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in « Weekly recap »,
 April 29 2016

Weekly Recap: Hover Camera, Megaprocessor, WISP, Hoverbike, etc.

Hover Camera

Hover Camera is a mini-drone that can film in 4K (stabilised). It can also double up as a personal overhead fan during the dog days of summer. The drone’s creator, Zero Zero Robotics, will be releasing it this summer for around USD 600.

Mashable, “The Hover Camera will follow you around and record your entire life.”

Forecast: Showers and Windows 10

Weather forecasts are important to people, but installing Windows 10 is serious business indeed. Meteorologist Metinka Slater, of KCCI 8 News in Des Moines, kept her cool and chose the “later” option.

YouTube, “KCCI meteorologist gets Windows 10 upgrade surprise on live TV.”

Really Mega Processor


Take 15,300 conventional transistors (+ 27,000 for RAM), 3 kg of tin-lead solder alloy, a few years’ time and a little bit of space (at least 15 m2), and what do you get? Nothing less than a 16-bit “micro” processor (clock speed 20 kHz), all for the low, low price of £40,000, or $73,000. For comparison’s sake, a 1993 Pentium P5 packed 3 million transistors on a 1.7-cm square… and today’s SPARC M7 holds no less than 4,133 million transistors. James Newman, its creator, announced that the soldering was mostly done and that his masterpiece was almost complete. His worst nightmare? A burnt-out transistor: how do you find the culprit among tens of thousands of identical pieces?

Megaprocessor, “Progress page.”

WISP, the Battery-Free Mini Computer

Wireless Identification and Sensing Platform (WISP)

WISP, a minicomputer created by teams from Delft University (Netherlands) and Washington University (Seattle, WA), uses just radio waves for power. It works a little like an RFID chip, but is more evolved. For example, it can be wirelessly reprogrammed. Potential applications include using it as a sensor in enclosed and hard-to-access places.

Popular Science, “WISP is a tiny wireless computer that draws power from radio waves.”

Fast Company Design, “This battery-free computer sucks power out of thin air.”


Great Britain, home of mad geniuses… This idea looks like fun, but is hazardous to its pilot… and to legendary British lawns.

Popular Science, “Watch a guy fly a homemade hoverbike around his backyard.”


Other Links of Interest

  • Artificial intelligence now fits inside a USB stick:
  • Google is building a hardware division led by former Motorola president:
  • Apple throws open doors to CareKit, shows off the first four apps:
  • No one’s created the killer app for virtual reality yet, says John Riccitiello, Unity CEO:
  • Sony wants to patent a contact lens camera with image stabilization and autofocus:
  • Samsung’s personal assistant robot is called Otto:
  • In Germany, they call them smombies—smartphone users who stagger about cities like zombies, oblivious to the risk. Now the city of Augsburg is fighting back:
  • Microsoft stops Google being used for Cortana searches:
  • HP’s Chromebook 13 isn’t cheap, but it’s high-quality hardware:


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