Li-Fi — that just-over-the-horizon wireless technology which could transform your everyday LED lighting fixtures into 10 Gbps wireless modems — has a lot of people talking these days. With a commercial product promised later this year and the tech already in beta, we might all be trippin' the lamplight fantastic real soon. But other than really, really awesome movie streaming speeds, what do we care? According to its inventor Harald Haas, Li-Fi offers a bundle of niche applications that regular Wi-Fi just doesn't measure up to. Here are a few of those unique benefits.
German photographer Michael H. Rohde's photo series "From Below" boggles the mind. Not with light painting or animated photos, but with perspective. Objects appear weightless and even the neatest interior design becomes chaotic when seen viewed from below.
As 3D printing matures, designers can build more complexity and flexibility into their ideas. It's part of what makes the incredibly detailed and lovely Bloom Table Lamp work. This 3D printed lamp with multiple petals actually opens up as a flower would to offer more light.
Dull and — dare we say — usually ugly, we don't buy printers for their looks. We buy them for their ability to print, scan and copy as fast and painless as possible so we can get on with our lives. Brother's new Business Smart MFC-J4510DW printer challenges drab conventional printer design with a minimal and unassuming body, ultra fast color printing thanks to a landscape printing process and a touchscreen that actually works.
Started in 2003 by Carnegie Mellon University (an institution that's no slouch in the world of robotics), the Robot Hall of Fame considers robots from fiction and reality, and includes names such as Honda's seminal ASIMO, Data from Star Trek: The Next Generation, C-3PO and R2-D2, HAL 9000, Unimate (considered to be the first industrial robot) and more. 18 robots are currently honored by RHoF, and now CMU wants to add four more, pulling from a group of a dozen 'bots sorted into four categories. In our gallery below, we've collected all the nominees up for the honor. Want to vote? Find all the pertinent data right here, meatform.
If you don't want to leap over barrels while looking for a cool place to stash all of your retro video game stuff, consider this Donkey Kong shelving unit from designer Igor Chak, styled to look just like the screen layout in the original Donkey Kong.
Being the fans of technology that we are, we're not easily impressed by any ol' brush painting. "Paint with light or go home," I always say. Brian Matthew Hart took light painting to the next level by creating these gigantic mosaics out of hundreds of individual exposures. The results, as you can see, are spectacular, and they look way better when you see them at a larger size.
It's entirely possible that you've never heard of Siggraph. It's a fairly specialized conference held by the Special Interest Group on GRAPHics and Interactive Techniques. What that means is that it's all about cool ways of messing with computers and electronics, and the dedicated Emerging Technologies space is stuffed full of some of the weirdest computer interfaces that we've ever experienced.
Quakecon's headlining event is the Bring-Your-Own-Computer (BYOC) LAN party. It's the largest annual LAN party in North America. This year's event brought nearly 3,000 machines together to share a two-gigabit connection in the Dallas Hilton Anatole. Besides the good games and good people, the BYOC also brings out the more creative types. There were a few amazing computer case-mods at this year's show. On the final day of the show, sponsor Modders-Inc brought seven incredible mods together, and we got to get up close with the one-of-a-kind machines.
Continuing our week of adorable overload is another set of extremely minimal Lego creations. Look at that cute little Batwing — it's just waiting for you to scoop it up and put it in your pocket.