January is a time of renewal. It also happens to be when appliance makers show off their visions of what is to come. The event is CES 2013 and this year, according to those that make kitchen gadgets and appliances, everything is going to be very, very smart. While we have been promised automated kitchens in one form or another since the time of the Jetsons, there is one important factor in the modern world that may see the smart kitchen finally grow up: mobility.
BERLIN--Fast forward 10 years and we'll all own fridges like the one shown above. Fast forward another 10 years and we'll all be working for the fridge shown above, slaving away in the ice mines to appease our chilly overlord.
Haier's semi-transparent concept fridge is one of the more exotic things on show at the IFA tech trade show here in Berlin. I've been hands-on with the "Minority Report"-esque technology, so read on for everything you need to know.
The first thing you'll notice is that front of the fridge has a large, dark screen through which you can -- if you squint -- make out your food. That's because this fridge has a semi-transparent display, meaning you can both see what's onscreen, and make out objects behind it. … Read more
Haier appears to have developed a truly wireless large-screen TV. Despite its rather uninspired "completely wireless TV" moniker, the huge 55-inch prototype is a sight to behold in use without any cables dangling behind the panel.
To ditch the wires, the Chinese brand is employing Wireless Home Digital Interface (WHDI) technology to stream content, and magnetic resonance to power the TV. Sony demonstrated a similar concept way back in 2009, albeit with a much smaller 22-incher.
There are drawbacks to using magnetic resonance technology, which provides limited power output and requires a dedicated receiver and transmitter. These components are not only bulky, it's also unclear if they need power cords of their own, which would defeat the whole purpose of using this wireless tech.
This week, Donald and Eric discuss the future of mind-controlled televisions, and an iPad joystick that looks like Atari's vision of the future from the '80s. The horror of the MIDI accordion is revealed for what it is. And in Geek News, Donald and Eric sum up the unforgivable digital vandalism George Lucas has wrought on his masterpiece.
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China-based Haier is showcasing an interesting mind control technology for TVs at the ongoing IFA trade show in Berlin. The Brain Wave resembles a headset, with an extension placed peculiarly on the user's forehead to control a TV's volume and change channels with thoughts alone. The firm demonstrated its prototype with a game that involves blowing up barrels with your mind. Even if Haier gets the system to market for TVs, we're betting it won't be easy to convince most consumers to don the bulky headset in its present form.
Having said that, we would love to see the Brain Wave miniaturized and made more comfortable, or possibly integrated into regular 3D glasses. Until then, there are other, less intrusive alternatives to remote controls ranging from voice recognition to hand gestures.
Though wine is ancient, wine accessories and appliances are often quite modern. However, as popular as shiny metal and a sophisticated black satin finish may be, there are other options when it comes to wine decor--like bamboo.
Underneath all the bamboo of the Haier HVTS16AMB 16-Bottle Bamboo Cabinet Wine Cellar there is still a modern wine refrigerator, complete with a double-pane insulated glass door and three full-width chrome storage racks (with wood facings) that can store up to 16 bottles. The electronic controls are front-mounted and feature a decidedly modern blue LED panel for displaying temperature information. A soft interior … Read more
A sink full of dirty dishes is a good way to ruin an appetite. Faced with the need to do a chore before eating, the result is all too often not eating. Or, rather than skipping a meal, a quick run to the local fast food establishment could be the answer to avoidance of the dreaded dirty dishes. Neither option is particularly appealing. If dirty dishes got you down, the only way to deal with them is to (eventually) clean them up. If kitchen size is the source of your procrastination, a compact dishwasher could be the solution.
If you hope to survive against the reigning king of MP3 players, otherwise known as the Apple iPod Nano, you better have some jaw-dropping feature that makes you stand out. Unfortunately, while Haier America's latest offering, the HEC Video MP3 Player, puts a good foot forward with its solid sound quality and a very palatable price tag, its quirky navigation isn't going to do much to tempt prospective iPod buyers. However, if you've been hunting for a music device that actually has a decent shuffle algorithm, the HEC is worth a look.
This week, Donald and Jasmine discuss the firmware fix to the Zune HD, which can now count itself a feature short of one-upping the iPod Touch, thanks to a new Gigaware remote that adds HD radio to the omnipresent king of MP3 players. We also get to spend a little one-on-one time with the slick-but-confusing Cowon E2 and the boring-but-shuffletastic Haier America Video MP3 Player. Plus, we direct you to a couple of how-tos you may find worth your while, and we address some listener questions about earphones, podcast management, and iPod speaker docks.