New and Emerging Technology News part 230 ~ NEW GEN TECH LIFE : new generation technology news

Monday, 24 March 2014

New and Emerging Technology News part 230

The Modern Seaweed House was constructed with timber-frame panels and stuffed with seaweed...
Joining the ranks of homes built with edible materials, such as the Tourner autour du Ried, made using corn cobs, and the Mushroom Tiny House, built with (you guessed it) mushroom-based products, is the Modern Seaweed House. Located on the small island of Læso in Denmark, the house features a simple wooden structure covered with an insulating layer of seaweed.  Read More
The Nyngan solar PV plant will be the largest in the Southern Hemisphere
With plenty of sun-drenched, wide open spaces, Australia is an obvious place for large-scale solar power plants. It would seem that large reserves of coal, oil and natural gas, have on the other hand made it difficult for the country to wean itself off fossil fuels. But renewable energy is getting a boost down-under with the announcement of two solar projects, one of which will be the largest solar photovoltaic (PV) plant in the Southern Hemisphere.  Read More
The Viteo Shower offers a portable solution for those who want an outdoor shower with a di...
As someone who lives in the UK and can therefore count the number of hot days a year on one hand, the idea of having a permanent outdoor shower is rather novel. However, in countries where scorching summers are par for the course they're a common sight, but require plumbing and a dedicated space. The Viteo Shower avoids both these problems by literally turning the outdoor shower design on its head.  Read More
Using Caltech's system, an ordinary microscope can capture 100 times more information per ...
Thanks to research being conducted at the California Institute of Technology, regular microscopes could soon be capable of much higher-resolution imaging. Instead of making changes to the microscopes’ optics, the Caltech researchers are instead focusing on using a computer program to process and combine images from the devices.  Read More
MUZIK's new on-ear headphones feature social networking connections
Generally, when we think of advancements in the headphone space, we think of better noise cancellation, improved sound depth, and the like. Well, a new company called MUZIK is aiming to push the market forward, but not in the traditional way. Instead, it's launching a line of connected headphones that allows users to share what they are listening to with the touch of a button.  Read More
One of the titanium dioxide filaments, that make up the shag carpet coating
Like a lot of things, bone cells grow and reproduce quicker on textured surfaces than on smooth ones. With that in mind, a team of scientists from Ohio State University are developing a new coating that could allow implants such as artificial hips to bond with bones faster. That coating is described as “a microscopic shag carpet made of tiny metal oxide wires.”  Read More
An artist's impression of California's new high-speed train When people grumble about how they think the US isn’t as technologically advanced as it should be, they like to bring up bullet trains – Europe and Asia have them, so why doesn’t America? Well, it’s getting one. Work is starting this summer on a high-speed rail line running from San Francisco to Los Angeles, that will carry a passenger train traveling at over 200 mph (322 km/h).  Read More
The Studio Series Tapo from Editors Keys
By far the quickest way to uniformly raise the pitch of all strings on a guitar is to plonk a capo on the neck. Even then, some songs call for a bit of tricky tuning to get things just right, which means diving into the gig bag only to find that you've left your faithful tuner at home. Editors Keys has combined capo and tuner for the Tapo, which can be clamped across the strings to check the tuning in the newly-chosen key, or positioned at the head for open reference tuning.  Read More
Artist's concept of the LADEE spacecraft (Image: NASA)
Space communications have relied on radio since the first Sputnik in 1957. It’s a mature, reliable technology, but it’s reaching its limits. The amount of data sent has increased exponentially for decades and NASA expects the trend to continue. The current communications systems are reaching their limits, so NASA and ESA are going beyond radio as a solution. As part of this effort, ESA has finished tests of part of a new communications system, in preparations for a demonstration in October in which it will receive a laser data download from a NASA lunar orbiter.  Read More
The newly-updated C6 range was unveiled at this year's Dwell on Design event (Photo: Livin...
At this year's recent Dwell on Design event, LivingHomes unveiled its newly updated C6 series of prefabricated sustainable dwellings. Each of the three homes that comprise the C6 series are capable of achieving LEED Platinum certification, and can be outfitted with various optional extras to suit budget and needs.  Read More

The world’s largest tunnel boring machine is being put to work in Seattle
Bertha, the world’s largest tunnel boring machine (TBM), started digging under Seattle on Tuesday as it chewed through the north wall of the 80-ft (24.3 m) deep trench where it was assembled after being shipped in pieces from its manufacturer in Japan. Designed to bore a 1.7 mi (2.7 km) tunnel for State Route 99 (SR 99) under the Seattle city center to replace the old viaduct, the machine will both dig out soil and lay a concrete tunnel wall as it goes.  Read More
Gizmag gets a video tour of the Moto X's features
Google-owned Motorola is going after the middle of the smartphone market in a big way with its new Android flagship, the Moto X. Check out the features that it hopes to win you over with.  Read More
The Trash Amps Jam speaker/amplifier We’ve seen big glass speakers and we’ve seen smaller models, but Trash Amps’ Jam takes the whole glass speaker thing down to a new level – it’s a speaker and amplifier, housed in a Mason jar.  Read More
The iblazr LED flash module for smartphones and tablets
Smartphone cameras are great for capturing that spur of the moment memory, but even with a built-in flash, after-dark snaps can look pretty grim. The iblazr team out of the Ukraine has developed a fully synchronized LED flash module that plugs into the audio jack of a phone or tablet. It's been designed to eliminate the white- or red-eye effect, and packs its own battery so it won't leech from the host device.  Read More
This robotic leaf fish may not look scary to you, but then you're not a zebrafish
With some help from a robotic fish, scientists have discovered that zebrafish are much like humans in at least one way – they get reckless when they get drunk. OK, “drunk” might not be technically accurate, but when exposed to alcohol, the fish show no fear of a robotic version of one of their natural predators, the Indian leaf fish. When they’re “sober,” they avoid the thing like crazy. The researchers believe that the experiments indicate a promising future for robots in behavioral studies.  Read More
The HSC image shows M31 in stunning detail (Image: HSC Project/NAOJ)
The Andromeda galaxy is one of the most commonly studied objects in the sky. It's just 2.5 million light years from Earth, is visible to the naked eye on a moonless night and has been imaged countless times. Japan's Subaru Telescope's Hyper Suprime-Cam (HSC) has provided the latest snap of the popular object, showing our neighboring galaxy in a spectacular new light.  Read More
Motorola's new Moto X, unveiled in NYC
Motorola's first Android phone designed under the control of Google is official, and the big deal is its touchless, always-listening voice control system.  Read More
The Italian Institute of Technology's HyQ quadruped robot steps over an unseen obstacle au...
Similar in size to Boston Dynamics' BigDog, the HyQ hydraulically-actuated quadruped robot can walk, trot, kick, and jump, but its reflexes need an upgrade before it can move from flat ground to more challenging terrain. To that end, researchers from the Italian Institute of Technology's (IIT) have developed an animal-like step reflex algorithm that quickly detects when the robot's feet run into obstacles, preventing trips and falls.  Read More
The primary niche is to clip the generator to the top of existing solar panels in large ar...
Crowdfunding has come to the small wind generation field with an Indiegogo campaign intended for an interesting target niche: a small wind generator designed to be clipped onto solar panels. According to his pitch, Michael Ring has not only created a prototype, but calculated possible energy returns, targeted a price point and lined up suppliers for initial deliveries and has turned to Indeigogo to get his small startup off the launch pad.  Read More
Here's how to stream digital media from Android to your HDTV without Chromcast
There's plenty of excitement out there about Google's US$35 Chromecast that allows you to stream digital media to your HDTV. So much so that at the time of this writing there's a three to four week waiting period for the device. But, if you have a Roku, Apple TV, Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, select Smart TVs or other UPnP or DLNA compliant device connected to your HDTV, you can already stream digital content to them from your Android device with an app. We show you how.  Read More
 
The ÁPH80 will set you back from €32,000 (roughly US$42,000) (Photo: ÁBATON)
Spanish architectural studio ÁBATON has developed the ÁPH80: a prefabricated, portable micro-home, which is envisioned as the first in a series of upcoming similar dwellings suitable for up to two people. The wood used to construct ÁPH80 is sourced responsibly, and the house can be erected in just a day.  Read More
Volumental's vision is to be able to 3D print more or less anything you can see
Scanning and 3D printing an object could become much simpler if 3D printing company Volumental is successful in crowdfunding the development of a web app which would allow users to scan and print 3D objects using nothing more than a Kinect sensor and a web browser.  Read More
Standard flight times fall between 60 and 90 minutes Electric aircraft company GreenWing International has announced the release of its first 50 eSpyder single-seat electric planes, which will be sold as build-it-yourself kits for for under US$40,000.  Read More
Photographer Jeffrey Martin of 360Cities recently unveiled a 360-degree panorama of Tokyo ...
Photography group 360Cities seems determined to capture every major city in the world in as much detail as possible. Shortly after putting together a 360-degree panorama of London and breaking the record for world's largest photo in the process, the group's founder Jeffrey Martin set his sights on Tokyo for his next project. This latest panorama may not trump his old record, but at 180 gigapixels, it's still the second largest photo ever taken.  Read More
Students at UC Berkeley have developed the STAR, a 3D-printed robot that flattens its legs...
Nature has been the source of inspiration for a variety of different forms of robotic locomotion. Yet another example is the STAR, a 3D-printed robot modeled after an insect's ability to squeeze into even the tiniest spaces. Developed by students at UC Berkeley's Biomimetic Millisystems Lab the STAR, which stands for Sprawl Tuned Autonomous Robot, is able to flatten its legs down to slip under a small gap and then raise them up again to climb over larger obstacles.  Read More
Phytokinetic is a green roof concept for public transport vehicles to bring a touch of nat...
In an effort to bring a dash of green to gray concrete jungles, Catalan landscape artist Marc Grañén teamed up with green wall and roof designer Alex Puig.Grañén to perfect his Phytokinetic concept. Similar to the bus-top garden concept dreamed up by NYU graduate student Marco Castro Cosio, Phytokinetic is a mobile garden designed to be installed atop public transport vehicles.  Read More
Gizmag compares the specs and features of the new Motorola X, which offers hands-free voic...
Does a smartphone market dominated by Apple and Samsung have room for a third major player? That's what Google-owned Motorola is hoping for, with the new Moto X. The phone is reportedly going to have an insane half a billion dollar marketing budget, but does it have the goods to back that up? Let's try to get an idea, as we compare it to Samsung's Galaxy S4.  Read More
Lamborghini Gallardo LP 570-4 Squadra Corse
Lamborghini has announced that the latest model in its Gallardo line-up will make its world premiere at the 2013 Frankfurt Motor Show. Based on Lamborghini’s Super Trofeo track cars, the new LP 570-4 Squadra Corse sports a 570 hp, V10 engine that will launch it from 0 to 100 km/h (62 mph) in a prompt 3.4 seconds before hitting a top speed of 320 km/h (198 mph).  Read More
MIT neuroscientists identified the cells (highlighted in red) where memory traces are stor...
An ongoing collaboration between the Japanese Riken Brain Science Institute and MIT’s Picower Institute for Learning and Memory has resulted in the discovery of how to plant specific false memories into the brains of mice. The breakthrough significantly extends our understanding of memory and expands the experimental reach of the new field of optogenetics.  Read More
The Quick Trainer consists of an iOS device, Bluetooth transmitter and disposable sensor
A new toilet-training device developed by researchers at the University of Rochester combines a wearable sensor pad, Bluetooth technology, an iOS device and accompanying app to help toilet train intellectually disabled children. Rather than just providing entertainment like the iPotty, the Quick Trainer issues an alert the moment the child starts to pee, so adults can take them to the toilet and encourage them to use it. If all goes well, they are rewarded with treats to encourage them to head to the toilet the next time the need arises.  Read More

Monash University researchers have created a compact electrode that uses a liquid electrol...
Graphene-based supercapacitors have already proven the equal of conventional supercapacitors – in the lab. But now researchers at Melbourne’s Monash University claim to have developed of a new scalable and cost-effective technique to engineer graphene-based supercapacitors that brings them a step closer to commercial development.  Read More
Adventure Underwear offers security for travelers, who can keep their valuables in their u... It is essential for travelers to keep their valuables close at all times, and where could be better to store your worldly possessions than in your underwear. Armed with merino wool and polyethylene, Adventure Underwear has taken on this brief.  Read More
Copper ions injected into the hydrogel allow the degree of gel curvature to be dynamically...
Soft robotics is a quickly emerging field that takes a lot of inspiration from marine creatures like squids and starfish. A light-controlled hydrogel was recently developed that could be used for control of these new robotic devices, but now researchers at North Carolina State University are taking the development of soft robotic devices to a new level with electrically-charged hydrogels.  Read More
The sensor uses an accelerometer to monitor mouth activity
Tooth fillings acting as radio receivers may be nothing more than a myth, but scientists at the National Taiwan University are developing an artificial tooth that would send rather than receive transmissions. They’re working on embedding a sensor in a tooth to keep an eye on oral goings on, along with a Bluetooth transmitter to transmit the data and tell your doctor what your mouth's been up to.  Read More
The NB 508 (aka the Baltika) crashes through the ice side-on (Image: Arctech Helsinki Ship...
Given that icebreakers clear a path for other ships by traveling through the ice head-on (or sometimes butt-on), then in order for one of them to clear a wider path, it would have to be wider and thus larger overall ... right? Well, Finland’s Arctech Helsinki Shipyard is taking a different, more efficient approach. It’s in the process of building an asymmetric-hulled icebreaker that can increase its frontal area, by making its way through the ice at an angle of up to 30 degrees.  Read More
AquaTop Display offers unique interaction modes that cannot be achieved with standard, rig...
If you keep getting your gadgets wet because you can’t part with them while taking a bath, maybe it’s time for you to reevaluate your options. As it turns out, it only takes a Kinect camera, a projector, some waterproofed speakers, half a year of coding and an enormous amount of ingenuity to turn a regular bath into an interactive entertainment hub. And that’s exactly what a group of researchers from Koike Laboratory at Tokyo’s University of Electro-Communications have done as part of their quest to explore the field of natural user interface design. Their AquaTop Display takes immersive entertainment to a whole new level, unattainable with regular, impenetrable touch displays.  Read More
The GX7 has a tilting Live Viewfinder with 90 degrees of adjustment
Panasonic has revealed its latest retro-styled mirrorless interchangeable lens camera, the Lumix DMC-GX7. As well as making some detail and color saturation improvements to its newly-redesigned Live MOS sensor, the company has also treated the new addition to built-in Wi-Fi and NFC capabilities, in-body image stabilization, and a silent shooting mode. Stealing the show, however, are the Live Viewfinder and the rear display panel – both of which tilt.  Read More
The LEGO Architecture Studio Kit is available now, for US$149.99 Ever fancied yourself a budding Frank Lloyd Wright, but don't much relish the prospect of undertaking years of hard study learning the trade? Of course you have, and of course you don't. LEGO knows this, so has produced the Architecture Studio Kit to save you the trouble.  Read More
The BeSteady One is a new 3-axis video camera stabilizing rig, that can be operated by rem...
The burgeoning product category of video camera stabilizers is set to get a little more crowded, as Polish engineers Jack Iwaniec and Max Salamonowicz are currently proving very successful in the crowdfunding of their new rig, the BeSteady One. Similar in principal to the MoVI M10 and Ghost, it basically consists of a horizontal crossbar with handles at either end, which the camera hangs below on a gimbal-mounted platform – although the rig can also be used with the camera sitting above the crossbar.  Read More
There's no shortage of 'Find My Phone' services available, but Google will be serving up i...
The Google Play store is full of third-party apps that will let you find a lost or stolen phone. Until now, though, there wasn't an official solution from Google. Well, apparently Larry Page and company decided it was about time, and we'll soon see the fruits of that, in the form of the Android Device Manager.  Read More
 

Swiss researchers have taken an important step towards imitating the brain’s information p...
Researchers at the University of Zurich and ETH Zurich have designed a sophisticated computer system that is comparable in size, speed and energy consumption to the human brain. Based on the development of neuromorphic microchips that mimic the properties of biological neurons, the research is seen as an important step in understanding how the human brain processes information and opens the door to fast, extremely low-power electronic systems that can assimilate sensory input and perform user-defined tasks in real time.  Read More
Artist's conception of a commercial hydrogen production plant that uses sunlight to split ...
A new technique developed by a University of Colorado Boulder team converts sunshine and water directly into usable fuel. The technique involves concentrating sunlight in a solar tower to achieve temperatures high enough to drive chemical reactions that split water into its constituent oxygen and hydrogen molecules. In this way, the team says it should be able to cheaply produce massive amounts of hydrogen fuel.  Read More
One of Gumi's two new buses that will draw power from the road using the Online Electric V...
As of this Tuesday (August 6th) the South Korean city of Gumi’s transit system will see the addition of two electric buses that draw their power from the road. It’s the latest step in the development of the Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology's (KAIST's) Online Electric Vehicle (OLEV) system, in which electric cables embedded in the asphalt provide power to vehicles traveling on its surface.  Read More
The MSI GS70 gaming laptop is staking a claim at the top end of the laptop market
When it comes to gaming laptops, the era of two-inch-thick, weighty monstrosities is truly over. Systems such as Razer's Blade and Blade Pro have carved out a decidedly more pleasing form-factor for the category, and with the GS70, MSI is ready to stake its claim at the top of the market. The new system is particularly thin for its category and packs some high-end hardware within its svelte body.  Read More
Gizmag compares the specs and features of Motorola's Moto X and Apple's iPhone 5. Which ex...
If you're buying a smartphone, do you look for the most cutting-edge specs or do you prioritize overall experience? In many ways, this question has defined the battle between Android and iOS. Apple traditionally worships at the altar of experience, while Android phone makers more often squeeze in the latest-and-greatest components. But in Motorola's Moto X, we have one of the best examples of a marquee Android phone offering an Apple-like focus on experience. Let's throw the two into our magical comparison machine and see what happens.  Read More
O2 Cool showed its new backpack line at the 2013 Outdoor Retailer Summer Market
Wherever you weigh in on the global warming debate, it would seem that folks are hotter than ever this year. Misting and cooling products have been a trend over the past few months, with launches of products like the Aquabot and Q-FOG. The self-assigned leader in cooling products has decided to get in on the action with its own twist on the theme. It's incorporated a misting system into a line of hydration packs, so the reservoir of water on your back can both quench and cool.  Read More
Is there light at the end of the tunnel? (Image: Andreas Eldh)
It's been an exceedingly ugly fortnight on Twitter. Following a successful campaign orchestrated by journalist and feminist Caroline Criado-Perez to have a woman reinstated on Bank of England banknotes, she has been subjected to a relentless campaign of harassment, with rape and death threats being received by Criado-Perez at a rate of nearly one per minute on July 24, the day it was confirmed that her campaign had been a success. After being the platform for sustained threats and abuse for almost two weeks, Twitter has finally begun to act.  Read More
What the weeds look like once pulled out of the ground with Ring Weeder Removing weeds can be annoying, especially in an area with a lot of plants. Ring Weeder slips over the user's index finger and allows for precision weed pulling all the way down to the root.  Read More
A nuclear-powered spacecraft is one winning concept of NASA's Innovative Advanced Concepts...
A dozen inventors have received a chance to demonstrate the potential for their pet space projects as winners of NASA's 2013 Innovative Advanced Concepts Program Phase I awards. The award winners were chosen based on their potential to transform future aerospace missions by enabling either breakthroughs in aerospace capabilities or entirely new missions. Read on for a closer look at some of the most promising proposals with a view to how they would work, and where the tricky bits might be hiding.  Read More
House RP would look right at home in George Lucas sci-fi movie THX 1138 (Photo: Nico Saieh... Designed by Chilean architect Gonzalo Mardones Viviani to serve as family home to compatriot and former tennis star Marcelo Rios, House RP features a futuristic-looking design that would look right at home in George Lucas sci-fi movie THX 1138.  Read More

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