Archive for January, 2014

Kimono: a Very Interesting Scraper to APP Concept and Execution

January 17th, 2014 No comments

Kimonolab’s Kimono scraimageper tool is worth to check out if you have any web scraping needs.  It is a visual extractor tool that recognizes patterns in web content and allow you to create cloud hosted scraping tools you want quickly, and you can schedule it to run periodically.  It also has an app builder let you create simple apps based on the generated scraping tools.   

I have written various kind of scraping tools before, this work makes me wonder why I did not go that far. :-)   

Categories: creative, technology, tools Tags: ,

Fast House Prototying/Production using 3D Printing

January 16th, 2014 No comments

The following image explains itself:



Relate report: build a house in 24 hours

Categories: creative, idea, robot Tags: ,

Smartwatch Design Gets Better

January 9th, 2014 No comments

The following are some appealing new designs of smartwatches:

(1) New pebble vs old pebble:

(2) New Meta Smartwatches



(3) Cookoo’s analog timepiece


One attractive point of Cookoo’s watch is its battery life time. Cookoo’s reps boast it’s more than a year.

My major concern about smartwatches includes design, battery life, and pricing.  Happy to see these new designs moving in the right direction. Cookoo’s watch battery life is also nice.  I assume it is largely achieved by its minimal functionality.  Eventually, I would think energy harvesting, maybe combined with remote charging, would be the main way to deal with the unpleasant plug-in-to-charge for watch-like wearable.   Pricing, however, is still a big issue. Ultimately, I believe only when the price goes below $50, the market will really start to open up.  Premium services, not the hardware, are the way to make money in the smartwatch space. 

Parrot Sumo: A Smartphone-Controlled Bot with Plenty of Potential

January 9th, 2014 No comments

Parrot is a French Bluetooth company turned drone-maker. It showed off two brand new smartphone-controlled bots at CES 2014.  One is the rolling, jumping Sumo and the other is the MiniDrone, a super small version of its popular AR Drone that flies, rolls and hugs the Jumping Sumoceiling and the walls.

Piloted via Wi-Fi 2.4 or 5GHz with a Smartphone or a tablet, Parrot Jumping Sumo is a new genre of connected robot. “Half robot, half insect”, it is equipped with a gyroscope and an accelerometer, which provides fool-proof agility and intuitive piloting. It can roll, turn 90 degrees with speed and astonishing precision – meaning no obstacle is too challenging – and also perform spectacular jumps (up to 80 cm) always landing on its “wheels”!  With an embedded camera, its acrobatic and fast-paced movements are streamed onto the screen of the controlling Smartphone or tablet.

There are various video available on the web now (including Parrot’s website) for you to see it in action. 

From what we see so far, I feel it can be a really good robot development hardware platform if Parrot can open it up for the developer community, and I wish they do.

Categories: creative, robot, technology Tags: , “Mother” Home Sensing System

January 8th, 2014 No comments’s “Mother” is a white plastic Russian Doll connects to a series of sensors, called cookies, that measure motion and temperature, and will alert you when it notices a change. For instance, if you strapped a cookie to the door where your meds are kept, but one day forgot to open it when you were due, the device could nag you until you remembered — just like your own mother.

Another example is if you strapped a cookie to your door, Mother will send an alert and make a noise every time it’s opened — which is useful when you’re on holiday and worried about unwanted intruders.

The company has cooked up 16 different ways in which the cookies can be used to monitor your home.image

The cookies can be used for up to a year before you have to replace them and you can connect up to 24 at one time — but be warned, buying and replacing those things can be pricey, as it’s $99 for four. The Mother hardware reminds us a little of Eve from Wall-E, although its facial expressions are limited to blinking to show that its connecting to WiFi. It’ll begin shipping between February and March, with one Mother and four cookies retailing for $222.

Personally I think their pricing is problematic. A bit too greedy.  They would be better off to go with a premium service based pricing. also has a free open platform for developers (Currently invitation-only)