Cool Gadgets Archive

Hackers Will One Day Take Over Your Car Because It is a Giant Computer On Wheels

Little do you know, modern-day cars are like big computers rolling on 4 wheels. There are multiple electronic components on cars, many of which use microprocessors like the computer or smartphone you are reading this article on. Fundamentally, your car has more computing power than was used to launch the rockets and pilot the spacecrafts during the Apollo space program landing many men on the Moon. Thing kicker is, with cars having all of this technology and computer equipment, hackers can take advantage of it and gain control of your vehicle.

Imagine one day you are cruising down the interstate hovering around 70 mph, when suddenly your brakes lock up, and you cause a massive pileup. That wouldn’t be very cool would it. The thing is, this could very well happen if a hacker gained control of the computers on your car, it has been done in testing environments proving case in point.

On any given modern-day car, there are about 50 to over 100 small computers that control several components of your car from the power steering, brakes or your airbags. All of these components must work in sync to provide you with simple transportation from point A to B. You can think of it all like a central nervous system or a main CPU with multiple components or i/o devices attached to it via USB connections. If a hacker infiltrates the CPU, they have unadulterated control over all connected components.

The complexity of cars now days is growing, which leaves vehicles vulnerable to issues and even remote attacks. If a hacker were able to connect to a vehicle in some form, they can seriously wreak havoc on a car and basically cause the vehicle to crash, no matter what the driver did to help prevent it. The video below is a demonstration, which may be considered to be extreme due to hackers physically connecting to the car’s computer systems, of hackers controlling a cars steering and brakes.

After viewing the video above, you can conclude that cars are, in fact, hackable. With newer connectivity modules, such as those found in the new Tesla Model S or new Audi vehicles, there is a WIFI or wireless connection that links systems up to the vehicle in ways to get diagnostic reports, remedy an electronic issue or update firmware on the car. This would be the future gateway for hackers to infiltrate a vehicle without physically connecting to it with wires.

Security experts and those who work on various wireless systems to integrate infotainment systems of vehicles all agree that it will take a while for the auto industry to move to a more security internal network than what we are working off of today. This alone is pretty scary.

Have you ever seen the movie Eagle Eye when crooks take over and virtually drive a Porsche Cayenne SUV (clip posted below with NSFW language)? Yeah, that is probably what we may face one day when hackers finally crack the proverbial computer code to control vehicles. Will you be ready?

Popularity: 8%

Startups Are Great: The Body Dryer Poised to Replace Shower Towels

Innovative startups are awesome, especially when such a startup company with an intriguing invention attempts to replace something in our lives that everyone uses. With that said, the New York-based startup The Body Dryer is attempting to replace your shower towel with a system that dries you from the ground up.

With a device similar to a bathroom scale, The Body Dryer shoots air up to get rid of excess water. The design aspects and benefits are said to prevent unwanted bacteria that may accumulate and grow in towels that you use to dry yourself off. Interesting isn’t it?

The Body Dryer uses ionized air forced onto your body and can be set to blow at different temperatures. Additionally, it acts as a scale at the same time. The Body Dryer company wants to use these devices for home and commercial applications, such as in gyms. So far, pricing is said to be around $250 once backers of the company and device are settles on their future agreements. So far, it looks to be promising as the company has already captured $30,000 of the total $50,000 the need for production to commence.

There are videos for a demonstration of The Body Dryer, but we warn you of the women that used may not be dressed for viewing at work.

It is possible that The Body Dryer may spark other companies to join in on this towel-replacement task. It brings companies like Dyson to mind, which may show off some prototype of a similar device in the future. Bottom line, innovations like these are what makes startups come to fruition and we may be hoping that this one pans out, because towels are for the birds. I just wonder how it dries off your head and hair?

Popularity: 7%

Anticipating the iPhone 6: Rumors Seem Feasible

The iPhone is undoubtedly the most sought after mobile device on the planet even though Samsung is really giving Apple a run for their money, in a literal sense. With rumors starting to stir around once again on the internet we found ourselves speculating what is to come of the next version of the iPhone, which may set in motion what other smartphone makers start to move towards in design and feature aspects.

Even though the iPhone as rather slacked off of true innovation in the last couple iterations, it is still the one device that people stand in long lines for awaiting their chance to lay down a good portion of their weekly paycheck on the hottest device to come out of California, though manufactured overseas.

What we know about the next generation iPhone is that it is revolving around the name iPhone 6 and will be offered in a bigger flavor as well as a smaller version, which may match the screen size of the current iPhone 5S and 5C. Analysts and sources claim that Apple will have a 5-inch screen version of the iPhone and then the smaller one. Additionally, there have been so-called leaks of the new iPhone 6′s case circulating through various channels on the internet but no one has confirmed those. Though, some of the cases look rather convincing.

The exclusive Applebyte Cnet video below is a nice roundup of what is to come of the iPhone 6, or whatever it is called as the NEXT iPhone, in addition to Apple’s latest happenings and highlights that you may have not known about.

Popularity: 10%

Why Your Next Smartphone Must be Waterproof and List of Currently Available Water Resistant Smartphones

We will probably get criticized by Apple fans by saying that your next smartphone should be waterproof or water resistant to a certain point. Today’s smartphones are almost like lifelines for people. We simply cannot live without them. Most smartphones store information for us to lead our day to day lives in a productive manner, not to mention, we cannot remember much these days and that applies to a plethora of phone numbers, email address and website addresses.

In knowing that a few drops of water or a plunge into the toilet could wipe out nearly a lifetime of stored data on a smartphone, they should all be waterproof. There are several new smartphones on the market that advertise as being waterproof or just water resistant. The difference in the two being that waterproof means that the entire smartphone may be submerged into water and still survive without any water entering into the circuits causing your latest Facebook update or Tweet to evaporate into nonexistence. Water resistant on the other hand, simply means that you can have your smartphone in the rain or your shower without any worries but in the unfortunate event that you drop it into the pool, you are officially out of luck.

The iPhone is more of a proverbial argument as to getting them replaced when they get wet. Apple purposely placed moisture sensors inside of the iPhone to detect if your ‘damage’ was caused by water or immersing the iPhone into water. Sounds like a scam doesn’t it? If Apple does decide to make the new upcoming iPhone 6 waterproof, then there will no longer be any worries will it?

As far as a list of waterproof and/or water resistant smartphones currently available, check our short list below.

Short list of currently available waterproof or water resistant Smartphones

  • HTC Butterfly – water resistant
  • HTC One M8 – water resistant
  • Kyocera Hydro Elite – water resistant
  • Kyocera Hydro Xtrmh – water resistant
  • Motorola Moto G – water resistant
  • Sony Xperia Acro S – water resistant
  • Sony Xperia Z1 – water resistant
  • Sony Xperia Z2 – waterproof
  • Sony Xperia Z – water resistant
  • Sony Xperia Z Ultra – water resistant
  • Sony Xperia ZR – water resistant
  • Sony Xperia ZL – water resistant
  • Sony Xperia Go – water resistant
  • Samsung Galaxy S4 Active – water resistant
  • Samsung Galaxy S5 – waterproof

Popularity: 9%

Google Wallet Coming To Glass Allowing Users to Speak ‘Payments’ On the Go

There is already much controversy over Google Glass being an invasion of privacy for some with its advanced camera and instant sharing features. It seems Google will stir the pot even more with the integration of Google Wallet, which will be part of Glass soon.

Reportedly, Google is testing a way for Glass to send money to friends through Wallet by simply using their voices to ask Glass to “send money.” This service is said to be in testing currently.

I knowing how Google has already rolled out similar features for Gmail users for sending of money to others, it is no big surprise that Wallet will be shared with other devices like Glass. The day where you are in line waiting to pay for something you simply walk away after you have instructed Glass to “pay your bill” or do the same at a restaurant when you just get up and leave after you have “sent money” to the waiter or waitress including a nice tip.

Of course with Google’s hands in your Wallet, in a literal sense, they will be charging a 2.9% fee for the Wallet transactions or .30 cents, whichever is higher.

Would you adopt Google Wallet integrated into Google Glass? How about more Wallet features on other devices like your smartphone?

Popularity: 6%

Google Smartwatch Specifications Leak Out – Similar to Galaxy Gear 2

Smartwatches have yet to take a front seat in the market of techie gadgets, but at the same time they refuse to take a backseat as we get wind of the specs of Google’s Smartwatch.

Google is getting into the smartwatch game with their LG-partner featuring a 1.65=inch screen and a resolution of 280×280 pixels. The Google Smartwatch will have 512mb of RAM on board with 4GB of storage. That is enough grunt to be comparable to entry-level smartphones on the current market. As far as the processor powering the Google Smartwatch, it is still unclear but we suspect a comparable outfitting to that of the Galaxy Gear 2.

In capturing the recent specs on the soon-to-be-released Google Smartwatch, it is amazing to find that we can virtually wear enough power around our wrist to launch one of the old Saturn V rockets in prep for an Apollo mission to the moon. No wonder they name some of these devices after categorized items in our Universe. Smartwatches were thought of to be out of this world but now they can be on your wrist. Go figure.

Popularity: 7%

Apple CarPlay Looks to Redefine Automotive Interaction and Infotainment

It was probably only a matter of time before Apple got into the automotive game in some form or another. So far Apple seems to be playing this game on a fair level playing field as they showcase a simplified interface for the infotainment system and automotive controls, which was first hinted at CES 2014. What we are seeing now are several automotive manufacturers with plans to integrate Apple CarPlay into their vehicles.

The automakers who have announced plans for Apple CarPlay are BMW, Ferrari, Ford, GM, Honda, Hyundai, Jaguar/Land Rover, Kia, Mercedes-Benz, Mitsubishi, Nissan, Subaru and Volvo. Of these, Ferrari, Mercedes-Benz and Volvo will be the very first adopters of this new Apple tech in their vehicles.

Below is a demonstration of Apple CarPlay, which is said to be a seamless integration with current iPhones and other Apple devices.

Our question is, would you want Apple or a variation of Apple OS X in your car in place of whatever system is running for your GPS Navigation, audio controls, AC/Heater controls or even your vehicle settings?

Popularity: 11%

Smart Contact Lenses to Trump Google Glass

Google Glass has been a hit for some, but the idea of having to tote or wear some extra device does not jive with a large percentage of the population. As an answer to this high-tech fashion fopa, eyewear startup Innovega has announced a prototype of iOptik lenses at the CES 2014.

The Innovega eyewear system is made up of two parts, glasses and content lenses. The contact lenses are in a way like Google Glass shrunk into a contact lens. Basically, the smart contact lenses allow you to the ability to enhance and focus in on objects your eye cannot define as clearly. With an accompanying set of glasses the company has created, the system displays apps and media much like a full Google Glass experience. Using the glasses with the high-tech contact lenses will enhance your vision even further.

The advantages of the smart contact lenses over Google Glass are its ability to combine a set of glasses for enhancing an image that appears to be like looking at a huge flat-screen TV in high resolution. Google Glass is like looking at the screen of your smart phone to put it into perspective.

The iOptik glasses, the name of the full system combining smart contact lenses and a set of glasses, could ultimately replace your smart phone one day and your prescription glasses/contact lenses. Yes, that is right, it is said that you may fill the smart contact lenses with your desired prescription for your eyes. It is basically a two-fold or three-fold solution system.

This could really work and be the replacement for a few devices you have to carry around on a daily basis – and zoom in on ‘things’ you want to secretly see close up.

Popularity: 10%

BMW Reveals ActiveAssist Features at CES 2014 – Can Drive and Drift Your Car Autonomously

At the CES 2014 (Consumer Electronics Show) automotive manufacturers have unleashed many new forward-thinking tech, some of which will drive the car for you and even perform flawless drifts.

BMW has always been a company to introduce new tech in their cars that takes driving comfort, style and safety to new levels. In their new ActiveAssist features and systems they do just that. New BMW cars with new ActiveAssist features will be able to virtually drive the vehicle on its own in certain conditions and even prevent accidents such as in the case of approaching an object too fast or simply when the driver is not paying attention.

The video below is a quick synopsis of these technologies put into action, including the drift that BMW’s new systems can perform in the all-new BMW M235i.

Popularity: 12%

The Full Story (preview) of Sony PS4 vs Microsoft Xbox One In 1 Video

They guys at UnboxTherapy take a different approach to comparing and slightly reviewing the all-new Sony PlayStation 4 and Microsoft Xbox One entertainment systems. The long wait is just about over as people from all walks of life in America take up their $500 or $600-plus to lay down on the latest and greatest video gaming systems to rock planet earth.

From all of the speculations, complaints and previews of the new systems, Unbox Therapy gives us all 17 full minutes of hard-core in-depth information and details of the new gaming systems. Which one comes out on top in their opinion? It all comes down to arrogance in their outwardly opinion possibly against Microsoft. So, they pick the PlayStation 4 because it is just better. Yeah, that may be what you get out of it but we see much more. Check out the full “story” below on the video.

Popularity: 8%