New and Emerging Technology News part 174 ~ NEW GEN TECH LIFE : new generation technology news

Wednesday, 5 February 2014

New and Emerging Technology News part 174

KNÄPPA is a flat-pack cardboard digital camera from IKEA
If you've got a craving for cheap Swedish meatballs or self assembly furniture, IKEA is normally a safe bet. But despite announcing its new UPPLEVA "hybrid furniture" range, IKEA probably wouldn't be your first stop when looking for consumer electronics … and that's not going to change with the unveiling of the KNÄPPA flat-pack cardboard digital camera.  Read More
The Rimac Concept One traveled to the recent Top Marques Monaco An all-electric, 1,088 hp, Croatian supercar - if you didn't know differently, you might think we were just stringing a bunch of random adjectives together on a dare. But those adjectives actually describe a real, live concept car - the Rimac Concept One - which is now available for reservation ahead of deliveries in 2013.  Read More
Los Angeles rooftops have potential for generating power under the CLEAN LA Solar program
We're used to seeing solar arrays in desert locations, but this initiative is looking to a new frontier for solar energy - the rooftops of Los Angeles. The recent approval of a Feed-in-Tarriff (FiT) rooftop solar program known as CLEAN LA Solar by the Los Angeles Department of Water & Power opens up over 12,000 acres of potential rooftop space for solar development.  Read More
The Anti-Piracy Curtain is a ship defense system, designed to keep pirates at bay using sn...
As modern-day piracy continues to be a real threat to ships in some parts of the world, people are likewise continually coming up with new ways of projecting crews and passengers against attacks. While some anti-piracy systems have utilized things such as sound waves and lasers, a new one uses something that is decidedly lower tech – flailing water hoses.  Read More
FreeStreet is a suspended street lighting system, that doesn't require streetlight poles A group of people including city planners and architects recently put a challenge to Dutch electronics company Philips: design an outdoor lighting system that helps to declutter our streets. The result was FreeStreet, a street lighting system that does away with vertical streetlight poles in favor of horizontally-strung cables that have clusters of LED lights built into them. The system won its designers a 2011 Dutch Design Award, and is available for use in Europe as of this month.  Read More
The 6mm f/2.8 Nikkor lens weighs 11.46 pounds, is 9.29 inches in diameter and some 6.73 in...
It's getting rarer these days to find the kind of specialist shops that have so much stock from years gone by that they're more like a mini-museum than a retail outlet. Grays of Westminster is just such an emporium. Exclusively dealing in products spanning the whole history of the Nikon Corporation, the award-winning central London curiosity shop managed to generate a huge online buzz this week by announcing the sale of an exceptionally rare monster of a wide-angle Nikkor lens for an equally gargantuan price of £100,000 (US$162,312).  Read More
Majorana fermions might be the sole component of the dark matter in our Universe (Photo:
Physicists at the Delft University of Technology, Netherlands, have achieved a milestone that might soon revolutionize the world of quantum computing, quantum physics, and perhaps shed new light on the mystery of the dark matter in our universe. Experimenting with nanoelectronics, a group led by Prof. Leo Kouwenhoven has succeeded in detecting the elusive Majorana fermion in the laboratory, without the need for a particle accelerator.  Read More
Sony's HX850 BRAVIA features a bezel-free monolithic design Following its announcement at CES in January, Sony’s 2012 flagship BRAVIA LCD TVs have hit stores in the U.S., with other markets set to follow. Coming in 46- and 55-inch screen sizes, the HX850 line offers Dynamic Edge LED backlighting with fully local dimming, and W-Fi internet connectivity and 3D capabilities out of the box.  Read More
CH-Auto's Lithia EV Sports Car China's CH Auto made a big splash at the last Auto China by displaying a Ferrari 599 copy named the Aculeus. This time the company has begun displaying some original talent and has produced a stylish electric sportscar prototype.  Read More
Honda has developed technology designed to orevent the 'accordion effect' that can bring t...
While modern in car satnav systems can draw on real-time traffic congestion data and suggest alternative routes for drivers to avoid high traffic areas, Honda has taken a different approach to try and minimize the potential for traffic jams. The company has developed new technology designed to detect whether a person’s driving is likely to create traffic jams and encourage them to drive in such a way as to keep traffic flowing.  Read More

A mysterious group of MIT hackers has taken over the grid of windows on the front of the I...
The two-hundred and ninety-five feet (ninety meter) tall Building 54 on MIT's Cambridge campus has become the canvas for a number of carefully planned and daringly executed visual displays over the years, not strictly allowed by the administration but often looked upon with some appreciation. The building is home to the Institute's Department of Earth, Atmospheric, and Planetary Science (EAPS) and has a host of meteorological instruments and radio communications equipment on its roof - but its the grid-like windows to the front that have become the main attraction to hackers, as they are known. The latest hack is the successful realization of a long-standing challenge, a huge playable game of Tetris.  Read More
Nvidia says its new GeForce GTX 690 Dual-GPU video card is the fastest consumer graphics c... Nvidia CEO Jen-Hsun Huang chose his keynote address at the Nvidia Game Festival in Shanghai last week to unveil the Nvidia GeForce GTX 690 Dual-GPU video card. Powered by dual 28 nm Kepler architecture-based GeForce GPUs, the GTX 690 delivers what Huang claims is, “the highest performance of any graphics card in history.”  Read More
The prototype middle-ear microphone attached to a cadaver’s umbo (Photo: Case Western Rese...
U.S researchers are developing a tiny middle ear "microphone" that could remove the need for any external components on cochlear implants. Led by University of Utah engineer Darrin J. Young, the research team has produced and tested a prototype of the device which uses an accelerometer attached to the tiny bones of the middle ear to detect sound vibration.  Read More
By sandwiching a layer of ferric chloride molecules between two sheets of graphene (pictur...
Currently, virtually all touchscreen displays found in our electronic devices rely on a coating of indium tin oxide (ITO). It is used because of its electrical conductivity, its optical transparency, and the ease with which it can be deposited onto a display as a thin film. Using graphene, researchers at the University of Exeter have developed a viable alternative to increasingly expensive ITO that they claim is the “most transparent, lightweight and flexible material ever for conducting electricity.”  Read More
The Vertical Power VP-400 is designed to locate your best emergency runway option and get ...
Imagine that you are flying along in your own aircraft when, suddenly, the engine stops. Now what? In a logical extension of the technologies now available, Laminar Research's Austin Meyer and avionics outfit Vertical Power have come up with a system designed to comprehensively answer that question by locating your best emergency runway option and getting you safely there - the VP-400.  Read More
Eating two servings of strawberries and blueberries a day can delay memory decline in olde... Everyone knows that strawberries and blueberries are good for you. Now a new study by researchers at Brigham and Women’s Hospital (BWH) has found that eating as little as two servings of flavonoid-rich strawberries and/or blueberries a week can delay memory decline in older women by over two years.  Read More
The thumb-sized Domino chip can perform 20 genetic tests from a drop of blood A genetic testing mini-lab developed by researchers at the University of Alberta to set to begin commercial trials within a year. The Domino system provides a portable, cheap and powerful alternative to conventional laboratories that delivers a range of point-of-care diagnostic possibilities including tests for blood borne diseases such as malaria and those affecting farm animals.  Read More
A scanning electron micrograph of a cross-section of the MIT nanotextured glass (Photo: Hy...
Glass has a unique look - despite its clarity you can tell there is a material there by the way it reflects light, and that it isn't plastic or crystal. Glass, however, carries problems, like glare, fogging, and collects dirt. A group of MIT researchers has found a new way to create arrays of conical micron-scale surface nanotextures to produce glass that is self-cleaning, non-glare, and non-fogging. The researchers believe the nanotextured surface can be made at low enough cost to be applied to optical devices, the screens of smartphones and televisions, solar panels, car windshields and even windows in buildings.  Read More
Dundee researchers have developed a device akin to Dr. Who's 'sonic screwdriver' (Image: O...
A University of Dundee research team led by Prof. Mike MacDonald has demonstrated that both levitation and twisting forces can be applied to an object by application of ultrasonic beams. This latest breakthrough is part of a wide-ranging U.K. research effort to develop a device not unlike the "sonic screwdriver" made famous by the TV series Doctor Who.  Read More
The Honda Smart Home System Demonstration Testing House
Honda has unveiled a demonstration house in Saitama, Japan, to showcase and test its new Honda Smart Home System (HSHS). Featuring a line-up of innovative energy production, management and conservation solutions, the company hopes HSHS will free homeowners from the constraints of on-grid living somewhat, give them a leg up on self-sufficiency when disaster strikes and help reduce carbon dioxide emissions both at home and on the road by networking electric vehicles into the mix.  Read More

MoveeGo is a compact camera rig system, for users of small camcorders or smartphones
There was a time not so long ago, when amateur film-makers were simply told, “If you want your footage to look professional, use a tripod.” While that advice still stands, the market is now being flooded with relatively inexpensive devices that allow basement videographers to smoothly execute camera moves that were previously only possible using Hollywood-style gear. One of the latest contenders in this field is MoveeGo, a two-device system that lets users of small cameras get SteadiCam-like handheld shots, or sleek tracking shots.  Read More
The Night Vision iPhone Adapter connects night vision scopes and iPhone 4 models
Imagine if you could turn your iPhone into an advanced night vision recording device, tuned to your every espionage whim. No, there's not an app for that ... but there is the USNV Night Vision iPhone Adapter. Before you get too excited about it, you should note that it doesn't directly turn an iPhone into a night vision scope – you'll still need an actual separate scope. What the NViA does is bridge the iPhone with the night vision scope to leverage iPhone features like video recording, geo-tagging and messaging ... because when you're in the middle of a midnight tail, sometimes you want to go back and scour the footage for more clues – or I assume that you might want to do that, if you were some type of vigilante running around the city with a pair of infrared goggles.  Read More
A simple concept, the Flex Leg props your injured leg for more natural movement (Photo: Fl...
Sometimes the most advanced innovations are rooted in the simplest questions. In this case, the question was, "If we can help a person with no legs to run, why can’t we help a person with an injured leg to walk?" The answer was the Flex Leg.  Read More
An MIT scientist is developing inexpensive sensors that are able to gauge the ripeness of ...
As fruit matures, it releases a gas known as ethylene, that causes the ripening process to begin. Once that process is under way, more ethylene is released, kicking the ripening into high gear. Currently, produce warehouses use expensive technologies such as gas chromatography or mass spectroscopy to measure ethylene levels, in order to gauge the ripeness of fruits that are in storage. A scientist from MIT, however, is developing small, inexpensive ethylene sensors that could be used in places such as supermarkets. There, they could let shopkeepers know which batches of fruit need to sold the soonest, in order to minimize spoilage.  Read More
Today, SpaceX performed a static fire test of its Falcon 9 launch vehicle's nine Merlin en... Private space exploration company SpaceX is currently looking towards May 7th as the rescheduled date for its Dragon space capsule to lift off from Earth, on an unmanned Commercial Orbital Transportation Services (COTS) demo mission to deliver supplies to the International Space Station. Today, the company performed a static fire test of its Falcon 9 launch vehicle’s nine Merlin engines. The test took place at SpaceX’s Space Launch Complex 40 at the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, and was part of a full dress rehearsal for the actual launch.  Read More
Cornering and kicking up dust on a Zero MX electric bike at the Dark Green track in Penros...
Ask anyone who lives near a MotoX park for one word to describe it, and that word is most likely going to be "noisy." There is one track in the U.S. which is very neighbor-friendly in that respect, however. On the face of it, the Dark Green Motorsports track in Penrose, North Carolina might seem like any other, with all the thrills of hops, table tops, camel backs and doubles, but there's no volumous clattering from a two-stroke engine to be heard at this 1,400 meter (0.869 of a mile) dirt bike park – all of the Zero MX bikes available for rental at Dark Green are 100 percent electric.  Read More
Some of the vibrating actuators within the experimental steering wheel
Many drivers would be lost – quite literally – without their in-car navigation systems. When installed in vehicles that some people would say are already overcrowded with instrumentation, however, could such systems be just one visual distraction too many? Researchers at Carnegie Mellon University and AT&T Labs are addressing that concern, by experimenting with a system that conveys navigational cues through vibrations in the steering wheel.  Read More
An overhead train of the Chicago 'L' system (Photo: Greg Kieca/Shutterstock)
Walk Score has ranked the 25 largest US cities by the usefulness of their transit systems. New York sits at the top of the list released by the website, which otherwise provides its users with information about the most walkable inner-city neighborhoods. San Francisco came second in the public transit rankings, with Boston, Washington, D.C. and Philadelphia rounding out the top five.  Read More
A high-magnification photo of a sand grain containing titanium dioxide in the form of ruti...
Last week that giant multinational of aluminum production Alcoa announced its new "smog-eating" architectural panels - in other words cladding stuck to a building's exterior that can remove pollutants from the surrounding air. The aluminum panels, branded Reynobond with EcoClean technology, have a titanium dioxide coating which breaks down pollutants in direct sunlight.  Read More
The 'Descriptive Camera' prints a crowdsourced description of the photo it takes instead o...
Most cameras today have settings that log the time, date, camera settings, and even location of any photos taken. Unfortunately though, no camera out there can automatically note what a picture actually shows ... until now, that is. Matt Richardson, a student in the Computational Cameras class at New York University‘s Interactive Telecommunications Program, recently created a quirky device called the "Descriptive Camera," which works like a regular camera, but instead of displaying images, it prints out a description of the photo's content in plain English.  Read More

Quimera Responsible Racing and Evelio Electric Supercars have created an all-electric drif...
Spain's green racing pioneers Quimera Responsible Racing and the UK's Alex Letteriello and his small team at Evelio Electric Supercars have joined forces to develop an all-electric supercar designed to race in drifting competitions, where cornering is undertaken with a thrilling sideways slide. The quite simply stunning AEDC (All Electric Drift Car), or K1 Evelio to use its given name, is capable of quietly speeding from zero to 60 mph (96.5 km/h) in just 3.2 seconds, has an average range of 150 miles (241.4 km) per charge and is expected to reach speeds of 170 mph (273.5 km/h).  Read More
Heliatek has set a world record efficiency with its latest organic solar technology
German solar technology specialist Heliatek has set a new benchmark for the efficiency of organic solar cells. In independent tests, a new world record efficiency of 10.7 percent was achieved for the company's latest tandem organic photovoltaic (OPV) cells ... and 15 percent may be just a few years away.  Read More
Infiniski's sustainable house designs are up to 80-percent comprised of reused, recycled a...
"It's not because of Climate Change. It's because I've never been able to leave food on my plate." This is the motto of sustainable housing design firm Infiniski, whose dwellings are up to 80-percent comprised of reused, recycled and non-polluting materials. Among them are, you guessed it, shipping containers, but also railway tracks, forklift paletts and even old bottles. Though each house is tailored to the needs of the client, the one thing they have in common - in spite of the eye-catching design - is surprising affordability.  Read More
Researchers have designed coupled lasers that act as general-purpose optical logic gates
High hopes have been maintained for decades concerning optical logic, optical switching matrices (e.g. for communications), and optical computing. The missing link in actualizing this promise is a practical circuit element that allows one light to be turned on or off purely by application of another light to the device - rather like voltage on the control gate of a field effect transistor. This missing link has now been developed through a novel application of the complex behavior exhibited by coupled lasers.  Read More
A wealthy Australian businessman has announced plans to build a cruise ship modeled after ...
It's been just over 100 years since the notorious RMS Titanic met its fate with an iceberg on its maiden voyage, sending it to the bottom of the Atlantic along with over 1,500 passengers. Since then, the doomed passenger liner has become almost a legend, thanks in no small part to James Cameron's blockbuster movie about the disaster. Next to the film though, the Titanic may soon be getting literally its biggest tribute yet (bigger than the world's largest Titanic museum). Australian billionaire, Clive Palmer, recently announced plans to construct a life-sized, seaworthy replica of the ship - with some modern upgrades to keep it from sinking of course.  Read More
Alienware M17x (pictured), M14x, and M18x gaming laptops now offer Intel's 3rd-gen Core i5...
Hot on the heels of last week’s preview of Intel’s 3rd-generation Core i5 and i7 Ivy Bridge mobile processors, Dell’s Alienware high performance PC gaming brand has announced Ivy Bridge availability in its refreshed M14x, M17x, and M18x gaming laptops. The three units also get new GPU and storage options, a dedicated Creative Sound Blaster chip, and THX TruStudio software.  Read More
As car ownership grows, congestion grows and parking in city centers becomes more expensiv...
Auto China is probably the most influential automobile show in the world at present. China now produces and consumes more cars than any other nation, so its needs will heavily influence personal transport globally in coming decades. Some early trends are emerging as to what we'll see, and as congestion in China increases and parking centrally becomes prohibitively expensive, a car will increasingly only get you part of the way to your destination. Geely and BMW both showed cars with inclusive last-mile transport at Auto China, but the number of last mile Transportation Appliance options under development by auto manufacturers is growing rapidly.  Read More
A new study has shown that transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) can prevent migr...
It’s hard to convey the pain of a migraine to those who are fortunate enough not to suffer them. Compounding things, many sufferers get no relief from, or cannot tolerate, commonly prescribed or over-the-counter pain medications. Now researchers have shown that applying a mild electrical current to the brain via electrodes attached to the scalp can prevent migraines from occurring and reduce the severity and duration of those that do occur.  Read More
New paper strips detect Escherichia coli simply, cheaply and quickly
Nothing can put a dampener on a summer holiday like a coliform bacteria outbreak. But even worse than being told to keep out of the water in the event of an outbreak is not being told to keep out of the water in the event of an outbreak and ending up paying the price. Researchers at McMaster University have now developed a paper strip test that is cheap to produce, extremely portable, simple to use, and detects E. coli in water in 30 minutes.  Read More
Aston Martin showed three 'Year of the Dragon' special editions in Beijing While there were no totally new offerings from Aston Martin at Auto China 2012, the British luxury automaker took the opportunity to showcase its personalization capabilities by unveiling three "Year of the Dragon" special editions. The decked-out DBS Volante, Virage Coupe and V8 Vantage S Coupe on show in Beijing are part of the company's "Dragon 88" edition which will be limited to, you guessed it, 88 customized sports cars.  Read More

The Flexrotor takes off vertically from its launch platform
In an attempt to combine the vertical take-off and landing (VTOL) capabilities of a helicopter, with the speed, range and altitude capabilities of a fixed wing aircraft, tiltrotor aircraft, such as the AgustaWestland AW609 and the Bell Boeing V-22 Osprey rely on powered rotors mounted on rotating shafts or nacelles at the end of a fixed wing. But the tiltrotor design isn’t the only option for aircraft looking to get the best of both worlds. Like Aerovironment’s SkyTote, the Flexrotor is designed to transition from vertical to horizontal flight without any pivoting of its rotor.  Read More
Microsoft's HomeOS provide a central hub through which various household devices can be co...
Microsoft is looking to unify electrical appliances within the home and establish itself in the burgeoning “smart home” market with the development of HomeOS. Essentially a lightweight “smart home” operating system that aims to make it easy for users to manage their home networks and ease the creation of applications by third party developers, HomeOS is designed to provide a central hub through which various household devices can be controlled.  Read More
Guests enjoying the AirHotel's Schulp (Little Cottage)
Looking for a place to stay that's sustainable, fun and suspended? The one-of-a-kind, mobile AirHotel, designed by a group of Belgian artists, may be just the ticket. Made from recycled materials, the quirky hotel's six elevated or hanging rooms are each unique in their own way and all come with an unusual form of room service that ranges from a love song to a disco party.  Read More
The Helio has a foot pump, carry case, water holder and 7-foot (2.1-m) shower hose
In an attempt to reach out to potential campers and backpackers that don't like the idea of goin' natural for days on end, tent and gear manufacturer Nemo Equipment has developed the Helio shower. Lying between bulky powered systems and basic portable gravity showers, it uses a lightweight, manual pressure system to give you a warm clean-down in the wilderness.  Read More
Scientists have developed a new concept for a low-cost, high-speed desktop DNA sequencer (...
Doctors and scientists wishing to decode a human genome can now do so in a day for US$1,000 a pop using the recently-released Ion Proton sequencer. With a price tag of $149,000, though, the machine isn’t cheap – nor is it the be-all and end-all of desktop gene sequencing. For one thing, the tiny $900 MinION sequencer should be available soon. Also, a team of scientists from Oak Ridge National Laboratory and Yale University have now developed a concept of their own, which could end up providing an even less expensive high-speed sequencer.  Read More
Jawbone BIG JAMBOX Jawbone is looking to please more of the crowd with a new, larger version of the JAMBOX portable Bluetooth speaker it brought to market in late 2010. The aptly named BIG JAMBOX weighs 2.7 lbs (1.23 kg) compared to its smaller sibling's 0.8 lbs and promises longer battery life as well as bigger sound - its rechargeable lithium-ion battery provides up to 15 hours of continuous playback, and 500 hours of standby time on a single charge.  Read More
Triggertrap Mobile requires a dongle and cable to connect your iOS5 device to a DSLR
One of the keys to great photography is knowing when to hit the shutter button, but sometimes that's easier said than done. Triggertrap Mobile is an iOS app which aims to help you capture that elusive shot by turning your iPhone or iPad (2 or new) into a smart camera trigger capable of making your camera take a photo at exactly the right moment.  Read More
iTapemeasure pairs a physical tape with an app
You don't have to be a carpenter to find yourself regularly grabbing for a tape measure. Unfortunately, if you're not a carpenter, you probably find yourself grasping at loose air and denim as you remember that you don't wear a tool belt. The iTapemeasure is a combination app and case that attaches a digital tape measure to your iPhone, so you always have one at hand.  Read More
Cuong Dang manipulates a green beam that pumps Brown University's new nanocrystals with en...
Ordinarily, if you wanted to include blue, green and red laser light sources in the same device (such as a BluRay player), you would need to build in three separate lasers – each one incorporating different semiconductor materials. Now, however, engineers from Rhode Island’s Brown University have succeeded in creating different colors of lasers, all using the same nanocrystal-based semiconductor. Among other things, this opens the door to digital displays that could produce various colors of laser light simultaneously.  Read More
A nanowire sporting tendrils of nanoparticles, which greatly add to its surface area
Higher-density batteries, more efficient thin-film solar cells, and better catalysts may all soon be possible, thanks to a new technique that allows nanowires to be “decorated” with nanoparticles. Using the novel technology, scientists from Stanford University have been able to festoon the outside surfaces of nanowires with intricate chains of metal oxide or noble metal nanoparticles, thereby drastically boosting the effective surface area of the nanowires. Other researchers have previously tried to achieve the same end result, but apparently never with such success.  Read More

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