March 24, 2006

gsr.jpgDid a secret government agency really force your roommate to sleep with your girlfriend, or has he been lying all along? Why not find out by building yourself a quick a simple lie detector test? Using the Lego Mindstorm kit, velcro, and tinfoil, you can construct a Galvanic Skin Response sensor that determines the amount of sweat on your skin at any given time. The theory is that when someone tells a lie, or is under any stress, they sweat more than when they are truthful and calm. Simply slap one of these together, heed the brief warning about sudden and violent death by electrocution, and you can be well on your way to stripping away all the lies on which your relationships are firmly based.

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Previous Entries

on_target.jpg On Target is "an interactive installation with the functional purpose of improving hygiene," which is just a fancy way to say "a urinal with a video game built in." The urinal features a pressure-sensitive display that operates an interactive game with images and sounds. One purpose of the game is to save on cleaning costs, as it will give gentlemen a reason to aim properly, but I don't think they factor in the costs of hiring a electrical repairman willing to work deep in a urinal. Remember, On Target is an example of a video game with urinal functionality, but not all video games are that way. Knowing this will help you avoid many awkward conversations with the arcade manager about the proper way to play Ms. Pac Man.

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hallucenation.jpg The Des Moines Police Department has begun using virtual reality machines to give their officers a chance to experience severe mental illness. The Virtual Hallucination Machine was created by a Belgian pharmaceutical company to display common scenes filled with uncommon events, like people suddenly appearing or disappearing and random voices. The Des Moines Police Department has a crisis response team that is devoted to handling situations with unstable subjects, and they hope to be better prepared by viewing the world through these hallucination machines. The "city bus" and "pharmacy" appear to be the only virtual reality scenario available, but we can bet that the "wild strip club raid" and "shirtless hippie shootout" scenarios are not far behind.

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dokumat500.jpg Dokumat 500 is a robot that creates documentary films that are destined to create buzz at the next Sundance. Created by Niklas Roy, the Dokumat is a completely autonomous robot that decides what to film without ever analyzing the film it records. Using thirteen sensors, the Dokumat roams freely around the landscape, filming and avoiding obstacles like kids and old people. It has complete control over its camera and it independently edits the film, so no human interaction is involved after turning it on. The robot has a short attention span and the filming might be completely random, but isn't that what inevitably happens to the wedding photographer after a few trips to the open bar? Plus the Dokumat will never fall down some stairs and into the wedding cake. Twice.

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Telephoneboxing is a telephone concept that finally gives you a reason to break out your complete collection of Tae Bo tapes. The concept is based around ten numbered boxing pads placed randomly around the inside walls of a 20ft container. To make a call, a person simply punches the number they want to dial, stands in the center of the container, and begins screaming once the telephone connection is made. The screams are automatically adjusted to an appropriate volume, and the called person's responses are transmitted back through a speaker in the front of the container. The boxing pads even make sounds when you punch them. Will Telephoneboxing still let you play "Mary had a little lamb" on the keypad? Probably. Will Telephoneboxing save Billy Blanks from another appearance on the Tony Danza Show? Probably not.

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wall_vault.jpg Stacks and Stacks is selling a biometric wall safe perfect for the gunslinger who just can't seem to remember pesky combinations. The Wall Vault uses biometric reading, where a simple scan of your fingerprint will open the safe in seconds. The Wall Vault is mainly targeted at gun owners who want quick and easy access to their handguns, but feel free to store secret plans or truth serum antidotes or anything else you would usually find in a wall safe. Criminals should also note that they only need the owner's index finger (severed or otherwise) to open the safe. It's that convenient!

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