Take a Step Into Virtual Reality

Virtual reality has started becoming more and more well-known in the gaming industry. It adds much more immersive and engaging qualities to a game, and now that it has been around for awhile, inventors are coming up with new ways it can be integrated into games.

The Japanese firm, known as Cerevo, has come out with Taclim. Taclim is a set of virtual reality shoes. As you have probably already guessed, the purpose behind this is to allow users to feel the virtual world through their feet. Each shoe has 3 sensors, two on the bottom of the shoe (one at the front and one at the rear), and the other is located a top of the foot. While wearing the shoes, a person can feel water splashing, a wooden floor creaking, snow crunching, and even soft sand beneath their feet.

Imagine fighting someone or something in a game and kicking them. With Taclim, you would easily be able to feel the difference between kicking your opponent, or kicking his/her shield. This is exactly what Cerevo is going for.

This newest addition to the virtual reality world is certainly a positive one. However, there are some downfalls. The lucky people who were able to try this out said it felt awkward, and the shoes were quite big and clunky. They felt uncomfortable doing a kicking motion, because the shoes felt like they were going to fall off. They also felt odd to walk in. They were instructed to stand in place and shuffle their feet in order to experience the different “textures”. While doing this not only did they feel awkward, but the shoes were heavy on their feet. Obviously, with every new invention, there will be positive and negative feedback.

Taclim is worth somewhere between $1000 – $1500, and will be available in late 2017. So far it is only compatible with Google VR, which explains why it’s so pricey. Hopefully it will become compatible with more than just Google, because otherwise it might not sell too well.

So the question is would you buy this? Or is this just another silly gimmick that the gaming industry has come up with. With the release date being sometime this year, we will have to patiently wait.

The First VISOR?

For any of you who have a love of Star Trek, I’m assuming you’ve seen, or at least know of Star Trek: The Next Generation. One of the main characters is man named Geordie La Forge, a Starfleet engineer who was born blind. Now, this isn’t a problem as this takes place in the 2300’s and the technology is far superior to ours. Mr. La Forge (before getting ocular implants) wore what is called a VISOR (Visual Instrument and Sensory Organ Replacement) that allowed him to see by detecting electromagnetic signals across the EM spectrum (between 1 Hz and 100,000 THz) and used them to send signals to the brain through implants. This seems a little excessive, even for this day in age, but the technology isn’t far off.

Black eSight3

This is the eSight 3, A device that, although doesn’t “fix” blindness, allows people who are legally blind to see clearly. It works for about 4/5 people and works best for those who suffer from Macular Degeneration, but it works on a number of other conditions as well.

eSight CEO Dr. Brian Mech wanted to take advantage of the current improvements and successes of VR to help people. The eSight 3 uses high-speed, high-definition cameras to capture what the user is looking at, and displays it on 2 OLED screens in front of the user’s eyes. Using a remote that is connected to the headset, the user is able to zoom in or brighten/darken so that she is given the best sight possible. The headset can also take photos, capturing what the user is seeing. This not only gives people their sight back, but also gives them freedom. They can safely walk around in public without aid so that they don’t have to rely on a guide dog or white cane. It also helps them read so that they won’t need to use braille.

A couple of the drawbacks are that it isn’t waterproof, nor are users able to drive while wearing it, but the stages it’s at now are remarkable.

eSight 3

Sitting at $10,000 a piece, it is most definitely not the most affordable thing out there, but for many of the users, what the eSight 3 does for them is priceless.

We may not be at the point of curing blindness, but this step forward is truly incredible and who can even imagine where we will be in 10 years. And who knows? Maybe we will reaching VISOR technology sooner than 2300.


Give Your Creativity a Boost

Legos are one of those toys that became a staple in almost everyone’s childhood. You would come home from the store, rip open your new lego set and, sure enough, in about an hour’s time, you’d have legos from one end of your room to the other. Lego taught children a very hands-on approach to creativity, and now, with Lego Boost, kids can make their imaginations come to life!

Lego Boost, is Lego’s newest addition to their lineup of toys. Targeted at kids ages seven and up, and priced at $160, Lego Boost is a set of legos that comes with a set of motors and programmable bricks that can work with new and existing sets to bring a creation to life.

The Lego Boost set comes with 5 different instructions for different models you can create. Two of them are Vinnie the Robot and Frankie the Cat. Vinnie the Robot can be programmed to behave in a “western” style. You can code him to shoot a gun at a target every time it hears a clap, and, of course, dress him in western gear. You can even code him to *cough, cough* fart, when you pull his finger.

Frankie the Cat comes with a number of unique and engaging programmable behaviours. He starts out as a kitten, and, as slowly or quickly as you want, you can program him to behave more like a full-grown cat. You can program him to hiss at you when you grab his tail, or purr when you feed him through a milk bottle. You can even leave him running in the background, so when he starts meowing, you will have to figure out what it is that he needs.

Now, you’re all probably thinking, how would a seven-year-old know how to code this? While we’re all used to being utterly baffled while attempting to code something, this, however, is much simpler. The app that is integral to the success of this toy uses color-coded icons. Basically, if you want Vinnie to say, “Howdy, partner!” every time you snap your fingers, you would place an icon used for audio next to one used for action. Therefore, it will know what to do when it hears you snapping your fingers.

Lego Boost will allow kids to express their creativity and it will spark a curiosity for how inventions are developed. I think that this will do wonders for children’s growth and development.

Drumi: The Foot Powered Washing Machine

Have you ever gone camping and gotten your favorite shirt dirty? Or do you live in a small apartment that doesn’t come equipped with a washer and dryer and you find yourself not wanting to use the provided facilities in the building? If you answered yes to either of these OR you just simply want to know what I’m going to be talking about, then consider this…A washing machine that does not use electricity, is small and compact, and PORTABLE.

Now that I’ve got your attention, I’d like to tell you about the Drumi: the foot powered washing machine….

Costing only 299$ USD, this little guy is perfect for those who have a small apartment with no room for a washing machine. With it’s small size, the Drumi can easily be put in a corner of a room or packed away into the bottom of the closet until it is needed again to make room for something else that might be necessary. I also mentioned before that this little gadget is also portable. That is absolutely correct. Since this little thing does not use electricity but rather foot power (stepping on a peddle to make the mechanism run), it is perfect to have in the middle of nowhere on a camping trip to wash those soiled pieces of clothing that the kids don’t want to be without. This would sure beat using a washboard and a piece of soap in a river or a lake.

Convinced yet that you should get this washing machine?

Well how about a couple more facts about the Drumi that might sway your decision. Not only does it not use electricity and has a compact size but it also has a handy handle to make carrying this little gadget a little easier for those of us who might be strong enough to carry it without a handle. I know it would definitely be good for me to have a little gadget like this with a handle as my hands cannot manage carrying something this size and I also like to multi task. Why carry one thing when you could carry multiple things. Right?

So, what did we learn?

That the Drumi is perfect for those people who love camping but also love having clean clothes over those extended camping trips and for those who might live in a tiny apartment and don’t have a regular washing machine. Definitely a good investment!

The Hexoskin

We all know that a common New Year’s resolution is to lose weight or become more healthy. Do people usually commit to their resolutions? Some do, some don’t. However, with this new piece of workout technology, I predict that more people will commit to having six-pack abs by swimsuit season.

The latest trend for fitness fanatics, first time gym goers, or anyone in between, is wearable technology. We have all heard of the Fitbit, but one step up is the Hexoskin. This new product on the market, worth a whopping $399, is a wearable fitness t-shirt. It is equipped with a Bluetooth sensor which is connected to numerous sensors in the fabric. If you choose to wear this during the day, it can track things such as heart rate, step count, calories burned, respiration rate, breathing volume, activity level, and much more. If you decide to wear this to bed at night, it can track your sleeping patterns, sleeping position, and cardiac and respiratory activity. All of this information is then sent directly to a smartphone app, with iOS and Android capabilities.

The hexoskin is made from waterproof material and comes in a variety of different sizes, with small to 3x available to men, and x-small to XL available to women. It is somewhat bulky, so it takes some time to get used to, especially if you plan on sleeping in it. The bluetooth device is located on the side of the torso and is hardly noticeable.

This is definitely not the first time something like this has been on the market. However, what it brings to the table is its ability to be used for more than just fitness. The Hexoskin can be worn while you sleep. This is especially important for professional athletes, because not only would this be effective to them during the day, but also at night. It is while we sleep that our bodies build and repair muscle, with some people saying that a good night’s sleep is almost as important as a solid workout regimen.

If you have the money, and are committed to reaching your fitness goals, then I’d say the Hexoskin is for you.

HiCan High Fidelity Canopy

This is the new High Fidelity Canopy, or HiCan for short. As shown above; this bed is very different than what someone would think about when the word “bed” comes to mind. Other than an adjustable mattress for optimal comfort, the HiCan is a “sleeping pod” that has everything you could ever dream of. No pun intended.

To start off, this bed has retractable blinds. So whether you do not like sunlight, or don’t make your bed in the morning, it can be fixed with the click of a button. HiCan also has a built in projector and retractable screen at the foot of the bed. To make that even cooler, it has a complete surround system to give you that “theater like” experience.

Do you like reading before bed? Well the HiCan has you covered with their reading lights inside of the canopy.

Are you a gamer? Well, not only does this bed have a multi-media PC, but it also has a gaming console inside of it as well.

This Canopy even has 8 different colors to chose from to personalize it even more.

The company says  “It’s designed to bring in our most personal space the emotion of driving our life through our dreams and passions.”

That sounds great, and as you could imagine there is a huge wait list of people who want this bed. Which would not be that surprising…. if the bed didn’t cost $67,018. However, the company knows that their bed is far more than expensive for a bed and having many failed efforts on trying to lower the price. The company offers people to try the bed for themselves for one or two nights. They are also offering a “smart-coupon” for 10% off any of the companies products, so maybe you can save a couple dollars on the canopy.

Although this invention is very innovative, I think I would rather buy a new vehicle, maybe put a down payment on a new house, or just save my money for something more logical for my life.


Brain Controlled Devices

Brain Controlled Devices: Good or Bad?

Technology has definitely come a long way from us thinking that microwave ovens, toasters and televisions are the new and exciting thing (which they are. I mean who doesn’t want to make food with ease while watching television?). Now, you can buy a headset that will control your mouse and keyboard while working on the computer. Now I can see the appeal here as I am someone who suffers from wrist and hand injuries so constantly working on a computer and using a mouse are not always a fun undertaking as they can re-aggravate the injury so the appeal of the headset would be good for some one who does not have the ability to use their hands. But what would be the downside to this? Well, a controller such as this is not just a pick up and use controller; there is some work that goes into being able to use this piece of tech. Now, if you’ve got the patience to be able to put this controller together and placing each sensory pad into it’s own separate place (and with a controller like the EPOC EEG there are sixteen of them) and then carefully sliding it onto your head without letting letting those sensory pads fall out and all over the floor. And the same thing applies to when you are done using this piece of tech as you have to carefully slide it off and take each sensory pad out and put them back in their carrying case. Phew! That sounds like a lot of work and I don’t even own one!
So aside from being time consuming, would this piece of tech be user-friendly and beneficial for everyone? My feeling is no. This is because of the fact that things like the EPOC EEG read brain patterns and facial expressions to complete the users desired tasks. However what about those people who have brain disorders? Or even turrets? reading facial expressions and brain patterns might not be the easiest thing for the tech to do, leaving the user unable to use it with ease. Now if that is the case, someone with the kind of issues i just described probably should not buy this kind of thing. But what happens if this becomes the way of the future?Then these are going to have to be some issues that will need to be worked out, now won’t they?



High-Tech Fishing Drone Creates Waves

If you’ve ever been fishing, then you know that most of your time is spent waiting for a bite. Usually this would be paired with hanging out with friends, working on your tan, and enjoying a few bevvies. However, if you’re fishing purely for sport, and you want to prove your “fish-catching” worth, then this new piece of tech is for you. UAV (Unmanned Aerial Vehicle) and PowerVision have come out with the PowerRay, a sure-fire way to catch all the fish you could imagine.

The PowerRay is an underwater drone that allows someone to heighten their fishing experience. The drone uses sonar to detect fish, the underwater landscape, and temperature info, which is then sent to the user’s WiFi. It has the capability of taking 4K videos and photos and streaming them directly to your smartphone. It submerges up to 30 meters, can spot fish up to 40 meters away and lures them in with a blue LED light.  With the drone’s impressive camera, you can also take photos in 12 megapixel resolution using the 100-degree wide-angle lens.

Another impressive capability is the use of Virtual Reality. It provides a first-person interactive view with the use of Virtual Reality. You can strap on a V.R. headset and, simply by turning and tilting your head, you can drive the drone below the surface of the water. This adds more of a gaming aspect to the device.

Recreational fishing has basically been the same ever since it’s beginning, which was a whopping 7000 years ago. So, this update to the ancient past-time is huge for the fishing industry. Some of the “old school” fisherman might not be too keen on using this to catch their fish, however, I think a younger demographic would. Wally Zheng, the CEO of PowerVision, says, “PowerRay is going to provide more efficiency, thrill, and fun to fishermen around the world”.

Fishing isn’t something I do, however, this underwater drone would definitely get me out on a boat attempting to make a catch. The price is still unknown. However, the company’s recently released aerial drone, the PowerEgg, runs for approximately $1200, so expect to pay roughly the same.

PowerVision will be taking pre-orders in February 2017.

Say Adiós to Language Barriers

Ever find yourself attempting to have a conversation with someone who speaks a language different from your own? It can be uncomfortable, and unless you have strong communication skills, it can be nearly impossible. This is about to be a thing of the past, with Waverly Labs introducing The Pilot.

The Pilot is a wearable earpiece that can be used to have conversations with others, without having to worry about any kind of language barrier. It comes with two earpieces, one for yourself and one for the person you’re talking with, a portable charger, and a smartphone app. Simply put, each user inserts the devices into their ears, turns on the app (with Bluetooth turned on), and from there you can seamlessly converse, with translation happening in real time, with minimal lag. So far the developers have made translation possible for English, Spanish, French and Italian, with further plans to expand to other languages in the future.

The inspiration came while the creator, Andrew Ochoa, was attempting to talk to an attractive French girl. He realized that it would be much easier if there were some way to instantly translate between the two languages. A few months later, his idea was in the beginning stages of development. The pilot can be pre-ordered online (http://www.waverlylabs.com/) for $199, becoming available in September 2017.

If you find yourself thinking, “I’ve seen this somewhere!”, then you’re probably thinking of the sci-fi movie, A Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy. In the movie, the issue of dealing with language barriers is solved by people sticking a “babel fish” into their ear, and it eats other people’s brainwaves and inputs a translation into your brain. Well, the Pilot is slightly less invasive but it essentially does the same thing. It effectively takes what someone else is saying in a different language, chews it up, and spits it back out into a more understandable dialect for the user.

In my opinion, the Pilot could easily become a highly sought-after tool for a wide demographic across the globe. Teachers would find it handy with their international students, world leaders could use it during official meetings, and the list goes on and on. With the release date quickly approaching, we will have to see how the world reacts to this groundbreaking piece of technology.


Manned missions to Mars and even eventual settlement are the eventual objective of almost every space agency on planet at this time. Having people on another planet even for a limited time will change how we communicate, for example will the people operate using the time system we have or would they have new  clocks for the different time on Mars.  When we communicate with whoever is on mars be it astronauts or settlers the communication will be vastly different then when we communicate to people here or in space near earth. The internet would take far longer to load and operate thanks to the vast  distance,  What kind of websites would we build for these people where every bit of data will slow down the speed of their systems, we might create a far more efficient code to use so that they may receive information at a acceptable speed.

If we do have people on mars for long periods of time the way they interact with things will change in ways that we have never thought of. The atmosphere on Mars is a much lower pressure than what we have here on earth will our modern technology survive in the environment there? It would be far better to send people with the best we can offer managing things with tablets rather than the much older technology that we used to send people to the moon.These missions will be happening in the next decade or so so what do you think will our technology need to be changed to talk with Mars?


Dreams Do Come True!

That’s right, I said it! Behold, the Acton Rocketskates! How many of us saw a movie where the characters had rocket boots or rocket powered shoes and said “WOW! I want those someday!”? Well, that someday has arrived, ladies and gentlemen. Let’s explore…

rocketskatesWith three models, Acton offers users the ability to travel at various speeds for a certain amount of time. The R6 model can travel 6 mi/45 min, the R8 can travel 8 mi/70 min, and the R10 can travel 10 mi/90 minutes. All three models can reach a maximum speed of 12 miles per hour for an approximate time of 1.5 hours.

Seriously, I can’t be the only person fan-girling about this (or fan-boying). I mean, for the longest time I wanted to have shoes like Shadow the Hedgehog. I know, he wears hover shoes, but rocket skates aren’t too far off!

These Rocketskates are hands free: just tilt forward to go and back to stop! Anyone could learn how to use these. They even allow you to walk (though, in my opinion, for a short period of time). Because the shoes are so close to the ground, the user can simply walk on their toes.

It even comes with an app! Talk about digital integration! The app tells the user how fast they are currently going (wait, wouldn’t these be considered a car?? Don’t text and drive!) and how long you have left before the battery drains. All in all, I would totally buy myself a pair of these!

Of course, every cool invention has its drawbacks. We’d all have to be really careful about how far we tilt. Even though the skates are close enough to the ground to walk, they are also close enough that if we tilt too far our toes could scrape the ground and it could potentially send us flying. I don’t know about you, but I sure don’t want a scratched up face before summer! We also can’t use these on a surface with an incline of more than 5-8 degrees. So much for making climbing those hills easier…

Even though there are some improvements that could be made, I would totally line up to test run a pair of these! There are so many more applications for technology like this that the possibilities are seemingly endless.

The Hendo Hoverboard

Ever thought the possibility of an actual hover board seemed impossible? The guys at Arx Pax would disagree, as this California start-up company has announced the world’s first functional hovering board, the Hendo Hoverboard.

Right now it can support 300 pounds, and eventually 500 after further development. The team says that eventually they want to see more uses for the hover board tech, such as floating elevators and easily movable furniture. As far off as it may seem, it’s fun to imagine a future with flying cars and floating boats among other ideas.

Real Hoverboard

However, one huge factor in whether this will remain relevant in the coming years will of course be the price of manufacturing these hover boards, and applying the technology to other modes of transportation. At the steep price of $10000, the Hendo Hoverboard won’t be the kind of thing everyone can afford. That’s not the only disadvantage though, as it can only hover over specific types of surfaces, since it uses magnetic levitation.

Seeing this tech applied to everyday life will likely be a slow transitional change that some might not even notice, as is the case with most advancements in technology. Anything beyond a simple hover board is probably still a very long ways away, especially with all of the limitations associated with it. I just hope it doesn’t fade into obscurity like other technology, such as Sony’s 3D TVs that never really went anywhere. In fact, 3D in general hasn’t gone very far beyond a first time thrill which wears off after several uses. Then again, we still have yet to see what will come of the Oculus Rift.


In most cases, people tend to prefer practicality over quality, and right now this hover board doesn’t look extremely practical. Magical and exciting, but not practical. It’s too early to say, but I just hope the Hendo Hoverboard becomes more than just another gimmick.

The Reactive Grip and the future of Virtual Gaming

Hey Bloggers, today I’m going to be talking about an invention by the name of “Reactive Grip.” It takes Virtual Reality to a whole new level, once paired with the Oculus Rift it becomes one of the most advanced gaming experiences that you will ever try. The Reactive Grip gives you much sharper sensations than the aging “rumble” game controllers with Haptics, or touch feedback, from companies such as Immersion. The grip works by mimicking the friction and shear forces that we feel in the real world when holding an object or touching a surface. The device measures the movements of a player’s hand, and an actuator, or small motor, causes small sliding plates in the grip of the controller to recreate the friction and shear forces that you would expect to encounter when holding an actual object, such as a sword, slingshot, or fishing rod. The controller reacts to a player’s actions and motions in the virtual world. You can do things like grab objects, deform them, and feel the reactions. The person who came up with this awesome invention is named William Provancher, here you can see him with the Reactive Grip:

Screen Shot 2014-01-30 at 6.00.06 AM

William and his company wants his invention to be mainly used for PC gaming, but I’m sure a lot of people will want this to be converted over to console. I know I would want one for console. Think of all the cool things you would be able to do with this technology, it would make playing games like Skyrim, Dark Souls, and pretty much anything about 10 times better than they already are. You can perches the prototypes for around 400$ that’s about 200$ per controller.

Screen Shot 2014-01-30 at 5.59.42 AM

Reactive Grip is compatible with external tracking systems like the Sixense STEM and the Razer Hydra. I know I already said this before in this blog but man being able to actually feel like you’re swinging a sword or shooting a gun has to be awesome!!! I can’t wait until the finally have a finished product so I can get my hands on one, I know I could get a prototype but the finished model must work so much better. So there you have it, my fourth and final blog post, I hope that you enjoyed reading up on this product. Please leave a comment on what your thoughts are on this new gaming innovation. Also hey look, my post’s not in anyway related to military things yay, lol.


Welcome to the drone age


In this Blog post, I will be showing everyone just what now and the future has in store for us. Now then, the military used drones for many things, mainly as an unmanned spying vehicle. Today the military has equipped weapons to them, mainly missiles. The military wants to use them for other purposes, search and rescue. Ladies and gentlemen, I present to you; the “Black Knight Transformer”


The Black Knight Transformer will be a remote controlled air and ground vehicle. The military wants to use it to match their slogan; “No man left behind.” It would go out and locate wounded soldiers and bring them back to their area of operation for further medical attention. On board there would be some medical gear, and a way to talk back to others, giving them the “heads up” on their situation. This vehicle would provide tactical commanders with increased tactical and operational flexibility, allow the execution of Unmanned Aircraft Systems for Casualty Evacuation – these missions in conditions that manned platforms cannot (or should not) operate in, such as “zero-zero” weather or a contaminated environment, and act as a force multiplier of scarce “high demand/low density” medical evacuation assets.

Sending a robot helicopter to evacuate wounded troops is good because it means the military can operate in weather unsafe for human pilots and doesn’t risk more medical personnel than absolutely necessary. If the robot helicopter can also drive like an off-road vehicle, it will give the military even more rescue options. Testing has almost finished for this unmanned miracle vehicle and the military will soon know if it will get the job done. If testing goes successfully the military would want a lot more them. Now then, drones are not just for military use, there are other more practical uses as well. Here’s a drone that the shipping company Amazon has created.


Amazon has started to use drones to deliver packages to people. As long as the customer is close to the company, amazon will send out their drone; Amazon’s “Prime Air.” It could lift up to about 5 pounds and will make your delivery in about 30 or 40 minutes. The weight in which the drone can lift shouldn’t be a problem; this is because 86% of Amazon’s inventory is comprised of objects 5 pounds or lighter. The company has been doing many test flights and all is looking pretty good, Amazon wants to use this feature as early as 2015 and in Europe in 2016. Prime Air would use a GPS system to make its deliveries.

I hope you enjoyed this blog post. Comment on your opinions on drone service for civilians, and have a good day.

Robots in the Military

Now that we are reaching a point in history where people are incorporating “robotics” into everyday life, it would make sense that the military would do so as well. DARPA, or the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency have developed a couple interesting animal like creations to help in military actions. These amazing machines are all quadrupedal, and very strong. These creations have many names, some of them are as follows; “BigDog”, “WildCat”, and “Cheetah” .

Now then, I mentioned some of the robots already and now I’ll go into some more detail on them. First off we have BigDog. BigDog is 3 ft long and 2.5 ft tall plus it weight about 240 lbs. It uses a hydrological system for movement, a nice computer brain to control everything from movement to commands. BigDog can run up to 4 km an hour and climb slopes up to 35 degrees. It can quickly move through rough terrain and its main function would be rescue for wounded soldiers. It has a strong arm for lifting, the military wanted to give it a motorized gun, but then that would kind of defeat the purpose of a rescue operations only machine.  BigDog will also be able to carry supplies to soldiers in need. BigDog can also carry loads up to 400 pounds.


WildCat is the next robot I will be talking about. WildCat is basically the same as BigDog, except it is exceptionally faster. Right now WildCat can run speeds up to 26 kph, but will soon be able to run at speeds exceeding 80 kph. WildCat will be used for quickly running supplies to soldiers during a firefight, something BigDog simply can’t do because it is too heavy.


Next up is the Cheetah. Almost like the WildCat it can run insanely fast, but its design wasn’t really great because it ran so fast that it basically shook itself apart. So military went with the WildCat instead.


Now I think that these things are really awesome. Please leave a comment on what your opinion is on having machines help out with military operations.