KITT out your car with Fujitsu voice-controlled assistant

BARCELONA, Spain -- If you grew up watching Knight Rider, you've probably dreamed of a day you could talk to your car. Dream no more, fellow KITT fan, as Fujitsu's prototype voice assistant takes you where you want to go, without taking your hands off the wheel or your eyes on the road.

It's just a prototype at the moment, but the idea is you press a button on the steering wheel and start chatting with your phone, mounted on the dashboard.

"I'm hungry," you declare, like a petulant child, and the system asks … Read more

Fujitsu tap-and-wave glove works where touchscreens don't

Touch screens were just the start.

User interface experimentation is blossoming as new sensors liberate computing devices from keyboards and mice, and a new glove from Fujitsu Laboratories embodies the trend. The device has a near-field communications (NFC) reader and gyroscopic sensors for gesture-based interactions with a person's environment.

Fujitsu will show the wearable device at the Mobile World Congress show next week in Barcelona, with plans to sell it in 2015.

The idea is to let a person -- likely in some specific work situation -- tap an object with the NFC reader, then perform a gesture that … Read more

Light vs heat: Fujitsu rebuilds server with silicon photonics

Fujitsu and Intel announced a significant step Tuesday toward replacing computers' electrical wiring with fiber-optic links: a version of the PCI Express data pathway that uses silicon photonics.

The two companies demonstrated Optical PCIe Express (OPCIe) to split a single server into separate modules linked by a fiber-optic connection. The approach lets the machine's central Xeon processors be separated from its storage drives and its Xeon Phi co-processors to avoid overheating problems.

The demonstration used Intel silicon photonics modules to send and receive the light signals, said Intel silicon photonics marketing director Victor Krutul in a blog post. In … Read more

Inside Fujitsu's cloud-powered farm of the future

The average farm in the United States of America is 449 acres. Ignore the smaller farms on the East Coast and look to an agriculture-focused state like Wyoming, and that average footprint balloons to a whopping 3,743 acres -- one-fourth the size of the island of Manhattan. That's a lot of land, enough that farmers can make big investments and expect big payoffs. An expensive tractor will pay for itself by tilling, haying, and managing more acreage. The same goes for less predictable but equally important farm equipment, like computers running accounting software. Modern megafarms in America are … Read more

Japan makers reel as Docomo begins big shift to iPhone

NTT DoCoMo has told Japan's handset makers that iPhones will take about 40 percent of all new contracts, dealing a big blow to domestic phone suppliers, Nikkei reported Thursday.

The 40 percent figure is believed to be the quota that Apple and DoCoMo agreed on, the report said.

DoCoMo, Japan's largest carrier, will carry both the iPhone 5S and 5C. And may also carry the iPad, according to Nikkei.

This development marks a tectonic shift in DoCoMo's strategy and the Japanese phone market in general. Domestic phone suppliers like Sharp and Fujitsu are expected to suffer as … Read more

Fujitsu supercomputer simulates 1 second of brain activity

Is it really possible to simulate the human brain on a computer? AI researchers have been investigating that question for decades, but Japanese and German scientists have run what they say is the largest-ever simulation of brain activity using a machine.

The simulation involved 1.73 billion virtual nerve cells connected by 10.4 trillion synapses and was run on Japan's K computer, which was ranked the fastest in the world in 2011.

It took the Fujitsu-built K about 40 minutes to complete a simulation of one second of neuronal network activity in real time, according to Japanese research institute RIKEN, which runs the machine. … Read more

Zoom around Tokyo in an epic 150-gigapixel image

A visit to Tokyo would certainly be a tremendous achievement for any bucket list, but it's not exactly easy -- let alone cheap -- for most of us to visit the Japanese mecca. In the meantime, this super high-resolution 360-degree, 150-gigapixel panorama will certainly give you a rare look-see at the mammoth city.

Over the course of six hours, photographer and founder Jeffery Martin captured the fascinating 600,000 pixel-wide panorama upon the roof of the lower observation deck on the Tokyo Tower. A high-powered Fujitsu computer -- packing 192GB of RAM, 2 quad-core Xeon processors, and a 4GB graphics card -- spent three months stitching together the mosaic from 10,000 individual photos captured by Martin. … Read more

Fujitsu unveils 14-inch ultrabook with 3,200x1,800 display

Fujitsu will soon launch a new 14-inch ultrabook that boasts a screen resolution of 3,200x1,800 pixels.

The upcoming Lifebook UH90/L uses Sharp's IGZO technology to attain its high resolution. Equipped with a density of 262 pixels per inch, the display offers 2.7 times the detail of a full HD screen. Text appears sharper and is easier to read, and photos are more vivid, according to Fujitsu.

Outfitted with Windows 8, the touch-enabled notebook is powered by a fourth-generation Intel "Haswell" Core i5 chip. It also offers a 500GB hybrid hard disk that combines … Read more

Crave Ep. 117: Escape from Earth to three newly discovered hospitable planets

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NASA's Kepler space telescope has discovered new habitable planets, but don't pack up your house just yet. Plus, we take a first look at Fujitsu's FingerLink touch-based projection scanner, and Project Unity lets you play up to 18 classic video consoles in one box. … Read more

FingerLink turns paper into touch screens

There are many gestural interfaces under development, but our fingers remain one of the most useful tools we have. Fujitsu's FingerLink lets your fingers control a scanner and projector for printed information, acting as a bridge between digital and analog tech.

The prototype uses off-the-shelf cameras and projectors. Fujitsu's image-processing software links the two.

It can accurately detect where your fingers are as you touch or swipe any printed matter, letting you copy text or images and project them elsewhere. The size of projected images can similarly be adjusted with a fingertip. … Read more