New and Emerging Technology News part 112 ~ NEW GEN TECH LIFE : new generation technology news

Thursday, 30 January 2014

New and Emerging Technology News part 112


Flexible thin film CIGS solar cell on polymer substrate developed at Empa (Photo: Empa)
Swiss researchers have claimed a new world record efficiency of 18.7% for flexible copper indium gallium (di)selenide (CIGS) solar cells on plastics. Flexible CIGS solar cells have the potential to drive down the price of solar electricity because they are cheaper to produce and this latest breakthrough brings them closer to the highest efficiency levels achieved by crystalline silicon and rigid CIGS cells.  Read More
The Horn Stand Amplifier supposedly increases the iPhone 4's volume by 13 decibels
We’ve already seen the dBCase that redirects sound from the iPhone 4’s down-facing speakers to pump on the volume of the device, but if you’re looking for something a bit more old school – or rather, olde school – to do the same job then the Horn Stand Amplifier might fit the bill. Made from flexible and washable silicone, the Horn Stand Amplifier borrows its form and function from the old-fashioned horn-speakers used on gramophones, slipping over the iPhone’s speakers to channel the sound through the trumpet-shaped tube and supposedly increasing the idevice’s volume by 13 decibels.  Read More
Rob Summers, 25, in the harness that provides support while he receives electrical stimula...
In a move that gives cautious hope to the millions of people suffering some form of paralysis, a team of researchers from UCLA, Caltech and the University of Louisville has given a man rendered paralyzed from the chest down after a hit-and-run accident in 2006 the ability to stand and take his first tentative steps in four years. The team used a stimulating electrode array implanted into the man’s body to provide continual direct electrical stimulation to the lower part of the spinal cord that controls movement of the hips, knees, ankles and toes, to mimic the signals the brain usually sends to initiate movement.  Read More
Yikebike Fusion - a bit heavier, a lot cheaper
The Yikebike is a sensational product - I called it the first "transportation appliance" when I rode the miniature electric penny farthing last year. Funnily enough, when I wrote about the ingenious range-extender earlier this year, I wrote that the Yikebike ticked all the boxes but one - its range. Now that the company is to offer a slightly heavier version at roughly half the price, you can probably bury the last objection that could be aimed at the Yikebike.  Read More
The BARE baby bottle is designed to better emulate the shape, texture and functionality of...
Although conventional baby bottles are designed to mimic a mother’s breast, if they could talk, most babies – like the World Health Organization – would probably tell you they are a pretty poor substitute for the real thing. Now a New York mom has designed a new type of baby bottle dubbed BARE that is claimed to better emulate a mother’s breast in terms of shape, texture and movement, as well as providing the air-free storage and delivery of milk for your bundle of joy.  Read More
Artist concept of NASA's Voyager spacecraft (Image: NASA/JPL-Caltech)
The last time we checked on the Voyager 1 & 2 they were hurtling towards the edge of the solar system at over 37,000 mph (60,000 km/h). The car-sized spacecraft are now and incredible 11 billion miles (17 billion km) and 8 billion miles (14 billion km) from Earth respectively – they are the longest continuously operated spacecraft in deep space and having traveled further than any man-made object, they will soon become the first to enter the realm of interstellar space. NASA recently held a briefing on the achievements of the program which gives us the opportunity to ponder where the Voyagers are, where they are going and the amazing scientific discoveries realized so far in their 33 year journey.  Read More
Lenovo has revealed the first in a new family of thin and powerful all-in-one desktop comp...
The inclusion of a new all-in-one desktop computer in Lenovo's Live Quarterly Update has prompted the company to come clean about the first of its new Edge family. With up to quad-core Intel Core i7 configurations available and at just 3.18-inches thick including the frame stand at the rear (or 2.5-inches thin if you care not to consider such trifles), the ThinkCentre Edge 91z is a might more powerful and a good deal slimmer than an iMac or, perhaps more relevantly, the company's own ThinkCentre M70z. Lenovo's "Do Machine" has been earmarked for small businesses and users looking to save some table-top space, and will be available in a number of configurations.  Read More
TU Vienna researchers Markus Hatzenbichler and Klaus Stadlmann with the miniature 3D print...
With the recent release of the Trimensional app, people can now use their iPhones as inexpensive 3D scanners. Not only can users take three-dimensional images of objects, but they can use those images to create actual physical models ... as long as they have access to a 3D printer. Currently, such printers tend to be large, expensive devices that are usually only found in places like universities or industrial design companies. That could soon change, however, as researchers at the Vienna University of Technology (TU Vienna) have created a prototype compact, affordable 3D printer.  Read More
An interactive music video is being used to develop an algorithm for use in computer visio...
Although already incorporated into devices such as the Microsoft Kinect gaming console, the ability of computer vision systems to recognize specific body poses is still very much a work in progress. One of the big challenges involves the chaos that such systems encounter in real-world use – while it’s one thing to initially train a computer to recognize a given person standing and pointing against a neutral background, for instance, it’s quite another to expect it to recognize that same stance in visual data where variables such as background, clothing and body type are constantly changing. A new interactive music video from Dutch electronic band C-Mon & Kypski, however, may help address that problem.  Read More
 

'Sighted' wheelchair taken for first successful test drive

May 17, 2011
Researchers have developed and publicly tested a laser-guided feedback system which will h...
The introduction of the white cane early in the last century gave blind and visually-impaired users a mobility tool that not only helped them to get around, but also allowed them to be seen by others. Now researchers from Sweden's Luleå University of Technology – the same place that designed the autonomous wheelchair – have developed and publicly tested a system which could potentially give wheelchair-bound blind people a virtual white stick to help them detect and avoid obstacles. An electric wheelchair has been fitted with a navigational laser scanner which provides virtual 3D maps of the surroundings, and sends feedback about any obstructions to the user via a haptic interface.  Read More
The sbyke takes elements from BMX bikes and skateboards to make a rear-steering scooter
Although a good while ago now, I still remember the bruising, the aches, and the shame of attempting (and mostly failing) all the latest tricks for skateboard or BMX. Others have faired much better, and the sports have continued to grow in popularity. Bart and Steve Wilson have now designed an interesting hybrid, which takes bits from board and bike to create a unique scooter called the sbyke (pronounced "spike"). Unlike more familiar micro-scooter designs, the sbyke has a fixed-position front wheel and is turned by shifting weight at the rear, it can stand upright on its own, and can take more weight – making it a more attractive proposition for adults as well as youngsters.  Read More
The left turn assistant is designed to reduce the number of accidents resulting from vehic...
BMW is working to lessen the number of fatalities caused by drivers turning left at intersections (in left-hand drive countries, that is). When the "left hand drive assistant" detects that the driver intends to turn left, three laser scanners in the front end of the car kick in to map the area up to 100 meters (328 ft) ahead. If the system detects oncoming vehicles and the driver continues to move into the intersection, it will sound a warning and automatically activate the brakes to prevent a collision.  Read More
Watch and record live TV wirelessly over your home network with the HDHomeRun
Elgato has just released – or to be technically correct, re-released – the latest addition to its line of digital TV tuners for PCs and Macs. The HDHomeRun is a rebranded dual tuner that has been sold by SiliconDust for nearly five years now and also sold in its previous incarnation by Elgato since mid-2007. The device has however received an update and is a little smaller and sexier than the original model, but still offers PC and Mac users the same ability to watch and record HDTV over a local wireless network.  Read More
Dr. Mohamed Halabi, with his lab setup for performing sorption enhanced catalytic reformin...
Hydrogen is certainly one of the big candidates when it comes to finding cleaner fuels to replace petroleum. While it only produces water when burnt as fuel, the process of obtaining hydrogen from natural gas is not quite so eco-friendly – it consumes a lot of energy, and creates carbon dioxide. Now a new process being developed at the Netherlands' Eindhoven University of Technology (TU/e) promises a much more efficient, innocuous alternative.  Read More
Seagate's GoFlex portable HDD can stream media wirelessly to mobile devices such as Apple'...
With a lack of USB ports or SD card reader there's no easy way to expand the storage capacity of an iPad, iPhone or iPod touch. With the iPad and iPod touch topping out at 64GB and many opting for the cheaper, lower capacity models, many users are either faced with the task of picking and choosing and switching and swapping the media files and documents they think they'll be wanting to enjoy, or looking for an app to stream media over the Internet to their device. With this latter option leaving users at the mercy of increasingly congested Wi-Fi hotspots or chewing through data over 3G or 4G networks, Seagate has just announced another solution in the form of the GoFlex Satellite that combines a 500GB portable HDD with a built in wireless streamer to let users take their entire media library with them.  Read More
Fraunhofer researchers have developed a robot input device that uses inertial sensors to d...
Having two arms doesn't make you a juggler. The same principle applies in robotics where even the most dextrous of bots must be programmed to move according to a particular task. Input systems based on laser tracking are used in industrial robotics to achieve this, but Fraunhofer researchers are looking to streamline the process significantly with a device that uses inertial sensors to detect movements in free space. In other words, you can teach a robot new tricks just by showing it the required action.  Read More
The Zoomy Handheld Digital Microscope
If you want to get a child interested in the sciences, just let them loose with a microscope. Proper stage microscopes can be pricey, however, and are somewhat tricky for youngsters to use. Fortunately, there are options like the Zoomy Handheld Digital Microscope – it's a simple device that plugs into the USB port of a PC or Mac, then feeds through illuminated, magnified images of whatever it's placed over.  Read More
A metallic glass rod before heating and molding (left); a molded metallic glass part (midd...
What do you do if you want a material that’s as hard as glass, but that can bend without shattering, like steel? Well, if you’re a researcher at the California Institute of Technology (Caltech), you invent metallic glass. There are several types of metallic glass – which is said to be stronger than steel or titanium – all of which consist of a metal with the disordered atomic structure of glass. Although it’s been possible to produce the material in bulk since the early 90s, the production process has limitations, that have kept metallic glass from coming into common use. Now, however, a Caltech team has come up with a new process, in which the material can be shaped as easily as plastic.  Read More
Antares Audio Technologies has announced the development of its Auto-Tune digital signal p...
Since Antares Audio Technologies first introduced its Auto-Tune vocal pitch correction technology in the late 1990s, musicians and fans alike have been somewhat divided about its use. Some artists like Cher and, more recently, T-Pain have openly embraced the voice processing tool while others have kept its use a closely guarded secret, and, at the opposite end, calls for an end to robo-voice gimmickry have been made by the likes of Jay-Z. Now, the company has announced that its Auto-Tune processing technology is being developed for the electric guitar - offering six-string slingers effortless intonation, pitch perfect tuning and access to whole new worlds of otherwise unavailable tone.  Read More

The Internet of Things moves a step closer with open source, ultra-low-power JenNet-IP
Much has been written about the “internet of things.” Right now, not every human being has an IP but in the very near future, low cost smart chips will be added to every device to give it an IP address and everything in one’s life will become part of your private secure network to be monitored and controlled (and hence become smart) via a smartphone, tablet or PC. Earlier this week, Dutch-based NXP Semiconductors announced its GreenChip, which for the cost of about US$1.00, enables every light bulb to have its own wireless IP address. NXP has subsequently announced it is to make its JenNet-IP, ultra-low-power, IEEE 802.15.4-based, wireless network layer software available under an Open Source license in Q4, 2011. This development is very significant as it reduces the cost and greatly simplifies adding “smart” connectivity and two-way communication into a wide range of devices, and might well establish a cross-application standard for wireless connectivity in both residential and industrial environments.  Read More
Fractal Audio is about to release a beast of a rack-mounted guitar effects processor featu...
Software-based guitar and amp emulators like Guitar Rig, AmpliTube and GarageBand have given players access to a multitude of sound and setups otherwise impossible to achieve without an unlimited budget, and a huge amount of storage space. While these might be perfect for the home or studio, musicians heading out on the road may want to invest in a more durable hardware-based, rack-mounted solution. Fractal Audio is about to unleash a beast of a rack-mounted, all-in-one preamp/effects processor billed as the most powerful instrument processor ever created.  Read More
Switch Lighting's 100 watt-equivalent LED bulb
Currently the brightest options for those looking to ditch their incandescent light bulbs in favor of the longer life and more energy efficient LED variety are those equivalent to 60 watt incandescent bulbs, such as the GeoBulb II. Things got a little brighter last month when California-based Switch Lighting announced its 75 watt-equivalent LED bulb and now the company has gone one better with the announcement of what it claims is the world's first 100 watt-equivalent LED bulb.  Read More
MV Agusta's 1000cc 148 kW, 200 mph, F4 RR
MV Agusta has announced a new 148 kw, 1000cc version of its F4 sports bike aimed at homologating a bike with the potential to push Ducati’s 1098S, BMW’s S1000RR and Kawasaki’s ZX10R off the superstock podium. Equipped with a new 13,700 rpm short stroke engine, the original F4 frame updated to enable steering-head angle adjustment via interchangeable inserts and new and better Öhlins suspension units and lightweight wheels, the new MV Agusta F4 RR is more than double the price of any of its aforementioned competitors, so let’s hope we see a few on the racetrack that can validate the EUR 22,900 (US$32,500) price tag.  Read More
NCR's new interactive ATM lets users talk live with a remote teller
Since their introduction in the 1960's, automated teller machines (ATMs) have provided bank customers with a convenient way to access their cash 24 hours a day seven days a week without having to wait until banking hours and queue to see a teller. Now the world's biggest ATM provider is putting the "teller" back in the automated teller machine with the unveiling of an ATM with integrated two-way video conferencing that lets users talk live with a remote teller.  Read More
McLaren’s MP4-12C: Surprisingly close to something-for-everyone
McLaren’s MP4-12C is out and the company is pleased by a worldwide order book of 1700-plus units. It’s a remarkable car in many ways, not least for being the first tilt at genuine populism from the only brand that matches or exceeds Ferrari for Formula One-derived brand cachet. That’s not to say they’re pitching it against the Toyotas and the like. But where the company’s last own-branded effort, the F1, brought pure race-car values to the road – right down to the ever-controversial ground-effect aerodynamics – the 12C serves up the broadest of dynamic spectra, at the mere touch of a couple of buttons. It’s designed as genuinely well-rounded personal transport, able to negotiate the peak hour bumper-to-bumper as well as it might the Laguna Seca corkscrew.  Read More
Eurocopter's EC145 Mercedes-Benz Style luxury helicopter
A year on from the first unveiling of the EC145 Mercedes-Benz Style multi-purpose helicopter concept at last year's European Business Aviation Convention & Exhibition (EBACE) in Geneva, Eurocopter has shown the first finished aircraft at EBACE 2011. Inspired by Mercedes' high-end vehicles, the twin-engine Mercedes-Benz Style helicopter features a versatile interior enabled by a modular approach that allows the aircraft to be tailored to suit a range of travel needs.  Read More
The Endeavour space shuttle is currently on its final flight, and the second-last flight o...
The NASA space shuttle Discovery flew its last mission on February 24th, and now it's the Endeavour's turn to bow out of service. At 8:56 a.m. EDT this Monday (May 16), the shuttle launched from the Kennedy Space Center for the final time, on a mission to bring supplies to the International Space Station (ISS). Not only is it the last flight for the Endeavour, but the second-last flight within the entire shuttle program.  Read More
Computing and robotics expert Henrik Christensen, with one of the MAST robots (Photo: Geor...
Imagine you're a firefighter arriving at a burning building, but you have no idea what the interior layout of that building is. Do you just enter, then risk your life by randomly walking up and down smokey hallways looking around? What would work better would be if someone or something could quickly map out the building first, then you could take that information and concentrate on getting directly where you need to go. That's the idea behind the U.S. Army's Micro Autonomous Systems and Technology (MAST) Collaborative Technology Alliance Program, which would see swarms of small rolling, hopping, crawling or flying robots working together on reconnaissance missions in civilian or military applications.  Read More
The ADEL features an inflatable tip, that is said to minimize or eliminate discomfort in t...
It’s no big secret that wearing in-ear devices, such as stereo earphones or hearing aids, can cause the ears to hurt over time. According to the engineers at Colorado’s Asius Technologies, however, this isn’t due simply to a poor fit or high volume levels. Instead, it’s caused by an “acoustic reflex,” that no amount of earbud-reshaping or decreases in volume will alleviate. There are reportedly ways of minimizing or even eliminating what’s known as “listener fatigue,” though – these include a flexible membrane, and even an inflatable ear-tip device created by Asius.  Read More
 
Does this AJS Porcupine deserve to become the world's most expensive motorcycle?
It seems the world auction record for a motorcycle is expected to fall later this year when a 1954 AJS E95 Porcupine grand prix racer will go under the hammer. The only thing I can’t work out is “why all the fuss?” The 1949 E90 AJS Porcupine narrowly won the inaugural World 500cc championship, but by 1954 the design was obsolete and the subsequent unreliable E95 never won a race at world championship level in three seasons of trying. That’s not stopping Bonhams from talking it up (its claim that the bike is “arguably the most beautiful, graceful and innovative racing motorcycle ever built” is just plain ridiculous) and it is expecting a sale price in excess of US$750,000 which would put it on top of the list of the most expensive motorcycles sold at auction.  Read More
AnatOnMe project from Microsoft Research in use (All images courtesy of Amy K. Karlson, Da...
Having undergone some physical therapy myself, I can confirm that even though keeping to a prescribed exercise and treatment regimen helps the injury heal faster, the daunting prospect of self-administered discomfort has led me to ignore the advice of my practitioner. A team at Microsoft's research wing has developed a working prototype of a system that may help to encourage physical injury sufferers to do their exercises by giving them a clearer understanding of what's going on. A therapist would use the device to project a series of graphics of underlying bone, muscle tissue, tendons or nerves directly onto the body of a patient to help explain the nature of the injury and prescribe effective treatment. The device can also take photos during a consultation, which can be subsequently reviewed or printed out as a memory aid for the patient.  Read More
A new security concern has arisen barely a day after the PSN went back online
When Sony began restoring the PSN earlier this week - albeit in limited form starting with gaming, music and video services - many believed the end was in sight for the problems facing the network that had seen it offline for nearly a month after the details of 77 million users were stolen. In yet another hiccup for the service, Nyleveia.com yesterday revealed a hack had surfaced that allowed attackers to change a user's password using the email address linked to the user's account and the user's date of birth - exactly the kind of information that was compromised in the original attack on the service that saw it taken offline in the first place.  Read More
The CR-Z MUGEN concept
UK-based MUGEN Euro have taken up the challenge to give the Honda CR-Z some extra grunt to produce the CR-Z MUGEN concept. The vehicle adds a supercharger to the CR-Z hybrid’s 1.5-liter gasoline engine and IMA electric motor to increase the vehicle’s output from 122 to 198 horsepower and ups the torque from 128 to 181 lb-ft. Honda UK and MUGEN have just released the first official pics of the vehicle ahead of its debut at the Goodwood Festival of Speed to be held in West Sussex, England, in July.  Read More
Researchers in Beirut are working to improve upon past attempts at linking password authen...
There are good passwords and bad passwords, but none of them are totally secure. Researchers at the American University of Beirut, Lebanon, are working on strengthening an approach to password security that's not just about what you type, but how you type it.  Read More
Eurocopter's X3 demonstrator has exceeded its initial speed target of 220 knots (Image: Pa...
After undergoing a planned upgrade to its gearbox that enabled it to operate at full engine power, Eurocopter's X3 hybrid helicopter demonstrator has surpassed its original speed target of 220 knots (407 km/h or 253 mph). In a flight on May 12, the X3 maintained a true airspeed of 232 knots (430 km/h or 267 mph) for several minutes during stable, level flight.  Read More
Fiat twin cylinder 875cc engine wins International Engine of the Year
Fiat’s new TwinAir engine has scooped the 2011 International Engine of the Year competition, winning the major gong for engine of the year, plus three other awards including the Best New Engine 2011, Best Green Engine 2011 and Best Engine of less than 1,000 cc. The twin cylinder 875 cc engine is currently only available in a turbocharged 85 bhp configuration in the Fiat 500 and will soon also be available in the Chrysler Ypsilon, but non-turbo 65 bhp, turbo 105 bhp and 80 bhp turbo bi-fuel versions are all due this year. The TwinAir’s most distinguishing technological feature is the electro-hydraulic valve control, and a balancing countershaft to reduce vibration. Interestingly, nine of the twelve awards went to turbocharged engines.  Read More
Lenovo has released a new slim, high performance ThinkPad laptop, which blends business wi...
Lenovo has announced a successor to its 13.3-inch flagship X301 laptop with twice the processor performance and four times the graphics capabilities. Features of note in the new X1 include second generation Intel Core processor options, a choice of solid state or hard drive storage, Dolby Home Theater v4 sound through stereo speakers, new fast battery top-up technology and a brand new keyboard design. The military-spec rugged ThinkPad credentials continue through to the new model, with a toughened-up SuperBright, high definition display and protective chassis and frame.  Read More
ZeroTouch is a prototype multi-touch system, in which users can touchlessly control applic...
Last November, German tech firm Evoluce unveiled a Kinect-based prototype multi-touch system that allows users to navigate through Windows 7 applications, simply by moving their hands in the air. While that system utilizes the Kinect unit’s RGB camera and depth sensor to track the user’s hands, a new technology developed at Texas A&M University's Interface Ecology Lab uses a matrix of infrared light beams to do essentially the same thing. It’s called ZeroTouch, and it was presented at last week’s 2011 Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems in Vancouver.  Read More
Trimensional is a new app that allows an iPhone 4 to work as a 3D scanner
Grant Schindler, a computer scientist at the Georgia Institute of Technology, has created what is admittedly a pretty cool iPhone 4 app. It’s called Trimensional, and it allows your phone to act as a 3D scanner. While you could use it to obtain a three-dimensional frontal image of pretty much any object, if the product’s website is anything to go by, users’ faces seem to be a particularly popular subject.  Read More


Invites for Google's new Music Beta cloud streaming service are now available to U.S. user...
It's been a good while coming but Google's music streaming service has finally arrived. Called Music Beta, it's available by invitation only and restricted to U.S. users ahead of rollout elsewhere. The service appears to be very similar to Amazon's Cloud Storage and Player, although no music is on sale directly from Google. Rather than measure the size of your collection by the gigabyte, however, Google will allow users to store up to 20,000 music tracks from their personal collection in an online vault, with no restrictions on bitrate. Music Beta offers users instant sync across devices, the ability to play selected music offline and intuitive playlist creation based on the mood of a selected track.  Read More
EEG brainwave headsets have potential applications ranging from medicine to gaming and mar...
Until recently a purely lab based technology, brainwave (electroencephalograph or EEG) headsets are trickling into the marketplace in a number of different guises. But what exactly do these devices do, how do they differ from each other and - with potential applications ranging from medicine to gaming and market research – who will use them and for what purpose? Dr. Max Sutherland takes a closer look.  Read More
TRW's bag in roof airbag system
Since Mercedes-Benz introduced the frontal airbag as an option on its S-Class vehicles back in 1981, airbags have become standard safety equipment in passenger vehicles the world over. In addition to frontal driver- and passenger-side airbags, there are now also side curtain, side torso, knee, rear curtain and even seat-belt airbags. With the aim of freeing up space in increasingly crowded instrument clusters, automotive safety systems manufacturer TRW has now developed a "bag in roof" airbag system that deploys the front airbag from the roof instead of the steering wheel or dashboard.  Read More
Kirk DuQuette designs, hand-builds and sells a growing number of antique-looking computer ...
Many of us breathed a sigh of relief when the uncomfortable lesson in bland that was the digital age of beige came to an end, but even some of the latest styling can be somewhat disappointing. The growing popularity of Steampunk design is evidence that many crave a return to the classic looks of yesteryear but enthusiasts wanting their technology to take on a vintage look are, for the most part, left with little option but to modify the kit themselves. Those with no time to spare or no skills to speak of, though, are left to look on with envious admiration. Kirk DuQuette has not only created a whole bunch of stunning computer peripherals and mobile device docks that hark back to the Victorian age of steam but, without much of the valve, cog and gauge overkill, he has also made some of them available for purchase.  Read More
Lomography has unveiled a new addition to its LC-A range of 35mm film analog cameras, the ...
In spite of the overwhelming shift towards digital photography, 35 mm film cameras still have their staunch supporters. Lomography analog film cameras came about when a couple of Austrian students stumbled across a Russian LOMO LC-A film camera in the early 1990s. They offer an experimental approach to shooting 35 mm film with effects like fisheye and 360 degree panorama. The latest model comes with a newly-developed ultra-wide-angle lens that sits on the very border of fish-eye and gives users a choice of half-frame, full-frame and square 35 mm photo formats ... and it's also very expensive.  Read More
A newly-created carbon nanofiber patch could be used to regenerate heart cells, killed by ...
When someone has a heart attack, the cells in the affected area of the heart die off, and the damage can’t be repaired. In the not-so-distant future, however, that may not be the case. Engineers from Rhode Island’s Brown University, working with colleagues in India, have created a carbon nanofiber patch that has been shown to regenerate heart cells. It is hoped that such patches could eventually be placed on the heart, like a Band-Aid, to regrow dead areas.  Read More
Owners of vehicles that exceed local allowable noise levels could start automatically gett...
It’s a situation that everyone has experienced – you’re walking down the street, when a vehicle drives by that’s so loud, people cover their ears and cast angry glances at the driver. You assume that it’s illegal to use a muffler that’s so ineffective, or to have a stereo turned up that high, but if it is ... how come so many people seemingly get away with it? Well, part of the reason is manpower. While speeders and red-light-runners can be ticketed in the thousands using automated systems, actual police officers need to go out and manually check cars and motorcycles for noise violations. The designer of Noise Snare, however, claims that his unmanned system can automatically detect and identify overly-audible vehicles.  Read More
Scientists are working on an underwater device that could facilitate two-way human-dolphin...
Despite his annoyingly cutesy synthetic voice, Darwin the Dolphin on the TV series SeaQuest DSV did present an intriguing possibility – what if we could create a dolphin language translator? Such a device may no longer be limited to the realm of science fiction, as two scientists are currently developing an underwater computer that they hope to someday use for two-way communications with wild dolphins.  Read More
The Keyless LifeBook concept from designer Laura Lahti would allow users total control ove...
A few short weeks ago, I said what a shame it was that Minebea's gorgeous COOL LEAF touch keyboard didn't allow for different country-specific keyboard layouts. A shortlisted entry in designboom's 2011 Fujitsu Design Award competition has taken such personal configuration a stage further with a touchscreen keyboard on a full-size laptop which would allow users to arrange and configure their own layout choices.  Read More
Aston Martin V12 Zagato debuts at Villa D’Este Concours
Though Italian design house Zagato has collaborated with every prestige automotive manufacturer at some stage or another, the company’s relationship with Aston Martin has produced some stunningly beautiful and very fast classic vehicles, as evidenced by the DB4GT Zagato, V8 Vantage Zagato and DB7 Zagato. To celebrate the 50th anniversary of the DB4GT Zagato, Aston Martin and Zagato will tomorrow use the backdrop of the Villa D’Este Concours in Italy to show off a V12 Zagato based on the V12 Vantage.  Read More

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