New and Emerging Technology News part 254 ~ NEW GEN TECH LIFE : new generation technology news

Sunday, 30 March 2014

New and Emerging Technology News part 254

The SpikeBoard uses a combination of switch kicking and 'spiking'
What happens when you combine Nordic skiing, stand-up paddle and switch-kick longboarding? You end up with a new method of transportation called SpikeBoarding, which requires a SkateBoard "Spike" and a specialized longboard.  Read More
An ensemble of ODD instruments will take to the stage at Euromold in Frankfurt, Germany, b...
Kiwi Professor of Mechtronics Olaf Diegel has now added a set of drums and a keyboard to his catalog of beautiful 3D-printed instruments. His new creations will join guitar and bass models for a road trip to Frankfurt's EuroMold event next month, where a band will take to the stage to play some live sets using the instruments.  Read More
Here's how to restore your contacts, apps, and media between iOS 6 and iOS 7
Apple's new devices this year all launch with the new iOS 7 mobile operating system. It's definitely a new look, and some of the settings and features that you're used to have changed. If you're moving from an older device running iOS 6, here's how to restore your new iPhone or iPad from an iCloud backup.  Read More
Orbital Systems is developing a new household shower that recycles any water that goes dow...
A Swedish technology company called Orbital Systems is tackling the issue of water conservation with a new household shower that purifies any water that goes down the drain and sends it back to the shower head. By the company's estimations, its closed-loop system could retain over 90 percent of the water and 80 percent of the energy consumed by an ordinary shower.  Read More
Software controllers go modular
Described by its creators as the first freeform software controller, Palette is a range of buttons, dials and sliders made so that creative types can design their own hardware interfaces for their software of choice, be it for music creation, photo-editing or gaming.  Read More
A model of a high altitude aerial power plant that harvests both solar and wind energy and...
Harvesting power from the wind and the sun is nothing new. We've seen flying wind turbines and solar power plants that aim to provide clean renewable energy. UK-based New Wave Energy has a bolder idea in the works. The company plans to build the first high altitude aerial power plant, using networks of unmanned drones that can harvest energy from multiple sources and transmit it wirelessly to receiving stations on the ground.  Read More
The 20K House project was launched in 2005 by Rural Studio (Photo: Tim Hursley/RuralStudio...
For many people, the chance of owning their own house is very slim indeed. However, the 20K House project by Rural Studio, an off-campus design-build program of Auburn University, aims to tackle this, and make house ownership possible for more people with an attractive and safe modern property for just US$20,000.  Read More
The Nissan GT-R Nismo goes on sale next year
For some unfathomable reason, Nissan apparently thought that its GT-R just wasn't mad enough, so they handed it over to Nissan Motorsports (Nismo) to refine it using experience gained on the Nürburgring Ring and at Le Man. The result, the Nissan GT-R Nismo, was unveiled last week at the Los Angeles Auto Show.  Read More
The pick of the best concept cars at TMS 2013 at different, arrestingly beautiful, more ef...
If you love cars and motorcycles, the Tokyo Motor Show is one of those events which is always worth attending. It's home ground for 15 automakers, hundreds of automotive component manufacturers, and the highest concentration of R&D for every facet of public and personal transport in the world.  Read More
The Kano computer kit makes learning programming concepts painless (Photo: Kano)
Billed as "the computer anyone can make," the US$99 Kano kit supplies a Raspberry Pi computer board with the various accouterments (save for a display) required to make it into a complete computer. The Kano programming language uses graphic code blocks to implement a simple but powerful language reminiscent of BASIC.  Read More

Figure of a plasmonic metasurface hologram of the word 'PURDUE' that is about the width of...
Holography is one of the more dramatic forms of photography, in which a three-dimensional image is stored on a photographic plate in the form of interference fringes. Researchers at Purdue University in Indiana have developed a different approach, in which a 3D image is stored in a structure of thousands of V-shaped nanoantennas etched into an ultrathin gold foil. The new approach dramatically shrinks the size of a hologram, potentially enabling photonic and plasmonic devices and optical switches small enough to be integrated into computer chips.  Read More
The Mars rover is powered by radioactive thermoelectric generator (dark cylinder on rear) ...
NASA has announced the cancellation of the decade-old program to develop a Sterling Radioisotope Generator for deep-space missions. This program was a response to the critical shortage in radioactive isotopes in general, and plutonium-238 in particular, in the US and worldwide. NASA will now be depending on rebuilding a Pu-238 production system, an option that is not without its drawbacks and challenges.  Read More
Microsoft's hotly anticipated new console has finally arrived
The wait for Microsoft's next-gen console finally ended on Friday with the system's global launch. We already know that more than one million Xbox One's were sold in its first 24 hours on sale, but the question remains – is the new console worth the price of entry?  Read More
The Korus Wireless Speakers from Core Brands LLC
Playing music without having to run a cable between speakers and smartphone, computer or media player has great appeal, but is not without issues. Bluetooth technology is well supported, but has limited range and pairing can sometimes be a real test of character. AirPlay or Wi-Fi give a little more freedom to wander, but you're tied to a router and all the finicky logins and security settings that go with that particular territory. The Korus wireless speakers from Core Brands use a wireless audio protocol called SKAA that promises increased range, easy setup, almost latency-free high fidelity playback.  Read More
Gizmag compares some of the best mirrorless cameras on the market
It's looking increasingly certain that interchangeable lens cameras have got a mirrorless future. In 2013 we've seen new models which can rival all but the very best of their mirrored counterparts in terms of features, build, and image quality. In this comparison guide we'll look at how the new breed of high-end mirrorless models stack up against each other.  Read More
The FCEV Concept at the LA Auto Show
Fuel cells have long been lurking around in the shadows of the automotive market, promising great things but without much real-world availability to deliver them. At this week's LA Auto Show, they took some small but sure steps into the light, as both Honda and Hyundai shared their respective visions for the future of fuel cell automobiles. These debuts have people talking a little more about hydrogen-fueled electric driving.  Read More
The Porsche Macan Turbo
At first, the idea of Porsche making a compact SUV seems like Heston Blumenthal opening a rib joint. Notwithstanding, Porsche's recipe for mixing a sports car with a small 4x4 were revealed on Tuesday when the company presented the new Macan SUV line to the world at the Los Angeles Auto Show.  Read More
For test purposes, the Spark-Renault SRT_01E used a 50 kW electric motor instead of the 20...
Spark-Renault has put its all-electric racer out on track for preliminary testing in preparation for the upcoming Formula E race season in Beijing next year. The SRT_01E ran 40 trouble-free laps using a 50 kW electric motor, instead of the 200 kW (270 hp) motor the car will use in 2014.  Read More
The Swarm satellites being prepared for launch (Photo: ESA)
On Friday, ESA began a four-year mission to study the Earth’s magnetic field with the launch of the three-satellite Swarm constellation into Earth orbit. Packed “like sardines” in their fairing, the unmanned spacecraft lifted off at 12:02 GMT (1:02 PM CET) from the Plesetsk space port in northern Russia atop a Rockot launcher.  Read More
Gizmag goes hands-on, to help you choose between the iPad Air and iPad mini with Retina Di...
Apple's newest iPads are a big leap forward from last year's models. But when it comes to choosing between the iPad Air and Retina iPad mini, where do you start? Well, after spending a couple weeks with both tablets, we have a thing or two to say on the subject. Read on, as Gizmag shares our hands-on impressions of the iPad Air and iPad mini with Retina Display.  Read More

The SmartPlane can be controlled by tilting the connected iOS device
Parrot's AR Drone quadcopter has been strutting its smartphone-controlled stuff for a few years now, but fixed wing remote controlled aircraft have been a little thinner on the ground – and in the air. TobyRich, a German company specializing in smartphone-controlled gadgets, has now launched its SmartPlane, which it calls "the first smartphone-controlled airplane in the world."  Read More
New York based architect Bradley Rothenberg was recently invited to create a one of a kind... New York-based architect Bradley Rothenberg was recently invited to create a one of a kind 3D-printed lingerie piece for Victoria's Secret and Swarovski. The result is a sparkling corset that was a highlight feature during this year's Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show.  Read More
The Range Rover LWB Autobiography Black Edition was shown at a private unveiling before it...
Land Rover's new Long Wheelbase Range Rover and the Autobiography Black Edition made their US debut last week to a private invitation-only audience of about 75 owners and brand loyalists at a multi-acre Beverly Hills estate before their public unveiling on Wednesday at the 2013 Los Angeles Auto Show. The basic innovation of the Long Wheelbase Range Rover is stretching the unibody in front of the rear wheels enough to give 5.5-inches (140mm) more rear seat legroom and provide more space to cram in more luxury touches.  Read More
Boston Dynamics' Atlas humanoid robot is the focus for the second phase of DARPA's Robotic... The goal of DARPA's multi-year Robotics Challenge is to develop robots capable of reducing the danger of rescue and relief to victims and first responders alike. Next month DARPA will pit rescue robots against a series of tasks that represent disaster scenarios.  Read More
The Puma was one of the most talked about cars at this year's LA Auto Show
Last week's LA Auto Show had plenty of head-turning cars and concepts, but easily the head-turningest of the bunch was the Youabian Puma, a brand-new car built to "stand out and be unique." People are saying a lot of unflattering things about it, but the one thing that they cannot say is that it fails in its mission. Good or bad, the car is like nothing we've ever seen.  Read More
Gizmag compares the biggest smartwatches of 2013
Is it worth buying a smartwatch this holiday season? Or are you better off waiting for Apple and Google to enter the race? Well, though the product category is still evolving, we've enjoyed our time with most of the early smartwatches we've reviewed. Let's line some of them up, compare their features and specs, and see if it's worth pulling the trigger.  Read More
Eyes-On Glasses should be available as of next year
Despite what TV and the movies might have us believe, getting a needle into a vein isn't always a straightforward procedure. It can sometimes take multiple attempts, much to the discomfort of the patient. Now, however, Evena Medical's new Eyes-On Glasses reportedly let nurses see patients' veins in real time, right through their skin.  Read More
New York University's flying jellyfish (Photo: Leif Ristroph)  What could be better than a jellyfish-inspired machine that swims underwater? Well, how about one that flies in the air? A group of scientists from New York University have created just such a contraption, and it could have big implications for tiny flying robots.  Read More
Toro! The Lexus NXB Concept mountain bike, at the Tokyo Motor Show
While Lexus may be best-known for its luxury automobiles, in recent years it's been dabbling in another type of vehicle – the bicycle. As a result, it's now possible to buy a US$10,000 Lexus F Sport road bike, while a pedal-electric commuter may or may not be on its way to production. At this year's Tokyo Motor Show, however, a new Lexus bike was unveiled ... the NXB Concept mountain bike.  Read More


Gizmag goes hands-on with Apple's 2013 iPhones: the more advanced iPhone 5s (left) and the...
If you're shopping for a new iPhone this holiday season, Apple has two new handsets to choose from. The iPhone 5s is the higher-end model, but are its upgrades worth the extra US$100? Or do you thumb your nose at its "forward-thinking" features and go with some fun new colors instead? Let Gizmag try to help, as we go hands-on to help you decide whether you're better off with the iPhone 5s or iPhone 5c.  Read More
The EVA taxi prototype on display at the Tokyo Motor Show
Given how many miles taxis put in per day, the concept of electric taxis is certainly appealing. That said, one problem is the amount of time that their batteries can take to recharge – most cabbies won't want to shorten their work day or do a split shift, in order to juice up their cars. With the EVA taxi, however, they wouldn't have to. The prototype vehicle can reportedly get enough of a charge in 15 minutes to travel 200 km (124 mi).  Read More
The all-new Wrangler Willys Wheeler Edition at the LA Auto Show
Think LA and your first automobile vision is probably a bright-red Ferrari being navigated by a Hollywood big wig. While there was plenty of support for that stereotype at the LA Auto Show, Jeep had a different take on the local scene. It urged men of means to skip the pretty sports cars in favor of Jeep specials designed to escape the metropolis and chew up California's sand, rock, snow and dirt.  Read More
Scientist have created a new form of matter by coaxing photons to interact with each other...
Scientists from Harvard and MIT have jointly demonstrated that, in specific conditions, photons can be made to interact with each other and form molecules. Such groupings of photons, dubbed “Photonic molecules”, constitute an entirely new form of matter, which until recently was purely theoretical. Combining the properties of light and those of solids, in terms of physics this new form of matter is not unlike a certain material that millions of Star Wars fans are already well familiar with. Lightsaber material.  Read More
The Woof to Wash washing is designed so that service dogs can open the door with their paw UK-based appliance firm JTM Service is aiming to make life a little easier for individuals who rely on service dogs to get through their day-to-day life. These highly-trained dogs have are able to perform all sorts of remarkable tasks for their owners, and now, they can add doing laundry to the list.  Read More
Tallinn University of Technology researchers Asko Ristolainen and Taavi Salumäe watch the ...
When was the last time you heard about a sea turtle getting stuck in a shipwreck? Never, that's when. Although that's partly because stuck turtles rarely make the news, it's also due to the fact that they're relatively small and highly maneuverable. With that in mind, the European Union-funded ARROWS project has created U-CAT – a prototype robotic sunken-ship-exploring sea turtle.  Read More
Ken Okuyama's new vehicles on display at the Tokyo Motor Show
While you might not know who Ken Kiyoyuki Okuyama is, you've no doubt seen his creations. The Japanese auto designer has worked with Pininfarina and General Motors, overseeing the design of cars such as the Ferrari Enzo and P4/5, the Honda NSX, and the C5 Corvette. He was also employed at Porsche, where he helped design the 996 and Boxster. At this year's Tokyo Motor Show, he's showing four vehicles that he created as part of his own Ken Okuyama Design brand. Three of them are intended for the road and/or track, while the other is made for the field.  Read More
A close up of a deathly lady (Photo: Bitbangerlabs)
What if creating the illusion of a ghost walking next to you was as simple as waving a light stick in front of a camera? Pixelstick is a new light painting tool developed by Brooklyn-based Bitbangerlabs, that allows anyone to create incredible images with the aid of a camera set to take long exposure photographs. Capable of reading images created in any image editing software, the digital light rod displays the desired image a line at a time, letting you create visuals in real world settings that can feature anything from floating graffiti to video game characters, blinking heads or brilliant swirls of color.  Read More
The new Lucra L148 cruising the highway for prey (Photo: Lucra Cars)
Lucra Cars is a boutique car developer and manufacturer with a passion to create the next American supercars. Having made quite a splash last year with the rollout of the Lucra LC470, whose motto is "STREET LEGAL – but just barely," the company has just revealed pics and a bit of information about its Bugatti killer, the L148.  Read More

Snow2 displays speed, navigation and even texts and voice calls in the skier's and snowboa...
Recon Instruments first came to our attention back in 2010 with the release of the world's first heads up display (HUD) for skiers and snowboarders. The company has now outed the fourth generation of the device, the Snow2, which adds extra processing grunt and puts the focus on connectivity.  Read More
Mercedes shows the AMG Vision Gran Turismo at the 2013 LA Auto Show
Whereas the concepts of the Frankfurt Motor Show were largely about flash styling and new packaging, the concepts and cars of this month's Los Angeles Auto Show were more focused on forward-thinking technology and green design. Fuel cells, hybrid powertrains and self-driving systems were themes across several models. Of course, there was still plenty of flash and hot styling, too.  Read More
Nissan's Autonomous Drive Leaf hits the public highway for the first time Two weeks after taking Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe for a short drive around the National Diet Front Garden in central Tokyo, the Leaf packing Nissan's Autonomous Drive (AD) technology has hit the public highways for the first time.  Read More
Gizmag reviews ThermaCELL's Heated Insoles
ThermaCELL released its wirelessly-controlled Heated Insoles in 2012, and I've been wondering about them ever since. A local store couldn't keep the things in stock last winter, yet I've also seen more than a few user reviews stating that they just don't work. Given that I live somewhere where cold toes are a common problem for several months a year, I really wanted to know what the case was ... and I figured that lots of other people would like to know, too. I got the company to send me a pair, in order to find out.  Read More
Gizmag compares the features and specs of the iPad mini with Retina Display and 2013 Nexus...
If you're looking to pick up a smaller tablet this holiday season, it's hard to beat Apple's Retina iPad mini and the Google/Asus Nexus 7. If you've narrowed your search down to these two, do you go with the bigger screen or the smaller price? Join Gizmag, as we compare the features and specs of the iPad mini with Retina Display and 2013 Nexus 7.  Read More
Teki allows an internet-connected Kinect box to take the place of a trip to the doctor's o...
Like many other parts of the world, Spain's Basque Country is currently faced with an increasing population of senior citizens placing strain upon the limited resources of the health care system. That's why the Teki project was instituted. It allows patients with chronic conditions to quickly check in with their doctors via an internet-connected Microsoft Kinect unit, thus reducing the number of time-consuming office visits, and catching problems before they require hospitalization.  Read More
Is it supposed to look like that? In this case, yes (Photo:  Steve Jurvetson)
The terms "auger in" and "lawndart" refer to rather exciting and decidedly dangerous methods of recovering a rocket, during which the screaming rocket buries its pointy end deep in the ground. Such over-enthusiastic landings provided a group of research students from the University of Washington (UWash) the inspiration for a new approach to collecting samples from hostile environments, such as the crater of an erupting volcano or a melting nuclear reactor.  Read More
The supercapacitor-powered Helium Bluetooth speakers from Blueshift
Sharing music with friends through laptop or smartphone speakers can be less than satisfying, which perhaps goes some way to explaining the overwhelming choice of portable Bluetooth speakers that come into view as you enter a consumer electronics store. Such offerings all suffer the same problem, though. Just as you're getting your groove on, the built-in battery dies and you have to wait hours while it juices up from a wall socket. What mobile music lovers like me need are wireless speakers that can charge in minutes, and then last for hours. An impossible dream? Sam Beck from Portland's Blueshift doesn't think so. He's developed mono and stereo portable Bluetooth speakers powered by supercapacitors. Helium users can look forward to a super quick charge time, hours of full volume playback and years of recharge cycles before needing to consider a supercap refresh.  Read More
Genetically modified cells implanted in the body monitor the blood-fat level and produce a...
Most who have tried it would agree that dieting is a generally unpleasant, and an oftentimes ineffective way to lose weight in the long-term. The biggest hurdle for many is the constant hunger that comes from a change in their regular diet. Biotechnologists at ETH-Zurich have created a genetic helper that could one day put an end to the hunger pangs.  Read More
The Gundam-inspired 'Niigata model' Hiriko folding electric car mockup at the Tokyo Motor ... One of the standout oddities at the Tokyo Motor Show this year was a Hiriko fold-up electric two-seater which received a Gundam-style makeover courtesy of Kunio Okawara, the legendary mechanical designer responsible for a veritable shopping list of mecha designs.  Read More
Snow2 displays speed, navigation and even texts and voice calls in the skier's and snowboa...
Recon Instruments first came to our attention back in 2010 with the release of the world's first heads up display (HUD) for skiers and snowboarders. The company has now outed the fourth generation of the device, the Snow2, which adds extra processing grunt and puts the focus on connectivity.  Read More
Mercedes shows the AMG Vision Gran Turismo at the 2013 LA Auto Show
Whereas the concepts of the Frankfurt Motor Show were largely about flash styling and new packaging, the concepts and cars of this month's Los Angeles Auto Show were more focused on forward-thinking technology and green design. Fuel cells, hybrid powertrains and self-driving systems were themes across several models. Of course, there was still plenty of flash and hot styling, too.  Read More
Nissan's Autonomous Drive Leaf hits the public highway for the first time Two weeks after taking Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe for a short drive around the National Diet Front Garden in central Tokyo, the Leaf packing Nissan's Autonomous Drive (AD) technology has hit the public highways for the first time.  Read More
Gizmag reviews ThermaCELL's Heated Insoles
ThermaCELL released its wirelessly-controlled Heated Insoles in 2012, and I've been wondering about them ever since. A local store couldn't keep the things in stock last winter, yet I've also seen more than a few user reviews stating that they just don't work. Given that I live somewhere where cold toes are a common problem for several months a year, I really wanted to know what the case was ... and I figured that lots of other people would like to know, too. I got the company to send me a pair, in order to find out.  Read More
Gizmag compares the features and specs of the iPad mini with Retina Display and 2013 Nexus...
If you're looking to pick up a smaller tablet this holiday season, it's hard to beat Apple's Retina iPad mini and the Google/Asus Nexus 7. If you've narrowed your search down to these two, do you go with the bigger screen or the smaller price? Join Gizmag, as we compare the features and specs of the iPad mini with Retina Display and 2013 Nexus 7.  Read More
Teki allows an internet-connected Kinect box to take the place of a trip to the doctor's o...
Like many other parts of the world, Spain's Basque Country is currently faced with an increasing population of senior citizens placing strain upon the limited resources of the health care system. That's why the Teki project was instituted. It allows patients with chronic conditions to quickly check in with their doctors via an internet-connected Microsoft Kinect unit, thus reducing the number of time-consuming office visits, and catching problems before they require hospitalization.  Read More
Is it supposed to look like that? In this case, yes (Photo:  Steve Jurvetson)
The terms "auger in" and "lawndart" refer to rather exciting and decidedly dangerous methods of recovering a rocket, during which the screaming rocket buries its pointy end deep in the ground. Such over-enthusiastic landings provided a group of research students from the University of Washington (UWash) the inspiration for a new approach to collecting samples from hostile environments, such as the crater of an erupting volcano or a melting nuclear reactor.  Read More
The supercapacitor-powered Helium Bluetooth speakers from Blueshift
Sharing music with friends through laptop or smartphone speakers can be less than satisfying, which perhaps goes some way to explaining the overwhelming choice of portable Bluetooth speakers that come into view as you enter a consumer electronics store. Such offerings all suffer the same problem, though. Just as you're getting your groove on, the built-in battery dies and you have to wait hours while it juices up from a wall socket. What mobile music lovers like me need are wireless speakers that can charge in minutes, and then last for hours. An impossible dream? Sam Beck from Portland's Blueshift doesn't think so. He's developed mono and stereo portable Bluetooth speakers powered by supercapacitors. Helium users can look forward to a super quick charge time, hours of full volume playback and years of recharge cycles before needing to consider a supercap refresh.  Read More
Genetically modified cells implanted in the body monitor the blood-fat level and produce a...
Most who have tried it would agree that dieting is a generally unpleasant, and an oftentimes ineffective way to lose weight in the long-term. The biggest hurdle for many is the constant hunger that comes from a change in their regular diet. Biotechnologists at ETH-Zurich have created a genetic helper that could one day put an end to the hunger pangs.  Read More
The Gundam-inspired 'Niigata model' Hiriko folding electric car mockup at the Tokyo Motor ... One of the standout oddities at the Tokyo Motor Show this year was a Hiriko fold-up electric two-seater which received a Gundam-style makeover courtesy of Kunio Okawara, the legendary mechanical designer responsible for a veritable shopping list of mecha designs.  Read More
Snow2 displays speed, navigation and even texts and voice calls in the skier's and snowboa...
Recon Instruments first came to our attention back in 2010 with the release of the world's first heads up display (HUD) for skiers and snowboarders. The company has now outed the fourth generation of the device, the Snow2, which adds extra processing grunt and puts the focus on connectivity.  Read More
Mercedes shows the AMG Vision Gran Turismo at the 2013 LA Auto Show
Whereas the concepts of the Frankfurt Motor Show were largely about flash styling and new packaging, the concepts and cars of this month's Los Angeles Auto Show were more focused on forward-thinking technology and green design. Fuel cells, hybrid powertrains and self-driving systems were themes across several models. Of course, there was still plenty of flash and hot styling, too.  Read More
Nissan's Autonomous Drive Leaf hits the public highway for the first time Two weeks after taking Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe for a short drive around the National Diet Front Garden in central Tokyo, the Leaf packing Nissan's Autonomous Drive (AD) technology has hit the public highways for the first time.  Read More
Gizmag reviews ThermaCELL's Heated Insoles
ThermaCELL released its wirelessly-controlled Heated Insoles in 2012, and I've been wondering about them ever since. A local store couldn't keep the things in stock last winter, yet I've also seen more than a few user reviews stating that they just don't work. Given that I live somewhere where cold toes are a common problem for several months a year, I really wanted to know what the case was ... and I figured that lots of other people would like to know, too. I got the company to send me a pair, in order to find out.  Read More
Gizmag compares the features and specs of the iPad mini with Retina Display and 2013 Nexus...
If you're looking to pick up a smaller tablet this holiday season, it's hard to beat Apple's Retina iPad mini and the Google/Asus Nexus 7. If you've narrowed your search down to these two, do you go with the bigger screen or the smaller price? Join Gizmag, as we compare the features and specs of the iPad mini with Retina Display and 2013 Nexus 7.  Read More
Teki allows an internet-connected Kinect box to take the place of a trip to the doctor's o...
Like many other parts of the world, Spain's Basque Country is currently faced with an increasing population of senior citizens placing strain upon the limited resources of the health care system. That's why the Teki project was instituted. It allows patients with chronic conditions to quickly check in with their doctors via an internet-connected Microsoft Kinect unit, thus reducing the number of time-consuming office visits, and catching problems before they require hospitalization.  Read More
Is it supposed to look like that? In this case, yes (Photo:  Steve Jurvetson)
The terms "auger in" and "lawndart" refer to rather exciting and decidedly dangerous methods of recovering a rocket, during which the screaming rocket buries its pointy end deep in the ground. Such over-enthusiastic landings provided a group of research students from the University of Washington (UWash) the inspiration for a new approach to collecting samples from hostile environments, such as the crater of an erupting volcano or a melting nuclear reactor.  Read More
The supercapacitor-powered Helium Bluetooth speakers from Blueshift
Sharing music with friends through laptop or smartphone speakers can be less than satisfying, which perhaps goes some way to explaining the overwhelming choice of portable Bluetooth speakers that come into view as you enter a consumer electronics store. Such offerings all suffer the same problem, though. Just as you're getting your groove on, the built-in battery dies and you have to wait hours while it juices up from a wall socket. What mobile music lovers like me need are wireless speakers that can charge in minutes, and then last for hours. An impossible dream? Sam Beck from Portland's Blueshift doesn't think so. He's developed mono and stereo portable Bluetooth speakers powered by supercapacitors. Helium users can look forward to a super quick charge time, hours of full volume playback and years of recharge cycles before needing to consider a supercap refresh.  Read More
Genetically modified cells implanted in the body monitor the blood-fat level and produce a...
Most who have tried it would agree that dieting is a generally unpleasant, and an oftentimes ineffective way to lose weight in the long-term. The biggest hurdle for many is the constant hunger that comes from a change in their regular diet. Biotechnologists at ETH-Zurich have created a genetic helper that could one day put an end to the hunger pangs.  Read More
The Gundam-inspired 'Niigata model' Hiriko folding electric car mockup at the Tokyo Motor ... One of the standout oddities at the Tokyo Motor Show this year was a Hiriko fold-up electric two-seater which received a Gundam-style makeover courtesy of Kunio Okawara, the legendary mechanical designer responsible for a veritable shopping list of mecha designs.  Read More


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