New and Emerging Technology News part 127 ~ NEW GEN TECH LIFE : new generation technology news

Friday, 31 January 2014

New and Emerging Technology News part 127

Edsel Ford’s 1934 Model 40 Speedster
The annual Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance sees the world's most original and extraordinary automobiles on display, and this year another priceless restoration joined the group. Edsel Bryant Ford’s 1934 Model 40 Special Speedster has been the subject of an extensive restoration which returned it to how it originally looked in 1940 after its final redesign by Ford and Ford's lead designer E. T. Gregorie. That a 77-year-old vehicle can have aged as gracefully as it has is testimony to the talent of those that built it.  Read More
Hovering for 11.4 seconds has secured a place in the record books for the Gamera team, and...
A biology student has just hovered her way into the record books in a four-rotor, human-powered helicopter named after a giant flying turtle from Japanese kaiju movies. Gamera was built to try and claim the American Helicopter Society's Sikorsky Prize, that was set up in 1980 and has yet to be claimed. The team's first flights in May resulted in a 4.2-second U.S. national record, and now the record page has had to be rewritten again after the young pilot's frantic combination of hand and foot pedaling action kept Gamera in the air for nearly three times longer, during the recent summer flight sessions.  Read More
Monolithic glass space-variant polarization converters, such as this one, are able to stor...
Recently we heard about the M-DISC, which can reportedly store data in a rock-like medium for up to 1,000 years. Now, scientists from the University of Southampton have announced the development of a new type of nanostructured glass technology. Not only might it have applications in fields such as microscopy, but it apparently also has the ability to optically store data forever.  Read More
Lockheed Martin's Samarai Flyer monocopter micro air vehicle, alongside a maple seed
If you’ve ever watched a maple seed spiraling down from a branch, you may have marveled at how it looked like a tiny one-rotor-bladed helicopter. If you did, well, you weren’t the only one. In 2009, students from the University of Maryland’s Clark School of Engineering unveiled their remarkable samara (maple seed)-inspired micro air vehicle, which was billed as “the world’s first controllable robotic samara monocopter.” Flash forward to this Tuesday, and Lockheed Martin performed the first public flight of its similar Samarai Flyer, at the Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International conference in Washington, D.C.  Read More
QinetiQ's DR10 is intended for military and first responder duties
QinetiQ North America has unveiled its latest Micro Unmanned Ground Vehicle (MUGV) based on its Dragon Runner platform. The new Dragon Runner 10 (DR10) is built around the basic Dragon Runner design and is intended for military and first responder duties. At just 15 inches (38 cm) long, 13.5 inches (34 cm) wide and 5.8 inches (15 cm) tall, and weighing just under 10 pounds (4.5 kg), the DR10 is small and light enough to be carried in a standard-issue pack and be thrown into buildings and hostile environments for reconnaissance and surveillance missions.  Read More
A new study has found that sniffer dogs can reliably detect lung cancer in the breath of p...
Last year we reported in the development of a cancer-detecting electronic nose inspired by dogs' ability to literally sniff out different types of ovarian cancer. Now a new study has found that sniffer dogs' abilities extend to reliably detecting lung cancer. The researchers say the results of the study confirm that there is a stable marker for lung cancer, which offers the possibility that a 'breath test' for the early detection of lung cancer could be developed.  Read More
Researchers have boosted the efficiency of organic solar cells by 20 percent through the u...
Carbon-based organic photovoltaic cells, which use organic polymers or small molecules as semiconductors, are significantly thinner and cheaper than their inorganic silicon-based counterparts. Unfortunately, they are also much less efficient at converting sunlight into electricity. That could be on its way to changing, however, as an international team of researchers have reportedly boosted the efficiency of organic photovoltaic cells by 20 percent ... with some help from gold nanoparticles.  Read More
A Star Trek adventure ride will be the main attraction at Jordan's new theme park
Trekkies might soon find themselves donning Starfleet-issue jumpsuits and beaming off to the Middle East with news that funding has been secured for an entertainment resort in Aqaba, Jordan, where the main attraction will be a Star Trek themed adventure ride. Work is due to start next year on the US$1.5 billion, 184-acre resort called the Red Sea Astrarium project with completion slated for 2014.  Read More
Ford and SunPower have teamed up to offer rooftop solar panels to Ford EV buyers
Although electric vehicles can claim to be greener by producing zero local emissions, the electricity used to charge their batteries needs to come from somewhere. For most people, that somewhere is usually a fossil fuel-powered power station, lessening the green credentials of such vehicles. In an effort to let drivers go the extra green mile, Ford and solar technology company SunPower have teamed up to offer buyers of Ford's upcoming EVs a discounted rooftop solar system to provide enough renewable energy to offset the electricity used to charge the vehicles.  Read More
Boeing 787 completes flight testing for type certification with Rolls-Royce engines (Photo...
It's been bent, scraped along the runway, frozen to -42 degrees C, flown over 1700 flights and spent almost 5000 hours in the air - now the 787 Dreamliner has completed the final flight tests required for type certification with Rolls-Royce engines.  Read More

XSories has released a silicone cover and an underwater lens (not pictured) for the GoPro ...
GoPro’s HERO HD is certainly one of the most popular actioncams on the market, perhaps more so now that its long-awaited LCD viewfinder/playback screen is available. As is the case with other digital cameras, however, the glare of direct sunlight can make it difficult to see what’s on that screen. Also, as we noted in an actioncam video comparison, the HERO’s underwater shots tend to be a little on the soft-focus side. Well, two new products from camera gizmo-maker XSories are designed to address both of these situations.  Read More
The 2012 Mercedes-Benz SLK 250 CDI
It's a sign of the times - after 15 years of production of its retractable hardtop (vario-roof) convertible SLK series, Mercedes has given the compact roadster a diesel engine. The 204 bhp four-cylinder delivers fuel consumption of 56.5 mpg/4.16 L/100km (combined cycle), but thanks to the 2143 cc diesel engine's 500 Nm midrange and 7G-TRONIC PLUS automatic transmission, the car offers a 0-100 km/h (62 mph) acceleration time of 6.7 seconds and a top speed of 150 mph (241 km/h).  Read More
Green Energy innovator Ecotricity has unveiled plans to install a national network of elec...
Ecotricity has unveiled plans to install green-energy-powered electric vehicle (EV) charging points at selected motorway service stations running up the UK's automotive backbone. Aiming to end potential range anxiety and speed up the adoption of EVs in Britain, the national network of charging posts will be rolled out to every Welcome Break service station, as well as other key locations, in the UK by the end of the year. Each charging post will receive its power from the company's wind and solar parks across the country, and one of the first three to go live is directly connected to the resident wind turbine at Reading's Green Park business park - offering electric motorists true zero emission driving.  Read More
Ferrari 250 Testa Rossa sets world auction record - US$16.4 million
The world record for a car sold at auction was smashed on Sunday when the Ferrari Testa Rossa prototype sold for US$16.4 million. The previous record (US$12.1 million) for an auctioned car belonged to a 1957 Testa Rossa, so the original prototype had been expected to capture the record in the lead up to the Gooding & Co Pebble Beach auction. That's the hammer falling in the pic, with various auction fees making up the difference between the US$14.9 million and the "record" US$16.4 million.  Read More
Boeing has demonstrated swarm technology using two ScanEagles (pictured) and a Procerus Un...
Individually, insects have proven a deep well of inspiration for robotics engineers looking to mimic designs refined over millions of years of evolution. Now Boeing has demonstrated swarm technology for reconnaissance missions using unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) that is similar to the way insects communicate and work together as an intelligent group. Potential uses for the technology include search-and-rescue missions and identifying enemy threats ahead of ground patrols.  Read More
Sony digital binoculars
Over the years Sony has shown its ability as a genuine innovator in the digital imaging space - in the early days of Gizmag the (then) bleeding-edge, 5-megapixel Sony F707 digital camera was a treasured part of our kit - and its latest venture looks like it could be holding that line. That venture is the company's move into digital binoculars with two models - the DEV-5 and DEV-3 - which boast full HD video recording, 7.1 megapixel still capture, optical image stabilization, 3D recording, HDMI output and (on the more expensive DEV-5) geotagging via an in-built GPS receiver.  Read More
The prototype Tacit wrist-mounted sonar device designed by Steve Hoefer
We’ve seen a number of devices - such as the UltraCane and EYE 21 system - that combine sonar and haptic or audio feedback to let the visually impaired “see” their surroundings through the senses of touch or hearing. Tacit is a similar device that also uses sonar to measure the distance to objects and provide users with a ‘view” of their surroundings through haptic feedback. But unlike previous devices we’ve looked at, Tacit is mounted on the wrist so it doesn’t impair a user’s hearing or interfere with the use of other assistance devices such as canes.  Read More
TMG's 100 percent electric sportscar that will attempt to set a new lap record at Nurburgr...
Toyota Motorsport GmbH (TMG) will attempt to set a new lap record for an electric vehicle at the legendary Nürburgring later this month. The attempt will be made in the TMG 100 percent electric car that is based on a two-seater sportscar chassis fitted with a high-performance electric powertrain developed by TMG. With a top speed of 260 km/h (161.5 mph) and the ability to go from 0 to 100 km/h (62 mph) in 3.9 seconds, the vehicle will be looking to better the current EV lap record of 9 minutes 1.1338 seconds set earlier this year by the Peugeot EX1.  Read More
The Cadillac Ciel luxury open tourer concept car on the road.
A few years ago the very existence of parent company General Motors was hanging in the balance but the Cadillac brand has made a spectacular comeback with an edgy design vocabulary in the CTS line and a seriously powerful headline-grabbing variant in the CTS-V coupe. The house style is sufficiently distinctive and the handling sufficiently sorted (we'll ignore the soon-to-be-killed-off Escalade) that the CTS is attracting buyers in Europe, something notoriously difficult for US car brands. Cadillac is feeling confident and that confidence was evident at Monterey last week where it unveiled a concept convertible that showcases a design direction for the future and its desire to move further upmarket, which of course, is exactly where Cadillac should be.  Read More
Yotel New York features the world's first hotel robotic luggage handler (Image: Yotel)
Marrying space saving efficiency with a touch of 21st Century hospitality, Yotel hotels treat guests to a fully automated check-in service featuring Yobot, a theatrically lit robotic baggage drop-off machine that creates a mechanical performance for guests as it loads and stores their belongings. The robot porter is just the beginning of the novel hotel experience offered by Yotel, a capsule style hotel chain with locations in London, New York and Amsterdam.  Read More

Logitech has announced the release of a Mac version of its solar-powered keyboard
Earlier in the year Logitech released a wireless PC keyboard powered by both direct sunlight and ambient light, like that from a table lamp. Now the tech innovator is about to show some Mac love, by launching a version for users of the popular Apple operating platform.  Read More
The Kuchofuku Air-Conditioned Cooling Work Shirt features two built-in cooling fans
Last year we took a look at the EntroSys Motorcycle Air Conditioning system, which is a vest that’s designed to blow cooling air across the torsos of leather-jacket-clad bikers. While the EntroSys needs to be attached to a bike-mounted air conditioning unit, there are doubtless many sweltering people who would appreciate a similar but more mobile garment, that they could wear while walking around or working outside. Well, needless to say, there is one – it’s the Kuchofuku Air-Conditioned Cooling Work Shirt.  Read More
A modified form of MDMA (pictured here in powder form) has potential as a potent cancer tr...
Six years ago, researchers at the University of Birmingham discovered that more than half of the cancers of white blood cells they looked at responded in the test tube to the growth-suppressing properties of psychotropic drugs, including amphetamine derivatives such as ecstasy and weight-loss pills, and antidepressants such as fluoxetine (Prozac). Building on this previous work, the researchers have now discovered a modified form of MDMA, commonly known as ecstasy, they claim has 100 times more cancer-busting properties than the designer drug itself.  Read More
Google's Street View trike is heading to the Amazon River to document 360 degree panoramic...
If you were to come up with a list of places you're unlikely to stumble across Google's Street View trike snapping 360 degree panoramics, the banks of the Amazon would surely be pretty close to the top. Yet that's precisely where the search behemoth's imaging team is currently focusing its attention. Starting off with a 50 km stretch of the Rio Negro River, the team plans to document life in some our world's most remote and richly biodiverse regions - visiting local communities, going inside village buildings and floating up and down the waterways to offer virtual visitors a unique insight into the wonders of the Amazon.  Read More
LEAP Autonomous PowerBuoy deployed off New Jersey (Image: Michael Smith, Rutgers Universit...
Maritime surveillance and monitoring systems that require remote power at sea often rely on diesel generators that need frequent maintenance and fuel replenishment. Now New Jersey-based wave energy company Ocean Power Technologies (OPT) has commenced sea trials of an autonomous wave energy device that provides clean energy for sea-based radar and communications systems in remote ocean locations and in all wave conditions.  Read More
Alesis has released what is described as the missing link between the iPad, its associated...
I have to admit to feeling a flutter of excitement when Digitech announced its programmable iPad pedalboard. Now it's the turn of vocalists, musicians of all kinds, producers and writers to access the wealth of digital music apps available for the iPad with the release of the iO Dock, from professional audio and studio equipment manufacturer Alesis.  Read More
To buy or not to buy a discounted TouchPad?
Last Thursday, HP announced that it would "discontinue operations for webOS devices, specifically the TouchPad and webOS phones." The surprise announcement came less than two months after the release of the TouchPad and the company subsequently slashed its price, prompting a stampede of customers looking to snap up a tablet bargain. But just how much of a bargain is it considering there won't be any future updates to webOS from HP and developers aren't likely to produce many new apps for a discontinued device? Having spent some time with a TouchPad recently, I'd have to say, like most things, it depends.  Read More
The EV Profiler is a driving data recorder, that lets users know how specific electric veh...
You may have heard people saying that most electric vehicles have plenty of range for an average driver’s daily needs, but ... how does that apply to you? It would definitely be disappointing to purchase an EV, only to discover that your driving habits are significantly more taxing that what is considered “average.” What would be good is if there was some sort of device that you could attach to your existing car, that would observe your driving habits, then tell you how a certain make and model of EV would stand up to those demands. That device, it turns out, exists in the form of the EV Profiler driving data recorder.  Read More
A new technology is able to convert paper mill waste into bio-foam (Photo: P199)
In a world increasingly concerned with waste, the smart manufacturers are identifying ways of utilizing the by-products of manufacturing and creating two products from one process. One example – a graduate student in agriculture at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem has developed a way of creating foam from the waste from paper mills, radically reducing waste from paper production and creating two products that are highly valuable and in demand.  Read More
Using a temperature-responsive micromold, MIT engineers created two-layer gel microparticl...
Whether you want to deliver medication to specific cells or create scaffolds for building artificial tissues, currently one of the best media for doing so are polymer microparticles filled with drugs or cells. Traditionally, it has only been possible to make such particles in a few shapes, out of a few materials, and/or with only one layer of “cargo” inside. A new technique developed at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), however, could see multilayered microparticles being made in many shapes, from a wider variety of materials.  Read More

New study highlights mobile device dangers for pedestrians
This year, according to the United States' Governors Highway Safety Association, pedestrian deaths in the U.S. rose for the first time in four years. While there could be a number of reasons for that increase, one likely culprit is mobile technology - or, more accurately, pedestrians' reluctance to disengage from their mobile devices when crossing the street. New research from the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) lends weight to this argument and show that it's not just texting and talking that can get you into trouble when you step out onto the road.  Read More
LG's LSM-100 mouse doubles as a scanner when holding down the Smart Scan button
The miniaturization of electronics has meant that the inner workings of a mouse can be crammed inside a package that is much smaller than is ergonomically recommended for such a device. This has freed up mouse manufacturers to put some of that wasted space to good use by extending the capabilities of the ubiquitous pointing peripheral. We recently looked at the Canon Mark I that combines a mouse, keyboard and calculator and now LG is getting in on the multi-capable mouse action with what strikes us as a very good idea - a mouse that doubles as a handheld scanner.  Read More
A cheaper version of the iPhone 4 (pictured) is rumored to appear alongside the iPhone 5
Rumors of Apple releasing a cheaper iPhone to compete at the lower end of the smartphone market have been floating around for some time and now Reuters is citing “sources with knowledge of the matter” who say that manufacture of a cheaper 8GB version of the iPhone by Asian suppliers is already underway and is expected to be released around the same time as the upcoming iPhone 5.  Read More
The US$255 LEGO Unimog U400
It seems like only yesterday, but Lego Technic has been with us now since 1977, and in that third of a century, the technical building blocks have no doubt stimulated the young minds of hundreds of thousands of would-be engineers. Off-road trucking manufacturer Unimog (Universal Motor Gerät) celebrates its 60th anniversary this year, so the two companies got together and produced a functioning (with pneumatic crane with working gripper arm) 1:12-scale model. You can buy the 2,048 piece kit for GBP155 (US$255). Great detailed images inside.  Read More
Ferrari's new 458 Spider
Owning an open top Ferrari is perhaps one of the most common male fantasies, though with a five liter V8 providing motive force, it's infinitely more practical to have the protection and quietness of a hardtop when atmospheric conditions aren't optimum. Hence Ferrari's new 458 Spider with its automated folding aluminum hard-top solution makes infinite sense.  Read More
A new peptide-based fluid could soon be providing dentist's with a pain-free way of fillin...
The fear of having a mechanical drill crammed into one’s mouth is enough to keep many people from regularly seeing a dentist. New technology developed by researchers at the University of Leeds that is based on knowledge of how the tooth forms in the first place could soon be providing a pain-free way of tackling the first signs of tooth decay. It uses a peptide-based fluid that is literally painted onto the tooth’s surface to stimulate the tooth to regenerate itself.  Read More
DARPA's HTV-2 hypersonic vehicle, which splashed down in the Pacific Ocean during its seco...
DARPA has confirmed the splash down of its unmanned Falcon Hypersonic Technology Vehicle (HTV-2) following the hypersonic vehicle’s second test flight on August 11. While a “controlled descent” generally refers to a human directing and guiding an aircraft to an unscheduled landing, safety systems onboard the HTV-2 kicked in after an anomaly was detected a little over nine minutes into the test flight and autonomously directed it into the ocean.  Read More
Kia's new four-door sports sedan concept will be shown at the Frankfurt Motor Show
The teasers keep rolling in ahead of the 2011 Frankfurt Motor Show (IAA) with Kia releasing images of a new four-door sports sedan concept. The powerplant is rumored to be a V8, but all we know for sure about the as yet unnamed car at this stage is that it seats four, is rear-wheel drive and, as you might expect from a concept car, it "signals the company’s distinctive new design direction."  Read More
Diamond-Power skylight panels are designed to harness solar energy, while reducing the sol...
There’s no doubt that skylights make for psychologically-nicer buildings, while also reducing the amount of electricity required for daytime artificial lighting. If they let in too much sunlight, however, they can actually increase the amount of electricity needed for air conditioning. California-based EnFocus is attacking the situation from two ends – its Diamond-Power panels diffuse sunlight to keep interior heat down, while also harnessing it to create electricity.  Read More
Sony UK has announced an online tool that allows TV buyers to place a marker in a room, ta...
Augmented reality (AR) seems to be touching almost every part of our lives at the moment. It's bringing arcade games to life, keeping back seat kids entertained during long journeys, offering on-the-spot translations and helping us to see the world in a different light. Now, Sony UK has developed an online tool that uses AR to help users visualize a new big screen TV in their home without needing to resort to a tape measure, or just leaving it to guess work and hoping for the best.  Read More

The latest incarnation of the Porsche 911 Carrera will be seen for the first time at the F...
The iconic, brand-defining Porsche 911 Carrera has once again been redesigned, and the latest incarnation will be seen for the first time at the Frankfurt Motor Show. It's lighter, more economical, more powerful, cleaner and orders are being taken from September 1, with deliveries beginning December 3. After 48 years, the 911 remains a rear-engined, boxer six with vague styling similarities to the 956 and Volkswagen Beetle DNA, but the 911 name still represents excellence, performance and a badge of success.  Read More
The Audio d-touch system allows users to create music by moving physical blocks
While more and more music is being created on computers with a QWERTY keyboard, researchers at the University of Southhampton are looking to bring the tangible interface one gets from actually playing an instrument to creating music on a computer. The Audio d-touch system uses a computer, a standard webcam, a printed sheet of paper and physical blocks that are moved around to determine how the computer samples and reproduces sound.  Read More
The Galaxy W, Galaxy M Pro, Galaxy Y and Galaxy Y Pro have joined Samsung's Galaxy range o...
Samsung has ushered in a new naming system for its Galaxy range of smartphones with the release of four new Android 2.3 (Gingerbread) powered devices. Designed to simplify things for consumers, the new naming structure groups its Android-powered smartphones into one of five classes that are identified by a single letter, which can then be broken down further with an additional indicator to provide an indication of more specific functionality.  Read More
Motocrossboard inventor Andy Keel on a 2011 MXB Shocker
Late last year we ran a story on the MXB Shocker Motocrossboard, an electric-powered two-wheel vehicle from Performance Concepts Inc. (PCI) described as a cross between a snowboard and a dirtbike. At that time the company had intended a limited release of the 2011 MXB Shocker with prices starting at US$2,999 but in the wake of widespread media interest the Motocrossboard’s inventor and PCI CEO, Andy Keel, decided against taking orders, choosing instead to focus on further product development and design. The extra R & D has resulted in a lighter and cheaper 2012 MXB Shocker that is now ready for sale alongside three new models.  Read More
Researchers have developed an antenna system that can be built into clothing, and that has...
In the recent past, we’ve seen outfits that incorporate bio-sensors and batteries, and even a bikini with integrated solar cells. One of the latest innovations in smart fabrics, however, allows a person’s clothing to act as multiple antennas. Developed at Ohio State University (OSU), the system could prove particularly useful to soldiers, who don’t want to be encumbered by a protruding whip antenna.  Read More
Paul Budnitz has developed two Titanium-framed luxury bikes that feature a cyclist's wish ...
If you're looking to invest in a high-end, all-purpose bicycle that will last a lifetime, then feast your eyes on the beautiful lines of the No1 and No2 luxury bikes built by Paul Budnitz. Each of the two models currently available is based around a lightweight but strong Titanium frame, from which flows a veritable cyclist's wish list of components ... but yes, they don't come cheap.  Read More
The Thrustcycle SRT is a three-wheeled vehicle that incorporates a gyro/flywheel system to...
Fans of three-wheeled cars will tell you that the vehicles come in two configurations: delta, with the single wheel in the front, and tadpole, with the single wheel in the back. Well, now there's another type. The prototype Thrustcycle SRT has all three of its wheels in a straight lateral line, and utilizes a mechanical gyroscopic stabilizing system to keep it firmly upright even when standing still. That same system also stores kinetic energy generated by braking, extending the vehicle's range.  Read More
Scientists have developed heart tissue that contracts when exposed to light, which could p...
There's no denying that pacemakers are life-saving devices, but they do have their limitations. These include the facts that their metal leads can break, they need to be surgically accessed if their batteries run out, and they can be disrupted by strong magnetic fields. Some or all of these problems may one day become things of the past, however, due to research currently being conducted at New York's Stony Brook University - scientists there are working towards the development of pacemakers that control the heart through pulses of light.  Read More
The PumpTire is a self-inflating bicycle tire, that uses the compressive effect of the tir...
While it’s nice to hear that Goodyear is developing self-inflating tires for cars, where does that leave bicycle riders? Still pumping, presumably? Well, not if they’re running PumpTires on their steed. As its name implies, the PumpTire is designed to automatically pump air into the inner tube, using the compressive effect of the tire meeting the ground as it turns. Once the tube reaches the desired pressure, the pumping action ceases.  Read More
Electrolux has announced the start of voting for the People's Choice Award in this year's ...
The grand final of this year's Electrolux Design Lab 2011 competition is fast approaching. The field has been reduced to the last eight solutions for compact living and video presentations of the concept designs produced. The young designers will get their chance to pitch for victory in front of the judges on September 7 in London, but before that Electrolux has opened up the ballot box for the People's Choice - a chance to reward your favorite design with some of the limelight. Read on for a look at those video presentations...  Read More

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