Engadget trying out some crowd-funding

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Engadget has decided to give this whole crowd-funding thing a try with a competition called Insert Coin. This is part of an upcoming event called Expand that is supposed to let us get inside information on gadget construction and conception. This actually sounds refreshing compared to the giant commercial that other tech conferences can be (This is why Hackaday has never returned to CES).

Insert Coin is a contest that has hardware at the forefront. If you qualify, you could win $25,000 for your device as well as $1,000 to come show it off at their event.

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New PSP leaked

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Engadget has video from the June 2009 episode of Qore that shows the new PSP Go. It has a slide out gamepad, 16GB internal storage, bluetooth, and a memory slot of some sort. We’re naturally curious about its potential as a homebrew platform. Will Sony take the mature route they did with the PS3 and let you run Linux or will they continue the firmware arms race the PSP is known for? We’ll be hearing more about this platform at E3 next week.

HAL suit going into production

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When we compiled our list of real life power suits last May, the HAL suit was being pitched as a $1000 a month rental. Cyberdyne has changed their tune for the better recently. Teports suggest that the first 400 unit run of powered exoskeletons will sell for $4200, less than a Segway. The suit can increase the wearer’s strength ten-fold and will run continuously for nearly three hours.

[via Engadget]

iPhone 3.0 adds custom protocol support for addons

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In middle of all the adding features that should have been available day-one, Apple announced something really interesting for the hardware hacking community. The new iPhone 3.0 OS will support application communication over bluetooth or through the dock connector using standard or custom protocols. From Engadget’s coverage:

10:19AM “They talk over the dock, and wirelessly over Bluetooth. Things like playing and pausing music, getting artwork — or you can build your own custom protocols.”
10:19AM “Now here’s a class that we think will be really interesting — medical devices.” Scott’s showing off a blood pressure reader that interfaces with the iPhone — wild.
10:18AM “Here’s an example — an FM transmitter. With 3.0, the dev can build a custom app that pairs up with it, and automatically finds the right station and tunes it in.”
10:18AM “With 3.0, we’re going to enable accessory developers to build custom apps that talk directly to that hardware.”

No solid connection specification has been published yet. We’re excited about the prospect of developing our own accessory hardware, but we wonder what sort of hoops you’ll have to jump through. Apple doesn’t have the best track record when it comes to approvals. Just this week they denied MSA Remote client App Store entry; it’s a multitouch client that uses the standard TUIO protocol. Prepare for similar roadblocks in the future.

[via adafruit]

Stantum’s high precision multitouch

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We love keeping track of new interaction technologies and this new touchscreen by Stantum looks especially promising. Engadget shot a hands-on video with it at the Mobile World Conference. It’s a resistive screen, so it can be used with both fingers and styluses (unlike capacitive screens). It’s sensitive enough that you could use a brush too. The screen supports any number of multitouch points and does pressure sensing based on the size of the detected fingertip. The touch detection is actually more accurate than the screen can display. Stantum is hoping mobile manufactures will pick up their input framework for inclusion in new devices. The resistive touchscreen was built to Stantum’s specifications (it won’t work with current phones), but they say it wouldn’t be hard to go into mass production.

Forknife, Android G1 controlled robot

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When we first saw [Jeffrey Nelson]‘s G1 based robot we immediately wondered what the transport for the controls was. The G1‘s hardware supports USB On-The-Go, but it’s not implemented in Android yet. It turns out he’s actually sending commands by using DTMF tones through the headphone adapter. The audio jack is connected to a DTMF decoder that sends signals to the bot’s Arduino. He wrote client/server code in Java to issue commands to the robot. You can find that code plus a simple schematic on his site. A video of the bot is embedded below.

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Game Boy Pocket backlight

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[palmertech] and [Bibin] have both completed backlight projects for the Game Boy Pocket recently. The most difficult part of the transplant is carefully removing the reflective backing on the LCD. After a thorough cleaning, a diffuser and backlight panel were added. [palmertech] used a backlight salvaged from a DS, while [Bibin] built his own using LEDs. You can see his backlight in the video embedded below. There’s a disassembly video too.

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