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Digital Innovation Roundup: November 11-14

Posted 19 November 2013 12:00 AM by Richard Kim

Did you catch last week's tech and trends? We did. And we're happy to share our findings. Here's everything you need to know about the latest and greatest in the digital world. 

Read about Toymail connecting parents with their kids, MIT demonstrating inFORM, Nissan introducing 3E and Anki Drive launching a new line of toy cars. 

 1. Toymail Uses Toys to Connect Parents with Their Kids 

There’s almost no reason to buy a 3-year-old kid a smartphone, but how do you keep children connected with the people they love? Toymail is a small device that has been designed to allow parents to send voice-mails to their children by recording and sending them on their smartphones. Once Toymail receives a message, it will then relay that information to the child who owns the toy. Similar to a walkie talkie, the receiver can then respond directly to the message by pressing a button on the toy. In order for this to work, users can simply download Toymail’s free application onto a smartphone, then connect to one of the Toymail devices to start leaving a message on one of the toys. 

 2. MIT Demonstrates Dynamic Shape Display 

 Engineers from the Tangible Media Group at MIT’s Media Lab have created a whole new level of interaction with inFORM, a Dynamic Shape Display. This platform creates real-time movement of physical “pixels” on a table surface that move in accordance with a user’s movements while using a Kinect motion sensing device. There are a number of application domains for the inform shape display that can benefit both brands and consumers. The Dynamic Shape Display could allow users to remotely manipulate objects from miles away, providing a truly unique experience. 

  3. Nissan Introduces a New Wearable HUD 

 Nissan joins the wearable HUD wave with the unveiling of its newest head-mounted device — 3E (Third Eye) — at this year’s Tokyo Motor Show. Unlike other smart glasses that are currently in the market, E3 is designed to go over the user’s left eye instead of the right. Assuming that Nissan’s smart glasses include features similar to its competitors, it remains unclear as to the type of capabilities that this device will offer.  It will be interesting to see how successful this device becomes and whether or not it will get lost in the mix with its competitors. 

  4. Anki Drive’s iPhone-controlled Toy Cars 

  Anki Drive will be a great Christmas gift for both kids and adults alike. The Anki Drive platform is a slot car racing game that uses artificial intelligence and machine learning so that each toy car can learn and adapt while driving on the track. This iOS-powered technology combines robotics with AI to offer a unique accessory to the smartphone platform. The starter set includes a game mat, two cars, charging pods to restore their batteries and a device to clean out the tires. Using these toy cars to race friends provides a truly unique experience, which the company says will continue to be updated and optimized to enhance the user experience.





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