As the nights draw in, sales of SAD lamps go through the roof


It’s getting darker and darker at the moment, and I’m not just talking about the economy. As the seasonal cycle goes on, and the nights set in earlier, and the weather gets gloomier, it’s only natural that some people might get a little bit down. Maybe that’s why lamps targeted at sufferers of SAD are selling like hot cakes.

SAD stands for Seasonal Affective Disorder, and it’s a psychological disorder caused by a lack of sunlight. Symptoms include lethargy, low mood and anxiety. SAD lamps produce a more sunlight-like output than a normal lamp, and so they’re supposed to help your mood.

Optoma Pico portable projector – pack 60 inches in your pocket


Here’s the Optoma Pico pocket projector, for all the “must beam something onto a wall” moments that occur so frequently on the go. No, I’m being mean, there’s a whole wealth of uses for something like this – especially because it can project an impressive 60″ picture from 2.6m away.

It’s the perfect thing for showing off your holiday photos round your parents’ house, or entertaining a nephew by letting him play his Wii on a 60″ screen, rather than the crappy little 17″ TV he’s stuck with. There’s umpteen thousand business uses, too…

Tech Trumpet: iPhone Bloom


It’s time for another edition of Tech Trumpet.

This week, I have been mostly playing with “Bloom” for the iPhone. Developed by Brian Eno and Peter Chilvers, the application offers an audio-visual experience simply by touching the screen or letting the instrument play itself.

“Bloom is an endless music machine, a music box for the 21st century. You can play it , and you can watch it play itself,” says Eno…

Lightbulbs to replace Wi-Fi?


Researchers at the University of Boston have managed to come up with a way of transferring data through lightbulbs. It’s not quite as crazy as it sounds – fiberoptics uses light to transmit data, but in a much more focused way. The researchers propose to use LEDs flickering at imperceptible speeds to communicate with network-enabled devices at speeds of between 1 and 10Mbps.

Although that’s not very fast for video streaming or online gaming, it’s more than enough for an internet enabled fridge, photoframe or printer. Those kinds of devices are the target that these researchers are going after – bringing the digital home one step closer to reality…

Panasonic launching small "Micro Four Thirds" Lumix DMC-G1 SLR camera this October

The upcoming Lumix DMC-G1 is a proper SLR, only engineered using some kind of shrink-ray technology (the new Micro Four Thirds system) to make it 27 percent smaller than existing SLRs, like the Lumix DMC-L10.

Plus it only weighs 385 grams – the equivalent of 10 four-finger Kit Kats, and manages to pull off 12.1megapixels. Here’s what it looks like. And yes, there is a pink one for the ladies.


The halfway-house DMC-G1 is down for an October 31 launch…

FANTASY GADGETS MADE REAL: Scientists prepare cloaking devices for consumers


A fully cloaked shirt? A fully cloaked pair of trousers? A fully cloaked balaclava and glove set so even your head and hands remain invisible?

That’s the dream hunting (I MEAN STALKING) scenario about to be made real, thanks to two teams at the University of California that are both getting close to making invisible fabrics. Team A has developed a material that uses a “fishnet of metal layers” to reverse light, while Team B’s uses minuscule wires to carry light around…