Archive for September 2012

Always Innovating’s HDMI dongle turns any HDTV into a “Smart” TV

September 27, 2012

The HDMI dongle that turns any HDTV into a ‘Smart TV’

Now you don’t necessarily need to own a “Smart TV” in order to get Android apps on your television. Always Innovating will be showing off its HDMI dongle at CES this week, a compact device that can turn any HDTV into a Smart TV. Essentially Always Innovating’s HDMI Dongle is a portable version of a set-top box. The device is based on the Texas Instruments Cortex-A9 OMAP 4 ,which can run from 1GHz to 1.8GHz depending of the configuration, and offers 1GB of RAM as well as a micro SD card for local storage.

The dongle can run on Ice Cream Sandwich, can stream and decode 1080p H.264 video from the Internet, and is compatible with popular streaming-video services like Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon. The device is controlled using a special 9-button remote that is capable of interpreting voice inputs and features near field communication (NFC) technology to offer tap-to-share capabilities.

The 9-button remote control with voice control and NFC

Once you’ve connected the dongle, which is powered via USB, to your “dumb TV” you can surf the web, watch movies, and play games online like you might on larger devices put out by the competition. The device is also both Wi-Fi and Bluetooth-capable so it can be connected to both the Web and any compatible accessories you might want to use along with it.

While Always Innovating will be showing off its HDMI dongle this week at CES in Las Vegas, the company will not be producing the device for commercial sale; however, it intends on licensing it to others. The company says that the technology used in the dongle could also be “be used as the heart of a tablet or MID device.”

Always Innovating’s HDMI dongle is very similar to the Roku Streaming Stick, which was also announced this week. Roku’s stick takes the power of a traditional Roku box and places it on a USB stick-sized device that can also transform any HDTV into a “Smart TV.” Roku’s Streaming Stick is expected to be available in stores later this year for US$50 – $100.

Here’s a video of the Always Innovating HDMI Dongle being demoed by company founder Grégoire Gentil a couple of months back running Gingerbread.




NYPD developing portable body scanner for detecting concealed weapons

September 26, 2012

The New York Police Department is developing a portable scanner for detecting concealed guns on peoples’ bodies

You have to feel sorry for the police officers who are required to frisk people for guns or knives – after all, if someone who doesn’t want to be arrested is carrying a lethal weapon, the last thing that most of us would want to do is get close enough to that person to touch them. That’s why the New York Police Department teamed up with the United States Department of Defense three years ago, and began developing a portable scanner that can remotely detect the presence of a gun on a person’s body. The NYPD announced the project yesterday.

The device uses infrared light rays to image radiation being emitted by a person’s body. Wherever a solid metal object such as a gun is blocking those rays from reaching the body, a silhouette of that object will appear on the scanner’s screen. So far, the technology only works from a distance of about three or four feet (about one meter), although NYPD Commissioner Ray Kelly hopes that its range can ultimately be extended to at least 25 meters (82 feet).

The plan is for the scanner to be mounted on a van, then used on suspects who would otherwise have to be physically searched.

DME 2 by V B Bhandari

September 25, 2012

DME 2 by V B Bhandari

Joystick control car drive mechanism for physically challenged people

September 25, 2012


We often see that, persons with disability needs to use mobility car.Mobility Car is a vehicle issued to a disabled person, to allow them to travel without burden of their disability. Mobility cars are obtained from a scheme called “Motability”. But this car too not come with some preconditions and these conditions are difficult to met for severely disabled person.Moreover, driving a car is always difficult for a person with having control distributed all over.

This project is for mechanical engineering students and would be extremely useful for people who are impair the physical abilities

Our objective:
We want to build a car which can be operated by using joystick. If we can build that, it would be great help for disabled persons.

Why we need this type of system?

Existing system in the market are modified to allow the physically disabled to drive but it still needs lots of improvements.

How to build one?

The Vehicle works in two modes:
1) Joystick:- A joystick is an input device consisting of a stick that pivots on a base and reports its angle or direction to the device it is controlling. We will take input from user through a joystick and then process it to produce servo commands via a Arduino Board.
2) Autonomous driving in constrained environment: Using input from Kinect sensor.Kinect is a motion sensing input device by Microsoft for the Xbox 360 video game console and Windows PCs to obtain depth image and process the frames in real-time.To perform depth based blob detection combining it with vision based blob tracking to perform a robust obstacle detection. The technique involves using a slice of depth image for detecting obstacles and then finding path taking in view the maximum steering angle, width of the vehicle, turning radius etc.

System Requirements:
Languages Used: python 2.5,autonomous module is built in c# and uses emgucv
Softwares: Aforge image processing libraries and Microsoft Kinect SDK 1.0
Hardware includes – Standard Laptop (Intel core i5-2410M @ 2.30 GHZ, 4GB RAM), Joystick, Kinect Sensor, Arduino Uno Microcontroller, Servo, UPS, Battery, servo motors, h-bridges and wireless transmitter and receiver(Fail safe) .
The vehicle also has a fail-safe mechanism that is used to control vehicle in emergency using a wireless remote.