Stories by Nick Barber

  • Charity creates Xbox 360 controller out duct tape, Velcro and a bag of rice

    Steve Spohn is wheelchair-bound, on a ventilator and can barely move because of muscular dystrophy, but he's still able to play video games. He participated in last week's Games for Health conference in Boston, where the AbleGamers Foundation hosted the Hardware Hackers Challenge, a contest to build a handicap-accessible game controller in under two hours.

  • Technology runs the Boston Marathon

    The runners took center stage during the Boston Marathon Monday, but behind the scenes of the prestigious road race was an enterprise-class data center capable of accurately tracking more than 26,000 runners and relaying that information to a number of outlets.

  • Skinput makes the entire body a touch interface

    Microsoft Research and Carnegie Mellon University publicly unveiled work at the Computer Human Interaction conference in Atlanta Monday that makes an entire body a touch interface. Called Skinput, the system listens to the sounds made by tapping on parts of a body and pairs those sounds with actions that drive tasks on a computer or cell phone.

  • Luminos add third dimension to Microsoft Surface

    Using a Microsoft Surface table computer has typically been limited to two dimensional interactions, but research presented at the Computer Human Interaction (CHI) conference in Atlanta adds a third dimension.

  • New application could make all software 'open source'

    Imagine controlling Apple iTunes from inside Microsoft Word without having to switch applications. That could be possible, according to researchers at the University of Washington who are working on a project that could essentially make any proprietary software open source.

  • Homemade, soccer-playing robots compete for trip to Atlanta

    Cheering crowds packed into Boston University's Agganis Arena over the weekend not for a rock concert or sporting event, but for a robotics competition. More than 50 teams from across the Northeast U.S. and three other countries brought homemade robots to compete in the Boston regional FIRST robotics competition.

  • Battling AR helicopter controlled by iPhone

    The new AR Drone helicopter combines an iPhone and virtual games to make a product that's drawing much attention at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. The helicopter, or what France-based Parrot calls a quadricopter has four fans that allow it to fly in all directions.

  • LightSpeaker combines wireless audio and LED light

    Klipsch has developed a device that combines a wireless speaker and LED light and installs into most standard light sockets. Called the LightSpeaker, it uses a base station transmitter to stream music to each unit, up to 50 feet away, using 2.4 GHz wireless technology.

  • EU closes 54 Web sites for consumer law violations

    The European Union published findings of an 18-month investigation Tuesday finding that 301 Web sites that sold mobile phone ringtones, wallpapers and other services had "serious breaches of EU consumer law," according to a statement.