Saturday, October 4, 2014

Watch This Magical Cirque du Soleil Drones Ballet To Undersrtand Why The WDI Drones Patent May Be More Important Than You Think

If you've read my update posted on August 24, one month ago, then you're probably aware of this new patent filed by WDI showing an amazing use of a fleet of drones, whether it would be in a show above the castle or as puppet masters during a parade - if you didn't read the article jump HERE first.

Although the idea looked impressive some had some doubts that it could become real, mainly because the patent described an outdoor use of the drones and unpredictable wind could create real problems due to the light weight of quadcopter drones.

But today, i've found these two videos released by the Cirque du Soleil - actually it was done by the C-Lab, the creative laboratory of the Cirque du Soleil. Although what they did here with drones is very different than the use intended by WDI, you must watch these videos to understand how it's possible to create something truly magical with a ballet of drones. It has the typical "spirit" of the Cirque du Soleil, and i think they did something truly great.

The first video below shows the short movie itself called "SPARKED: A Live Interaction Between Humans and Quadcopters" and watch it until the end credits...

And the other not-to-be-missed video is this one called "SPARKED: Behind the Technology" in which they speak about the different tests they did using these drones. I'm sure you'll envision what WDI could do with the same technology, including show effects not necessarily described in the WDI patent.

Picture and video: copyright Cirque du Soleil

Friday, September 12, 2014

Appel Introduces Awaited Apple Watch and iPhone 6 & 6 Plus

As you know Apple CEO Tim Cook unveiled on Tuesday the awaited Apple Watch as well as the new iPhones 6 and 6 plus. Here below are the videos introducing these two products as well as the full keynote event.

But first, as i'm sure that many of you are awaiting the new iPhone, here is the video introducing the Apple iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus.

This next video introduce the awaited Apple Watch.

And for those of you who couldn't watched the keynote of Apple CEP Tim Cook, here is the video of the full 2 hours keynote event. Enjoy the show!

Picture and video: copyright Apple

Sunday, June 8, 2014

Say Hello to Pepper, The First Audio-Animatronic Who Can "Read" Your Emotions !

French company Aldebaran robotics unveiled this week its new robot, a friendly humanoid named Pepper who talks, gesticulates, zips by on wheels and has an “emotion engine,” designed to understand how people are feeling and react accordingly. The goal was “to give the robot a heart”.

Pepper will learn on its own and the robots deployed at SoftBank stores in Tokyo will start collecting data on their interactions with people. When Pepper tells a joke, it will observe if people laugh, for example. The robots will upload their data to a cloud-based repository. This “cloud AI,” as it is called, will use the combined data to improve Pepper’s behavior. “The robot is going to evolve through this collective wisdom,” he said. As Pepper’s technology improves, SoftBank envisions the robot entertaining people at parties, playing with children, and keeping company to the elderly.

The robot is 1.2 meter tall and weighs 28 kilograms, and it carries a 10.1-inch touch screen on its chest. It has 20 motors and can move its head, shoulders, elbows, wrists, fingers, hips, and knees. Aldebaran developed a proprietary mechanism to measure electrical current consumption on each motor, allowing the robot to detect forces on its body. In addition, Hall effect sensors are used for motor positioning.

The robot’s head has four microphones, two HD cameras (in the mouth and forehead), and a 3-D depth sensor (behind the eyes). There’s a gyroscope in the torso and touch sensors in the head and hands. The mobile base has two sonars, six lasers, three bumper sensors, and a gyro, and it can drive at up to 3 kilometers per hour.

The robot spoke only in Japanese at the demo, but it can also speak English, French, and Spanish. Pepper’s battery operates for up to 12 hours, though in the future that may change if Aldebaran equips the robot with legs, a possibility that was mentioned at the event. 

Aldebaran built the robot for SoftBank, the Japanese telecom giant, which plans to start selling it to consumers in Japan next February for 198,000 yen - US $1,900. The robot will be produced by Taiwanese electronics manufacturer Foxconn, the company which makes iPhones and other Apple products.

Here is a first video and below the press release by Aldebaran.

The latest creation from Aldebaran Robotics is called Pepper and it is the first robot designed to live with humans. At the risk of disappointing you, he doesn't clean, doesn't cook and doesn't have super powers... But he talks, can read your emotions, move and live autonomously.

Engaging and friendly, Pepper is much more than a robot, he’s a companion able to communicate with you through the most intuitive interface we know: voice, touch and emotions.


Pepper tries to understand your emotions. If you burst out laughing, he will know you are in a good mood. If you frown, Pepper will understand that something is bothering you.

Pepper knows what state you are in, using his knowledge of universal emotions (joy, surprise, anger, doubt and sadness) and his ability to analyse your facial expression, your body language and the words you use. He will guess your mood, and will even adapt to it. For example, he will try to cheer you up by playing your favourite song!

Pepper also can express emotions, and this is what makes him so cute! He has a real personality, expressed by his body language, his funny gestures or his voice.


Peppers loves to talk with humans, he's very curious about us! As you go along, Pepper will recognise you, and learn new things about your tastes. Capable of adaptation and self-improvement, he will soon be able to search for new applications to surprise and entertain you!

Pepper's goal is to learn and grow step by step so that one day he can be your companion at home. Today, he's not perfect but he has been created to allow all developers and creatives to make him evolve!

Our goal at Aldebaran is to create robots for the well being of humans, kind robots living with humans as a new artificial species. In order to realise this dream, it's not enough to simply have Pepper working at SoftBank stores. The ultimate goal is for Pepper to live with humans, the stores are just the beginning...

CNN did a special report on Pepper and here is the CNN video.

Official ! Sony Announces the Highly Awaited RX100 M3 !

It's official! Sony finally announced the highly awaited Sony RX100 M3 and all rumors were right, it does have a 24 - 70 mm 1.8 - 2.8 Zeiss lens, a built-in "pop up" OLED viewfinder, a screen tilting at 180° to shoot your favorite selfies, and record videos in the new - and excellent - XAVC S format!

I told you before all the good things i think of the previous RX 100 and RX 100 M2 - which were awarded by the New York Times as the "best compact camera ever made" - a title the RX100 really deserves - but this one top the M1 and M2. And dimensions remain almost the same which mean that the RX 100 M3 is always a true "pocket camera". All the previous features are still there, including the fantastic 20M Pixels sensor and i can't wait to buy this RX 100 M3 and do a full review with sample images as soon as it will be available, probably around the end of June.

In the meantime the RX 100 M3 is already available on Sony online stores in the U.S and Europe, and soon in Asia and also on Amazon for $799 in the U.S or 849€ in European countries.

Edited: Sony released a "highlight" of the RX 100 M3 Specifications, and here they are :

1" 20.1 MP Exmor R® sensor for extreme low-light shots

Bright F1.8 Zeiss Vario-Sonnar T* lens (24-70mm)

Built-in SVGA OLED viewfinder w/ZEISS T* coating

Selfie-ready multi-angle 3" Xtra Fine LCD™ display

Versatile shooting w/ XAVC S1, AVCHD and MP4 formats

Built-in ND filter for wider-ranging photographic expression

HDMI clear output for uncompressed video recordings

P/A/S/M operating modes with smooth precise control ring

Simple connectivity to smartphones via Wi-Fi® w/NFC

Enhance your camera with PlayMemories™ Camera Apps

More about the RX100 M3 specs on Sony website HERE.

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Amazing R2D2 Virtual Keyboard !

Remember this legendary scene in the first Star Wars movie - now Episode 4 - with a hologram of Princess Leia projected by R2D2? I mean: THAT scene:

Well, now you can have for your own iPad, or others tablets or mobile phone, or for your computer a virtual keyboard also projected by R2D2 and with the original R2D2 sounds! Isn't it cool?

Last week, Runat announced for the "Star Wars May the 4th be with you" a mini droid R2-D2, the Imp. R2-D2 Virtual Keyboard, which will allow iPhone / iPod touch / iPad owners to use a projection screen keyboard to enter text.

The mini-projector displays the keyboard thanks to a laser beam and the keyboard has 68 QWERTY keys. It communicates with the device via a Bluetooth 3.0 connection. The little R2D2 repeats the original sounds to indicate that a pressed key has been taken into account. The rechargeable Lithium-ion 660 mAh battery provides 2 hours of battery life.

Early reservations started on may 4 on the Runat site, but sales for this cool Imp. R2-D2 Virtual Keyboard will start in August, priced at ¥ 33,480 / € 236.  Dimensions: 70 x 51 x 98 mm.

Here is a short video, not perfect, but that's the only one available for now. This R2D2 virtual keyboard is a bit pricey, but if you're interested to order one have a look HERE or HERE.

Pictures and video copyright Runat