Science&technology 12 Thursday, 3 September 2009 London Lite In-flight wi-fi: awaiting connection R ARELY does something totally new hit the world of photog- raphy. The last major sea change was the advent of the affordable, high-quality dig- ital camera. Now the humble point-and-shoot snapper has evolved one step further -- amazingly, its about to be possible to capture images in three dimensions instead of two. SNAPPINGIN D THE snappily named Fujifilm FinePix Real 3D W1 looks a lot like any other compact digital camera from the outside. But it has one vital exception -- instead of a single lens on the front, it sports two, each linked to its own 10-megapixel image sensor and dedicated processor, giving the camera the ability to capture two shots simultaneously (albeit two shots that are slightly different, being taken from two points that are 77mm apart). From the front, the camera almost looks like it has a pair of eyes (coupled with a cheeky grin on the sliding lens cover) and in fact thats the very principle behind its 3D capabilities. Our eyes allow us to see in three dimensions because they each see a slightly different image. When the two images are merged together in the brain we get a 3D picture, allowing us to per- ceive depth and distance. And thats exactly how the FinePix Real 3D W1 creates its photos -- by merging two shots together into one. VIEWINGTHEIMAGES SO HOW do you view this 3D image? Well, its all down to the 2.8in lenticular screen on the back of the camera, which can display two images in quick succes- sion, showing one to your right eye and one to your left. That means you can view a 3D photo with the naked eye -- all you need to do BY SAM KIELDSEN Snapup thefirst ever3D digi-cam Lite bytes Science news in brief from around the world Thefuturestartshere... Tomorrows gadgets reviewed today NOW YOU CAN VIEW PHOTOS IN ASUS EEE TOP 1602 Due date: available now Price: 399 THE term desktop may have had its day. Asus has started to create what it calls top computers for the home. The idea is you place its Eee Top 1602, a stylish, 15.6in, freestanding touchscreen with integrated speakers, anywhere in the home, to bring your music, videos, snaps, the internet and instant messaging to your fingertips. PLUG-AND-PLAY It takes up very little space and is easy to hook up -- you could literally stick it on the fireplace. It also has fairly decent speakers, even if they do only kick out four watts. If you want more clout, you can always hook it up to better speakers. TOUCH Navigating Microsofts operating system using your finger takes getting used to, and the touch- screen keyboard leaves much to be desired. Fortunately, the 1602 comes with a slim keyboard and a mouse as well. LOADED The 1602 is bundled with an Asus software package of tools and games for the touchscreen as well as a built-in webcam. But it lacks the multi- touch features to make it easy to navigate and manipulate content such as photos. SPECS It comes with an 1.6GHz Intel Atom processor, wi-fi, 1GB of Ram and a 160GB hard disk. Its a perfect way to access the internet without any hassle, but given its size, it wouldnt have hurt to have added a DVD/CD drive. Carphone warehouse.com WILD Asian frogs may be able to dodge French menus thanks to a leap forward in intensive frog farming. Previous attempts to farm them havent done well because frogs prefer expensive live prey to pellets for dinner. But a French researcher realised that making the pellets move on the waters surface keeps farm frogs interested. OUR galaxy may not be doomed by galactic bombardment after all. For years astronomers have been concerned that collisions with smaller galaxies may rip it apart. But thats unlikely thanks to dark matter, which causes the larger galaxy in a collision to puff up at its edges while the smaller one disintegrates. Even if they are wrong, fear not. None of this will happen for billions of years. AIR passengers obsessed with using their iPhones and laptops in flight may soon get what they want -- aviation companies are now looking at ways to replace the miles of copper wiring that control modern planes with wireless networks. making the pellets move on the galactic bombardment that collisions with smaller AIR passengers obsessed with using their iPhones and laptops in flight may soon get what they want -- aviation companies are now looking at ways to replace the miles of copper wiring that control modern planes with wireless networks.