New and Emerging Technology News part 176 ~ NEW GEN TECH LIFE : new generation technology news

Wednesday, 5 February 2014

New and Emerging Technology News part 176

Fraunhofer's experimental new artificial hip (right)
While modern artificial hips are made of a number of high-tech materials, metal is still often the material of choice for younger, more active patients. This is due mainly to the fact that it’s so robust. Unfortunately, however, difficulties can arise in the metal ball-and-socket interface – where the artificial head of the femur meets the artificial socket of the pelvis – if things aren't perfectly aligned. In particular, the metal surfaces can wear against one another, decreasing the longevity of the implant and potentially causing health problems in the patient. Now, researchers from Germany’s Fraunhofer Institute for Manufacturing Engineering and Automation are developing a new type of heavy-duty artificial hip, that contains no metal at all.  Read More
Logitech has unveiled a new iPad case with built-in keyboard that's powered by batteries c...
Last April, Logitech partnered with ZAGG to release a rather smart iPad case with built-in physical keyboard. The company has now announced a new book-style case for Apple's tablet where the power for the included Bluetooth keyboard comes from batteries juiced up by built-in photovoltaic panels. The Solar Keyboard Folio won't help an iPad last any longer, though. Fortunately, Wireless NRG has developed a tough extended battery case for the iPad that also packs light-soaking cells on its flap that can keep the protected tablet going for up to ten days. The panels on both cases don't just rely on direct sunlight for power, as they can also take advantage of indoor light too.  Read More
Neva ski poles contain a microprocessor and OLED screen, allowing skiers to do things such...
It seems that more and more often, we’re hearing about people adding computer functionality to existing products – turning so-called “dumb” devices into “smart” ones. While that’s understandable with electronic appliances such as fridges and washing machines, a lot of people might scoff at the idea of a smart ski pole ... wouldn’t that be sort of like a smart pencil sharpener or doorstop? It turns out, however, that software engineer Anthony Griesel’s Neva microprocessor-equipped ski poles could actually be kind of useful.  Read More
The cot mobile and baby monitor combines two devices most new parents will buy
There's no shortage of baby monitors out there, even high-tech ones. Previously we've seen devices which let parents check on their little ones using an iPhone or iPad, and others which swivel to track them, wherever they are. But designer Denny Tsai thinks he's come up with something unique – a baby monitor which is fitted into a cot mobile.  Read More
Aerospace company XCOR has tested the bearings for its rocket propellant piston pump by in... It costs a lot of money to assess rocket engine parts using professional-grade testing equipment ... and, like most of us, aerospace company XCOR doesn’t have money to burn. So, when it came time to test the bearing components of their new rocket propellant piston pump, the XCOR engineers got creative – they put them in the engine of a motorcycle, and sent it on a road trip.  Read More
The Redwoods Treehouse in New Zealand offers a unique tree-top location for dinner parties...
Auckland based firm Pacific Environment Architects is the creator of this impressive treehouse located near Warkworth in New Zealand. The Redwoods Treehouse is a striking pod-shaped structure built ten meters (33 feet) high in the tree tops. Originally commissioned as part of a marketing campaign for the Yellow Pages phone directory, the treehouse is now a permanent attraction for treetop diners.  Read More
To put the size of the Shadow Hawk air-glide armament in perspective, the RQ-7 is just 11....
Lockheed Martin's new Shadow Hawk weapon is deceptively small considering the influence it will likely have on warfare from this point forward. The era of unmanned warfare is about to go to a whole new level. The Shadow Hawk is an 11-pound class, 2.75-inch (7 cm) diameter, 27-inch (68 cm) long drop-glide munition released a mile or more above the target by the equally diminutive unmanned RQ-7B. It may not seem like a major leap forward in weapons technology but it most certainly is, because the Shadow Hawk munition now arms an entire fleet of RQ-7s for the US Marines and Army that could previously only be used for reconnaissance, and it does so with a much smaller and cheaper weapon.  Read More
A Danish architectural firm is planning to construct a skyscraper in South Korea modeled a...
The hashtag or "#" symbol has taken on a lot more use in recent years, especially with the rise of social media tools like Twitter, where it's used to highlight popular topics. So in a way, it's a fitting model for an apartment building designed to act as a self-contained neighborhood, which is exactly the idea behind the Cross # Towers planned for South Korea. Danish architectural firm, Bjarke Ingels Group (BIG), is modeling the look of the proposed building after the familiar symbol, by placing two interlocking bridges between two skyscrapers, which will also support outdoor park areas to mimic the sort of spaces you'd normally find on the ground.  Read More
Screen shot of the Herd It Facebook game that provides the human knowledge used by the sys...
When it comes to online music, we really are spoilt for choice. So spoilt it can make uncovering new music to match our tastes or finding a track when we don’t know the artist or song title, a hit and miss affair. Engineers at the University of California, San Diego (UCSD), have developed a new approach called “game-powered machine learning” that they claim is just as accurate as other methods, but is cheaper and has the potential to let users search every song on the web using a text search.  Read More
Bulgari Papillon Voyageur - 99 piece limited edition in rose gold launched at Baselworld 2...
BASELWORLD, held in Basel Switzerland, is an annual watchmakers and jewelers exhibition where over 100,000 buyers from all over the world descend to check out the coming year's new product. Literally hundreds of new watches are launched at the fair from dozens of manufacturers including big-hitters Rolex, Hublot, Breitling, Patek Phillipe, Tissot and Glashutte. We've assembled a gallery of the most notable releases in 2012, which includes the most innovative, most beautiful, most expensive and most ugly ... and the last two categories are embodied by the same watch!  Read More

The entrance to the club invites exploration
When designers from across the world get together to create a crowdsourced nightclub concept, one thing is a certain - a damn good party. That's what went down last month when a futuristic-styled club sponsored by Heineken popped up at Milan's week-long design fair. Designers from Tokyo, Sao Paulo, Milan and New York teamed up with clubbers from over 100 cities to collaborate on the design, and we've just gotten our hands on some more video and images from inside.  Read More
The new golf-centric Hanebrink pedelec bike was developed as a faster charging and cleaner... Details have now surfaced for the golf-specific, and fourth, Hanebrink electric bike we briefly mentioned a few days ago. The Links BRINK features many of the same specs as the bikes that have come before it, including those wonderful chunky 20-inch (50cm) diameter, 8-inch (20cm) wide tubeless tires, but has an easy mount and dismount frame and comes supplied with its own custom two-wheeled golf trolley.  Read More
One of OriginOil's 75 GPM (300 LPM) flocculation units
OriginOil and Algasol, two companies working to develop algae into renewable fuel, have announced a collaboration on growth and harvest technology. The companies hope the partnership will help them reduce cost and improve performance, therefore increasing commercial prospects for algae as fuel source. Harvesting algae is one of the main cost drivers associated with this type of raw material. Algae are microscopic and live in suspension on liquid. When the time comes to harvesting it, the water/algae ratio can be as high as 1,000/1. In order to make it suitable for commercial applications, that ratio needs to be reduced to around 10/1.  Read More
Adapted from a 1960s ferry, the 120-meter long Badboot floating lido is set to open this A...
Floating swimming pools seem to be becoming a thing. Last year we looked at the +Pool concept to install just this sort of thing on one of New York's rivers - a concept that engineering consultancy Arup has since greenlit from a feasibility point of view, at least. And then there's realities:united's scheme for the world's longest swimming pool, called Flussbad, in the River Spree in Berlin. But now the 120-meter (394-feet) long Badboot Lido has seemingly leapfrogged the competition, opening for business this August in Antwerp, Belgium. Because the Badboot is adapted from a 1960s ferry, it can be moved around the city as needed.  Read More
The RAV4 EV is the first all-electric SUV available in the United States
It's been about two years since Tesla and Toyota announced a partnership, and we're about to see the fruit of their labor. The RAV4 Electric, the modern market's first all-electric SUV, will hit the market in the coming months. Toyota used the 26th annual Electric Vehicle Symposium in Los Angeles to launch the model.  Read More
The Hover Car is capable of traveling above ground
The world of personal mobility transporters doesn't bring a whole lot of glamor. The Segway was never exactly an enviable ride, and newer concepts like the GM EN-V aren't any better. But a Volkswagen that hovers a few feet over the ground? That channels a mix of Back to the Future and The Jetsons that adds some excitement to the personal mobility segment.  Read More
The LaserSaber lightsaber could make your Star Wars fantasies come true
I doubt there are many Star wars fans out there who haven't, at one time or another, fantasized about owning a lightsaber. These are the weapons favored by Jedi and Sith, resembling a sword but with a blade formed of colored light. To have one at your disposal is the dream of geeks everywhere; a dream that has edged closer to becoming reality with the LaserSaber.  Read More
MDI compressed-air technology is being developed in India by Tata Motors (pictured is MDI'... Cars that run on compressed air sound like a fantastic idea on paper, but bringing this technology to the masses has proven, well, a difficult road to travel. There's some positive news on the air-car front though - auto giant Tata Motors, which holds the license to develop Motor Development International's (MDI) air engine technology in India, has announced that it has completed the proof of the technical concept and demonstration phase of its air-car program and is now moving toward a market ready product.  Read More
Adam Masters enjoys his creation
Ever want to get some of the exhilaration of whitewater kayaking without actually learning how to Eskimo roll or self rescue? Essentially a cross between a kayak and a river board, the Bellyak is hand-paddled craft designed to deliver a new way of enjoying the water by letting you jump in head first ... literally.  Read More
Windows 8 will give users access to video content through Apps, rather than discs
Microsoft has announced plans to scrap native DVD playback from Windows 8, instead focusing on improving video streaming abilities by making it easier to access services like Netflix, Hulu, and YouTube. Citing a decline globally in physical media sales, Microsoft is investing in a future without discs, and is hoping to keep costs down by removing DVD licensing fees. However, those interested in having access to their collection of DVDs do have options, as Microsoft claims that third party DVD software will be readily available to fill the void where Windows Media Player once was.  Read More

The Mute concept will serve as a starting point for Visio.M
Mercedes-Benz parent company Daimler and BMW are typically seen facing off against each other to win the hearts, minds and wallets of luxury car buyers. However, the challenges of developing a mass-produced electric car have inspired the two pillars of German luxury to put aside their rivalry and team up on a city car project.  Read More
Facebook addiction is real and measurable by the Bergen Facebook Addiction Scale
It is possible to get addicted to almost anything. The most obvious candidates are things like cigarettes, drugs, alcohol, and food. But anything which causes some kind of obsessive behavior in even one individual has the potential to be addictive. That includes the Web and, in particular, social networking sites such as Facebook. New research from the University of Bergen (UiB) suggests Facebook addiction is not only real but measurable using the Bergen Facebook Addiction Scale.  Read More
Closed shutters keep Touchy's wearer in darkness until touched by human hand, at which poi...
If you see what appears at first glance to be a short version of Robocop stumbling through the streets of Tokyo, worry not folks it will likely be Eric Siu or one of his friends using Touchy. The wearer of the head-mounted camera is effectively in darkness until someone touches him, at which point the automated shutters blinding the wearer open briefly and he can once again view the world around him. If the person maintains touch for ten seconds or more, the built-in camera snaps an image and then displays it on a small screen to the rear of the helmet.  Read More
When sprayed into the mouth, WAHH Quantum Sensations is said to produce a slight light-hea...
A professor who has previously created chocolate and coffee aerosols has teamed up with designer Philippe Starck, and turned his micro-particle spraying science to booze. The WAHH Quantum Sensations spray delivers approximately 0.075 ml of alcohol liquid in the form of micro-particles and reportedly simulates the sensorial pleasure of alcohol, giving the user a brief moment of light-headedness and distraction.  Read More
Newly-developed cavity-filling substances could lead to fillings that last much longer
When a dentist drills out the decayed section of a tooth that has a cavity, it’s important that they also remove the bacteria that caused the decay in the first place – or at least, that they remove as much of it as possible. If they don’t, the bacteria can get reestablished, causing the filling to fail. Now, scientists from the University of Maryland’s School of Dentistry have developed a new cavity-filling system that they say will not only kill virtually all residual bacteria, but also help the tooth to regrow some of the tissue that was lost to decay.  Read More
Hill House is an urban family home in Melbourne that appears as if it is riding a wave of ...
Australian architect Andrew Maynard has come up with an unorthodox approach to capturing the sun in winter and excluding it in the summer. One of his latest creations, Hill House, is an urban family home in Melbourne that appears as if it is riding a wave of grass. The family home extension has been built upon the footprint of what once had been the back yard, without obstructing or losing the original building. Seemingly perched above a rolling hill, the new building faces the sun and the box-shaped structure above acts as a passive solar eave, cutting out summer sun, while letting the winter sun flood in.  Read More
The Hornster is a custom-built bike that is designed around what is billed as the world's ...
It’s no secret that cyclists are at a disadvantage when sharing the roads with motorized vehicles – not only do bikes offer less in the way of protection and speed than cars, but drivers often don’t even notice that they’re there. The Hornster, a bicycle featuring what is claimed to be the world’s loudest bicycle horn, was designed to bring attention to that fact.  Read More
GE has announced the addition of a 100 W incandescent equivalent to its range of LED repla...
GE Lighting has announced that it is getting in on the 100 W-equivalent LED replacement act. The 27 W Energy Smart LED bulb joins its range of incandescent bulb replacements that already includes 40 W and 60 W equivalents. And like an incandescent bulb, GE claims its LED bulb emits light evenly in all directions. But how does the 100 W equivalent stack up performance-wise?  Read More
This tiny cabin is a free-floating catamaran suite designed by Dutch architect, Marijn Bei...
This tiny cabin is a free-floating catamaran suite designed by Dutch architect, Marijn Beije. The design was conceived with the hope of luring a younger and more city-focused group of people back into nature, and offers a unique new way to sleep under the stars. Guests can enhance their experience of nature by relaxing in this fully furnished floating eco-lodge, complete with bedroom, bathroom and rooftop deck.  Read More
The spectrogram display shows low frequency at the bottom and high at the top, time is lef...
If you've ever dabbled in the creation of crazy sound effects for home movies, other-worldly audio to complement the battle sequences in a new alien gaming app or strange new loops for digital dance music, you quickly start to appreciate just what a complicated process sound design can be. What with noise generation, pulse and velocity modulation, parallel and series filters, and various other filters, oscillators and envelopes to contend with, the process can hardly be described as fun. A new sample-based synthesizer suite from iZotope seeks to change all that. Both a powerful tool for design pros and an enjoyable and easy way for newbies to dive in and experiment, Iris allows users to manipulate, tweak and layer sounds using the kind of visual editing tools you might find in graphic design packages and discover otherwise hidden sonic treasures.  Read More

A Texas Instruments Stellaris microcontroller which includes an older ARM Cortex-M process...
The newest entry in ARM's Cortex line, the Cortex-M0+ is claimed to be the world's most energy-efficient processor, delivering 32-bit performance on around one third of the typical energy requirements of an 8- or 16-bit processor. Targeting low-cost sensors and microcontrollers, the M0+ will come with a very modest price tag and could act as a crucuial stepping stone to a world in which everyday objects communicate with each other, sharing data to make smart, coordinated decisions that will improve our quality of life.  Read More
Highlight Hunter helps save some time in the editing chair by letting users bookmark highl...
The advent of digital video and the ever-more capacious storage capabilities of video capturing mobile devices has made it much less likely that we’ll miss that killer shot when the opportunity arises. But it also means that digging up that great shot amongst the hours and hours of captured footage can be a real chore. Highlight Hunter helps save some time in the editing chair by letting users bookmark highlights as they are recorded, so the application can automatically hunt them down when the time comes to import them to a computer.  Read More
SoundWave detects motion inputs by detecting the frequency shift in tones emitted from the...
Microsoft’s Kinect peripheral senses motion inputs using a combination of a depth sensor, RGB camera and a multi-array microphone. Now Microsoft’s research division, Microsoft Research, has developed a gesture recognition system called SoundWave that relies on sound instead of video to bring gesture recognition capabilities to a standard laptop or desktop computer without the need for any additional hardware.  Read More
CG characters can be easily posed with Qumarion (Photo: DigInfo)
Comic book artists and animators often use posable mannequins or motion capture to help get tricky action postures just right, but transferring the figures to paper or computer screens still involves drawing or learning complicated animation and mo-cap software, not to mention all the cameras, hardware and people in funny suits running around. Last year, we reported on the efforts of a Japanese consortium to create what is essentially an action figure equipped with sensors at several joints that would allow real-time pose generation of on-screen CG characters. Still in development then, it's now called Qumarion and when it hits the market in a few months, it'll no doubt prove to be a major time saver for artists and animators alike.  Read More
Kids are sure to create a variety of games using the MoleBot table
In the days of yore, families would gather round the table of an evening and play board games like Monopoly and Risk. With such games moving into the virtual world and now available online, even those playing the same game under the same roof can be tucked away in their own corner of the house. An innovative game robot concept out of the Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST) called MoleBot attempts to reverse the trend by providing a physical environment that allows users to physically interact with a virtual game world.  Read More
Matrix Audio one and cube-like iPro speakers line up Matrix Audio is showing a new addition to its line of pocket-friendly portable speakers. We spied the new iPro unit at CTIA Wireless 2012 alongside the company's existing nrg, aura, duet and one models.  Read More
A bird? A plane? A Jetman. (Copyright: Bruno Brokken/Breitling SA, photo via AP Images)
He's launched over the Grand Canyon. He's flown alongside traditional aircraft. He's even attempted to leap across continents. Now "Jetman" and all-around airborne lunatic Yves Rossy is giving us a tour of the beautiful Rio de Janeiro shoreline by way of his carbon fiber jet wing.  Read More
The Touchtype case was designed for those who prefer a full-sized physical keyboard
The iPad has been the top selling tablet in the world since its launch, and on the heels of Apple's success, thousands of accessory makers snapped into action, releasing an endless flow of extras for the iPad. Among the most popular accessories are cases and keyboards, and we've seen several companies combine these two needs, such as the Logitech iPad keyboard, or the Brydge keyboard case. In such a crowded market, standing out is important, and the recently launched Touchtype case does so by making use of a full size physical keyboard.  Read More
The Moshi iGlaze with VersaCover folds up elegantly to prop up the iPad
Shown this week at CTIA in New Orleans, the Moshi iGlaze with VersaCover is a new origami-style iPad case that combines the simplicity of an open and closed magnetic cover with an artful folding function that lets you prop up the tablet to view what’s on screen.  Read More
LazyTruth is an app that searches your inbox for untruthful viral emails, and provides you... Pretty much everyone has that one wide-eyed person in their lives who is constantly forwarding them emails about things like airplanes that disperse mind-control drugs, maniacs who hide under parked cars, and major corporations that are run by Satanists. While you may think about setting these people straight – and thereby helping to quell the online flood of malarkey – it can be a hassle finding the proper information to send them. That’s where the LazyTruth inbox widget comes in.  Read More

Exped says that it developed its horizontal suspension system for more than half a decade
You can buy various forms of sheltered hammocks. Some are completely open, leaving you to sleep under the stars. Some have mosquito netting to protect you from pests. Some have waterproof protection for use in foul weather. Some have added insulation on the underside to keep you warm in winter or cooler spring weather. The Exped Ergo Combi has it all. It packs every type of protection that you could possibly want in the outdoors - save maybe for carnivore repellant - into a package in which you'll never have to worry about hard, cold dirt or poking sticks and rocks.  Read More
HTC One S has a matte black finish due to a microarc oxidation process it undergoes (Photo... HTC is looking to NASA to improve the durability on its latest slimline smartphone. The aluminum housing on the HTC One S is treated with a process called microarc oxidation - an electrochemical surface treatment process used on many NASA satellites that results in a housing three times stronger than stainless steel.  Read More
The Xbox 360 is now the world's first subscription game console
Microsoft has announced the world's first game console with subscription-based pricing, making the Xbox 360 more accessible to those interested in gaming on a budget. The new package will cost US$99 up front, with a two-year contract of $15 a month, much like your average cell phone contract. This is an entirely untested price model for videogame consoles, and may prove to be a stroke of genius for Microsoft, whose Xbox 360 is closing in on its seventh anniversary. A new price model could breathe life into the system for years to come.  Read More
A sample of the biomimetic film, and a morpho butterfly
Butterfly wing material is somewhat like spider silk, in that they’re both animal-produced substances which scientists are very interested in copying. In the case of butterfly wings, it’s their ability to brilliantly reflect light in a variety of iridescent colors that could prove particularly useful to humans. Researchers from the Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST) are reporting success in replicating the reflective properties of the insects’ wings, using tiny glass beads.  Read More
The experimental ZeroN system will hold a magnetic ball in mid-air, wherever the user has ...
People who saw the 1984 film 2010: The Year We Make Contact might remember a scene in which Roy Scheider, while describing the orientation of the spaceship that he’s aboard, picks up a pen and places it in mid-air in front of himself. While that effect was actually accomplished using a sticky-sided pen and a very clear plate of glass, the same sort of thing is now actually possible – if you’re in the right place, and positioning the right object. The place is MIT’s Media Lab, and the object is a small plastic-coated spherical magnet called ZeroN. Users can physically place it anywhere within a specified three-dimensional block of “anti-gravity space,” then watch as it stays in place when they let it go. It can also move through the air on its own, and even function as a virtual movie camera.  Read More
Lunar envisions an accompanying smartphone app
As great of a home improvement as an indoor climbing wall might seem to a climbing fanatic, it's not exactly the type of addition that will increase the value of your home. Chances are, potential buyers will prefer all walls unmarred by rubber scuffs and multi-colored arrays of grips and tape. If the wall looks anything like the Lunar Nova, however, they might just pay extra.  Read More
The MyWay Compact folded and unfolded
Our recent rundown of the coming "Transportation Appliance" marketplace has unearthed yet another another compact fold-up electric vehicle that appears set to become the smallest of the last-mile transport options. Well-known Israeli Industrial Designer Nimrod Sapir has devoted much of his life to figuring out better ways of "getting there." Nimrod designed the ingenious Tagabike we featured four years ago, but his Myway Compact EV is more compact than anything we've seen and might play a major role in transportation in the future.  Read More
Possibly best described as LEGO for furniture, Tetran consists of a variety of standardize...
For an idea that has yet to make it to Kickstarter, a remarkable amount of work has gone into Tetran - a modular system possibly best described as LEGO for furniture. Tetran consists of a variety of standardized modules, blocks and cushions that can be fitted together to create just about any item of furniture you can think of, or even room-filling amalgamations custom designed to suit the user's personal needs.  Read More
Move, designed by Electric Foxy, is a kind of sensorial tank top that monitors movements d...
Since the 1980s keeping fit has become an ever more popular pursuit and these days, the diversity of fitness programs is truly breath-taking and increasingly high tech. With a prototype created by an avant-garde Seattle design lab, exercise looks set to become positively futuristic. Along similar lines to the MotivePro vibrating suit we looked at last week, Move, designed by Electric Foxy, a company that develops wearable technology, is a kind of sensorial tank top that monitors movements during exercise to help people improve their performance, with particular emphasis on movement precision.  Read More
The departing Space Shuttle Atlantis captured this image of the Hubble Space Telescope dur...
From Earth's perspective, on June 5 and 6, Venus will pass across the face of the Sun. By observing the tiny fraction of sunlight that passes through Venus's atmosphere using the Hubble Space Telescope, it is hoped that the planet's atmospheric makeup can be determined. Though we already know the nature of Venus's atmosphere, it is hoped the event will help astronomers hone techniques, already in use, that may one day help to identify Earth-like planets in far-away solar systems. The catch? Hubble cannot observe the Sun directly. Instead it will look at the Moon to observe reflected light.  Read More

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