Wednesday, 25 April 2012

Future of Voice Synthesis

Voice synthesis has been around for the past decades, but it has always been professional oriented and targets users with either programming or hardware-engineering skills. As such, it was never a very well developed field of technology, until Yamaha Corporation introduced Vocaloid, a speech/song synthesiser in 2004.

Included in the software are a huge library of pre-recorded vocal fragments, a dedicated song processing engine, as well as a score editor. The software also offers a relatively simple User Interface. All of these combined allow users with little to no programming skills to syntheses songs and speech.

Initially released in Japan, this software has since caused a huge impact. Millions of songs have been created, recorded and uploaded to YouTube or other video hosting sites, including Pop musics,

Original songs,

Even national anthems!
(USA National Anthem)
(Russia National Anthem)

In short, its ease of use offers users the freedom to create various content, and with the abundant Web 2.0 tools such as video sharing sites, social network sites and online forums cause contents to boom extensively.

Other than singing, the software has also been used in Japan as the voice of in Train Announcement System as well as in telephone recordings.

It would be very interesting to see how the voice synthesis technology would evolve in the future with such popular yet easy-to-use software available to public.

Further reading: Wiki Article on Vocaloid
Posted by Samuel Ip

Window Phone!

The weather forcast is often inaccurate. When it predicts in advance it’s gonna be rainy, the day ends up being bright and sunny. Seunghan Song designed the weather predicting Window Phone. It promises to predict the weather accurately. This phone is sleek and transparent, thin like a plastic sheet. The most amazing thing about this phone is that it will “mimick” the weather. For example, if it’s a sunny day, it will display with a clear screen, if it’s a rainy day, there will be virtual drops and when it snows we will see some frosty veneer.

From the photo, we see the phone doesn’t have any keys. A user can fog up the phone to switch the phone into handwriting mode for calling and texting. This could be tiring for users easily. Some questions have been asked such as whether the battery will be able to handle such technology, where would the accurate data come from or where the sim will be inserted.

Image from:

Though this is just a concept phone, I believe that when it comes into the market, it will override any phones currently out for its design and technology. 

Information from:

Post by: Lisa Vuong

Sunday, 22 April 2012

Rumours of Apples

Rumours about iPhone 5 appeared even before iPhone 4S was released. I hope that some of them are truthful because they are very cool and fascinating. For example, the rumour about transparency of the new iPhone. 

At first sight it`s even hard to understand how could it be transparent and if it really does not have anything inside how and where Apple hided all the interior. However if we watch this video more carefully, we could recognise that once the apps appear on the screen the phone is not transparent anymore. The only solution for this magic that comes to my mind is that the cameras  give the images adapted for the full screen, therefore the phone looks transparent. 

The other rumour is that iPhone 5 would be made of a liquid metal.

A new composition of  titanium, nickel, copper and zirconium among other metals, is tough, light and scratch resistant. This will make a new phone very light, thin and smooth as glass.

Anyways, Apple promised to release the new iPhome 5 this June. That means that very soon every Apple fan would be able to discover new features and abilities of the new iPhone. Personally I am very excited to see the upcoming revolution in the world of phones. Let`s wait and hope that Apple will give us something we did not expect as they always do.

Posted by Roman Stupak :)

Saturday, 21 April 2012

New Holographic Projection Technology

Holographic Projection Technology, created by AV Concepts Digital  is technology that allows video, or graphics, to be displayed in 3d without the need for 3d glasses. This technology has the ability to broadcast multiple  people from various countries/locations, live and have them appearing as if their all in the same place at the same time. 
This technology is based on the 'Peppers Ghost' technique, which basically means that the viewers that are viewing the first screen, can't see what is being projected from the second screen, usually at a 45 degree angle. The second 'private' screen reflects the image via a mirror, which the result is what the viewer sees on the first screen. As seen in this image. (the red 'room' is what the user cant see, and the back white screen in the green room, is what is presented to the user). 

However, even though the concept of this technology is old, it has progressed through the advances in high definition and projection quality, which has made it more realistic and 'life like'. To implement the hologram technology is rather expensive, with the recent 2pac Performance at the Coachella festival estimated to be around $250,000 and took in the vicinity, 4 months to produce. ( 2pacs 2012 performance can be viewed here)

Ultimately, this technology has the potential to be very beneficial to all areas of society, from patients requiring a doctor's consultation in the privacy of their own home, teachers teaching children in third world countries, to attending an important business meeting overseas via the comfort of your own home, or for entertainment purposes, such as concerts with people who have passed, and have an "All stars" music collaboration on tour, eg: Elvis, 2pac and Freddie Mercury.
However, global access to this high quality hologram technology will only be limited by the high financial and production resources, which means this type of technology may not be in the hands of the general public for a few years yet.

- Posted by Ryan Maher

Friday, 20 April 2012

New iPad 4G dispute in Australia

It's been a month since the new iPad first came out, and there's already quite a few criticisms about it. People complained that it can get really hot, it's heavier than iPad 2, and all sorts of other things. In Australia, there's also a problem about its description as a 4G-capable device.

Image taken from an article in Gizmodo (link).

In Australia, Telstra is the only telecommunication company that offers 4G LTE mobile internet data plans, but unfortunately their LTE standard does not cope with Apple's new iPad, and this arouse problem on whether the new iPad should still be marketed as a 4G device or not.

According to a recent article by (link), Apple claimed in a news report by The Australian (link) that their device can actually perform 4G internet speed on all carriers available in Australia, despite the carriers still calling their network "3G". In fact, actually did a worldwide speed test (see video below, Flash required), and turns out that although the new iPad doesn't work with the 4G network in Australia, the speed is still pretty fast, at about 17 Mb (Mega-bit) per sec!

On the other hand, Apple also argued that if the users take their new iPad to countries such as the U.S. where compatible 4G network is widely available, the new iPad can run in full 4G internet speed, thus should not be charged by the court as false advertising.

Ultimately, given such dispute in Australia, I think the telecommunication companies around the world should really come to agreements on the standards of 4G network, so that such incident will not happen again.

Further Reading:
Article about 4G on Wikipedia

Posted by Samuel Ip

Thursday, 19 April 2012

GM Advanced Tech Window!

So how many of you out there find it a bit boring sitting in the car, the backseat, doing nothing apart from staring out the window? I mean, you could be using your portable games or even DVD players just to entertain yourself on car trips but let's face it, it's so old school! The aim of this new technological development is to allow rear passengers, especially children have a more enjoyable and pleasant experience.

General Motors Research and Development put a challenge to researchers and students from the FUTURE LAB at Bezalel Academy of Art and Design in Israel. The students were asked to turn car windows into interactive displays that are capable of stimulating awareness, with a strong connection with the world outside the vehicle.

The apps include:
- Otto, an animated character projected over passing scenery that responds to real-time car performance, weather and landscape. Learn about the environment in a playful way!
- Foofu, an app that allows passengers to create, explore and discover through finger drawing
- Spindow, allows users to peek into other users windows around the globe
- Pond, which allows users to share music, and messages with other passengers.

Image from:

I think this is such an amazing window that's been created, it's entertaining, relaxing and interactive. It's a transparent screen that can allow you to access the internet to share music, learn about locations outside the vehicle etc. I would definitely purchase as soon it becomes reality!

Information from:

Posted by Lisa Vuong 

Wednesday, 18 April 2012

The New 3D Printer

We live in an amazing period when people start to invent cool digital things. Some year back a usual (for today life) black and white printer was something magic for me, then there appeared laser and colour printers.
All devices not only those which transfer digital text or pictures upgrade very quickly. In my post today I would like to present you a new 3D printer "The MakerBot Replicator".

This device allows you not only construct objects in 3D programmes on your computer but also create them in the real world. The disadvantage of the machine is that it can only work with maximum two colours but I think that its creators will soon cope with it too.
The device can be very useful for engineers and architectures. These people need to imagine their ideas and now they would be able to preview them and see all pros and cons before the actual implementation.
The MakerBot can become a very useful device for studying on any stage of your life (primary schools as well as for universities).
To sum up, this machine is created for everyone who want to know, feel and create the world in 3D.

Posted by Roman Stupak :)

Tuesday, 17 April 2012

The Pebble E- Paper Watch For iPhone and Android

The Pebble E - Paper Watch is a watch for the post smart phone era. This watch allows someone to instantaneously connect/sync/retrieve sms messages and control their Iphone or Google Android's functions such as play music, read sms's on the go, as well as being able to utilize their iphones apps all  via Bluetooth.  The watch has a high resolution display, and at first may appear to be a normal digital watch, however it's limitless in features and functions.

 The watch perfectly harmonizes with the iphone/android's mobile features, and displays gps coordinates, distance traveled and has a built in viabration feature to alert you if someone is calling your iphone and its not within arms reach.
The video below displays the various features and limitless possibilities that the Pebble E - Watch encompasses. 

Image Sourced from

 Overall , I appreciate how old technology as well as new technology can form a hybrid of sorts, and utilize the best aspects from both products. The watch makes a great addition to the iphone/Android in that it allows the user to still control and  monitor their iphone, without having to physically hold it in their hand and divert their whole attention to it constantly.

The Pebble E - Paper watch is a more practical device that allows people who are constantly busy and thus "time poor" (excuse the pun) ;) , to continue on with their daily tasks that require their full attention, whilst checking their watch to see if any important messages or phone calls/apps need their attention intermittently. Ultimately, I would find this a useful product and one that I would contemplate purchasing, as it would be an item that would complement the features on my Iphone in a more productive and seamless way.

Posted by Ryan Maher

Monday, 16 April 2012

Project Glass by Google

This is a video demonstration made by Google X Lab, who is working behind a new research project called "Project Glass". The basic idea is that this "Glass" can be overlaid with different information, from Maps, Instant Messages, to even GPS location services and so on. With this glass on, you can use it like how we use the Smart Phones these days, going onto social networks, sending messages, sharing photos, and a lot more, only this time you can see-through it and it would react to the environment. As our technology moves from Web 2.0 to Web 3.0, where it is more about the integration of software and hardware, as well as its integration with the reality, such project is in a sense predicting what the world would be like in the future.

"Project Glass", according to Google, would feature a tailored Android operation system, with camera and internet connection antenna on it. In the video, it is shown that the man wearing the glass uses it to check weather, chat with friends, make appointments, and even share video to another friend in real time. All of these look pretty clean and slick, and very hi-tech too, but the Project is not without criticism.

In one article by (link), it is noted that the "Glass" would be potentially dangerous if it is used when driving a car, and the street-view feature would be pretty useless as signs and building names can be easily seen in real life. Also, a parodied version of the above video (see below) actually depicted how a real "Project Glass" might work like -- full of advertisements! Which is very true, as Google ultimately is a advertising company.

It would be very interesting to see how this Project and the Augmented Reality technology would evolve, and how people would react to it in real life. 

Posted by Samuel Ip

Sunday, 15 April 2012

Senseye - change the way we use Smartphones!

This is one unique innovation which focuses on changing our lives and the way we use technology. Introducing the new Senseye, a software which allows users to interact with their mobile phone device just by looking at it. all you have to do is activate the screen, scroll websites and instantly you'll be able to read things without the need to use your hands! The concept of technology from the Copenhagen project was designed to imply innovative features that will be installed in future models of smartphones.

Image taken from:

Although its still a work in progress project, I believe this will become a big attraction in the smartphone market, where users are constantly hoping for new advanced technology to be developed on smartphones. I would definitely give this product a fair go because I can picture this being something that will be able to allow me or other users to make our smartphone a convenient piece of technology. Although there have been new functions introduced into smartphones like 'Siri' or voice over talk/dictation, I find that it's still not enough to fufil the definition of a "smartphone". Hopefully in the near future, Senseye will be successful enough to be included in future smartphones and transform with amazing changes in the way people use their phones.

Here is a video of Senseye, running on an Android device:

Information on Senseye is taken from:

Post by: Lisa Vuong

Saturday, 14 April 2012

Smart fridge

Here is the latest invention in home technology for lazy people who sometimes want to talk to kitchen devices. This fridge can help you to choose and order products online, offer recipes for dishes that can be cooked with the items in it and even help to prepare an oven, set it on the required temperature and switch on a timer via wireless connection.

The picture and information is taken from:

The device saves information about new products that are now in stock by scanning barcodes from the shop or via voice recognition system.

 To my mind very useful for our fast life style and especially for student who do not have time to waste time shopping. It can also become a good company to talk with during lonely evenings.
In my opinion, it is the coolest kitchen invention after a knife of cause.

Though the fridge has so many advantages there is always a fly in the ointment. The prise of a new cohabitant would really affect family budget not only by its own prise but also increase amount of kW in electrical bill. The owner of this miracle would depend on technologies and become even more lazy and passive.

Moreover, proprietor would probably sometimes prefer to stay alone in the kitchen without any sound however the electrical friend is always ready to respond on words even if it is just a talk phone call or someone sings his favourite song.

I would certainly buy it if it cooked instead of me. And I am pretty sure that Japan will shortly create robot-chief and present it to the world.  

Posted by Roman Stupak

Thursday, 12 April 2012

Innovative New Battery Technology that is 10 times more effective than what is currently used.

Through the ever increasing amount of vehicles being driven in the world, there is a concern that the natural resources are being depleted at an ever in creasing rate (fossil fuels/crude oil) which coincidently means an increase in fuel prices as well as carbon emissions leading to environmental concerns. There has been a recent surge of interest in alternative solutions that are efficient as well as practical.  IBM have managed to create a prototype battery power source called the ' Lithium Air'  that is more efficient in storing power per kilogram of weight, with lithium being more than 80% lighter  than the current battery material that's in production, Lithium Ion.
Current Electric cars can only manage to travel 100 miles (about 164 kilometers) where as the new IBM Lithium Air technology, will be able to reach the 500 mile range (800 kilometers)  off a single charge, thus making it a more competitive alternative to cars that run on fuel.

The Lithium Air technology works by passing air (oxygen) through a layer of carbon inside the battery, then the oxygen has a chemical reaction with the stored energy, which then dispurses that energy that is stored in the battery. IBM plans to have a working prototype of this technology in 2013, and aims for it to be in commercial production by the year 2020.
The image below shows how the lithium air technology works which includes the chemical reaction that provides the innovative foundation to make this technology possible.

(Click On Image Above To Enlarge)

Image Sourced From:

The information and data that I researched to help write this post was sourced from:

Ultimately, the Lithium Air technology will promote a more competitive market in the transport industry, reducing emissions into Earth's atmosphere, as well as advancing technological possiblities that were previously thought to have excessive limitations.
 The technological innovation such as IBM's Battery 500 project, as well as other efficient and practical innovations allow for both corporations, the community and the environment, to receive environmentally sustainable and economically prosperous benefits that will continue to educate and service the global community for many years to come.

Posted by Ryan Maher

The new and emerging ways of enjoying the digital media

As the speed of the Internet progress, it is now possible for us to download great quality films and music through the Internet. However, many common download methods such as Bit-torrent are illegal. Record companies and the film industry have tried different methods such as imposing copy restriction on discs, as well as taking down online file sources. Several charges were also made to the court, but they are not very effective and many still download digital content for free.

In 2003, Apple, joined with some of the biggest companies in the music industry, introduced iTunes Store, allowing people to download songs at a low price (about 1 dollar per song). This has proven successful and, in recent years, you could even buy or rent films, as well as applications for smart phones and computers.

At first, the quality of such paid downloaded contents are not very good, with lossy high compression rate as a compromise for a faster download and easier storage. As time progresses, the quality improved, with higher bit-rates, less compressed songs and Full HD films now available in the Store. The high qualities for downloaded films are especially noticeable, as they are just slightly less as good as the same Blu-ray version. As seen from below is a side by side comparison, and the difference is only minimal.

Left: iTunes Download
Right: Blu-ray 

Image taken from an article in
Full link:

Thus, while physical medium such as CDs, DVDs, and Blu-rays is still the most common way people enjoys music and films, they are facing a huge challenge from these legal digital downloads.

In the future, we may not need to store the discs physically in our shelves, as everything would be in our hard disk. With more advancement in our Internet network, it is also possible that most of our content will be in the Cloud, which will then be streamed to our devices whenever we needed them.

Posted by Samuel Ip

Wednesday, 11 April 2012

Plan and design process of our future blog!

As a group, we had to plan the design and layout of the blog. We have taken several aspects such as colour, font, layout and background into consideration. We are still deciding what to do and we will have a final blog design soon. For now we are sticking with a simple design, with bold headings and bold colours that will stand out and be legible to read. We will be applying a suitable blog template to our blog. So far we are ok with our blog, but we look forward to enhancing it and posting blogs about technology! Below is our plan for our blog!