Wired Wednesday 011: PartPic, LG’s Rolling Robot & ReFlex Flexible Smartphone

This week on News 1130 radio in Vancouver, I spoke about these tech topics for Wired Wednesday with Ben Wilson:

  • Searching for a Replacement Part? Just Take a Picture of It (source)
    Using its very own image-recognition software, PartPic works with suppliers to not only digitize their catalogs, but make all the parts inside searchable to customers using smartphones. With this new system, instead of trying to find a match in a phonebook-thick parts catalog, you just take a couple of pictures of the part with your smartphone and run a search. PartPic’s software will match your photo with the supplier’s photo to find the part you need.
  • LG has a Rolling Bot Robot for Home Monitoring, Cat Torturing (source)
    With LG Rolling Bot, you get a WiFi-connected ball that is slightly larger than a softball that can be remotely controlled from anywhere. The Rolling Bot connects to your home WiFi, so even when away, you can monitor your house by rolling the Bot around (controlled via app). All of the monitoring happens through an embedded 8MP camera that is capable of capturing both images and video. It has microphones on board too, so you can have conversations with your pets. Speaking of pets, the Rolling Bot has a pet mode for torturing teasing your animals. The Rolling Bot has an IR blaster in it too, so if you have appliances with IR sensors, you could turn them off or on remotely. That’s kind of cool, right?
  • ReFlex Flexible Smartphone: Bend Test This (source)
    Researchers at Queen’s University’s Human Media Lab show us that flexible displays can lead to novel yet intuitive ways of interacting with devices.

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