New and Emerging Technology News part 181 ~ NEW GEN TECH LIFE : new generation technology news

Thursday, 6 February 2014

New and Emerging Technology News part 181

Scientists at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory have developed a means of converti...
Scientists at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory have developed a means of converting mechanical energy into electrical energy using a harmless, specially engineered virus. By simply tapping a finger on a virus-coated electrode the size of a postage stamp, the scientists were able to produce enough current to drive a liquid crystal display, albeit a very small one. The scientists claim that this is the first time that the piezoelectrical properties of a biological material have been harnessed.  Read More
 On display at the company’s sale in Monaco this week (May 11–12)
It's hard not to get carried away with the superlatives when writing of the art deco wheeled sculptures of Paris-based automotive couturier Giuseppe Figoni. This exquisite 1938 Talbot-Lago T23 'Goutte d'Eau' Coupe is not just a pretty face either - an almost identical car finished third in the 1938 Le Mans 24 hour race ... and it's for sale. From the studios of French coachbuilder Figoni et Falaschi, Figoni's Talbot-Lago T23 is one of just four Jeancart-style machines still in existence.  Read More
Honda's UNI-CUB Personal Mobility Device
Honda has released details of a new personal mobility device dubbed the UNI-CUB. An evolution of the U3-X unicycle EV that has been shown globally since the 2009 Tokyo Motor Show, the UNI-CUB employs the same impressive balance control technology and omni-directional wheel as its predecessor, with the biggest differences appearing to be the addition of an extra wheel, a comfier perch and optional user control via a mobile phone or tablet.  Read More
Image showing the south pole of the giant asteroid Vesta obtained by the framing camera on...
After becoming the first probe to enter orbit around an object in the main asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter in July 2011, NASA’s Dawn spacecraft has spent the last 10 months orbiting said object - the giant asteroid Vesta. During that period it has captured more than 20,000 images of Vesta and a multitude of data from different wavelengths of radiation. What it reveals is an asteroid that in many ways shares more in common with a small planet or Earth’s moon than it does with another asteroid.  Read More
Nintendo 3DS v PlayStation Vita - which machine should you buy?
The battle for your hand-held gaming dollar is heating up big time with the recent release of the Sony PlayStation Vita. This latest entrant in the portable gaming hardware market has a clear-cut competitor in the form of the Nintendo 3DS, and while we've had a close look at both of these offerings individually, we've decided it's time for a showdown. So which machine should you buy?  Read More
Scientists have discovered a protein that activates brown fat (pictured) in mice (Image: T...
For most of us fighting the battle of the bulge, fat is an enemy that must be reigned in to a healthier – and less noticeable – level. But there are actually two types of fat – or adipose tissue – found in mammals, white and brown. While white fat stores calories and is the culprit behind love handles, brown fat’s primary function is to generate heat to keep the body warm through the burning of fats in a process known as thermogenesis. Therefore, the ability to activate brown fat in the body could provide a means to fight obesity and keep the weight off. Now scientists have discovered a protein that could allow them to do just that.  Read More
The Chevrolet Trax will be rolled-out in 140 markets from the end of 2012 Chevrolet will introduce a new compact sport utility vehicle known as the Trax at the 2012 Paris motor show. If the name rings a bell, that's because Trax was also the label given to a diminutive SUV concept that Chevrolet floated back in 2007 and while there is next to no detail on the production model at this stage, we do know that it won't be heading to the U.S. market.  Read More
Two climbers ascend a silo, using Utah State University's PVAC system (Photo: USU)
Last month we told you about a team of Brigham Young University engineering students, who created a clever Batman-inspired wall-climbing system. They were competing in the U.S. Air Force Research Laboratory’s 2012 Service Academy and University Engineering Challenge, in which teams had to design gadgets that would allow soldiers to safely and quickly ascend vertical surfaces. Given that the Brigham Young entry didn’t take first place, however, we thought it only made sense to take a look at the entry that did ... and that would be a little something known as the Personal Vacuum Assisted Climber (PVAC), designed by a team from Utah State University.  Read More
Brainput provides a passive, implicit input channel to interactive systems, with little ef...
As machines get more and more sophisticated, the mental capacity of their human overlords stays at a static (albeit seemingly impressive) level, and therefore slowly starts to pale in comparison. The bandwidth of the human brain is not limitless, and if an overloaded brain happens to be overseeing machines carrying out potentially dangerous tasks, you can expect trouble. But why had we built the machines in the first place, if not to save us from trouble? Brainput, a brain-computer interface built by researchers from MIT and Tufts University, is going to let your computer know if you’re mentally fit for the job at hand. If it decides your brain is overloaded with tasks, it will help you out by handling some of them for you.  Read More
A drop of liquid sits on the textured silicon surface that has arced rungs to guide the dr...
Lately we’re hearing more and more about tiny medical and environmental diagnostic devices, that can perform a variety of tests using very small fluid samples. Working with such small samples does present a challenge, however – how do you thoroughly mix tiny amounts of different fluids, or wrangle individual drops for analysis? According to a team of scientists from the University of Washington, the answer lies in the lotus leaf.  Read More

2012 Motor Yacht of the Year, Tango
We regularly feature the latest superyachts on Gizmag because they offer a mixture of breathtaking design and cutting edge technology in a rarefied arena where price is seemingly no object. The resulting floating marvels often seem more like works of art than mere ocean-going transportation. An incredible 262 superyachts worth US$3.5 billion sold last year (including one that went for $300 million!) so it's no wonder that some of the world's wealthiest glitterati flocked to Istanbul earlier this month to take part in what is essentially the Oscars of the luxury boating scene - the World Superyacht Awards.  Read More
The WikiHouse construction system is based on the use of plywood fins that connect togethe...
Created by a group of young designers from London, WikiHouse is an open source construction solution that aims to make it possible for almost anyone, regardless of skill level, to freely download and build affordable housing. The WikiHouse construction system was on display during last month's Milan Design Week, where the creators themselves demonstrated how the technology can be applied. “We believe this could herald in a new industrial revolution,” co-founder Nick Ierodiaconou told Gizmag. “The factory of the future will be everywhere and the designer will be everyone.”  Read More
The BOLT padlock system allows you to open multiple padlocks using your vehicle's ignition... Nobody likes having to carry around a keychain full of keys, or – worse yet – arriving somewhere only to discover that they haven’t brought the key they need. The BOLT system offers an alternative. It allows you to open multiple padlocks, all using your vehicle’s ignition key.  Read More
A new retinal prosthesis could allow the blind to see, by using pulses of near-infrared li...
Age-related macular degeneration is the leading cause of blindness in North America, while retinitis pigmentosa causes approximately 1.5 million people worldwide to lose their sight every year. Individuals afflicted with retinal degenerative diseases such as these might someday be able to see again, however, thanks to a device being developed at California’s Stanford University. Scientists there are working on a retinal prosthesis, that uses what could almost be described as miniature solar panels to turn light signals into nerve impulses.  Read More
It sure looks like a Ferrari special edition
Look quickly at the Fahrradi Farfalla FFX and you might mistake it for a limited edition Ferrari. Scan a little more closely, though, and you'll notice the thin, hollow wheels and barren interior. Something is certainly amiss, and it's because the FFX isn't one of the world's most exotic supercars. It's one of the world's most exotic bicycles.  Read More
A game controller made from paper and Play-Doh
As I discovered when reviewing the Minty Geek Electronics Lab a while back, experimenting with circuit building can be a great deal of fun. There was one particular project in this kit that made use of the human body to complete a circuit, with a simple lie detector test being the end result. With their Makey Makey open source hardware project, Jay Silver and Eric Rosenbaum have taken such touch interaction to a much more entertaining and inventive degree. Everyday objects like bananas, coins, and even Play-Doh can be transformed into a computer keyboard key or mouse click to control onscreen gaming action, play software-based instruments or type out short messages.  Read More
The Burton Sleeper packs a variety of hidden functions
It's hard to think of a better travel garment than a big, oversized hooded sweatshirt. It's super-comfortable, warm, and easy to take off when you're frying in the stale, recycled air of a plane. Burton takes the hooded sweatshirt to a new level of travel-friendliness, by adding some key elements that include an integrated pillow.  Read More
PSB Speakers has launched its first headphones – the Music for You (M4U) 2 Active Noise Ca...
Canadian high-end loudspeaker manufacturer PSB Speakers has announced its first dip into the headphone market with the release of its Music for You (M4U) 2 Active Noise Canceling, over-the-ear headphones. Built for comfort as well as true-to-nature, hi-fidelity sound quality, the closed back, circumaural cans feature 40mm dynamic drivers, audio-enhancing amplifier technology, and an ergonomic four-point gyroscopic ear pad mount that's said to automatically adjust to the precise contours of the wearer's head.  Read More
A new nanoparticle-based coating is said to repel water from porous materials, while still... Keeping porous building materials free from stains and water damage has gotten a little easier in the past few years. Thanks to advances in technology, we’ve seen the advent of things such as spray-on glass and anti-graffiti coatings. Now, Spanish nanotech company TECNAN is offering a nanoparticle-based coating that repels liquid, yet still allows the underlying material to breathe.  Read More
PC case modder and hardware hacker Mike Schropp's latest project, the 'Bio Computer' sees ...
We've seen the wacky homebrew projects of computer hardware hacker Mike Schropp before. Mindful Gizmag readers may recall his triple quad-core i7 LEGO PC housing that we looked at last July. But his latest project, the "Bio Computer," is rather more oddball, taking a turn distinctly towards the horticultural with a PC case adapted to ... grow wheatgrass.  Read More

Rob Flickenger has created a fully functional, battery-operated Tesla Gun of the kind used...
If you listen to your elders, electricity is a dangerous, often fatal, medium that shouldn't be toyed with. If, like Rob Flickenger, you decide to completely ignore such sage counsel, then electricity is awesome and a whole bunch of fun – especially if you build yourself a working battery-powered Tesla Gun that handles some 20,000-volts and 2,000 amps of current and shoots out bolts of lightning!  Read More
Movies and gaming on iPhone could benefit from a 4-inch screen  (Photo: Apple) Apple is expected to unveil the next iPhone at its annual mobile keynote this year and as is the case with any high profile product launch, rumors about the device are beginning to materialize months before the event is scheduled to take place. Most recently, Wall Street Journal sources suggest that Apple intends to upsize the iPhone’s display from 3.5 to 4 inches.  Read More
W1PPS is a product for the MacBook Pro, that combines multiple peripheral plugs and cords ...
If you use a MacBook Pro as your regular desktop computer, but also frequently take it out and about, you may find yourself getting annoyed at having to repeatedly disconnect and then reconnect all of its peripheral devices. Additionally, because the laptop’s input/output ports are located along its side, all those sideways-protruding cables can end up adding to the clutter on your desk. That’s why Wisconsin-based tech company Veritas Forge is developing W1PPS (pronounced “whips”) – it contains all of your plugs and cords in one MacBook Pro-matched device.  Read More
Mamiya Leaf has launched three new medium format camera backs, the 40, 60 and 80 megapixel...
Medium format camera manufacturer Mamiya-Leaf has announced three new high resolution camera backs named the Leaf Credo. All of the new backs sport a specially designed DALSA CCD sensor, a touchscreen LCD display with Live View functionality for both tethered and untethered photography, and a dual-core microprocessor that's said to offer the fastest available image viewing, focusing and editing.  Read More
Custom built to break amphibious vehicle speed records, the aluminum and stainless steel S... Known as the Sea Lion, this remarkable brushed aluminum and stainless steel amphibious vehicle was designed by a Mr. M. Witt in order to break the rather slapdash and anarchic-sounding Amphibious World Speed Record.  Read More
The FDA has approved an over-the-counter HIV that takes just 20 minutes (Photo: Shuttersto...
One of the biggest problems in fighting the spread of AIDS has always been convincing people to have themselves tested regularly. Unfortunately, getting someone to take a trip to a clinic isn't always easy, particularly in areas where there aren't many options for discreet testing. In a development that could leap right over this privacy hurdle, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has just unanimously approved an over-the-counter HIV test that enables people to test themselves in their own home and receive results in just 20 minutes.  Read More
Burkhold Schulz examines sorghum treated with the fungicide propiconazole while untreated ...
Aside from arable land, most farm crops require significant amounts of water, fertilizer, nutrients and pesticides to grow. While specialized breeding is often used to help produce plants that require less of these inputs, Purdue University researcher Burkhard Schulz has found a way to create tiny versions of plants that suffer no reduction in yield through the addition of a cheap and widely available chemical.  Read More
The Smartsense system provides real-time turn by turn navigation indoors (Photo: Fraunhofe...
It's not that long ago that GPS capabilities in a mobile phone were considered a standout feature. Today, GPS navigation is standard for smartphones, and as a result, many of us have come to rely on them when it comes to getting from A to B. However, GPS technology isn't without its faults, and if A to B is located under a roof, out of sight of the orbiting GPS satellites, then you can end up falling back on the not always reliable sense of direction. To fix the problem, Fraunhofer Research is developing Smartsense, a smartphone sensor capable of providing accurate navigation indoors, without the aid of GPS.  Read More
The ASV Roboat that will attempt to set a world record while conducting a study of the end...
While sailing can be an activity that is easy to learn, it is difficult to master. Sailing boats need to be constantly tended to quickly respond to changing conditions and for both the novice and the expert, this continual need for adjustments makes sailing a demanding task. That's why the ASV Roboat is an impressive piece of engineering. Packing an array of sensors, communications hardware and solar panels, the ASV Roboat is a fully autonomous, unmanned sailing boat that has its sights set on the current robotic world sailing record.  Read More
Wendy will rise above the courtyard at MoMA's PS1 in Queens, New York this summer
This summer, Wendy will be tidying up the neighborhood in Queens, New York. The Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) will be attempting to clean the air in style at its PS1 satellite location with an outdoor architectural project that's designed to provide shade, shelter and water while also plucking pollutants out of the sky.  Read More

Seeking Kickstarter funding, the Playsurface is an affordable flat-packed multi-touch tabl...
Founded upon open source plans for optical touch tables, the designers of the Playsurface hope to develop a versatile touchscreen table-top suitable for a variety of "blazingly fast" applications (yes, including gaming) supporting multpiple users. Though purely an input and display device, the table can be had with an integrated PC as an extra. If the project goes ahead (funding is currently sought through Kickstarter), its designers claim it would be as easy to assemble as Ikea furniture. It's not a bad comparison: the flat-packed, affordable Playsurface is a product that its makers at Templeman Automation hope will close the disconnect between the popularity and availability of table-top touchscreens.  Read More
Lenovo's ThinkPad X1 Carbon weighs less than three pounds (1.3 kg) Laptop computers have come a long since the heady days of the early 80’s when carting around a “portable computer” could significantly increase your risk of developing a hernia. Thankfully, laptops these days are much thinner and lighter, making portable computing a much less physically strenuous activity. A perfect case in point is Lenovo’s upcoming ThinkPad X1 Carbon, a 14-inch Ultrabook that tips the scales at less than three pounds (1.3 kg).  Read More
The Quadrofoil
The Quadrofoil is new form of watersport recreation - a two-person electric hydrofoil which offers a thrilling and dynamic 40 km/h (25 mph/22 knot) ride along with completely silent running. Due to the remarkable efficiency of hydrofoils, it achieves all this with just one 3.7 kW electric motor, and thanks to its lightweight (150 kg/330 lb) carbon fiber and Kevlar body and in-built 4.5 kWh lithium batteries, it has a range of 100km (62 miles).  Read More
An edge-on view of our solar system with the dots representing a snapshot of NEAs (blue) a...
Potentially hazardous asteroids (PHAs) are a subset of near-Earth asteroids (NEAs) that have the potential to come within five million miles (eight million kilometers) of Earth, and are of a size large enough to make it through Earth’s atmosphere to cause significant damage on a regional, or greater, scale. NASA’s asteroid-hunting NEOWISE mission has now provided the best estimate yet of the number of PHAs in our solar system, along with their origins and the potential dangers they might pose.  Read More
Scientists have created an underwater speaker for use in studying dolphin communication (P... While there’s little doubt that dolphins are saying something to one another with all their clicks, squeals and whistles, we’re still not entirely sure just what it is that they’re communicating. We may be getting closer to figuring it out, however, as Japanese scientists have created an underwater speaker that’s capable of playing back the creatures’ entire acoustic range. The next step - see how they respond.  Read More
Scanbox is a foldable 'stage' that makes it easy to photograph documents and other objects...
Smartphone cameras are undoubtedly handy for snapping a picture of a receipt, memo or other note to quickly record or remind you of some task that needs taking care of. It's faster than using a dedicated scanner, but the results are often below par. Scanbox aims to improve the quality of these phone camera "scans" by providing a portable stage that puts the camera and the subject in just the right position.  Read More
The latest images of the 918 Spyder
Porsche's hybrid 918 Spyder is a 770 bhp supercar that can top 320 km/h, accelerate from 0-100 km/h in under three seconds and lap the Nurburgring Nordschleife circuit in seven minutes 22 seconds. The carbon fiber 918 Spyder will hit showrooms before the end of 2013, with pricing beginning at US$850,000. It's all standard fare for a supercar except for one small thing - its fuel consumption of 3.0 l/100 km (94 mpg).  Read More
The Dip Chip biosensor, with a key for scale
Once upon a time, tasters were employed by the well-to-do, in order to check that their food or drink wasn't poisonous. Today, there are electronic biosensors that can do more or less the same thing. Unfortunately, as was no doubt sometimes the case with the tasters, the biosensors can’t always give us immediate results. Additionally, they’re usually only able to test for specific substances, and not simply for “anything that’s toxic.” An experimental new device known as the Dip Chip, however, is said to address both of those problems.  Read More
Empa's air-conditioned bulletproof vest
When most of us realize that we’re overdressed for the weather, we can simply take off that extra jacket or whatnot that’s causing us to overheat. Police officers, however, don’t have the option of taking off their bulletproof vests ... and those vests aren’t exactly known for being lightweight and breathable. Fortunately, a team from Swiss research institution Empa has developed just the thing for those hot cops – an air-conditioned ballistic vest.  Read More
Marnie de Jong, an electrical engineer with the U.S. Army Research, Development and Engine...
In a bid to mitigate the risks associated with fuel transportation and to make soldiers’ work less technically complex, U.S. military scientists have started to test microgrids that would provide clean energy to soldiers in the field. Since 2009, scientists from the Communications-Electronics Research, Development and Engineering Center (CERDEC) have been developing two systems – RENEWS and REDUCE – which are being tested at the Fort Irwin National Training Center in California, and by U.S. Africa Command.  Read More


Map of Life is a new Google Maps-based website, which indicates the distribution of almost...
Ever wondered if a certain species of animal can be found where you live? The Map of Life website aims to answer this question. A Yale University-led project built on a Google Maps platform, it lists virtually all of the vertebrate animals that can be found at any one point in the world.  Read More
The URBANO PROGRESSO will be the first phone to feature Kyocera and KDDI's Smart Sound tec... Designed to overcome the frustration of listening to phone calls in noisy environments, Kyocera's new URBANO PROGRESSO smartphone provides an alternative to the traditional speaker by transmitting sound through vibrations in the handset’s display screen.  Read More
The Horizontal Shower lets you shower while reclining If you find standing up in the shower just too strenuous then the Horizontal Shower from German company Dornbracht could be just the thing for your bathroom. It features an array of six “Water Bar” showerheads built into a horizontal platform that is attached to the wall, with another platform below on which to recline.  Read More
The Wavegarden prototype has been tested by professional surfers
Imagine you're hundreds of miles from the sea - you climb over a grassy hill and come upon a lake with perfect surf just waiting for you and your board. Spanish engineering firm Instant Sport is setting about making this scenario a reality with its custom-built Wavegarden. While artificial waves are far from new, engineer Josema Odriozola and sports economist Karin Frisch claim that their brainchild can bring an ocean-like break to land-locked surfers, body boarders and kayakers alike using less energy than any other existing wave generator to date.  Read More
Wayne Daley (left), a Georgia Tech Research Institute principal research scientist, and Ca...
Any experienced chicken farmer will tell you, the relative contentment of the birds can be gauged by the sounds they’re making. While this has generally been accepted as anecdotal folk wisdom, a team of scientists from the Georgia Institute of Technology and the University of Georgia are now trying to scientifically verify it. They’re hoping that their research could lead to better living conditions for the animals, lower costs to farmers, and higher productivity.  Read More
A paralyzed woman has used the experimental BrainGate neural interface system to get herse...
Last April, for the first time since she became paralyzed 15 years ago, a 58 year-old woman was able to get herself a drink of coffee – she did so via a robotic arm, which was controlled by her thoughts. Although that rather astounding feat took place over a year ago, it was just made public today, in a report published in the journal Nature. The woman was a volunteer test subject, in a clinical trial of the experimental BrainGate neural interface system. Although still very much in development, the system could someday restore mobility to people who have suffered paralysis or limb loss.  Read More
Ford has announced that its C-MAX hybrid will cost US$500 less than a Toyota Prius v Ford has announced the pricing for its 2013 C-MAX hybrid, a crossover that has the look of a small minivan without the sliding doors. The American automaker says the base price of US$25,995 will undercut the Toyota Prius v wagon by $500.  Read More
The Lawless Electric Rocket drag bike recently achieved a National Electric Drag Racing As...
Top motorcycle drag racer Larry "Spiderman" McBride has entered the record books once again by piloting the Lawless Electric Rocket to a National Electric Drag Racing Association record run of 6.94 seconds at 201.37 mph (324 km/h) over a quarter mile (402 meters) from a standing start. While the electric drag bike looks monstrous when posing for the cameras, it's simply jaw-dropping when on the move – as you can see from the video after the jump.  Read More
Sony has detailed the new 16.1 megapixel SLT-A37 translucent mirror camera with a new tilt...
Sony has unveiled the successor to last year's SLT-A35 digital camera featuring the company's proprietary Translucent Mirror Technology that does away with the need to keep moving the mirror out of the way when taking a photograph. The new α37 is a somewhat modest refresh to the entry-level camera that sees some improvements and some reductions in specs and capabilities, but is being released at a lower price point than entry-level models before it.  Read More
The structure, including outside entrances and deck has a compact footprint of 96 square f...
Designer Robin Falck has created his very own micro home that is small enough to be built without a permit in Finland. According to Finnish regulations, you can bypass the permit process if the structure is smaller than 96 or 128 square feet (depending on where you build). With the help of a couple of local architects, Falck was able to make his original designs a reality and the result is this simple and stylish rural retreat.  Read More

Artist's depiction of the twin GRAIL spacecraft that have completed their primary mission ...
After entering orbit around the Moon at the start of the year, NASA’s twin GRAIL (Gravity Recovery And Interior Laboratory) probes, Ebb and Flow, have completed their primary mission to study the Moon’s interior structure ahead of schedule. Operating around the clock since March 8, NASA says the spacecraft have provided unprecedented detail about the interior structure and evolution of the Moon and the data they have gathered will provide insights into how Earth and its rocky neighbors in the inner solar system developed.  Read More
The solar-powered Son-X Octavia attaches to any swing and gives audio cues to encourage ki...
It's hard to believe how many classic children's toys are getting modern makeovers these days - from the Etch A Sketch to toy helicopters to footballs - and now it looks like even the playground swing set is getting a slight upgrade with the Son-X Octavia. When attached to any swing, the Son-X will play different sound bites depending on how high or long a child swings, encouraging them to go higher.  Read More
Omron claims its new hand gesture recognition technology allows users to intuitively contr...
While the Nintendo Wii and Microsoft Kinect are largely responsible for bringing gesture control into the lounge room, a new technology from OMRON promises to make gesture control mobile. Building on the company’s core “OKAO Vision” facial image sensing technology, OMRON has developed a new hand gesture recognition technology compatible not only with Windows PCs, but also Android and iOS mobile operating systems.  Read More
Olympus has created a new industrial videoscope with a tip that's just 2.4 millimeters wid... Have something in a narrow space that you want to inspect? Well, you could do worse than using Olympus’ new iPLEX TX industrial videoscope. With a tip diameter of 2.4 millimeters, it’s one of the world’s thinnest such devices, but its image is also much more clear than those of other “fiberscopes.”  Read More
A piece of steel treated with the graphene varnish, in front of an untreated sample
Hexavalent chromium compounds are a key ingredient in coatings used to rust-proof steel. They also happen to be carcinogenic. Researchers, therefore, have been looking for non-toxic alternatives that could be used to keep steel items from corroding. Recently, scientists from the University at Buffalo announced that they have developed such a substance. It’s a varnish that incorporates graphene, the one-atom-thick carbon sheeting material that is the thinnest and strongest substance known to exist.  Read More
No more pressure gauges - Easy Fill Tire Alert uses your car's horn to let you know the ti...
If you're in the market for a new Nissan, you may just be able to throw away your tire gauge and erase terms like "cold pressure" from your mind. Nissan is launching what it calls the Easy Fill Tire Alert system, an intuitive feature that handles everything about tire pressure save for actually putting the air in.  Read More
Limb.al is a stiff USB charging cable for iOS or Android mobile devices that also acts as ...
Smartphones are so monstrously powerful these days that it's like carrying around a powerful computer in your pocket. When you start work on your desktop PC, Mac or laptop, however, all that portable power is put to sleep, resigned to being no more than a glorified answering service waiting for a call. Product designer Bill May believes that your smartphone should be made to do more for the often huge cost of the monthly charges. He's created a simple USB charging cable called the Limb.al that's stiff enough to support the weight of an iPhone or Android smartphone, but can also be bent to mount your mobile device right next to your laptop display or computer monitor. You can then keep your main screen free of virtual clutter and display your feeds and widgets on your smartphone instead.  Read More
Bubble Baby is a vacuum-thermoformed and blow molded acrylic baby bed which was inspired b...
As any sleep-deprived parent will tell you, there's nothing quite like the joy of seeing your precious newborn drift off to sleep in a safe environment … if only because it means you might get a few minutes' rest yourself. As such, there are countless products on the market which promise to help you achieve this almost mythical state of sleep, and soon there could be one more - a hypoallergenic bowl-shaped baby bed.  Read More
The Green Wheel is an indoor gardening concept, in which hydroponically-grown plants rotat...
Back in the 80s, NASA envisioned a system for growing herbs and other edible plants in the zero-gravity environment of a spacecraft. Although it never got off the drawing board, that system consisted of a rotating ring with built-in hydroponics, which the plants grew on the inside of. Flash forward a few decades, and Italian design firm DesignLibero has taken that concept and re-imagined it as a consumer device, known as The Green Wheel.  Read More
LG's five-inch LCD display can handle full 1080p HD video LG has introduced an impressive new smartphone display that's expected to come to new handsets in the second half of 2012. The panel is five inches across, and features a pixel density of 440ppi with an aspect ratio of 16:9, capable of displaying 1080p HD content. This impressive new display trumps Apple's retina display, as well as the larger screens on phones like the Galaxy Note in terms of size versus pixel density.  Read More

The AM310 concept debuted at the Concorso d'Eleganza Ville d'Este
During the festivities of this past weekend's Concorso d'Eleganza Ville d'Este in Lake Como, Italy, Aston Martin introduced a new concept called the Project AM310. Unlike the superlative BMW Zagato Coupe, the AM310 is expected to serve as more than a one-off concept - it's reportedly a preview of the replacement for the DBS.  Read More
The 520 genome sequences released are matched sets of normal and tumor tissue samples from...
As part of an ongoing effort to facilitate swifter progress in the fight against cancer and other related diseases, the St. Jude Children's Hospital-Washington University Pediatric Cancer Genome Project has released a vast amount of human cancer genome data, which is now available to scientists globally. The volume of information offered amounts to more than double the data previously open to scientists from all the other human genome sources combined.  Read More
Modder Mike Warren has given meaning to the term 'soldering gun,' by combining a battery-o... Electric soldering guns like the ones made by Weller are so named due to a passing resemblance to a hand gun, but to me they've always looked more like a B-movie imitation of a classic phaser from the Star Trek TV series. If you're wanting a soldering gun that really looks like a pistol, then take a look at Mike Warren's mod, which combines an old air pistol and a battery-operated soldering iron into an oddly pleasing hand-held heat weapon. The gun even uses the magazine clip as a battery pack.  Read More
Canadian design studio Bioi recently completed this compact home in Warburg, Alberta after...
Canadian design studio Bioi recently completed this compact home in Warburg, Alberta after being given the challenge to create a contemporary and energy-efficient home for under US$100,000. The result is a simple, open and sustainable home, with a reduced space that holds all of the functionality of a regular sized home. “Working alongside our client, we determined the true necessity of the space that they required,” principal architects Jordan Allen and Ryan Trefz told Gizmag. “Throughout the design phase redundant spaces were eliminated, and non-inhabitable spaces were pushed to an absolute minimum.”  Read More
Italian industrial designer Michele Puzzolante has come up with a conceptual floating luxu...
Italian industrial designer Michele Puzzolante has come up with a conceptual floating luxury hotel suite he claims could be entirely self-powering thanks to the dye-sensitized solar cells which would be integrated into the vessel's walls. Puzzolante suggests his "Solar Floating Resort" could be navigated along exotic coast lines, while its six resident passengers observe marine wildlife thanks to its underwater "observation bulb."  Read More
Sony Computer Entertainment America has filed a patent that could see video games interrup... Sony Computer Entertainment America has filed a patent that could see video games interrupted by compulsory advertising. The patent's abstract describes the suspension of "interactive content" in order to display an advertisement, after which interaction resumes.  Read More
Designing his own Ferrari SP12 EC was, to quote Clapton from the story, ‘one of the most s...
Ferrari has always set high standards for its customer interaction, and the latest press bulletin indicates it is continuing to explore new means of communicating with its customers, this time in the digital realm. "FERRARI BUILDS A UNIQUE SUPERCAR FOR ‘GOD’" was the headline. Blasphemy for some, but I knew who they meant. Eric Clapton. Developed from the Ferrari 458 Italia, Eric Clapton’s unique Ferrari SP12 EC was designed by the Centro Stile Ferrari in collaboration with Pininfarina and Ferrari’s engineers.  Read More
The new chemical chip can control the delivery of the neurotransmitter acetylcholine, enab...
While the silicon chips found in the electronic devices that we rely on every day are built around the flow of electrons through circuits, with the development of an “integrated chemical chip,” a doctoral student in Organic Electronics at Sweden’s Linköping University has created the basis for an entirely new circuit technology based on the transmission of ions and molecules.  Read More
A solar panel above the keys soaks up light from indoor and outdoor light sources to power...
Wireless keyboards are great, that is until you have to replace or charge the battery. Logitech is looking to keep those batteries charged with its Logitech Wireless Solar Keyboard K760 solar keyboard for Mac, iPad and iPhone. The wireless keyboard holds up to a three-month charge from just a few hours under the sun - or desk lamp - and can connect to up to three devices at once.  Read More
Traditionally an inhospitable region for tourists, Koh Kong is now open for business
Some landscapes are so compelling and beautiful you want to be immersed in them, not simply gaze from a distance. The water of the Tatai River, which winds and meanders through the lush, isolated mountains and jungles of southwest Cambodia, is one such landscape. Adventurous travelers can satiate the desire to be immersed in this stunning environment in the most literal of ways - by sleeping atop the water at the 4 Rivers Eco Lodge.  Read More
 
 
The Sony VPL-VW1000ES is the world's first 4K home cinema projector
While 1080p has barely had time to establish itself as the standard for high definition video in the home, its replacement is already making its presence felt. Panasonic provided a glimpse of our ultra high resolution future with its 152-inch 4K resolution plasma TV at CES in 2010, but now Sony has become the first company to release a 4K home cinema projector that offers four times the resolution of existing 1080p displays.  Read More
Lights out! The Bang! lamp, a "whimsical and interactive objet d'art" from Bitplay, is a novelty lamp that lets you shoot the lights on and off with a gun-shaped remote control. It's as useful as The Clapper, but much cooler and more fun.  Read More
The Blast Gauge is a self contained device that captures the abrupt changes in pressure an...
The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) is extending the testing of its Blast Gauge that measures the abrupt pressure and acceleration changes a soldier is exposed to in the event of a exposure to a blast. These external forces can result in traumatic brain injury (TBI), an often invisible injury that can cause a host of physical, cognitive, social, emotional, and behavioral effects. DARPA’s Blast Gauge is designed to provide medics with quantitative data to better identify those at risk of TBI so as to provide better treatment.  Read More
G-RAID with Thunderbolt offers two Thunderbolt ports to enable daisy-chaining of up to six... Earlier this year, Western Digital (WD) acquired Hitachi Global Storage Technologies (HGST), and with it G-Technology. With HGST now operating as a wholly owned WD subsidiary, one of the first products hitting the shelves after the acquisition was the recently released G-RAID with Thunderbolt, which claims the title of the world’s highest capacity, RAID 0, Thunderbolt external storage drive.  Read More
Brabus Private Aviation offers both interior and exterior customization
German automotive tuner Brabus has been offering tuned cars for the wealthy and ultra-wealthy since 1977. Some of them are lightning fast, some of them are productive multitaskers and some of them are clean and efficient, but they're all a little more exclusive than the average factory BMW or Mercedes. In addition to cars, the tuner offers a yacht customization service, and it recently turned its attention to the skies, where it will transform private jets to the desired specifications of paying customers.  Read More
Bouncing blue laser light off the skin provides a non-invasive way to determine levels of ...
Have you had your daily serving of vegetables? This seemingly simple question is in fact very difficult to answer, for children and adults alike. Luckily, a new handheld laser scanner devised by researchers at Yale University and the University of Utah promises to put a swift end to veggie dodging, while also helping scientists to measure exactly how our diet affects our health.  Read More
The Eyejusters adjustable glasses with the adjustment tool in place
Anyone who currently wears glasses or contact lenses will have likely consulted an optometrist to determine their prescription ... that is, if they live in the developed world. In developing nations, many people aren't afforded the opportunity to see a professional in this field. Thankfully there are alternatives, one of which are the self-adjustable glasses from Eyejusters.  Read More
The 'intelligent' goggles use computer algorithms to help the partly-sighted navigate
Researchers at the Universidad Carlos III in Madrid (UC3M), Spain, have developed a pair of “intelligent” goggles that make getting around a bit easier for partly-sighted people, by providing them with Terminator-style vision. Using a pair of cameras mounted on a virtual reality headset connected to a tiny computer, the device scans the area ahead of the wearer and displays information about the scene as color-coded outlines that convey the distance and shapes of objects that are difficult to otherwise see or interpret.  Read More
Looking through a UV-blocking filter, the green spots show the location of active catalyst...
Storing solar energy for the periods of time when the sun isn’t shining is key to improving solar technology. The energy produced can be stored in batteries or used to produce fuel that can act as storage. Solar fuel processes are generally modeled on photosynthesis, the natural process whereby plants convert sunlight into chemical energy in the form of biomass and release oxygen into the atmosphere. Current options are expensive, but a group or researchers from the University of Wisconsin-Madison claim they have found a faster, cheaper method to find electrocatalysts that improve the water oxidation process in the search for solar energy storage.  Read More
Canadian adventurer Greg Kolodziejzyk is selling his custom-made offshore human-powered bo...
Canadian adventurer Greg Kolodziejzyk is certainly no slouch ... among other things, he has set the 24-hour endurance records for riding human-powered vehicles on both land and water. In 2010, he announced his plan to pedal an offshore-capable custom-built boat from British Columbia to Hawaii. After a series of open-water trials, however, he decided against the 3,000-mile (4,828-km) endeavor. The boat, called WiTHiN, is nonetheless quite the feat of engineering – and it’s now up for sale, should you have the cash.  Read More

The highly efficient, small-scale SOFC system developed at PNNL features PNNL-developed mi...
A new, small-scale solid oxide fuel cell (SOFC) system developed at the Department of Energy’s Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (DoE PNNL) could be used for household and neighborhood power generation. Fueled by methane, the system achieves an efficiency of up to 57 percent, improving on the 30 to 50 percent efficiencies seen previously in SOFC systems of similar size. The PNNL researchers say the pilot system they have built generates enough electricity to power the average American home, and can be scaled up to provide power for 50 to 250 homes.  Read More
Shelter Co. combines glamping comforts with a nostalgic camping experience  (Photo: Mel Ba... Shelter Co. strikes an interesting balance between the doting comforts of glamping and the rough, rustic flavor of traditional bag-on-the-ground camping. The company calls itself a "pop up lodging service catering to groups looking for an outdoor experience." You pick out a location (or ask for their expert opinion on suitable spots), and Shelter Co. does the legwork.  Read More
First picture of Dragon in the ocean as it awaits recovery
SpaceX’s Dragon spacecraft has splashed down safely in the Pacific Ocean, marking the successful completion of its mission in which a number of historic firsts were achieved. The splashdown came at approximately 11:42 US EDT, with the unmanned capsule landing in the waters roughly 500 miles (805 km) off the coast of Baja, California.  Read More
Chip Yates of Flight of the Century has announced his intention to design, build and pilot...
Eighty five years ago, Charles Lindbergh became the first pilot to successfully fly from New York to Paris non-stop, claiming a substantial cash prize and securing a place in history in the process. Now another world record holder, Chip Yates, has announced plans to take on the same aviation challenge ... but this time the aircraft making the 3,600 mile non-stop flight will be all-electric. The ambitious project is still in its early stages but the Flight of the Century team has already developed a patent-pending battery deployment solution to replenish depleted batteries while the aircraft is in flight.  Read More
Introducing the Chromebox, the first Chrome OS based desktop computer Google and Samsung have expanded the Chrome OS family of devices with the introduction of the first desktop computer based on Google's cloud-based OS. The Chromebox features the same cloud-centric focus of previous Chromebooks, but in a compact desktop configuration – meaning you'll need to provide your own mouse, keyboard, and monitor.  Read More
The Spark will soon trade its engine for an electric powertrain (Photo: TAC Motors)
Over the past few years, MotoCzysz has done some impressive things with electricity. Like winning the Isle of Man TT Zero race ... twice. Now the company will expand its EV resume to another interesting electric vehicle - a small SUV from Brazilian manufacturer TAC Motors.  Read More
Mirrorcube glows at dusk Last year, Gizmag reported on Sweden's tree-house hotel, highlighted by the stunning Mirrorcube room that reflects its own surroundings. Now you no longer have to travel to a remote part of Scandinavia to spend a night in a Mirrorcube, as the company behind Treehotel is offering to construct, deliver and install one wherever you'd like.  Read More
This drawing shows a double-walled carbon nanotube. Each tube is made of a rolled-up sheet...
Stanford researchers have found that concentric carbon nanotubes, with the outer layer riddled by defects and impurities, could be a cheap alternative for some of the platinum catalysts that convert hydrogen and oxygen into water in fuel cells and metal-air batteries.  Read More
The scientists of the aptly-named Tomato Genome Consortium have successfully sequenced the...
The scientists of the aptly-named Tomato Genome Consortium have successfully sequenced the genome of the domestic tomato (Solanum lycopersicum), specifically the domestic cultivar known as Heinz 1706. The genome is made up of 35,000 genes spread over 12 chromosomes. In addition to presenting a "high quality" genome of the species, the researches also produced a draft sequence of its closest wild relative, the currant tomato (Solanum pimpinellifolium).  Read More
Solar Impulse founder Andre Borschberg gets out of the cockpit during stopover in Madrid. ... An aircraft powered with solar energy has landed in Madrid on its way to Morocco. Solar Impulse, a project by Bertrand Piccard and André Borschberg, completed the first leg of its flight to Morocco last Friday. The stopover was scheduled purely for technical reasons and to change pilots.  Read More
 

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