New and Emerging Technology News part 69 ~ NEW GEN TECH LIFE : new generation technology news

Saturday, 25 January 2014

New and Emerging Technology News part 69

The Delahaye 175 S Saoutchik Roadster Photo: Ron Kimball/Kimball Stock
Held each year since 1950, the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance is now the centerpiece of a week-long collector car festival in Monterey each August, and in addition to becoming the world’s foremost classic car event, it is increasingly being preferred by prestige manufacturers as the launch platform for new and concept vehicles. This year the car regarded by some as the most beautiful collector car in the world is to go under the auctioneer’s hammer. The work of prodigiously talented automotive stylist and coachbuilder Jacques Saoutchik, this 1949 Delahaye 175 S Roadster is expected to fetch around US$6 million.  Read More
The Mediano TV cabinet is the epitome of taste
Got a piano sitting in your house gathering dust because no one will come around and join you in a good old-fashioned sing-along? Why not give it a new lease on life by converting it into something that’s sure to get some use, like a TV cabinet? That’s just what German company Craft Line has done with its Mediano, a white upright piano that has had all its musical innards removed to make way for an LCD TV that slides out of the top of the piano at a push of a button on a remote control.  Read More
Rapid DNA testing could prove a boon to law enforcement agencies (Image: Tony Webster via ...
DNA testing has provided the biggest revolution in the identification of criminals since the adoption of fingerprinting in the early part of last century. Still, the technology has limitations. Most genetic tests take 24-72 hours but the time taken for DNA to go from crime scene to identification can span as long as 14 days. By the time that the results are back, the suspects often have been released. A newly developed test could make checking DNA from people arrested for crimes against DNA samples from crime scenes stored in forensics databases almost as easy as matching fingerprints.  Read More
ROCR features a tail that swings like a grandfather clock’s pendulum (Image: William Pro...
Engineers have used a variety of techniques to create robots that can scale walls – “the Climber” uses a rolling seal, while the insect-like robots from SRI have caterpillar tracks with electro-adhesive properties. While such robots generally focus on speed, adhering to the wall and deciding how and when to move, the creators of a small robot named ROCR say it is the first wall-climbing robot to focus on climbing efficiently. And it does so by using the momentum of a tail that swings like a grandfather clock’s pendulum.  Read More
MSI's latest gaming laptop, the GX660
MSI has launched its latest performance gaming laptop, the MSI GX660. This laptop is designed with high performance and ease of use in mind. It features MSI’s TDE (Turbo Drive Engine) technology and Dynaudio sound. It also comes with dual 500GB SATA hard drives, ATI Mobility Radeon HD 5870 discrete graphics card and has three DDR3 RAM slots which allows up to 12GB of RAM. MSI has built two USB 3.0 and two USB 2.0 ports into the machine as well as an eSATA port.  Read More
NIST chemists Thomas J. Bruno and Tara M. Lovestead
You probably don't go hunting for decaying bodies too often, but then you probably don’t work in the field of forensics. If you did, then you’d be glad to hear that technology recently developed by America’s National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) should make finding buried bodies much easier. Traditionally, cadaver-sniffing dogs have been used to find bodies, but they can be limited in situations such as where a body is buried under concrete. The new device, however, uses a probe slightly thicker than a human hair to probe the soil, detecting ninhydrin-reactive nitrogen (NRN) that collects in air pockets around gravesoil. Previous technology could only achieve that same end through what NIST describes as “the tedious and expensive process” of solvent extraction of soil samples.  Read More
The VeloMini folding electric bike
Electric bicycle designers are continually coming up with new ways to fold the humble bicycle to make it easier to carry when not being ridden. The latest to catch our eye is the VeloMini, a light-weight folding electric bike featuring a 180 watt brushless hub motor that will transport a person from eight to ten miles at speeds of up to 12 mph (19 km/h). When it’s not being used it folds down to a compact form 18-inches tall that fits into a carrying case roughly the same size as a guitar case.  Read More
Dattoos would be printed onto the user's skin, and would identify the user via their DNA
Five years ago, Frog Design founder Hartmut Esslinger envisioned a technology that “could influence notions of community, identity, and connectivity with minimal impact on the physical environment.” Using an online design portal, users would select and try out a customized electronic processing device that they would then print onto their own skin. The DNA Tattoo, or Dattoo, could include printable input/output tools such as a camera, microphone, or laser-loudspeaker - it would be up to the user, as would the Dattoo’s aesthetics. Most intriguingly, it would capture its wearer’s DNA, to ensure an intimate user/machine relationship.  Read More
Hitachi's Life Microscope gives a closer look at your life data
Readers who follow developments in the growing field of bio-signal telemetry (perhaps we can call it "life data monitoring") will likely be familiar with the Fitbit, an activity monitor that collects and measures data about your daily movements. Hitachi's Life Microscope goes a few steps further, collecting even more data that can be used to analyze your life trends.  Read More
Kingston has unveiled three new DDR3 memory kits which are cooled using water
Rather than rely on noisy fans to cool computer systems, overclockers and gamers have been using the chilling power of water to keep processors from overheating for quite some time. Now Kingston is offering three new flavors of water-cooled DDR3 memory modules to help keep the temperatures down while users try to squeeze even more performance from their machines.  Read More

The Samsung PL90 features a sensible built-in USB connector
While it's not as high-tech as the built-in Wi-Fi featured on the recently announced ST80 camera, Samung's inclusion of a flip-out USB connector on its PL90 model is still a welcome addition. The new point-and-shoot – which takes 12.2 megapixel stills, 640x480 movies and packs some clever face detection functionality – joins the HMX-E10 pocket sized camcorder and new Dual View models in the company's latest raft of releases.  Read More
Privateer model on display at AirVenture 2010
Billed as the "first new Amphibian design in 60 years," the Privateer incorporates lightweight carbon fiber composite construction, a shrouded rear-mounted propeller, unique float layout and a lower center of gravity with the aim of optimizing safety for both water and land operations. Created by aviation enthusiast and entrepreneur John A. Meekins along with partner and aircraft engineer Bill Husa, we spied the design on show at AirVenture 2010. A prototype is currently under construction and it's expected to be in the air next year.  Read More
The LiveRider mount and wireless receiving dongle
The popularity of Apple’s iPhone and iPod touch hasn’t just resulted in an explosion of apps available from the iTunes Store, it’s also spawned a stack of hardware accessories designed to extend the capabilities of said devices. Most common are the seemingly endless array of docks, or cases that increase the devices’ battery life. New Potato Technologies has decided for something a bit different with its LiveRider – a bike mounting system that turns your iPhone/iPod touch into a wireless cycling computer.  Read More
Studded with magnets and electronic muscles known as actuators, a prototype robot develope...
If they were real, the Transformers harking from Cybertron would be considered pretty remarkable pieces of machinery. But their transforming abilities are limited to just two forms. By combining origami and electrical engineering, researchers at MIT and Harvard are working to develop the ultimate reconfigurable robot – one that can turn into absolutely anything. To test out their theories, the researchers built a prototype that can automatically assume the shape of either an origami boat or a paper airplane when it receives different electrical signals.  Read More
Andrew Miller's Global Focus microscope
The World Health Organization estimates that 1.3 million people worldwide died from tuberculosis in 2008. It’s definitely a disease to be taken seriously, so when people in remote locations are being tested for it, it’s best if they don’t have to wait for their samples to be processed at a distant lab. That’s why medical device designer Andrew Miller, when he was still an undergraduate at Houston’s Rice University, developed the portable, battery-operated Global Focus fluorescence microscope. In a paper published this Wednesday, Miller and his co-authors described how the $US240 Global Focus is able to detect TB-positive sputum smears just as well as laboratory microscopes worth over $40,000.  Read More
The Night Stalker surfboard features headlights for surfing at night
Bill Stewart has been shaping and selling surfboards since the late 70’s and, like most surfers, it seems that Bill thinks there just aren’t enough daylight hours to enjoy his wave riding past time. To rectify this he’s created a one-of-a-kind board complete with headlights designed specifically for surfing at night. Dubbed the Night Stalker, Stewart’s creation is the first ever shortboard to pack LEDs embedded in the side fins and two 700 lumen headlights contained with the board’s transparent plexiglass nose to form a pair of surfboard headlights.  Read More
The ANYWAY Spray allows spray bottles to be used at any angle
Perhaps you haven’t given this problem a lot of thought, but it is a problem nonetheless... most spray bottles can’t be used upside down, or even at much of angle once they’re half-empty. Not only that, but there’s always that last little bit of liquid in the bottom that gets wasted. That's because most of them have rigid-tubed sprayers that just have a single hole at the bottom, so they only suck up liquid from the bottom middle of the bottle. Well, British inventor Michael Pritchard has come up with something he calls the ANYWAY Spray, a tube that allows you to hold your spray bottles any way you darn well please, and keep spraying until they’re as dry as Keith Richards’ bourbon glass.  Read More
Foldit players can use different tools to interactively twist, jiggle and reshape proteins...
Since October, 2000 the Folding@home project has been used to understand protein folding. Scientists know the pieces that make up a protein but cannot predict how those parts fit together into a 3-D structure. So the Folding@home project harnesses the power of Internet-connected PC’s and consoles, such as the PS3, to form the most powerful distributed computing cluster in the world. But no computer in the world is big enough, and computers may not take the smartest approach. So a team from the University of Washington (UW) made a Tetris-like game that asks players to fold a protein rather than stack colored blocks and discovered that people can compete with supercomputers in this arena.  Read More
Research teams have announced that the use of nickel and selenium in the production of sol...
In two just-released studies, scientists have announced new ways of making solar cells less expensive and more efficient. In one of the projects, researchers from the University of Toronto demonstrated that nickel can work just as well as gold for electrical contacts in colloidal quantum dot solar cells. In the other, a team from California’s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory added selenium to zinc oxide, dramatically increasing the oxide’s efficiency in absorbing solar light. Both developments could result in more practical, affordable solar technology.  Read More
YrWall allows users to digitally create graffiti, using an infrared spray paint can
Graffiti murals can be truly amazing pieces of artwork, but when it comes to indoor graffiti-making events... well, those spray paints aren’t exactly fume-free, nor are they particularly forgiving to people trying their hand at the art form for the first time. That’s where the YrWall Digital Graffiti Wall comes in. Designed by startup British tech company Lumacoustics, YrWall consists of a video wall that users "paint" on using a modified spray paint can - it “sprays” infrared light, and is tracked by a computer. Much like Microsoft Paint, users can select different colors and effects from a palette, fill in areas with a given color, insert pre-made graphics, and delete their mistakes. When they’re done, they can save their projects, share them online using an onscreen keyboard, or even get them printed on T-shirts.  Read More
 
The new development from Jena provides the upper arm with sensory information which is the...
Phantom limb pain, where a person feels pain in an absent limb or a portion of a limb, is a very real phenomenon, most commonly experienced after amputation of an arm or leg. Chronic phantom pain is believed to affect around 10-45% of amputees. It is highly therapy resistant and can last for years, or even a lifetime, despite high dosages of painkillers that put patients at risk of addiction. However, hope may be on the horizon thanks to a modified hand prosthesis which enables feedback between the artificial hand and the brain.  Read More
Pioneer Computers has announced the forthcoming availability of an 11.6 inch, Windows 7 ta...
Pioneer Computers has announced the forthcoming availability of a Windows 7 tablet computer with an 11.6 inch capacitive touchscreen, up to 64GB of storage and ION-based graphics. Processing power for the DreamBook ePad L11 HD comes courtesy of Intel's Atom N450 processor and there's also a built-in camera and optional GPS.  Read More
SkinnyBytes' 18.5' PoE TouchScreen AIO 'Elite'
As its name suggests, Power over Ethernet (PoE) technology delivers electrical power via Ethernet cabling. The technology is typically used to power VoIP phones, wireless LAN access points, cameras and other low power, network-related devices. SkinnyBytes has now announced a line of computers engineered for low voltage and extremely low power consumption that are able to receive all their power over a standard network cable via PoE.  Read More
Structure of the DNA-based sensor for protein detection
Anyone who has suffered the very unpleasant experience that is food poisoning will be happy to hear that researchers have developed technology enabling the high-speed detection of the toxic proteins that cause it. The new sensor was manufactured by employing a combination of artificial antibodies which capture these toxic proteins and a signal converter which converts those “capturing events” into optical signals.  Read More
Deep dissection of brain-stem with the corticospinal tract visible in red
According to the Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation, about two percent of Americans – more than six million people – have some form of paralysis resulting from spinal cord injury, which is due primarily to the interruption of connections between the brain and spinal cord. Such paralysis and loss of function has long been considered untreatable, but a new approach has, for the first time, induced robust regeneration of nerve connections that control voluntary movement, showing the potential for new therapeutic approaches to paralysis and other motor function impairments and offering hope to sufferers.  Read More
Telenoid R1 mirrors the movements of a remote user
It’s been suggested that one of the main reasons video calling hasn’t taken off is because a lot of the time people want to be heard and not seen. A new robot would allow callers to remain unseen, while creating a physical presence of the caller for the receiver of the call. Developed at Osaka University in collaboration with the Advanced Telecommunications Research Institute International (ATR), – the creators of Robovie II – Telenoid R1 is a portable robot that is designed to relay a remote user’s presence during long distance communications by mirroring their movements.  Read More
A section of Galactic Globular Cluster M3 as seen without (left) and with (right) Laser Ad...
The verse “Twinkle, twinkle little star, how I wonder what you are” could, in fact, refer to the frustration felt by astronomers trying to view celestial objects obscured by turbulence in the earth’s atmosphere. It’s that turbulence that causes stars and other heavenly bodies to twinkle, and it’s one of the reasons that space-based telescopes like the Hubble can see those objects more clearly than telescopes down here on the ground. Recently, however, a team of astronomers from the University of Arizona developed a technique that allows them to effectively turn off the twinkling over a large field of view, allowing them to get Hubble-quality images in a fraction of the usual time.  Read More
Oregon Scientific ATC9K actioncam
It seems like just yesterday Oregon Scientific was offering up its ATC2K actioncam, and now it’s all the way up to the 9K? They grow up so fast! Like its immediate predecessor, the ATC5K, the ATC9K features a built-in color LCD screen. Unlike it, however, the 9K shoots full 1080p HD, is waterproof down to 20 meters/60 feet (the 5K only goes down to 3 meters/10 feet), has a 130-degree field of view, includes a remote, and it can embed G-force data on your footage.  Read More
Scientists hope to emulate the honeybee's aerial navigational skills through human technol...
Day after day, honeybees are able to travel back and forth between a food source and their hive, even in a constantly-changing environment. Given that the insects have relatively small brains, scientists have determined that they rely chiefly on vision and hard-wired visual processing abilities to achieve such a feat. To better understand that process, scientists from the Cognitive Interaction Technology Center of Excellence at Bielefeld University, Germany, have created an artificial honeybee’s eye. Using the device, they hope to unlock the secrets of the insects’ sensing, processing and navigational skills, and apply them to human technology such as micro air vehicles (MAVs).  Read More
Logitech has added a wireless surround sound headset, a 13-button mouse and a keyboard com...
Logitech has unveiled three new products aimed specifically at gaming enthusiasts. The new G-Series low friction gaming mouse features 13 programmable controls and pixel-perfect laser tracking. The keyboard has a GamePanel LCD display, user-customized color backlit keys and delivers 7.1 Dolby Surround Sound, plus up to 10 hours battery life... and there's a wireless headset too.  Read More

If your second thoughts are better than your first, the Sharpie Liquid Pencil is the writi...
If you’re into writing the “old-fashioned” way – that is with a pen and paper – then you’re probably already acquainted with Sharpie, the company that brought us those markers and pens that come in all shapes, colors and sizes. Their latest offering – called the Sharpie Liquid Pencil – is really quite unique. It writes like a pen but can be erased like a pencil and it becomes as permanent as a permanent marker in three days.  Read More
Tell me where it hurts - LG's washers and dryers can 'talk' to technicians over the phone
Throwing the washer or dryer in the car when something goes wrong isn’t really an option, meaning you’ll have to call out a repair person to make a potentially expensive house call. Some manufacturers are installing network capabilities in such devices to allow problems to be diagnosed remotely, but most people don’t have a network connection located in the laundry. LG has come up with a way to troubleshoot washer and dryer issues remotely by getting the devices to chat with a technician over the phone in a language R2-D2 would understand.  Read More
A first generation, self-calibratable MEMs that has been used to measure the Casimir force...
Micro electromechanical systems, or MEMs, are promising in an array of high-tech applications. However, the accuracy of conventional techniques to gauge the force and movement of tiny objects containing components so small they have to be measured on the scale of micrometers or nanometers are typically off by 10 percent or more because of their inherent uncertainties. A new technology enabling MEMs to "self-calibrate" could overcome this problem and make possible super-accurate and precise sensors for crime-scene forensics, environmental testing and medical diagnostics.  Read More
Motorola DROID 2
Motorola's much talked-about DROID 2 is out of the woods at last. The company's latest Android handset – which runs version 2.2 – gets a 1GHz processor, Adobe Flash Player 10.1, a 5-megapixel camera with Dual LED Flash, 3G Mobile Hotspot capability that can handle up to five devices, 8GB of onboard memory and an 8GB microSD card, a redesigned slide-out QWERTY keyboard with larger keys, plus a 3.7-inch, 480x854 multi-touch display equipped with Swype texting on top. The phone will hit the Verizon website tomorrow and find its way onto shelves on August 12, but you'll have to wait until September for the R2-D2 version.  Read More
Sikorsky Project Firefly technology demonstrator
Officially announced at AirVenture 2010, Sikorsky's Project Firefly sets out to demonstrate the feasibility and showcase the benefits of electrically powered helicopters. The technology demonstrator is based on an S-300C light helicopter, with a 190-horsepower electric motor replacing the standard piston-engine and lithium ion battery packs added to either side of the cabin. The result is a significantly more efficient system that – although it's expected to fall short of typical helicopter performance when the first flight takes place later this year – is just the tip of the iceberg for the new era of manned electric rotorcraft.  Read More
The hybrid magnetic tunnel junction fabricated to achieve electrical detection of spin pol...
Spintronics – or spin electronics – is an emerging technology that exploits the intrinsic spin of the electron rather than its charge, as is the case with current electronic devices. The technology promises microelectronic devices that can store more data in less space, process data faster, and consume less power. Researchers at Ohio State University (OSU) have now demonstrated the first plastic memory device that utilizes the spin of electrons to read and write data.  Read More
The scaffold is built out of a flexible, biocompatible material with pores that support th...
Although medical advances over recent years have seen the majority of people surviving heart attacks, the damage done to the heart muscle is irreversible. As a result, most patients eventually succumb to congestive heart failure, the most common cause of death in developed countries. Stem cells offer hope for achieving what the human body can’t do: mending broken hearts. Now researchers have built a scaffold that supports the growth and integration of stem cell-derived cardiac muscles cells. The scaffold supports the growth of cardiac cells in the lab and encourages blood vessel growth in living animals.  Read More
The Sony Ericsson Xperia X10 headed stateside at last
The Sony Ericsson Xperia X10 that was first released in the UK back in March has finally made its way to the U.S. The company’s flagship Android smartphone will be available on the AT&T network from August 15 and, despite the delay, will still be running the Donut edition of Android, version 1.6 – apparently because Sony Ericsson has been having trouble modding its add ons to suit Android 2.1.  Read More
Dr Canamero with a sad robot
In November 2008, we reported on the FEELIX GROWING (Feel, Interact, eXpress: a Global approach to development with Interdisciplinary Grounding) project’s aim of developing robots that are capable of identifying different emotions based on facial expressions. Now, that same project has announced the completion of its first prototype robots that are not only capable of developing their own emotions as they interact with their human caregivers, but they can also express those emotions.  Read More
'Dryer Box' salvages water-damaged mobile phones
For any unfortunate mobile users whose phone goes kaput due to water damage, there's now a new machine designed to suck moisture right out of your phone – if you live in Japan, that is. JMC Risk Solutions has installed a number of new 'Dryer Boxes' in selected Yodobashi Camera shops around Tokyo for those whose phones get caught out in the rain.  Read More

Apple TV is set for an internal makeover and name change to iTV (digitally altered image)
Despite Apple’s recent string of successes sparked by the iPod and following through to the iPhone and iPad, there’s one device that stands out for it’s less than stellar performance in the marketplace – Apple TV. Hardly surprising given the unit’s lack of features that can be found on devices much cheaper than Apple’s offering. Now, it seems the company is set to give the insides of its digital media receiver a going over and rename the device to better fit with its line of iDevices.  Read More
A pedestrian is removed from a Google Street View image using experimental new software
Google Street View, while very useful, fascinating, and full of wonderful bloopers, does rub some privacy advocates the wrong way. Should people on public streets have a reasonable expectation of not ending up with their photo on the Internet? There’s a whole other article in that, but in any case... for all the folks who do have a problem with it, a computer science graduate student is working on a solution: software that digitally removes pedestrians from Street View images. One of the byproducts of the current version of the system is somewhat unsettling, however – areas where people were in images are sometimes marked by ghost-like shapes, or even by disembodied shoes and feet.  Read More
Storing excess energy could help base supply power plants meet spikes in demand (Image: 0x...
The amount of power drawn from the electricity grid can vary greatly at different times of the day. It usually peaks in the early evening for a couple of hours after the mass exodus from school and work, while short-lived spikes are also common after major televised sporting events, during commercial breaks and in the morning hours. This can cause headaches for energy companies as they struggle to match supply with demand. But researchers have now found a way to manage these short-lived draws on the electricity grid far that could halve the fuel needed.  Read More
Ordro HDV-350S camcorder with in-built pico-projector
We've seen pico-projectors in mobile phones, point-and-shoot cameras and pocket camcorders, but this is the first time we've seen one added to a conventional camcorder. Little known Chinese brand Ordro's offering – the HDV-350S – captures up to 1080p video at 60 fps or 12 megapixel still pictures, features 10x optical zoom and includes a removable pico-projector which throws a WVGA (854x480) resolution image with a brightness of 15 lumens... according to Ordro that's good enough for a 60-inch projection.  Read More
James Dyson Award National Winners announced
The first stage in judging the James Dyson Award 2010 has been completed and the national shortlists from 18 countries have been posted. From these, 20 projects will be chosen to go onto the next stage later this month. The overall international winner will be crowned in October. Read on for a look at some of those now being scrutinized by the judges.  Read More
Biochar – a charcoal created by pyrolysis could offset 12 percent of human greenhouse ga...
According to a new study, as much as 12 percent of the world’s human-caused greenhouse gas emissions could be sustainably offset by producing biochar, a charcoal-like substance made from plants and other organic materials. That’s more than would be offset if the same plants and materials were burned to generate bioenergy, says the study. Additionally, biochar could improve food production in the world’s poorest regions as it increases soil fertility.  Read More
Seiko's hybrid clocks that run on battery and solar power
The folks over at Seiko, apparently lamenting the fact that the company doesn't manufacture cars, are jumping on the hybrid bandwagon nonetheless. In late August two hybrid clocks will be released in Japan. Seiko's new timepieces will combine both solar and battery power so as to reduce the frequency at which you need to replace the batteries.  Read More
WikiReader now supports 14 other language versions in addition to the original English
WikiReader, the palm-sized device that makes Wikipedia entries available offline, has gone multilingual. In addition to being able to store the more than three million English language Wikipedia articles, users can now download any of 14 other language versions of Wikipedia along with the virtual keyboards with characters to support them.  Read More
The Move-it kit is a recyclable, reusable means of transporting your goods across town
How do you get a heavy box across town without using a delivery truck, car or taxi? That’s where the Move-it could help – it’s a cleverly designed kit, made of self-adhesive cardboard parts that stick on your box and transform it into a lightweight trolley. And would you believe it’s entirely made of cardboard – including the wheels, axle and chassis?  Read More
MIT researchers have devised a way to measure blood glucose levels by shining near-infrare...
For most sufferers of type 1 diabetes pricking their fingers several times a day to draw blood for testing is an annoying (and often painful), but necessary part of life. It is essential to keep an eye on blood glucose levels because too much sugar can damage organs, while too little deprives the body of necessary fuel. To minimize that pain and inconvenience, researchers at MIT’s Spectroscopy Laboratory are working on a noninvasive way to measure blood glucose levels using light.  Read More
 

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