New and Emerging Technology News part 162 ~ NEW GEN TECH LIFE : new generation technology news

Monday, 3 February 2014

New and Emerging Technology News part 162

It may not look like it there, but that's a pickup truck, convertible and SUV
Major automakers come up with pretty cool concepts on their own, but for really "wow-worthy" designs, sometimes you need to pay attention to what the other firms are doing. Take the MILA Coupic concept from Austrian engineering firm Magna Steyr. This innovative concept gives you the hauling capacity of a pickup truck, the family moving comfort of an SUV and the stylish driving enjoyment of a convertible - all from the same driver's seat.  Read More
The first full-energy shots from the electromagnetic railgun prototype launcher captured f... The electromagnetic (EM) railgun prototype launcher that was recently installed at the Naval Surface Warfare Center (NSWC) in Dahlgren, Virginia, has commenced firing, kicking off a two-month-long series of full-energy tests. Predictably, the first full energy shots make for some pretty impressive video.  Read More
LG demonstrated seamless switching from voice to video chat over an LTE network at MWC 201... The days of having to hang up and start another call to switch from voice to video calls look to be numbered with LG demonstrating seamless switching from voice to video over an LTE network at Mobile World Congress 2012. The system also allows the real-time sharing of videos over an LTE network as they are being recorded, which should prove handy for newshounds.  Read More
The Mercedes-Benz SL63 AMG and Mercedes AMG Petronas F1 car unveiled together
Mercedes-Benz took the unusual step of combining the unveiling of the 2012 Mercedes Petronas AMG W03 Formula One car with the launch of the AMG version of the new SL Roadster. This was probably quite a smart move. Although these F1 launches are good photo-ops there is always a severe lack of hard information, for understandable reasons. A new AMG however is always an interesting story - plus, ‘Shuey’ and Nico get to ferry a few privileged journos around the Barcelona F1 track. Extensive galleries of both the road and track cars included.  Read More
The featherweight foam-reinforced Tegris composite monocoque gives the emcycle the kerb we...
The potential for electric-assisted, human-powered vehicles to play a substantial role in the transport systems of the future is immense, and there has never been a better example of this potential than the Emcycle concept. The Emcycle is a tilting, three-wheeled pedelec (electric pedal assist), with a foam-reinforced, Tegris composite monocoque body, full suspension and a kerb weight of just 36 kg (80 lb). The Emcycle is initially planned as a 500 W electric assist but could easily be built in 1000 W (1 kW) and greater versions. Importantly, the Emcycle offers many of the amenities of a car (instrumentation, wipers, entertainment etc), plus weather and crash protection, and a huge lockable carrying capacity. In terms of weight, the Emcycle can safely carry 320 pounds (144 kg), including the weight of the rider, making it ideal for the citybike rental and inner urban delivery markets. A target price of US$4000 to US$5000 is envisaged.  Read More
The Sunflower is a heliostat designed for residential use
Some people have a cool, gloomy room in their house that receives little if any direct sunlight, even though it has a window. Should you be one of those people, and you want to save electricity, perhaps a home heliostat is what you need. Heliostats are motorized mirrored devices that move to compensate for the changing angle of the Sun as it moves across the sky, reflecting its rays onto a fixed target such as a window, photovoltaic panel, or solar oven. While almost all commercially-available heliostats are aimed at industrial users, Massachusetts-based company Wikoda is now offering what it claims is the world's only heliostat designed and priced for residential use.  Read More
When the Restube inflates, the user holds onto it to keep afloat
Most anyone that can swim can handle a float across the pool without significant risk of drowning, but being out on a large, open body of water like the ocean or a lake brings dangers to even the surest swimmer. While a personal flotation device (PFD) is a simple solution that will keep you afloat, it can be restricting and cumbersome to wear, making it uncomfortable for athletic activities like surfing or kiteboarding. The Restube gives you some of the life-saving power of a traditional flotation device without the unwanted bulk and discomfort.  Read More
Search under 'emergency department' using YossarianLives!, and this is what you might get ...
Conventional search engines are definitely something of a paradox – you use them to find out new information regarding a certain topic, yet the top hits that you receive mostly contain information that everyone already knows. Not only does this hinder peoples’ efforts to think about things in new ways, but it can also reinforce mistruths and stereotypes. That’s where YossarianLives! comes in. Named after the main character in the paradox-centered book Catch-22, it’s a “metaphorical search engine” that’s designed to generate new knowledge instead of reinforcing existing knowledge.  Read More
Flakes of heart tissue are spun in a beaker, as part of the hydrogel production process
Universities and scientific organizations all over the world are currently looking into ways of growing functioning heart cells on the heart, to replace the tissue that dies when a heart attack occurs. As things currently stand, the body replaces that tissue with non-beating scar tissue, leaving the heart permanently weakened. Most of the experimental techniques for generating new tissue involve introducing some sort of micro-scaffolding to the affected area, providing a framework for new cells to grow on. That scaffolding has consisted of materials such as carbon nanofibers and gold nanowires, which would have to be surgically applied to the heart, sort of like a Band-Aid. Now, however, researchers from the University of California, San Diego are reporting success in animal trials, using an injectable hydrogel.  Read More
Apple sent out invites today to an event next Wednesday at the Yerba Buena Center for the ... A new iPad is on the horizon. Apple sent out invites today to an event next Wednesday at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts in San Francisco, where it promises to “have something you really have to see. And touch.” The event is set to go down at 10am, and is widely speculated to be the announcement of the iPad 3. The tablet is widely rumored to have an updated 2048x1536 “Retina” display, faster processor, LTE, and an 8-megapixel camera.  Read More

Scientists have created the world's first biodegradable joint implant (pictured), which ca...
Joint implants should always be made of materials like titanium, so they can last the lifetime of the patient ... right? Well, not according to researchers at Finland's Tampere University of Technology. They’ve developed a product known as RegJoint, which is reportedly the world’s first biodegradable joint implant. Unlike permanent implants, it allows the patient’s bone ends to remain intact, and it creates a new joint out of their own tissue.  Read More
The Jaguar XF Sportbrake The trend toward ever more practical vehicles continues with Jaguar announcing a new XF-based Sportbrake. It's an XF with heaps more room, an eight-speed automatic tranny, and self-leveling air suspension, so it can be expected to be a particularly accomplished tow vehicle.  Read More
Envia Systems has developed a lithium-ion battery which is claimed to have two to three ti...
This Monday, California-based Envia Systems made an announcement that could mean big things for the mainstream acceptance of electric vehicles. The company claims to have broken the world record for energy density in a rechargeable lithium-ion cell, with an automotive-grade battery that reportedly has a density of 400 watt-hours/kilogram (Wh/kg). Not only is that figure two to three times higher than what is currently possible with commercially-available cells, but Envia also claims that its battery should cost less than half the price of existing li-ion batteries.  Read More
The unveiling of the Ferrari F12berlinetta at the Geneva Auto Show
When Ferrari's new 740 bhp, 6262cc, 65° V12, F12berlinetta hits showrooms later this year, it will be the fastest naturally aspirated car to see series production, taking over from the McLaren F1. The replacement for the 599 is the fastest Ferrari ever and boasts an array of technologies we haven't seen before, such as Aero Bridge, Active Brake Cooling, a new generation of carbon-ceramic brakes (CCM3), a further evolution of the magnetorheological suspension control system (SCM-E) plus the usual E-Diff, ESP Premium, F1-Trac, and high-performance ABS control systems.  Read More
Koji Usami holding the semiconductor nanomembrane inside its holder
Researchers at the Niels Bohr Institute have succeeded in using a new form of laser cooling method to cool a two and a half square millimeter semiconducting gallium arsenide (GaAs) membrane with a thickness of 160 nm from room temperature to four degrees above absolute zero - the temperature of liquid helium.  Read More
Interest as the US$35 Raspberry Pi goes on sale crashes websites selling the credit card-s...
The Raspberry Pi went on sale just hours ago through UK electronics companies vendors Premier Farnell and RS Components, the latter quoting a price of GBP21.60 (US$34.43) for the enhanced-spec, credit card-sized Model B - the only one available for purchase today. I say "available" - unfortunately the websites of both vendors went down due to a high volume of traffic from hopefuls clamoring for their piece of the tiny Linux home computer.  Read More
Condoms with QR codes track when and where people practice safe sex (Photo: Shutterstock)
Over the past few years, it seems almost impossible to even take a trip to the grocery store without bumping into dozens of QR codes - those square graphics that can be scanned with a smartphone camera to bring up all sorts of information. Now it appears a Seattle-based organization has found another place to put them: in your pants. In hopes of promoting safe sex, Planned Parenthood of the Great Northwest distributed 55,000 condoms with QR codes that track when and where people make the beast with two backs through their website, WhereDidYouWearIt.com.  Read More
The pistol grip can be detached to fit the AppTag's sensor and trigger to almost any toy g...
By now we've seen quite a few examples of augmented reality being used to let people zap virtual creatures in devices like the Nintendo 3DS and the appBlaster. Now John Atherton, inventor of the jaja stylus, is shaking up the concept by making the targets your friends and adding virtual collectibles and objectives into the mix. With his AppTag Laser Blaster attachment for smartphones, you'll be able to play first-person shooter games in the real world on any iOS or Android device, complete with virtual power-ups and other features usually reserved for console games.  Read More
The BMW Concept M135i takes the 1 Series to performance level
BMW puts a lot of stock into its 1 Series motor cars. As its entry level line, the 1 Series was meant to both eradicate the memory of the failed BMW Compact and to lead first-time BMW owners toward more prestigious performance models, such as the M class. The BMW Concept M135i, which is slated to be put before the public at the 2012 Geneva International Motor Show on March 7, 2012, is BMW’s latest attempt to create a hot hatchback that combines and expands on both the 1 Series and the M lines.  Read More
Streptococcus pyogenes has inspired a super-strong and selective instant adhesive (Image: ...
A strong and highly selective instant adhesive inspired by the bacterium Streptococcus pyogenes has been developed by Oxford University researchers. S. pyogenes is a common resident of human throats that is normally kept in check by the body's defenses, but when it gets out of control it can cause diseases ranging from strep throat to toxic shock syndrome or flesh-eating disease. By engineering a protein that is central to S. pyogenes' infectious arsenal, the researchers have developed a new superglue that can't be matched for sticking molecules together and not letting go.  Read More
 
A Kinect-driven prototype desktop environment by the Microsoft Applied Sciences Group allo...
A see-through screen, digital 3D objects manipulated by hand, perspective adjustments according to the user's viewing angle - these are the core features of a prototype computer desktop user interface created by Microsoft's Applied Sciences Group. The prototype uses a "unique" Samsung transparent OLED display through which the user can see their own hands to manipulate 3D objects which appear to be behind the screen.  Read More
Top half of 3D printed Thomas Jefferson statue (Photo: RedEye on Demand/Smithsonian/Studio...
What do you do when you're the world's largest museum but can display only 2 percent of the 137 million items in your collection (a mere 2.75 million) at any given time? In an effort to get more of their treasures into the public eye, specialists at the Smithsonian Institution's nineteen collective museums and galleries hit upon the solution of digitizing their collection and 3D printing key models and displays suitable for traveling exhibitions. It's a tall order, but one that's sure to give the rapidly blooming business of additive manufacturing a huge boost.  Read More
The new Hyundai i-oniq concept that will be unveiled at the Geneva Motor Show Hyundai's newest concept car, the 4.4 meter-long (14.4 ft) four-seater i-oniq electric sports hatchback, features a 109 PS electric motor and a range-extending 3-cylinder 1.0 liter petrol engine. In electric-only mode, the i-oniq has a range of 120 km (75 miles), but with the petrol engine producing electricity, the range extends beyond 700 km (435 miles). In range-extender mode, the i-oniq is an emissions champion, producing a paltry 45 g/km of CO2.  Read More
Rumors abound of an 8 GB iPad 2 being announced next week Could Apple be releasing an 8 GB iPad 2 next week? According to a DigiTimes source, Cupertino will be launching a new smaller-capacity iPad 2 at its event March 7 alongside the the new iPad 3. According to the source, Apple will be releasing a 16 GB and 32 GB iPad 3 and an 8 GB iPad in order to compete with more budget priced offerings from other tablet manufacturers.  Read More
Maintaining sugar levels in a brain protein known as tau could slow or prevent Alzheimer's...
We’ve reported on numerous different approaches by scientists looking to tackle Alzheimer’s disease. While some, such as the anticancer drug bexarotene and a compound known as J147, show great promise, there is still no approved treatment to slow the disease’s progression. The latest promising candidate for a treatment comes from Canada’s Simon Fraser University (SFU), where a team has concluded that ensuring that sugar levels in a brain protein known as tau are maintained could slow or prevent the fatal disease.  Read More
Windows 8 is designed to blur the line between the OS on tablets and that on computers
Microsoft has gotten official with its latest version of Windows, Windows 8. The next generation of the PC operating system is designed to blur the line between the OS on tablets and that on computers, sporting a design that looks reminiscent of Microsoft's Windows Phone 7 platform.  Read More
The public beta of Office 15 is due out this northern summer While Microsoft isn't set to release Office 15 as a public beta for a few months yet, the company provided a sneak peek to a select group of businesses, partners and OEMs on January 31st in the form of a technical preview. Despite the testers being required to sign non-disclosure agreements, some screenshots and details have started to leak out from those who received access to the beta.  Read More
The Air If You Dare snowboard features dual tubes
In its Web series "Every Third Thursday," California-based snowboard company Signal Snowboards gets loose and creative in the shop and designs experimental one-offs that push the boundaries of what a snowboard is all about. Last month, the team made a surfboard-snowboard hybrid, and in the most recent installment, they created a snowboard that operates like a bike tire called "Air if you Dare."  Read More
The PriNXT functioning printer made of Lego by 14-year old Lego Mindstorms wunderkind Leon... The PriNXT may not be the first functioning printer made of Lego, but given that it was made by 14-year old Lego Mindstorms wunderkind Leon Overweel, we won't hold that against it.  Read More
Volkswagen's new 207 bhp Golf GTi Cabriolet The new Golf GTI Cabriolet will be shown next week at the Geneva Motor Show. It uses the same 154 kW 2.0-litre turbocharged four as the GTI hatchback, mated to a six-speed manual or six-speed dual-clutch DSG gearbox, enabling a 0-100 km/h (62 mph) time of 7.3 seconds (versus 6.9 seconds for the hatch), and a top speed of 237 km/h (147 mph).  Read More

MIPS is designed to decrease forces on the brain during oblique impacts
Inspired by the fluid that wraps your brain in a protective, wet blanket, Multi-directional Impact Protection System (MIPS), which is the name of both the technology and the company behind it, claims to offer superior protection for your head. Major helmet manufacturers are starting to turn on to what is self-hailed as the "next generation" of helmet design.  Read More
Withings' iDevice-based Smart Baby Monitor is now available in the U.S.
Although it was released in the UK last year, American consumers can now also get their mitts on the Smart Baby Monitor. Made by French company Withings, the monitor allows parents to check on their little ‘uns via their iPhone, iPad or iPod touch. The word “smart” in its name refers to the fact that it contains not only a camera, but also sensors that detect sound, movement, temperature and humidity levels. So in other words, it’s a smart baby monitor, and not a monitor that’s designed specifically for use with smart babies – as far as we know, it’s compatible with babies of any level of intelligence.  Read More
The Bauhaus Barge has 25 square meters of PV panels on its side and top which are said to ...
The soothing sound of canal water gently lapping against wood as you fall into peaceful slumber has got to be one of the best ways to end a relaxing day of leisurely cruising past sights that many Londoners rarely glimpse. Doing so on a vessel that gets the power for its motor, lighting and modern appliances from the Sun, features multi-layer insulation, underfloor heating and a charming wood-burning stove, and is surprisingly bright and roomy inside, seems too good to be true. Meet the Bauhaus Barge, a Dutch-style wide beam houseboat which is all of that and more.  Read More
A female mosquito probes for a meal (Photo: Shutterstock)
With malaria still responsible for millions of untimely deaths in more than 90 countries each year, the search for effective antimalarial drugs, vaccines and mosquito repellents continues to heat up. Recently, researchers at the University of Illinois (UI), led by chemistry professor Eric Oldfield, found that a chemically-altered form of a commonly prescribed osteoporosis drug can easily enter red blood cells and dispatch malaria parasites without harming the host (in this case, a mouse). That's potentially huge news for the countless thousands who continue to suffer from this recurrent, debilitating and all-too-often fatal disease.  Read More
The GoJett supersonic UAV is promised to go faster, using less fuel, than other aircraft i...
University of Colorado aerospace engineer Ryan Starkey is currently designing what he claims will be fastest, most fuel-efficient aircraft in its class. Known as the GoJett, the unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) will be powered by a new type of jet engine that he is also developing – the L-FX00. According to Starkey, that engine already has twice the fuel-efficiency of similarly-scaled jet engines, and he expects to double that efficiency again before the GoJett’s first flight.  Read More
The Dub box shares its styling with the Volkswagen Type 2
Dub box USA offers a new solution for nostalgic folks yearning for a camper as cool as the Volkswagen Type 2 of the 1950s and 60s. Its line of camping trailers is inspired by the classic VW buses, and is offered without the expense and headaches of restoring an old Type 2. You get out-of-the-box convenience with timeless, retro looks.  Read More
Eco-PERCH is a prefabricated treehouse that provides a low-impact hideaway for four guests...
While we love the dangling treetop retreats located at Sweden's Treehotel, and the House Arc had us yearning for a private backyard hideaway, the eco-PERCH has to be the Rolls Royce of modern modular tree-houses. This eco-lodge concept was created by the UK architectural firm Blue Forest, which has a background in the design and construction of luxury treehouses and lodges.  Read More
Japanese non-profit organization Radiation Watch has released a $46 Geiger Counter iPhone ... In what seems to be a response to public fears about radiation levels following the Fukushima crisis, a Japanese organization called Radiation Watch has launched Pocket Geiger, a Geiger counter iPhone peripheral and accompanying app aimed at concerned individuals.  Read More
Some of the musically-gifted GRASP quadrotors
When we last heard from the University of Pennsylvania's General Robotics, Automation, Sensing and Perception (GRASP) Lab, researchers there had provided video of a swarm of quadrotor robots, which they had programmed to perform some pretty impressive precision flying. Well, now the GRASP quadrotors are back, performing a feat that’s certainly much more ... entertaining. In a video that was presented yesterday at the TED2012 conference in California, a group of the little guys are shown performing the James Bond theme on musical instruments.  Read More
Artist's impression of an installed Lotus solar collector (Image: Monarch)
This rather novel solar collector draws inspiration from the lotus flower to provide small-scale solar energy - both electric and thermal - to domestic and small business users. The aptly named Monarch Lotus' (rebranded from the Solar Umbrella) 18 petals unfold to to form a 4-meter (13-foot) diameter flower that will, if development goes to plan, produce 3 kW of photovoltaic electrical power and 3 kW of solar thermal power per 100-kg (220-pound) unit in ideal conditions.  Read More

The HEADCASE PRO, sprouting a few attachments
Despite the continuous onslaught of competitors, the GoPro HERO is still quite likely the world’s most popular actioncam – this is no doubt due in part to its tough polycarbonate housing, for which a wide variety of aftermarket mounting accessories are available. Portland, Oregon-based videographer/inventor Jim Clark, however, has some issues with that housing. He managed to break his when his HERO fell off of a car, and he also feels that it could use some more attachment points for things like lights or tripod heads. The result: his heavy-duty aluminum HEADCASE PRO and HEADGEAR housings for GoPro.  Read More
Inventor Arvind Gupta has devoted his life to popularizing science with Indian children, b...
Children in the First World have a lot of choice when it comes to scientific toys. In fact, there are whole stores devoted to selling things like robotics kits, ant farms, and simple microscopes. In the developing world, however, such fancy toys are relatively scarce. So, what's an adult to do if they want to get the local children interested in the sciences? Well, in the case of Arvind Gupta, they show the kids how to make scientific toys from trash.  Read More
The 1923 Leica 0-Series is expected to sell for around US$807,755 A collection of vintage Leica cameras are set to go to auction later this year at the WestLicht Photographica Auction. One of the standouts is a 1923 Leica 0-series camera. The 0-series model represented in the auction was one of just 25 of the cameras made by the company and has retained much of its original glory, although this particular camera as been fitted with a Galian finder rather than the folding version found on the original (typical for these cameras). The camera is in fully-working condition, and has the original paintwork and parts. The 0-series is expected to be the most expensive item at the auction, and sell for around US$807,755.  Read More
Canon is celebrating the 25 year anniversary of its EOS line with the release of the 22.3 ...
Canon has chosen to kick off its 25th EOS anniversary with a new enthusiast-level digital SLR. As expected, the company has decided against challenging Nikon's 36.6 megapixel D800 and has instead opted for a 22-megapixel full frame sensor for its EOS 5D Mark III digital SLR. The new camera shares many high performance features with Canon's much more expensive flagship professional model, the EOS 1D X, yet still manages a few tricks of its own.  Read More
University of Tennessee researchers have invented a device that instantly detects diseases...
Infectious diseases these days seem to have gotten a lot of attention, with media hype and threats of pandemics often being portrayed in apocalyptic sci-fi movies. We all know that several types of these diseases can spread rapidly, and it is crucial that doctors be able to identify them quickly in order to prevent an epidemic. Unfortunately, current testing methods can take hours and even days, delaying the process of adequate prevention. It should then ease your mind to hear that researchers at the University of Tennessee have invented a device that can rapidly detect these unwanted afflictions.  Read More
Researchers at Cornell University have made robots that can autonomously navigate a 3D tru...
Researchers at Cornell University have built a robot prototype capable of navigating a three dimensional truss structure, disassembling and reassembling the structure into new forms as it goes. The project hints at a possible future when buildings and robots may be designed in close harmony for autonomous buildings maintenance.  Read More
If 24% of drivers aged 17-24 were driving around drunk, there would be a massive public ou...
New research released today by the Institute of Advanced Motorists in the UK doesn't tell us much we didn't know before, but it does put it in context. The smartphone is headed for ubiquitous usage, and the wonderful real-time communications and information services it offers are making the roads considerably LESS safe due to the distraction. Due no doubt to its higher levels of engagement, social networking while driving is considerably less safe than texting, drinking to the legal limit and smoking marijuana. And yes, talking on a mobile phone with or without a hands-free is definitely not good for your health, or the health of other road users.  Read More
The 2,080-foot Tokyo Sky Tree, the world's second tallest structure, combines cutting edge...
Leap day 2012 saw the completion of the world's second tallest structure, the Tokyo Sky Tree television transmitter and observation tower. At 2,080 feet (634 m) the tower stands nearly twice as Japan's previous tallest frame, the 1,091-ft (333-m) Tokyo Tower transmitter. It's an audacious technological feat when one considers this is at the heart of an earthquake zone.  Read More
A replica Tron Lightcycle, also known as the Xenon Light Motor Bike is up for auction All those readers impressed with the All-Electric Lightcycle we looked at last year now have the chance to get one in their garage – and help the environment. The opportunity comes courtesy of Charitybuzz, which is auctioning off a replica Lightcycle, otherwise known as a Xenon Light Motor Bike.  Read More
LG's new WPD-800 wireless charger positions the recharging device upright
Wireless charging of mobile devices is all the rage if the number of wireless chargers hitting the market is anything to go by. Until now, most of the units on offer follow the flat slab design ushered in by the Powermat and WildCharge that sees recharging devices laid down flat on the charger. LG followed that form factor with its WCP-700 Wireless Charging Pad but has come up with something slightly different for its successor, the WCD-800. The new unit is designed to hold the mobile device upright so you can watch a video or make a video call while the charger goes about its business.  Read More

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