New and Emerging Technology News part 52 ~ NEW GEN TECH LIFE : new generation technology news

Saturday, 25 January 2014

New and Emerging Technology News part 52

Volkswagen's Milano Taxi Electric Vehicle concept
The era of the electric vehicle is drawing nearer (albeit excruciatingly slowly) and with Volkswagen set to get its first EV into showrooms in 2013, its latest EV concept indicates how the world's third largest auto maker is reading the market. Dubbed the Milano Taxi, the concept is a long overdue shot at getting a purpose-built electric cab into major cities. The 115 PS vehicle can reach 74 mph, travel 186 miles between charges and be recharged to 80 percent of capacity in just over an hour.  Read More
A full-disk multiwavelength extreme ultraviolet image of the sun taken by SDO with false c...
Although we do know some things about the Sun - it's big and hot for example - in many ways it remains a great mystery to scientists. In a bid to shed some more light on our closest star, NASA launched its most advanced spacecraft ever designed to study the Sun in February this year. The goal of the the Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO) is to help us understand where the Sun's energy comes from, explore its inner workings, and learn more about how energy is stored and released in the Sun's atmosphere. A nice side benefit will also be the capture of stunning images – the first of which have just been released.  Read More
The prototype for the compact, lightweight lensless microscope developed at UCLA (Image: O...
Making use of novel lensless imaging technology, a UCLA engineer has invented the world’s smallest, lightest telemedicine microscope. The self-contained device could radically transform global health care – particularly in Third World countries – with its ability to image blood samples or other fluids. It can even be used to test water quality in the field following a disaster like a hurricane or earthquake.  Read More
StudioDosi's design is wraped in a  layer of climbing vegetation
This beautiful architectural proposal from Italian firm StudioDosi is as green as it looks. Submitted in a competition to design a new headquarters for the Province of Parma in Italy's north, the public office space features a double glazed inner skin wrapped in an exoskeleton of "climbing vegetable stripes" which allows natural light to enter the building and boosts ventilation.  Read More
Alcatel-Lucent has boosted the transmission speeds available over existing copper infrastr...
In an ideal world we would all access the Internet over fiber optic cables that reach right up to the front door to deliver blisteringly fast transmission speeds. Unfortunately, we don’t live in an ideal world and many of us are forced to rely on aging copper network infrastructure. Now, Alcatel-Lucent’s Bell Labs has demonstrated technology that boosts the transmission speeds over two copper pairs to 100Mbps over a distance of 1km. This could see such infrastructure given a new lease of life, satisfying consumer’s need for speed for some time to come.  Read More
The Fraunhofer wheel hub motor on the 'Frecc0' demo vehicle (Image: Fraunhofer IFAM)
With the internal combustion engine dictating vehicle design for over a century the move towards electric vehicles offers manufacturers the chance to completely rethink vehicle design. However, it also presents manufacturers with a whole new set of problems to be overcome. To facilitate the transition to electric cars, researchers at Franhofer-Gesellschaft are constructing an electrically operated demonstration vehicle, the “Frecc0,” which will serve as a scientific integration platform for automobile manufacturers and suppliers to test new electric vehicle components.  Read More
Review: HTC Desire vs Sony Ericsson Xperia X10
It wasn't too long ago that choosing an Android phone came down to whether you wanted a physical keyboard (HTC G1/Dream) or not (HTC Magic). With increasing Android adoption from carriers and handset manufacturers, making the same decision in 2010 is a lot harder. We've put two of the latest Android phones, the HTC Desire and the Sony Ericsson Xperia X10, head to head in our latest versus review - read on for the details.  Read More
3R's A200 is a microscope in your pocket
At the Printable Electronics Exhibition in Tokyo, 3R Systems was showing off their newest model of pocket microscope, the A200. Unlike the previous Vitiny model, which shot at 300,000 pixels, the A200 has a 2 megapixel (2,000,000) CMOS sensor and kicks out images of about 1600 x 1200 pixels.  Read More
Pedego electric bikes are styled after classic beach cruisers
With gas prices climbing and environmental concerns mounting, electric bicycles are becoming more popular than ever. Cycling purists might see them as a bit of an abomination, but look at it this way: they’re really just less-expensive electric scooters, that give you the option of pedaling. Given that there are already a number of brands to choose from, what can a company do to separate their product from the pack? In the case of California-based Pedego, they make retro-funky beach cruisers in a rainbow of colors.  Read More
An early version of OSR's autonomous Hull BUG robot
Barnacles might seem to be a traditional, almost quaint accoutrement of sea-going vessels, but they’re actually a serious problem. The buildup of marine organisms on a ship’s hull, known as biofouling, can reduce its speed by up to 10 percent. To compensate for the drag, the ship may have to use as much as 40 percent more fuel. Ships have to be lifted into drydock for the removal of barnacles, and sometimes toxic hull coatings are used to prevent them from colonizing. Hopefully, a new innovation may make both of those approaches unnecessary - it’s an autonomous hull-cleaning robot.  Read More

Technical Image Press Association names photography award winners for 2010
The TIPA Awards have been run and won for 2010, meaning potential purchasers can make informed purchasing decisions backed by the collective opinions of 28 international photographic magazine editors. The big winners in the DSLR categories were the Nikon D3s (Professional) Canon EOS 7D (Expert), Canon EOS 550D (Advanced) and Pentax K-x (Entry). The Fuji FinePix HS10 took out best Superzoom, while Compact category winners included the Casio Exilim EX-G1 (Rugged Compact), Canon PowerShot G11 (Expert Compact) and Sony Cyber-shot DSC-HX5V (Best Compact). Significantly, the Best Expert Camcorder was…  Read More
The Husqvarna DXR 140 demolition robot and its Bluetooth remote control
When it comes to red-blooded boys toys, Husqvarna's latest demolition robot takes the cake. Husqvarna is in the process of releasing a series of new remote-control demolition robots, beginning with the introduction of the 22 kW DXR310 weighing 1900 kg in late 2009, followed by the smaller 1620 kg DXR 250 in January. The 250 comes standard with 18.5 kilowatts, but there is also a 22 kW option. Now comes the diminutive 960 kg DXR 140 which can be optioned up to 15 kW, yet is only 77 cm wide, meaning it can pass through most doorways, fits in a lift or on a standard trailer or on the back of a utility… and the easy-to-use Bluetooth remote control makes it an absolute breeze to smash just about anything you can think of.  Read More
The CODA electric sedan with a range of between 90 and 120 miles, a top speed of 80mph, AB...
Electric transport is on the way, of that there is little doubt. While some of the big players in the automotive pond tentatively test the waters, smaller fish are looking to step in and clean up. One such company in the U.S. has announced plans to kick start the mass adoption of electric vehicles and get its sedan electric car into the eagerly waiting hands of Californian drivers by the end of this year. The CODA car benefits from a purpose-built automotive battery system, a range of between 90 and 120 miles between charges and a top speed of 80mph.  Read More
Carbon nanotubes could be used to create a  bionic sense of touch (Photo: Mstroeck)
The human body is an amazingly complex bit of kit. Replicating it with bionic technology presents challenges on many fronts, including the formidable task of mimicking our sense of touch. This goal could now be a little closer thanks to a breakthrough in carbon nanotube processing by scientists at Oak Ridge National Laboratory. Borrowing from conventional methods of making glass fiber, the researchers managed to cram 19,600 individual carbon nanotube-containing channels into fibers just four times thicker than a human hair, putting the artificial structure on a scale similar to the tiny neural bundles that make up our nerve pathways.  Read More
Mazda i-stop engine-idling-stop system wins another major award
Mazda's innovative i-stop engine-idling-stop system has won yet another award, this time at the lchimura Industrial Awards. While idling stop systems are now becoming commonplace due to the approximate 10% fuel savings they offer, conventional engine stop systems rely on a motor to restart the engine, whereas Mazda's i-stop restarts the engine through combustion: fuel is directly injected into a cylinder while the engine is stopped and ignited to generate downward piston force. Mazda's use of principles unique to the direct injection spark ignition (DISI) engine restarts the engine in just 0.35 seconds, about half the time of most other competing systems, while minimizing noise and vibration and drain on the batteries.  Read More
Thanko's full-size USB keyboard folds to fit your pocket
Here's another USB gem from Japanese gadget giant Thanko. Its full-size USB keyboard is broken into four connected quarter segments, allowing it to be folded over into a pocket-size rectangular shape. With the growing popularity of portable notebooks and tablets with smaller, cramped keyboards, having a full-size keyboard like this to tote around in your pocket might be a nice complement.  Read More
Samsung Restore - 84% recycled cell phone
Even the most passionate of eco-warriors must find it hard to get by without a cell phone. Thankfully, with more eco-friendly models appearing on the market there are options for those who shop with a conscience. Building on the success of last year’s Reclaim model Samsung has managed to form its forthcoming Restore cell phone out of 84 percent recyclable materials. Launching in the summer this device will be available only from Sprint (priced from US$49.99).  Read More
The bobble reusable water bottle features an activated carbon filter
Bottled water might seem like a very innocuous, ecologically-friendly beverage, but it does have its dark side – it has been estimated that 1.5 million barrels of oil are used annually for the production of one-use water bottles. About 38 million of those get tossed out each year. True, many of them go to recycling facilities, but those facilities aren’t exactly carbon footprint-free themselves. Then of course, there’s also the whole matter of wondering if you’re a sucker for paying to drink what is likely just filtered tap water. That’s where the bobble water bottle comes in. You just fill it from the faucet, and it filters the water as you drink.  Read More
Clockwise from top left: P120 Fighter, F131 Hellcat, C3 motor, and B120 Wraith
We have developed a fondness for delightfully eccentric companies here at Gizmag, and the Confederate Motor Company is about as avant-garde as it's possible to be. The company is just about to release its fourth motorcycle, and indications suggest a landmark vibration-canceling technology is on the cards for its new big V-twin. No images have been released of the complete bike, but it is expected to be as visually challenging as its predecessors (pictured). The X132 Hellcat will use a new motor (also pictured) developed in collaboration with S&S Cycle and you can see quite clearly that there's some considerable space been devoted to the "revolutionary" engine mounting system.  Read More
TreeFrog copier paper is made entirely from sugar cane waste and salvaged bamboo (Photos: ...
It’s no secret that paper production and deforestation go hand-in-hand. Long before we ever knew of the evils of styrofoam cups, drift-net fishing, or any of a thousand other ecological no-no’s, we knew that using paper meant killing trees. Recycled paper is a step in the right direction, but it still involves the harvesting of trees early in the process. Now, however, TreeZero paper products is offering up TreeFrog copier paper - it’s made with absolutely no wood fiber, just sugar cane and bamboo.  Read More

Speaks4me allows a user with severe learning disabilities to create audio phrases using dr...
A few years ago, while searching for a suitable product to help his severely autistic son Callum adequately express himself, speaks4me creator Steven Lodge came up with the idea for a computer-based interactive communication tool based on a successful and popular autistic learning system, but the technology to support the idea was not readily available. That's now changed.  Read More
Bulletproof vests are built for safety, not for comfort, but breakthrough research from the University of South Carolina suggests soldiers and law enforcement officers of the future might be more casually dressed. The scientists have taken an everyday T-shirt and reinforced it with the boron carbide – an extremely hard ceramic used in bullet proof vests and tanks – to produce a UV protective, lightweight and flexible body armor solution.  Read More
The 12x superzoom Leica V-Lux 20 12.1 megapixel compact camera
German camera specialist Leica has announced its first compact superzoom in the form of the 12.1 megapixel V-Lux 20. The new addition to the Leica family not only benefits from 12x optical zoom and 720p HD video capabilities but also features built-in GPS tagging for recording the exact geographical location of each snap taken.  Read More
ZAP, Santa Rosa, California (Electric
The pick of the world's most fuel efficient vehicles are lining-up at the Michigan International Speedway this week for stage one of the $10 million Automotive X PRIZE. Thirty-six entrants are are taking part in the initial "Shakedown Stage" (April 26-May 7), where they will undergo official safety checks before hitting the track for final testing and an opportunity to iron-out any last minute bugs.  Read More
Cypress Semiconductor TrueTouch technology now includes hover support
Cypress Semiconductor has enhanced its TrueTouch touchscreen solution so that hovering a finger over a capacitive display mimics mouseover functionality. The new technology could be used to magnify sections of a small touchscreen prior to activation by touch.  Read More
1894 Hildebrand & Wolfmuller - world’s first production motorcycle sells for GBP86,200
The rare appearance of an 1894 Hildebrand & Wolfm├╝ller on the auction block on April 25 caused considerable excitement across the world in the preceding months. Gizmag covered the history and heritage of the machine in great detail prior to the auction and we're not surprised that a far-from-pristine example of the world's first production motorcycle should fetch an above-estimate GBP86,200.  Read More
 The number of new applications being added each month should broach 10,000 soon source: A...
Android Market is the online software store for Android devices – it's Google's answer to Apple's Appstore on iTunes and for much of its short life (born 22 October 2008), it has been but a pale imitation of the all-conquering iPhone's biggest strength. Just 12 months ago Android Market held less than 3000 apps compared to the AppStore's 35,000 but the marketplace is now beginning to roll, and developers are responding, and with 8,000 + apps added in each of the last two months, the Android Market now holds 50,000 apps and should pass 100,000 by the end of the year.  Read More
LG's new outdoor 55 inch LCD panel can withstand 100 degrees Celsius
Korea's LG Display has developed an LCD panel that can display clear images even when its surface temperature exceeds 100° Celsius. Normally when the surface temperature of an LCD panel exceeds 75° Celsius, part of the display turns black, requiring a separate UV-blocking film, cooling system and protective glass and entailing additional costs and electricity consumption for safe operation. The panel will be cheaper than existing panels, much brighter and can be expected to accelerate the pace of growth of the overall public information display market.  Read More
Eyes in the back of your head: the Reevu MX1 motorcycle helmet
We first covered the Reevu helmet, with its built-in rear view mirror for motorcyclists, back in 2005. It's an excellent idea - a rider's vision and situational awareness are huge components of road safety. The more you know about what's happening around and behind you, the more options you've got in an emergency or a simple lane change situation. Well, it's been a long road to the market, but Reevu has finally announced that its RV MSX1 helmet has passed European standards testing, and is now available for distribution. It should be homologated for use worldwide in the near future, and if the final price is right, we're sure these guys are onto a real winner.  Read More
A new iPhone app lets you play basic games against a computer or other competitors in an e...
Obesity rates are on the rise in most western countries where sitting at a computer all day (and sometimes into the night) is commonplace. Low activity levels, in many cases, combined with poor diets, have been blamed for almost two-thirds of Americans being overweight or obese. To help address the problem, health researchers have developed an iPhone app designed to monitor your physical activity and motivate you to do that little bit more.  Read More
 

Fraunhofer's smart charging station would charge your EV when there was the most municipal...
Hopefully before too, too long, the majority of vehicles on the road will be electric. There could be one potential problem with all those EV’s in use however - the huge load that would be put on municipal power supplies when all those vehicles are simultaneously plugged in after their owners get home from work. Fortunately, our oft-featured friends over at Germany’s Fraunhofer group have come up with a solution. They’ve designed a station that charges your vehicle when there’s power to spare.  Read More
Smartphone market gets an old new player as HP buys Palm
The smartphone market was given a massive boost today as the news broke that HP will acquire smartphone pioneer Palm and perhaps most significantly, the Palm webOS mobile operating system. HP's international infrastructure, fiscal strength and influence will ensure Palm now has not only a future, but will now become an even more serious competitor to Apple, Google's Android, RIM, Microsoft et al in US$100 billion smartphone and connected mobile device marketplace.  Read More
Installing LUCIFER 1 at the Large Binocular Telescope
The world’s largest optical telescope is about to get a lot better, thanks to LUCIFER. No, no one’s made a deal with the Devil - LUCIFER is a new near-infrared camera/spectrograph system being added to the Large Binocular Telescope (LBT) on Mt. Graham in south-eastern Arizona. The tool has been in development for over a decade, and is now ready to offer astronomers “spectacular insights into the universe, from the Milky Way up to extremely distant galaxies.” Its large field of view and high resolution will allow for unprecedented observation of star-forming regions, which were previously difficult to view due to dust clouds.  Read More
LOK-IT flash drive from Systematic Development employs a hardware-based PIN system that ne...
The portable convenience of Flash memory has its security down side. Whether the information contained on a drive consists of military or State secrets or is personal or commercial data, if the drive is lost or stolen varying degrees of panic ensue. Rather than risking potential memory stick security breach from reliance on unsafe software-based methods, the LOK-IT flash drive from Systematic Development employs a hardware-based PIN system that needs to be unlocked before any data can be accessed.  Read More
The University of Granada's fibrin-agarose artificial skin
Scientists at Spain’s University of Granada have created artificial skin with the resistance, firmness and elasticity of real skin. It is the first time artificial skin has been created from fibrin-agarose biomaterial. Fibrin is a protein involved in the clotting of the blood, while agarose is a sugar obtained from seaweed, commonly used to create gels in laboratories. The new material could be used in the treatment of skin problems, and could also replace test animals in dermatological labs.  Read More
A limited edition Olive 2 zone player styled by Karim Rashid
Acclaimed designer Karim Rashid has provided two new designs for audiophile-grade digital music manufacturer Olive to screen onto new limited edition versions of its number 4 music streamer and number 2 zone player. The pairing is capable of delivering lossless audio to up to ten rooms around the home, storing thousands of CDs and offering access to numerous internet radio stations.  Read More
The 911 GT3 R Hybrid
Williams F1 has increased its existing 40% shareholding in Williams Hybrid Power (WHP) to 78% on the back of some very favorable results on the racetrack in conjunction with Porsche and ever growing confidence that the company's magnetically loaded composite flywheel (MLC) technology will find wide application in hybrid passenger vehicles, hybrid buses, electric trains, diesel-electric ships and wind power generation.  Read More
'Brains are often compared to computers, but apart from the trivial fact that both process...
An international team of scientists has discovered that the human brain, the nervous system of a worm and a computer chip are strikingly similar. The research may help to explain the relationship between the processing elements (or gray matter) and the wiring (the white matter) in the brains of a wide range of mammals. Moreover, it appears that in the case of the brain and a computer chip - evolution and technological innovation have developed the same solutions to optimal mapping patterns.  Read More
The TomTom GO LIVE 1000
TomTom today previewed a new generation of navigation devices designed to offer real-time services to drivers. The first example of the new generation is the GO LIVE 1000, which uses an ARM 11 500 Mhz processor and comes with several new features, including the ability to run downloadable third party apps, IQ Routes™ which applies historical travel time data to calculate the fastest route and HD Traffic™ which gives accurate real time traffic information for all major and secondary roads. The unit's software and service delivery platform have been optimised for rapid integration of third party applications and easy localisation to match the needs of specific markets or applications. The TomTom GO LIVE 1000 will be available mid year.  Read More
Avatar sets two Blu-ray records: most illegal downloads, most bought discs
It smashed Box Office records worldwide to become the highest grossing film in history, now James Cameron's Avatar is setting new benchmarks in the Blu-ray market. Around 1.5 million Blu-ray discs were snapped-up on the first day of release in the U.S. - more than previous record holder The Dark Knight - and that's just the 2D version, without special features. The Blu-ray release also triggered an avalanche of illegal downloads, with the sci-fi epic now well on its way to becoming the most pirated Blu-ray film ever.  Read More

The Suma mouse prototype captures input from wherever the user's hand touches the 'skin' a...
Cambridge Consultants has unveiled the next phase in the development of its Suma sensor technology, which transforms user touch on its surface into an individual action on a computer or gaming device. The wireless Suma mouse prototype opens up a multitude of three dimensional navigation possibilities by taking every squeeze, stroke or swipe of a user's touch and translating it into an onscreen reaction such as a pan, tilt or zoom.  Read More
Lexus Hybrid Bicycle Concept
Lexus has announced details of the innovative Hybrid Bicycle Concept we first spied tucked away at last year's Tokyo Motor Show. Headed for a UK debut at the Great British Bike Ride this weekend, the full-carbon fiber frame hybrid (electric+human) concept includes a 240W electric motor at the front hub, eight-speed transmission, a 25.9V Lithium-ion battery and regenerative braking. Head on through for more images plus our video overview.  Read More
Verbatim showed off a new family of secure storage products at the London Infosecurity Sho...
Verbatim showed off a new family of secure storage products at the London Infosecurity Show this week which will bring an indelible smile to the face of every Corporate IT manager. The ‘Secure ‘n’ Go’ range includes premium AES 256bit (Advanced Encryption Standard) hardware-encrypted USB drives, SSD ExpressCards, Solid State Drives and DVDs. In addition to the hardware security encryption and integrated password protection on an SSD ExpressCard or USB drive, the user can control the device via the internet and lock, unlock or erase all data if the drive is lost or stolen. The new Verbatim Control System (VCS) also offers the ability to lock, unlock or erase the drives of any user remotely from corporate headquarters, and can also audit, trace and view logs of any corporate Flash drive usage. The ‘Secure ‘n’ Go’ family hits stores next month.  Read More
The world's first 3D newspaper
In one of the more bizarre media announcements of recent times, News International's LCD (Lowest Common Denominator) British Tabloid The Sun is to publish a 3D edition on June 5 complete with 3D glasses, 3D editorial images, 3D adverts and a 3D Soccer World Cup schedule Wall Chart. It's yet another newspaper first for the Murdoch empire (along with recalibrating public morals by widely distributing images of bare-breasted women), though we suspect the motivation is more related to Murdoch's Sky Sports broadcasting the World Cup in 3D than by any forlorn hope of innovating a reversal of the Sun's circulation which has been in decline for 15 years.  Read More
Bayer's Didget blood glucose meter connects to Nintendo DS and DS Lite systems and awards ...
Dealing with juvenile diabetes can’t be easy, so anything that adds a little fun to the tedious process of monitoring blood glucose levels might help put a smile on a child’s face. Bayer Diabetes Care has just introduced Didget - a unique blood glucose monitoring system that is designed to encourage regular testing with reward points to use online or through Nintendo gaming systems.  Read More
Unveiled at the Beijing Motor Show, there's definitely a certain stripped-back elegance ab...
Ford designers set their sights on creating an endearingly simple vehicle for their latest project, and we'd have to say they've succeeded. Unveiled at the Beijing Motor Show, there's definitely a certain stripped-back elegance about the Start Concept, which along with its sculpted lines and some clever interior customization options, features a new 1.0-liter, three-cylinder addition to the company's EcoBoost petrol engine family that promises a CO2 rating of under 100 g/km.  Read More
“Fair Use” industries generate US$4.7 TRILLION
Industries that rely on fair use exceptions to copyright law grew faster than the rest of the U.S. economy from 2002 to 2007, expanded 5 percent and accounted for 23 percent of real economic growth, according to a new CCIA economic study. The study entitled “Fair Use in the U.S. Economy” was released the day after Intellectual Property Day, and drew a distinctly different conclusion to another study released the day prior by the GIPC which advocates the tightening of fair use exceptions.  Read More
Carnegie Mellon University's Minput system turns a mobile electronic device into its own m...
Mobile devices such as smartphones are truly amazing in what they can do, but are often frustrating to use - many people don’t particularly enjoy poking at tiny buttons, or obscuring the onscreen display with their own fingers. Newly-developed technology, however, is addressing these annoyances. Researchers at Carnegie Mellon University's Human-Computer Interaction Institute have found a way of turning mobile devices into their own mice.  Read More
Packard Bell's new EasyNote M series of laptops with dedicated social networking feature
Keeping up to date with our ever increasing digital presence in the networked sociosphere can be the very definition of multi-tasking. Three new EasyNote laptops from Packard Bell have been designed to help, having a dedicated social networking feature which brings together all the various sites into one useful interface. Other features include the latest Intel Core processors, up to 640GB of storage and either NVIDIA or ATI discreet graphics processors.  Read More
Adjustable presentation speakers point you in the right direction
For anyone who has ever needed to give presentations on the go, playing audio from your built-in computer speakers can sometimes be a problem. Battery-powered portable speakers that plug into your audio jack are one possible solution. But I'm inclined to favor this new adjustable speaker from Sanwa, which draws all its power from your computer's USB port.  Read More
 

 

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