Riding in the backseat of a vehicle for mile after monotonous mile can be very boring, and we all know the feeling. Maybe it was when you were a child going on family vacations. Maybe it was this morning in the carpool lane. Maybe your children have now been passed the boredom torch. Well, now, General Motors is looking to change all that.
GM’s newest project, Windows of Opportunity(WOO), is a revolutionary new concept being worked on by students and researchers at Bezalel Academy of Art and Design in Israel. The goal is to give the backseat passengers something to do by making the rear windows virtually touchscreen computers using "smart glass" technology. Imagine driving through a long stretch of unchanging desert and being able to change the scenery to, say, New York City. Or maybe you would prefer playing an interactive game with passing vehicles. Maybe you just want to draw pictures on the window, in color! GM is hoping this will all be possible one day through a series of apps accessed by the touchscreen rear window.
WOO was inspired by studies suggesting that rear seat passengers feel disconnected from their environment. GM has no immediate plans to implement this technology into vehicles, but, for us, it can’t come quick enough. Some of us have little ones in the backseat and DVDs only work for so long! This, we think, would be a much welcomed feature in future vehicles.
Check out the video above and let us know what you think of WOO.
Delphi has just announced their presence at the 2012 Geneva Motor Show with the first teaser image of a concept car they call the "F1for3." This concept was developed in cooperation with Franco Sbarro and comes "to demonstrate technologies designed to keep drivers connected while on the road."
Delphi has yet to offer any significant details on the concept - we are sure they are waiting for the debut to do that - but they describe it as "a show car that showcases a range of innovative products including smart user interface, world-standard mobile TV tuner and a slim line roof module with integrated reception system." Aside from the technological goodies, the F1for3 was more than likely also designed for high speed because Delphi says it was created to "redefine the in-vehicle experience and make seamless connectivity possible, even when traveling at high speed."
More details about the new Delphi F1for3 concept will be unveiled on March 6th during its official debut at the 2012 Geneva Motor Show, so stay tuned!
Japanese automaker Nissan is introducing a new, state-of-the-art technology that promises "self-healing" capabilities. We’d love to tell you that this is some kind of joke, but the truth is, it’s not.
In all seriousness, Nissan is unveiling a cell phone accessory that features their new Scratch Shield paint technology. According to Nissan, the Scratch Shield paint technology promises to heal small scratches within an hour for less-serious instances, and up to a week’s time in more serious occurrences.
The technology was developed by Nissan in collaboration with University of Tokyo and Advanced Softmaterials Inc. This material is expected to be used in a number of future Nissan and Infiniti models, but will make its debut as an protective accessory for the iPhone 4 and 4S models.
The case is made out of ABS plastic, a material that’s stronger and tougher than any other kind of plastic and, when combined with their new Scratch Shield technology, promises to be a revolutionary new safety accessory to protect our beloved iPhones.
We’ve seen some pretty crazy things being invented the past couple of years, but a cell phone case that heals itself?
BMW ’s design consultancy, Designworks USA, in cooperation with Thermaltake have prepared a very cool computer mouse for Thermaltake and its Level 10 series. The mouse will be launched onto the market in the spring of 2012. Prices haven’t been announced just yet, but it will surely be much more expensive than any other computer mouse currently on the market.
The new Level 10 mouse will be the first product to be launched out of the new series of gaming peripherals and will give testimony to the delicate thinking of the designers when applying the Level 10 design language to additional products.
This Level 10 mouse looks more like a robotic part, but according to BMW, it offers "an array of innovative solutions to provide pro-gamers with products that speak the Level 10 design language but still provide them with the most pleasant and comfortable equipment for heavy use."
UPDATE 08/31/12: Details surrounding the BMW/Thermaltake Level 10 series gaming mouse have just come to light. For starters, the mouse comes in four different colors - Diamond Black, Iron White, Military Green and Blazing Red - with a piece price of about $100. Likewise, the mouse comes with a solid aluminum base, two regular keys on top, and five buttons on the side that are all programmable. But the most interesting feature of the Level 10 series mouse is its "Air-Through Ventilation System", which has been described as solving the issues of "heavy use and direct touch of gaming equipment and the rise of temperatures of the hand".
Judging by the recent fad of all those Beats by Dr. Dre headphones, one would assume that a market competitor would come to challenge the highly popular Monster brand.
It appears that somebody has finally stepped up. Logic3 has released a new line of audio products in collaboration with none other than the Prancing Horse itself, Ferrari .
The Ferrari by Logic3 collection comprises of a wide range of earphones, headphones, and speaker docks that not only give companies like Monster and Bose something to think about, but on a more self-promoting level, you have yet another range of products that celebrate Ferrari’s flair for high-quality accessories.
To ensure that the products remain true to Ferrari’s characteristic style and panache, the Italian automaker collaborated closely with Logic3 to build this new range of audio equipment from the ground up to produce the best audio products on the market.
Together, Logic3 and Ferrari have realized two product ranges, comprising of two different collections: the Ferrari Cavallino Collection and the Scuderia Ferrari Collection. The former was treated with premium textures and materials combine with superior finishes to create unparalleled luxury and beautiful aesthetics. Meanwhile, the latter pays tribute to the flair, panache, and technological innovation of the Ferrari F1 team.
All the models carry Ferrari’s iconic Scuderia Ferrari badge and judging by the product images - as well as the matching price tags - we can definitely say that this new audio collection is something that competing brands should be very wary about.
Rinspeed looks to be giving themselves plenty of leeway time to get their next concept up and ready. The next major auto show is the Detroit Auto Show in January 2012, but the company has decided to skip that one and prepare their new Dock+Go for the 2012 Geneva Motor Show in March.
The Dock+Go is based on the ides of docking "backpacks on wheels." The concept uses a single-axle pack that can serve a variety of purposes depending on the requirements of the day, but can also be left at home if it is not truly needed. The best part is that it can be attached to any electric city car.
The specific vehicle being sent to Geneva will be for demonstration purposes only and will use an electric Smart Fortwo as its base. With the addition of a wide variety of "packs," the car was transformed into a pizza delivery car; it even uses an integrated heated box. That being said, the pack can be used for any occasion including camping, golfing, skiing, going to the beach, or as a party pack.
The Dock+Go will be equipped with an "energy pack" with a combustion engine or range extender, packed with batteries or powered by a fuel cell that provides the decisive added range to reach farther destinations. This allows the concept to have a range of more than 120 km, but Rinspeed hasn’t revealed the official numbers just yet.
UPDATE 02/20/12: The Rinspeed Dock+Go, about as novel a concept as we’ve ever seen, was recently subjected to the proverbial photo shoot, adding even more photos - and a new video - to its photo gallery. Check them out in the gallery below!
Smartphones have become so prevalent these days that it’s becoming tougher to have yours stand out from the others. In order to do that, a lot of people have gone to accessorizing their phones as a way of adding a touch of personality.
And since we love just about everything related to cars - especially the exotic variety - we’re going to give due space to an iPhone case that we’d love to dress up our iPhones with.
Ladies and gentlemen, say hello to the Vapor R8 Pro iPhone case from Element Case.
Made from a CNC Aluminum Frame with a combination of a satin black anodized finish and a gloss powder coat finish, the Audi R8 -inspired R8 Pro is the kind of iPhone case that deserves to be protecting our beloved smartphone.
Going into detail on the characteristics of this case, you’ll come upon a contrasting black and white color scheme that includes a high gloss white powder coat on one side and rich satin black anodized finish on the other side. The R8 Pro also has an all-gloss black powder coat version, as well as an aircraft grade carbon fiber protective back plate that carries its own unique R8 Pro graphics and is finished with a satin clear coat. Finally, the case also comes with a plush Ultrasuede back plate that ensures the safety and well-being of your iPhone whenever and wherever you bring it.
Just when you thought iPhone cases were more about accessorizing than anything else, the R8 Pro has come along to remind you that style and security come in equal footing, especially for a gadget as delicate as a smartphone.
Here’s the catch, though: You’re going to need to shell out $160 to own one.
A while ago, Mercedes AMG announced that they would only focus on producing high performance sports cars, completely leaving hybrids and electrics out of the equation because they did not go with their lineup. Apparently, the company has reconsidered their little statement. During a recent interview with Autoblog, Ola Källenius, Chairman of the Board of Management at Mercedes-Benz AMG said that the company is now taking under consideration an "electrified" future.
The first model for this greener future will be the SLS AMG E-Cell , which the AMG Division is still working on. Källenius couldn’t confirm the official specs, range, or curb weight because those numbers are still to be determined, but he did say that the sports car’s lithium-ion battery packs will not weigh down the vehicle and that its performance will be "exceptional." Orders will begin in the middle of 2012 and the first deliveries will be made in 2013.
The SLS AMG e-Cell, however, will only be the beginning of AMG’s future technologies. Mercedes performance division is also working on both electric drivetrains and the implementation of some sort of a Kinetic Energy Recovery System (KERS), but Källenius did not offer any details on the models expected to carry this future technology.
Ferrari is an automaker that’s known to march to the beat of its own drum and that has been proven time and time again.
The latest example of this "you-all-do-what-you-want-and-we’ll-do-what-we-want" attitude came to light in a recent interview with Popular Mechanics, when Ferrari engineer Patrizio Moruzzi made it clear that Ferrari will stick to using aluminum for the bodywork of their cars instead of the increasingly popular carbon fiber material.
According to Moruzzi, aluminum is a "multimaterial technology” that is ideally suited to serve a variety of uses, a versatile quality that carbon fiber just can’t match. Their long history using aluminum notwithstanding, Ferrari’s biggest sticking point as far as using carbon fiber was the length of time it takes to build a car using the material. Whereas aluminum, which is as potentially as light as carbon fiber, is a material that’s easy to wok on a mass-production level, carbon fiber is the exact opposite.
The Enzo , for example, used plenty of carbon fiber in its bodywork - and it took Ferrari about a day to build one model. Compare that to the aluminum-bodied 458 Italia, which the company could build at around 25-30 units a day, and the level of productivity, efficiency, and cost-savings is just not a question.
To their credit, Ferrari isn’t closing its doors on experimenting with new materials, particularly metal matrix components - material that’s made up of ceramic fiber-reinforced aluminum that could potentially shave off as much as 20 percent of a car’s overall weight.
So while other automakers are falling over with their carbon fiber-bodied supercars, Ferrari wants to have no part of the craze. They’ve used aluminum for the better part of 70 years, and they’re not about to stop using it in the near future.
There’s a reason why Porsche has high expectations for the Porsche 911 GT2 RS . Being the most powerful production car the company has ever built will do that to you.
In building the GT2 RS, Porsche went through great lengths to offer a car that more than lives up to the enormous hype and standards Porsche has given it. For their part, Motor Trend is determined to run the 911 GT2 RS and dive deep into the science that went in building the German supercar. It’s a fascinating watch, especially for fans of the Stuttgart brand that have drooled long and plenty about the most powerful road-ready Porsche the company has ever built.
Find out how Porsche addressed the ever-present problem of weight distribution on the car, how they tweaked the suspension set-up, and how they were able to produce such outstanding power - 620 ponies worth - from the car’s 3.6-liter six-cylinder engine.