15 Stunning Cutting-Edge Gadgets and Technologies

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We live in a spectacular time. The pace of technology steadily increases, new fields of science are heavily explored and innovative concepts emerge almost every day, resulting in stunning and overwhelming products. The impact of these products can be tremendous: in fact, new technology can completely revolutionize the way we play, communicate, work and live our lives. Some of these products are just eye-candy, some are useful, some are visionary and some may become revolutionary in the next years.

In this post we present stunning examples of cutting edge technology which is already reality today or will become reality in 2008. Please notice that some videos might not provide you with a concrete idea of what the technology offers, e.g. it’s impossible to display the advantages of 3D-TV using videos produced by a 2D-video-camera.

You might want to take a look at the articles

You have more examples? Comment on this article!

Examples Of Cutting-Edge Technology

Diesel Show: Underwater Magic3 (YouTube)
Diesel’s Spring/Summer 08 catwalk show was nothing short of stunning. While regular human models paced up and down the runway, a host of polyp-like CGI characters appeared in mid-air to interact with them within an underwater landscape. These animated holograms were entirely viewable from both sides of the stage. A perfect blend of cutting edge digital art and performance.

Underwater Magic Show4

Good Bye, Godzilla5 (YouTube)
Is it the future of advertising? Special effects helped to create a giant sea monster in the Tokyo Bay to promote the upcoming film, “The Water Horse.” Click the image to get to the live-video of the monster.

Nessie6

Funky Forest7 (Desc8)
Funky Forest’ is an interactive ecosystem where children create trees with their body and then divert the water flowing from the waterfall to the trees to keep them alive. The health of the trees contributes to the overall health of the forest and the types of creatures that inhabit it.

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Toyota 3D Projector System10 (YouTube)
The Musion high definition projector system uses unique HD video projection, producing three dimensional moving images within a stage setting. Stunning visual experience.

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Philips Daylight Window12 (YouTube)
A new concept in interactive lighting from Philips. Quite strange presentation, but very beautiful technology. Bonus: Promotional video13 by Philips.

Underwater Magic Show14

Mitsubishi Laser 3D TVs15 (Photos)
Mitsubishi Laser 3D TVs not only provide the ultimate picture quality, they are also capable of delivering a true 3D viewing experience. The difference is hard to tell from the pictures, but the technology looks very promising.

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Philips WOWvx 3D Display delivers the 3D TV viewing experience without the need for special 3D glasses. Philips introduced a WOWvx 3D display, measuring 132 inches (335.28cm).

WOWvx technology indicates the use of technology related to 3-dimensional viewing experience. This technology comprises the technology to manufacture autostereoscopic lenticular 3D displays, display signal processing to generate multiple views for 3D displays, interface specification for 3D displays based on the 2D-plus-Depth format and 3D content creation and conversion tools. 3D-TV is coming, available in 2008.

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Johnny Chung Lee’s Wii Experiments18
Ok, basically that’s a hack. But we’ll probably see more of this in the coming years. Using the infrared camera in the Wii remote and a head mounted sensor bar (two IR LEDs), you can accurately track the location of your head and render view dependent images on the screen. The display properly reacts to head and body movement as if it were a real window creating a realistic illusion of depth and space. A must-see.

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Wii Gloves20
Wii Gloves uses a standard Wii Remote to allow you to control your TV or screen-based app using a set of sensitive gloves. No touching, no pointing — pure hand magic.

Underwater Magic Show21

Microsoft PlayAnywhere22
PlayAnywhere is a new surface-based computing experience developed by Microsoft. Imagine your personal physical desktop as your computer screen. Bluetooth photosynch is an extension of playanywhere where your “desktop” interacts with your bluetooth enabled device and displays pictures from your phone on any surface. This is what a portable version of Microsoft Surface will look like.

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IO2 Heliodisplay Technology24 (MegaVideo.com)
Heliodisplay technology projects video onto the thin air. It can even be interacted with so that you can use your hand as a mouse pointer. Mid-air video display. Holograms are coming.

Underwater Magic Show25

360 Degree 3D Holograhic Display26 (YouTube)
The Interactive 360 Degree Light Field Display won the Best Emerging Technology Award at the SIGGRAPH conference. The system is capable of producing interactive 3D graphics to multiple viewers in 360 degrees. Quicktime version27.

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Kung Fu Game29
The installation enables users to interact with full body while playing. Cameras record player movement and “superimpose a two-dimensional silhouette of them onto a computer screen”. It will make its debut in arcades and camera-equipped consoles.

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Augmented Reality

BMW augmented reality31
Instead of following printed text instructions you can now use 3D-glasses to assemble the same tasks in a more effective and simple way. Using augmented reality, the mechanic receives additional three-dimensional information on the engine he is repairing, for example, to help him in diagnosing and solving the fault. Apart from the real environment, he sees virtually animated components, the tools to be used and hears instruction on each of the working steps through headphones integrated inside the goggles.

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levelHead34 is a new conceptual game using techniques and tools from augmented reality. Using tilt motions, the player moves a character through rooms that appear inside one of several cubes on a table. Each room is logically connected by a series of doors, though some doors lead nowhere (they are traps). Are such games to be expected in the next years?

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Car simulation36
Real-time 3D tracking in action. An example of use of live video imagery which is digitally processed and “augmented” by the addition of computer-generated graphics.

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Total Immersions Augmented Reality38
Total Immersion’s D’Fusion technology allows for real-time video capture and merging between video streams and virtual 3D objects. A demonstration of Augmented Reality, the seamless mixing of the real and the virtual. An old demo from 2004, but still quite impressive and gives an outlook of what the future might look like. A newer demo from 200739.

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Bonus: 2057 — The City

2057 — The City41
A video about what technology developers and scientists plan to have accomplished by 2057. If we could take a ride with a time machine to New York in the year 2057 we would probably didn’t get our mouth shut if everything what scientists predict in this science-fictionized documentation becomes reality – holographic companions, “printed” hearts and a big-brother-organization that monitors the health of their clients. Take a look at the city in 2057 and see how what sounds like future music of tomorrow could rule the life of a citizen in the future.

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Vitaly Friedman loves beautiful content and doesn’t like to give in easily. Vitaly is writer, speaker, author and editor-in-chief of Smashing Magazine. He runs responsive Web design workshops and loves solving complex problems in large companies. Get in touch.

  1. 1

    Those are all pretty cool, the levelHead thing is weird. I’m not sure I understand what the goal is with it.

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  2. 2

    great list! :)

    You could have a look at the virtual drums system

    The concept is simple: pick up the 2 sticks, visualize your 3D moves on the screen, and play music by moving your sticks! If you hit the virtual positions of the drums, cymbals or bass drum with the sticks then it will play the appropriate sound. The intensity of the sound depends on the speed of your moves: the faster you move, the louder the sound will be.

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  3. 3

    Nice :) Love your site

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  4. 4

    A lot of these examples aim to blend in with reality more and more.

    Although I think the technology is great, I’m not sure if people really need to immerse into games etc even more.

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  5. 5

    futuristic but fantastic ^^

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  6. 6

    Wow! Awesome stuff! :)

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  7. 7

    Woah, nice stuff there. I hope this will happen before i turn 40. :D

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  8. 8

    Cool! What a Break!

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  9. 9

    Well I hope it all happens before I’m 30.

    Doh, too late

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  10. 10

    Very cool stuff. I wish I could see some of these in person. . . It’s interesting that a lot of this 3d stuff reminds me a lot of Star Wars and the 3d maps / holograms that they used.

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  11. 11

    levelHead is cool!!

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  12. 12

    ssssssssssssttttttttt, nice stuff there. I hope this will happen before i turn

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  13. 13

    WOW..its cool..

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  14. 14

    This is great, thanks for the article!

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  15. 15

    Gosh, I hope I can keep up with this technology and learn how to use it. I would hate it if I would need my kids to open the virtual curtains and make calls using my holographic alter-ego. I shudder to think of it…

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  16. 16

    Its really stunning… ! Im Sure 3d experts will have great demand in the future.
    great collection once again :-)

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  17. 17

    these are all fascinating, and I think voice my own discontent with the recently posted article covering 10 common usability mistakes. Specifically: Don’t Make The User Think.

    In short, each of these technologies not only require an investment from the user, but require them to think differently.

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  18. 18

    Thanks for sharing these cool gadgets! You are always on a top of it.

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  19. 19

    This is a really good list. I really liked the selection.

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  20. 20

    Great resources…

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  21. 21

    Wicked stuff guys!

    (YoDiv.com is now alive and kicking!)

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  22. 22

    Absolutely amazing what can be done now! Simply astounding!

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  23. 23

    nice! enjoyed it :)

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  24. 24

    DREAM COME TO REALITY

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  25. 25

    Hey this is the reality of the future thats almost here. Amazing stuff.

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  26. 26

    I can just imagine the extremely religious on seeing this — technology like these makes humans think they can create their own reality; well, they can’t. You’ll see what Reality is when the day of Judgment comes. Note: I entirely disagree with these views. I just happen to encounter them all too often. Saddening how such religious morality has no interest in making life in the here and now more joyous. :-(

    P.S.
    You just gotta love the science that makes all this possible!! :-)

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  27. 27

    My apologies: I forgot to thank you for your wonderful site!

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  28. 28

    Hello!I got the most valuable knowledge about air compressors are a portable power source. You can operate your air tool anywhere you can haul your portable air compressors.

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  29. 29

    I get the gist of the City of the Future thing, but do some proof reading please!
    I’m not sure what passages like “…in the year 2057 we would probably didn’t get our mouth shut…” and “…see how what sounds like future music of tomorrow…” are supposed to mean, but they are neither grammatical nor coherent. Such typos make writing hard to decode and, personally, at that point, if I’m not engaged, I skip to another article or site. Just thought I’d mention this. Otherwise, the content of this post is definitely interesting.

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  30. 30

    its great that lee’s basement hack compares to microsofts play anywhere. good to see you dont need lots of money and resources to make ground breaking discoveries. props to lee.

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  31. 31

    These devices are not limited to just gaming. It will truly explode the advertising market. Think “back to the future 2″

    Media will never be the same.

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  32. 32
  33. 33

    How nice

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  34. 34

    nice…more advanced….pretty interesting….thank u

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  35. 35

    Could you help me. It is not enough to aim; you must hit.
    I am from Jordan and too poorly know English, please tell me right I wrote the following sentence: “Airline ticket agents are standing by.”

    With love :-D, Stefania.

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  36. 36

    its great, thanks

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  37. 37

    i like most of these but not all of them my favorite is … i guess the water projector with the dinosours i have to say its pretty cool….:) :p

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  38. 38

    Really this are stunning technologies …

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