Monday, October 16, 2006

High Low-tech of low high-tech?

The Aimulet LA is a batteryless, light-activated handheld audio communication device with an outer shell made from molded bamboo. Recipient of the 2006 Good Design Award for Ecology Design, the device is designed to be held to your ear, like a cell phone and, when you stand over special LED emitters in the ground, it receives the light signals via an array of spherical micro solar cells set into the bottom of the handset. It translates the signals into audio messages that are transmitted through a tiny speaker in the device.

The device was designed by the Information Technology Research Institute at Japan's National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology (AIST). According to the designers, the technology can be used in public spaces such as outdoor exhibits and events, amusement facilities, train stations and parks, where it can be used in interactive media or entertainment. In addition, the low cost of the device means it could also double as an entrance ticket, annual pass or ID card.

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