New and Emerging Technology News part 179 ~ NEW GEN TECH LIFE : new generation technology news

Wednesday, 5 February 2014

New and Emerging Technology News part 179

The University of Barcelona's Bernat Codina and Andriy Lyasota study data from the wind-pr...
There’s wind in that thar sky ... That’s the sort of thing that – conceivably – might be wistfully said by someone who is tasked with looking for locations in which to locate wind turbines. Their job could soon be getting a little easier, however, thanks to a new balloon-based wind-prospecting system.  Read More

Dragon Drive! will provide hands-free control of various in car features
Nuance Communications, the company responsible for the Dragon line of speech recognition software, has announced a new natural-language voice platform designed specifically for in car use. Targeted at automotive manufacturers and suppliers, the Dragon Drive! platform will allow hands-free and eyes-free dictation of text messages and emails, and voice control of car entertainment and navigation systems.  Read More
So.cl - Microsoft's new take on social networking
With decidedly little fanfare, Microsoft’s research-oriented FUSE Labs launched a new, student-oriented social network last weekend. While very much an experimental product at this point, So.cl (pronounced “social”) does highlight once more that the Redmond-based software giant is keen to keep its boffins thinking outside the box in order to find the next big thing, first.  Read More
Tesla has announced the first of its Model S sedans will be delivered to customers from Ju...
Tesla Motors has announced it will begin deliveries of its long-awaited Model S sedan next month. The first customers to slap down a reservation for the battery electric vehicle will be put behind the wheel from June 22, a month ahead of schedule. And despite being just a month away from launch, the company also revealed a number of new features that will allow drivers to personalize the feel of their ride by using the car’s 17-inch touchscreen to adjust steering, suspension and regenerative braking settings.  Read More
Laser Spoke measures your pedaling power
Modern electronics have given us the means to measure nearly every part of our performance – speed, distance, vertical, heart rate, etc. But there are still other variables that go unmeasured by the average athlete. The Laser Spoke provides a simple aftermarket solution for tracking cycling power.  Read More
Air bubbles in a saline solution can be controlled with high precision by a laser beam, wh...
Building robots out of bubbles is an intriguing idea in its own right, but propelling them with lasers is just plain crazy. The bubble microrobots, devised by the researchers from the University of Hawaii at Manoa, have no mechanical parts whatsoever, but can nevertheless be manipulated with very high precision. Combined into complex robotic systems, they could potentially be used to assemble larger objects, such as biological cells.  Read More
Scientists have demonstrated that a natural cancer drug can be obtained by soaking soybean...
A group of plant scientists at the University of Missouri have discovered a new, inexpensive approach to extracting an powerful anticancer chemical from soybeans. The incidence of a number of common cancers (breast, colorectal, prostate, bladder, lymphoma, and oral cancers) is lower in Japan by a factor of two to ten times than in North America or Western Europe. The medical profession is edging toward a conclusion that a significant portion of the reduction in alimentary system cancers and breast cancer is associated with the importance of the humble soybean to Japanese diets.  Read More
Hybrid Blue, competing earlier this month in New Hampshire
Last month we told you about a team of engineering students from Utah’s Brigham Young University (BYU), who were competing in a wall-climbing contest using a Batman-inspired system that they created. While they may not have won that competition, the university recently alerted us to another one of its student engineering teams that did take first place in another contest – in this case, they designed a very fast, very efficient hybrid racecar.  Read More
Strumming on the gTar looks to be just like playing the real thing
Learning to play any musical instrument can be a mammoth task, especially for those who aren't naturally gifted in that regard. The guitar is particularly difficult to learn to play, with a steep learning curve and some extraordinary finger dexterity required right from the start. Therefore, any tool designed to make the process less painful is welcomed with open arms by budding guitar gods. A company called Incident is hoping that will be the case for gTar, a new digital guitar that utilizes the power of the iPhone.  Read More
UniKey is a system in which a digital key, stored on a smartphone app, can be used to open...
Well, we really should have seen this one coming. The humble door lock key, which has been around in one form or another for literally thousands of years, may be getting replaced by an app ... or more specifically, by an app that works with a dedicated lock. It’s called the UniKey system, and it has some features that are actually kind of clever.  Read More
DigiTech has announced its fifth generation Whammy pitch shifting pedal, which introduces ...
Altering the tension of tuned strings through the influence of the tremolo or whammy bar on an electric guitar is an important part of any modern guitarist's trick bag. Early mechanical vibrato systems were notorious for throwing the instrument out of tune, and although huge improvements have been made over the years, intense or brutal use of some modern systems can still lead to problems. In 1989, DigiTech launched a pedal-based solution called the WH-1 Whammy, that offered players the same pitch altering capabilities of hardware systems, as well as additional harmony and detune effects, without any of the associated tuning hassles. Over 20 years later, and looking very much like the iconic original, the fifth version of the Whammy is currently being readied for release and brings something new to the party – the unique Chordal Pitch-Shifting.  Read More
 
The Queen’s Gate makeover in London saw a simple studio apartment transformed into a luxur... When it comes to urban living, architectural innovation is very much about maximizing use of space. This example from London based firm Hogarth Architects does just that by taking a simple studio apartment and transforming it into a luxury multi-level home.  Read More
The Backer Capper (seen here mounted on a belt) is a product that's designed to make it ea...
Have you ever tried changing lenses on a DSLR, in a situation where you had to keep hold of the camera the whole time? The problem is that it essentially requires three hands. You need two hands to twist off the old lens and put its rear protective cap on, and to un-rear-cap the new lens and twist it onto the camera – your non-existent third hand, meanwhile, is required to hold the camera body. Because photographers are in reality limited to two hands, they instead perform a sort of awkward juggling act, in which they risk dropping the camera or one of the lenses. The Backer Capper, however, is a product-in-development that’s designed to make the task considerably easier.  Read More
Guinness and Jump Studios have teamed up to turn a submarine into an underwater bar
Two hundred and fifty years ago, brewer Arthur Guinness signed a 9,000-year lease for his St. James's Gate Brewery in Dublin, Ireland. To commemorate this event, the Guinness company could have rolled out a stretch limousine, but it decided to go one better by launching a “deep-sea bar” in the chilly waters of the Baltic off Stockholm, Sweden. Designed by London-based Jump Studios, the modified tourist submarine was commissioned as part of the Guinness Sea Experience competition, that included an underwater trip inside the Guinness sub as a prize.  Read More
The Golf GTI
For three decades, the annual GTI-Treffen held at the Austrian Lake Wörthersee’ has been one of the highlights of the European calendar for Volkswagen enthusiasts. It is increasingly a venue where Volkswagen communes with its closest fans and presents an array of concepts to assess market viability. This year it showed five new cars: the Golf GTI Cabriolet which had debuted at Geneva International Motor Show, plus four completely new concepts - the Polo R-WRC, Polo WRC Street, Golf GTI Black Dynamic and Golf GTI White Concept.  Read More
The students developed a prototype of a technically simple yet ingenuous IV drip system to...
In the most economically excluded regions of the world about 1.5 million children die of dehydration every year. When patients get to hospital for IV therapy, there may not be enough staff to monitor the drip, and the child may die from receiving the wrong amount of fluid, which is also potentially fatal in cases of over-hydration. In order to help health care workers in those places, engineering students at Rice University have developed a prototype of a technically simple yet ingenuous IV drip system that adds an element of automation to the process.  Read More
Designed for the utmost portability, designaffairs studio's FLYM folding portable speakers... Designed for the utmost portability, designaffairs studio's FLYM folding portable speakers are made for any device with a standard 3.5-mm headphone jack without need of additional power.  Read More
Mitsubishi i-MiEV Evolution has been specially developed for the Pikes Peak International ...
Mitsubishi Motors has today announced that it is to enter two electric cars into this year's Pikes Peak International Hill Climb, taking place this July. In addition to the electric production i-MiEV taking part, Mitsubishi is entering its i-MiEV Evolution, a prototype developed from i-MiEV technology, purpose built for the Pikes Peak event. And compared to the production model it's a wee beastie.  Read More
Surgeons have restored some hand function to a quadriplegic patient by rerouting nerves in...
It's been a good news week for those suffering debilitating spinal injuries. First we looked at a breakthrough that enables quadriplegic patients to move robotic arms using just their thoughts and now, in related news, surgeons at the Washington University School of Medicine have reported the successful rerouting of working nerves in the upper arms of a quadriplegic patient, restoring some hand function.  Read More
A prototype “inexact” computer chip that is around 15 times more efficient than current mi...
Last year, a team of U.S. researchers applied the pruning shears to computer chips to trim away rarely used portions of digital circuits. The result was chips that made the occasional mistake, but were twice as fast, used half as much energy, and were half the size of the original. Now, building on the same “less is more” idea, the researchers have built an “inexact” prototype silicon chip they claim is at least 15 times more efficient than current technology in terms of speed, energy consumption and size.  Read More

Leading end of the Tycho Brahe suborbital vehicle showing the observation dome and a full-...
Generally speaking, companies developing suborbital manned vehicles brag about how much elbow room their spacecraft will provide passengers. They say there will be plenty of room to float around during the weightless portion of the flight, that there will be no fighting for windows, that passengers will comfortably endure the high-g portions of the flight ... and then there's Copenhagen Suborbitals' (CS) Tycho Brahe.  Read More
Google Chrome now lets users sync open tabs across devices Google has updated its Chrome browser, adding the ability to sync browser tabs across multiple devices to make a single session of Chrome accessible as you move from desktop, to mobile, and back again.  Read More
Delphi's single cylinder Gasoline Direct Injection Compression Ignition (Photo: Delphi) With both gasoline and diesel engines having their own particular advantages and disadvantages, automotive component manufacturer Delphi is looking for a best-of-both-worlds solution with a gasoline-powered engine that uses diesel engine-like technology for increased fuel efficiency. According to MIT’s Technology Review, such an engine has the potential to increase the fuel economy of gasoline-powered cars by 50 percent and give hybrid vehicles a run for their money in the fuel economy stakes.  Read More
The SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket on its pad at Cape Canaveral, Florida (Photo: SpaceX/Roger Gilb... SpaceX has suffered another hitch in its quest to become the first commercial company to send a spacecraft to the International Space Station (ISS). The launch scheduled for May 19 from Cape Canaveral was cancelled due to a potential problem with one of the engines aboard the Falcon 9 launch vehicle, but all systems should be go on May 22.  Read More
The doughnut-shaped Pulpop MP3 speaker from Balance Wu Design is made from recycled paper ...
Unfortunately, when it comes to sharing digital music with friends, there aren't too many eco-friendly portable speaker options available for the discerning green consumer. When such things do make an appearance, they tend to be acoustic docks made from materials like bamboo (think iBamboo) that simply boost the source audio in a similar way to using an old-fashioned horn speaker, or otherwise get their power from renewable resources (as with the SoliCharger or Rukus, for instance). The Pulpop MP3 speaker designed by Balance Wu and Chin Yang takes a slight diversion from such norms. It's made from recycled paper pulp and uses of vibration speaker technology to amplify the source audio through the surface on which it stands and the hollow space inside the doughnut.  Read More
NEMS mass scale which can detect the mass of a single proton (Photo: CIT)
A sprocket of research engineers (yes, apparently that's the collective noun for a group of engineers) at the Catalan Institute of Technology (CIT) has succeeded in breaking the record for sensitivity of mass measurement. By measuring the resonant frequency of a short length of single carbon nanotube, masses as small as a single nucleon (proton or neutron), having a mass of about 1.7 yoctogram (1 yg = 10^-24 grams) were measured, thereby exhibiting a level of sensitivity several orders of magnitude better than previous devices. This new technology enables the detection and identification of individual atoms and molecules and tracing the fate of individual atoms in a chemical reaction.  Read More
Go-Go Dog Pals are said to be rugged and durable enough to withstand what your dog throws ...
A stick, a ball, a rope with a knot tied on it, these are all tried and tested methods of entertaining and exercising dogs. But for some people, basic isn't always best … meet Go-Go Dog Pals, remote controlled pet toys designed to be chased by dogs while the owner takes the more leisurely option of controlling it with a remote.  Read More
The new NEX-F3 16 megapixel mirrorless camera from Sony features a pop-up flash and a 180 ...
Sony has announced the successor to its entry-level 16 megapixel NEX-C3 mirrorless camera. The new NEX-F3 gains a lot of higher end NEX and DSLR technology, including a built-in flash, tilting LCD display and HD video recording.  Read More
ROCCAT's new Savu gaming mouse brings an achievement system and a customizable light bar t...
ROCCAT's latest peripheral brings some of its past innovations together along with a couple that you won't find on anything else. The new Savu Mid-Size Hybrid Gaming Mouse offers a unique peripheral-based achievement system and a customizable light bar in addition to extremely precise optics.  Read More
The One Street Tweeter is sort of like a giant towed inkjet printer, which paints Tweeted ... The G8 Summit, the annual meeting of leaders from eight of the world’s largest economies, is always a popular venue for protestors who don’t like what some of those leaders are doing. While you may not be able to make it to this year’s upcoming event in Maryland, an advocacy group known as One could still get your message out – by using what could best be described as a giant inkjet printer to paint it on the street.  Read More

CCTV's Beijing headquarters (Photo: OMA / Iwan Baan)
Office buildings have traditionally been so staid that whimsical departures from the norm still trigger a strong response, both good and bad. The latest member of the avant-garde architecture club, the estimated US$1.08 billion, 44-floor, 768 ft (234 m) CCTV headquarters building in Beijing (already so iconic it's part of a board game for architecture groupies) is now finally complete - after nearly eight years of construction.  Read More
The Zippered Vents Sleeping Bag While a good quality sleeping bag is a solid investment for keeping the crisp night air at bay, said bag can quickly become an oven when the ambient temperature heads northwards. Add to this the cramped nature of snoozing in a sack and you get a recipe for discomfort that some of us find hard to bear. The Zippered Vents Sleeping Bag aims to overcome these issues with a design that brings a little versatility to the equation.  Read More
The Pacifier Activated Lullaby (PAL) device uses a specially wired pacifier and speaker to...
One of the myriad of hurdles premature babies must overcome after entering the world too soon is learning how to suck and feed. To address this problem and get premature babies feeding and out of the hospital sooner, Florida State University (FSU) professor Jayne Standley has developed a pacifier that provides musical reinforcement every time the baby sucks on it correctly.  Read More
The SAPER mobile application uses the device's embedded magnetometer to turn a smartphone ...
With unexploded ordnance and land mines remaining a serious global problem, we’ve seen many efforts to develop new technology to detect these dangers, such as using terahertz waves and inkjet-printable sensors. But instead of relying on the development of new technology, some students at the Military University of Technology in Warsaw have sought to use an existing one in a new way with the development of their SAPER explosives detection app for smartphones.  Read More
The Lens/Focus Shifter is a lens mounted follow focus which claims to offer thrifty film-m...
Modern DSLRs can shoot some pretty impressive video footage, but unfortunately their small and often fiddly focus rings aren't quite cut out for creating cinematic masterpieces which require smooth and accurate focus. The Lens/Focus Shifter is a lens mounted follow focus which claims to offer DSLR film-makers and photographers a professional solution to this problem … on a budget.  Read More
Though there may be no obvious green bells and whistles such as wind turbines or photovolt...
Look up this project on the website of its architects ACXT and you will find that it goes by the rather understated name of 242 Affordable Housing Units in Salburúa (Salburúa being a neighborhood in the Basque city of Vitoria-Gasteiz). In many ways the downplaying of the name is in keeping with ACXT's quiet approaches to sustainable design. Though there may be no obvious green bells and whistles such as wind turbines or photovoltaics, passive architectural methods combined with on-site generation contribute to what ACXT claims is a "considerable reduction" in the building's carbon dioxide emissions.  Read More
The Venn diagram of objects you can eat, and objects from which digital synthesizers have ... The Venn diagram of objects you can eat, and objects from which digital synthesizers have been made is one with minimal overlap. But thanks to Gadget Gangster's Jeff Ledger and his Bananaphone touch capacitance synthesizer, that union has gotten a little bigger.  Read More
A New York design consultancy has built the DIWire Bender machine, which can bend and shap...
Thanks to the popularity of 3D printers like the Replicator and the Cube, there are plenty of devices out there for crafting almost any solid object from just a design. But what if you're more interested in building a 3D object from something a little less voluminous like, say, a simple line drawing? The materials used to create most 3D printed object unfortunately aren't sturdy enough to recreate objects that thin. That's why New York-based design consultancy, Pensa, has built the DIWire Bender, a machine that follows vector diagrams to bend and shape pieces of wire into elaborate structures.  Read More
With multiple jamming segments and four control cables, the robotic arm can flex and grip ...
Regular readers might remember the robotic universal gripper that can pick up a wide variety of objects thanks to an elastic membrane filled with coffee grounds. Earlier this year, the developers revealed they had given their versatile gripper the ability to “shoot” objects some distance, and now a team at MIT has “extended” the technology to create a robotic arm that can twist, flex and grip in a way not dissimilar to an elephant’s trunk.  Read More
Vergence Labs' Social Video Electric Eyewear
There is a bandwagon just starting to roll containing various pairs of video-capable and augmented reality glasses. Google is currently in the driver's seat, but it's far from the only company working on ways to allow us all to record video from a first-person perspective and integrate what we see into our online lives. A case in point is Vergence Labs' Social Video Electric Eyewear.  Read More

It's rare to see a building's form so adapted to maximizing renewable energy potential as ...
It's rare to see a building's form so adapted to maximizing renewable energy potential as is the case with the Endesa Pavilion, Solar House 2.0. Not content with a roof completely covered in photovoltaic panels, the designers at the Institute for Advanced Architecture of Catalonia (IAAC) led by Rodrigo Rubio have covered the building's south facade with protrusions supporting additional solar panels, which are angled optimally for harvesting energy from the sun.  Read More
The creative fellows at Pensa are turning a few heads with their Street Charge concept tha... The creative fellows at Pensa are turning a few heads with their Street Charge concept that would seek to turn everyday city street signs into illuminated charging stations for mobile devices.  Read More
The GAZOO Racing Toyota GT86 took the win in the SP3 class, completing 129 laps of the leg... The new Toyota GT86 and Subaru BRZ haven't been visible for long, but the marques' newest sports car scored a major coup on the weekend when it won two separate classes at the 40th ADAC 24 Hours Nürburgring race, including the V3 class for production machines. In all, it was a huge validation of the handling and horsepower of the new machine on what is generally regarded as the most demanding racetrack in the world.  Read More
Liftoff of the SpaceX Dragon/Falcon 9 mission to the ISS (Photo: NASA)
In a stunning nightime launch at 3:44 Eastern Daylight Time, Elon Musk's Space Exploration Technologies (SpaceX) has sent the Dragon spacecraft into orbit on its way to a rendezvous with the International Space Station (ISS). The Dragon will deliver about 460 kilograms of cargo, including food, disposables, several nanocubes for small-scale experimentation and blocks of ice.  Read More
Listen Here is a concept service for tourists that uses an electronic map connected to mic...
Tourists want to experience the "sights and sounds" of everywhere they travel, but usually viewing the sights is much easier than hearing the sounds. It's one thing to look at the Statue of Liberty; it's quite another to be able to listen to the sounds around it. The UK designer behind the Listen Here concept would like to redress the balance by giving tourists a chance to hear audio from all over a town without having to actually go to each place. With microphones at different locations transmitting data to a central map, tourists would be able to simply point at a different and hear live ambient sound from all around a city.  Read More
Feligan claims its PowerBrick universal charger is compatible with over 10,000 devices
The dramatic increase in the number of devices finding their way into people’s homes has made the humble electrical outlet hot property, with all manner of power-hungry hardware and proprietary port-packing mobile gizmos clamoring for attention. The PowerBrick universal charger from Feligan aims to be your one-stop electricity outlet by virtue of its ability to simultaneously power 11 devices.  Read More
KAIST's nanocomposite piezoelectric generator produces electricity from vibrational and me... Researchers at the Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST) have created a new piezoelectric nanogenerator that promises to overcome the restrictions found in previous attempts to build a simple, low-cost, large scale self-powered energy system.  Read More
The prototype wFoil 18 Albatross
We're not quite sure why the sudden interest in hydrofoil innovation in Slovenia, but last week's Internautica event saw the release of two different and quite radical recreational hydrofoil craft. The first was the Quadrofoil electric hydrofoil sportscar for the water, and the second is the wFoil 18 Albatross, a cross between a WWI seaplane and a modern hydrofoil which is capable of 50 knots.  Read More
(From left) Imp Electric founders Peter Hartley, Hugo Fiennes and Kevin Fox show off the I...
Los Altos-based start-up Electric Imp is looking to make putting the "things" into the Internet of Things both cheaper and simpler with Imp - a Wi-Fi equipped card designed to connect appliances to the internet so that users can remotely monitor and control them.  Read More
Transmission electron microscopy image of carbon nitride created by the reaction of carbon...
While there are plenty of ways to make carbon-based products from CO2, these methods usually require a lot of energy because the CO2 molecules are so stable. If the energy comes from the burning of fossil fuels, then the net result will be more CO2 entering the atmosphere. Now a material scientist at Michigan Technological University has discovered a chemical reaction that not only soaks up CO2, but also produces useful chemicals along with significant amounts of energy.  Read More


1 comment:

  1. Thanks to integrated Bluetooth, Portable Speakers HQ work with Android, iOS, and, well, any Bluetooth-enabled device, including most laptops and some desktops. Also, they don't require a Wi-Fi network, making them much more flexible than Apple-only AirPlay speakers. Several of the models here, like the budget-price Editors' Choice Logitech X300 Mobile Wireless Speaker, also integrate a microphone, which adds speakerphone functionality, so you can take calls through the speaker.

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