Bug Labs, the company that makes modular electronics that allow you to build your own tech doohickeys quickly and easily, has announced five new modules: BUGprojector, a mini DLP projector developed in conjunction with Texas Instruments, which sounds very much like the tiny DLP projector we posted about last week; BUGsound, an audio processing module with four stereo input/output jacks, a microphone, a speaker, and builtin hardware codecs; BUGbee (802.15.4) and BUGwifi (802.11 and Bluetooth 2.0+EDR), which will let you connect wirelessly with your PAN and WLAN, respectively; and BUG3g GSM, for connecting to (you guessed it) 3G GSM networks. In conjunction with Bug Labs’ existing series of modules, especially the highly versatile BUGvonHippel universal module, you’ll be able to create some pretty kickass gadgets. No word yet on pricing, although Bug Labs expects to ship by the end of Q1 2009.
The team from Tech-On has taken the time to teardown two interesting microprojectors. The first model they tackled was the Optoma PK101. It’s based around a digital micromirror device (DMD) like those used in DLP. Separate high intensity red, green, and blue LEDs provide the light source. A fly-eye style lens reduces variations between images. They noted that both the LEDs and processors were tied directly to the chassis to dissipate heat.
The next projector was the 3M Co MPro110. It uses Liquid Crystal on Silicon (LCoS) technology. The light source is a single bright white LED. The projector seems to have more provisions for getting rid of heat than the previous one. The most interesting part was the resin polarizing beam splitter. It not only reflected specific polarizations, but also adjust the aspect ratio.
[Conundrum] shares with us his MyVu hacking experiences. The MyVu personal display seems like it would be a great foundation to build some decent 3d display goggles, it is fairly small and has a screen for each eye. This opens up the door to possibly driving them independently for 3d. Those giant helmets we used to use were not anywhere near as stylish as these. Apparently, some quick hacking can double your resolution or even possibly supply 3D imagery! The details are pretty sparse, but it appears as though he has gotten some of these mods functional and tested. Lets hope he posts some more information, we’re definitely interested. We normally wouldn’t post something with so little information, but we’re hoping this encourages him to give us more.
[Ben Heck] has put the final touches on his Pelican case Xbox 360. This prototype was constructed for use by troops stationed overseas. When he announced the project in October, he already knew some of the hurdles he would face. An industrial Velcro style product is used for all component mounting so the air/water-tight seal of the case remains intact. He sanded the surface so that it would stick better. [Ben] mentions that he ended up using less Velcro than he planned on because it held so well. Not being able to cut the case meant the DVD drive had to be converted to top-loading. The tray movement limit switches have been relocated so they now respond to lid position. He regrets not being able to motorize the lid, but let it go since this is still just the first attempt. Extra copper was added to all of the heat sinks to improve cooling. This Xbox is for sale and he’d love to hear from anyone that wants to put it into production. The write-up has a ton of pictures and you can see a video of it below.
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Hackers are continuing to outpace Apple with feature additions. The team at iMobileCinema has created a flash plugin for the Mobile Safari browser. It’s a beta release and still a bit buggy. This app is only available to people who have jailbroken their iPhones. You just need to add d.imobilecinema.com to your sources in Cydia to get the package to appear. While it can crash from time to time, it’s certainly better than no support at all.
The fine folks at Mitsubishi Electric Research Labs (MERL) are demoing a new touchscreen system that may make small devices easier to use. An extension of their LucidTouch technology, NanoTouch has a small screen on the front and a touchpad on the back. Their test unit features a 2.4inch screen. The screen displays where the user’s finger is on the back touchpad as if the display was transparent. The user’s finger no longer obscures the screen surface, so it’s much easier to hit small buttons. In testing, researchers showed that targets just 1.8mm across were easy to hit. That’s much smaller than the iPhone’s touchscreen keyboard. Here’s a video demonstrating the new device.
A couple months ago we posted [Ben Heck]’s in-progress photos of his Xbox 360 laptop (with links to his other versions). He’s just put the finishing touches on it, and dubbed it the Xbox 360 Portable. It has a removable hard drive on top and memory slots on the side. The webcam is embedded in the frame and there’s internal WiFi. With chatpads available now, he’s decided not to include a keyboard. It’s really a nice machine. Check out the video below for a tour of the system.
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