NASA's Curiosity rover is landing on Mars next month. But it's already landed on iPhones. So have the twin GRAIL spacecraft currently orbiting the moon. A new iPhone/iPad app released by NASA delivers an augmented reality experience in 3-D that allows users to print off imagery of the moon or Mars and view that imagery through the cameras on their devices, which then overlay the image on the device screen with various animations, graphics, and information.
Food apps are a huge part of any app store. You can find restaurants with Yelp, share photos with Foodspotting, check the sustainability of your fish with Seafood Watch, read any of a million cookbooks--but we wondered what the experts do with their phones. So we asked six food experts--including chef Wylie Dufresne of wd~50 and the bar manager of the most exciting, cutting-edge cocktail bar in New York--what food-related apps grace their phones.
By Ian ChantPosted 06.01.2012 at 11:24 am 3 Comments
It begins with a tweet and ends with a twisted ankle. Still, since everyone seems intent on continuing to stumble along looking down at their smartphones, Transparent Screen can help minimize accidents. The Android app overlays any screen content on top of a live image from the phone's camera, so users can keep their eyes on the display without bumping into others or wandering into the street. Transparent Screen is available for free at Google Play.
By Tim NewcombPosted 05.30.2012 at 4:02 pm 3 Comments
Personal fitness monitors are great at collecting data but fail at providing useful interpretations. Users often have no way to translate speed, distance and calories into metrics that can help guide them to improve over time. The Nike+ Training system is the only monitor that records data, processes it, and delivers real-time coaching.
Autodesk, one of the premier 3-D printing companies out there right now--they make AutoCAD, the pioneering software--has a new app out for iPad that aims to make 3-D printing easier. Just snap a bunch of pictures of the object you want to reproduce from different angles, and the app, cleverly named 123D Catch, creates a 3-D rendering automatically.
Our friends over at Field & Stream have a newish iPhone app that we'll totally use, provided we're still fishing in the coming world of genetically modified salmon and robotic fish. It turns your pictures of your catch into a sort of journal, with time, date, weather conditions, and location, plus added info like type and size of fish, type and color of lure, and more, which you can then share with your fishing friends or just use it to brag to those stuck in office buildings. Now Field & Stream is running a contest--the best photo gets in the magazine, and the winner gets some nice Columbia gear. Read more here.
Fragile Earth, new in the App Store this week, is a simple idea, and it's actually executed simply as well--two or more photos of the same place over time, with a slider so you can see how it looks in the past. But these are places that have been utterly changed by major, unstoppable forces: time, industrialization, development, and climate change.
Did you know that bonobos have a "fascination with computers"? No? Neither did we. But a new Kickstarter project from the Bonobo Hope Great Ape Trust Sanctuary in Des Moines, Iowa needs funding to make every bonobo's technological dreams a reality--from operating vending machines to, improbably, controlling their own robots.
The potential of tablets to transform the way we learn is pretty extraordinary. The first really "wow" app we saw for the iPad was a re-imagining of the periodic table. Wonders of the Universe, a new app from the BBC, HarperCollins, and Professor Brian Cox, takes you zooming through our universe, from a broad view at multiple galaxies all the way down to a look at subatomic particles--with more than a film's worth of videos, a staggering amount of gorgeous space photos, and hundreds of interesting articles as well. It takes the idea of an interactive textbook far beyond what we've seen before.
West Virginia has launched a smartphone app that's one part clever crowdsourcing and community engagement and one part sinister report-on-your-neighbor Big Brotherism. The Suspicious Activity Reporting Application is exactly what it sounds like. See something that looks like a violation of the law, no matter how insignificant? Snap a pic, tag it with GPS, and anonymously report it to the state.