New and Emerging Technology News part 186 ~ NEW GEN TECH LIFE : new generation technology news

Friday, 7 February 2014

New and Emerging Technology News part 186

Frenchman Xavier Chevrin has just completed a 3,600 mile journey through Africa in an elec...
He's done it! Intrepid eco-adventurer Xavier Chevrin has completed his cross-country journey through deepest Africa in an electric Citroen Berlingo, taking in six countries and clocking up over 5,800 km (3,603 miles), including 600 km (372 miles) of rough terrain. Not even blown components and a broken leg prevented the Frenchman from completing the Mission Africa challenge.  Read More
The micro-dwelling was flown in via helicopter to accommodate the owner’s last minute visi... Architectural studio Horden Cherry Lee has installed its sixteenth Micro-Compact Home overlooking Lake Maggiore in Switzerland. The micro-dwelling was flown in by helicopter last month to accommodate the owner’s last minute visiting guests and was fully installed in just over 4 minutes.  Read More
The Aston Martin Vanquish
The Vanquish name is to return to the Aston Martin stable with deliveries of the 183 mph, £190,000 (US$299,000) sports car expected in late 2012. There's a lot of the limited edition £1.2m One-77 supercar in the recipe, with a 565 bhp 6.0-liter V12 driving through a Touchtronic six-speed automatic gearbox, and 0-100 km/h acceleration in 4.1 seconds.  Read More
Bathrooms often double up with the garages at ground level, which saves space by elimintat... Here's a novel take on the home residence: a block of eight apartments in Japan designed exclusively for the motorcyclist.  Read More
Researchers have found to block pathological aggression in mice that could lead to new tre... “Don’t make me angry. You wouldn’t like me when I’m angry,” the Hulk’s alter ego Bruce Banner famously said. Now researchers have made a discovery that might one day have implications for anyone considering Bruce as a potential house guest. The researchers have identified a brain receptor that malfunctions in overly hostile mice - a receptor that also exists in humans - and found a way to shut it down, offering the potential for the development of treatments for severe aggression.  Read More
Clariant's Advanced Denim manufacturing process cuts the amount of water, energy and chemi...
Denim jeans have become a mainstay of wardrobes the world over, but with some estimates suggesting that over 2,500 gallons (9,463 l) of water, almost a pound of chemicals and significant amounts of energy are required to produce just one pair of jeans, their success has a significant impact on the environment. Now a new process developed by Swiss chemical company Clariant promises to turn blue (and other colored) jeans a shade of green.  Read More
The ESA's Seeker rover being put through its paces in Chile's Atacama Desert (Photo: ESA)
With remote control of rovers on Mars out of the question due to radio signals taking up to 40 minutes to make the round trip to and from the Red Planet, the European Space Agency (ESA) has developed a vehicle that is able to carry out instructions fully autonomously. The ESA team recently tested their Seeker full-scale rover in Chile where the rover was able to chart its own course through the Mars-like Atacama Desert.  Read More
The Personal Rapid Transit concept was designed by Pininfarina and Vectus
Italian design house Pininfarina is traveling across Europe to London to exhibit some of its iconic designs and concepts. Pininfarina is best known for car designs that have found their way to automakers like Ferrari and Alfa Romeo, but the exhibition will focus on designs from Pininfarina Extra, the arm of the firm that handles everything from product design and packaging to nautical design and special transport. Most of the designs will be from years past, but Pininfarina will also unveil the new Personal Rapid Transit concept - an urban public transit design based on a series of tracked personal transport pods.  Read More
Tomy's new BattroBorg 20 system allows players to control fighting toy robots using Wii-li... Do you like the idea of Rock ‘Em Sock ‘Em Robots, but find them just a bit too primitive for a techy person like yourself? Well, then you may like the new BattroBorg 20 fighting robots from Takara Tomy. They’re actual, physical toy robots, that are operated via Wii-like nunchaku-style controllers.  Read More
Final Frontier Design's low-cost space suit
Although the SpaceX Dragon spacecraft was unmanned during its recent first flight to the International Space Station, the success of that mission nonetheless marked a huge step toward future crewed commercial space flights. SpaceX, of course, isn’t the only player in this newly-forming industry – companies such as Virgin Galactic, Boeing, and Blue Origin are also hoping to take paying customers on rocket rides. However, while a lot of attention has been paid to the spacecraft themselves, one has to wonder what those private-sector astronauts will be wearing. Expensive NASA space suits, perhaps? Not if Ted Southern and Nikolay Moiseev have anything to say about it.  Read More

The first Emerg-E working prototype debuts at Goodwood
Infiniti introduced the high-tech Emerg-e hybrid supercar at the Geneva Motor Show earlier this year. At the time, the company didn't confirm that it plans to produce the car, but definitely didn't close the door on the possibility. The latest news is that the first working prototype of the electrifying concept car will be unveiled at the upcoming Goodwood Festival of Speed in the U.K. with F1 racer Mark Webber behind the wheel.  Read More
A Smart TV Alliance was formed so apps can be developed that run on all compliant TVs
Smart TV manufacturers are making a smart move. Instead of offering competing technologies for connected TVs, they're looking to partner and form a universal platform. While manufacturers are currently pushing Smart TV technology as a way to sell more sets, the disparate platforms being developed by individual manufacturers leads to consumer confusion and requires developers to customize their apps for different platforms. In order to develop a standard that can create a thriving ecosystem for developers, a number of TV manufacturers have established the SMART TV Alliance and are looking to bring competitors into the fold.  Read More
Nantsune's new Libra 165C meat slicer uses 3D imaging to cut meat to the precise weight ev... In the past, we've seen 3D scanning widely used in a variety of industries - clothing retail, law enforcement, medical education, etc. - but it's still a little surprising to see the same technology applied to a slab of meat. Nantsune's new Libra 165C meat slicer does exactly that however, capturing a 3D image of a piece of meat, ready to be butchered, and then using the data to make slices at the same precise weight every time.  Read More
The LumaHelm, minus its translucent cover
Some readers may recall the Torch T1, a prototype bicycle helmet we recently featured. It incorporates light panels on the front and back, to make sure that cyclists get noticed by drivers when riding at night. Well, while it may seem to offer quite the light display, it's decidedly subtle compared to the LumaHelm. Designed by a team of researchers at the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology’s Exertion Games Lab (which previously brought us the Joggobot), it’s a bike helmet covered with an array of 104 multicolored programmable LEDs.  Read More
An Air Canada Airbus A319 (Photo: BriYYZ)
This Monday, Air Canada became the latest in a lengthening list of airlines – including Lufthansa and KLM – that have experimented with running their airliners on biofuels during regular passenger flights. In this case, the aircraft in question was an Airbus A319, traveling from Toronto to Mexico City. It was tanked up with a 50/50 mix of regular aviation fuel and biofuel made from recycled cooking oil.  Read More
Featuring full spectrum LEDs, the Kick boasts adjustable color temperature and can be used...
Lighting is possibly the single most important aspect of good photography and filmmaking, yet it's frequently overlooked and considered the reserve of professionals. This is a shame, because you don't need a professional lighting setup to see a marked improvement in your shots. The Kick is a budget full-spectrum lighting studio which can fit in your pocket and is controlled by your iPhone.  Read More
The Windows Phone 8 experience mirrors that offered by the desktop and tablet versions of ...
Microsoft has certainly been keeping us all on our toes as of late, and just a couple of days after its big Surface tablet reveal, the Redmond-based team are back in the headlines – this time appearing at the Windows Phone Summit to spill the goods on Windows Phone 8, due for release sometime in the final quarter of this year. So what's new? Well, quite a lot actually.  Read More
The Darwin BBQ is a compact portable barbecue that's housed inside a briefcase Picture a scene in a sitcom where some character arrives at a beach party dressed in a suit and tie, and carrying a briefcase. Everyone thinks that they’re some un-fun fuddy duddy, until they open their briefcase to reveal that there’s a barbecue inside! Woo-hoo! Well, that’s the idea behind the real-life Darwin BBQ.  Read More
You activate the SpyBike system with an electronic keyring
The National Bike Registry tells us that thousands of bikes are stolen every day in the United States alone, estimating a cost of around US$200 million per year. A stolen bike can take hundreds or thousands of dollars out of your pocket, leave you without a means of transit and turn into a frustrating, angering experience. The SpyBike Covert Bicycle GPS Tracker protects you from theft by tracking down your bike.  Read More
Bridgestone is exploring Russian dandelion as a source of rubber for tires
Taraxacum officinale, or dandelion, the herb used for tea and salads, is an excellent liver tonic and diuretic. But there’s another variety of dandelion known as Russian dandelion, aka Taraxacum kok-saghyz, which Bridgestone Americas is researching as raw material to make high-quality rubber for car tires. After preliminary tests, the company said it will continue to assess the material at its technical laboratories in Akron and Tokyo in coming months, and will follow that with larger-scale testing in 2014.  Read More
 
Shaka is a tiny wind meter that works with the iPhone
If you’re into activities such as windsurfing, sailing or kite-flying, then you’re going to want to know where and how hard the wind is blowing. While weather reports may give average wind speeds for your city as a whole, they’re usually not very specific. That’s where Shaka comes in. It’s a tiny wind meter that works with your iPhone.  Read More
There's still more good news for those of the opinion that electric bicycles are precisely... There's still more good news for those of the opinion that electric bicycles are precisely 50-percent wheel-deficient. Designer Dimitris Niavis has unveiled a concept for a new electric-assisted tricycle, named the Kaylad 2.0.  Read More
Recent developments have rumored that the SeaOrbiter is set to start construction in Octob...
What once seemed science fiction may be becoming a reality. The futuristic SeaOrbiter ocean explorer, a concept conceived by French architect Jacques Rougerie, has been trying to reach fruition for the past twelve years. However recent developments suggest that the vessel is set to start construction this October, with possible completion in 2013.  Read More
XP Mod brings the Windows XP experience to Android
The recently-released XP Mod is an Android Launcher, or home screen replacement, that recreates the look and feel of Windows XP. Perhaps its most impressive feature is the functional Windows Explorer clone, which makes finding files stored on your phone a similar experience to browsing files on a PC, making the app more than mere novelty. Currently in beta, XP Mod is missing a few key features that will likely keep it from being an everyday application, but this could change with future updates.  Read More
Sample gigapixel image of the Seattle skyline captured by the prototype camera (Photo: Duk...
While digital cameras such as the Hasselblad H4D-200MS and Nikon D800 have pushed the megapixel boundary in recent times, and Nokia’s inclusion of a 41-megapixel camera into its 808 PureView smartphone got plenty of attention, researchers at Duke University and the University of Arizona say the age of consumer gigapixel cameras are just around the corner – and they’ve created a prototype gigapixel camera to prove it.  Read More
Canon's MR System headsets look bulky, though they do pack in a lot of technology
Canon has announced a new augmented reality tool geared toward speeding up the product design process and easing the transition between the conception and execution of a product idea by allowing virtual prototypes to replace physical ones. The Mixed Reality (MR) System will make use of full-scale, three-dimensional computer generated (CG) images that change in real time based on the movements of the user.  Read More
The EnerPlex solar charger for iPhone 4/4S incorporates a thin, flexible CIGS PV module fr... In comparison to some of the bulkier solar panel-packing iPhone cases we’ve seen, such as the AQUA TEK S and Solar Surge, the EnerPlex charger is positively Kate Moss-like. Made by Colorado-based Ascent Solar using its ultra light, thin and flexible solar panels, the EnerPlex for iPhone 4/4S adds just 72 g (2.53 oz) to the weight of the phone while providing the ability to top up the battery from the sun’s rays.  Read More
It doesn't look all that appetizing, but it gives you more control than the average Mexica... A 3D printer that pops out steaming hot burritos before your very eyes? That sounds like the plot of the next stoner movie turned cult hit. In this case, though, it's actually the thesis project of an NYU masters student. And it's fast becoming a reality.  Read More
Mischo Erban has set a Guinness world record downhill skateboarding speed of 80.74 mph (12...
Traveling at 80.74 mph (129.94 km/h) on four wheels won’t usually grab you a Guinness world record, but when that feat is achieved on a vehicle that relies on only leg power and gravity, it’s another story. That’s just what 28-year old Mischo Erban has done in a record-breaking downhill skateboard run at Les Éboulements in Quebec, Canada, this week.  Read More
DIY streetview camera kit contains all you need to emulate Google Street View Google Street View, which offers street-level imagery of towns and cities around the world, is one of those innovations that we now take for granted, but we really shouldn't. It's easy to forget how innovative the effort is, and what a large-scale mission Google has undertaken in attempting to map the whole world. The technology exists for us all to create our own 360-degree panoramic vistas of the places around us, and DIY streetview is a kit containing everything one needs to get started.  Read More

The CyberQ Wi-Fi system allows users to control their barbecue using their mobile device
Although barbecuing can be fun, the person doing the grilling is usually stuck having to hover around the barbecue, checking the meat and adjusting the cooking temperature accordingly. BBQ Guru is attempting to change that situation, with its new CyberQ Wi-Fi. Using included probes, the system monitors the temperature of the barbecue itself and up to three pieces of meat that are cooking within it, then sends that data to the backyard chef via their mobile device or PC – they can then remotely adjust the barbecue’s settings as needed.  Read More
Shma's bold 'water city' concept is a reimagining of the medieval Thai city of Ayutthaya, ...
Shma's bold "water city" concept is a reimagining of the medieval Thai city of Ayutthaya, that rethinks flood defenses for the 21st century by drawing inspiration from the past. It's a concept, yes, but one worthy of a second look, given that this is a uniquely Thai response to the catastrophic flooding that hit the country last year. Gizmag takes a moment to set Shma's scheme in its proper context: that of the very recent past, as well as that of Ayutthaya's heyday as one of Asia's, if not the world's, foremost cities.  Read More
B9 Shipping's sailing cargo ships would feature a Dyna-rig sail system
Ireland-based B9 Shipping has started work on a full-scale demonstration vessel as part of its goal to design the modern world’s first 100 percent fossil fuel-free cargo sailing ships. Unlike most conventional large cargo vessels, which are powered by bunker fuel, B9 Shipping’s cargo ship would employ a Dyna-rig sail propulsion system combined with an off-the-shelf Rolls-Royce engine powered by liquid biomethane derived from municipal waste.  Read More
A nanotube-infused paint invented at Rice University allows strain to be read using a near...
While wireless sensors for detecting the strain placed on bridges and buildings, such as the SenSpot, are easier and cheaper to install than embedded wired networks of sensors, they still need to be in physical contact with the structure being monitored. Researchers at Rice University have now developed a new type of paint, infused with carbon nanotubes, that could make strain detection of materials in buildings, bridges and aircraft possible without actually touching the material.  Read More
Sensordrone is small enough to fit on a keychain, but sophisticated enough to collect data...
Those who value having a myriad of information on the world around them right at their fingertips may have something extra to add to their Christmas or birthday wish list. Sensordrone, a Kickstarter project that has managed to triple its initial funding goal of US$25,000, packs a dozen environmental sensors into a keychain-sized dongle, collecting highly localized data and relaying the information to any Android device via Bluetooth.  Read More
General Motors researchers, such as Innovation Program Manager Jeremy Salinger, are studyi... GM is looking at ways in which semi-autonomous driving technologies, which could be available in production vehicles by mid-decade, will influence driver behavior. Because the technologies set to be introduced in the coming years are designed to lighten the driver's load in certain circumstances but aren't advanced enough to let them "tune out" completely, GM is attempting to ascertain which technologies will help ensure the safety of vehicles with future autonomous systems.  Read More
Main researcher Jordi Roig, using the OnTheBus app
Like the rest of us, the blind can use speaking navigation apps to find their way around the city. A new Android application developed at Spain’s Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, however, is designed specifically to help blind people get to their destination by bus. Appropriately named OnTheBus, the app could also be used by the deaf, the cognitively-impaired, or anyone else.  Read More
The Element works with both gas and electric ranges
For many people, grilling is an activity that's limited to the warmer months, when clear weather makes preparing dinner outside both practical and enjoyable. Once the weather turns, the rain cover comes out and grilling is over. The Element Indoor Smokeless BBQ brings grilling inside, where people can enjoy it year round.  Read More
Brown University's Qi Wang swirls a solution of selenium nanoparticles
Although it’s known to kill bacteria, selenium has never been tried as an antibacterial coating for implanted medical devices ... until now, that is. Engineers from Rhode Island’s Brown University have applied coatings of selenium nanoparticles to pieces of polycarbonate – the material used for things like catheters and endotracheal tubes – and then exposed those samples to Staphylococcus aureus bacteria. In some cases, populations of the bacteria were subsequently reduced by up to 90 percent.  Read More
The Fretlight learning system uses LED lighting to show students finger placement on a gui...
I have to admit to a tinge of sadness as I report that both of the LED learning sleeve for guitar projects we featured back in April have so far failed to appear. Development of both projects is said to be continuing but Tabber withdrew its presence on Kickstarter after only two weeks to regroup and improve the product and the LED Sleeve didn't make its funding target. Fortunately, there is an existing system called Fretlight that uses lights embedded in the neck to show would-be players exactly when and where to place fingers on a fingerboard. The recent addition of the rather attractive FG-461 PRO electric guitar to the range offered the perfect opportunity to take a closer look.  Read More

The Freestyle Semiconductor Mechatronics Robot with its 32-bit RISC microprocessor board (...
A hundred years ago, the state-of-the-art of automotive technology was being pushed forward as quickly by shade-tree mechanics as it was by formal industrial R&D. To paraphrase John Steinbeck: "Two generations of Americans knew more about the planetary system of gears than the solar system of stars." The current situation in robotics could be seen in a similar light - open source hardware and software provide very similar tools and capabilities to hobbyists and robotics start-up company alike. To ease entry into the field, Freescale Semiconductors has just introduced FSLBOT, which provides the basic hardware and software for development of a walking, sensor-laden robot starting at only US$200.  Read More
Using accelerometers the Tilt of Light seesaw can show users how their movement would impa...
If you're anything like us, you probably spent many an hour in your younger days bouncing up and down on a seesaw (or teeter-totter or teeter board, depending on where you grew up. And, even now, you might fight the desire to relive your childhood and jump on one as you walk past a playground. But Melbourne-based design group ENESS has created a seesaw, which comes complete with hundreds of LEDs and a physics engine to explore the forces at work on the familiar playground staple, that might just prove too difficult to resist.  Read More
GTRI's prototype automatic pavement crack detection and repair system
They say an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure, but when it comes to road maintenance, an ounce of prevention is worth several tons of tarmac. A tiny crack in the asphalt may not seem like much, but once it lets in rain and frost, it’s a ticket to potholes and a very expensive resurfacing. The problem is that crack repair is time consuming and labor intensive, so the Georgia Tech Research Institute (GTRI) has come up with an automatic pavement crack detection and repair system that operates at comparable speeds to conventional methods, but with fewer people and less exposure to hazardous fumes.  Read More
A German designer named Markus Gerke has detailed a product design concept for Instragram-... Instaglasses is a new product concept by German designer Markus Gerke. Influenced by Google's Project Glass, Gerke decided to combine the idea of a camera-capable pair of glasses with the various filters of the Instagram photo-sharing mobile app.  Read More
The 3DS XL features screens 90 percent larger than the original 3DS
After a rather lackluster showing at this year's E3, Nintendo took to the web to announce the newest model in its hand-held line up, the 3DS XL. Featuring 4.88-inch (12.4-cm) 3D display and improved battery life, the 3DS XL is set to launch around the globe Q3 2012.  Read More
The STAIR ROVER is a prototype skateboard designed to descend stairs
Skateboards are definitely a part of the urban landscape, but you know what else is? Stairs. Generally, the two don’t go together – when skateboarders reach a set of stairs, they typically have to pick up their board and carry it. London-based product designer Po-Chih Lai would like to see boarders be able to roll right on down those stairs, however, so he created a one-off skateboard that lets them do just that. It’s called the STAIR ROVER.  Read More
The Foxhound is a functional combination of safety, maneuverability, versatility and speed...
The British Army's new Foxhound light protected patrol vehicle is a functional combination of heavy-duty armored rover designed to soldier through explosions and light, nimble field vehicle that can go where others can't. Thanks to a partnership with top names in racing, including McLaren and BMW, the Foxhound is as quick as a fox ... or at least as close as an eight-ton military vehicle can possibly be.  Read More
PowerCRATE portability solution for tablet computers
Now here's a clever solution for transporting, storing and charging multiple tablet computers for hospitals, schools, retailers and even bingo halls. The PowerCRATE is a portable (you can even air-freight tablets in situ) solution for charging 25 tablets simultaneously without connecting any power leads. Any brand of tablet can be used, charging can be on demand or programmed to take advantage of night-time electricity tariffs and each tablet can be locked inside its individual charging bay.  Read More
The EXR rally car pulls key components out of Land Rover's garage
Bowler, a British manufacturer of rally raid cars, is well known for its performance off-roaders. What it's not known for is street-legal cars. That all changes with the new EXR S, a road-engineered version of its EXR rally car. The car is the first fruits of a new partnership agreement with Land Rover.  Read More
uWhisp creators Iuri Aranda, Joan Casas, Miquel Las Heras and Miquel Puig
It’s probably safe to say that with some of our friends, we communicate with them almost exclusively via social networks such as Facebook and Twitter. While these networks are fine for sending typed messages and photos, however, there are times when the sound of someone’s voice is much more appropriate. Video is one alternative, although many people are uncomfortable appearing on camera. That’s why four graduates from the School of Informatics at Spain’s Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya created uWhisp – it’s a plug-in for use on existing social networks, that lets users send prerecorded voice messages.  Read More

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