Tech universe: Monday 26 July

By Miraz Jordan

A round-up of the latest technology news from around the globe.

The Swiftpoint Mouse. Photo / Supplied
The Swiftpoint Mouse. Photo / Supplied

MINI MOUSE: The Swiftpoint Mouse is a Kiwi invention aimed at laptop users. The tiny wireless mouse charges from the USB port. Use it on a chair arm, table or even on the laptop palm rest or touchpad area. It's so small it's going to need a "Find me" beeper. Details at Swiftpoint and video on YouTube.

WAVE COMPUTING: At Fraunhofer Institute for Applied Information Technology some users move their hands and fingers in the air to control a computer. They don't need to wear special gloves or markers, and several people can work at once. The system uses a 3D camera to track and time pixel-sized movements, filtering out irrelevant data. Let your fingers do the talking.

THOUGHT PLEASE: Australian company Emotiv have created a low cost headset that learns your thought patterns. Control software just by thinking about what you want to do: close curtains, turn on lighting, direct a wheelchair.

What am I thinking now? More at SciBlogs.

SPEAK AFTER THE TONE: English speaking soldiers need to communicate with locals in Afghanistan. DARPA are testing portable devices where speech recognition software creates a text file and sends it to translation software. A text-to-speech feature reads the translation aloud in the local language. What could possibly go wrong?
Read more at Arstechnica.

TOUCHABLE: India has come up with a $35 touch-screen tablet computer to let students and teachers browse the Internet, read PDFs, video conference, and do word processing and other tasks. It uses Linux, has no hard disk, and can run on solar power. You can't beat the price.

- Miraz Jordan knowit.co.nz

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