New and Emerging Technology News part 84 ~ NEW GEN TECH LIFE : new generation technology news

Monday, 27 January 2014

New and Emerging Technology News part 84

Energy Sistem is about to release a 5-inch Android-based touchscreen tablet with built-in ...
Spanish consumer electronics manufacturer Energy Sistem has set a pre-Christmas release date for its new Android-based, 5-inch touchscreen tablet computer. The Energy Tablet i504 is powered by a Rockchip processor, can render video in 720p high definition, is Wi-Fi-enabled and has both internal storage and expansion opportunities. To the side of the display is a built-in webcam and an optical trackball.  Read More
The Swinglet CAM can take off, snap aerial photos along a chosen route and then land, wher...
With the help of the Swinglet CAM you can create your very own local aerial map a la Google Maps, or monitor wildlife distribution in a given area, or maybe just get a feel for what's going on in the neighborhood. The small, unmanned aerial vehicle can take off and land on its own and its integrated camera will snap high resolution images along a predetermined flightpath or as directed by remote control.  Read More
Proloquo2Go is an iPhone/iPad app that helps autistic children to communicate with others
iPad and iPod Touch application developers have recently created several programs which help aid the learning and development for children with autism. The success and usability of many of these programs has not only offered a new platform to help autistic children with their education, but can also offer much-needed relief to their parents. Autistic children are said to be adapting to these iPad programs like ducks to water, whilst the supervising parents can finally get some quiet time for a cup of coffee or to simply read the newspaper in peace.  Read More
The full system, with the new machine in the background
Tea is the world's most popular drink and for the last 5000 years was made by placing tea leaves in boiling water. Over the last fifty years, the convenience of the tea bag has captured more than 90% of the tea market in many countries and the evolution looks set to continue. The world’s largest beverage company is moving into the tea market for the first time, pioneering a new pod-style machine which calculates the perfect brewing time and temperature for each individual tea variety and reproduces the perfect brew every time. Throwing tradition to the wind in every way, the EUR129 (US$180) Special.T by Nestlé machine and EUR0.35 (US$0.50) pods will ONLY be sold via the internet, with fulfillment within 48 hours.  Read More
Gartner forecasts Media Tablet Market growth of more than 1000% in the next four years
It might seem a long time, but the Media Tablet marketplace did not exist until April this year. It soon became obvious that Apple's iPad had catalyzed yet another major computing trend – by Computex, almost every device manufacturer in the world had a tablet coming. Last month, Gartner Group predicted the 20 million sales expected in 2010 will grow an order of magnitude over the next four years. Now Gartner has gone a step further. “It is not usually the role of the CEO to get directly involved in specific technology device decisions, but Apple's iPad is an exception,” says the report. “It is more than just the latest consumer gadget; and CEOs and business leaders should initiate a dialogue with their CIOs about it if they have not already done so.”  Read More
Morgan Motor Company is re-issuing its iconic Threewheeler automobile
Of all the quirky old British cars, perhaps none has more of a cult following than the Morgan Threewheeler. About 30,000 of the autos were manufactured at Morgan’s plant in Malvern, England between 1909 and 1953, with a number of others being produced under license by Darmont Morgan in France. The Threewheeler was no slouch in the performance department – it could maintain an average speed of 100 mph (161 km/h) on the race track, and one of the vehicles won the 1913 French Grand Prix. Now the Morgan Motor Company is re-releasing the car with its original looks and today’s technology.  Read More
BlackSheep keeps an eye out for nefarious session hijackers using Firesheep (Image: Tanel ...
Last month Seattle programmer Eric Butler exposed the weaknesses of open Wi-Fi networks with his Firesheep add-on for FireFox. The program intercepts browser cookies to identify users and allows anyone running it to log into sites such as Facebook and Twitter as the legitimate user. While Butler wanted to encourage the use of HTTPS to combat such vulnerabilities, users can now combat Firesheep with another Firefox add-on – BlackSheep.  Read More
Metal-insulator-metal (MIM) diodes might just be the technology that allows electronics achieve the next big leap in processing speed. Research into diode design conducted at the Oregon State University (OSU) has revealed this week cheaper and easier to manufacture MIM diodes that will also eliminate speed restrictions of electronic circuits that have baffled materials researchers since the 1960's.  Read More
The North American-spec i-MiEV from Mitsubishi
Mitsubishi will unveil the North American version of its i-MiEV (Mitsubishi innovative Electric Vehicle) at the Los Angeles Auto Show (LAAS) this week. This version of the i-MiEV will boast an enlarged body, new front and rear bumpers, airbags that detect passengers, a Tire Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS) and Active Stability Control (ASC) as standard.  Read More
Mans Tham's 'Solar Serpents in Paradise' idea would see city freeways covered in solar pan...
With solar power plants requiring large areas which aren't usually available in or close to urban areas, Sweden-based architect Mans Tham proposes cities like Los Angeles take a different road – covering the city’s freeways in solar panels. His "Solar Serpents in Paradise" idea would see 24km (15 miles) of LA's Santa Monica Freeway covered in solar panels – with an average width of 40m (131 ft), that adds up to an area of 960,000 m2 (10,333,354 Sq Ft), enough space for 600,000 domestic panels, which could generate 150 GWh per year. That's more than enough to provide electricity to all the households of Venice, California.  Read More

 
A human retina, which was the focus of the study
A better understanding of color vision has been gained in a feat of interdisciplinary and inter-institutional science. Researchers from neuroscience, nanoengineering, physics and electronics departments at universities on opposite sides of the world have come together to build a sensor that detects activity in the neural circuitry of the eye with a level of accuracy never before seen.  Read More
The developers of the Kno have announced pricing and shipping for the dual-screen (and now...
Remember the Kno digital textbook for students? After much development and student input, the devices are now ready for shipping. In addition to the 14.1-inch dual-screen version, the developers have also created a single screen edition that offers similar functionality to its bigger cousin but in a now familiar tablet format. Students can now also browse through an online textbook store, which is to include tens of thousands of titles from top publishers.  Read More
Gorillamobile for iPhone 4
Joby has continued a steady stream of product releases by tweaking the Gorillapod mobile tripod series for iPhone 4. The Gorillamobile for iPhone 4 features the flexible legs found on all Gorillapod tripods and a stand-alone bumper case to protect your device when in your pocket or packed away.  Read More
John Shanklin with the engineered plastics feedstock species Arabidopsis
Modern society's reliance on fossil fuel extends past its use as an energy source with by-products used in everything from plastics to lubricants and fertilizers. Seeking alternatives that are cleaner to produce and renewable is important for the continuation of life as we know it. This is why researchers the the U.S Department of Energy (DOE) are are engineering plants to produce chemicals needed for plastics that have traditionally come from fossil fuels.  Read More
Green Float cities would grow just like a lily floating on the water
The idea of going offshore to satisfy our renewable energy needs isn't new, but the grand vision of Japan’s Shimizu Corporation goes way beyond harnessing green energy at sea for use in cities on Terra firma – it takes the whole city along for the ride. The company, along with the Super Collaborative Graduate School and Nomura Securities, is researching the technical issues involved in constructing its Green Float concept – a self-sufficient, carbon-negative floating city that would reside in the Equatorial Pacific Ocean.  Read More
Newly-developed software allows computers to identify emotions in human speech (Image: Dde...
Getting a computer to understand what a person is saying is one thing, but getting it to understand how they’re saying it is another. If we’re ever to see a system that truly comprehends the meaning behind the words – and not just the words themselves – then such systems will need to be able to put the words in context. Researchers from Spain’s Universidad Politécnica de Madrid are trying to achieve this by developing an application that allows computers to accurately recognize human emotions based on automated voice analysis.  Read More
The robot Cody placed alongside the test subject's bed
While many movies and TV shows would have us believe that hospital sponge baths are only carried out by nurses at either end of the attractiveness spectrum, the reality is no doubt generally somewhere in between. In fact, I’m sure a lot of patients and even more nurses would prefer such tasks were handled by a robot. Researchers at the Georgia Institute of Technology seem to have reached the same conclusion and have developed a robot that can autonomously perform bed baths to keep bedridden patients clean.  Read More
The Fishy Farm lets users raise fish, vegetables... and worms
Oh, choices, choices... do you grow vegetables, raise worms or raise fish? Well, the just-released Fishy Farm is designed to do all three in one hit. The small-scale aquaponic set-up is based around an ecosystem in which fish-waste-infused water fertilizes the veggies and feeds the worms, which in turn filter the water before it returns to the fish. All that users need to do is feed the fish, top up the water, and gobble up the bounty... except for the worms.  Read More
The truck used in the trial of the i-Cool solar-powered cabin air conditioning unit
A trio of companies has joined forces to develop a truck cabin air conditioning system that uses solar energy generated from panels on the trailer’s roof area for its power. The i-Cool Solar system can save around 1.8 liters of light oil per hour when the truck is idle and reduce fuel consumption by about 1 percent when the truck is moving. If planned trials go well, we could see these units on highways in spring 2012.  Read More
The ingenious Anthony Emergency Housing System
The seeming increase in natural disasters such as tsunamis, earthquakes floods and wildfires around the world has continued to highlight mankind’s need for emergency housing. Gizmag has reported many clever designs for emergency housing over the last decade, but Peter Anthony’s collapsible, lightweight mobile platform is the most viable we've yet seen for airdropping and rapidly-deploying housing for large numbers of people. Each self-contained 8' x 8' x 8' living space is constructed of composite material, and hence weighs less than 200 pounds, folds flat and can be assembled with a single spanner by two people in less than 30 minutes.  Read More

The Audi Q5 hybrid quattro
Until now Audi has pretty much limited hybrid technology to its concept cars such as its A1 Sportback, e-tron Spyder and metroproject quattro. That is set to change with the upcoming Q5 hybrid quattro – the company’s first hybrid model with two drive systems. Audi claims the vehicle will have power comparable to a V6 coupled with fuel consumption like that of a four-cylinder Turbocharged Direct Injection (TDI) turbodiesel engine vehicle.  Read More
A good breakdown ... author of the thesis on using a technique called pyrolisis to decompo...
The world practically runs on pneumatic tires, but getting rid of them is an environmental nightmare. Apart from playground flooring material, running tracks for athletes and horses and unfashionable footwear, disposing of or reusing tires has proven to be extremely problematic (remember the Osborne artificial reef off Ft Lauderdale, Florida, made from old tires? It became an environmental disaster and had to be removed by the US Military). Now a scientist at the University of Basque Country, Spain, has used the process of pyrolisis to decompose and reuse the left-over components of pneumatic tires.  Read More
The RAPS features a razor blade to pierce the insulated wire
As soldiers are fitted out with more and more electrical sytems to extend their capabilities, they become increasingly dependent on the power needed to run them. Since soldiers in the field don’t always have ready access to an electrical outlet when they need to top up the batteries, the U.S. Air Force has developed a device that taps directly into the electricity flowing through overhead power lines... a kind of bat-hook for real-life superheroes.  Read More
Hector Martin shows off the Kinect drivers that pocketed him US$3,000
The race to claim the bounty offered by Adafruit for open source drivers for Microsoft’s Kinect has been run and won. The winner is hacker Hector Martin whose achievement of producing drivers to pull depth and RGB camera data from a Kinect is made even more impressive by the fact that it came just three hours after the European launch of the device.  Read More
University of Rhode Island graduate student Andrew Correia (left) and Prof. K. Wayne Lee, ...
Walk barefoot on an asphalt road and you'll soon realize how good the substance is at storing solar heat – the heat-storing qualities of roadways has even been put forward as an explanation as to why cities tend to be warmer than surrounding rural areas. Not content to see all that heat going to waste, researchers from the University of Rhode Island (URI) want to put it to use in a system that harvests solar heat from the road to melt ice, heat buildings, or to create electricity.  Read More
A waveguide optical switch uses an array of optical switching elements to connect the path...
Fujitsu Laboratories has unveiled a new optical switch technology that it claims uses half the power of conventional optical switches. The new optical waveguide switch uses photonics made from silicon germanium (SiGe) instead of pure-silicon semiconductor material. This technology will be the basis for a new generation of high-speed optical switches capable of operating across a wide range of wavelengths, while featuring perhaps the world’s lowest power requirements.  Read More
SeaSucker racks attach to your vehicle using nothing but rubber vacuum cups
If you’ve ever tried to install a rooftop or rear-end bike rack on your car, then you’ll know what a hassle it can be. You have to put the thing together, carefully line everything up, run the hooks under your roofline or hatch, then try to tighten it all down simultaneously so everything doesn’t get pulled to one side. According to the folks at SeaSucker, however, their racks attach and come off in seconds, thanks to an attachment system that involves nothing but rubber cups.  Read More
An Indian student trying out a prototype of the I-slate
Computers have become an essential part of a child’s education, yet there are currently over 100 million Indian children who attend rural schools that don’t have electricity – no electricity means no computers. Recently, however, a group of organizations from several different countries put their heads together to create the I-slate, a low-cost, low-energy tablet PC designed for use in these schools that runs on solar power. In trials conducted so far, it appears to be a hit with the kids.  Read More
Samsung's new Continuum smartphone is to debut in the U.S. via Verizon on November 11 and ...
Not content with offering smartphone users just a single touchscreen, Samsung's new Android-based Continuum model sports two AMOLED displays. Sitting underneath the main screen is a ticker display that is used to feed the user news and information without interfering with what's being displayed above. Other features include a 5 megapixel camera, the ability to act as a hotspot for other wireless devices, and a six-axis sensor that works with the accelerometer to offer fluid pan and tilt gaming.  Read More
The peanut-shaped Hartley 2 comet is only the fifth comet to be studied at such close rang...
Mission controllers from the University of Maryland-led EPOXI mission celebrated last week as NASA's Deep Impact space probe flew close by the Hartley 2 comet, sending back rare and valuable data about the comet. This is only the fifth time that a comet core has been viewed from such a near distance by a space probe, and it is hoped that by understanding comets better we can learn more about the origin and history of our solar system.  Read More

Tel Aviv University's explosive-detecting sensor (Image: AFTAU)
The recent Yemeni bomb threat has only highlighted the need for quick, accurate ways of detecting explosives. With their excellent sense of smell and the ability to discern individual scents, even when they’re combined or masked by other odors, this task is usually given to man’s best friend. But training these animals can be expensive and good sniffer dogs can be hard to find. Scientists have now developed an electronic sensor they say is more sensitive and more reliable at detecting explosives than any sniffer dog.  Read More
We might someday be using glowing trees as streetlights thanks to a discovery by Dr. Yen-H...
The discovery that gold nanoparticles can induce luminescence in leaves has opened up the prospect of using roadside trees as streetlights. Post-doctor Yen-Hsun Su of Research Center for Applied Science (RCAS), Academia Sinica, Taiwan, implanted gold nanoparticles into Bacopa caroliniana plants and found that, when exposed to high wavelength ultraviolet light, the gold nanoparticles can produce a blue-violet fluorescence that triggers a red emission of the surrounding chlorophyll.  Read More
Samsung's Galaxy Tab has hit the U.S. market
The theory that the Galaxy Tab could become the first genuine challenger to Apple's iPad in the media tablet marketplace is about to be put to the test with Samsung's 7-inch offering going on sale in the U.S. this week. At the same time the possibility of a Super AMOLED screen on the next-gen Galaxy Tab has also surfaced with Samsung Mobile Display showing a 7-inch AMOLED screen at the International Flat Panel Display forum in Japan.  Read More
The all-paper-construction Vulture 1, and one of PARIS' stratospheric photos
Three British amateur aerospace enthusiasts have successfully sent a camera-equipped paper airplane to an altitude of 89,000 feet (27,127 meters), where it captured images of the blackness of space before gliding back to Earth. Project PARIS (Paper Aircraft Released Into Space) involved getting the plane into the stratosphere using a weather balloon before letting it go via a release mechanism. Our regular readers will no doubt remember a recent similar project, in which a father and son obtained photos of outer space, before their camera-in-a-fast-food-box parachuted back to the ground.  Read More
The Opel Ampera
Opel has announced pricing and started taking reservations for the European sibling of the Chevy Volt – the Opel Ampera. Although prices between countries may differ due to different trim, Opel says the suggested retail price for the base model throughout Europe will start at 42,900 euro – that’s just over US$58,500 at the current exchange rate – which has raised eyebrows since the base price of the Volt in the U.S. is $41,000.  Read More
Electrodes could become a thing of the past, thanks to new research into the use of microw...
In the not-so-distant future, patients having their heart rate or other vital signs monitored may not have to be wired up with electrodes. Scientists Atsushi Mase and Daisuke Nagae, at Kyushu University in Japan, have developed a method of remotely measuring such data using microwaves. This means that people would be free to move around as they were being monitored, or in some applications, would not even know that it was happening.  Read More
Over five years US$5 million will be spent on the research and development of a vehicle th...
NASA has announced funding to develop a hypersonic fixed wing air/space vehicle capable of flight speeds between Mach 8 and Mach 20. Over five years US$5 million will be spent on the research and development of a vehicle that could one day take the first humans to Mars.  Read More
Electravia's ElectroLight and ElectroClub
While it may be some time before we see electric propulsion used in commercial airliners, at the other end of the scale, business is booming. The biggest problem facing designers is the weight-to-energy ratio of fuel cells, meaning that they are a heavy way of carrying around energy. Luckily in the light aviation world, designers don't have to worry so much about having long flight durations or carrying heavy payloads. This has made achieving electric and hybrid flight not only possible but also accessible to the average aviator.  Read More
Greenliant Systems has developed a new embedded NANDrive storage solution that incorporate...
Greenliant Systems has announced that it is currently sampling a new SSD storage solution that's been combined with a SATA controller. The embedded NANDrive form factor is suited to deployment in mobile computing products, set-top boxes and networking systems and includes advanced security features, S.M.A.R.T. monitoring, and low power consumption.  Read More
M55 is set to release the Beast 55 pedelec bike, featuring a CNC-machined aluminum frame, ...
Budapest mountain bike enthusiasts coming together as M55 have spent the last four years bringing their pedelec dream into existence. Now the Beast has risen. The first hand-built, luxury human-electric bikes out of the workshop doors will be restricted to a limited production run of just 55 and are said to feature the very best that technology has to offer. In addition to the fully CNC-machined aluminum frame and carbon fiber plates, the Beast 55 benefits from Formula One stopping power, a brushless electric motor that is claimed to make uphill climbs a relatively easy affair, and Fox suspension.  Read More

Kia's Soul Flex on show in Brazil
The major announcement of last week's Brazilian Motor Show in São Paulo was Kia's Soul Flex. Though it's the first Flexible Fuel Vehicle (FFV) from Korea, ethanol derived from sugar cane is 40% cheaper than gas in Brazil, so flex fuel vehicles make up 85% of new car sales. On top of the cheaper fuel, the Soul Flex gets a 44% improvement in fuel efficiency, with power and torque figures also a slight improvement compared with the existing petrol model. Scheduled to go on sale in Brazil early next year, the Soul Flex is able to run on 100% ethanol, 100% gasoline or an ethanol-petrol mixture.  Read More
Blood transfusions may one day come from blood produced from a patient's skin
A new technique that allows blood to be made directly from skin cells has been discovered. The pioneering approach by Canadian researchers uses human skin stem cells to create blood stem cells without an intermediate step that previously was thought necessary. It could be used for creating blood for surgery, or treating conditions like anemia using a patch of the patient's skin.  Read More
The Wheego Whip LiFe electric car
The all-electric Whip LiFe from Atlanta-based automaker Wheego will be making its debut at this month’s LA Auto Show. Not to be confused with the luxury hybrid LIFECar being developed by Morgan Motors in the U.K., the 65 mph, 100 mile range LiFe is designed as a practical little runabout and it looks... well, it looks pretty “Smart.”  Read More
A new quantum computer design corrects errors when qubits are lost from the system (Image:...
The strange behavior of quantum particles that gives quantum computers such potential also has its pitfalls. One of these is the loss of information through atomic particles escaping the system, but a new study has found that this may not be as big a problem as first thought.  Read More
Researchers have determined that playing Tetris minimizes the mind's tendency to flash bac...
If you’ve seen something you’d prefer to forget, then playing Tetris might be just what you need – provided you do it within six hours. That’s the conclusion reached by a team of psychiatric researchers from Oxford University, led by Dr. Emily Holmes. In a study involving 60 test subjects, it was found that people who played the video game within six hours of viewing traumatic images had less of a tendency to experience flashbacks of those images afterward. It all has to do with the way in which the brain processes experiences.  Read More
The Love Love was built to look as if it is sinking
French artist Julien Berthier has designed a fully functional boat to look as if it is sinking. The 6.5m (21ft) yacht was cut in half with a new keel and motor added so it remains in the sinking position while being fully functional. He describes it as "the permanent and mobile image of a wrecked ship that has become a functional and safe leisure object."  Read More
HP's new Mini 5103 netbook
Differentiating between the model numbers that make up the HP Mini lineup can be tricky, perhaps even more so with the competing Inspiron Mini series from Dell out there. The new HP 5103, however, does have a lot under the lid to make it stand out.  Read More
Audi's e-tron Detroit concept, at the 2010 Detroit Auto Show
As electric cars take to the streets, the people at Audi have been confronted with what they see as a new problem to solve: their cars are too quiet. Acoustic technicians have been enlisted to find the new sound of Audi, and it won't be a roaring V8 or hissing turbo – the inspiration might just come from the sci-fi world.  Read More
TRENDnet's tiny TEW-648UBM USB adapter
U.S. networking solutions company TRENDnet has launched one of the world’s smallest wireless N USB adapters. The new 150Mbps Micro Wireless N USB (model TEW-648UBM) is uber small, measuring in at 0.59 x 0.74 x 0.28 inches (1.5 x 1.9 x 0.7 cm). I know what you are thinking – how can I possibly not lose a USB adapter so small? Well, when it's plugged into the side of a computer, it only extends out by 0.3 inches (0.8 cm) so you can easily just leave it in there. For laptop users, you can travel with the USB attached to your computer, without the concern of damaging the device.  Read More
The MOSE (Mechanical Oil spill Sanitation Equipment) oil spill vacuum
The Deepwater Horizon oil spill earlier this year prompted many researchers to concentrate their efforts on developing better ways to clean up oil after such disasters. We’ve looked at approaches such as autonomous robots and underwater separators to collect the oil while it is still at sea, but students at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU) have developed a novel approach to dealing with the oil once it winds up on shore – a vacuum cleaner.  Read More
 


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