Editor's Note: Karyn Lu is Turner Broadcasting's manager of New Media Insights & Inspiration. Each week, she scouts out amazing innovations, cutting edge technology and, well, just really awesome stuff and shares them right here. Before it goes mainstream, it's going to be one of her favorite 5 Things From The Future!
1. You, on an action figure
Photo booths just got 100% more awesome! The world’s first 3D printing photo booth has opened in Tokyo, and yes – instead of taking home a picture of yourself, you can now take home a full-color, 3D-printed miniature replica of yourself. This reminds me a bit of Disney’s foray into 3D printing your child’s face onto princess dolls, but with better detail and less creepiness factor. Albeit with a minimum $3,300 price tag. But hey, wedding cake toppers, tree ornaments -– the possibilities are endless. Can’t wait for this one to make its way over to the United States!
2. Rocking chairs = alternative energy source?!
I’m not sure if this will be a new trend or not, but ... this week, two rocking (literally) innovations have appeared on my radar: Separate projects that have harnessed the power of moving a rocking chair back and forth and put that energy to use.
The first rocking chair knits you a hat while you relax, utilizing the back-and-forth motion to activate a series of gears that put the machine to work. Similarly, the iRock is a rocking chair that charges your iPhone, electricity-free. An hour in the chair will give an iPad 3 one-third of its life back. I expect this may only be the beginning, as there are some fascinating concepts here for making even the furniture in our homes become smarter and more useful in the future.
3. Window shopping... any window, around the world
What could make window shopping even more dangerous? The ability to look at any window display from around the world, from the comfort of your own home. That’s what Image Fashion Window Shopper is hoping to entice you with, with its site that basically enables the digital version of window-shopping. Now, not only can you view window displays, you can also see in-store merchandising displays -- and of course -- purchase what you see and like. New international stores are added every week. Consider yourselves warned!
4. Move your feet or lose the beat
Do you like to run or dance while listening to music? If so, I’ve got the perfect new album for you. In fact, you literally HAVE to be moving in order to hear this for yourself. Musician Calvin Harris’ new dance album, “18 Months,” is available now as a free app. The catch? Using a motion-detecting feature, this app will only play the thumping music for you if you are dancing; if you stop, the music stops. A new and innovative way to experience music, for sure.
5. Cool or creepy? Xbox may watch you watching Xbox
In the future, not only will you be watching your TV, your TV will be watching you. We’ve already heard about smart TVs being enabled with cameras running facial recognition technology. This week, Microsoft has filed a patent that would allow Kinect to detect how many people are watching at any given time.
Officially, this technology is “developed to protect digital content rights so that the software can ‘take remedial action’ if the number of user-views licensed is exceeded.” I can certainly understand some privacy concerns here, but at the same time, I can also see some wonderfully innovative opportunities to make TV viewing more fun and interactive depending on the crowd you’re watching with. What do you think?