New and Emerging Technology News part 39 ~ NEW GEN TECH LIFE : new generation technology news

Saturday, 25 January 2014

New and Emerging Technology News part 39

The portable VuPoint Solutions Magic Wand A4 color scanner
Taking around four seconds to scan an A4-size document in B&W, this portable wand-type scanner from VuPoint Solutions is designed for copying images from books or documents with thick or fragile spines that don’t allow them to be folded back for placement on a flatbed scanner. It's also useful for scanning pages that are located a long way from your office.  Read More
Hasselblad's new 40 megapixel medium format digital SLR
Following last September's announcement of new 50 megapixel and 60 megapixel H4D medium format cameras, Hasselblad has now announced the immediate availability of the H4D-40 DSLR camera system. The 40 of course signifies the number of megapixels, but the camera also benefits from up to four minute exposure times, faster capture rates and higher ISO ratings as well as an improved auto focus mechanism.  Read More
Robonaut 2 has been designed to work alongside humans - or perform as Hamlet apparently
NASA and General Motors have teamed up to build a new robot dexterous enough to use the same tools as humans, allowing them to work safely alongside humans on Earth or in space. The two organizations aim to develop the next generation of robots and robotic technologies that use leading edge control, sensor and vision technologies, to assist astronauts during hazardous space missions and help GM build safer cars and plants.  Read More
Shelley, the robotic Audi TTS, will attempt to climb the 147-bend Pikes Peak hillclimb wit...
The team at the Center for Automotive Research at Stanford (CARS) are aiming to send a specially-equipped robotic Audi at break-neck speed up the tight bends that lead to Pikes Peak without a driver … something that hasn’t been done before.  Read More
The Infinitas by Schopfer Yachts ... a unique design just waiting to take shape - 300ft lo...
Schöpfer Yachts has launched its second stunning design – the Infinitas – and while at this stage it only appears on paper, we would really love to see this one on the water. Aside from the glass floored "sky-bridge", on-board elevator and front helipad, the standout design element is the carved out stern and mid section, which gives the 300ft (91.5m) yacht its radical dinosaur-skull-like profile.  Read More
The Mantys electric golf vehicle from Leev has a top speed of 11mph, can travel 36 holes b...
To some, golf is a good walk ruined. But why walk when you can ride … get on board the latest mobility offering from Leev – the Mantys. It’s a bit like a four-wheel version of a Segway that holds your golf clubs up front and can go for 36 holes before it needs recharging. Weighing just 88lbs, it folds down to fit in your trunk next to your golf bag. It steers by transferring your weight either left or right, has a top speed of 11mph and can climb most inclines found on a golf course.  Read More
The composite material releasing electrical energy to power a small light (Photo courtesy ...
The problem is clear. Hybrid cars and EVs rely on batteries for power, but batteries are bulky and heavy, causing the car to use up more energy. But what if a car's bodywork was made of a strong, lightweight material that could store and discharge electrical energy just as a conventional battery does? In pursuing this goal, researchers at the Imperial College London are developing a key building block for the hybrid car of the future, and the implications go way beyond automobiles - think wafer thin mobile phones and laptops that don't need a separate battery because they draw power from their casing.  Read More
A mason bee hard at work
Many readers would already be familiar with Colony Collapse Disorder and the mysterious worldwide disappearance of honeybees. Everything from mites to viruses to electromagnetic radiation are suspected as its cause and it is potentially disastrous for crops that rely on the bees for pollination. Well, on a small scale at least, help is on the way - some fruit growers in North America are now turning to the indigenous mason bee as an orchard-pollinator. Not only are mason bees not affected by CCD, but they're better at pollinating than honeybees, you need less of them, and they have a more laidback personality, meaning less of those nasty stings.  Read More
The Paper Jamz guitar, amp and drum kit from WowWee - turns your hyperactive pre-teen into...
Most times when budding rockstars pick up a guitar and start to play for the first time, it sounds like they’re stepping on a cat – well, to everyone else in the room, anyway. If you are the parent of one of these musicians you might want to introduce them to Paper Jamz, an affordable and innovative play instrument that provides an instant rock star experience and open-ended play, say its makers, WowWee Toys. The one-inch thick stringless guitars (slightly thicker drums) are touch-sensitive, which means you only have to the strum or tap the special circuit-embedded paper on the surface to get a professional sound. Rock on!  Read More
iSOCO electronic invoicing exchange could save 30 percent of processing costs
It's a universal problem - one you may be surprised to hear we still face in today's technological age: you send me an invoice with your software, my software can't read it so I waste time and money interpreting it. iSOCO promises to change all that with its new prototype i20nt. This system aspires to become the first to exchange electronic invoices between companies transparently and regardless of their originating format and system, saving up to 30% of the total invoice processing costs.  Read More

TREXA
When we first looked at TREXA's open-source electric vehicle development platform late last month we were impressed by the concept, but one big question remained - how much will it cost? The answer has come sooner than expected with TREXA announcing a base price of US$15,999 for the lithium-powered, modular platform which is designed to facilitate the creation of custom "vehicle apps".  Read More
Willow Garage's PR2 personal robot
Imagine if every time someone wanted to develop a new piece of software, they first had to design and build a computer to run it. Not only would this greatly add to the time and expense required for software development, but it would also mean that all of us consumers would have to own multiple computers. Well, that’s what it’s like in the field of robotics. Because there is no robot-equivalent of the PC or Mac, every time someone wants a robot that can do something new, a new robot has to be built from scratch. Wouldn’t it be easier if there were one standard robotic platform, for which people just designed new hardware or software? Californian robotics company Willow Garage seems to think so, which is why they’re giving ten of their PR2 robots to deserving research organizations.  Read More
The zoomIt dongle connects to an iPhone or iPod Touch via the dock connector
The zoomIt is an SD card reader for an iPhone or iPod Touch that, in conjunction with the zoomIt app, lets users access all iPhone OS 3.0 file types contained on an SD card including photos, music, video and miscellaneous files such as PowerPoint, Excel, Word and PDF files. It also lets users copy files stored on the iPhone or iPod Touch to an SD card without needing to connect to a camera, Mac or PC.  Read More
Liam Ferguson of Monash University has been shortlisted for an Australian Design Award for...
Wildfire is one of the few natural disasters that we are at all equipped to combat, but when it takes a ferocious hold we are often able to do little more than limit the spread. Responding to a need for better equipment at the front line, AMATOYA is a concept fire reconnaissance buggy designed to improve vehicle and crew safety while maintaining off road capabilities and delivering better fire suppression technology in the critical initial response phase  Read More
A young lad tests out the prototype sOccket power-generating soccer ball in a Durban, Sout...
What kid doesn’t like kicking around a soccer ball? Imagine if this fun activity could also provide enough energy to power something useful in a modest off-grid African village, like a reliable light to cook by or an emergency mobile phone. The sOccket is a prototype soccer ball that captures kinetic energy when it is kicked or thrown, stores it in an internal battery and makes that energy available for a myriad of small but useful purposes. In other words, it’s a fun, portable energy-harvesting power source that is designed to take a kicking.  Read More
The Hi-Fido audio speaker
Product designer Matteo Cibic has come up with a very distinctive desktop speaker in the aptly named Hi-Fido. Shaped like a headless dog wearing an Elizabethan collar, Hi-Fido sports a 150-watt speaker that “uses the acoustic properties of ceramic to diffuse the high quality sound with a bass reflex system”.  Read More
Prepeat rewritable printer uses no ink or toner and sheets can be re-printed up to 1000 ti...
Wouldn’t you love a dollar for every time you heard the phrase “paperless office” being bandied about during the 90s? Unfortunately, it just didn’t happen, did it? On the contrary - as computer and printer technology continued to evolve and printing emails or web pages became quicker and easier - paper use rapidly increased. Manufacturers are coming up with some very clever ideas to reduce ink and paper costs. We’ve seen portable printers that use zero-ink technology and now there’s PrePeat – an innovative office printer that not only uses no ink or toner, it reuses paper.  Read More
The new Porsche 911 Turbo S - 530hp, 7-speed paddle-shift gearbox, 0-100kmh in 3.3 seconds...
The timeless beauty of the Porsche 911 range continues with the upcoming release of the new top-of-the-line 911 Turbo S at the Geneva Motor Show (4-14 March). But don’t be deceived by its good looks alone – this new model (the first in five years) has a 30hp increase over the 911 Turbo (up from 500hp to 530hp or 390kW) and maximum torque is rated at 700Nm (516lb-ft). This impressive set of figures are delivered via a six-cylinder “boxer” engine boosted by two turbochargers with variable turbine geometry. The 911 Turbo S reaches 100kmh (62mph) in 3.3 seconds and hits 200kmh (124mph) in 10.8 seconds with a top speed of 315kmh (196mph). Even with its power upgrade, the 911 Turbo S achieves the identical fuel consumption as the regular Porsche 911 Turbo – 24.8mpg (11.4l/100km) which, Porsche says, makes it by far the most efficient in its class.  Read More
iPhone app 'Pollen Radar' gives you the pollen forecast
Japanese company Up-Frontier has developed an iPhone application that will provide a pollen forecast for individuals prone to allergies and hay fever. Through working with the Japan Weather Association and their Weather API, the application can access the latest pollen count on their iPhone.  Read More
UK research has found that cats and dogs are owned by owners with similar characteristics ...
It's been a while since there was a dog and cat census in the UK - about three cat years or twenty human years in fact. They've gone undetected, hidden behind the sofa, curled up in the laundry, and therefore not considered much of a subject for scientific peer-reviewed journals. So for all this time it's escaped our notice that numbers of domestic dogs and cats are increasing, and while cats and dogs are owned by people with similar characteristics, cat owners are more likely to be qualified to degree level.  Read More

EOS Rebel T2i Digital SLR camera with 18 megapixel CMOS sensor and many professional level...
Canon has turned up the heat in the "somewhere between entry level and professional photographer" market with the announcement of its new addition to the EOS family, the Rebel T2i. As well as a new 18 megapixel sensor, the feature and function heavy T2i also includes improved ISO control and better metering, the facility to shoot full HD movies, a brighter 3:2 aspect LCD display and support for SDXC cards.  Read More
The Autonomous Saucier automatically stirs sauce in the pan, freeing you up for other kitc...
If I had to choose a job in a restaurant kitchen, then the saucier or sauce chef would be my last choice. Considered inferior to the sous-chef and head-chef, the saucier is responsible for preparing all the accompanying sauces for meals…making sure they aren’t lumpy, they don’t stick to the pan or worse, burn. I’ve seen enough TV celebrity chefs abusing their kitchen staff to know this is one job I would refuse. However, if I had the Autonomous Saucier at hand - all would be fine. This clever kitchen device automatically stirs your sauce whilst you get on with other food preparation. Pure genius…  Read More
New technology from Sony replaces internal wiring and circuitry with wireless data transfe...
Wireless data transfer speeds in excess of 1Gbps now seem positively slow compared to Sony's recent achievement of 11Gbps, even if the distance is quite, erm, short, at just 14mm. So before you go getting excited about a home network with blistering speeds you should know the technology is actually intended for high speed wireless data transfer inside electronic products to replace complicated wires and internal circuitry.  Read More
Dutch scientists develop home sperm counting device
Anyone who's ever had to drum up the courage to visit a male fertility center will agree that today's process for sperm counting is at best awkward, and at worst embarrassing, messy and intimidating. So if you'll pardon the pun, it will come as a relief to many that a "lab on a chip" device is being developed that can let guys do their own sperm counts at home - avoiding the embarrassment and inconvenience, if not the mess. That's gonna be fun at parties. Warning: uncomfortable anecdote after the jump.  Read More
A low-power sensor system developed at the University of Michigan is 1,000 times smaller t...
Researchers have developed a solar-powered sensor system that is just nine cubic millimeters in size. It is 1,000 times smaller than comparable commercial counterparts and can harvest energy from its surroundings to operate nearly perpetually. The system could enable new biomedical implants as well as building and bridge-monitoring devices. It could also vastly improve the efficiency and cost of current environmental sensor networks designed to detect movement or track air and water quality.  Read More
Jason Petta, an assistant professor of physics, has found a way to alter the property of a...
The superfast computers of tomorrow will likely be able to manipulate individual electrons, harnessing their charge and magnetism to achieve massive data storage and outstanding processing speeds at very low power requirements. But how exactly do you go about manipulating single electrons independently, without affecting the ones nearby? Princeton University's Jason Petta has recently demonstrated a way to do just that in a breakthrough for the field of spintronics that brings faster and low-power number-crunching closer to reality.  Read More
Brando's camera waist holder gives you quick access to your camera so you won't miss the p...
Ever been too slow to capture that perfect photographic moment? Well, with the Camera Waist Block lock – you’ll have instant access to your camera, giving you ample time to make photographic history. Or … you could make like you’re the sheriff in a wild west town and spend all day telling people to “hold it or I’ll shoot!”  Read More
An artificial pancreas system could help safely manage type 1 diabetes in children (Image:...
An artificial pancreas system being developed by scientists at Cambridge in the UK could help safely manage type 1 diabetes in children.The artificial pancreas combines a commercially available continuous glucose monitor and an insulin pump, and uses a sophisticated algorithm which calculates the correct amount of insulin to deliver based on real-time glucose readings.  Read More
The Dog-e-Minder lets you know the last time your pet had a meal, some exercise and its me...
Wondering why your mutt is gaining weight and your pet food bill is going through the roof – even though you’re regularly feeding the dog what you always have? Could it be that someone else in your household is feeding your pet, too, or forgetting to walk your canine pal. And when was the last time your dog had its flea or heart medication? A new, easy-to-use three-button device called the Dog-e-Minder should help solve some of these problems. It attaches to your pet’s collar and shows the last time your dog was fed, walked or had its medication. When idle, the Dog-e-Minder works as a backlit identification tag.  Read More
The Electronic Key Impressioner is a portable device that can reproduce practically any ca...
The Electronic Key Impressioner (EKI) is a portable device that can reproduce practically any car key. It uses a sensor that goes into the lock and sends information back to a computer via USB about the location of the lock's tumblers - a corresponding computer program searches for the code and a key-cutting machine can use it to grind out a key.  Read More
 

 
The Google snowmobile captures some images from Whistler
Google has ripped the camera rig off one of its Street View cars and slung it on a snowmobile to bring slope view to Google Maps. Now web skiers will be able to experience some of the runs the world’s best skiers will be racing down when the Winter Olympics kicks off this week. The slope-level imagery complements new aerial imagery of the Vancouver-Whistler area to give sports fans a different perspective of competition venues and courses.  Read More
Scanning electron micrograph of an artificial neuromast
When you think about it, fish can do some pretty remarkable things. They can find prey in murky water, travel in tightly-packed schools without colliding, they always know what depth they’re at, and they manage to avoid being swept away by invisible underwater currents. They’re able to do all of these things and more thanks to their lateral lines - rows of tiny hair cell clusters that run down each side of their bodies. These clusters, known as neuromasts, pick up on changes in water pressure and transmit that information to the brain. Now, researchers in Illinois have created an artificial lateral line, that could someday be used to keep man-made submersibles out of harm’s way.  Read More
The 40th Anniversary Edition with the 240Z in the background
If you’ve been a sports car enthusiast for any period of time, this article may well make you feel old. The Z car has turned 40, middle aged for a human, but positively geriatric in automotive terms. The Datsun 240Z arrived in North America on October 22, 1969. Sports cars had previously been usually English, could be relied upon to break down regularly enough to become an integral part of your lifestyle and if you could afford to keep one, (accounting for the inflated price and an upkeep cost akin to a heroin habit), wealthy. The 240z sold at a ridiculously proletarian US$3,626, ran as hard as a Porsche and refused to break down, even when used as daily transport. It was a landmark car and did much to democratize sports car ownership. Nissan has created a limited (1000 units only) production 370Z 40th Anniversary Edition, available later this month at US$38,860.  Read More
The Fujifilm FinePix XP10
Fujifilm has announced a host of upcoming digital camera releases, the most notable among them being the FinePix HS10 which packs 30X optical zoom and HD 1080p video at 30fps. The sophisticated bridge camera features a 10MP back-illuminated CMOS sensor with Triple Image Stabilization, can capture up to 10fps at full resolution and offers an impressive choice of shooting modes.  Read More
Ferrari's new 458 selling for US$39,000 above list price
Some of us might have done it tough financially over the last year or so, but you’ll be pleased to know that not everyone is struggling with the mortgage. U.K.’s Glasses Dealer Guide reports that the very pretty new Ferrari 458 Italia is in such demand that fashion-conscious aficionados are competing to bypass the three-year waiting list by paying more than GBP25,000 (US$39,000) above the GBP170,000 (US$265,000) list price.  Read More
Reconvilier Hercules Golf Master ... a watch on one side and distance gauge on the other
Once upon a time, golfers had to be content with tossing a few blades of grass in the air and squinting at a distant green, muttering: "it looks like an easy four iron". Fairway distance markers help, but the arrival of pocket-sized rangefinders and GPS equipped golf watches has been another nail in the coffin of what some purists would call the art of golfing. On the other hand - it's a game that would drive a Zen master raving mad at times, so why not make the most of what technology has to offer ... and why not do it in style? Which brings us to the elegant Reconvilier Hercules Golf Master. This rotating timepiece has two functions - on one side it shows a classic analogue display but when tee-off time comes around, it flips over to show digital measurements of the distance to the front edge or center of the green.  Read More
The all-new Volvo S60 incorporates many technological features - including Pedestrian Dete...
Gizmag has followed the progress of the all-new Volvo S60 from concept stage and now the production version is finally here ... well, just about. The new four-door coupe which features ground-breaking Pedestrian Detection safety technology (including full auto brake) and a choice of two diesel engines (2.4L 205bhp D5 and a 2.0L 163bhp D3) and one petrol engine (an uprated high-performance 3.0L T6 petrol version with 304bhp) will make its debut at the Geneva Motor Show from 2 March. Click through for a look at the technology packed S60 in detail.  Read More
Nanopool's Liquid Glass being applied to a statue at Ataturk's Mausoleum in Turkey
Yep, you read it right, spray-on glass. It could revolutionize the fields of agriculture, medicine, fashion, transportation - really, it would be easier to list where it might not be applicable. The remarkable product, called Liquid Glass, was developed by the German nano-tech firm Nanopool GmbH. Their patented process, known as “SiO2 ultra thin layering” involves extracting silica molecules from quartz sand, adding them to water or ethanol, and then... well, they won’t tell us what they do next, but the end result is a 100 nanometer-thick, clear, flexible, breathable coating that can be applied to almost any surface. We’re told that there are no added nano-particles, resins or additives - the coating is formed using quantum forces. The possible uses are endless.  Read More
The amfibus in action on the River Clyde
Great Britain's first amphibious bus service has hit a slight snag in testing - a component failure halting the Stagecoach Amphibious Bus in its third crossing of the river Clyde between Renfrew and Yoker in Scotland. Proposed as a replacement for a ferry service that's set to close down next month, the "amfibus" is designed to deliver a 'seamless' trip across the Clyde with minimal transition time between its regular coach mode and jet-powered water crossing mode.  Read More

The Tower Skin concept covers outdated buildings in an eco-friendly cocoon
There’s no doubt fashion is fleeting. What might be the height of fashion today is almost certainly the fashion faux pas of tomorrow. Thankfully, clothes and hairstyles are easy to change and we’re not getting around in leg warmers and new romantic bouffants anymore – well most of us aren’t. Unfortunately, it’s not so easy to change the look of a building. What was the pinnacle of architectural design in the '60s is often the eyesore of the skyline today. The Laboratory for Visionary Architecture (LAVA) proposes a simple, cost effective, easily constructed skin that promises to transform dated structures into sustainable and stunning buildings.  Read More
My Pet Speaker is a sound system that eliminates high and low frequencies in music to cate...
Love your music but can’t understand why it sends your cat or dog flying out of the room? Well, apparently it’s because your furry friend hears the high and low frequencies in sounds that the human ear can’t detect – so playing your favorite tunes can really irritate, disturb or even scare your pet. Here’s a clever solution that could soon have you both in auditory heaven - the My Pet Speaker. It reduces the unsettling frequencies of music - so it’s gentle on your pet’s ears - and lets you still enjoy the music you love.  Read More
The DeltaWing, proposed to replace the current IndyCar chassis
Two of four submissions have now been unveiled by the companies wishing to produce the next generation of IndyCar open-wheel racers, and the most recent one is one of the most fascinating looking racecars we've ever seen. The DeltaWing is a radical departure from traditional open-wheeler design - in fact, the only thing you could really compare it to is the bizarre lovechild of a drag racer and a Batmobile. With its comically narrow rocketship front end, broad rear end and narrow tyres, the DeltaWing aims to outperform the current crop of IndyCars for significantly less money, while delivering extraordinary efficiency gains and leaving a clear airstream for following cars, in order to promote close racing and overtaking. But is the public ready for a car that looks... so little like a car?  Read More
Google is planning to roll-out its own ultra high-speed fiber-to-the-home broadband networ...
Google plans to roll-out an experimental trial of an ultra high-speed 1 gigabit per second (1Gbps) fiber-to-the-home (FFTH) broadband service that is around 100 times faster than most Americans experience today. Google says the service will be delivered to a number of cities or communities – 50,000 to 500,000 residents - somewhere of its choosing in the USA in a effort to investigate new ways of making Internet access better and faster for everyone.  Read More
A challenger for the iPad? The X2 iTablet
In what would have to be one of the craftiest marketing ploys seen in recent times, UK company X2 Computing has announced the release of its new tablet PC named – you guessed it - the iTablet. Aiming to give the Apple iPad a run for its money, it features a 1.6GHz Intel processor, 250GB of memory and a 1.3MP webcam, the conveniently named tablet also offers support for Flash and the choice of Windows 7 and Linux operating systems.  Read More
It's a creative lifetime ago since it launched. How did we survive without it?
The pace of change in the last two decades is lost on no-one, but a birthday later this week might serve to remind everyone of the magnitude of the digital renaissance. On February 19, 1990, Adobe sent out its initial batch of 200 copies of Photoshop 1.0. In two decades since, it has transformed the imaging and graphics world and sits on the desktop of than 90% of creative professionals. There are 2,500 English language books with Photoshop in the title, more than 50,000 blogs with Photoshop in the name and almost every computer training facility in the world teaches courses on the subject. Photoshop 1.0 launched into and helped catalyse the DTP revolution and it’s birthday serves as a timely reminder that just word publishing meant “printing on paper” just two decades ago. Happy birthday Adobe!  Read More
Porsche to show 911 GT3 R Mechanical Hybrid race car
Ferdinand Porsche developed the world’s first hybrid car in 1900 and showed the car, the Lohner Mixte, to the public at the Paris Auto Show of 1901. Hence, it is entirely appropriate that Porsche should introduce the hybrid drive to production-based GT racing. One hundred and nine years after that Paris debut, the Porsche 911 GT3 R with hybrid drive will debut at the Geneva Motor Show. Remarkably, the two 60 kW electric motors on the front axle drive are not supplied their energy by conventional chemical batteries, but by an electrical flywheel power generator originally developed the AT&T Williams F1 team.
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The ErgoMotion Keyboard and Laser Mouse from SmartFish
The ErgoMotion keyboard doesn't look that different to a few other ergonomically designed models out there, but it is. The keyboard is powered to change the angle, up and down, which prevents the user from typing at the one angle for hours on end and is designed to reduce repetition injuries to the arm, shoulder, wrist and hands. If you're one of those people who never remembers to alter their typing position, the keyboard is pre-programmed to alter its angle so you don't have to. SmartFish recently spoke to Gizmag about the powered keyboard and its other ergonomic offering - the tilting mouse.  Read More
Japan's two-second folding bicycle
While folding bicycles have been around for a while now, this new variation can be folded with a swiftness and elegance never seen before. The 2-second slide-folding bicycle was designed to be folded quickly while you are walking. Once folded, the rider can push the bicycle along with ease much like one would push a wheel-barrow.  Read More
 

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