New and Emerging Technology News part 123 ~ NEW GEN TECH LIFE : new generation technology news

Friday, 31 January 2014

New and Emerging Technology News part 123

Boeing and BAE Systems have teamed up to develop the Mk 38 Mod 2 Tactical Laser System for...
Both Boeing and BAE Systems have been working on laser weapon systems for use at sea for a number of years and now the two companies have teamed up to develop the Mk 38 Mod 2 Tactical Laser System for the U.S. Navy. The system combines both kinetic and directed energy weapons capability by coupling a solid-state high-energy laser weapon module with the Mk 38 Machine Gun System that is already in use on many U.S. Navy vessels.  Read More
The IK iRig MIDI and Line 6 MIDI Mobilizer - separated at birth?
The iPhone, iPod Touch and iPad are now established favorites for the mobile muso with new synths and sequencers seemingly coming out every week. Until iOS 4 however there was no standardized method for getting MIDI control signals in and out of the units for interfacing with ‘proper’ equipment. Some enterprising developers created methods using the Apple Camera Kit USB connector whilst Line 6 created its own proprietary method and the MIDI Mobilizer dongle to go with it. In the iOS 4 software release Apple ported the CoreMIDI programming interface framework from MacOS and developers finally had a standard method with which they were familiar. Though iOS4 was released a year ago, compatible MIDI interfaces are now only beginning to get to market.  Read More
DLC-coated plowshare (Image: Martin Horner/Fraunhofer IWM)
Plows are one of the most basic agricultural implements and have been in use for thousands of years. In that time they’ve evolved from simple ox-drawn scratch plows consisting of a frame holding a vertical wooden stick dragged through the topsoil – which are still used in many parts of the world – to tractor-mounted plows that can have as many as 18 moldboards. The evolution of the humble plow looks set to continue with Fraunhofer scientists working on diamond-like carbon (DLC)-coated plowshares that would slide through the soil like a hot knife through butter, thereby requiring less fuel.  Read More
'Dynamic Charging' technology would see electric race cars (such as this Peugeot EX1, perh...
As some Gizmag readers will already know, the new technical regulations for Formula One racing state that cars must move under electrical power only when in the pit lanes. Eyebrow-raising though that may be, two companies are currently collaborating on technology that would see cars being powered by electric motors for the entire race. Instead of looking at ultra-powerful batteries or three-hour recharging pit stops, however, they're taking another approach - they propose that the cars could wirelessly receive power from transmitters embedded in the track.  Read More
The IT Future of Medicine project is developing computer models of human patients, that wo...
The way things currently stand in the field of medicine, doctors often have to try out a number of treatments on any one patient, before (hopefully) finding one that works. This wastes both time and medications, and potentially endangers the patients, as they could have negative reactions to some drugs. In the future, however, all that experimenting may not be necessary. The pan-European IT Future of Medicine (ITFoM) project, a consortium of over 25 member organizations, is currently developing a system in which every person would have a computer model of themselves, that incorporated their own genome. Doctors could then run simulations with that model, to see how various courses of treatment would work on the actual person.  Read More
VooMote One IR sleeve and app convert iPhone or iPod touch into a universal remote
Germany-based company Zero1.tv has announced its VooMote One IR sleeve and app that converts iPhone or iPod touch into a universal remote. While the idea itself is not particularly new, some users might find VooMote One interesting as the add-on allows to create custom layouts linked to certain locations, like the living room or bedroom, with different sets of electronics to be operated via iPhone or iPod touch.  Read More
Watch out, Barack and Michelle - recent studies have concluded that viewing 3D content cau...
No, it's not just you. According to studies recently conducted by the University of California, Berkeley, the viewing of stereoscopic 3D displays does indeed cause visual discomfort, fatigue and headaches. The problem appears to come from the fact that the viewers' eyes are simultaneously trying to focus on the screen, and on objects that appear to be located either in front of or behind that screen.  Read More
Israeli industrial design student Dror Peleg has created a colorful bike that's made up of...
If Israeli industrial design student Dror Peleg had been around in the late 1950s, I feel sure that his Frii plastic bike concept would have found its way into Mosanto's House of the Future. Over 50 years later, that vision of a world of plastic has also given rise to some serious disposal issues and grave environmental concerns. Frii proposes to be part of the solution, not the problem. Made from recycled plastic, the city cycling concept would be manufactured locally for local use. Components would be injection molded into modular shapes that snap together to form a strong, lightweight and very colorful single-speed bike for quick trips through the city streets.  Read More
Newly-developed software has been shown to pick out deceptive online reviews with almost 9...
One of the great things about the internet is the fact that everyday people can share what they know with the entire world, so if they’ve had a particularly good or bad experience with a business or product, they can notify everyone via customer review websites. The flip-side of that, however, is that business owners can plant fake reviews on those same sites, that either praise their own business or slam their competition. Well, confused consumers can now take heart – researchers from Cornell University have developed software that is able to identify phony reviews with close to 90 percent accuracy.  Read More
The Cargoshell collapsible shipping container concept
The ingenious Cargoshell shipping container concept is about to be tested for ISO certification, finally enabling deployment. The composite Cargoshell is both light and collapsible. Though containerisation has streamlined global trade, it remains inefficient. The current steel containers use the same space whether they are empty or full, and waste valuable resources globally being transported and stored empty. A Cargoshell can be broken down by one person in 30 minutes, to a quarter of its original volume.  Read More
Researchers at the Stanford University have developed a flexible see-through li-ion batter...
There have been numerous attempts at designing partially transparent gadgets over the years, with the LG GD900 cell phone being a notable example. Fully translucent mobile devices are difficult to produce, however, as they would require a fully see-through battery, which hasn't been available yet. Stanford University researchers now claim to have developed such a device - a see-through, flexible, lithium-ion battery, suitable for powering mobile gadgets like cell phones, tablets or e-readers.  Read More
Drift Innovation is releasing a smaller, lighter version of its HD-170 actioncam, called t...
Last August, we did a side-by-side video comparison of Drift Innovation’s HD-170 actioncam, and the ever-popular GoPro HERO HD. While we liked the HD-170’s image quality, LCD screen, ease of use and swiveling lens, we noted that it lacked the HERO’s replaceable lens, and that it was considerably longer (although narrower) than the GoPro camera. Well, with its new compact Drift HD, Drift Innovation has addressed both of those shortcomings.  Read More
The 2000 bhp Dartz Prombron Nagel Armored Sportback built for pulling 15 metre yachts
Estonian automotive producer DARTZ is best known for producing the world's most expensive US$1 million bulletproof Kombat T98 and Prombron SUVs and more recently for producing a concept car lined in whale penis leather. Now it has announced a 2000 bhp armored Sportback, designed for pulling yachts. With a 2000 bhp powerplant, it will be the world's most powerful production car. It will also be frightfully expensive, but the owner won't be worried every time a motorcycle pulls alongside at the traffic lights.  Read More
Canon has merged mouse, numeric keypad and calculator into one useful wireless device - th...
Mobile number crunchers whose laptop keyboard is lacking in a useful separate keypad will no doubt be interested to discover that Canon is about to release a new slim laser mouse which includes its own keypad. The new X Mark I Mouse could also please trackpad haters looking to reduce the number of peripherals housed within the laptop bag, as it also operates as a 10-digit calculator complete with LCD screen.  Read More
Roland has announced the release of the MICRO BR BR-80 pocket digital recording studio
When musical inspiration hits, it's vital to get it recorded before it disappears. Handheld recorders like Tascam's DR-07 MkII recorder and or Zoom's new H2n Handy Recorder are useful in this regard, but if you need a little more flexibility, something like a pocket-sized version of the BR800 portable recording studio could be the answer. Roland has announced that its BOSS MICRO BR multi-track digital recorder has now been updated. The MICRO BR BR-80 has twice the simultaneous playback tracks of its predecessor, a new effects processor and the ability to reduce the presence of vocal and lead guitar of pre-recorded audio to give players the chance to create their own.  Read More
Akamai's State of the Internet report provides a global snapshot of global Internet use
Akamai might not be a household name but between 15 to 30 percent of the world’s Web traffic is carried on the Cambridge, Massachusetts-based company’s Internet platform at any given time. Using data gathered by software constantly monitoring Internet conditions via the company’s nearly 100,000 servers deployed in 72 countries and spanning most of the networks within the Internet, Akamai creates its quarterly State of the Internet report. The report provides some interesting Internet-related facts and figures, such as regions with the slowest and fastest connection speeds, broadband adoption rates and the origins of attack traffic.  Read More
Microsoft Avatar Kinect virtual chatroom service is now available via Kinect Fun Labs
Utilizing Kinect's motion tracking and facial recognition, Avatar Kinect takes ordinary video calls into a fully virtual environment giving each user a facial expressions and gestures-reproducing avatar. First unveiled at CES 2011 in January, Avatar Kinect is now available free to try until September 8, while later it will be available to Xbox LIVE Gold subscribers only.  Read More
The 75th anniversary of the Supermarine Spitfire
As much as Goodwood might hold special significance for automotive enthusiasts, the estate also has strong ties with the world of aviation. During WWII it was an active fighter airbase (aka RAF Westhampnett), and there are many other aspects which make it a particularly appropriate venue at which to celebrate the 75th anniversary of most famous British aircraft of all-time – the Supermarine Spitfire.  Read More
Artist's concept illustrating a quasar, or feeding black hole, similar to APM 08279 5255, ...
Two international teams of astronomers have discovered the largest and farthest reservoir of water ever detected in the universe. The researchers found the huge mass of water feeding a black hole, called a quasar, more than 12 billion light-years away. The mass of water vapor is at least 140 trillion times that of all the water in the world's oceans combined and 100,000 times more massive than the sun.  Read More
 
The AcousticLink guitar interface for acoustic players
For a good while now, electric guitar and bass players have been able to interface their instruments with computers and mobile devices thanks to solutions like the JAM from Apogee and the iRig from IK Multimedia. Now, acoustic players are to get their chance to join the digital party with the launch of the AcousicLink solution from Alesis.  Read More
MIT researchers have further improved the energy density of lithium-air batteries (Image: ...
Last year MIT researchers reported improving the efficiency of lithium-air batteries through the use of electrodes with gold or platinum catalysts. MIT News is now reporting that in a continuation of that work, researchers have been able to further increase the energy storage capacity of lithium-air batteries for a given weight by creating carbon-fiber-based electrodes.  Read More
Olympus has announced a successor to its SP-800UZ compact superzoom - the SP-810UZ, with m...
If your holiday snapping demands the versatility of up close macro photography and telephoto zoom in one compact camera then a wide-angle superzoom will likely be at the top of your shopping list. Olympus believes that it has you covered with the announcement of a successor to its SP-800UZ superzoom compact camera. The new model retains the same image resolution and movie quality as its predecessor but gets a zoom boost, gains SDXC and Eye-Fi support and is a touch thinner and lighter. The creativity features also benefit from new additions, including a 3D capture mode and Magic Filter additions.  Read More
Ion Audio's Piano Apprentice
We recently took a look at the iPerform3D online guitar lessons for those looking to unleash their inner Hendrix, but if you’re thinking tinkling the ivories might be more your style then Ion Audio’s Piano Apprentice could be worth a look - at least for a basic introduction to playing the piano. Following the Simon school of music instruction, the Piano Apprentice features a 25-note keyboard that docks with an iPad, iPod touch or iPhone to demonstrate how to play as the relevant keys on the device light up.  Read More
Fujitsu and Toshiba have unveiled the IS12T handset which runs on Windows Phone 7 Mango
Fujitsu and Toshiba have announced IS12T, the first smartphone to run on Windows Phone 7 with the new Mango update pre-installed. The new smartphone is waterproof and dust-resistant and comes with 13.2 megapixel camera and large 32GB of internal storage.  Read More
The bionic microbot that mimics the water walking abilities of the water strider (Image: A...
Chinese scientists have developed an aquatic microrobot that mimics the water-walking abilities of the Gerridae - a family of long-legged bugs commonly known as water striders that are able to run on top of the water's surface. The scientists say their bionic microbot incorporates improvements over previous devices that make it an ideal candidate for military spy missions, water pollution monitoring and other applications.  Read More
Lockheed Martin's HALE-D is launched
With the use of airships for passenger transport decreasing in the early 20th century as their capabilities were eclipsed by those of airplanes – coupled with a number of disasters – they were largely resigned to serving as floating billboards or as camera platforms for covering sporting events. But the ability to hover in one place for an extended period of time also makes them ideal for intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance purposes, which is why Lockheed Martin has been developing its High Altitude Airship (HAA). The company yesterday launched the first-of-its-kind High Altitude Long Endurance-Demonstrator (HALE-D) to test a number of key technologies critical to development of unmanned airships.  Read More
A schematic of an acoustic diode, showing how the elastic spheres are able to convert the ...
When it comes to the sound-proofing of buildings, most people likely think of using materials that simply absorb the sound waves in a noisy room, so they can't proceed into a neighboring quiet room. Researchers at the California Institute of Technology (Caltech), however, are taking a different approach. They have created something known as an acoustic diode, that only allows sound traveling through it to go in one direction. If incorporated into building materials, such diodes would let sound travel from the quiet room to the noisy one, but would simply block noise transmission in the opposite direction.  Read More
A new system for detecting counterfeit whiskey is simpler and less costly than traditional...
So, is that really Johnnie Walker Blue that you’re drinking, or is it perhaps actually Johnny Woker Bloo? Counterfeit Scotch whiskeys are more common than you might think, with the Scotch Whiskey Association reportedly handling between 60 to 70 active cases of counterfeiting at any one time. While there are lab tests that can identify the fakes, not every bar owner or restaurateur has the time or funds for those. Fortunately for them, scientists from Glasgow’s University of Strathclyde have devised a quicker, simpler, less costly system.  Read More
The Nuon Solar Team has revealed its lightest solar powered vehicle yet - the 145 kg Nuna6...
The Nuon Solar Team has revealed its lightest solar powered vehicle yet. Not only is the 145 kg Nuna6 around 10 percent lighter than its predecessor Nuna5 and half the weight of the original Nuna which competed in 2001, it is also 15 inches shorter and has 10 percent less air resistance. This month's unveiling comes as the team of students from the Delft University of Technology prepares for a tilt at victory in the 2011 World Solar Challenge - a biennial 1800 mile race through the heart of Australia that has become one of the world's premiere showcases for these incredibly efficient vehicles and the technologies that underpin them.  Read More

One of world's narrowest houses will be built in Warsaw as a workplace for Etgar Keret (Ph...
Initially presented in 2009 as a rather eccentric architect's idea, one of the world's narrowest houses will be built in Warsaw, Poland. Referred to as an "impossible house" by its designer Jakub Szczesny of Centrala design studio, the house will be 152 cm (60 in) across in its widest spot on the outside. It's located in the center of Warsaw in a small slot between two buildings, and will be officially defined as an art installation, as it does not meet any legal standards of construction in Poland.  Read More
JVC has announced a sleek new speaker dock that can accommodate both an iPad and an iPhone...
Although B&W's Zeppelin is a great way to listen to the audio on your iDevice while charging its battery, it can only dock one at a time. JVC has announced a sleek new speaker dock that can accommodate both an iPad and an iPhone/iPod at the same time.  Read More
Kalantari hopes his sensors can prevent disasters like the I-35W bridge collapse in 2007 (...
According to a 2009 estimate by the U.S. Society of Civil Engineers, more than one in four U.S. bridges are either structurally deficient or functionally obsolete. While newer “smart” bridges have embedded wired networks of sensors to monitor their structural integrity, the high cost of installing such systems on existing bridges is simply unaffordable for strained city, state and federal budgets. Now University of Maryland electrical engineering researcher Mehdi Kalantari has developed a tiny wireless sensor that monitors and transmits minute-by-minute data on a bridge’s structural integrity that he estimates is one-hundredth the cost of a wired network approach.  Read More
Skyfire's VideoQ app allows Flash video to be viewed on iOS devices
While a lot of online video has made the move to HTML 5, there are still plenty of Flash videos floating around that leave iDevice users with a “Please Upgrade Flash” message on their displays. With Apple seemingly unlikely to ever support Flash on its iOS devices, Skyfire came to the rescue last year with its Skyfire browser that allows Flash video to be viewed on said devices. Realizing that, despite its lack of Flash support, most people are generally quite happy using Safari, Skyfire has now released a standalone Flash player for iOS devices called VideoQ.  Read More
Cellular-based automotive systems such as BMW Assist have been hacked by a pair of securit...
Cellular-based automotive roadside assistance services like GM’s OnStar and BMW Assist allow remote unlocking of vehicles by communicating with remote servers via standard mobile networks. Now a pair of security systems engineers have managed to prove it takes just a few hours of clever reverse engineering to crack the in-car cellular network-based technology to gain access to vehicles. They call their method “War Texting.”  Read More
The team recorded brain signals of subjects using a driving simulator
With human error the predominant cause of car accidents, automatic braking systems like the Pedestrian Detection system found in the Volvo S60 use cameras and sensors to assist drivers in detecting oncoming hazards and automatically applying the brakes. Now a team of researchers from the Berlin Institute for Technology has found a way to improve the response times of drivers by reading their minds. Using electroencephalography (EEG) by attaching electrodes to the scalp the researchers demonstrated that reading driver’s brain signals can provide quicker reaction times to potentially prevent many of the car accidents caused by human error.  Read More
Project leader Ollie Szyszka, with one of the electronically-tagged cows
With diseases such as Foot and Mouth, TB, and of course Mad Cow still presenting a danger to cattle, it’s of the utmost importance that farmers monitor the health of their animals, and immediately proceed to isolate any that might be showing symptoms. If you have a herd of over 500 cows, however, keeping track of individuals can be rather tricky. That’s why scientists at England’s Newcastle University have developed electronic ears tags, that they’re trying out on a herd of test cattle.  Read More
The Beep-It optical theremin produces eerie tones when exposed to various light sources
If you’ve ever heard the eerie electronic music at the beginning of a 1950s science fiction movie (The Day the Earth Stood Still, for example), then you’ve heard a theremin. Invented in Russia in the 1920s, the instrument is unique, in that the person playing it doesn’t touch it at all. Instead, they move their hands around its two antennas, causing it to emit different sounds by altering radio frequencies that the machine emits. Although still used by some modern musicians, theremins can be a little pricey, and somewhat difficult to master. That’s where the $35 Beep-It optical theremin comes in.  Read More
Roll it is definitely an out-of-the-box flexible housing solution (Image: University of Ka...
Students from the University of Karlsruhe in Germany have created a flexible housing solution that makes the most of its minimal interior space in a very unusual way. Dubbed "Roll it", this cylinder-shaped home changes its purpose depending on its orientation - roll the the work space 180 degrees and it becomes a bed, the kitchen becomes a bathroom and you even get some exercise in the mouse wheel-like center section when you decide to "move house".  Read More
SK Telecom has launched a trial Smart Cart which is based on WiFi-enabled tablet PCs mount...
It doesn't have quite the appeal of sending a robot to do your shopping, but this Smart Cart service being trialed by SK Telecom could definitely take some of the hassle out of trolling the supermarket aisles. Just launched at the Shanghai Lotus Supermarket in China, the system consists of WiFi-enabled, tablet PC-equipped shopping carts and a smartphone app that can be synchronized with the tablet. By utilizing indoor positioning technology and augmented reality, the shopping "Smart" cart becomes a virtual shopping aide.  Read More

Tokyo is the world's most expensive city in which to live, while Karachi is the cheapest
Luanda in Angola, Libreville in Gabon and N’Djamena in Chad are the most expensive extreme hardship locations in the world and thanks to the marketplace volatility which results from local inflation, political instability, currency fluctuations and natural disasters, Tokyo has consolidated its title as the most expensive of the recognized cities of the world in which to live.  Read More
Finally the citizens of North Korea can acknowledge the hotel's existence
The Ryugyong Hotel in the center of North Korea's capital city Pyongyang, must count as one of the strangest building projects, not to say one of the ugliest, in the world. Construction began in 1987 and continued until its abandonment in 1993 when the projected cost of required remedial rebuilding was simply too much for the impoverished city and state to bear. Now, twenty-four years after the first concrete block was laid, it's finally finished - kinda...  Read More
Rockwell Collins touch-control primary flight display (PFD)
For the first 50 years of computing, the input and output of a computer have been to different places. Mobile computing and the touch screen are quickly changing things though and the changes extend to the aircraft industry. At the 59th Annual Experimental Aircraft Association (EAA) Airventure in Oshkosh, Wisconsin, Rockwell Collins has unveiled the first touch-control primary flight displays (PFD) for business jets and turboprop aircraft, which will be available on future applications of the company’s Pro Line Fusion avionics system.  Read More
Young Aussie designers talk us through the designs that got them to the Australian finals ...
The James Dyson Awards for young inventors are always a treasure trove of fresh ideas and up-and-coming innovators - so we caught up with 8 of the Australian finalists and got them each to deliver us a 2-minute 'elevator pitch' explaining their designs and the inspiration behind them. The videos after the jump highlight some of our favourite entries for this year's prize, including the winners. See if you can guess which of these young contestants took the prizes!  Read More
The Timesnap is a low-cost portable media player wristwatch
Despite some initial similarities, this is definitely not another iPod nano strap, such as the TikTok or LunaTik, but Chinavision's new Timesnap MP3/MP4 multimedia player wristwatch. Although not touchscreen-based, it offers a number of features including music, image, text and video file playback, along with an FM radio, at a reasonable price.  Read More
An illustration depicting X-ray flashes being generated in the XFEL(Image: European XFEL)
In order to capture slow-motion footage in which a bullet can actually be seen traveling through the air, a camera has to film at a speed somewhere in the neighborhood of 5,000 frames per second. Given that as a benchmark, what would be the purpose of a camera that manages a whopping 4.5 million fps? In the case of the UK-based Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC)'s new X-ray camera, it's to obtain three-dimensional images of individual molecules.  Read More
Visual artist Jae Rhim Lee is currently training shiitake and oyster mushrooms to feast on...
As part of a project aimed at getting people to accept and embrace their own mortality, visual artist Jae Rhim Lee is training mushrooms to decompose human tissue. This doesn't involve cruelly prodding unruly shrooms with electric goads or whipping them into submission, but rather introducing common fungi to the artist's own skin, hair, nail clippings and other body tissue so that they start to digest it. A prototype body suit has been created that's embroidered with spore-infused netting. This would be used in conjunction with a special spore slurry embalming cocktail to break down the body's organic matter and clean out the accumulated toxins, producing a nutrient-rich compost.  Read More
The PAS House is a dwelling meant as a tribute to the skateboarding lifestyle, featuring '...
For some people, skateboarding is more a way of life than just a sport. Surely this is the case with former skateboarding world champion, French-born Pierre AndrĂ© Senizergues, who is about to build a skateboarder's dream house, located in Malibu, California. Dubbed PAS House, the dwelling is meant to be a tribute to the skateboarding lifestyle, thus virtually all the walls, furniture and appliances in the house will be either 'skateable' or skateboard-themed. Think of it like a private habitable skate ramp.  Read More
Scientists have grafted olfactory receptors onto carbon nanotubes, in a step towards produ...
While people may have laughed at the mechanical-nose-bearing Odoradar device that Elmer Fudd once used to track Bugs Bunny, the development of real devices that can "smell" recently took a step forward, as researchers from the University of Pennsylvania grafted olfactory receptor proteins onto carbon nanotubes. These proteins are ordinarily located on the outer membrane of cells within the nose. When chemicals that enter the nose bind with the proteins, a cellular response is triggered, that leads to the perception of smell. It is hoped that a synthetic version of that same response could be possible, within sensing devices incorporating the nanotubes.  Read More
Engineers have designed and flown the world's first aircraft made using 3D printing techno...
One of the biggest selling features for 3D printers is the fact that you can just whip up a design using CAD software on your computer, then create a physical copy of it to try out – no special factory tooling required. Well, in order to illustrate the potential of the technology for the aviation industry, engineers from the University of Southampton have just designed and flown the world’s first “printed” aircraft. The entire structure of the unmanned air vehicle (UAV) was created using an EOS EOSINT P730 nylon laser sintering machine, which builds up plastic or metal parts through a successive layering technique.  Read More

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