Transform anything into a touch sensor

The Disney research lab in Pittsburgh released a cool demo video showing how any surface can be converted into a touch sensor.  One of the coolest applications would be to use your skin to control an iPhone.  Your body becomes the buttons…touch your palm with one finger for one action, two fingers for something different, touch the wrist for another action, you get the idea.  Exciting possibilities here, check out the video:

If you’re more the DIY type, check out the video below that shows someone making their own version of this touch sensor.  You can find instructions and details here.

(via Hack a Day)

Sidewalk wifi

Deploying any wifi network requires a multitude of wifi base stations…where do you place them?  Street lamps?  Ceilings?  Now there’s another choice…the sidewalk.  These 16×16″ tiles can be installed about 66 feet from one another to create a wifi mesh network (which doesn’t seem all that great when you consider the 1kW power consumption).  However, they do require power to be hardwired to them…too bad they can’t take advantage of the footsteps above to generate the necessary power.

The product name…well I have a hard time typing this, for they’ve jumped on the ‘i’ bandwagon that I’m so sick of by now.  Yeah.  This product is ‘iPavement‘.  There, I said it.  Yes, they’ve even worked in the more modern buzzword, in their iCloudPavement management software (no, two wrongs do not make a right).  Poor product names aside, it does provide a nice way to deploy a broad urban wifi network (apart from the high power consumption per device).

(via Gizmag)

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