New and Emerging Technology News part 139 ~ NEW GEN TECH LIFE : new generation technology news

Saturday, 1 February 2014

New and Emerging Technology News part 139

Motorola MOTOACTV - supports Bluetooth® 4.0 and ANT  wireless connectivity
Motorola Mobility has launched MOTOACTV, the company's first music and fitness device. Designed to help you reach your fitness goals by tracking, syncing and recording your workout data and customizing your music, the Blutetooth-enabled MOTOACTV logs time, distance traveled and calories burned and has an inbuilt heart rate monitor, accelerometer and a GPS which records a map of your routes.  Read More
Siri has been made to work its personal electronic assistant magic on the iPhone 4 and iPo...
When Apple unveiled the iPhone 4S on October 4, Siri was seen as the new iDevice’s biggest selling point and a major carrot to encourage iPhone 4 owners to upgrade. Although Siri originally appeared in the App Store in early 2010 before being acquired by Apple, the assumption was that the new version integrated into iOS 5 relied on the faster processor found in the iPhone 4S for Siri to work her voice recognition magic. Developer Steven Troughton-Smith and Grant Paul have proven that is not the case by not only getting Siri working on an iPhone 4, but also an iPod touch 4G.  Read More
The fertility chip causes sperm to flow through a liquid-filled channel, where they pass u...
While just about everyone is familiar with home pregnancy testing kits, what many of us may not realize is that a (sort of) equivalent product exists for men - home sperm count kits. These kits, however, will simply tell users if their sperm count is above or below a standard value. While a yes or no answer like that might suffice for the pregnancy kits, a little more information would definitely help a man who suspects he might be infertile. Loes Segerink, a PhD student from The Netherlands' University of Twente, hopes to change that with this prototype lab-on-a-chip device. Segerink's chip counts exactly how many sperm are present in a sample of ejaculate, and can even differentiate between the good swimmers and the duds.  Read More
During the first 15 years of the Tobacco Control Program in California, which cost in the ...
In the past decade a line has been drawn in the sand in most major cities. Tax revenues from cigarettes are higher than ever, and most bars and restaurants no longer allow smoking within their confines. The days of smoking being the social norm are quickly turning into times when those lighting-up are viewed as an outcast minority, and when it comes to quitting, the evidence is clear that it's not just the smokers themselves who stand to benefit.  Read More
Boston Dynamics has released a video of its bipedal humanoid PETMAN robot, performing a va...
If you were tasked with testing clothing that was designed to protect soldiers from chemical weapons, it goes without saying that you wouldn't dress an actual person up in those clothes, then fire chemicals at them. If you just put those clothes on an inanimate mannequin, however, it wouldn't provide any information on how effective those clothes were when in motion, or in a wide variety of body positions. Well, that's where Boston Dynamics' PETMAN (Protection Ensemble Test Mannequin) humanoid robot comes in. The self-balancing clothes-testing machine can walk, run, crouch, and even do push-ups. Today, PETMAN's creators released the first-ever public video of the robot being put through its paces - and it's pretty impressive.  Read More
MobileMount is a suction cup-based universal mounting system for smartphones, tablets, or ...
There are definitely some situations where it helps to be able to mount your smartphone, tablet or other mobile device on a flat surface, such as a dashboard, kitchen counter, or wall. If you use multiple devices, this entails buying several mounts – one designed for each device. Chicago inventor J.R. Sanchez, however, has created “one mount to rule them all,” so to speak. It’s called MobileMount, and it works with any device it can suck onto.  Read More
Photographer Tyler Card has made a fully functioning DSLR camera costume for Halloween (Ph...
For most people at this time of year, a giant wearable camera would not be the first design to spring to mind when the invite arrives for the neighborhood Halloween party. Leaving the ghoulish and monstrous creations to other party-goers, photographer Tyler Card's amazing costume isn't just capable of capturing images of the party in full swing, it will also display the photos in real time on the LCD display at the back.  Read More
GM's new permanent magnet EV motor
General Motors will become the first American automotive manufacturer to build its own electric motors when production begins in White Marsh, Maryland, in late 2012. In promoting this capability, GM has released details of the first motor to be built there, the 85 kW (114 hp) permanent magnet motor to be used in the 2013 Chevrolet Spark EV.  Read More
The Kogan Agora 8-inch Tablet
I've just spent a day with a pre-production unit of Kogan’s new 8-inch Agora tablet and while it's fair to say there's an element of "you get what you pay for" at work here, that’s not to say the Agora is bad - it's an indication of just what kind of technology can be had for a fairly minimal outlay these days. If you're in the market for a budget priced tablet to keep the kids entertained on a long car trip or something to check the occasional email and spot of Web browsing then it will do the trick nicely, but don't expect the same kind of user experience you’d get when investing more money on a better specced unit.  Read More
The Varley evR450
Another high-performance electric sportscar broke cover last week from an unlikely source. To be built by a 125 year-old Australian company specializing in aerospace, defense and electric vehicles, the less-than-US$215,000 gull-winged Varley evR450 was on display at the Third Annual Australian Electric Vehicle Conference. Composites will enable the evR450 to be "featherweight" and development relationships with other EV specialists Tritium and Ultramotive have yielded an "ironless" AC motor with 300 kW of peak power and 1100 Nm of torque. The company is claiming a 0-100 km/h time of 3.8 seconds and an electronically-limited top speed of 200 km/h (125 mph). The evR450's range of 150 km (93.21 miles) can be doubled with an additional (but obviously heavier) lithium-ion battery pack and ...  Read More

In order to develop methods for reading shredded documents, DARPA is running a contest in ...
Do you like puzzles? If you’re good enough at solving them, it could win you up to US$50,000. That's the maximum prize that DARPA (Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency) is offering in its Shredder Challenge. The agency is trying to develop methods of reconstructing shredded documents that U.S. soldiers could use when gathering intelligence in war zones – it also wants to identify shredded-document-reading strategies that could be used against the U.S., so that it can take preemptive measures against them. What better way to do it than by crowd-sourcing?  Read More
An algorithm developed by MIT promises to  significantly reduce MRI scan time (Photo: Toma...
If you've ever had to endure a diagnostic session in a magnetic resonance (MRI) machine, you know that lying motionless for up to 45 minutes can be uncomfortable at best. Add in the countless ear-ringing thumps, bangs and knocks and you have a procedure that begs for any sort of abbreviation. Thanks to a new algorithm developed by an MIT research team, the time spent in that claustrophobic tube may soon be appreciably shortened, without much loss of accuracy.  Read More
A new technique uses light to differentiate between healthy (top) and misshapen (bottom) r...
Ordinarily, red blood cells should look like a disc with a medium-sized dimple on the top and bottom. If that dimple is either too large or too small, it can indicate the presence of a disease such as sickle cell anemia or malaria. Pathologists traditionally have had to examine blood samples under a microscope, manually looking for these misshapen cells. A new technique developed at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, however, uses light to automatically detect such cells within seconds.  Read More
A curious observer watches the biped walk on a treadmill (Photo: Diginfo.tv)
Creating systems that are energy autonomous is a key goal in the development of robotics, and this new walking prototype from Japan's Nagoya Institute of Technology (NIT) is a big step in the right direction. To some, calling this device a robot may be a bit of a stretch, especially since it lacks electricity, motors or computers of any kind, but its entry into the Guinness Book of Records last year shows it can certainly go the distance with its weight as the only motive force.  Read More
The QuickFix mudguard attaches to a bike in seconds, and packs flat when not in use
If you want to stay as dry and clean as possible when riding your bike on wet roads, get yourself a proper set of full fenders - it's just that simple. There are a lot of cyclists, however, who feel that fenders make their lean, mean, street-ridin' machines look boring and clunky. Additionally, many types of fenders have an annoying way of rubbing, rattling, or just plain getting in the way. While some quick-on/quick-off systems do already exist, most of them still incorporate permanent mounting brackets, or are made from thin plastic that has a tendency to droop. Full Windsor's QuickFix plastic mudguard, however, slides in and out of place within seconds, yet still looks like it's reasonably substantial.  Read More
German aircraft company e-volo has accomplished what it claims is the world's first manned...
By now, most readers are probably pretty familiar with quadracopters - small hovering unmanned electric aircraft, which get their lift from a set of four propellers. Well, make the whole thing larger, boost the number of propellers (and accompanying motors) to 16, and you get what German aircraft developer e-volo calls a multicopter. While the company has previously demonstrated unmanned drones, on October 21st it accomplished what it claims is a world first - a manned flight.  Read More
The Nissan NV200 which won the tender for the Taxi of Tomorrow
Four years ago, New York City officials convened a group of taxi drivers, owners and passengers, to create a set of goals for the next New York City taxi cab, a project called the Taxi of Tomorrow, an attempt to re imagine the entire taxi system. The results are in. Today the Nissan NV200 taxi which won the job until 2023 will be shown to the public at the "Taxi of Tomorrow" Design Expo. To me, it looks a lot more like a Taxi-designed-by-Committee than a Taxi-of-Tomorrow - a gas-engine and a basic van design. Where did it all go wrong?  Read More
Renewable Energy Solutions Australia recently unveiled the first working installation of w...
Brisbane's Renewable Energy Solutions Australia (RESA) recently unveiled the first working installation of what is claimed to be the world's quietest wind turbine. The Eco Whisper Turbine is capable of producing 20kW of electricity despite being about half the height and having half the blade diameter of more familiar three-bladed solutions, and is able to automatically adjust the position of the blades to maximize wind capture.  Read More
The TBCP-II can transfer from horizontal to vertical surfaces over inside corners (as seen...
When it comes to wall-climbing robots its hard to go past the humble gecko for inspiration. The gecko’s specialized toe pads containing hair-like structures that allow it to scale smooth vertical surfaces have already provided inspiration for the four-legged Stickybot and now researchers at Simon Fraser University Burnaby (SFU) claim to be the first to apply the gecko’s wall-climbing technique to a robot that operates like a tank.  Read More
The Starke 1 from Silverback features an electric pedal assist motor and a dynamo-powered ...
With the proliferation of battery-hungry mobile devices that people now carry on their person when biking, we've seen a number of solutions designed to keep said devices charged up while on the go - from solar charging clothing and backpacks to add-on dynamo kits that allow devices to be charged via USB using power captured by the rider's pedaling. German bicycle maker Silverback has seen the need here and addressed it with its Starke 1 and 2 models, both of which feature a USB port powered by a dynamo hub.  Read More
 
The iControlPad Bluetooth gaming controller offers mobile gamers a similar level of contro...
Many people now carry pocket-sized computers around in the shape of smartphones, and the processing power and graphics capabilities offered by modern devices means that gamers can now enjoy a mobile experience that's not too far removed from console gaming - albeit on a much smaller scale. Unless you've opted for Sony's Xperia PLAY, though, smartphone gaming can be distinctly lacking in the level of control that console gamers are used to. With six face buttons, two rear trigger buttons and a digital D-pad, the iControlPad Bluetooth gaming controller aims to address this issue. It's compatible with just about all smartphones, and there's even an adjustable metal clamp to hold the phone securely in place above the controller.  Read More
Both sides of the 1396 Richard II horary quadrant
You just never know what you've got in the shed. This horary quadrant was found in a bag of old pipe fittings in a shed on a farm in Queensland, Australia, forty years ago. Last year the owner of the quadrant was surfing the internet and came across this article where he recognised not just the same tool, but the same stag-coronet insignia that was on his quadrant (he thought it was an astrolabe) signified it was made for King Richard II (of England). He subsequently contacted the British Museum, which identified the item sitting on his desk for the last forty years as a 1396 horary quadrant. It will be auctioned next month and is expected to fetch between GBP150,000 and GBP200,000.  Read More
The Silhouette Lamp combines classic looks with electromagnetic technology to produce a ta...
Design Academy Eindhoven graduate Angela Jansen has come up with a seriously eye-catching variation on the classic table lamp - the Silhouette Floating Lamp. While the upper part levitates using electromagnets, the lower section is home to a ring of LEDs that reflect off the suspended mirror above to throw light out into the room.  Read More
The BRZ Concept is expected to have exceptional driving dynamics
It feels like we've been waiting for Subaru's BRZ concept forever. The BRZ is a joint development effort between Toyota and Subaru, using a 2.0 liter version of Subaru's signature horizontally-opposed engine with Toyota's direct injection system. Toyota will sell the car as the FT-86 which it showed as a concept two years ago at the Tokyo Motor Show and has since shown with revised styling. The near identical BRZ concept will be seen for the first time at the Los Angeles Auto Show two weeks from now and can be expected in showrooms in the United States spring of 2012.  Read More
Restricting calorie intake has been shown to delay the aging process and the enzyme Prx1 h...
Studies have shown that restricting the intake of calories without reducing the intake of vitamins and minerals slows the signs of aging in a wide range of animals including monkeys, rats and fish, and even some fungi. More recent studies provide evidence that calorie restriction can also have the same effect on humans and now researchers at the University of Gothenburg have identified one of the enzymes they claim plays a major role in the aging process.  Read More
BRD's electric off-road motorcycle range includes 'stealth' police bike
San Francisco's BRD Motorcycles has begun taking deposits on the 2013 RedShift range of off-road electric motorcycles. BRD claims the performance of the RedShift will be equal to or better than a top-end 250cc four-stroke race motorcycle, which is a lofty target. The most remarkable aspect is that it will sell both the US$15,500 SM supermoto and the US$15,000 MX motocrosser with a police kit for an additional US$2500 with stronger subframe to hold the included hard luggage, plus an uprated electrical system.  Read More
A new process using table salt increases the data storage density of HDDs by six times (Im...
While Solid State Drives (SSDs) are seen as the way of the future for computer data storage and their prices have started to come down as their capacities increase, they still can't compete with traditional Hard Disk Drives (HDDs) in terms of bang for your buck. Now a team of researchers from Singapore has moved the goalposts yet again and shown traditional HDDs still have some life in them by developing a process that can increase the data recording density of HDDs to six times that of current models.  Read More
Benstead worked with project partners including Engineair and Yamaha Australia as well as ...
A vehicle that runs on air. It sounds like a fantastic idea, but energy is still needed to compress the air and the losses that go hand-in-hand with converting energy still have to be taken into account, just as in fossil fuel-based propulsion systems. Pros and cons aside, we still haven't seen air powered transport make an impact in the race to find economic, environmentally-friendly ways to get from A to B. Industrial Design student Dean Benstead thinks that compressed air does have a role to play in the future transport mix, and he's designed a working air-powered motorcycle prototype with a view to exploring the viability of the platform.  Read More
The PlugBug piggybacks on a MacBook adapter to provide a USB charge port for an iDevice
The nature of the Apple ecosystem means that many MacBook owners will also carry around an iPhone or iPad - or both. To cut down on the clutter of white Apple chargers vying for an electrical outlet in this situation, TwelveSouth has released its PlugBug accessory that piggybacks on a standard MacBook power adapter to provide an additional USB charge port to charge an aforementioned iDevice and a MacBook at the same time.  Read More
Professor Huai-Yong Zhu from QUT Chemistry with the titanate nanofiber that can remove rad...
Nuclear power plants are located close to sources of water, which is used as a coolant to handle the waste heat discharged by the plants. This means that water contaminated with radioactive material is often one of the problems to arise after a nuclear disaster. Researchers at Australia's Queensland University of Technology (QUT) have now developed what they say is a world-first intelligent absorbent that is capable of removing radioactive material from large amounts of contaminated water, resulting in clean water and concentrated waste that can be stored more efficiently.  Read More

The USB Twin Tablet Charging Hub can charge two iPads at once
Mobile accessories manufacturer Qmadix has come up with an in vehicle charger perfect for families with more than one mobile device that needs to be charged up. Delivering 2.1 amps to each of its two ports, the USB Twin Tablet Charging Hub is also able to simultaneously charge two iPads at the fastest rate.  Read More
The Libratone Lounge (rear) and Libratone Live can stream music wirelessly from AirPlay en...
With the advantage of no cables running around the corners of a room and the ability to play music from people’s ever-expanding digital music libraries, wireless speakers have become increasingly popular over recent years. So it’s not surprising to see Copenhagen-based company Libratone enter the U.S. market with a couple of AirPlay-enabled speaker systems that can stream audio from iTunes libraries on a Mac or PC, as well as music stored on an iPad, iPhone or iPod touch.  Read More
Two unmanned Chinese spacecraft, the Shenzou 8 and the Tiangong 1, have rendezvoused and docked in low Earth orbit. With this, the People’s Republic of China took a step closer toward fulfilling its ambitions of becoming a major space-faring nation. If this mission continues to prove successful, China will be on the road toward its goal of building a manned space station by 2020.  Read More
Evan Glodell's Coatwolf Model II digital cinema camera
Two young men who spend their time together building Mad Max-esque vehicles and weapons see their lives and friendship thrown into violent disarray when one of them meets a girl - that's the premise of Bellflower, an independent American film that has been hitting the festivals and arthouse theaters since it was released this August. It's a simultaneously brutal and poetic movie, which writer/director/star Evan Glodell wanted to reflect in the look of its onscreen images. While he perhaps could have tried simply applying some digital effects in post production, he decided to ingrain the film's look on a deeper level ... so he had it shot with cameras that he jerry-rigged together himself.  Read More
Necktie, bowtie and handkerchief made with the worlds first 24 carat gold-coated silk (Pho...
What do you buy for the person who has everything? An obvious choice is something that's never existed before. Enter the determined textile specialists at Swiss research institute EMPA who spent the last ten years developing a method to affix pure gold onto silk. Only slightly less scarce than hen's teeth and spider silk cloth, the thread can be woven into a beautiful and surprisingly durable, even washable 24 carat fabric that Goldfinger himself would be proud to wear.  Read More
The eight-legged robot spider created by Fraunhofer researchers is made using a 3D printin...
When it comes to deciding on a form of locomotion for their creations, roboticists have plenty of options to choose from. While many go for the tried and tested tank-like tracks or wheels, nature is also a veritable treasure trove of inspiration. That's just where Fraunhofer researchers have turned with a new eight-legged robot modeled on the same principle that moves spider legs. Not only does the design give the spiderbot the agility and stability of real spiders when getting around on the ground, it also features special joints that allow it to jump.  Read More
A new technology is being developed, that would allow assembly lines to automatically reco...
Factories are a bit like living things. They are made up of a number of individual systems, and a change made to any one of those systems can have an affect on other systems down the line. In the case of living things, however, all of the systems are united by the organism’s DNA – if a change is made to one system, the others adjust automatically. Such is not the case in factories, however, where humans must go in and make all the changes manually. Not only is this costly and labor-intensive, but it can also result in errors. Researchers from Germany’s Fraunhofer Institute for Optronics, System Technologies and Image Exploitation are addressing this problem by trying to make factories more like living things – as they put it, they’re trying to decode “factory DNA.”  Read More
Logitech has announced its Mini Boombox portable Bluetooth speaker, with microphone and HF...
Logitech has announced the latest offering in its portable speaker lineup in the form of the Mini Boombox. The new arrival not only pairs with smartphones, tablets, and laptops for wireless sound streaming, but also doubles as a speakerphone suitable for hands-free calls or video chats.  Read More
PlateMate is a crowd-sourced dieting system, in which an online community determines the c...
While there are a great many people who want to lose weight by dieting, there aren't too many who can afford to have a nutritionist assess the caloric value of all their food choices. Using the PlateMate system, however, members can get an online community of laypeople to do exactly that - and for considerably less money. Although taking such an approach to nutrition might sound kind of iffy, calorie estimates generated by the crowd-sourced system are apparently just as accurate as those provided by trained nutritionists, and more accurate than self-kept logs.  Read More
The Yamaha PDX-11 Portable Dock for iPod/iPhone offers a rugged alternative to existing iD...
If you want to fill a room with the sound of the songs on your iPhone or iPod touch, there are currently a plethora of docking gizmos that will amplify the sound from your device's speakers. While many of these products look like they're designed to be used primarily in the home, however, Yamaha's new portable PDX-11 is ... well, it's sort of like the ghetto blaster of iPhone docks.  Read More

The RYNO is a one-wheeled self-balancing electric personal transportation device, designed...
When it comes to self-balancing personal transportation devices, it looks like the Solowheel, Honda U3-X, Uno and Segway could all be in for a little competition. Portland, Oregon-based RYNO Motors is currently in the process of launching its own entry in the weird-little-electric-vehicles race, which it appropriately calls the RYNO. Like Bombardier’s EMBRIO concept, it has just one wheel. If nothing else, that’ll definitely get riders noticed.  Read More
Apart from shedding some bulk, the MiLi Pro v2.0 is largely identical to its predecessor
Maybe feeling that their original MiLi Pro pico projector wasn’t quite pico enough, MiLi has put the device under the surgeon’s knife and produced an updated model that has shed a few millimeters around the waist appropriately titled the MiLi Pro v2.0. Although it packs the same Liquid Crystal on Silicon (LCoS) LED projector producing 10 lumens and 640 x 480 pixel resolution found in its predecessor, the fan has been ditched, resulting in a unit that the company claims is almost 50 percent slimmer than the original and “perfectly silent.”  Read More
Micrograph of influenza viruses (Image: Cybercobra via Wikipedia)
Staying healthy during flu season is about to get easier thanks to researchers at China's Academy of Sciences and Academy of Agricultural Science, and it doesn't involve painful injections. Instead, the team has developed a way to improve air filter technology to specifically target influenza viruses, effectively stopping them before they get inside our bodies and make us ill. The nice thing about air filters is that they work both ways, so sick individuals wearing the modified filters will end up shedding less viruses into the environment too, which can also help reduce the rate of new infections.  Read More
Ideum has given its 55-inch MT55 Platform and Pro multi-touch tables an Intel i7 processor...
Ideum has just given its 55-inch MT55 Platform and Pro multi-touch tables an Intel i7 processor upgrade that sees them benefit from a performance boost of 30 percent and 20 percent respectively. Both tables also gain more onboard storage and improved connectivity options. The company has additionally taken the opportunity to put the Platform model's ruggedness to the test - video after the jump.  Read More
The LomoKino Super 35 Movie Maker lets low-tech film-makers shoot their own 35mm movies, b...
Video cameras now routinely offer features such as full 1080p high-def video, night vision mode, and stereo sound ... if you're one of the people who reads that and thinks "Big deal, that just means people will have nicer-looking home videos," perhaps you would appreciate a camera that's focused less on the latest tech, and more on the art of moving pictures. Well, Lomography's new LomoKino Super 35 Movie Maker should fit the bill. Paying homage to the original Chaplin-era movie cameras, users hand-crank 35mm film through the box-like device, while a fixed-focus lens captures all the jittery, grainy action.  Read More
The Slate 2 and its pen stylus
HP announced the release of its HP Slate 2 tablet PC today. Featuring an 8.9-inch diagonal capacitive multitouch display that works with both touch and pen or stylus input, the Slate 2 throws the company's hat into the arena of the white hot tablet market, while filling a niche need for its business-oriented customers.  Read More
A view from JP Aerospace's Tandem airship, at its record-breaking altitude of 95,085 feet ...
On October 22nd, just a day after the first manned flight of an electric multicopter took place in Germany, California’s JP Aerospace achieved an aeronautical feat of its own – it broke the record for the world’s highest airship flight. Remotely controlled from the ground, the all-volunteer group’s Tandem twin-balloon airship reportedly ascended to an altitude of 95,085 feet (28,982 meters). That’s almost four miles (6.4 km) higher than any airship has gone before.  Read More
Fujifilm has announced a new version of its FinePix REAL 3D digital image viewer - V3 make...
Fujifilm's 3D cameras have been using a glasses-free lenticular system for a while now, but the company's 3D image viewer has had to wait until the latest version before incorporating the technology. The new FinePix REAL 3D V3 digital image viewer has also been treated to an HDMI input for direct connection to cameras like the Fujifilm FinePix REAL 3D W3, big screen TVs and other 3D-enabled devices.  Read More
GameChanger mixed old and new for family gaming on the iPad
While the iPad is basically a device intended for use by one person at a time, the tablet has also proved suitable for multiplayer apps. In some cases, however, its 9.7-inch display is certainly too small to replace a larger, traditional game board and besides, many users prefer playing with physical pieces on a physical board. Dutch-based company Identity Games is seeking the middle ground with GameChanger - an interactive electronic board that merges the old and the new to bring family gaming to the iPad.  Read More
AH-64D Apache Combat Helicopter gets upgraded
Boeing has now produced more than 1200 of its fearsome US$20 million AH-64 multi-role attack helicopter, but with the first deliveries of the latest AH-64D Apache Block III this week, the capabilities of the 36 year old design have been lifted significantly. The Block III Apache incorporates 26 new technologies, a vastly improved 3,400 shaft horsepower drive system with a split-torque face gear transmission, a new composite main rotor blade, an enhanced digital electronic control unit, better performance and more payload, which effectively equals either more range, or more firepower.  Read More

0 comments:

Post a comment