This is just about the coolest thing in home entertainment/management I have seen in awhile.
It’s called The CRISTAL (short for “control of remotely interfaced systems using touch-based actions in living spaces”). It’s a coffee table that can remotely control your home theater, lights, digital photo library, and even vacuum (yes, vacuum).
Currently this is just a concept of a team at the Upper Austria University of Applied Sciences’ Media Interaction Lab. And if it does get put into production it will probably cost around $15,000 to start.
I’d be interested in seeing the logistics on how this can be set up in a consumer’s home. Would the average consumer need an installation specialist to come over and configure the table? Or even configure their entire media set up? I would suspect so.
Of all the people I personally know (and that’s a lot of people) only a small percentage already have a set up where all their media is centrally stored and accessible via computer. Most everyone else still relies on their component systems. And of those people the vast majority still use separate remotes for everything (we’re talking seriously dark ages stuff here;-)
Check out the video to see the prototype in action.
I was a little late to the Hulu phenomenon. Mostly because Hulu doesn’t work in Japan. But now that I’m home again I’m able to catch up on all of my favorite shows. Hulu just created a new desktop application (for both Windows and Mac) so you can watch your shows free of your browser.
For me (and many others) Hulu is the way forward for television. The less money I give to the cable companies, the better I feel.
The Hulu desktop app is beautifully designed and seems fairly intuitive. It’s also compatible with the Apple remote or any Windows Media compatible remote.
The video quality is still excellent and advertising is handled the same as ever. You can also link it to your Hulu account so you can automatically access your queue, subscriptions and viewing history, as well as your preferences to fully customize your viewing experience.
Mac: Intel Core 2 Duo 2.0 GHz
2 GB of TAM
Mac OS X 10.4 or later
2 Mbps internet connection
Windows: Intel Core 2 duo 1.8GHz
2 GB of RAM
Windows XP or later
2 Mbps Internet connection
This is Sanyo’s new projector. It uses mirrors, lenses, and lasers (lasers!) to throw a 100 inch 1920×1080 image. At a distance of 2 feet. No more needing a concert hall to get a decent size projector image. You could back this thing up almost against the wall with no loss of size (and size does matter, boys and girls – at least in the world of projection TVs). Unfortunately, Sanyo is planning to use this for boring stuff like billboards and conferences, and it’ll be a bit before commercial units come out. But the tech may make it into home theatres eventually. And that would be awesome.
I absolutely hate hate hate hate those black bars above/below my movies when I watch at home. The whole point of getting a big screen LCD or plasma TV is to replicate the movie experience. You don’t see those silly bars in the theatres now do you? Well Philips hears your pain. And they have produced this gorgeous beauty.
Philips Cinema 21:9
This is the Philips Cinema 21:9 LCD TV. It is the first truly cinematic screen tv, meaning that it reproduces exactly the screen dimensions of your local cineplex. It is full HD, meaning 2560×1080, not this 1920×1200 junk you’re used to in the standard 16:9 format. It is also equipped with Philips’ Ambilight technology to set the proper mood when you’re watching your porn…er I mean art flick. Built in cable tuners capable of showing 1080p signals. Wi-Fi enabled, so you can watch Hulu and YouTube and the like. DLNA certified, so you can stream video from your PC. Man, with this baby, why would you ever leave your couch?
Downsides? Unfortunately, only available in Europe. Black bars on the sides instead of the top/bottom when you’re watching TV. And not out yet. Oh well – I’ll have to pick one up for the pad in Barcelona next time I’m on the Continent….
I have a thing for showers. Love ‘em. So when I saw this, it was lust at first sight.
It’s a shower, it’s a steam room, and it’s a bathtub, so it’s uber-economical (or at least that’s what you can tell your significant other when it shows up on your doorstep to be installed). The only thing this baby doesn’t come with is an arm to wash you automatically. Aquapeutics will even take PayPal if you want to order it. You can plug in your iPod, fire up its TV, turn on the steam, and sit in clean comfort all day. Or until your body turns into a giant prune.
Endgadget publicly unveiled what could be the first of a new range of innovative table games. Panasonic unveiled a new 103 inch plasma T.V. which utilizes the multi-touch technology allowing users to play “air” or table hockey.
The plasma TV market got a bit smaller recently as technology companies Vizio and Pioneer announced that they were done competing in the Plasma TV market. It seems that Panasonic has just begun. The huge 103 inch television is almost double the size of any “normal” TV for sale today. Adding in the multi-touch technology makes the TV almost seem like a grossly oversized smartphone. Perhaps, they will add other “smartphone” games to these TV’s in the future, as an extra perk for buyers.
What does this mean for the future of the table gaming industry? Should we expect Panasonic Multi-Touch Billiards or Foosball anytime soon? Don’t count on it…But keep your eyes peeled for more innovation.