New and Emerging Technology News part 160 ~ NEW GEN TECH LIFE : new generation technology news

Monday, 3 February 2014

New and Emerging Technology News part 160

The new Ferrari California is on its way to Geneva with a slew of other vehicles
With the 82nd Geneva Motor Show just weeks away, the world's automakers are gearing up to display their wares. As usual, many companies have already teased us with previews of what they'll have on display, including new small cars from the likes of Peugeot, Skoda and GM, plus concepts from Rinspeed, Nissan, Bertone, Ssanyong and Mini. With the number of teasers multiplying by the minute, it's time for a quick round up of some of the other notable vehicles headed for the floor of the Geneva Palexpo convention center.  Read More
The Electrolux Design Lab competition is now in its 10th year Entries are now open for the 2012 Electrolux Design Lab competition. Now in its 10th year, the competition is open to current undergraduate industrial design students and 2011 graduates who are being asked to get busy around the home by designing "appliances that will provide a fuller sensory experience."  Read More
Georgia Institute of Technology's new intraoral Tongue Drive system
For those unfortunate enough to suffer from severe spinal cord injuries, the tongue is often the only extremity still under their control. To take advantage of this fact, engineers at the Georgia Institute of Technology have developed what they call the Tongue Drive System (TDS), a wireless, wearable device that allows the user to operate computers and control electric wheelchairs with movements of the tongue. The latest iteration, which resembles a sensor-studded dental retainer, is controlled by a tongue-mounted magnet and promises its users a welcome new level of autonomy with both communication and transportation.  Read More
Astronaut Dan Burbank and NASA's Robonaut 2 shake hands on the ISS (Photo: NASA) History is full of famous handshakes that symbolize a permanent change in the status quo. The 1945 Roosevelt-Churchill-Stalin triple handshake. The 1961 Kennedy-Khrushchev handshake. The 1972 Nixon-Mao handshake. The 1993 Rabin-Arafat handshake. The 2012 Burbank-R2 handshake? This historic clasping took place on February 15, 2012, when NASA's Robonaut 2 (nicknamed R2) humanoid robot greeted Commander Dan Burbank aboard the International Space Station (ISS) in the first "man-machine" handshake in space.  Read More
The module changes the car into an instant commercial vehicle
If you live in a traffic-nightmare city like New York or London or Bangkok, an ultra-compact urban electric car is great. They're so tiny that they fit in the smallest parking space, they're quiet, they're often exempt from congestion charges and they're tailpipe emission free, which is important if you live where the air is so dirty that it's visible. Unfortunately, they also have all the boot space of a glove box and the travel radius of a tortoise in a hurry. Unless you have the ideal lifestyle that allows you to work within the vehicle's limitations, there will come the time when you'll need to carry more than a messenger bag or drive farther than a single battery charge. When that happens, you'll probably wish you had some way to magically add an extra boot or a bigger battery. Rinspeed's Dock+Go concept car looks forward to a day when that may be possible.  Read More
The transparency grenade prior to assembly
If you thought Wikileaks was a disruptive idea, the transparency grenade is going to blow you away. This tiny bit of hardware hidden under the shell shaped like a classic Soviet F1 hand grenade allows you to leak information from anywhere just by pulling a pin. The device is essentially a small computer with a powerful wireless antenna and a microphone. Following detonation, the grenade intercepts local network traffic and captures audio data, then makes the information immediately available online.  Read More
University of Texas at Austin researchers have developed a method that may speed up the bo...
In spite of numerous medical breakthroughs ranging from heart transplants to bypass surgery, cardiovascular disease still tops the list as the leading cause of death in developed countries. Key among the many problems that trouble our hearts is something called myocardial ischemia disease (MID), a condition that leads to reduced blood flow in the vessels of the heart and lower extremities and, frequently, corrective surgery. Now, University of Texas at Austin (UTA) biomedical engineer Aaron Baker and his research team have developed a method that may speed up the body's ability to grow new blood vessels (a phenomenon called angiogenesis), and best of all, no surgery is required. That's potentially great news for the nearly 27 million folks in the U.S. alone who chronically suffer from MID.  Read More
The Google PageRank algorithm has been used to determine bonds between molecules
Aurora Clark from Washington State University has found an unlikely application for Google's link ranking technology - harnessing it to analyze hydrogen bonds in water. Connecting the fields of computer engineering and chemistry, her project aims to predict chemical reactivity between differently shaped particles while bypassing the hassle and expense of carrying out actual lab-based experiments.  Read More
'The class-conscious brand custodians at Mini would be concerned about the Mini's brand va...
Mini will finally add a commercial variant of its iconic design at the Geneva Motor Show, creating an interesting new niche for the growing premium small car segment. Though the Clubman-based Clubvan is only a concept, we expect the unique blend of upmarket panache, go-kart handling and delivery van load-carrying capacity to fulfill pent-up demand for a premium stylish commercial vehicle and propel the concept into production. Remarkably this vehicle has a highly successful predecessor. The Morris Mini Van was replaced in the Morris commercial fleet in 1982 after half a million vehicles - when production ceased in 2000, the van accounted for nearly 10% of all Mini sales.  Read More
The past few days have seen pictures of the forthcoming Lego Minecraft set released, while... Granted, granted, there may not be much cutting edge technology on display here, but it's a cynical technology enthusiast indeed that doesn't raise a wry smile when nerd-friendly worlds collide, and were worlds ever more nerd-friendly than those of Lego and Minecraft?  Read More

The ZBoard claims to be the first weight-sensing electric skateboard
Laying claim to being the "world's first weight-sensing electric skateboard," the ZBoard delivers up to 400 watts of motor power via a simple, lean-and-go interface. The result is that riders will get up to 17 mph worth of speed without having to scuff their soles on the pavement.  Read More
Electron micrographs of hepatitis C virus purified from cell culture
Although the existence of hepatitis C had been postulated in the 1970s, it wasn’t until 1989 that a team led by Michael Houghton identified the virus. Often being asymptomatic, it is estimated between 130 – 170 million people worldwide are infected with the virus that can lead to scarring of the liver and cirrhosis. Although treatment with medication is available, it isn’t effective in all cases and between 20 to 30 percent of those infected with hepatitis C develop some form of liver disease. Now Houghton and a team at the University of Alberta have developed a vaccine from a single strain that is effective against all known strains of the disease.  Read More
NODE is a multi-function remote sensor designed for use with a linked smartphone
While smartphones are awesome little computers, one of the things that really makes them useful is their built-in sensors – many apps are made possible via a phone’s accelerometer, gyroscope, GPS, microphone, camera, or some combination of the bunch. The thing is, though, all of those sensors are stuck in the smartphone. What if you want to use your phone to monitor another device? Well, that’s where NODE comes in. The proposed gadget could be placed on or near a device, and would wirelessly relay data from multiple onboard sensors, via Bluetooth.  Read More
LG has unveiled its new 5-inch Optimus Vu smartphone/tablet ahead of Mobile World Congress...
LG has revealed what is claimed to be the thinnest LTE smartphone available on the market. The Optimus Vu sits somewhere between a small tablet (Thrive/Agora/Arnova) and a modern smartphone (Spectrum/Xperia ion), features a 4:3 ratio IPS display, is powered by a Dual-Core processor, and has 32GB of onboard storage.  Read More
The Ferrari ARNO XI hydroplane
Even long-time admirers of Enzo Ferrari's sleek, red roadsters might be surprised to learn that he also lent his expertise to create what is still, nearly 60 years later, the fastest raceboat in its class, the one-of-a-kind ARNO XI hydroplane. Developed in 1952 by wealthy Italian industrialist Achille Castoldi and Ferrari Grand Prix racers Alberto Ascari and Luigi Villoresi, the speedy craft, propelled by a 4500cc V12, handily won the world speed record the following year. Now, carefully restored to its original condition, the ARNO XI will soon go at auction to the highest bidder - an honor that's estimated to cost the buyer a cool US$2 million (or more)!  Read More
An industrial robot has been modified to autonomously create pencil sketches of human subj... Pity the poor industrial robot. It spends countless hours toiling away at mindless manual labor, never getting a chance to explore its creative side. Well, next month at the CeBIT digital technology trade show, one such robot will get the opportunity. When visitors to the Fraunhofer display take a seat on a provided stool, one of the company's industrial robots will create a pencil sketch of them, then hold up the finished product for everyone to see.  Read More
Chris Ferguson's 8x macro lens for iPhone sticks directly to the phone Gizmag regulars will know we're partial to a bit of aspirational iPhone photographic lens-lust, even though I'm personally hesitant to splash out on an expensive lens kit that might be rendered obsolete come the next iPhone update. But this stick-on 8x magnification lens might just be low-tech and affordable enough to take the risk with.  Read More
Norwegian researchers have devised a new way of creating a child-like synthetic voice for ...
You may think that Stephen Hawking’s synthesized voice sounds a little ... unusual, but imagine how much weirder it would be to witness a child using that same adult voice to communicate. For many children who are unable to speak, however, they have no choice but to use assistive devices that utilize just such a voice. Now, help may be on the way. Norwegian researchers have developed a new method of creating synthetic speech, that actually sounds like it is being spoken by a child. Such technology could also allow computers to better recognize words spoken to them by young users.  Read More
Copper negative of an October 1881 phonograph (Photo: Patrick Feaster/National Museum of A...
Recently, and for the first time in living memory, sound recordings made in 1881 at Alexander Graham Bell's Volta Laboratory Association have been heard aloud. The experimental phonographs made by the association where Bell worked alongside instrument-maker Charles Sumner Tainter and chemist Chichester A. Bell are thought to be the oldest preserved sound recordings intended for playback.  Read More
The Privacy Pop provides some privacy in a zip Although we’re social creatures, everyone needs a bit of privacy every now and then. This is particularly true in the bedroom, but whether it’s sharing with siblings growing up or co-habitation with roommates at college, unfortunately not all have us can enjoy the luxury of our own sleeping space. While not quite in the same league as your own four walls, the Privacy Pop will provide some protection from prying eyes - but you’ll still want to keep the noise down - you know, when reading.  Read More
 
Heath Evdemon has designed a new kind of wind turbine based on reciprocating motion that's...
From huge kites to sea-bound flywheels and roof-top installations to tree-like art creations, we've seen many different approaches to capturing energy from the wind. One design, though, reigns supreme - the tri-blade turbine tower. It's not exactly a trouble-free life at the top and there are those who do not look upon these monsters favorably, most often complaining about the noise and the not so picturesque view. With support from Nottingham Trent University's Future Factory project, Heath Evdemon is currently building a new type of wind turbine called the Wind Harvester that's claimed to be virtually silent, doesn't need to loom high over the landscape and can operate in a variety of wind conditions.  Read More
An experimental new gesture-to-voice synthesizer could allow people without the power of s...
Whether it’s people who can’t speak, or musicians looking for a new way of expressing themselves, both may end up benefiting from an experimental new gesture-to-voice synthesizer. The system was created at the University of British Columbia, by a team led by professor of electrical and computer engineering Sidney Fels. Users just put on a pair of sensor-equipped gloves, then move their hands in the air – based on those hand movements, the synthesizer is able to create audible speech.  Read More
With its fan-conceived Kisai Stencil LCD watch, Tokyo Flash has created yet another obfusc...
Masters of obfuscated timepieces Tokyo Flash have always (well, since 2010) been open to consumer ideas for watch displays that are at first glance baffling but easy to read once you know the knack. With its fan-conceived Kisai Stencil LCD watch, Tokyo Flash has repeated the track with a watch that requires its wearer to read between the lines.  Read More
An F-35A Joint Strike Fighter with an external weapons load (Photo: Paul Weatherman at Loc... The F-35A is the conventional takeoff and landing version of the Joint Strike Fighter, intended primarily for the U.S. Air Force short range fighter role. These single-seat single-engine fifth-generation fighters are designed to carry out air defense, ground attack, and recon missions. February 16, 2012 marked the first flight of the F-35A carrying an external load of two Raytheon AIM-9X Sidewinder missiles. The F-35A also had four additional weapons pylons attached each of which can carry 2000-pound air-to-ground weapons.  Read More
The CineSquid is a tripod system with suction cup feet, allowing small video cameras to be...
For the past several months, film-makers using DSLRs or small camcorders have had an interesting option available for getting smooth tracking shots – CineSkates. The product combines a GorillaPod Focus tripod, a BallHead X tripod head and three soft urethane wheels. Those wheels mount on the feet of the tripod, allowing it to make fluid, dolly-like movements. Cinetics, the company that makes Cineskates, has now announced a new member to its family. It’s called the CineSquid, and it includes the same tripod and head, but with suction cup feet that allow it to adhere to almost any smooth surface.  Read More
Architectural practice SOM's 17.6-sq km (6.8-sq mile) master plan for Beijing Bohai Innova...
Architectural practice SOM's 17.6-sq km (6.8-sq mile) master plan for Beijing Bohai Innovation City has won an international design competition for the redevelopment of the region. The design is focused on a redevelopment corridor along the high-speed rail connection between Beijing, and the port of Tianjin. Though incorporating existing infrastructure, the scheme constitutes an ambitious planned city, and one which, if fully realized, may set a new standard for environmentally-conscious urban planning.  Read More
LightBeam allows physical objects, such as a water bottle, to act as a control for the pic...
Pico projectors might be able to turn any old surface into a display – with varying results of course – but can they turn any old surface into in interactive display and everyday objects into a remote? No? Well, with LightBeam they can. Developed by a team at Germany’s Technische Universit├Ąt Darmstadt, LightBeam pairs a pico projector with a depth-sensing camera to provide some Kinect style interactive control to projected presentations.  Read More
Apple's Maiden data center already boasts a white cool-roof and is set to add the largest ...
Following widespread criticism of its environmental record from groups including Greenpeace, Apple has made efforts to reduce the environmental impact of its products and facilities in recent years. As part of these ongoing efforts, the company has revealed plans to build the United States' largest end user-owned, onsite solar array at its Maiden, North Carolina iDataCenter.  Read More
Illustration from the patent application showing how virtual objects could be inserted int...
A recently published patent application indicates that Sony may be working on a Kinect-like 3D depth-sensing device for PlayStation. If Sony follows through with development of such a device, it will no doubt be looking to make up some ground lost to Microsoft, whose release of the Kinect in November 2010, overshadowed the release of Sony’s PlayStation Move just a month earlier.  Read More
Artist's view of GJ1214b (Image credit: NASA, ESA, and D. Aguilar (Harvard-Smithsonian Cen...
Planets orbiting two stars, giant super-Earths and worlds racked with boiling rock storms - these are just some of the galactic oddities among the more than 700 exoplanets discovered in the past 20 years. Now there's another new class of extrasolar planet to add to the list - the waterworld.  Read More

A scheme to inject 1 million tonnes of carbon dioxide under Decatur, Illinois seeks to rai...
A bold undertaking to store one million metric tonnes (1.1 million short tons) of carbon dioxide in a sandstone reservoir 1.3 miles (2.1 km) below Decatur, Illinois, is well under way. The project began last November, and has so far injected more than 75,000 tons of carbon dioxide, almost one tenth of the target. The University of Illinois, which is leading the Illinois Basin - Decatur Project (IBDP), hopes that the scheme will demonstrate the safety and effectiveness of carbon sequestration, as well as raise public awareness of the process's potential environmental benefits.  Read More
The Ford Tourneo Custom Concept Ford's Tourneo Custom Concept will debut at the Geneva Motor Show in March, giving what we believe is an accurate preview of the next generation of Ford Transit people movers and commercial vehicles. The styling is based on the same "Kinetic Design language" used in the latest passenger cars, the driving experience is also fashioned more on a car than a van, and even though the rear of the eight-seater is trimmed in leather with sumptuous multi-adjustable leather seats, they can be easily removed for special purposes.  Read More
The Canon G1 X boasts a 1.5-inch, 14.3-megapixel CMOS sensor with over six times the area ...
While most compact point-and-shoot cameras are aimed at the budget-conscious end of the market, Canon has higher aspirations for the new flagship of its PowerShot G-series. With a 1.5-inch, 14.3-megapixel High-Sensitivity Canon CMOS sensor that is just 20 percent smaller than the APS-C sensors used in Canon's EOS line of DSLRs and over six times bigger than those in previous G-series models, Canon says its new G1 X delivers the highest image quality available in a compact point-and-shoot.  Read More
The Lynx Wildcat (AW 159) completes 20 days of sea trials aboard the frigate HMS Iron Duke...
A Lynx Wildcat helicopter has completed 20 days of sea trials aboard the British frigate HMS Iron Duke in waters off southern England and northern Scotland. It was the latest in a series of trials required before the £16 million state-of-the-art combat aircraft can enter into active service with the British Army and the Royal Navy. The latest tests involved putting the helicopter through tests that involved over 400 day and nighttime take offs and landings from the Iron Duke in the worst weather conditions that could be found to put the mission systems, night-vision equipment and navigation systems through their paces.  Read More
The Bugatti Veyron 16.4 Grand Sport Vitesse boasts 1,200 hp and a maximum torque of 1,500 ...
The world's automakers continue to provide a glimpse of what to expect at the 2012 Geneva Motor Show in March. The latest teaser comes from Bugatti, which will unveil its Veyron 16.4 Grand Sport Vitesse, calling it the world's most powerful roadster - time to invest in some super-strength adhesive for that toupee.  Read More
Oregon Scientific has revealed some technical specifications for its new MEEP! tablet for ... Oregon Scientific has launched a new tablet designed specifically for kids at the recent Toy Industry Association's 109th American International Toy Fair in New York. The MEEP! tablet runs on Android 4.0, features a 7-inch Neonode zForce touchscreen display encased in toughened housing with a silicon rubber sleeve, and is Wi-Fi-enabled. Parents concerned about their kids running wild and free online will be relieved at the inclusion of intuitive Parental Control technology that can be adjusted remotely using any internet-enabled computer or mobile device.  Read More
Wake Forest University researcher Corey Hewitt, with a sample of the Power Felt
Some day, your jacket may be able to power your iPod ... and no, I’m not talking about piezoelectric fabrics (which generate electricity from movement-caused pressure), nor am I talking about photovoltaic materials, although both of those could probably do the job. Instead, your jacket might be made out of a new thermoelectric material called Power Felt, that converts temperature differences into electrical voltage – in the case of the jacket, the difference between its wind-cooled exterior and its body-warmed lining might be all that was needed.  Read More
IED students recreate a classic: the 1947 Cisitalia 202 Next month's Geneva Motor Show will be stocked with new concept cars from various parties - automakers, design houses and educational institutions. One of the latest concept cars announced is the Cisitalia 202 E, a modern reinterpretation of the original 1947 Cisitalia 202.  Read More
A laptop shell made from Paper PP Alloy, a new composite material made from recycled paper... It’s possible that your next laptop computer could contain parts of your present-day notebook ... not your notebook computer, mind you, but your actual notebook. At least, it will if China's PEGA Design and Engineering has anything to say about it. The company’s new Paper PP Alloy, made from a combination of recycled paper and polypropylene, is intended for use in the shells of consumer electronic devices.  Read More
Google's Android-powered glasses (NOT pictured) could provide a heads-up display to the we...
A number of anonymous Google employees are reporting that the company is currently developing Android-powered glasses that can provide a heads-up display to the wearer and connect over wireless data services. The glasses will purportedly work like a wearable version of the Google Goggles app, providing real time information on a user's location via GPS and motion sensors. Even more surprising, the same sources are saying these "Google glasses" could be available to the public by the end of this year.  Read More

A NASA artist's rendition of a space elevator (Image: NASA)
A Japanese company is looking to take elevators to new heights. The Daily Yomiuri reports that Tokyo-based construction company Obayashi Corp. hopes to have a space elevator operational by 2050, carrying passengers and cargo in a vehicle that travels along a ribbon made of carbon nanotubes extending a quarter of the way to the moon.  Read More
Two iconic automobiles will go under the hammer in June - a 1912 Rolls-Royce Double Pullma...
Each year the Goodwood Festival of Speed hosts an auction by Bonhams, and due to the importance of the event and the unique crowd it draws, the best come out to play. This year there are two stand-outs going under the hammer: the first is the 1912 Rolls-Royce Double Pullman Limousine (estimated GBP2,000,000/US$3,147,000) which was reproduced in the popular Corgi Classics series of widely circulated die-cast toy cars, the second being the personal 1938 Type 57C of the Ettore Bugatti, lovingly built for Le Patron by his staff.  Read More
Scientists have determined that graphene could be put to use as the world's thinnest anti-... It seems like the uses for graphene just won’t stop coming. The ultra-strong sheet material, made from bonded carbon atoms, has so far shown promise for use in transistors, computer chips, DNA sequencing, and batteries ... just to name a few possibilities. Now, scientists have discovered that it can also be used as a very effective anti-corrosion coating – and at just one atom in thickness, it’s thinner than any of the alternatives.  Read More
The Korkers Ice Jack is the heaviest winter boot in the line
Snow, slush, glop, black ice, slick ice, chunder ... no matter how grippy and surefooted your winter boot outsoles are, one of those surfaces is sure to have you grabbing desperately at the air as your backside prepares for a bruising. That’s especially true if the sole doesn’t include any type of metal traction cleats or bars. Korkers attempts to provide the perfect traction in all situations by offering an interchangeable outsole system with its boots. You can adjust your soles for snow, ice and more ice.  Read More
TheO Ball is designed to hold your phone within its cushioned grasp, allowing you to liter...
Playing with your phone just got a little more physical, with TheO Ball. The foam ball is designed to hold your phone within its cushioned grasp, allowing you to literally throw your phone around to play games without fear of damage. Created by PhysicalApps, the idea behind TheO Ball is to get you moving rather than sitting around while playing games with your phone. The company recently showed off the ball and a few games it has developed specifically to use alongside it, at the 2012 Toy Fair in NYC.  Read More
The House of Marley recently celebrated a certain Reggae legend's birthday with the releas...
The House of Marley recently celebrated a certain Reggae legend's birthday with the release of the Bag of Rhythm portable stereo speaker system. Topped by a solid piece of FSC-certified Birch wood and coming in its own durable cotton canvas bag, the device can output 32 watts of sonic power through two 1-inch tweeters and two 4.5-inch woofers, and features an iPod/iPhone dock that can charge while playing.  Read More
Cyberpunk weapons hobbyist Patrick Priebe has created a hand-mounted flamethrower
If you've already built your own wrist-mounted laser-sighted crossbow, how do you top it? Well, a hand-mounted flamethrower might do the trick. That's just what cyberpunk weapons hobbyist and Iron Man fan Patrick Priebe has done, with pretty impressive results. However, unlike some of his previous creations (which have included a 1-megawatt pulse laser gun, and a balloon-popping palm laser), the "flame glove" is not for sale - given its rather startling performance in the video that follows, that's probably for the best.  Read More
Approximately 80 solar panels are incorporated into the 450-meter (492-yard) system
The tiny Swiss town of Tenna has put itself on the eco-map by building an innovative solar-powered ski lift. The solar lift is one of the world's first of its kind, and utilizes a "cable car system" where the solar panels are integrated directly into the lift. Approximately 80 solar panels are incorporated into a 450-meter (492-yard) system that is suspended above the ski lift, which has the capacity to pull 800 skiers up the mountain per hour. To avoid running out of energy during bad weather and snow storms, the ski lift is also connected to the local power supply, so skiers will not be left hanging on in the dark!  Read More
Artist's impression of stellar-mass black hole IGR J17091 (Image: NASA/CXC/M.Weiss)
NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory has recorded ultra-fast 20 million-mph (32 million km/h) winds roaring from a gas disk around the stellar-mass black hole IGR J17091-3624. The wind speeds are a record, a factor of ten greater than any previously recorded, for a black hole of this kind. It is hoped the surprise discovery will shed new light on the behavior of stellar-mass black holes.  Read More
Casco CX helmet with goggles
It seems that ski goggle manufacturers like to tinker around with magnets. Earlier this winter, Anon previewed its upcoming Magne-Tech magnetic lens technology. Now we've stumbled upon a European eyewear manufacturer that uses goggle magnets for a different application. Casco's Magne-Link goggles streamline goggle-helmet compatibility.  Read More

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