Wearable computing’s next step – gestures only, no handheld device

6thsenseImagine walking around with a mobile computing device embedded in your clothes or hanging around your neck that lets you compute, take photos and more without needing to actually handle a device. Instead you use gestures and your fingers to ‘perform’ the computer commands.

SixthSense is a project run out of the MIT Media Lab
that takes wearable computing a step further.

Novelquest Emperor Workspace

NovelQuest Emporer Workspace

Perhaps the ultimate in workspace technology for gamers is the Novelquest Emperor Workspace. Turning you into some sort of mechanical dinosaur, this workspace provides excellent comfort levels and increases productivity of the user with its uber comfy leather chair and suspended tri-screen.

The screen resolution produced by this monster with 3 19-inch screens is worthy of even the most hardcore of gamers at 3840×1024. Sound is produced by a 5.1 surround sound speaker system by Bose and, just in case you’re bothered about this sort of thing, the air is purified by a full HEPA air purification system. Finally, just about every connection you could want is provided including memory card reader, iPod/iPhone dock, USB, eSATA, Firewire ports and more. But if that’s not enough that, naturally, every option is full customizable on ordering.

With a price tag of $39,950, (plus the cost of the high-end computer you’ll want to do this workspace justice) I really can’t think of any better way to spend my money.

More info from the manufacturer

Price: $39,950
(Please note prices are subject to change and the listed price is correct to the best of our knowledge at the time of posting)

Wolfram Alpha promises computing that answers questions

Computer scientist, Stephen Wolfram, feels that he has put together at least the initial version of a computer that actually answers factual questions, a la Star Trek’s ship computers. His version will be found on their Web-based application, Wolfram Alpha.

What does this mean? Well instead of returning links to pages that may (or may not) contain the answer to your questions, Wolfram will respond with the actual answer. Now the caveat ‘factual’ is important. You can ask it questions like ‘why is the sky blue?’ or ‘how many bones are in the human body?’, but probably not ‘do you think abortion is wrong?’. This computational knowledge engine uses natural language to parse the questions and can also accept coded queries.

For the subject areas that Wolfram covers, they not only had to either enter or import data on those subjects, but had to build models or create algorithms for breaking down and describing that data in simpler building blocks. Long story short, my question is how easy is it going to be expand into additional subject areas?

Don’t bother trying to visit the site just yet – it’s not launching until May 2009. If this works well, this is going to revolutionize computing and in particular, the search engine market. Google of course comes to mind. Would they see this as a threat? I imagine they should. so I think what will be important here is how quickly Wolfram can expand into additional subject areas. If they give Google enough time to get into this market, then they could be sunk.

via Techcrunch

Microsoft’s Ballmer says new ‘cloud’ Windows OS coming

Why do I get the impression that this is just going to be Windows with some ‘cloud computing’ window dressing (pardon the pun)? Steve Ballmer says they’ll show it off at their developer conference this month.

Yup, it sounds like an attempt to cash in on the buzzword du jour. I’m not slighting ‘the cloud’. After all, we all already do so much completely online (ex: e-mail, address books, social networking, to do lists). I’m just wondering what an OS brings to the table, when all you really need is a good Web browser. Who cares about OSes any more?!

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