New and Emerging Technology News part 51 ~ NEW GEN TECH LIFE : new generation technology news

Saturday, 25 January 2014

New and Emerging Technology News part 51

MIT researchers have created a virus-templated catalyst solution used to harness energy fr...
A team of MIT researchers has managed to mimic the photosynthetic process in plants by engineering M13, a simple and harmless virus, to help splitting water into its two atomic components, hydrogen and oxygen, using sunlight. The researchers hope this is the first step toward using sunlight to create hydrogen reserves that could then be used to generate electricity or even produce liquid fuels for transportation.  Read More
Two of the microchannel hot water heat sinks, on a server blade from IBM/ETH's Aquasar sup...
It’s easy to think of the Internet as something that’s just “out there” in cyberspace, that doesn’t effect the physical world in any tangible way. In 2009, however, it was estimated that Internet data centers worldwide consumed about 2% of global electricity production. Not only did most of that electricity undoubtedly come from non-green sources, but it also cost the global economy approximately 30 billion US dollars. Much of the electricity was needed to power the data centers’ forced air cooling systems, that keep the servers from overheating. Now, researchers from IBM Zurich and the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Zurich (ETH) have devised a much more efficient method for cooling the steamy Internet - they use hot water.  Read More
Kisai Escape C
Hands-free calling using Bluetooth earpieces has become - shall we say - controversial over the years, as we've all seen that annoying guy at Starbucks trying to close the deal as he orders his cappuccino. But the latest receiver from Tokyo Flash, the Kisai Escape C, might just have enough features to offset the Bluetooth douche-factor.  Read More
Robonaut 2 can use the same tools as ISS crew members
For decades boys and girls have dreamed of becoming astronauts when they grow up. Now young assembly-line robots and claw vending machines can share the same dream with news that NASA plans to send Robonaut 2 (R2) into space. R2 will be the first human-like robot in space when it is launched on the shuttle Discovery later this year to become a permanent resident of the International Space Station (ISS).  Read More
Nanoparticles suspended in a microemulsion can be easily separated when heated
Nanoparticles may be small, but they sure ain’t cheap - ounce for ounce some of them are more precious than gold. Which is why scientists are seeking better ways to recover, recycle, and reuse the tiny particles that are barely 1/50,000th the width of a human hair. A new method to recover these valuable specks using a special type of microemulsion may make such recovery efforts easier and speed the application of nanotechnology in a variety of fields.  Read More
Elgato's Netstream stream digital TV wirelessly over a home network
German-based company Elgato is well known for its range of digital television tuners that turn a Mac (and more recently a Windows PC) into a fully-fledged PVR/TV as well as its easy-to-use EyeTV software that has become the standard for Mac-based PVR functionality. Released in February, the EyeTV Netstream DTT is the latest bit of hardware to join Elgato’s venerable line of hardware that lets users go mobile by streaming digital television or recorded programs over a wireless home network. We took a unit through its paces to see if it lives up to Elgato’s previous offerings.  Read More
Danielle Zurovcik SM '07 demonstrates how to use the negative pressure pump to seal an arm...
For some reason, and nobody knows exactly why, the healing process for open wounds can be sped up by applying suction to them under a tightly-sealed bandage. The negative pressure this creates has been benefiting patients for decades but because mechanical pumps are expensive and they need a constant electricity supply the technology is not readily available, often where it is needed most – in the developing world. A newly developed basic negative pressure pump that doesn’t require electricity, is cheap to manufacture, lightweight to transport and can be left in place for days could change that.  Read More
The 3rd Space FPS Gaming Vest uses pneumatic air pockets to simulate physical blows when g...
Seeing as we recently told you about the stunningly-goofy HaptiHug, which allows you to receive the physical sensation of a hug via your computer, here’s a similar but much more macho product – the 3rd Space FPS Gaming Vest. With its game-activated internal pneumatic pockets, the FPS has no interest in hugging you, but it will gladly simulate a gunshot to your torso.  Read More
The Polar CS500 cycling computer features a large screen and rocker switch operation
If you’re a racing cyclist, barreling down the side of the highway at 30mph, what do you not want to be doing? Stabbing at your bike computer's little buttons, or squinting at its little displays, that’s what! Or at least, that’s what the folks over at Polar think. That’s why they’ve designed their latest cycling computer, the CS500, with a couple of unique features – an oversized LCD display, and for the first time on a cycling computer, a rocker switch.  Read More
The gobandit GPS-enabled action video camera
There was a time when budget actioncams (or helmetcams, or whatever you want to call them) were limited to just one or two models. Now the options abound, with manufacturers adding special features to set their cameras apart from the rest. We’ve seen actioncams with laser-assisted alignment, extra-wide lenses and anti-glare LCD screens, just to name a few. With the gobandit GPSHD, we’re about to see a camera that offers something else yet - a recorded onscreen display of the location, altitude and speed at which your footage was shot.  Read More

Citroen Metropolis plug-in hybrid-limousine concept
Not so long ago the notion of an eco-friendly vehicle meant small, boxy and decidedly uncool. But the push towards hybrid and electric vehicles in recent times has changed all that - if supercars can be hybrids, why not limousines? Citroën’s international design team has created the Metropolis plug-in hybrid-limousine concept for the Shanghai World Fair. The imposing 5.3m long by 2m wide by 1.4m high vehicle produces impressively low CO2 emissions of just 70g/km via a 2-liter, V6 petrol engine and an electric motor developing 70kW at its peak.  Read More
Vision Research's new Phantom Flex digital high-speed video camera
High-speed photography specialist Vision Research has unleashed its next-gen video camera - the Phantom Flex. The unit is billed as the world’s most flexible digital cinema camera and it's no idle boast - the specs speak for themselves. Packing a four mega-pixel color CMOS sensor, the Phantom Flex captures a maximum resolution of 2560x1600 shooting at 1,560 frames-per-second (fps) which can be increased to 2,800 when you step the resolution down to full-HD (1920x1080). At 720p HD resolution the maximum recording speed hits 6,100 fps, at 640x480 it's a whopping 13,000 fps and if you really want to trade in resolution for speed, try 330,000 fps at 256 x 8. Clearly this is a serious a weapon for capturing slow motion footage.  Read More
The ZEV7000 - the world's fastest production electric scooter?
American manufacturer ZEV has issued a fairly blunt challenge to other electric motorcycle manufacturers such as Vectrix, Zero Motorcycles and Brammo, by claiming to have the fastest and most powerful production electric scooter on the market in its US$7237 ZEV7000. "We tell them to bring their street legal production bike and to bring their betting money. There can be only one "fastest" street legal production electric motor scooter or bike in the world."  Read More
The Hyper-Sub is at home both above and below the waves
If you’re still a little strapped for cash and can’t afford a powerboat and a submarine, then you might want to consider this cross between the two - the Hyper-Sub. On top of the water it boasts speeds of 40 knots with a range of 500 surface miles thanks to twin 440 horsepower inboard Yanmar diesel engines and a 525-gallon fuel tank, while underwater it can dive to depths of 250 feet using an electric over hydraulic self-recharging dive system.  Read More
Bang & Olufsen's BeoLab-11 uses two opposing drivers to take advantage of the Acoustic Bal...
Bang & Olufsen has added some serious bottom-end to its speaker line-up with the BeoLab 11 subwoofer. Sporting a small footprint and typically slick design, the tulip-shaped BeoLab 11 unit uses two opposing drivers to take advantage of the "Acoustic Balance Principle" - a first for B&O in subwoofer design.  Read More
NIST researchers have developed a new method of detecting minute traces of chemical compou...
We certainly like our chicken. According to USDA statistics, Americans ate around 84 pounds of chicken each during 2008, triple the amount eaten in 1960. Poultry production is clearly a huge industry, and one that's set to benefit from a new technology being developed at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) which detects minute traces of chemical compounds that indicate spoilage. The goal is to give industry a fast, cost effective method of identifying foul fowl without damaging the product itself... and ultimately keeping consumers safe.  Read More
Neural electrode array wrapped onto a model of the brain after dissolution of a thin, supp...
The same team responsible for the development of a flexible silicon device that wraps around a heart to record its electrical activity has now developed a brain implant that essentially melts into place, snugly fitting to the brain's surface. Such ultrathin flexible implants, made partly from silk, can record brain activity more faithfully than thicker implants embedded with similar electronics and could pave the way for better devices to monitor and control seizures, and to transmit signals from the brain past damaged parts of the spinal cord.  Read More
Smart Energy Glass has three modes - dark, privacy, and light
While the idea of using photovoltaic technology in windows to harvest sunlight for conversion to energy is not new, Smart Energy Glass (SEG) is taking a slightly different approach with a solar window that can be darkened or lightened for comfort and convenience.  Read More
Crowne Plaza Copenhagen Towers has installed install two electricity-producing bicycles wh...
If you find yourself in an expensive hotel without the funds to cover that three-course seafood buffet you've just demolished, you may not be led to the back of the kitchen to scrub pots and pans after all... you could be off to the gym instead. Crowne Plaza Copenhagen Towers has installed two electricity-producing bicycles which are connected to the hotel's main electricity supply. Guests who pedal hard enough not only get a dose of environmental feel-goodness, but can also score a complimentary meal.  Read More
Carl Zeiss introduces dedicated cine lenses for Canon and Nikon DSLRs
With the trend for digital SLRs to include additional video capture it was only a matter of time before dedicated prime and zoom cine lenses were offered to hybrid photographers and videographers. At the NAB Show in Las Vegas this week, Carl Zeiss introduced an entire new range of cine lenses, set for launch in June. As well as being designed especially for DSLRs, all forthcoming lens models will be available with interchangeable Canon EF, Nikon F and Arri PL mounts.  Read More

Researchers have found a way to make leafy greens even healthier by exposing them to short...
We all know we should eat our greens because they're good for us. Lithuanian researchers have found a way to make them even healthier by exposing them to short-term light treatment with a solid-state illuminator, reducing harmful nitrate concentration by 44% - 65% and boosting nutritional value.  Read More
Bruce Rosenbaum alongside his latest creation, the Victorian Organ Command Desk
Bruce and Melanie Rosenbaum share a passion for Victorian high design but also enjoy all that modern technology has to offer. Happily both needs have been met by applying some Steampunk design principles to authentic or reproduction period furniture and appliances. The latest in an impressive line of projects to be completed by the couple has merged a reclaimed pipe organ with modern computer technology to produce the utterly gorgeous Victorian Organ Command Desk.  Read More
The ouroborand molecule and its namesake, the Ouroborus
The Ouroboros is an ancient symbol, which depicts a serpent or dragon curled in a circle, swallowing its own tail. Chemists at The Scripps Research Institute (TSRI) in California have now created a nano-tool, that they named after the curious beasty. Their ouroborand molecular switch looks kind of like the Ouroboros, in that its tail coils up and around into its cup-like head. Unlike the reptile, however, the molecule could be used to detect metals, toxins, and other pollutants in our environment.  Read More
Mercedes' refined and practical Shooting Break Concept
Mercedes is to show an interesting four-door coupe concept car at the world's most important motor show, Auto China 2010. Dubbed the “Shooting Break Concept”, it's part Estate Car and part sports car with extra luggage. It has a sloping tail end, highly practical interior layout and 306 bhp direct injection V6 petrol engine. For all the innovation, it's the machine's dynamic full LED headlamps, due for series production this year, which are the stars. The Intelligent Light System has five functions – country lights, motorway lights, enhanced fog lights, active curve lights and cornering lights – and combines LED technology with Adaptive Highbeam Assist for the first time, leading to a completely new level of safety at night.  Read More
The Austal 102 Trimaran has impressed during sea trials
After first leaving terra firma in December 2009, Austal's next-gen 102-meter trimaran is now nearing completion. The company says the vessel has impressed during sea trials this year, achieving a speed of 39 knots at 90% MCR (maximum continuous rating) with 340 tonnes deadweight.  Read More
Garmin nuvi 3700 series personal navigators
Garmin has announced slick new additions to its nüvi line of personal navigation devices with its 3700 series. Available in three models - the nüvi 3760T, nüvi 3750 and flagship nüvi 3790T, the slender units are just 9mm thick and feature a 800 x 480 pixel, 4.3” WVGA glass display with capacitive multi-touch functionality that lets users zoom in and out of maps by double-tapping or pinching.  Read More
Chobi Cam is the new king of miniature cameras
Not unlike the Mini-digi which we covered a few weeks back, the Chobi Cam from Japan Trust Technologies gives you the power to shoot photos and videos using a device no bigger than an eraser. Even smaller than the Mini-Digi (2.5 x 1.8 x 1.2 inches), the Chobi Cam measures a miniscule 1.7 x 1.1 x 0.5 inches and weighs only half an ounce.  Read More
Gizmodo has been closely examining what it believes is the next iPhone.
Apple's notoriously tight secrecy ahead of product launches seems to have been undermined with a stray prototype of what appears to be the next iPhone falling into the eager hands of Gizmodo. It's been carefully pulled-apart, pored-over and examined from every angle, and the folks over at Gizmodo are convinced that it's the real thing. So what can we expect?  Read More
The Panoptes platform will support tiny cave cameras and iris recognition technology suita...
Researchers at the Southern Methodist University (SMU) in Dallas are developing new miniature camera technology and an iris recognition application built on a high-resolution, light and compact platform known as Panoptes. The technology is designed to help the military and border patrol to track combatants in dark caves or alleys and airport security personnel to quickly and unobtrusively identify a subject from an iris scan.  Read More

SkyJump - 855-foot controlled free-fall at 40mph
If you've ever been to Las Vegas you'll probably be familiar with Stratosphere, the 1,149-foot-tall hotel and casino that towers above the famous Strip. If you're the adventurous type, you'd also know there's some fun to be had at the top in the form of three hair-raising amusement rides. Now there's a fourth. Claiming the title of the world's highest commercial decelerated descent, the SkyJump takes thrill-seekers on an 855-foot "controlled free-fall" at 40mph - think base jumping, but with a safety wire.  Read More
Ubisoft is going green by replacing printed game manuals with digital in-game manuals
It might not exactly be a revolutionary idea, but we think Ubisoft should be commended for announcing it is doing its bit for the environment by eliminating paper game manuals for its PC, Xbox 360 and PS3 video games. The paper numbers will be replaced with in-game digital manuals for all games that will also make it easier for gamers to access game information, as well as providing gamers with a manual that won’t get lost or ripped to shreds by the family pet.  Read More
Activeion's ionator products use tap water to disinfect and clean surfaces
We know it’s bad news for the environment (and our health) to use cleaning products that contain nasty chemicals, but until now, there have not been a lot of viable alternatives. Enter the Activeion ionator – it’s a cleaning product that transforms humble tap water into a super-powered, germ-destroying, dirt-removing dynamo – with absolutely no chemicals. That’s good news for your family, your pets and the environment.  Read More
NEC's prototype 3D all-in-one PC is demoed in Japan
There have been a few companies that have previously tested the 3D PC waters and found the market lacking – presumably due to the lack of 3D content. But with the major TV manufacturers generating lots of interest in 3D TV among consumers and more 3D content starting to appear NEC is ready to try its hand again with the announcement of a 3D all-in-one desktop PC to be released before the end of the year.  Read More
Air travellers will soon have an easy way to asses their risk of thrombosis
Each year, around 80,000 people in Germany become seriously ill from occlusions of veins caused by blood clots. Such thromboses can cause pulmonary embolism or even heart attacks. Air travel is recognized as a risk factor for deep vein thrombosis with evidence showing the wearing of compression socks or tights while traveling reduces the incidence of thrombosis in people on long flights. However many people don’t wear such items as they don’t realize they may be at risk. A new fast and easy test of the risk of travel-related thrombosis will soon be possible – and all airline passengers will have to relinquish is one drop of blood.  Read More
What technologies that will change the World (Photo: Stephan Uhlmann, CC license)
Here we are in the Information Age. Never before has the flow of ideas, innovation and new technologies been so strong, so much so that it's hard to imagine what the world will be like in 10, 20 or 50 years time. So which of today's fledgling technologies will have a fundamental impact on the way we live our lives in the future? MIT’s Technology Review has turned its attention to this question with the release of its annual list of 10 emerging technologies and it makes thought provoking reading.  Read More
Bart Chadwick checks the condition in laboratory microbial fuel cells that may revolutioni...
It is estimated there are approximately five nonillion (that’s 5x10 to the power of 30) bacteria on Earth, and although they generally get a bad rap, there are actually many beneficial bacteria that are vital to life on our planet. As we’ve seen previously, scientists are now looking to harness bacteria to produce electricity through microbial fuel cells. These microbial fuel cells (MFCs) convert chemical energy to electrical energy to offer a clean, efficient and reliable alternative to batteries and other environmentally harmful fuels. Recognizing their potential the Office of Naval Research (ONR) has developed an MFC that could revolutionize naval energy use by converting decomposed marine organisms into electricity.  Read More
The Attach-a-tag can label clothes in seconds.
The Attach-a-tag is a clever way to label clothes. It consists of an applicator and a small button (or tag) that is laser-etched with the garment owner’s name. The tag is attached to a seam or brand label by the ergonomic hand-held applicator using a push and twist movement. The laser-etching is clear, resists fading and wear and can withstand industrial washing temperatures and dry cleaning. The tags can also be easily removed if the clothing is worn out or if your child has a (another!) growth spurt.  Read More
Sprout watches are reportedly 80-86% eco-friendly by weight
Sporting a Rolex watch is certainly an effective way of showing off your wealth, but what if you want to show off your environmental consciousness? What timepiece would let you do that? It would have to be something that incorporates low-impact, sustainable and biodegradable materials, that doesn’t contain hazardous substances, and that supports recycling. A good “green” name would help too… a name like Sprout.  Read More
Winscape - Living under the sea (virtually)
Ever wanted to feel like you live on the moon? Or imagined your house at the bottom of the sea? The Winscape application from Rational Craft will turn two plasma TVs into virtual windows and give you a realistic interactive view of Earth from space, an underwater aquarium, or simply footage of the Golden Gate Bridge as you move around the room.  Read More
The new version of Subaru's automotive stereoscopic Eyesight system
Driving is a sight-response game and as the line between robots and cars begins to blur, cars will develop ever more advanced vision systems. Subaru began fitting a stereoscopic “EyeSight” system to some Japanese market cars nearly two years ago and has just announced a major upgrade. It's reportedly a major improvement, but it's worth thinking about the issues associated with becoming reliant upon systems which take over the responsibility for driving your car.  Read More
SmallHD DP-SLR external monitor for DSLRs
No matter how big Nikon and Canon make their rear body LCDs, you can never quite beat the control you have when shooting tethered. SmallHD’s DP-SLR external monitor for DSLRs offers up a good solution for previewing 1280 x 800 resolution images on a hotshoe-mountable, hand-sized screen which boasts the title of the world’s smallest HD monitor. Priced at US$1199 for the model with all the bells and whistles, it will also be available without the 3G/HD/SDI inputs to keep the cost down to $899.  Read More
A stylized image depicting a sound bullet superposed onto a brain MRI (Image: Spadoni & Da...
Researchers at the California Institute of Technology (Caltech) have built a device that produces highly focused, high-amplitude acoustic signals dubbed "sound bullets." Called a nonlinear acoustic lens, the device could produce acoustic images superior to conventional medical ultrasound imaging, probe for damage in the interior of nontransparent objects like bridges, ship hulls, and airplane wings, and be used to develop non-invasive scalpels – although there’s no word on whether it will enable the development of sonic screwdrivers.  Read More
The sensor-transponder system Fraunhofer researchers say delivers an early warning of dang...
According to the Neil Young album title, rust never sleeps. In construction, rust damage can be insidious – especially in infrastructure like concrete bridges where rust can have fatal consequences if the steel in bridges fails. But detecting rust before it’s too late has been an ongoing challenge for engineers and scientists. Experts at the Fraunhofer Institute for Microelectronic Circuits and Systems IMS have developed an early-warning system for rust. By installing sensor-transponders into in the concrete to measure the extent of corrosion, engineers are being given a vital heads-up.  Read More
The roll-n-cage (RNC) is an anti-vibration device that is designed to sit between the buil...
With the devastation in Haiti still fresh in our everyone’s minds a team at the Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya (UPC) is working on a system to better protect buildings, infrastructure and sensitive equipment from seismic activity. The roll-n-cage (RNC) is an anti-vibration device that is positioned between the building and the ground so that when the ground moves, the supported building doesn’t.  Read More
The new US$100 note
The U.S. Government has unveiled the new design for the $100 note. Due to enter circulation on February 10, 2011, the note includes two new security features to combat counterfeiting - a blue 3-D Security Ribbon and a "Bell in the Inkwell" which changes color from copper to green when the note is tilted.  Read More
More details have been released about the forthcoming Bluetooth v4.0
The Bluetooth Special Interest Group (SIG) has unveiled more information about its forthcoming Bluetooth Core Specification 4.0 that is expected to start appearing in devices late this year or early in 2011. Central to the new spec, which will replace the Bluetooth v3.0 + HS standard that was officially adopted on April 21, 2009, is a low energy mode designed to enable the expansion of Bluetooth technology into a range of low power devices, such as watches, remote controls, and a variety of medical and in-home sensors.  Read More
The Mint Automatic Floor Cleaner in its native habitat
Robot floor cleaners designed to free us from the drudgery of keeping the house clean are nothing new. Robotic vacuum cleaners, such as the Roomba, Electrolux Trilobite and Neato XV-11, have already found a place patrolling the carpet in many homes, and now the Mint Automatic Floor Cleaner that was first announced at CES in January is nearly ready to report for duty on hard surface floors.  Read More
MiLi Power Skin for iPhone
MiLi has added to its iPhone accessory line-up with the release of what it bills as the "world’s thinnest external battery and protective case for iPhone 3G and 3GS." The slender MiLi Power Skin has a 1,200 mAH battery capacity which can provide up to double the battery life of the iPhone, a pass-through USB/mini-USB for syncing and charging without removing the case and is designed to be easily removed for docking.  Read More
Cornell's study indicates that experiences tend to result in more happiness than material ...
They say money can't buy you happiness, but if your money is spent on 'experiential purchases' and not consumer goods, then perhaps it can. Research from Cornell University has found that spending money on material goods only brings short term happiness, while experiences provide greater satisfaction long term.  Read More



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