New and Emerging Technology News part 64 ~ NEW GEN TECH LIFE : new generation technology news

Saturday, 25 January 2014

New and Emerging Technology News part 64

Dahon's BioLogic Bike Mount for iPhone lets you mount your iPhone on your handlebars
If you’re one of those Appleheads who just love their iPhone, then chances are you want to maximize the number of places you can use the thing. For instance, do you hate going without it during your bike commute? Well, now you don’t have to. Dahon, who brought us the ReeCharge bicycle-mounted electronics charger, also offers the Biologic Bike Mount for iPhone. And no, it’s not intended for web-surfing as you navigate downtown traffic.  Read More
Jeff Kortright and Sujoy Roy (right) from Berkeley Lab - that thing in front of them is NO...
In the future, your refrigerator might keep your food cold by using a magnet. Not only would it use less power and run quieter than your current fridge, but it also wouldn’t contain any hydrofluorocarbons, gases which can add tremendously to the greenhouse effect if not properly disposed of. It all comes down to something called the magnetocaloric effect, wherein a changing magnetic field within a material causes it to get colder. It definitely holds promise, although scientists first have to figure out just how the thing works.  Read More
Cisco has announced that it will be working with Living PlanIT to create a sustainable, ec...
Cisco has given an ambitious green city project a huge credibility boost by agreeing to work with urban-scale sustainable technology company Living PlanIT on its creation. The new community in Portugal will use the latest cutting-edge green technology from both companies, and house over 200,000 people with minimal environmental impact.  Read More
The Green Cri was created as a scientific research aircraft
If stardom is measured by camera time and the number of drooling onlookers, then the Green Cri was undoubtedly the star of the recent Paris Green Air Show. The experimental aerobatic electric aircraft hasn't yet spent any time in the air, but that didn't seem to matter. Its four engines, gorgeous smooth lines and intriguing bubble pilot enclosure ensured that it remained constantly within the camera frames of visitors and journalists alike.  Read More
Amazon has announced a new graphite Kindle DX which takes advanatge of advances in e-Ink t...
The next step in the evolution of e-Ink technology sees 50 per cent better contrast resulting in sharper, clearer text and crisp, detailed images. Amazon's new graphite Kindle DX takes full advantage of the new technology, also offering a couple of new fonts, new security features and social networking integration. And the new DX comes in at over US$100 cheaper than its predecessor too.  Read More
Yves 'Jetman' Rossy flies in formation with the Breitling Wingwalkers
We last checked in with Jetman Yves Rossy late last year when his attempt to complete the first intercontinental jetpack flight from Morocco to Spain unfortunately fell short. However, that setback hasn’t deterred Rossy, who has spent the time since developing and testing a fast extracting pyrotechnic parachute and a lighter and more powerful jet-propelled wing. The new “delta wing” is designed to allow take-off from the ground and provide more freedom to realize aerobatic maneuvers, which no doubt came in handy on his latest airborne undertaking – performing some precision formation flying alongside the Breitling Wingwalkers.  Read More
New, green alternatives to cremation and burial are on the way (Photo: Noel McKeegan)
How would you like your body to be disposed of when you shuffle off this mortal coil? Burial or cremation have long been the only legal options in many parts of the Western world, however neither is particularly environmentally friendly. But greener alternatives that let you make a final environmental statement are on the rise. Two examples are ecological burial (or corpse composting) which uses a form of cryogenics and freeze drying, and resomation, which uses alkaline hydrolysis to break down the body. The end result of both processes is a fine powder, similar to cremation, and each claims to lessen the impact on the environment. However, they may make some traditionalists turn in their graves...  Read More
Mercedes-AMG SLS E-CELL

The Audi e-tron has been at the top of our list of awesome electric car concepts for some time. Now there's a new contender – the SLS AMG E-CELL. Mercedes-AMG hinted at the possibility of an electric drive SLS gullwing last year and has now rolled-out a prototype which looks set for small series production. Along with a very hard to miss fluorescent "AMG lumilectric magno" paint job, the prototype features four electric motors positioned near each of the wheels which produce 392 kW and 880 Nm of instantaneous torque and acceleration of zero to 100 km/h in 4 seconds – just 0.2 seconds under the performance of the 6.3-litre V8 SLS AMG.  Read More
WSU chemist Choong-Shik Yoo, seen here with students, has used super-high pressures to cre...
Using super-high pressures similar to those found deep in the Earth or on a giant planet, researchers from Washington State University (WSU) have created a compact, never-before-seen material capable of storing vast amounts of energy. Described by one of the researchers as “the most condensed form of energy storage outside of nuclear energy,” the material holds potential for creating a new class of energetic materials or fuels, an energy storage device, super-oxidizing materials for destroying chemical and biological agents, and high temperature superconductors.  Read More
The CM1 tablet/notebook is headed for Japanese schools
Toshiba and Intel have announced a collaborative project to get a new tablet computer into Japanese schools. The Atom-powered CM1 notebook/tablet will have a rotating touchscreen display and enjoy wireless connectivity to electronic blackboards and classroom projectors.  Read More

Forum8 demos driving simulator at 3D and VR Expo
At the 3D and VR Expo in Tokyo, Japanese company Forum8 demonstrated the company's UC-win/Road Drive Simulator software. The software allows for custom maps and environments to be created according to your specifications. You can control the environment and location, the terrain and street layout. You can even adjust the traffic, weather conditions, and even time of day. The minute details in the graphics are impressive, even showing barely noticeable elements such as the signal lights on individual vehicles.  Read More
The Prompt-it lets you use your iPhone as a teleprompter
There was a time, not so very long ago, when high-resolution video cameras, non-linear editing suites and the ability to reach millions of potential viewers were exclusively the domain of TV stations. All that has changed, of course, in the past decade or so. What many New Media on-camera personalities still lack, however, is the smooth, polished delivery of professional TV hosts. Is that because the Big Boys and Girls have journalism degrees and years of experience? Perhaps partly, but it’s also because they have a teleprompter feeding them their lines. Now, you can have yours fed to you too, by getting a Prompt-it - a gizmo that turns your iPhone into a teleprompter-on-a-budget. Take that, Oprah Winfrey!  Read More
The Fiat 500 will be available to US buyers later this year
North American readers over a certain age may recall a time when Fiats were available at local auto dealers. Even though some people joked about their reliability at the time (“What does FIAT stand for? Fix It Again, Tony!”), the chic, zippy little Italian cars definitely had their admirers. Unfortunately, after the 1970’s oil crisis subsided, small cars weren’t so popular anymore, and what market remained was heavily dominated by Japanese automakers. Thus it was that in 1984, Fiat decided to stop selling cars in North America. Flash-forward to fuel-conscious 2010, and Fiat is now the sixth-largest car company in the world, and owner of the US-based Chrysler Group. This week, it was announced that separate and distinct Fiat dealerships will be selling the company's compact 500 model in the United States.  Read More
Designer Jia Peng has proposed a roll-out, 48-key piano keyboard be incorporated into his ...
So what can you do these days to make the humble MP3 player a little more interesting? Surely just about every design variation imaginable has been tried. Well, not quite. Designer Jia Peng has proposed a whole new level of player interaction by including a roll-out, 48-key piano keyboard in his Piano's Silhouette MP3 player concept.  Read More
The BP oil spill, as shown in a NASA satellite image
Whether it's reaching orbit, landing on the moon, building more efficient cars or speeding up human genome sequencing, the X PRIZE has become synonymous with driving innovation. Now there's another scenario that's crying out for the kind of radical breakthrough theses prizes are designed to achieve – the oil spill crisis in the Gulf of Mexico. The X PRIZE Foundation is planning to answer this call with a new prize aimed at incentivizing privately-funded methods to quickly clean up crude oil from the ocean and coastlines around the spill.  Read More
The Zerotracer
The Zero Race will see contestants dash around the globe in 80 days in zero emission, electric powered vehicles... and one of the most distinctive entries is the Zerotracer. Designed by a group of engineers from Winterthur, Switzerland, the Zerotracer is an electric motorcycle that encloses its two occupants in a Kevlar shell and is capable of a top speed of 250 km/h (155 mph) and a range of 350 km (217 miles) on a single charge.  Read More
Ricoh's new 10 mexapixel S10 24-72mm F2.5-4.4 VC lens kit for the GXR modular digital came...
Ricoh has now announced the availability of a new lens kit for the modular GXR digital camera system. The 10 megapixel S10 wide-angle zoom lens unit features a high-sensitivity image sensor, technology to help prevent blurred images and the ability to fill the frame with an up close and personal subject from less than half an inch away.  Read More
Ford's new Curve Control system automatically slows vehicles down when they're entering a ...
We’ve all done it – swung too fast onto a freeway ramp and then suddenly had to yank on the steering wheel for control of the vehicle. It’s not fun, and reportedly loosing control on a bend accounts for about 50,000 crashes every year in the U.S. alone. That’s why Ford is introducing Curve Control on its 2011 Explorer and on 90 percent of its crossovers, SUVs, trucks and vans by 2015. The system senses when you’re entering a curve too quickly, and automatically slows your speed by up to 10mph in approximately one second.  Read More
Canon Wonder Camera Concept displayed at World Expo 2010
One of the more remarkable technological innovations amongst hundreds currently on display at World Expo 2010 in Shanghai can be found in the Japanese Pavilion where major sponsors Canon, Panasonic and Toyota are all showing their visions of the future. Most of it we’ve seen before, but Canon’s “Wonder Camera Concept” is entirely new – it’s the camera of the future as visualized twenty years hence by the world’s largest camera company and it is incredibly thought-provoking.  Read More
A blind volunteer trying out Virginia Tech's BDC system in a dune buggy
Next January, before the Rolex 24 auto race at Daytona International Speedway, a Ford Escape will drive around part of the course. The catch: its driver will be blind. The event will be a demonstration of technology developed by the US National Federation of the Blind (NFB) and Virginia Polytechnic Institute (Virginia Tech). Three years ago, Virginia Tech accepted the NFB’s Blind Driver Challenge (BDC), in which engineering schools were invited to design non-visual interfaces that would allow blind people to drive. From the sounds of things, the Rolex 24 demo could be just the tip of the iceberg.  Read More
 
The Plastiki is made almost entirely from recycled and/or recyclable plastic
What do you do if you want to draw attention to the threats faced by the world’s oceans, in particular the huge amount of plastic waste that ends up in them? Easy, you sail across the Pacific Ocean, visiting and documenting environmental hot spots along the way. That, at least, is what the crew of the Plastiki are in the process of doing. The group of six adventurers set out from San Francisco on March 20th, with Sydney, Australia as their final destination. Three and a half months into the 11,000 nautical mile journey, they’re currently about 4,000 miles from the finish line. What makes their odyssey particularly remarkable is their sailboat, the Plastiki – a craft made almost entirely from recycled and/or recyclable plastic that gets the majority of its flotation from approximately 12,500 two-liter plastic bottles.  Read More
The Relect keeps the fog away
If you’re a guy who shaves in the shower, you no doubt know the frustration of trying to keep your shaving mirror fog-free. In some bathrooms, even just the installation of such a mirror can be tricky, as can positioning yourself to use it. Squarely addressing these conundrums is the Reflect, a combination showerhead and non-fogging mirror.  Read More
The AEROCORK cork composite material (Photo: Paul Ridden)
Many of the exhibitors we encountered at the Paris Green Air Show were showing off aircraft that ran on electricity, alternative fuels, or that reduced the consumption of fossil fuels. One booth, however, was displaying a different sort of green aviation product – a low-impact, natural cork composite called AEROCORK, intended to replace PVC foam and other petroleum-based building materials in aircraft. It is the result of a collaboration between three Portuguese tech companies.  Read More
The Mouseless invisible mouse system is the next logical step in input periperhal developm...
Pranav Mistry, Pattie Maes and Liyan Chang from MIT's Media Lab have managed to create an invisible computer mouse for just a few dollars. Using an Infrared laser and tracking camera, the Mouseless system registers and interprets a user's hand movement and translates it into onscreen actions such as cursor movement and button clicking.  Read More
Asetek's liquid-cooled all-in-one desktop computer prototype offers all the performance be...
Thermal management innovator Asetek has created a 24 inch liquid-cooled all-in-one computer powered by a high-end Intel Core processor, with graphics support from NVIDIA. The near-silent operation AIO prototype offers all the performance benefits of the best performing desktop systems in a space-saving 2.28 inch thick form factor.  Read More
1&1 Germany has unveiled its very own Android tablet computer, the SmartPad
The German arm of Internet Service Provider and Web Host 1&1 has unveiled its own 7 inch tablet computer. The ARM-powered, Android SmartPad comes with WiFi connectivity, a gigabyte of internal storage and some custom apps. There's an optional docking station and the ability to turn it into a remote control for home entertainment systems too.  Read More
Nitrogen oxides emitted from car exhausts can lead to acid rain, smog and damage to respir...
Although much of the focus of pollution from automobiles centers on carbon emissions, there are other airborne nasties spewing from the tailpipes of fossil fuel-powered vehicles. These include nitrogen oxides (NOx). In the form of nitrogen dioxide it reacts with chemicals produced by sunlight to form nitric acid – a major constituent of acid rain – and also reacts with sunlight, leading to the formation of ozone and smog. Everyone is exposed to small amounts of nitrogen oxides in ambient air, but exposure to higher amounts, in areas of heavy traffic for example, can damage respiratory airways. Testing has shown that surfacing roads with air purifying concrete could make a big contribution to local air purity by reducing the concentration of nitrogen oxides by 25 to 45 percent.  Read More
Photo taken by an infrared camera equipped with a temperature-sensitive detector showing t...
The benefits of car night vision systems that enable drivers to see people or animals more clearly on dark, unlit roads have already started appearing in luxury cars. But these systems rely on near-infrared (NIR) radiation, which requires the cars to be fitted with infrared headlights to illuminate the road ahead. Falling into the “thermal imaging region”, Long-wavelength (LWIR) cameras require no such external light source but the sensors require constant cooling, adding to the cost and complexity of such devices. Researchers have now developed a new type of detector which functions at room temperature allowing it to be used in cars and other mobile applications.  Read More
BMW Megacity electric vehicle
With almost three quarters of the world's population predicted to live in cities by 2050, it's no surprise that the shape of urban transport is set for a radical change. BMW is looking to stake its claim on this brave new world of zero emissions personal motoring with the Megacity Vehicle (MCV). Based on a totally new vehicle architecture dubbed "LifeDrive", the concept is made up of of two independent modules - a Drive module which contains the battery and drive system, and a Life module which houses a lightweight passenger cell made from carbon fiber reinforced plastic (CFRP). While the development of the concept has been discussed for some time, the big news from BMW this week is that we can expect to see the MCV enter the market in 2013.  Read More
A multi-dimensional Tetris game on the AquaLux 3D
Projecting images onto water surfaces is the latest display technology to get a 3D makeover. With its ability to target light onto and between individual water droplets the AquaLux 3D can display text, video and other moving or still images on layers of falling water. In contrast to existing technologies for projecting images onto water surfaces, AquaLux 3D makes it possible to create 3D images by using multiple layers of precisely controlled water droplets.  Read More

The Ribbon, a loop-bladed prototype ceiling fan
Bored with your plain old ceiling fan, with its old school, conservative straight blades? Perhaps what you need is the Ribbon. A one-off exercise from Australian industrial designer Ben McMahon, the Ribbon not only looks radically different than traditional fans, but is also claimed to be much more effective at air circulation. The designer obviously believes his invention has potential, as he has entered it in this year’s James Dyson Awards.  Read More
The XALOC system, incorporating the ARID Navigator, helps drivers find free parking spaces
It’s a frustrating situation. You’re aimlessly circling the blocks, hoping to stumble across a free parking space, but with no clue as to where such a space might be. Well, as we so often like to say here at Gizmag, “A new invention could change that.” Researchers from Spain’s Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona (UAB) have helped develop a system that detects free parking spots, then guides drivers to the closest ones using a process that’s reportedly better than GPS.  Read More
The power strip from Wet Circuits features a water resistant design and special material p...
Accidentally spilling a cup of coffee over a power strip will, at best, probably cause the connected equipment to stop working. On the other hand, such water-related electrical mishaps could lead to serious injury or even be fatal for the user. Wet Circuits has introduced a water resistant power strip that looks to avoid such situations by protecting internal wiring and minimizing the flow of electricity upon contact with water.  Read More
NASA releases low-light space images captured with Nikon dSLRs
At the end of 2009, Nikon managed to secure a nice little order from NASA for a bunch of D3S digital cameras and seven of its AF-S NIKKOR 14-24mm f/2.8G ED lenses. These were destined to be whisked off into space for photographic documentation. Now, humble earthlings are being given the chance to have a look at some of the rather spectacular images taken by astronauts on the International Space Station. To date, NASA has captured more than 700,000 images with its own Nikon equipment, showing off the D3S’ noise suppression features and how well it’s able to cope with the low-light conditions of space.  Read More
Teaser photos and video: the 2011 Kawasaki Ninja ZX-10R
Here it is – the new ZX-10R. The bike that lured MotoGP race-winner Chris Vermeulen into the worst team in the WSBK paddock; the bike that both Vermeulen and Kawasaki believe will put Kawasaki back at the front of the Superbike grid. All we have at this stage is a few photos of the race Superbike version and a teaser video, but expectation has been building that the new Ninja could be the first Japanese bike to take it to the amazing new BMW S1000RR. Numbers like 200 brake horsepower and a wet weight under 200kg have been floating around for the streetbike version. We know that there's going to be some form of traction control, which puts the Kwaka into a small but growing class of sports machines, and most interestingly, patents have been spotted that indicate that Kawasaki is thinking about running a proper long-bang style engine configuration, complete with an additional electric motor to keep the crank spinning in between pulses at lower speeds. Certainly, upon its release this will be Kawasaki's most significant motorcycle in many years.  Read More
Photographers can view 3D panoramas captured on Sony's new 3D capable Cyber-shot cameras
Coming hot on the heels of a firmware upgrade that brought 3D capability to its NEX interchangeable lens digital cameras, Sony has announced it will add 3D capability to its point-and-shoot Cyber-shot digital still camera range with the introduction of the Cyber-shot DSC-TX9 and DSC-WX5. The new cameras will be the first compact digital still cameras capable of capturing panoramic photos in 3D with Sony’s 3D Sweep Panorama function.  Read More
The new method for processing agricultural waste and any available biomass into biofuels t...
Biofuels are seen as a more environmentally friendly fuel source than petroleum-based fuels, but transporting the bulky biomass used to produce them is expensive because of their volume. It’s much more economical to transport the liquid fuel after it has been processed but this isn’t possible if the processing facilities are located far from the source of the biomass. A new method to process agricultural waste and other biomass could enable the creation of mobile processing plants that would rove the Midwest to produce fuels where the biomass is sourced.  Read More
The computer animation's prediction of the oil spill after 360 days - April 15 2011 (Image...
With oil from BP’s Deepwater Horizon oil rig continuing to spew into the Gulf of Mexico researchers from the School of Ocean and Earth Science and Technology (SOEST) at the University of Hawaii at Manoa have produced an animated computer simulation that shows the potential spread of the oil over a period of 360 days from when the spill started. To calculate the particle dispersal the researchers used ocean flow data from simulations conducted with the high-resolution Ocean General Circulation Model for the Earth Simulator (OFES).  Read More
The Mercedes-Benz G-Wagon LAPV 6.X Concept is designed to 'go anywhere'
Aimed at the global defense industry, Mercedes unveiled the Light Armored Patrol Vehicle 6.X Concept at the recent Eurosatory 2010 defense industry trade show in Paris, France. Based on Mercedes’ G-Glass the LAPV 6.X boasts greater agility, higher protection and a greater payload capacity than its cousin, the LAPV 5.4.  Read More
Reversible watermarking could keep digitally-altered images from going undetected
In these days of PhotoShop and its brethren, it’s becoming almost impossible to tell whether or not an image has been digitally manipulated. While some ‘shopping is done simply for whimsical reasons (see picture above), the matter becomes a bit more serious when things such as military images are altered. Visible watermarks are sometimes overlaid on digital photos, but these permanently alter and obscure that copy of the picture. Recently, however, researchers in India came up with a system for verifying a photo’s authenticity, without altering it in any way.  Read More

The Lens-in-a-Cap system captures two simultaneous images using matched lenses to the left...
The Lens-in-a-Cap stereo lens system from Loreo mounts to the front of a digital SLR body to allow users to take side-by-side 3D photographic images. Mounts are available for a host of popular digital SLR cameras and the system will automatically adjust image pitch to suit subject distance. Subsequent images can then be printed out or viewed on a computer screen via a cheap cardboard parallel format viewer.  Read More
A gold light mill nanomotor embedded in a 300 nanometers-thick square-shaped silica microd...
OK, first of all, what’s a light mill? It’s a simple rotary motor consisting of four flat vanes mounted to a central axis, which spins when subjected to light. Light mills have been around since 1873, mostly just as novelty items, and have pretty much always been at least a few inches tall. Less than a week ago, however, scientists at California’s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory announced the creation of a light mill just 100 nanometers in size. Unlike its bigger brothers, this tiny device might actually have some very practical applications.  Read More
Cathay Pacific to offer broadband on flights by 2012
Passengers boarding either a Cathay Pacific Airways or Dragonair jet in 2012 will be able to make use of broadband connectivity. This week, the airline confirmed an agreement with Panasonic Avionics Corporation to provide broadband access across its entire fleet with download speeds of up to 50Mbps (to the aircraft – not individual passengers), as well as call and data access for cell phones.  Read More
The Renault DeZir concept electric vehicle features gull-wing doors that open in opposite ...
Renault’s Z.E. range of electric vehicles turned a few heads at last year’s Frankfurt Motor Show but the company’s new electric concept car, the DeZir, is more likely give passersby a case of whiplash. The DeZir is a two-seater coupĂ© that Renault says stands out as an illustration of the company’s commitment to more emotional styling. With its sports car looks and ability to accelerate from 0 to 100 km/h (62mph) in five seconds, or 0 to 50 km/h in just two seconds, it’s hard to disagree.  Read More
Peter Treadway sees the future of personal mobility as a motorized attachment to existing ...
Journeys from home to the nearest bus stop, train station or news stand may well prove too far for walking, but not really far enough to justify the expense of getting in the car. For those in-between journeys, you need a lightweight personal transport solution. Maybe something like the Treadway Mobility which has been entered into this year's James Dyson Awards competition. Designed to strap over existing footwear or to step into, the wearable motorized shoes could just be geeky enough for tech fans and cool enough for thrill-seeking teenagers. But not just yet.  Read More
Students, Frederick Welck and Christian Bach, work with an experimental setup for testing ...
Heat pumps provide heating in winter and cooling in summer. While they’re OK for moderate climates, they are not efficient in extreme cold climates. Building on work that began five years ago, researchers at Purdue University are developing a new type of heat pump that is much more efficient and could allow residents in cold climates to cut their heating bills in half.  Read More
Toshiba is working with Mitsubishi Motors to fast track the development SCiB battery techn...
Electric vehicles face a road block in the form of battery technology and we can expect to see lots of news in this space in coming years as huge companies throw resources into finding a solution to battery range and recharging times. One of the promising candidates for improving battery performance is Toshiba's SCiB technology. The company has now announced that it's working with Mitsubishi Motors to fast track the development of these batteries for EV applications.  Read More
Solar Impulse completes all night flight milestone Solar Impulse HB-SIA (Image: Solar Impu...
A plane powered entirely by the sun that flies at night. It sounds improbable, but Solar Impulse has just proven that it can be done. Following on from its maiden flight in April, the solar plane flew through the night in the skies above Switzerland this week, passing another important milestone on a journey that has already lasted seven years and is set to culminate in an attempt to fly around the world non-stop in 2012.  Read More
The atomic structure of the antibody VRC01 (blue and green) binding to HIV (grey and red) ...
Research efforts to find individual antibodies that can neutralize HIV strains have been difficult because the virus continuously changes its surface proteins to evade recognition by the immune system. As a consequence of these changes, an enormous number of HIV variants exist worldwide. However, there are a few surface areas that remain nearly constant across all variants of HIV and scientists have now discovered two potent human antibodies that attach to one of these sites and can stop more than 90 percent of known global HIV strains from infecting human cells in the laboratory.  Read More
The Gordon Murray Design T.27
After much anticipation, UK-based Gordon Murray Design has finally unveiled the full, complete versions of its two microcars, the T.25 and the T.27. The three-seater combustion-engined T.25 got its first public exposure last week at Smith School’s World Forum on Enterprise and the Environment, in Oxford. Details of the T.27, essentially an all-electric version of the T.25, have recently been published on the company's website. Besides looking dead sexy, the little auto has been promoted as “the world’s most efficient electric car.”  Read More

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