Trending February 2024 # Panono Throwable Panoramic Ball Camera One Step Closer To Launch # Suggested March 2024 # Top 4 Popular

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Panono throwable panoramic ball camera one step closer to launch

The device as it exists today is 4.33-inches in diameter, weighing in at 0.66 pounds (300 grams), and is surrounded by “tough clear plastic”. The ball works with 36 fixed focus cameras with a total resolution of 72 megapixels – and the whole machine works with mobile apps for iOS 6 and above as well as Android 4.0 and above.

You’ll be able to take photos without connecting to a smartphone or tablet, if you like – the initial model is able to take approximately 400 panorama photos on its internal flash memory. Connecting to a smartphone or tablet is done with Bluetooth or Wi-fi, while the ball’s battery is recharged with a simple USB port.

See a full-window-sized version of the above demo at Panono’s demo page and see the beginnings of a full network at their Panoramas listing index.

As we’ve been excited about this project since well before it became a product ready for public consumption, we had quite a few questions for Pfeil the week before this iteration of the ball camera went public. For your benefit, what you’re reading is all the juicy bits on Panono.

SG: Back when the throwable ball camera was first introduced as a concept, we were just entering an age of “smart cameras” and now wearable smart products – how does this device pave its way in the world as a unique product?

Jonas Pfeil: It’s the only camera that can snap super high resolution panoramas (72 MP) in a split second. Capturing everything around you, even if it is moving (like people). This enables anybody to capture his memories completely. Everybody is on the picture, even the photographer (did you ever look at your holiday pictures suddenly realizing that one person is always missing?).

Panorama apps for smartphones for example will not work properly if the people in the picture are moving (same goes for other things, like cars, ocean waves etc.). Also with such an app taking a panorama takes forever

After stitching is complete you can share the URL of the panorama with your friends on Facebook, Twitter and so on. Much like you would do with a YouTube video. Of course the panoramas can also embedded on another website.

SG: Will the images produced be able to be uploaded to services like Google+ with photospheres?

JP: Yes, we will definitely add this feature!

SG: Do you plan on working with any smartphone manufacturers specifically to optimize performance, or is this more of a universally usable machine?

JP: We plan to support as many different smartphones and tablets as possible. We are designing the Panono app as universally compatible as possible and are doing optimizations for specific phones where necessary. We already have a working iOS and Android app. Basically all modern iOS devices are supported. On Android we specifically tested with the S3, S4 and Nexus 4 so far. We will continue to test and optimize for more phones as we go along.

SG: What plans can you share on second-generation projects (after this first camera is made real)?

JP: One thing we like to do at one point is make the camera waterproof so you can go diving with it The model we are offering on Indiegogo should already be able to withstand a few drops of rain though.

SG: What sort of reactions have you gotten from people seeing the prototype cameras out in the wild?

JP: Basically every time we go out people stop and ask what that thing is. When you tell them it’s a ball camera most are pretty amazed One of the most fun things that happened was when we were out filming with a TV crew a tourists came by and told his friends all about the camera, so we didn’t have to do anything!

At the moment it would appear that the machine is going to cost users – early adopters, at least – a slightly shocking $549 USD. The results are going to have to be mind-blowing to get widespread adoption at that sort of point – but then again, your average smartphone costs no less off-contract.

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How To Upload A Video To Youtube – Step By Step Guide

YouTube is the biggest video platform worldwide boasting over 2 billion users, 79 percent of whom own a YouTube account.

If you’re a content creator, you can share your music video, vlog, tutorials, or other video content with that massive user base. Plus, if your content is great, you can grow your audience, increase your influence, and monetize your YouTube channel.

Table of Contents

However, getting your content on YouTube isn’t as easy as just recording and editing the video, uploading, and throwing it out into the world. There are many elements involved in setting up, customizing, and uploading a video.

Whether you want to inspire, entertain, educate, or sell something to your target audience, this step-by-step guide will show you how to upload a video to YouTube.

How To Upload a Video To YouTube

Before you can upload a video to YouTube, you need to create a YouTube account or sign in if you already have one. All you need is to create a Google account. Your YouTube account will have a channel where your videos can live on the platform, and viewers can find your video content.

How To Upload a Video To Youtube Using a Browser

Note: Your internet connection and the size of the video file will determine how fast your video will be uploaded. For YouTube, the best video file format is MP4 as this gives you high quality videos that are smaller in size.

Next, fill out the title and description of your video, among other details. If you want your video to rank for specific keywords, this is a good place to enter those keywords based on what your target audience is searching for.

You can also add tags, a custom or auto-generated thumbnail, add your video to a YouTube playlist, upload closed captions, and indicate if the video is made for kids or not, among other options.

Add video elements such as cards and an end screen that shows viewers related videos to promote related content, websites, and calls to action.

The following are your four Visibility choices:

Public:The video you upload will go live immediately. However, you can choose to premiere it to start a specific time and set a countdown so that your viewers can watch as they interact with others.

Unlisted: The video is live, but only those with the link to the video can watch. It won’t be shown in the search results immediately.

Private: Only you and those you choose to watch the video can view it.

Schedule: Allows you to set a specific date and time when the video will go live on YouTube.

Note: If you’re not ready to share the video with the world, set it to private or unlisted once you publish it. This gives you time to check that everything you want is in place before you share it with your preferred audience or with the public and start promoting it.

Once your video has been uploaded to YouTube, you can change the permissions to control who can access the video, add video watermarks, and more.

How To Upload a Video To Youtube From a Phone

You can use the web browser or install the YouTube app on your Android phone or iPhone to upload a video to YouTube.

Go to chúng tôi tap the three dots menu at the upper right side of the screen.

Use the same steps described above to upload your video to YouTube from a web browser on your phone.

To upload a video to YouTube using the YouTube app, download and install the free YouTube app on your Android phone or iPhone, and then sign in to your Google account.

Tap the camcorder icon at the top, next to the search button.

Next, you’ll see two options: Record and Go Live. To upload the video, select it from the video files YouTube displays from your phone.

Fill out the details of the video such as title, description, location, and the visibility options: Public, Private, Unlisted, or Scheduled.

Next, select whether the video is made for kids or not, and if you want the video to be restricted to an adult audience so that it doesn’t show up in certain areas of YouTube.

How To Upload a Video To YouTube Using Third-Party Software

Some professional video editing tools like iMovie allow you to upload a video to YouTube directly from the software itself. Uploading a video to YouTube from video editing software helps you stay focused on your work by uploading your video from the same platform where you created it. 

If you prefer to export your video and upload to YouTube directly, you can still use the browser or YouTube app steps above.

Get Your Message Out To The World

YouTube makes it fast, free, and easy for content creators to upload their own videos and reach a large audience. We hope you were able to upload your video to YouTube using the steps above. Check out our Online Tech Tips channel on YouTube for more personal computing tips and tricks. 

How To Add Texture To Text In Photoshop (Step By Step)

Text is often a tricky element for graphic designers to work with because flat text makes the design look bland. Whether for a logo or layout design, customizing text can elevate the design. There are many ways you can edit text, and one of my favorites is to add texture to text in Photoshop.

When adding texture to text, the options are almost endless. You can choose from various fonts already in Photoshop or download fonts online. Then, you can select any type of texture, whether watercolor, metallic, fire, rust or anything else. Lastly, you can add personal touches to the design, such as adding brush strokes to extend the effect.

How To Add Texture To Text In Photoshop

As with most processes in Photoshop, you can tweak settings and techniques to add your own creativity to the project. Use these steps as a general guide but try the effect with different textures, fonts, and brushes to take this process to the next level.

Step 1: Add Text To The Canvas Using The Type Tool (T)

Once you have created a document the size you need, add your text to the canvas. Select the Type Tool from the Toolbar or press T to add text.

Your text box will likely be filled with Placeholder text to show you the font size and type.

Use the settings in the Options bar to customize the text. You can choose a different font, I recommend you find a bold font, so there is plenty of space for the texture to fit and be visible. 

You can then adjust the font size. Don’t worry about the font color, as the texture will cover the color anyway.

You can then type in your custom text and position the text box on the canvas.

You can edit various elements of the text in this panel, such as the Kerning, Leading, and Tracking. I adjusted the Leading to alter the space between the two text lines and the Tracking to widen the gap between each character.

Customize your text as you’d like to at this stage. This is how my text looks after the various adjustments.

Step 2: Add A Texture Layer Over The Text Using A Clipping Mask

The next step is to add a texture image over the text layer. First, you need to choose the type of texture you want. You can find several free texture images from various sites, such as Unsplash or Pexels.

You can also create your own texture layer in Photoshop in a separate document using different brushes.

The texture image must be on top of the text layer.

You must ensure the texture covers the text on the canvas. If the image layer is smaller than the text, resize it by pressing Control + T (Win) or Command + T (Mac) to open the Free Transform function, then use the corner anchor points to drag and resize the image layer. Press Enter to accept the new size.

The texture is now clipped to the text layer, meaning it’s only shown where the text is.

Step 3: Adjust The Texture Image And Text

You can still edit the text and the overlay as needed at this stage. For instance, if the texture isn’t sitting how you want it inside the text, you can move the layer, so it fills the text better. 

You can use the same transform function as before to resize the texture. You can also use the Type Tool to edit the text as you did at the start or by typing new text in. 

Add any adjustments you want at this point because if you are moving to the next step, you won’t be able to edit the text anymore. I recommend you save a copy of the text layer if you think you may need to edit it later.

If you are happy with the texture and the text, you can leave it as it is. However, if you want to add more to the text, follow the next steps to add or remove bits from the text.

Step 4: Rasterize The Text Layer

To continue the edits, you need to Rasterize the text layer, which means the only modifications you can make to the text after this point are moving or resizing the text.

Next, resize or reposition the text if you’d like. You want to have your text in place before adding the brush strokes.

Step 5: Find And Select A Matching Brush Type

Now it’s time to choose a brush preset to use on your text. I recommend you find a brush that matches the texture you use. For instance, if you added a rust texture, find a grungy brush or, in my case, a watercolor brush.

You can look for more brushes through Adobe to find one that matches your project.

To find more brushes, select the Brush Tool in the Toolbar or press B.

Then, back in Photoshop, open the Brush preset settings again and select Import Brushes this time.

Step 6: Add Brush Strokes Around The Text

To use the new brush(es) on your project, find the brush set in the Brush Picker and open the tab to view the available brushes.

Avoid brushes with an eraser icon in the top right, and choose one with a brush icon instead.

This is where you can get creative with your text by adding various brush effects. First, select a brush and keep the text layer active.

Then, select a different brush and add a few strokes if you’d like. Remember to adjust the brush size and opacity as you go for more dynamic effects.

Step 7: Remove Parts Of The Text Using A Layer Mask

Instead of using two brushes to add more to the text, you can use one brush to add more texture and then remove parts of the text for a different effect. There are two ways you can remove bits of the text.

Start by adding brush strokes to the text, as shown in the previous section.

Option 1: Add A New Layer

Then, use any brush and set the foreground color to white (or whatever the background color of the canvas is). 

Now, use any brush from the set and paint over areas you want to take away from the text. You can use the same brush or a different one. You can also play around with the Brush Opacity to partially remove parts of the text.

Option 2: Add A Layer Mask

Alternatively, you can use a layer mask to remove parts of the text instead of adding a new layer.

The layer mask is white when you add it, and this reveals everything on the layer. To hide everything, ensure the mask is selected, shown by a white border around it, then invert the mask by pressing Control + I (Win) or Command + I (Mac). 

You will notice the layer mask turns completely black, and your canvas is now blank.

Now, you can choose one of the new brushes and set the foreground color to white.

Ensure the opacity is relatively high and the brush blend mode is set the Normal. Some brushes automatically have a different blend mode.

Then, brush over areas of the text on the canvas where you want the text to be visible. You can use a large brush and swipe over the entire text or add random splotches. You now have a dynamic and creative texture effect on your text.

These steps are only a basic guide on what you can do when adding texture to text. You can alter these techniques to create a unique text layout for your project, so don’t be shy to play around and change different settings to see what you can make.

A Step By Step With Detailed

Introduction to Google Analytics Setup

Google Analytics is a powerful online analytics tool offered by Google. It empowers website owners, marketers, and businesses to gain valuable insights into their website or mobile app’s performance and user behavior. By tracking and analyzing various metrics, Google Analytics helps you comprehend user engagement and provides data-driven insights for optimizing your online operations.

Key Takeaways

To set up Google Analytics, you need to create a Google Analytics account, define a property to monitor data for your website and obtain a tracking code to collect the necessary information.

The tracking code is crucial because it needs to be inserted into the HTML code of your website.

This allows Google Analytics to gather data regarding user interactions, traffic sources, and other important metrics.

By analyzing this data, you can gain insights and make informed decisions to enhance website speed and improve the overall user experience.

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Digital marketing, conversion rate optimization, customer relationship management & others

How to Setup Google Analytics? [GA4]

If you don’t have a Google Analytics account, you need to create one. When you initiate a new account, Google Analytics 4 is automatically included as a new property. However, it also provides the option to set up Universal Analytics, which can be done by following the simple steps outlined below.

Step 4: In this step, you are required to provide a Property Name for your Google Analytics setup. Additionally, you should select the Reporting Time Zone and Currency that align with your preferences and requirements.

Next, enter the website URL for which you want to set up the analytics. Then, choose whether you want to establish a GA4 plus Universal Analytics Property or solely a Universal Analytics Property.

Step 7: In the “About Your Business” section, select the relevant options for your business, including the Industry Category, business size, and how you plan to utilize Google Analytics for your business.

Step 9:Once you accept the terms, you will be directed to the Web Stream Details screen, where you can find the Measurement ID in the top right corner.

How to Upgrade an Existing Universal Analytics to a GA4 Property?

If you already have a Universal Analytics Property and want to upgrade to Google Analytics 4 (GA4), here are the steps you need to follow to perform the update.

Note: Before proceeding, please double-check that you have selected the correct account in the account field to avoid any potential issues or errors.

Step 5: Upon reaching the screen below, you will find the connected property message along with the property ID

Step 7: The Measurement ID for the GA4 property can be located in the top right corner of the “Web Stream Details” page.

Congratulations!!! You have now successfully upgraded your property to GA4.

To add GA4 tracking code to a website without using Google Tag Manager, you can follow these steps:

Certainly! Here are three ways to add GA4 tracking code to a website using Google Tag Manager:

To connect the Measurement ID of a GA4 property with an existing UA Property in Universal Analytics, you can follow these steps:

To add a new ‘Config’ directive in the existing code on the website, you need to perform the following steps.

To connect the Measurement ID of a GA4 property with an existing UA Property in Universal Analytics, you can follow these steps:

If you already have a Universal Analytics code on your website and wish to add the GA4 Measurement ID, you can connect the GA4 Measurement ID to your Universal Analytics Property by following these steps:

Step 3: In the upper right corner of the “Web Stream Details” page, you will find the GA4 Measurement ID. Copy this ID for further use.

Step 4: To continue, go to your existing Universal Analytics Property and follow these steps:

Step 5: Next, scroll down the page until you find the “Connected Site Tags” option. Select this option to proceed.

Step 6: To create a new site tag and paste the Measurement ID that you created and copied in Step 3, please follow these instructions:

2. To add a new ‘Config’ directive in the existing code on your website, please follow these steps:

If you already have a (gtag.js) analytics code on your website and wish to add the GA4 Measurement ID, you have a second option where you can add a second “config” directive to the existing analytics code. Here’s how you can do it:

The chúng tôi analytics code typically appears on the source page of a website with the following structure:

function gtag(){dataLayer.push(arguments);} gtag(‘js’, new Date()); gtag(‘config’, ‘UA-##########’);

Certainly! To add an additional “config” directive with the GA4 Property “Measurement ID” after line 8 in the chúng tôi code mentioned above, you can modify the code as follows:

Here’s how the code will look after adding an additional “config” directive with the GA4 Property Measurement ID:

function gtag(){dataLayer.push(arguments);} gtag(‘js’, new Date()); gtag(‘config’, ‘UA-##########’); gtag(‘config’, ‘G-Propert ID’);

To add GA4 tracking code to your website using Google Tag Manager, follow these steps:

Sure! Here are the steps to add the GA4 tracking code to your website using Google Tag Manager:

Step 2: Under the “New Tag” section, select the “Add a new tag” option.

Step 4: In this step, select “Google Analytics: GA4 Configuration” as the tag type from the “Choose Tag Type” window.

Step 5: In the “Measurement ID” section, enter your GA4 Measurement ID. Make sure to input the correct ID associated with your GA4 property..

Select the appropriate trigger based on when you want the GA4 Configuration Tag to be triggered. Choose the trigger that aligns with your desired conditions or events.

Step 7: In the “Choose a Trigger” window, you have the option to select triggers such as “All Pages” to make the tag appear on every page of your website. Alternatively, you can create custom triggers based on specific events or conditions. In this case, you have chosen “All Pages” as the trigger for the GA4 Configuration Tag.

Step 11: Check to see if the GA4 Configuration Tag appears in the Tags Fired list.

By following these steps, you should be able to successfully add a GA4 tracking code to your website using Google Tag Manager. Remember to test and verify the setup to ensure accurate tracking of your website data.


In short, installing Google Analytics Setup entails creating an account, adding a property, and collecting a tracking code. We add the tracking code to the website, whether using Universal Analytics or GA4, to start gathering data for analysis and insights.

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We hope that this EDUCBA information on “Google Analytics Setup” was beneficial to you. You can view EDUCBA’s recommended articles for more information.

How To Create Duotone Colors In Photoshop (Step By Step)

Creating a duotone image in Photoshop is an impressive way to make your photo pop. This design technique converts your image to only two colors of your choice. The result is a bold, striking picture highlighting the photo’s contrast.

There are two main methods to achieve the duotone effect when using Photoshop, and your method of choice should depend on your strengths. If you are comfortable using selections and masking techniques, choose option one. If you are more confident using gradients, then the second option is best for you.

When creating the duotone effect, a top tip is to use a high-contrast photo with a relatively simple background, as these images will produce the best result.

How To Create Duotone Colors In Photoshop

When adding a duotone effect to an image, you essentially add one color to the highlights and a second color to the shadows. Once you have selected your image and opened it in Photoshop, think about the colors you want to add and get started.

Step 1: Select The Highlights In The Image Using Channels

The first step is to isolate the highlights in the photo to add one color to those areas only. Using channels is a quick and super easy way to select the highlights (or shadows) in an image.

Open the Channels panel, which should be located in a panel tab next to the Layers panel. 

When using the RGB color mode, you will see four color channels: one with all the colors, then separate ones, each showing one color channel, Red, Green, and Blue. You must go through the individual color channels and decide which looks the best.

Your final duotone image will look like the color channel you select, with your two colors added to the shadows and highlights. So choose a channel that matches how you want the final result to look, which will be different for every image.

I like the Blue channel because it offers the most contrast for my picture, and I want a bold final result.

Once you’ve made the selection, you will see that the marching ants select only the highlights on the canvas.

Step 2: Add A Solid Fill Color To The Highlights

Now, you can use any method in the Color Picker to add your chosen color. You can add a HEX code, the RGB or CMYK values, or move the cursor around the color panel to find a color that works best. Since you are working with the highlights, you should choose a light color unless you want an inverted effect.

Move the color around to see a few different results.

Once you’ve selected your color, press OK to confirm your choice and close the Color Picker.

You have now added the color of your highlights to the photo.

Step 3: Add A Solid Fill Color To The Shadows

Adding a solid color to the shadows in the image is even easier since you have already isolated the highlights. Now you just need to add a color that only covers the shadows in the picture. To do this, select the background or image layer in the Layers panel.

The new fill layer will appear above the background layer but below the highlights layer. This ensures that the fill color only affects the shadows since the layer mask above has isolated the highlights.

You can now choose a color for the shadows in the Color Picker. Remember, a darker color works best since you are adding to the shadows.

You have now successfully created a duotone effect on your photo.

Step 4: Adjust The Colors As Needed

Since the process is entirely non-destructive, and your background layer is still intact, you can add any other edits you need and change the colors at any time. 

You can do this as many times as you need to find the perfect color combination for your image.

Using Gradient Maps To Create The Duotone Effect

The second method to create a duotone effect on a photo is using a Gradient Map adjustment layer. This method is even simpler than the previous method and offers a similar amount of control over the final result.

Step 1: Add A Gradient Map Adjustment Layer

Once your image is open in Photoshop, add a Gradient Map adjustment layer by opening the Adjustments panel and selecting the Gradient Map icon, which is the last icon in the list.

Once the Gradient Map is added to the image, the colors on the canvas become the two gradient colors. The colors and gradients added depend on the previous settings used when adding gradients to your projects. You can see the gradient settings in the Properties panel. 

In my case, a black-to-white gradient was added to the image. This shows how the duotone will look, and all that’s left is for me to change the colors. If you don’t have a black-to-white gradient yet, that’s fine. You can change it in the next step.

Step 2: Open The Gradient Editor

The Gradient Editor window opens, allowing you to change all the gradient settings.

First, if your gradient doesn’t have two colors, you can change this to make selecting the two new colors easier. To change the gradient type, open the Basics tab in the gradient presets section and select the black-to-white gradient.

Now, you can move on to change the shadows and highlights colors.

Step 3: Select A Color For The Shadows

To select a color for the shadows, you need to change the black color in the gradient, or if you don’t have a black-to-white gradient, you will change whatever color is on the left of the gradient bar.

Your gradient has the new color for the shadows added to the bar.

Step 4: Select A Color For The Highlights

You can now add the highlights color by repeating the above step using the color stop on the far right of the gradient bar.

You have successfully created a duotone color effect using a Gradient map on your image. 

This process is also non-destructive, as the gradient map is automatically added to a separate layer in the Layers panel.

You can change the colors anytime by selecting the Gradient map layer and opening the Gradient Editor in the Properties panel. Play around with the colors until you find the right combination for your photo.

With each of these methods, you can create the duotone effect in a way that suits your workflow. I personally prefer the simplicity of the Gradient Maps, but if you aren’t comfortable working with gradients, the first option using channels, will be right up your alley!

Invention Awards A Big Ball Of Connectivity

by John B. Carnett

FIELD ARRAY Paul Gierow stands among his inflatable satellite antennas, which can be used alone or in groups for a stronger signal.

_How do you prevent insurgents from shooting down choppers? How do you keep a cast from itching? How do you reinvent the brick? You sketch. And then you work: nights, weekends–for years, if you have to. You blow all your money, then beg for more. You build prototypes, and when they fail, you build more. Why? Because inventing is about solving problems, and not stopping until your solution becomes real.

This week, we begin rolling out the winners of the 2007_ PopSci_ Invention Awards. We’ll be doling out a new innovation each day for the next few weeks, so keep checking back for more of what the world’s brightest inventors are currently cooking up. And if you just can’t wait, pick up a copy of the June issue that just hit the stands.-Eds.

Name: GATR-Com**

****Inventor:** Paul Gierow **

Cost to Develop:** $1.5 million

Time: 5 years


No, it’s not a giant beach ball. It’s an ultralight, ultraportable antenna tucked inside an inflatable shell that can pull down a superfast broadband satellite connection at any location. The GATR-Com is designed for disaster-relief responders, far-flung video producers and front-line troops-anyone whose job (or life) depends on getting digital information-video, Internet, calls-in and out of remote places.

“You just can’t do effective disaster relief without decent satellite communications,” says Eric Rasmussen, a U.S. Navy physician and commander whose relief experience includes the Indonesian tsunami of 2004 and the aftermath of battles in Bosnia and Iraq. “But when the mud is two feet deep, if you can’t pack a dish on your back or drop it out of a plane, it’s not going to get there.”

The GATR-Com (an acronym for “ground antenna transmit and receive”) system, complete with electronics and tethering gear, weighs less than 70 pounds and fits easily into two backpacks. It can be powered by a car’s cigarette lighter or a small generator. There’s nothing else like it that’s this small or rugged.

The GATR-Com is the brainchild of engineer Paul Gierow, who spent 20 years developing large deployable space antennas for NASA. Gierow realized that the need for a highly portable antenna is just as relevant on Earth as it is in space-especially considering the earthly inevitabilities of gravity, mud and sky-high air-freight costs.

The antenna is made of a flexible, high-strength plastic lined with conductive mesh inside a large (six- or eight-foot) sphere constructed of a material similar to that used for racing sails. A valve from a small compressor directs slightly more air pressure to one side of the antenna, giving it a parabolic shape. At first, Gierow and his business partner, William R. Clayton, worried that an inflatable sphere might just blow away. But the GATR-Com’s spherical shape actually deflects air twice as efficiently as rigid disks do and protects the internal antenna’s shape from being distorted by gusts.

“The idea itself is actually fairly simple,” Gierow says. “The trick was to come up with a way to tie it down, target it [to a satellite] to one tenth of a degree, and keep it stable.” Backed by research grants from the Air Force and Darpa, the Pentagon’s R&D branch, Gierow refined his invention for nearly three years before he got up the nerve to quit his job as vice president of NASA contractor SRS Technologies and bet his livelihood on his creation.

The next day, Hurricane Katrina gave him a perfect opportunity to prove the device worked in the real world. Gierow drove from where he lives near Decatur, Alabama, to Biloxi, Mississippi, and set up his prototype at a Red Cross shelter. For two weeks, the system served as an electronic lifeline to the outside world. “One lady had just had an organ transplant, and she didn’t have her anti-rejection medication,” Gierow recalls. “We were able to get in touch with a pharmacist [about four hours north of Biloxi], and he drove it to us.”

Gierow’s improvised effort caught the attention of the organizers of Strong Angel III, a disaster-relief simulation led by Rasmussen. Held last August in San Diego, the six-day event brought together teams from the Pentagon, relief agencies and high-tech companies. The mission: to field-test new technologies and tools that could be used to respond to natural disasters, epidemics or terrorist attacks.

“They were the only ones who walked in carrying their gear,” Rasmussen says of Gierow’s team. “At first look, the device incited snickers. But they pulled it out of the backpack, inflated it, and tethered it-and in 15 minutes, we had a rock-solid satellite signal. This is a technology that could give us a huge increase in our capabilities.”

The GATR-Com’s $50,000 price tag makes it an unlikely accessory for most solo travelers. But its cost is far less than that of other remote-deployable satellite antennas, not to mention the savings it provides in transportation costs.

With inquiries from a wide range of potential clients, Gierow regularly puts in 70-hour workweeks in his warehouse office/lab. But last summer he managed to take a week off to bring his family to the beach. Not surprisingly, the antenna came too. “I was the nerd on the beach with the really big ball,” Gierow says, “and the T1 connection.”

More Invention Awards:

A Six Strokes of Genius – An engine that uses steam to squeeze more miles from gas

A Chopper Shield – Catches helicopter-bound grenades with a net made of Kevlar and steel

A Big Ball of Connectivity – An antenna that blows up like a balloon brings satellite communications anywhere, anytime.

The New Velcro – A stronger, better grip without the incessant ripping sound. Has a long-standing dream finally been realized?

A New Breed of Mouse – Give your mouse the finger to control your computer in three dimensions

The Flying Belt – Rappel up a wall at an astonishing 10 feet per second with the Atlas Powered Rope Ascender

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