Awesome Stuff: Computers And Gesture Input Devices

from the fruit-ninjas-are-everywhere dept

Okay, I really thought this week was going to be the one where our awesome stuff posts didn’t have a theme. But… because of some last minute finds, you not only get two separate themes, but also four projects, rather than our standard three. First up, we’ve got two different takes on a computer, and then we’ve got two projects that help you rethink how you input data into a computer.

  • First up, is the MiiPC. It’s an Android-powered PC that’s designed for family use. From the screenshots/video they show, they at least appear to have done a decent job making Android functional as a desktop OS. Some of the “family” features seem a little hokey and overhyped, but perhaps it appeals to some people.
    Of course, what struck me as most interesting about this was actually the price. $99 for a simple computer seems like a potentially good deal for people looking to just do simple stuff. This project blew past its funding targets quickly and has already more than doubled it with over a month to go.
  • So that’s a more modern take on a PC, but how about one that’s a bit more retro? The the X500 is a modern computer case, but which takes its design cues from classic early 1980s gaming consoles like the Amiga, Atari and Sinclair. My first computer was an Atari 800, so I’ve got a soft spot for this style of design, even if it’s probably not that practical these days.
    It’s just a case, so you’ll have to want to do some DIY computer building to get an actual computer in there. Also, if this one interests you, don’t wait too long. The project ends tomorrow. It’s already just barely squeaked over its target, so it will definitely be funded.
  • Since we’re talking about DIY, howzabout the DUO, the world’s first DIY 3D sensor. If you’ve been living under a rock for a while, you may have missed all the buzzy and hype about the Leap Motion controller for gesture recognition on your computer. The DUO, conceptually, is pretty similar to the Leap, except that this not about fancy shiny locked up boxes, but about making your own damn fancy gesture controller. Basically, the different levels get you started at different points along the process of making your own such device (though, yes, you can also purchase fully assembled ones, but they’re much more expensive than the Leap).
    The DUO is still only about 1/3 of the way to its target, but with nearly a month left, it seems like it will probably get there. Might not be as fancy as the Leap, but how much cooler is it to show off that you made our own?
  • And since we’re on the subject of gesture recognition for computers, how about the the NUIA eyeCharm, which is an add on to the Kinect (which we’ll assume you already know about…), to make it so you can control your computer via eye movements. There were rumors that Samsung was working on something like this to be built into phones and tablets, but these guys are doing it as a simple add on to the Kinect.
    This one has just a week to go and is hovering right near its target, and should easily pass it soon (if it hasn’t already by the time you read it).

Well, that’s it for this week. Bonus points figuring out how many times Fruit Ninja appears in the Kickstarter videos above. I had no idea that that game had become such a “must show” in any such demo.

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Companies: duo, miipc, nuia

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Comments on “Awesome Stuff: Computers And Gesture Input Devices”

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That Anonymous Coward (profile) says:

It is interesting seeing more and more small factor machines that connect people to the net.
With the success of Raspberry Pi, I think more people are taking a look at SOC and seeing how far it can go.

I think the quote I saw was the average cell phone has more processing power than it took to get to the moon, and people are starting to figure out you don’t need to spend several hundred dollars to get connected to the internet.

One of the hurdles to getting more acceptance is overcoming the mindset that more is better. I’ve spec’d out several computers for people who “had” to have bleeding edge tech, and all they do is post on Facebook and look at funny cat pictures.

The Real Michael says:

Re: Re:

Good observation. I like the idea of the retro computer design, but that other stuff posted just sounds like gimmickry.

What would really be exciting is if somebody did a Kickstarter for a retro-style console, either 8 or 16-bit. Technology isn’t what makes games fun to play. Most of the very best software is for older consoles and computers.

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