Hey, look! Lenovo's got an eye-controlled laptop

When we first heard about Lenovo's new eye-controlled laptop, we worried that we'd have to stop winking at our monitors every time Justin Bieber popped up in our browser--or risk a seriously messy desktop. Fortunately, the eye-tracking technology is reportedly highly accurate and probably wouldn't be overly sensitive to our odd little tics.

The functional laptop prototype, being demonstrated this week at the CeBit tech fair in Hannover, Germany, lets you point, select, and scroll with your eyes alone. With a stare, for example, you can make a cursor appear, zoom in on pictures or maps, or switch between open windows and browse e-mails and documents. To increase battery life, the computer can auto-dim and brighten the screen when it recognizes your peepers. Also, as demonstrated at CeBit, gamers can glance to pull off actions like burning up incoming asteroids.

The laptop tracks eye movements by shining infrared lights into the user's eyes; hidden cameras then detect the glint in the retinas. The system needs to be adjusted to fit each individual user and works for those with or without eyeglasses. … Read more

Indendix EEG lets you type with your brain

Austrian biomedical firm Guger Technologies is promoting a new electroencephalography (EEG) device that lets users type with their minds, calling it the world's first commercial brain-machine interface for personal use.

Consisting of an EEG cap, display, and computer, Intendix is designed for severely disabled patients and people with symptoms of locked-in syndrome, a condition (featured in the movie "The Diving Bell and the Butterfly") in which patients suffer near-total paralysis while their minds continue to function normally.

After only 10 minutes of training, most patients can type 5-10 characters per minute by focusing on each character on … Read more

Lip-reading phones: Sounds of silence

Still getting used to all those people with Bluetooth headsets walking down the street appearing to talk to themselves? Get ready for the still stranger sight of people talking to themselves--without making any noise.

Researchers from Germany's Karlsruhe Institute of Technology are working on a system that converts mouth motions into synthesized speech, thus laying the groundwork for soundless cell phone calls (and ironically making us want to screech loudly in delight).

The technology relies on electromyography--a technique for recording electrical activity produced by muscles--to detect facial movements made while chatting. Once recorded, the pulses are transmitted to a device that records and amplifies them, then sends them along to a laptop via Bluetooth. Software turns the signals into text, which can then be spoken by a synthesizer. … Read more

Netgear networking kits aimed at home theater

It's always rather costly to get a home theater, but if you're looking to put one together and want to connect components wirelessly, you just got spoiled.

Netgear announced Wednesday two new networking accessories for home theaters, the High-Performance Wireless-N HD Home Theater Kit (WNHDB3004) and the Universal WiFi Internet Adapter for Home Theater Devices and Gaming Consoles (WNCE2001).

The former is an upgrade of the WNHDEB111 DH gaming kit that CNET reviewed a while back. Netgear claims that the new WNHDB3004 kit has been tested and proven to currently be the only solution capable of wirelessly playing … Read more

Asus debuts super-thin, MacBooky Eee 1018p

Along with its entry into the e-reader market at CeBit in Germany Tuesday, Asus showed off a sleeker redesign of its popular Netbook lines.

One notable model, the 1018p, stands out. It has a fully aluminum enclosure, a 1,024x600 pixel 10.1-inch screen, and a keyboard that looks very much like those made by another notable laptop manufacturer. Indeed, with the aforementioned keyboard, minimalist design, super-thin casing, and large trackpad, the 1018p seems to be created with Apple fans in mind.

It also has 2GB RAM, a 10-hour battery, and a 250GB hard drive in its stock configuration.

The … Read more

Asus makes e-reader jump official with DR-900

We've known for a while now that Eee PC maker Asus planned to get in on the e-reader action, and on Tuesday the company made it official by unveiling the DR-900 at the CeBit tech fair in Hannover, Germany.

The DR-900 features a 9-inch, monochrome touch-screen display with a 1,024x768 resolution and boasts a slim form factor (9mm thick--no thicker than a pencil, Asus says). The device has Wi-Fi connectivity and optional 3G, and battery life should let users read 10,000 pages, or 20 400-page novels, on a single charge. The reader supports ePUB, PDF, and TXT … Read more

CeBit 2009: A look at the P55 chipset Core i5 motherboard

The eagle-eyed folks over at Hexus have spotted a gigabyte GA-IBP at CeBIT. So what’s so special about this board? It’s a P55 chipset, socket LGA1156 motherboard for Intel’s upcoming Core i5 processor.

Some background. The Core i5 is a Lynnfield processor, which is itself based on the Nehalem Intel Core microarchitecture. It features an integrated memory controller supporting 2-channel DDR3, hyperthreading technology (which means that four cores translates into processing capacity for eight threads), features 8MB of Intel Smart Cache, and supports Turbo Boost technology and an integrated PCI-Express graphics controller. The socket for this chip … Read more

CeBit 2009: Gadgets and more

roundup The annual late-winter high-tech fest in Germany presents a smorgasbord of gadgets, gear, and technology partnerships.

Photos: Eee PC Touch at CeBit 2009 Our colleagues at ZDNet Germany snapped some pictures of Asus' computers at CeBit 2009; scroll through the gallery to see what Asus has up its sleeve. (Posted in Crave by Crave staff) March 3, 2009 3:27 PM PST

Garmin slims down with Nuvi 1200 and 1300 series Garmin introduces its Nuvi 1200 and 1300 line of ultrathin GPS; the series will also include a new pedestrian navigation option. (Posted in Crave by Bonnie Cha) March Read more

Photos: Eee PC Touch at CeBit 2009

At the CeBit 2009 trade show taking place this week in Hannover, Germany, Asus showed off its Eee PCs, including touch-screen models that can be used like the iPhone, with finger gestures. Our colleagues at ZDNet Germany snapped some pictures of the computers; scroll through the gallery below to see what Asus has up its sleeve.

Garmin slims down with Nuvi 1200 and 1300 series

Mio isn't the only one making GPS news at CeBIT 2009. Garmin also got in on the action and introduced its new Nuvi 1200 and 1300 series of portable navigation devices on Tuesday. The new products sport thinner designs and are the first to offer the option of enhanced pedestrian navigation through CityXplorer maps.

Realizing that portable navigation devices are no longer restricted to just the car and hoping to reach new customers, Garmin wanted to provide an option for those exploring new cities by foot. Slimming down the size of the GPS was one solution and CityXplorer was … Read more