Now Street Legal: Driverless Cars and Urinal Web Games

Ever wonder how internet connected devices could possibly change a person’s life, or at least someone’s day?  Internet connected devices such as your smartphones and tablets have come a long way from just providing you with your e-mail ASAP or allowing you to update your Facebook status on the go.  Now, internet connected devices can give you pressure readings,  save lives and provide entertainment while you pee.

Google’s Driverless Car Now Street Legal

Google has modified a Toyota Prius to become a driverless car – as in a car that can get a person from one destination to another with minimal or no human influence at all.  Though it’s still in testing, this novelty is already street-legal in three states: Nevada, California and Florida.

It seems like it will still be years, or even decades before all vehicles on the road becomes driverless, people are already weighing the pros and cons of having this technology.  The most important issue is the elimination of human error while driving, such as getting distracted with mobile devices or chatting excessively with passengers and, of course drunk driving, which claims the lives of thousands of people every year.  But there’s also the ethical and emotional issues.  If faced with a dilemma, could a driverless car be able to make crucial decisions?

The point of driverless cars is to be able to keep you and everyone else on the road safe, as they hope to make vehicles communicate with one another so when the vehicle in front of you needs to apply an emergency stop, the vehicle could transmit that information to your car, alerting it of the emergency stop, thus slowing or stopping your own vehicle, ultimately avoiding an accident.  As for the ethical and emotional part, we’re still a long way from being able to teach computers from choosing between the lesser evil, so machines making decisions on the road may still be decades away.

Atmospheric Pressure Readers for Your Phone

Cumulonimbus released an updated version of their app, pressureNET 2.1, which now features New Light UI (using Holo Light instead of Holo), among other updates.  They’ve fixed the battery drain issue on Android 4.2 (Nexus 4, Galaxy Nexus), improved graph loading (cleaning and indexing data on the server), and added new Auto-Submit options (1 minute and 5 minute intervals are now available. Default is still 10 minutes).

If you have no idea what pressureNET is, it is an app that uses a device’s built-in barometer to give atmospheric pressure readings on your location so you’ll know if there’s an incoming storm and better prepare for it.  It doesn’t actually give you real-time weather forecasts, but others believe the app would open more possibilities to weather-related innovations.

pressureNET is for devices with built-in barometers such as the Galaxy Nexus, Galaxy S3
Galaxy Note, Galaxy Note II, Nexus 4, Nexus 10, and Xoom.  The app is available for free on Google Play while developers interested in developing with pressureNET can get the source code on GitHub.

Play while you Pee

Captive Media, the UK-based company that brought us gaming urinals, will be delivering their innovation to US shores via a $700,000 early-stage funding.  The gaming urinals come with a screen that displays ads when a person walks in the loo.  But when someone pees, the screen changes to game mode and pissers can enjoy playing Clever Dick and On The Piste, and urinals with infrared beams that detects the direction of the pee.  The ultimate goal is to keep piss inside the urinal by making men aim their piss better.  The other fun thing about this gaming urinal is that you can actually compare scores with other pissers as your game scores will be uploaded in their score center, which you can access via the code given after you play the game.  Not only is this entertaining, but it unwittingly trains men to aim better while also boosting their ego with score tracking.