New and Emerging Technology News part 157 ~ NEW GEN TECH LIFE : new generation technology news

Sunday, 2 February 2014

New and Emerging Technology News part 157

One of the nanowire meshes, created by the Stanford scientists
Some day, meshes made from nanowires could be used in devices such as video displays, LEDs, thin-film solar cells, and touch-screens. According to research performed so far, such meshes would be very electrically conductive, cost-effective, and easy to process. What has proven challenging, however, is finding a way of getting the criss-crossed nanowires to fuse together to form that mesh – if pressed or heated, the wires can be damaged. Now, engineers from Stanford University may have found the answer ... just apply light.  Read More
A plasma torch eliminates bacteria from raw chicken
Judging by the number of folks who fall prey to food-borne illness each year, food safety is serious business, especially when you consider that pathogens such as Campylobacter and Salmonella contaminate over 70 percent of the raw chicken meat tested. Now, recent research from a food safety team at Pennsylvania's Drexel University offers proof-of-concept for what may one day be a common approach to preventing food-borne illness from raw poultry and meat products - the use of high-energy, low temperature plasma to eliminate unwanted bacteria while leaving the food basically unchanged.  Read More
A new technique that allows CPUs and GPUs to collaborate on computing tasks has resulted i...
Want to get your computer to run faster? Well, consider its graphics processing unit (GPU) and central processing unit (CPU). The two work away at their own tasks, each one rarely helping the other shoulder its workload. Researchers from North Carolina State University, however, are in the process of changing that. They have already developed a technique that allows GPUs and CPUs located on a single chip to collaborate on tasks, and it has resulted in a processing speed increase of over 20 percent.  Read More
'Small House' is Unemeri Architects' solution to living functionally on a block of land th...
This incredible 4 x 4 meter (13 x 13 foot) family home pushes architectural boundaries outside of the box. Situated in the highly dense and populated city of Tokyo, "Small House" is Unemeri Architects' solution to living functionally on a block of land that is smaller than the average-sized bedroom. Spread over four levels, this residential building features two bedrooms, open living and dining room, bathroom and rooftop terrace.  Read More
After some delay, the first batch of US$25 Raspberry Pi computers is due to roll of the pr...
There's good news for those itching to get their hands on a Raspberry Pi. After a short delay, the Raspberry Pi Foundation has confirmed that the first batch of the US$25 computers is due to roll off the production line February 20. Shifting production eastwards caused some delay, as the cheapest available quartz crystal package selected when manufacturing was planned for the UK proved harder to source in China, where the Pi will now be manufactured. The first batch will be freighted by air to the UK, where the wee beasties should be available before the end of the month. Previously, the first batch had been slated for completion by the end of January.  Read More
A report published by the Royal Society warns the neuroscience community to be aware of th...
Neuroscience has ramifications for future warfare, and the scientific community must be more aware. So says a new report published by the Royal Society titled Neuroscience, conflict and security, which cites interest in neuroscience from the military community, and identifies particular technologies that may arise. Among them is the potential for "neural interface systems" (NIS) to bring about weapons controllable by the human mind, though the reports also discusses more benign military applications of neuroscience, such as fostering a revolution in prosthetic limbs.  Read More
Astronauts training aboard the KC-135 aircraft, which inspired the proposed Zero Gravity R...
It appears that BRC Imagination Arts, a Southern California design firm, have a zero gravity roller coaster proposal that’s waiting for a US$50 million investment. BRC’s proposed theme-park ride is inspired by NASA’s astronaut training aircraft the KC-135 (aka “Vomit Comet”) and would give riders the sensation of floating within a stable chamber.  Read More
The wind-inducing anabatic office concept from architectural practice Betillin/Dorval-Bory...
By embracing wind "as an architectural element", architectural practice Betillon/Dorval-Bory believes its anabatic office concept is ideally suited to hot and humid climes. But rather than relying on natural air movement, the anabatic office seeks to create its own wind, so that energy-efficient cooling can occur where little natural wind occurs. Anabatic is a word that describes an uphill wind generated by a localized heat source.  Read More
Unlike typical 3D printers, iModela carves rather than builds its models
3D printers are certainly hot technology these days, with machines like the Printrbot, MakerBot and Cubify launching on a regular basis. But while most of these devices focus on building something from the ground up, Roland DG has unveiled a new machine that does the exact opposite. Rather than slowly building a model by adding layers of material, the iModela iM-01 3D Modeling Machine carves its creations down from a larger block of material, like a small, automated sculptor.  Read More
Doctors could soon be diagnosing diseases using breathalyzer-like technology like that use...
Scientists – and dogs – have known for some time that our breath can reveal much more about us than our estimated blood alcohol content. Researchers at the University of Wisconsin-Madison believe that “breathalyzer”-like technology they currently have under development could be used to diagnose a wide range of diseases, such as diabetes, cancer and infections. Such technology, which relies on the fact that many diseases alter the body’s metabolism in distinctive ways, would provide a non-invasive method of detecting disease even before typical symptoms appear.  Read More

Cutaway of Suzuki Burgman Fuel Cell Scooter
Intelligent Energy and Suzuki are to establish a joint venture company, SMILE FC System Corporation (SMILE FC), for developing and manufacturing fuel cell systems. Suzuki has already been working with Intelligent Energy for six years in the development and testing of the CrosscageFuel Cell motorcycle and Burgman Fuel Cell Maxiscooter, the latter already being approved for European roads. An extensive display of the two-wheeled FC technology in cutaway form was one of the highlights of December's 2011 Tokyo Motor Show. The press release states that the JV will produce at least one car and one motorcycle.  Read More
An 83-year old woman is the first in the world to receive a full 3D-printed titanium lower...
The ability to create your own replacement curtain rings, door knobs or even a custom chess set at home using a 3D printer like the Replicator or the Cubify 3D printer has the potential to knock global production models on their heads. Such advances are certainly impressive but not quite in the same league as those being made in the field of medicine. We've already seen small bone-like objects printed by Washington State University researchers, and now an 83-year old patient with a serious jaw infection has become the first person to receive a full 3D-printed titanium lower jaw implant. Amazingly, the combined effort by researchers and engineers from Belgium and the Netherlands is said to have allowed the patient unrestricted mandibular movement within a day of surgery.  Read More
The Euphoria and Zelix are the first two boards to come out of Venture's Shape Shack
With a growing focus on powder and backcountry riding, some of the snowboard designs that have come out over the past few seasons look more like original designs from the 60s and 70s than modern day equipment. They have swallowtails, pointy noses and odd profiles. Some - like the Rome Hammerhead - just look downright strange and otherworldly. With the launch of its new experimental division known as Shape Shack, Colorado-based Venture Snowboards plans to take this trend a step further in designing all kinds of Franken-boards. It may just come up with odd yet functional board designs that big companies just aren't developing.  Read More
Ion Audio has announced the Guitarlink Air, a wireless interface between instrument and di...
We've previously featured a number of devices that give players a low latency interface to the world of device-based digital tone manipulation, but each one poses something of a risk for those who like to rock out. To reduce the chances of a connected tablet or laptop flying across the room as you twirl the guitar around your body Malmsteen-style, Ion Audio has developed a wireless system called Guitarlink Air that severs the physical link between device and instrument common to products like Apogee's JAM or the AcousticLink from Alesis.  Read More
A 32-MJ version of the Office of Naval Research-funded Electromagnetic Railgun (EMRG) prot...
Two years after BAE Systems was awarded a US$21 million contract from the Office of Naval Research (ONR) to develop an advanced Electromagnetic (EM) Railgun for the U.S. Navy, the company has delivered the first industry-built prototype demonstrator to the Naval Surface Warfare Center (NSWC) Dahlgren. The prototype launcher is now being prepared for testing which is scheduled to take place in the coming weeks.  Read More
U.S. researchers have developed a nonsurgical technique to repair severed nerves in minute...
Professor George Bittner and his colleagues at the University of Texas at Austin Center for Neuroscience have developed a simple and inexpensive procedure to quickly repair severed peripheral nerves. The team took advantage of a mechanism similar to that which permits many invertebrates to regenerate and repair nerve damage. The new procedure, based on timely application of common chemicals to the severed nerve ends, could help patients to recover nearly full function in days or weeks.  Read More
Mercedes' active seat-belt buckle extends from the upholstery when the rear door is opened
Anyone who has done a bit of traveling in the rear seat of older model cars will likely have encountered the case of the missing buckle, where the seat-belt buckle has wormed its way down in the gap between the upholstery. While that may not be so much of a problem nowadays, Mercedes-Benz has developed an active seat-belt buckle that not only emerges from the upholstery when the rear doors are opened to make finding the buckle easier, but also improves safety by reducing the belt slack once the passenger is strapped in.  Read More
Valentino Rossi (46) and Nicky Hayden (69) testing at Sepang Ducati recently finished its first series of official MotoGP testing at Sepang International Circuit in Malaysia, beset by the typically hot and humid conditions and rain that interrupted track time. Nicky Hayden had a painful shoulder injury that limited valuable time on the bike, but Valentino Rossi continued until the rain arrived, finishing the session with the fifth-best time.  Read More
A clinical trial of the Argus II Retinal Prosthesis involving 30 patients has produced enc... After receiving European market approval for its Argus II Retinal Prosthesis in 2011, Second Sight has published interim results of an international clinical trial showing encouraging results in blind patients suffering degenerative eye conditions that lead to incurable blindness.  Read More
Light pulses (white spheres) traveling down the optical fiber can be converted into electr...
When data is transmitted as pulses of light along a fiber optic cable, chips at either end of that cable must convert the data from and back into an electronic signal - this is what allows an outgoing video image to be converted into light pulses, then back into video at the receiving end, for instance. There are a number of technical challenges in coupling chips to fibers, however. Now, an international team of scientists are developing an alternative ... fiber optics with the electronics built right into the fiber.  Read More
 
Mars Express has used its MARSIS radar to give strong evidence for a former ocean of Mars ...
The European Space Agency (ESA) has provided more evidence that suggests the surface of Mars was once home to an ocean. Featuring ground-penetrating radar capabilities, the MARSIS (Mars Advanced Radar for Subsurface and Ionosphere Sounding) radar aboard the ESA’s Mars Express spacecraft has detected sediments like that seen on an ocean floor.  Read More
The rumor-mill suggests the iPad 3 will has space for a larger battery, and a slightly dif... A report from RepairLabs based on what are said to be leaked iPad 3 casings suggest that the next iteration of Apple's tablet will have a larger battery, an updated camera and a Retina display, all in the same form-factor as the iPad 2.  Read More
The Mokka will feature Advanced Adaptive Forward Lighting and High Beam Assist, Lane Depar... General Motors is joining the sub-compact SUV B-segment with an all new car - the Mokka. While it's to be shown as the Opel/Vauxhall Mokka Concept at the Geneva Show in March, GM has announced that it will be available before the end of this year with a pick of three engines and a host of new technologies.  Read More
MTN Approach's three locking segments provide a functional approach ski for climbing
Pretty much every ski manufacturer in the history of skiing has made skis for skiers. But not MTN Approach. The company, which launched a small beta batch of its unique skis this season, builds skis for snowboarders. The skis are designed to ascend (not descend) the mountain and fold up into a backpack-sized package for the ride down.  Read More
A scanning electron microscope image of a single layer of the nanocrystalline-silicon nano...
For those unfamiliar with the term, a “whispering gallery” is a round room designed in such a way that sound is carried around its perimeter – this allows a person standing on one side to hear words whispered by a person on the other. Now, scientists from Stanford University have developed a new type of photovoltaic material, that essentially does for sunlight what whispering galleries do for sound. Not only does the material have a structure that circulates light entering it, but it could also result in cheaper, less fragile, and less angle-sensitive solar panels.  Read More
A recent study has shown that heat can be used to magnetically store data on tiny magnetic...
For the past several decades, it has been assumed that in order to store data on a magnetic medium, a magnetic field must be applied. Recently, however, an international team of scientists discovered that heat can be used instead of a magnetic field. Not only is this method reportedly more energy efficient, but it also theoretically allows for ten times the storage capacity and 300 times the performance of current hard drive technology.  Read More
Squid uses EMG sensors to keep track of the electrical activity of muscles during a workou...
Unless you have a personal fitness instructor following you around with a notepad, keeping track of your progress at the gym can be a real nuisance. Luckily, thanks to a group of students from from Northeastern University in Boston, you can now count on your squid-equipped shirt to do the statistical heavy lifting for you. Squid is essentially a set of electromyography (EMG) sensors attached to a box that pushes your workout data to a smartphone app. This is synchronized with a web-based management panel, to give you a detailed overview of your progress.  Read More
Gibbs Technologies has announced the availability of its Phibian (pictured) and Humdinga I...
The folks at Detroit’s Gibbs Technologies are no strangers to aquatic vehicles. In the past several years, they have brought us the zippy Aquada sports car, the Quadski ATV/personal watercraft hybrid, and the four-wheel-drive Humdinga SUV concept. Yesterday, they announced the addition of another two vehicles to their fleet – the Phibian and Humdinga II high-speed Amphitrucks.  Read More
A new technology from startup SonicNotify will allow your smartphone to provide context-se...
A new startup called SonicNotify has developed a technology that will enable smartphone apps to receive data via high frequency sound inaudible to the human ear. Though limited, the signals would be sufficient to transmit, say, a web address that could be automatically opened by your smartphone. These frequencies could be embedded into any audio being played through a speaker, and provide contextual information to the user. So, museums and art galleries could effectively transmit detailed information on their exhibits via their apparently silent PA systems. The cliche applies, I'm afraid: the possibilities are unending.  Read More
Hotel Endemico is a new eco-retreat set on 94 hectares of wilderness, and features a colle...
Hotel Endemico is a new eco-retreat set on 94 hectares (232 acres) of wilderness, and features a collection of 20 low impact "Eco-Lofts" that blend into the surrounding environment. The romantic hideaway is located in Valle de Guadalupe, Baja California, Mexico, and is just a little over an hour's drive from the San Diego/Tijuana border. Designed by San Diego-based architects Gracia Studio, each cabin is set privately along the sloping hillside and is intended to offer simplistic luxury.  Read More

Reflexcell emergency blankets use honeycomb construction for more warmth
Mother Nature is a cruel vixen, and man needs every advantage he can get when attempting to ward off her fury. Blizzard Survival improves upon the traditional emergency blanket with a honeycomb-like build that both reflects and traps heat to keep you warm. It's a technology called Reflexcell.  Read More
Olympus has taken the wraps off its new 16 megapixel Micro Four Thirds camera - the OM-D E...
At first glance, you might think that you've seen the new E-M5 from Olympus before, and you'd be right. Kind of. The new Micro Four Thirds camera is based on the classic lines of the OM series film SLR cameras first introduced in 1972, and becomes the first of the company's OM-D Series. Olympus trumpets its arrival as the beginning of a new era in digital imaging and has included a number of breaking technologies to support its claims.  Read More
The available dreams in Yumemiru include walking through a forest, visiting the beach, fly...
We all wish we could control what our dreams are at night, whether it's to pretend we have powers like Superman or simply to enjoy a relaxing stroll through a mansion on the Moon that happens to have a talking lion for a butler, complete with monocle. Sadly, we're still a long way away from programming our sleeping moments like a Netflix queue, but one Japanese app may have a quick solution. The Yumemiru app for iOS can detect when you enter dream sleep and then plays a soundtrack to influence what happens in your dreams.  Read More
With his 'separable subsurface scattering', graphics researcher Jorge Jimenez may just hav...
Graphics researcher Jorge Jimenez has cracked the problem of rendering what he calls "ultra realistic skin" in real-time with consumer-level computer and graphics hardware. It's a breakthrough made possible by the process of separable subsurface scattering (SSS) which quickly renders the translucent properties of skin and its effect on light in two post-processing passes. The code is based wholly on original research using DirectX 10. Jimenez describes the achievement as the result of hours of "research, desperation, excitement, happiness, pride, sadness and extreme dedication."  Read More
Ardoin Yacht Design's DEEP BLUE catamaran is designed to serve as a support and transport ... Luxury yacht designers Ardoin Yacht Design and U-Boat Worx submarines have collaborated on the perfect companion for U-Boat's one, two or three person submarines. The Deep Blue catamaran can carry the submarine and 12 passengers to your diving spot at up to 30 knot speeds, then hydraulically lower and raise the submarine for launching and docking.  Read More
The launch of the Phoenix spacecraft on a Delta II rocket in 2007. NASA is looking for alt...
NASA has put out the call for greener propellant fuel for use on the spacecraft of the future. Though it does not appear that NASA has stipulated that alternative propellants must match the performance of current mainstay hydrazine, it's clear that only high-performance substances need apply. Environmental credentials are where the new fuel must demonstrate an edge over hydrazine, which is a corrosive, toxic pollutant. As well as the environmental benefits, use of greener propellants should prove more economical, reducing the need for involved safety procedures that can lengthen launch times.  Read More
Kia's Track'ster concept is a sporty, powerful reinterpretation of the Kia Soul, with raci...
The Chicago Auto Show got underway on Wednesday, and Kia had one of the noteworthy debuts of day one. The company's Track'ster concept is essentially a race-inspired hot hatch version of its popular Soul. The car gets a potent powertrain and aggressive look. Kia is clearly empowered by its recent success. Once essentially the baby brother of Hyundai, a brand that itself has a historical reputation as a cheap, entry-level automaker, Kia is really starting to come into its own. According to the company's numbers, it launched more new models in the US between 2009 and 2010 than any other automaker and was one of the world's fastest growing auto brands.  Read More
The 710 Warrior can lift loads of up to 220 lbs (100 kg)
iRobot, the company behind household helpers, such as the Roomba and Scooba, and military and police robots, such as the PackBot and Negotiator, has released an updated version of its Warrior 700 robot. Like its predecessor, the newly launched 710 Warrior is designed for EOD (explosive ordnance disposal), reconnaissance and surveillance missions and can lift loads of up to 220 lbs (100 kg) and carry payloads of more than 150 pounds (68 kg) over rough terrain.  Read More
Red Bull Racing's Renault-powered RB8 Current world F1 champion Red Bull Racing has unveiled the car with which it will defend the title in 2012 - the Renault-powered RB8. With No. 1 driver Sebastian Vettel looking for a hat-trick this year, Chief Technical Officer Adrian Newey OBE is taking no chances with the design, which traces it roots back to the RB5 of 2009.  Read More
Grow bikes feature an adjustable frame to allow them to grow along with the child
Ahh kids. They grow up so fast - much to the consternation of parents faced with continually having to buy larger shoes and clothes. As much as any kid loves their first bike, they quickly outgrow these as well. But what if there was a way to save the hip-pocket nerve for a couple more birthdays without having the little dears look like they should be riding around with the clowns on miniature bikes at the circus? Well, there is and it comes from Spanish bike manufacturer Orbea, which has come up with its line of Grow bikes that - as the name suggests - grow along with your child.  Read More

UK-based bargain airline easyJet has thrown its weight behind the development of an electr...
UK-based bargain airline easyJet has thrown its weight behind the development of an electric taxiing system in a bid to cut its fuel consumption and enhance its environmental credibility. The "electric green taxiing system" (EGTS) is a joint venture by engineering and aerospace conglomerates Honeywell and Safran. Safran claims that four percent of easyJet's fuel consumption is used taxiing aircraft before take off and after landing from and to gates.  Read More
Tesla's Model X crossover electric vehicle is based on the same platform as the Model S
Tesla has unveiled its latest electric car, the Model X, at its California Design Studios. Tesla CEO Elon Musk said the prototype crossover vehicle on display was the company's most advanced to appear at a launch so is unlikely to differ significantly from the vehicle that will be put into production. The vehicle will be available in both rear- and four-wheel-drive versions. The latter packs two independent electric motors - one on the rear axle and the other in the "engine bay" - with a "Perfromance" all-wheel drive model able to accelerate from 0 - 60 mph (96.5 km/h) in under five seconds.  Read More
The Hanczar snowless sled lets you sled all year It's a reality that we come to realize as small children: certain wonderful indulgences of childhood like snow days, mud fights and sled jumps are entirely at the mercy of Mother Nature. You only get to enjoy them for a few months out of the year, and if the weather doesn't cooperate, you may miss a whole year or two. If only we'd had the Hanczar snowless sled when we were kids.  Read More
The Azerbaijan Tower would be 3,445 ft (1,050 m) high and form the centerpiece of the Khaz... The Burj Khalifa, which has held the title of world’s tallest building with a height of 2,717 ft (828 m) since its completion in 2010, may have its crown stolen by a new 3,445 ft (1,050 m) high building proposed for construction in Azerbaijan.  Read More
The pilot plant in Stuttgart that makes biogas out of waste from wholesale markets (Photo:...
Some readers might remember the Mr. Fusion unit in Back to the Future that Doc Brown fills with household garbage, including a banana peel and some beer, to power the iconic time-traveling DeLorean. While we're still some way from such direct means of running our cars on table scraps, researchers at Fraunhofer have developed a pilot plant that ferments the waste from wholesale fruit and veg markets, cafeterias and canteens to make methane, which can be used to power vehicles.  Read More
Ben Spies aboard the Yamaha at the Sepang circuit
Honda's main rival for the 2012 MotoGP title is Yamaha, so lets take a quick look at how the team fared in pre-season testing at Sepang in Malaysia. Team riders Jorge Lorenzo and Ben Spies spent the three track days allocated working to arrive at the base settings for the new 1000cc YZR-M1 before serious testing begins next month. The final session saw Lorenzo the second fastest rider, 0.59 seconds behind Casey Stoner (Honda RC213V). Team mate Spies ended up in fourth position, some 0.88 seconds behind Stoner.  Read More
The Nike Sole is an attachment designed for use with Ossur's Flex-Run carbon fiber running...
By now, probably just about everyone has seen amazing footage of single- or double-amputee runners, using Ă–ssur's Flex-Run carbon fiber running blades. The springy substitutes for legs allow their users to run so fast and naturally, that there is currently a debate over whether or not it would be fair to allow athletes using them to compete against non-amputees. Carbon fiber isn't exactly known for its grippy qualities, however, so Nike has been working with one-legged triathlete Sarah Reinertsen, to create the equivalent of a shoe that could be used with the blades. The result is the Nike Sole.  Read More
A new material known as 'fracture putty' could be used to help broken bones heal much more...
Anyone who has ever broken a bone knows that while receiving the injury itself is quite unpleasant, being laid up for several weeks to even a few months afterwards is also no picnic. Help may be on the way, however. The U.S. Department of Defense is funding a study, to develop fast bone-healing treatments that could be used on soldiers, along with civilians and even animals. Already, scientists have gotten promising results in laboratory tests, using something they call “fracture putty.”  Read More
The REK bookcase by designer and architect Reiner de Jong is an elegantly designed bookcas... The beautiful REK bookcase by Rotterdam-based designer and architect Reiner de Jong is an elegantly designed unit that can be configured to accommodate a book collection of any size with a minimum of wasted space.  Read More
The DoubleBack is a sliding pod that extends the interior space of the Volkswagen T5 Trans...
It was over thirty years ago that Volkswagen first started offering “pop tops” on its camper vans. In the years since, the soft-sided interior height-extenders have become a common sight on VW vans parked in campgrounds all over the world. Now, Welsh company Overlander Motorhomes is offering what it sees as the logical compliment to the pop top – it’s the DoubleBack, a sliding insulated pod that extends the interior length of Volkwagen’s T5 Transporter van.  Read More

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