September 5, 2008 weblog
StellarWindow turns your laptop into a virtual planetarium
If you enjoy looking at the stars, but get a little impatient trying to figure out which way to hold your star map to identify the constellations, a new software program may make things easier. Called StellarWindow, the program gives you a real-time guided tour of the night sky wherever you're looking.
You simply insert a USB stick and CD into your laptop, tablet, or PC. The stick contains an embedded magnetic compass and accelerometers for sensing tilt. By pointing your computer at a certain area of the sky, the system automatically identifies the stars or planets in that location and displays stock photos and additional information.
The concept also works in reverse: StellarWindow has a voice recognition system, so users can speak the name of a star, constellation, or planet, and the software will tell you how to point your computer in the right direction.
StellarWindow is being released by Fairy Devices, Inc., a Japanese start-up company created by a group of students from Waseda University. Fairy Devices plans to release the software by the end of 2008 for about 26 Yen ($250).
More information: Fairy Device Product Page
via: Hobby Media