Don't Miss A Thing

Follow Engadget

What do you get when you combine a few respirator bags, some silicone air valves and a motion detector? A contraption that produces a synthetic version of our most sensual form of communication, the whisper. By fudging the aforementioned items together with a few other crude bits and bobs, designer Minsu Kim has built The Illusion of Life, a machine that he says mimics the breath temperature, humidity, smell and vocal qualities of a whisper. If you're asking yourself "why?" you aren't alone. Kim says that these artificial murmurs work to facilitate "strong bonds of communication and connection between the user and a machine." In effect, using intimate human interaction to bring you closer to a gadget.

Modern tech has already surpassed what the human eye is capable of perceiving, but he says that Life serves to explore which of the other five senses technology should stimulate next. Laugh now, but once the likes of Benedict Cumberbatch or Scarlett Johansson start whispering your to-do list, you'll likely thank Kim.

Read the Full Story 0 Comments

Shazam for iPhone

It's easy to track down iPhone apps that name catchy tunes, but it now looks like Apple wants to spare you from having to search in the first place. Bloomberg sources claim that a future version of iOS will incorporate Shazam's song recognition in the same way that the existing mobile platform integrates Facebook and Twitter. While built-in music detection wouldn't be a new idea (just ask Windows Phone users), you could ask Siri to tell you what's playing rather than hit a button. There aren't any clues as to when the feature would reach iOS. However, Apple's Worldwide Developer Conference begins in early June -- if the rumor is accurate, there's a good chance we'll get the full scoop in a matter of weeks.

0 Comments

Sony just announced sales of seven million PlayStation 4 consoles and promised more details on its upcoming software update would follow soon, now here they are. We still don't have an exact timetable for when firmware 1.70 will arrive, but now we know more about its new "SHAREfactory" video editor and that game pre-loading is in the update. Many people are familiar with pre-loading via Steam and other PC services, which allows gamers to download pre-ordered games ahead of their release, then simply unlock the digital copy on the day it's "released." All it takes is enabling the PS4's "auto download" feature, and you're done, no more waiting while overloaded servers choke on release day.

Read the Full Story 0 Comments

One of the big promises that came out of Microsoft's Build conference this year were apps that'd work across a number of Windows devices with a single purchase, and Redmond is using Halo to lead that charge. The first group of applications includes Halo: Spartan Assault and Skulls of the Shogun, both of which recently made the conversion to universal games -- making them playable across Windows Phone, Windows 8 and RT devices for one price. If you'd rather not pay for your entertainment, though, Microsoft also converted the likes of Wordament, Minesweeper and Hexic too. However, as Windows Phone Central notes, buying the universal version of Skulls doesn't grant access to the Xbox 360 version, nor does Spartan Assault's universal purchase unlock the Xbox 360 or Xbox One versions. Given that the Xbox division is still pretty separate from everything else though, that isn't exactly surprising.

0 Comments

Cheesy moniker aside, Sprint's newly minted Framily plan is not one to be ignored. It allows you to save money by sharing an account with, well, friends and family, all while being billed separately on up to 10 lines. Following in similar footsteps, AT&T's prepaid subsidiary Aio Wireless has now announced Group Save, which allows users to get a maximum monthly discount of $90 per account. It's simple, really: the more lines you add, the more cash you save every month on your bill total, not per line. With Aio's Group Save, you can have up to five lines; the first two get you a $10 discount, while lines number three, four and five knock off $30, $60 and $90 per month, respectively.

Read the Full Story 0 Comments

SONY DSC

With all the modular phone concepts, balloon internet projects, robots and drones it can be easy to forget Google's main business angle: search and advertising. Google reported its first quarter earnings today and didn't have much to say about our favorite topics -- we'll hear more about those at Google I/O in June -- or even its pending sale of Motorola to Lenovo. Responding to an analyst's question, Google execs Patrick Pichette and Nikesh Arora mentioned the need to "keep evolving (search) results," as it increasingly serves up info (sports scores, TV listings, restaurant menus) on its own website instead of just providing links. That's probably also behind its push for Google Now results that bring up relevant info before the user even asks, on the desktop and mobile. In a brief reference to the Chromecast, Pichette called the $35 device a hit, mentioning the over 3,000 developers had signed up to build apps since the launch of the SDK.

Read the Full Story 0 Comments

What's the safest place to put a nuclear reactor? Offshore, apparently. A new power plant design concept from MIT envisions a facility built on floating platforms, moored in deep water several miles off the coast. This, the concept's creators explain, lends it several crucial advantages -- making it virtually immune to earthquakes, tsunamis and meltdowns. Big promises, to be sure, but the professors' reasoning actually makes sense: in deep water, tsunami waves aren't large enough to cause significant damage, and earthquakes are usually only felt if you're standing on the earth. Floating the reactor on the ocean also gives the plant access to easy, passive cooling, what MIT's Jacopo Buongiorno calls an "infinite heat sink."

Read the Full Story 0 Comments

If you thought Michael Jackson was the only musician to believe in the magical power of a glove, think again. Imogen Heap has "joined forces with the nerd underworld" to create a new high-tech glove called Mi.Mu that allows you to control sound with your hands. Using lights and motion sensors, the gloves can map a variety of hand gestures to different instruments and sounds, with each pair able to store literally thousands of combinations. It's a concept she first talked about at TED in 2011.

Read the Full Story 0 Comments

We already know Apple is working on improving Siri, but gosh dangit, the folks in Cupertino just aren't moving as fast as some would like. That's why a quartet of freshmen at the University of Pennsylvania decided to try making Siri do more on their own... at a hackathon, no less. They wound up taking third prize for the hack -- called GoogolPlex -- and after some fine-tuning, Alex Sands, Ajay Patel, Ben Hsu and Gagan Gupta are ready to help you make your virtual assistant do more. The setup process is trivial: you just have to change your Wi-Fi connection's proxy settings (seriously, it'll take five seconds). Once that's done though, you can invoke Siri and ask GoogolPlex to play tunes in Spotify, crank up the heat on your Nest thermostat or even start your Tesla.

Read the Full Story 0 Comments