VholdR ContourHD Records Straight From the Head

That indie nosebone + stalefish you’ve been working on is no good if you can’t save it for posterity. But who would actually want to record that video for you? Luckily, VholdR has the solution with its ContourHD helmet cam, apparently the world’s first wearable HD camera. Just strap it on to the safety helmet for your extreme sport of choice, and you’ve got 720p video at 30 frames per second or WVGA (858 x 480) at 60 frames per second. Mounts are included for goggles or flat surfaces, and dual lasers help set up the proper angle. The lens swivels 192 degrees and has a 135-degree viewing angle. For storage, there’s a 2 GB microSD card included, with a 2 GB card included. Pre-orders are open now for $280, shipping May 15 — just in time for skateboarding season. [VholdRvia Engadget]

Snuggle From Afar With Mutsugoto

Though the biggest downside to a long-distance relationship will probably differ depending on which partner you ask, sleeping alone is a definite downer. Mutsugoto provides a solution, albeit one that requires a bit of imagination. Each partner wears a special ring and installs a camera above the bed. A computer system records the ring’s movement and displays the pattern as streaks of light, allowing each partner to see what the other one is doing with their ring. When the two light streaks cross, they change color, adding some interactivity to the virtual snugglefest. I could see this getting old pretty quickly, but it’ll at least break the monotony of the goodnight phone call. If you’re interested, one of the creator’s technology outfits, Distance Lab, is looking for volunteer couples based in Scotland. [Mutsugoto via Dvice]

Nikon Swivel D5000 DSLR, For Real

Last week, hazy photos emerged of a new Nikon DSLR with a swivel screen. Now, the camera has made the leap from rumor to fact, materializing as the Nikon D5000. Hovering near the entry level, the D5000 sports a 12.3-megapixel DX-format sensor, max ISO of 3200, 4 frames per second in burst mode, 11-point auto focus with 3D tracking and one-button Live View, plus all the usual stuff like image stabilization and face detection. There’s also a 24 frames per second movie mode in 720p and, of course, the 2.7-inch articulating screen. The body alone will cost $729 when it reaches retail later this month. For $849, Nikon will throw in an 18-55mm VR kit lens. See? Rumors can come true after all. [via Engadget]

Jobs Still at Apple, Large Tablet Coming

Good news for people who love Steve Jobs: Apple’s head honcho may be ill and out of the public spotlight, but his influence is still felt at the company as he works from home. While COO Tim Cook handles the day-to-day, Jobs weilds a heavy hand on product development, including the newest OS for the iPhone. Talking to unnamed insiders, the Wall Street Journal says this work includes development of a “portable device that is smaller than its current laptop computers but bigger than the iPhone or iPod Touch.” A new Apple rumor this is not, but you’ve got to figure every report takes us a little closer to something like the image above. And if it’s true, you can rest assured Jobs is on the case. [Wall Street Journal via CrunchGear]

TechCrunch Tablet Leaked, Own Medicine Administered

Call me a curmudgeon, but when a technology blog makes its own tech products, isn’t that a conflict of interest for covering competitors? Either way, TechCrunch is getting a feel for its subjects’ woes now that photos of the prototype TechCrunch Tablet are in the wild. Gizmodo spotted a photo from founder Michael Arrington’s posterous account, and CrunchGear in turn released a set of new photos. This is still a prototype, with a 12-inch capacitive touch screen and Intel Atom processor. Earlier reports on the prototype pegged it with 1 GB of RAM and a 4 GB flash drive running Ubuntu, but no word on whether those specs remain accurate. More details are coming next week. In CrunchGear’s comments section, Arrington said “it certainly isn’t pat ourselves on the back time.” [via CrunchGear]

The P.U.M.A., from GM and Segway

Okay, so the Segway didn’t exactly change the way cities are built, as inventor Dean Kamen once suggested. After all, how many people need and can afford a $5,000 gyroscope scooter that you still have to stand in to ride? Now, GM and Segway are working on a reinvention, dubbed the Personal Urban Mobility and Accessibility Project, or P.U.M.A., for now. With help from a lithium battery, the self-balancing two-wheeler nearly triples the speed of the original Segway at 35 miles per hour and seats two for a luxurious tours of the city — smells and all. Worried about accidents? The P.U.M.A. can apparently talk to surrounding vehicles to avoid collisions. There’s no street date in sight, but the vehicle is set to debut at the New York Auto Show this week. It’ll probably cost about a quarter of what you’d spend on a typical car.  Video after the jump…

GM and Segway Join Forces to Reinvent Urban Transportation

NEW YORK – General Motors Corp. and Segway today demonstrated a new type of vehicle that could change the way we move around in cities.

Dubbed Project P.U.M.A. (Personal Urban Mobility and Accessibility), GM and Segway are developing an electrically powered, two-seat prototype vehicle that has only two wheels. It could allow people to travel around cities more quickly, safely, quietly and cleanly – and at a lower total cost. The vehicle also enables design creativity, fashion, fun and social networking.

GM and Segway announced their collaboration, while demonstrating the Project P.U.M.A. prototype in New York City this morning.

“Project P.U.M.A. represents a unique solution to moving about and interacting in cities, where more than half of the world’s people live,” said Larry Burns, GM vice president of research and development, and strategic planning. “Imagine small, nimble electric vehicles that know where other moving objects are and avoid running into them. Now, connect those vehicles in an Internet-like web and you can greatly enhance the ability of people to move through cities, find places to park and connect to their social and business networks.”

Trends indicate that urbanization is growing, and with that comes increased congestion and more competition for parking. Cities around the world are actively looking for solutions to alleviate congestion and pollution. Project P.U.M.A. addresses those concerns. It combines several technologies demonstrated by GM and Segway, including electric drive and batteries; dynamic stabilization (two-wheel balancing); all-electronic acceleration, steering and braking; vehicle-to-vehicle communications; and autonomous driving and parking. Those technologies integrate in Project P.U.M.A. to increase mobility freedom, while also enabling energy efficiency, zero emissions, enhanced safety, seamless connectivity and reduced congestion in cities.

“We are excited to be working together to demonstrate a dramatically different approach to urban mobility,” said Jim Norrod, CEO of Segway Inc. “There’s an emotional connection you get when using Segway products. The Project P.U.M.A. prototype vehicle embodies this through the combination of advanced technologies that Segway and GM bring to the table to complete the connection between the rider, environment, and others.”

Project P.U.M.A. vehicles will also allow designers to create new fashion trends for cars, and to focus on the passion and emotion that people express through their vehicles while creating solutions that anticipate the future needs of urban customers.

The Project P.U.M.A. prototype vehicle integrates a lithium-ion battery, digital smart energy management, two-wheel balancing, dual electric wheel motors, and a dockable user interface that allows off-board connectivity. The result is an advanced and functional concept that demonstrates the capabilities of technology that exists today.

Built to carry two or more passengers, it can travel at speeds up to 35 miles per hour (56 kph), with a range up to 35 miles (56 km) between recharges.

Since the introduction of the Segway Personal Transporter (PT), Segway has established itself as the leader in the small electric vehicle space. Its approach to congestion and environmental challenges is balanced with a strong understanding of the functional needs of its customers, enabling them to do more with less. Segway has delivered more than 60,000 lithium-ion batteries to the market.

GM has been a leader in “connected vehicle” technologies since it introduced OnStar in 1996. Today, this on-board communications package connects six million subscribers in North America to OnStar safety and security services. GM has also pioneered vehicle-to-vehicle (V2V) communications systems and transponder technology. These and additional connected vehicle technologies could ultimately enable vehicles that don’t crash and drive themselves.

“Imagine moving about cities in a vehicle fashioned to your taste, that’s fun to drive and ride in, that safely takes you where you want to go, and “connects” you to friends and family, while using clean, renewable energy, producing zero vehicle tailpipe emissions, and without the stress of traffic jams,” said Burns. “And imagine doing this for one-fourth to one-third the cost of what you pay to own and operate today’s automobile. This is what Project P.U.M.A. is capable of delivering.”