New and Emerging Technology News part 232 ~ NEW GEN TECH LIFE : new generation technology news

Tuesday, 25 March 2014

New and Emerging Technology News part 232

Today Microsoft's 'Major Nelson' and Xbox accessories manager Zulfi Alam took us on a tour...
When a new game console launches, there's naturally a lot of focus on the features of the system itself, like graphics, raw horsepower, and motion control. But you can't forget about the part that's going to sit in your hand for hours on end: the controller. Microsoft doesn't want us to forget that either, as we can see in this 7-minute video detailing the "40+ improvements" to the Xbox One's controller.  Read More
Ford says that the F-150 is the only half-ton pickup truck to offer the LPG/CNG option
Compressed natural gas (CNG) vehicles don't get quite as much attention as flashier battery electrics, fuel cell cars and plug-in hybrids, but they are a compelling alternative-fuel option that is available right now. They become even more compelling when they offer dual fuel capabilities. Ford has equipped the 2014 F-150 with such capabilities, calling it the only half-ton pickup truck of its kind.  Read More
The new Misa Digital tri-bass
Early in 2010, Gizmag caught up with software engineer Michael Zarimis and learned a little about his new Misa Digital Guitar. Renamed the Kitara and launched at CES 2011, the instrument had a built-in synthesizer, a neck packed with low profile buttons, and a touchscreen in the body that combined to offer the player an impressive arsenal of futuristic sounds and effects. The Kitarist was also given precision control over numerous parameters, and could use the device as a MIDI controller. Despite being well received, Zarimis has now retired the digital guitar in favor of something he's calling the tri-bass. Despite its name, the new device has not been designed to lurk only in the lower frequencies. In fact, it doesn't make any sounds on its own, but requires cabled connection to MIDI synths or third party software running on a computer.  Read More
The Sound Band doesn't use speakers to play back sound
Generally, when you think of headphones, you imagine small speakers that either sit in or over your ear. The Sound Band is different, as it doesn't feature any speakers at all. Instead, it uses surface sound technology, which means the user's ears are left open to take in the sounds around them.  Read More
It turns out some of Renew's electronic recycling bins have been keeping tabs on passers b...
We first reported on Renew's recycling bins with integrated display screens back in February, 2012. Though at the time these were spun as benevolent information-imparting godsends, as Gizmag readers noted it was always on the cards that they would be used for advertising – reportedly 95 percent of the time, it turns out. However, in recent days it has emerged that Renew has kitted out 12 of its bins with technology that allows it to detect the smartphones of passers by, and potentially target ads accordingly. Today the City of London asked Renew to stop using the tracking technology.  Read More
Sibling's Walking Shelter (Photo: Sibling) Recently unveiled by Australian design collective Sibling, Walking Shelter is a sort of tent designed to be stowed away in netted compartments on the backs of your shoes.  Read More
The Nube attaches to any camping hammock to form a completely enclosed shelter that keeps ...
When it comes to camping in comfort, sleeping in a hammock usually beats the cold ground, but you tend to lose the protection from the elements that a full tent normally provides. We've seen some suspended tents that address this problem before, like the Exped Ergo Combi and the Stingray, but a new product from Sierra Madre Research may have them beat in terms of all-around usefulness. The Nube attaches to any camping hammock to form a completely enclosed shelter that keeps you and your gear off the ground.  Read More
Web TV, which allowed you to surf the web on your TV, was bought by Microsoft in the late ...
For Microsoft, the Xbox and Xbox 360 were always about more than games. They were seen as a way for the company to move out of the study and stake a claim on the living room. The Xbox 360 has been a bona fide hit in that regard but is still largely considered a games machine. The company is hoping to attract a wider audience with the forthcoming Xbox One, which is being positioned as an all-in-one entertainment box with new features for TV viewing, streaming video and lots more. In light of this, we thought it would be fun to take a look at some of the company's previous assaults on the living room that never quite took off.  Read More
A new iPhone built around iOS 7 could be weeks away After many months of rumors and speculations, it appears we finally have an arrival date for the next iPhone. AllThingsD reports that sources have told it to expect Apple to introduce the follow-up to the iPhone 5 at a special event on September 10.  Read More
The Holho Full Pyramid
Owning a smartphone is a bit like being a kid who got too many toys for his birthday. No matter how many apps you have, you still want it to do something more. Imagination Farm USA LLC, based in Houston, Texas, decided that the something more was the Holho “hologram generator,” which uses a set of mirrors perched on a smartphone or tablet to produce the illusion of a moving 3D image.  Read More

Pleygo is a Netflix-like service that lets users pay a monthly fee to rent Lego sets as a ...
If you're a regular reader of Gizmag, then you've probably noticed that we're avid fans of Lego and the many amazing contraptions often created with them. But as much fun as these little plastic bricks can be, high price tags make it difficult for many people to build the more elaborate Lego models they really want. With Pleygo, people can pay a much cheaper monthly fee to rent numerous Lego sets one at a time, much as Netflix rents out movies.  Read More
X-rays can be used to detect pieces of gold somewhat smaller than this monster
Every year, Australian mining companies discard hundred of millions of dollars worth of gold. They're not doing it on purpose, it’s just that the standard industry technique of scanning mineral samples isn’t sensitive enough to detect small traces of the precious metal. Australia’s Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) and Canadian company Mevex have tested a new technique using powerful X-rays that can detect these small trace amounts quickly and accurately.  Read More
On Monday, Juno had traveled half the distance to Jupiter (Image: NASA/Caltech)
NASA announced on Monday that its Juno space probe has reached the halfway mark on its voyage to Jupiter after covering a distance of 879 million miles. This seems odd when you consider that Juno will pass just 347 miles (559 km) from Earth in October. Why both of these facts are true is due to the complex orbit that Juno is following in order to reach its destination.  Read More
The Trimble TopoCharger provides iPhone users with extra battery life and color topographi...
Smartphones have all but replaced standalone GPS units for basic car and foot navigation in cities and on highways, but without apps like the ViewRanger, they aren't equipped to guide you around forests, mountains and trails. The new Trimble TopoCharger brings another such app, along with a full set of topographical maps and a full-sized back-up battery. Pop this case on, and the iPhone transforms into an outdoor GPS.  Read More
Videographer Gert Wagner’s hipjib is designed to let your tripod double as a low-cost port... For so-called “crane shots,” film and video crews often actually use what’s known as a jib arm – a manually-operated device that can set you back more than a few bucks, and is a hassle to set up and tear down. Videographer Gert Wagner’s hipjib is designed to make things easier, by letting your tripod double as a jib arm.  Read More
Prof. Zhong Lin Wang with one of the piezo-phototronic LED arrays
What do electronic signatures, fingerprint scans and touch-sensitive robot skin have in common? All three technologies may soon be advancing, thanks to a new system that turns an array of zinc oxide nanowires into tiny LEDs. Each wire illuminates in response to externally-applied mechanical pressure. By analyzing the resulting mosaic of miniscule points of light, a computer is able to produce a high-resolution map of the pressure-applying surface.  Read More
Elon Musk has revealed the design and details of his proposed Hyperloop transit system
He may be the man behind PayPal, Tesla Motors and SpaceX, but Elon Musk has been garnering more attention lately for his proposed Hyperloop transit system. Although virtually no details had previously been announced, Musk has stated that it would serve as a much faster, more efficient alternative to traditional passenger rail transport – more specifically, it would allow passengers to travel the 350 miles (563 km) from Los Angeles to San Francisco in just 30 minutes. Well, this afternoon (as promised) he finally let everyone in on just what it would be, and how it would work.  Read More
Google's big monthly update to Glass brings a few new Google Now cards, as well as main-sc...
You probably don't have Google Glass. Very few people who aren't developing software for the upcoming device do. But even though the big update that's about to roll out to early adopters may not apply to you, it does give us a better idea of the kinds of things we'll be able to do with the search giant's specs once they're released to the general public.  Read More
The Classic TV is for those who want a bit of retro with their digital
If you’re old enough to remember rabbit ears, you've probably told your kids how hard you had it because your old television had dials. Now LG Electronics is bringing back a whiff of those ancient days with its distinctly retro Classic TV (Model 32LN630R). The South Korean electronics firm didn't just swap out the ubiquitous black case for creamy white, the company also added real channel and volume knobs to appeal to those more interested in classic Scandinavian style rather than bleeding-edge design.  Read More
The Avis Magica skyscraper concept (Image: Alex Sandulescu) Bucharest-based architectural studio Amarada has unveiled a new skyscraper concept. Dubbed Avis Magica, the futuristic building features a vertical aquarium, and produces its own electricity via novel wind-harnessing "feathers."  Read More

 
Elon Musk has announced that he will take the lead in developing a Hyperloop demonstrator ...
In a telephone press conference this morning, Elon Musk, the many-faceted founder of PayPal, Tesla Motors, and SpaceX, expanded his earlier Hyperloop reveal by announcing that he will develop and construct a Hyperloop demonstrator. He believes that a properly funded consortium would take about seven years to build a commercial Hyperloop.  Read More
The P-MOB prototype electric car
One of the criticisms made about electric vehicles is that they’re only as “green” as the source of the electricity used to charge their batteries. A Tesla Model S may not emit any carbon, for instance, but the coal-burning power plant that allows it to recharge certainly does. In order to be truly carbon-neutral, EVs need to be able to run completely on electricity derived from clean sources. Well, that’s just what the P-MOB prototype car does ... as long as you don’t need to take it too far.  Read More
Scientists have managed to stop light within a crystal for up to one minute (Photo: TU Dar...
Researchers at the Technische Universität Darmstadt in Germany have managed to stop light for up to one minute inside a crystal and store digitally-encoded information inside it. The technique shatters previous records and could prove very useful in developing faster and highly-efficient quantum and optical computers.  Read More
The Bigshot DIY camera kit from Kimera LLC
These days, spur of the moment memories will probably be captured for posterity (or Facebook) using a smartphone camera, but there are still a few of us who prefer to carry a compact camera around. If your interest in photography extends to learning what goes on under the hood of a modern camera, however, options are limited, and will likely void any warranties should you take the DIY route. The Bigshot camera has been developed precisely with inquisitive youngsters and aging tinkerers in mind. It's shipped as a self-build kit that includes everything needed to make a fully working camera, by following step-by-step online instructions.  Read More
A phone running OpenSignal's WeatherSignal app
Smartphone batteries contain tiny temperature sensors, designed to keep the phone from overheating. While those sensors do measure the heat generated within the phone, their readings are also affected by the temperature of the phone’s external environment. With that in mind, British app developer OpenSignal has created a system that allows multiple users’ phones to provide real-time, location-specific weather reports.  Read More
T2.a Architects' Black Magic House (Photo: Zsolt Batár) Located on the edge of a forest near Budapest, the prefabricated Black Magic House by T2.a Architects is, as its name suggests, both black and a house. The "magic" part? The home's basic structure was built in just two days, and the entire process – from sending off the digital plans to receiving the prefab parts and completing the structure – took only a week.  Read More
Easton LaChappelle demonstrates his prosthetic arm to President Barack Obama at the third ...
Advanced prosthetics have come a long way in the last few years, but the costs have also skyrocketed. A cheaper alternative may be on its way thanks to Easton LaChappelle, a 17-year old high school student from Colorado, who is using free online resources and the boom in inexpensive 3D printers to develop a functional prosthetic arm and hand. His projects have already earned him an invitation to the White House, and he's now working at NASA on the Robonaut team.  Read More
Condor Aerial's Maveric UAV (Video still: Condor Aerial) Florida Keys authorities are turning to unmanned aerial vehicles equipped with infrared cameras in their ongoing battle to control mosquitos.  Read More
Human Speaker Nic Wallenberg's The Human Speaker is a curious electrical collar that allows you to vocalize electronic sounds without using your voicebox.  Read More
New trial vaccine against malaria shows promise (Image: CDC/Jim Gathany)
A vaccine against malaria currently being developed in the US offers new hope to fight the infectious disease that enters the body through a mosquito bite. According to the World Health Organization, malaria killed 660,000 people in 2010. The intravenous vaccine currently being developed by Sanaria and the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) has produced promising results in volunteers who received a high dose the vaccine.  Read More
Elon Musk has announced that he will take the lead in developing a Hyperloop demonstrator ...
In a telephone press conference this morning, Elon Musk, the many-faceted founder of PayPal, Tesla Motors, and SpaceX, expanded his earlier Hyperloop reveal by announcing that he will develop and construct a Hyperloop demonstrator. He believes that a properly funded consortium would take about seven years to build a commercial Hyperloop.  Read More
The P-MOB prototype electric car
One of the criticisms made about electric vehicles is that they’re only as “green” as the source of the electricity used to charge their batteries. A Tesla Model S may not emit any carbon, for instance, but the coal-burning power plant that allows it to recharge certainly does. In order to be truly carbon-neutral, EVs need to be able to run completely on electricity derived from clean sources. Well, that’s just what the P-MOB prototype car does ... as long as you don’t need to take it too far.  Read More
Scientists have managed to stop light within a crystal for up to one minute (Photo: TU Dar...
Researchers at the Technische Universität Darmstadt in Germany have managed to stop light for up to one minute inside a crystal and store digitally-encoded information inside it. The technique shatters previous records and could prove very useful in developing faster and highly-efficient quantum and optical computers.  Read More
The Bigshot DIY camera kit from Kimera LLC
These days, spur of the moment memories will probably be captured for posterity (or Facebook) using a smartphone camera, but there are still a few of us who prefer to carry a compact camera around. If your interest in photography extends to learning what goes on under the hood of a modern camera, however, options are limited, and will likely void any warranties should you take the DIY route. The Bigshot camera has been developed precisely with inquisitive youngsters and aging tinkerers in mind. It's shipped as a self-build kit that includes everything needed to make a fully working camera, by following step-by-step online instructions.  Read More
A phone running OpenSignal's WeatherSignal app
Smartphone batteries contain tiny temperature sensors, designed to keep the phone from overheating. While those sensors do measure the heat generated within the phone, their readings are also affected by the temperature of the phone’s external environment. With that in mind, British app developer OpenSignal has created a system that allows multiple users’ phones to provide real-time, location-specific weather reports.  Read More
T2.a Architects' Black Magic House (Photo: Zsolt Batár) Located on the edge of a forest near Budapest, the prefabricated Black Magic House by T2.a Architects is, as its name suggests, both black and a house. The "magic" part? The home's basic structure was built in just two days, and the entire process – from sending off the digital plans to receiving the prefab parts and completing the structure – took only a week.  Read More
Easton LaChappelle demonstrates his prosthetic arm to President Barack Obama at the third ...
Advanced prosthetics have come a long way in the last few years, but the costs have also skyrocketed. A cheaper alternative may be on its way thanks to Easton LaChappelle, a 17-year old high school student from Colorado, who is using free online resources and the boom in inexpensive 3D printers to develop a functional prosthetic arm and hand. His projects have already earned him an invitation to the White House, and he's now working at NASA on the Robonaut team.  Read More
Condor Aerial's Maveric UAV (Video still: Condor Aerial) Florida Keys authorities are turning to unmanned aerial vehicles equipped with infrared cameras in their ongoing battle to control mosquitos.  Read More
Human Speaker Nic Wallenberg's The Human Speaker is a curious electrical collar that allows you to vocalize electronic sounds without using your voicebox.  Read More
New trial vaccine against malaria shows promise (Image: CDC/Jim Gathany)
A vaccine against malaria currently being developed in the US offers new hope to fight the infectious disease that enters the body through a mosquito bite. According to the World Health Organization, malaria killed 660,000 people in 2010. The intravenous vaccine currently being developed by Sanaria and the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) has produced promising results in volunteers who received a high dose the vaccine.  Read More

The Spiri quadrotor
You say quadcopter, I say quadrotor, let's just agree that under no circumstances is it quadrocopter. Whatever they're called, here's another one. It's called Spiri, it's designed to be rather more fun than your average drone, and is designed to be both programmable and capable of running downloaded apps. After 13 months of development Canadian quadcopticist Patrick Edwards-Daugherty has launched a Kickstarter campaign to help bring it to market.  Read More
Parrot's new Zikmu Solo is a single-speaker, 2.1 audio system Parrot, a company known for its high-end audio devices, has released a new entry in its Zikmu line of wireless speakers. The new model, called the Zikmu Solo, features a 2.1 configuration, which is designed to generate high-performance sound quality without the need for two separate speakers.  Read More
The Sigma lens mount conversion service means photographers can change their camera brand,...
If you've invested in a specific interchangeable lens camera system, but want to change your photographic allegiance to another brand, you're normally stuck with the prospect of selling your current lenses to fund replacements. Sigma hopes to make switching camera brands easier with the launch of a mount conversion service, which will adapt its lenses to work on your new camera of choice.  Read More
A still from the demonstration video, which shows how Sigmo could work in the real world
The internet and smartphones have made it much easier to converse with people who speak different languages to you, with services using these technologies providing both instant text-to-speech and speech-to-speech translation options. Sigmo, a simple Bluetooth device which uses existing online translation services to translate from one language to the other and back again in real-time, is designed to be the middleman in the equation, thus removing the need to constantly shove your smartphone in people's faces.  Read More
Patient Zero: Melbourne (Photo: Vinnie Lum, PhotoLuminessence)
"There was a full team of farmyard animals came through, and they murdered everything they saw." Meet Dave Leadbetter and Drew Hobbs of IRL Shooter, an Australian company that's blurring the boundaries between video games, live action role playing and laser tag. In 2012 these guys launched Patient Zero, a story-driven real life zombie shooter game in an outer suburb of Melbourne. Gizmag caught up with the pair as they prepare to bring the show to Sydney and beyond in 2014. (Editor's note: contains strong language.)  Read More
Simulated silk crepe de chine, linen plain, silk shot fabric, velvet and polyester satin c...
Computer scientists have come up with a new simple, accurate way to simulate the appearance of fabric that could change the way artists and animators in the film and computer game industries go about the business of rendering computer-generated clothing and other materials.  Read More
The solar-powered Puma AE prototype readied for hand launch (Photo: Courtesy AeroVironment... A solar-powered variant of AeroVironment’s hand-launched Puma AE small UAS has matched the continuous flight time of over nine hours attained by a hybrid fuel cell-powered model in 2008.  Read More
The BLOODHOUND SSC hopes to reach speeds of more than 1,000 mph (1,610 km/h) in 2015 with ...
The Bloodhound Supersonic Car (SSC) team from the UK is continuing its journey towards claiming the world land speed record. After testing its rocket engine last year, the team has turned to 3D printing technology for another critical part of the high speed vehicle – a tip that, if all goes well, will be the first part of the car to break through the 1,000 mph (1,610 km/h) mark in 2015.  Read More
Goal Zero/Eddie Bauer Katabatic 2
There are those for whom ditching the modern comforts of home and roughing it is one of the main attractions of camping. For such people, the traditional tent will likely do. But there is another breed of campers that can’t stand to be separated from their technology, be it digital music, videos, tablet computers, drink blenders, etc. For them, there's a new generation of high-tech tents wired to power all the latest portable gadgetry.  Read More
The Shelby Cobra 427 'ride on' travels at speeds of up to 5 mph (8 km/h)
If you want your child to gain an appreciation for custom automotive bodywork, the Toyota Camette concept was designed with you in mind. But if you want your child to develop a connoisseur-like appreciation of classic cars, you might want to step up to the new child-size Shelby Cobra 427.  Read More
 
Researchers have created a bioengineered heart that beat at 40 to 50 beats per minute (Ima...
Heart transplants have given new life to thousands, but are only an unfulfilled hope to thousands more due to a shortage of donor organs. With the goal of meeting this shortfall, scientists at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine have bioengineered a mouse heart in the lab that beats on its own. The mouse heart had its cells replaced with human cells, offering the potential of growing custom replacement hearts that wouldn't be rejected by the recipient.  Read More
The Text Anywhere works on the Iridium satellite network to provide global text messaging ...
Touted as a simpler, subscription-free alternative to the Delorme inReach, the Text Anywhere is a portable, satellite-powered hot spot that adds virtually unlimited text-messaging range to your phone. If your work or play takes you to remote regions of the world out of mobile phone range, this device can keep you in touch with the folks back in civilization.  Read More
A new micro-printing process that allows the production of biocompatible and energy-effici...
The miniaturization of electronics continues to revolutionize the medical industry with tiny, swallowable devices and minuscule, implanted sensors. Researchers at Tel Aviv University (TAU) have kept the ball rolling with the development of a new micro-printing process that allows the production of flexible and energy-efficient microelectromechanical (MEMS) devices that can be safely used in the human body.  Read More
Teaser photo of the Toyota Hybrid-R Concept
Next month's Frankfurt Motor Show is approaching quickly, and automakers around the world are providing a glimpse at what we can expect. Among Toyota's offerings will be a new hybrid concept that applies race technology to the streets through a combination of fuel savings and performance punch – the Hybrid-R.  Read More
Two ambient backscatter test devices are able to communicate, despite having no batteries ...
In order for the Internet of Things to become a reality, devices will need to be able to communicate with the internet and with one another. If they have to be powered up in order to so, however, a lot of electricity is going to be wasted. That’s where a new technology known as “ambient backscatter” comes into the picture. Developed by engineers at the University of Washington, it uses ever-present existing TV and cellular signals to provide the power and medium for battery-less communications.  Read More
The Fraxinus game (Image: The Sainsbury Laboratory)
Playing video games and feeling virtuous may seem almost like a contradiction in terms, but the Sainsbury Laboratory in Norwich, UK has turned gaming into a way to advance science and help protect the environment. The Fraxinus game is a Facebook app that uses player participation to figure out the structure of a fungus genome, as part of a crowdsourcing effort to combat a disease that threatens Britain and Europe’s ash trees.  Read More
Workers harvest sunscreen-producing bacteria from Norway's Trondheim fjord (Photo: Credit ...
The next generation of powerful sunscreens may have their roots in some unlikely sources – corals from the Great Barrier Reef and bacteria found in the Trondheim Fjord in Norway. When developed, these new sunscreens could offer protection across a wider band of ultraviolet (UV) radiation suspected to cause deadly forms of skin cancer, which current sunscreens don't protect against. The discoveries represent huge breakthroughs, made possible by harnessing the natural sunscreen abilities that these life forms have developed over millions of years to survive the harsh UV radiation in their respective environments.  Read More
The Companion Bike Seat adds a second seat to an existing bicycle Doubling another person on your bike isn’t always the easiest (or safest, or most legal) thing to do, particularly if you have them perching on the handlebars, or sitting on the saddle while you stand up and pedal. Things are somewhat easier if they sit on your rear rack, but that’s not what it’s designed for. The Companion Bike Seat, however, is designed for just that purpose.  Read More
IKEA makes virtual room design easier with augmented reality
Even when you're armed with precise measurements, trying to imagine exactly how that stunning new sofa will look in your living room is not an easy task. It will therefore come as no surprise that leading retailer IKEA has found that 14 percent of its customers end up taking home furniture which turns out to be the wrong size for its intended location. Thanks to augmented reality, customers of the Swedish home furnishings giant can now try out select products in their homes with the help of a printed catalog, a mobile app and a smartphone or tablet.  Read More
The Grasshopper returning to the launch pad, in yesterday's test flight For those readers who haven’t been following its progress, SpaceX’s Grasshopper is a prototype reusable launch vehicle that’s designed to perform a vertical landing back on Earth after delivering its payload into space. While it’s already managed a few low-altitude test hops, yesterday (Aug. 13) it reached a new milestone by performing a “lateral divert test.”  Read More

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