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Fictional housekeeping robots and the flying smart cars in The Fifth Element have inspired technologists to keep pushing the bounds of electronics for years, which is how we’ve gotten video chatting and Bluetooth in our cars. But pop culture has also served up many warnings. Who among you doesn’t remember Hal, the calmly murderous computer from 2001: A Space Odyssey, without shuddering in horror?
If you haven’t realized it yet, the technology these fictional stories foretold is being constructed in the real world right now. The reality can be awe inspiring or frightening, but should be carefully watched either way.
Engadget’s new video series, The Future IRL, will take on the big stories in tech and explore how companies are turning sci-fi concepts into everyday reality.
The KlikR, a sleek and small Bluetooth module that makes any infrared-controlled device accessible from a smartphone, instantly brings a bit of that feeling of futurism into the home.
Engadget.com: It’s not the first time that Kwikset’s dabbled in wireless locks, but today the company’s introducing Kēvo, a smartphone- (and tablet-) friendly lock powered by UniKey. The concept is pretty simple: pair a handset (running a special app) with Kēvo via Bluetooth, and simply touch the deadbolt to lock or unlock your door. A keychain fob is also available for those who have not yet joined the smartphone revolution. Kēvo only responds to touch when an authorized device or fob is detected nearby. A triple tap lets anyone lock your door, which is useful if a visitor leaves after you. The deadbolt is battery-powered using four AA cells that last more than a year with normal operation. It features a ring of RGB LEDs for feedback and a standard physical key for backup.
Finally! The size of this “brick” is justified! Slated for release in the 4th quarter of this year, the Nokia 9500 Communicator now has a stylish exterior with a color display, digital camera, MPEG-4 and H.263 video, MMC slot, and all the connectivity you will ever need: Bluetooth, Wi-fi, EDGE, Infrared and USB 2.0.