and it uses two touchscreens to simulate the turntables on a conventional system. More technical details after the break.

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Real life power suits


There was a time when the notion of powered armor like the set Ironman wears was just science fiction, but that time is gone. So, while the geeks at io9 are still dreaming of the future we’re very much in tune with the work that is being done right now. We’ll go through some of the most impressive powered suits out there after the break.

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Lumenlab’s new kit: Open source CNC


Imagine our surprise when we stumbled on the latest Lumenlab project: gantry style CNC. Until now the only time we ever invoked their name was for DIY projectors. The kit looks pretty interesting, and they’re taking pre-orders right now. It’s designed for a full sized router and you should be able to cut a 4′ by 8′ sheet with a feed roll. Even without, the cutting area is a large 26″ by 50″ and features 8″ of Z movement. Between their kit and an order from Online Metals, they’re projecting that you can build your own for around $1000. We’re definitely in when the final kit is released in June.

AudioCubes by Percussa

[Peter Nyboer] has written an extensive post about his experience with AudioCubes from Percussa. Aside from their unique glowing exterior, these cubes are an innovative way to control and even produce audio tracks. Four faces of each cube are equipped with IR sensors to detect distance and communicate with other cubes. The cubes also have USB, a rechargeable battery, and audio in/out. Moving your hands around the sensors changes the MIDI output of the cube. Changing the cubes’ orientation and distance from each other also changes the signal. Max/MSP and Live are both supported out of the box, but that doesn’t mean it’ll be easy to get started. [Peter] makes an important point: unlike traditional instruments, there’s no obvious way to get started. At 400euro for 2 cubes and 650euro for 4 cubes, these devices aren’t exactly being given away, but it’s great to see new interfaces being imagined. A video of [Peter]’s first experiments with the cubes is embedded below; read his full post to see more footage of the cubes in action… and naturally we’d love to see any DIY versions of this you can come up with.

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