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Building an Automated Home with Z-Wave in 2014

Posted by in Gadgets, Technology

Ah, home automation – what an overworked subject. It’s been hot (or not) for 20 years. Truth is, home automation needs to be shelved as a meaningless buzzword that encompasses way too many ideas. As we just bought a new home, I was faced with the challenge of dealing with rewiring it so it matches today’s electrical standards (which is a very versatile concept). Fact is, wiring a home is a nightmare. You need to figure out early on which switch connects to which plug and then embed it deeply into your…read more

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Is Google Glass Dead?!

Posted by in Gadgets, Technology

I’ve been a Glass explorer for 6 months now. I often get asked “what is Glass good for?” Let’s face it: there is no good answer to that question. Glass is obviously a platform to explore wearable and hands-free computing. From that perspective, the platform is mostly up to the challenge. However, after 6 months in the field, the platform falls short of killer apps that would justify wearing glasses as opposed to simply pulling out a phone. Turn-by-turn direction is probably the only app that really takes advantage of the platform, since…read more

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CES 2011 – My list for Santa

Posted by in Gadgets

Promise, next year I’ll be at CES again ( missed it 2 years in a row – this just can’t be happening anymore !). But I kept a pretty close look at the gadget show and selected a few stuff that put me in awe. I’m gonna skip the analysis side of the CES since the Internet is plagued already by gazillion of those explaining why 2011 is the year of tablets (which I disagree – imh a Tablet without apps is useless – I almost never use the browser…read more

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Social cars

Posted by in Gadgets

Cars are getting connected, that’s a fact. The first step in that process was with the TomToms connecting though bluetooth to the network to access live information. Now smartphones are replacing PNDs (slowly) and are trying to leverage on their userbase to create user-generated contents of maps and road infos (status, cops…). Coyote, a French company, is one of the pioneer in that area. They started with a dedicated device that simply used to bind a GPS chip with a database of fix and mobile radars but they evolved very…read more

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Boeing Phantom Ray UAV

Posted by in Gadgets

Pretty impressive sneak peek at Boeing’s upcoming new UAV. Those drones are really reshaping the landscape of aerial military. With no risk for pilot casualties, lower cost (at least a bit), greater autonomy, UAVs offer lots of new possibilites. â??The autonomous nature of this system is unique, so achieving this milestone speaks volumes about the technology and expertise of Boeing, the Phantom Works organization and the Phantom Ray team,â? said Dave Koopersmith, vice president, Advanced Boeing Military Aircraft. Phantom Ray is designed to support potential missions that may include intelligence,…read more

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Building a drone

Posted by in Gadgets

I’m starting to build a drone just for the fun of it (at least for now) and the first parts are finally starting to arrive. It will be a quad-copter and I already got the GPS SiRF Star III, a xbee Pro set for telemetry a Futaba remote control and a few tools (multimeter, LiPo charger…). Can’t wait for the mobo and the frame to arrive !

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Arducopter full kit

Posted by in Gadgets

In case you didn’t notice I grew a special interest lately in UAVs and RCs. Maybe it’s just my frustrations as a child towards those pricey grown-up toys. Anyways I’ve been following for a while the activity on the DIY Drone site and got pretty amazed by what the team has accomplished in putting together an admirable platform for quadcopters. The project is based on the OpenSource Arduino platform and is delivered as a fully open source project . The platform has an impressive feature list with extensive telemetry, autopilot…read more

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Airborne wind turbine

Posted by in Gadgets

Joby Energy has introduced a pretty incredible concept of a drone flying up in high atmosphere and when reaching the right altitude using the power of those super powerful wind to take a circular spin and transform the wind power in electricity tethered back to the ground. As weird as it may seem it’s actually plausible in the sense that all the technologies required exist, but they are so early stage that it sounds really quite incredible that there would be even close to a working prototype. The only thing I actually…read more

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USB-to-Ground adapter

Posted by in Gadgets

I love my old MB Pro, but for some reason whenever I connect it to AC and I put my Beats by Dre noise-canceling headphones, there would be a nasty hissing sound in my ears (which is perfectly unacceptable). Obviously, mac adapted do not connect the laptop to the ground, and a difference of potential between the battery powered headset and the AC powered laptop are the cause of this sound. Also touching the laptop stops the sound. If you’re experiencing this issue, I have an easy fix : take…read more

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Autonomous quadcopters

Posted by in Gadgets

I’m looking a lot at drones recently and it’s really amazing to see where those babies are at know… check out this video below from University of Pennsylvania’s GRASP Lab, it’s simply stunning. While I still do not buy the AR.Drone “entertainemnt” market position, I do think there are many other oportunities for those kind of devices.

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