The Nexus Q is Google's first media streamer, a sphere proudly made in the U.S.A. that streams audio and video to speakers and/or TVs, using an Android device as a remote. It's also horribly restrictive and limited in functionality--but it has potential, providing either Google or industrious hackers put in some hard work.
By Andrew RosenblumPosted 07.11.2012 at 10:25 am 2 Comments
Miroslaw Sowa, an electronics hobbyist in Montreal who grew up playing the accordion, liked the guitar but found fingering chords on the fret board too difficult. So he teamed up with Toronto software developer Vsevolod Zagainov to develop the Tabstrummer, an electronic instrument that allows the user to play different guitar chords simply by pressing one of up to 12 preset memory buttons.
Most musicians can tune their instruments whenever they like. The exception is the pianist, who typically isn't trained to tune the piano's 200-plus strings. Instead, both amateur and professional piano players must hire a technician to get their instrument in shape. But Don Gilmore has accomplished an engineering feat that he says could do away with the need for tuners: a self-tuning piano.
Living in the Future is a new column about those rare moments, as we go about our daily lives, when we realize that what we're doing is amazing. We have a tendency to assimilate new tech into our lives without giving it much thought, or even without much gratitude, as Louis C.K. reminds us. But every once in awhile, we get that visceral "whoomph" while doing something as mundane as listening to music or playing a video game, and think: "Holy shit. I can't believe this is possible."
My favorite thing about AirPlay, Apple's wireless streaming protocol, is that it works so well and so simply that I never have to think about it. This scene has happened more than once: A group of friends sit around a living room, talking, drinking, laughing. Somebody wants to share a song with the group, or a YouTube video of tiny houses, or of a cat that figured out how to get more food from its automatic feeder, or the music video du jour.
In some way or another, I've been taking music and video from my computer and playing it on my TV for years, and it's always been awkward, ungainly, and unreliable. But these days, when I want to do that, my mental image is this: A video plays on my phone. I look down. I wrap my fist around the video. While the video struggles against my palm, cats meowing or singers cavorting, I wind up like a pitcher and heave it at my TV. It flies through the air in bits, like that Wonkavision scene in Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, before slamming into the TV and reassembling itself, large and cinematic.
When he's not busy with his full-time gig, NASA Astronaut Don Pettit takes the time to run some of his own personal science experiments. His latest? A zero-gravity didgeridoo performance — for science.