New and Emerging Technology News part 222 ~ NEW GEN TECH LIFE : new generation technology news

Thursday, 20 March 2014

New and Emerging Technology News part 222

The Bamboo Lakou proposal calls for sustainably-sourced bamboo to be used to jump-start a ...
Architectural Association School of Architecture student John Naylor has envisioned a new and sustainable future for suburbs of Haiti's capital Port au Prince, following the earthquake which devastated the country three years ago. Dubbed "Bamboo Lakou," Naylor's proposal calls for sustainably-sourced bamboo to be used to jump-start the creation of a new infrastructure which is wholly Haitian in character.  Read More
With a design modeled after an old Viewmaster, the Poppy uses an iPhone's own camera to ca...
There are several methods for creating 3D images with an iPhone, and most of those involve just altering an existing image using an app. With the Poppy, you'll be able to shoot your own 3D images and video instantly with just your iPhone. According to the developers, the stereoscopic images produced with a Poppy and an iPhone's HD camera lend a true sense of immersion to your typical snapshots.  Read More
Recon Instruments' Pilot Edition sunglasses will come loaded with applications aimed at cy... To highlight the potential of its Recon Jet for cycling, Recon Instruments is marking the Tour de France by launching the Pilot Edition of its high tech sunglasses. While the glasses won’t ship until sometime “before the end of the year,” early birds can shave US$100 off the regular pre-sale price by pre-ordering before the end of the Tour de France.  Read More
The WearIT smartwatch is aimed at sports and outdoors users
Although smartwatches have been around since the 1980s with devices such as Seiko’s Data 2000 watch that could store 2,000 characters in its user-programmable memory, there has recently been an explosion in the number of devices vying for wrist real estate. One that caught our eye at CE week in New York is the WearIT smartwatch targeted at outdoorsy and sporty types.  Read More
Gizmag reviews the Cynaps bone conduction hat
Walk into any electronics store and you'll see a wide variety of headphones. From tiny earbuds to high-end cans, they come in all shapes and sizes. They all have one thing in common though: they deliver sound directly to your ears. "Duh," right? But bone conduction goes in another direction: it skips the outer ear and takes the scenic route into your inner ear. Let's take a look at an accessory that plays your skull like an instrument, Max Virtual's Cynaps bone conduction hat.  Read More
The NEXT ion thruster has run for 48,000 hours (Image: NASA Christopher J. Lynch (Photo: W...
On Monday, NASA announced that its advanced ion propulsion engine operated for 48,000 hours, or five and a half years – and that’s without stops for fuel or coffee. Developed under NASA's Evolutionary Xenon Thruster (NEXT) project, the engine now holds the record for the longest test duration of any type of space propulsion system.  Read More
When fully extended, The Roost lifts the top of a 13-inch MacBook Air screen to 19.25 inch... It's no surprise to learn that prolonged use of a laptop is bad for your posture. The solution has long been to use a laptop stand, but many of stands don't provide adequate height, and when it comes time to hit the road, they tend to stay on the desk at home. The Roost is a new take on the laptop stand that aims to address these issues.  Read More
The Grip & Shoot system attaches an ergonomic pistol grip to an iPhone and connects via Bl...
Smartphones are replacing digital cameras as the go-to device for snapshots these days, but holding them sideways and using the touch screen isn't an ideal method for taking photos. The Grip & Shoot system offers a less awkward alternative. Currently on show at CE Week in New York, the system attaches an ergonomic pistol grip to an iPhone and connects via Bluetooth, providing greater control when taking photos and shooting video.  Read More
A few minutes of spinning should be enough for a quick phone call
It's always the way. Just when you have to make that important phone call, your smartphone tells you it's time to recharge your battery and then promptly dies. Little wonder then that the backup charger market has become such a crowded space. Arguably the most appealing battery blocks available are those that can also offer off-grid emergency power from sources like PV panels or kinetic energy. The Voltmaker takes the latter approach, providing your smartphone with enough juice to make a quick phone call with a flick (or more accurately, several flicks) of the wrist.  Read More
Kirobo will travel to the ISS on August 4
In what may not be the most historic event in space exploration, but may be the cutest, Toyota has announced that the Kibo Robot Project’s “robot astronaut” Kirobo will be sent to the International Space Station on August 4. Unlike its human counterparts, the 13.4-in (34 cm) tall humanoid robot will travel aboard an unmanned Kounotori 4 cargo spacecraft launched from the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency's Tanegashima Space Center atop a H-IIB rocket. Once at the ISS, Kirobo is scheduled to conduct the first-ever robot-human conversation experiments in December.  Read More

Adidas recently revealed its new Springblade running shoes, which feature angled elastic b...
Athletes are always looking for equipment that can give them an edge, and for runners, that means shoes that can launch them ahead with minimal energy. In the past, most shoe companies have produced shoes with flexible mid-soles that help the wearer push off of the ground more easily, but some recent footwear from Adidas might take that concept to a new level. The aptly-named Adidas Springblade uses angled elastic blades on the soles to quickly propel the wearer forward as if they had springs on their feet.  Read More

The Practical Meter reveals the mysteries of charge times from different devices Recharging a smartphone has become a part of everyday life for most people. But while the device’s display will usually tell you it is charging, it won’t tell you how long you’ll be twiddling your thumbs before the charge ticks over to 100 percent. That’s where the Practical Meter comes in.  Read More
This is what you do when you're testing solar-powered gadgets in a tree-filled neighborhoo...
Introduced early last year, the Waka Waka lamp is a solar-powered LED light designed for use both in first-world campsites and third-world homes. Towards the end of the year, the Waka Waka Foundation followed up on the lamp’s success with a similar product, known as Waka Waka Power. It not only provides light, but can also be used to charge up your electronic gadgets. We recently had a chance to try one out ... during sunny breaks in an otherwise very wet and cloudy June.  Read More
Volvo's electric bus will be on the roads of Gothenburg in 2015
The city of Gothenburg in Sweden is getting ready to ride into the future with a cutting-edge bus service system whose proponents hope will blaze a new trail in urban mobility. Part of a project called ElectricCity, which is slated for a 2015 launch, the electric bus will be fueled by electricity generated from renewable sources. The buses themselves will be energy-efficient, near silent and will not emit any greenhouse gases. Plans for the system also include an indoor bus stop.  Read More
The Fujifilm X-M1 interchangeable lens camera system
Fujifilm has announced the forthcoming release of the X-M1, the third member of the company's X-Series interchangeable lens camera systems. The lightweight compact sports the same 16.3 megapixel sensor found in the X-Pro1 and X-E1, as well as up to ISO25600 sensitivity, built-in Wi-Fi technology and an LCD display that tilts vertically. The company has also placed all of the camera's key buttons and dials on the right side for one-handed operation.  Read More
One of the PairASight prototypes shown at CE Week in New York Imagine if you were having a real-time conversation with someone at another location, and wanted them to see what you were seeing, from the perspective you were seeing it. Well, you soon may be able to do just that, once the PairASight project is up and running.  Read More
The myIDkey voice-searchable USB drive for password management
Password manager programs allow users to store all their personal login information behind one master password. Now, a product called myIDkey is looking to make that process portable. It's a fingerprint-encrypted, voice-searchable thumb drive that stores all of a user's passwords and private data.  Read More
The Sony Cyber-shot RX100 II boasts Wi-Fi with NFC, a tilting screen, and a more sensitive...
Sony rocked the compact camera world last year when it launched the RX100, a pocketable zoom camera with a larger than usual sensor. Now it's revealed the Cyber-shot RX100 II. The new device adds Wi-Fi connectivity with NFC, a tilting screen, and a more sensitive sensor. Sony also showed off the RX1R, which will be sold alongside the RX1 and removes the optical low-pass filter for sharper pictures.  Read More
Tiffen's Steadicam Curve for GoPro Hero, on display at CE Week in New York
Although the GoPro Hero actioncam is designed to be mounted on things like helmets or handlebars, it can also of course be used for regular ol’ hand-held shooting. As with any other camcorder, however, its hand-held footage can be on the shaky side. That’s why Tiffen recently unveiled its Steadicam Curve for GoPro Hero.  Read More

Screen capture from the Anki Drive app, highlighting its AI street smarts
Name a toy car that follows lines while navigating. A hundred years ago you would've answered slot cars, which use a physical line. Twenty years ago saw the mass production of toys that use optical sensors to navigate a printed line. This generation's new racing wonder toy, Anki Drive, still uses optical sensors to navigate an invisible line, but can adopt numerous racing strategies, detect other cars and conditions on the track, and react instantly. While nominally the successor in the toy race car market, Anki Drive arguably has more in common with a Google driverless car than it does with its scaled toy counterparts, and Anki has grander ambitions in the field of autonomous robotics.  Read More
You probably wouldn't need to be told not to swim in this – a particularly scummy cyanobac... Cyanobacteria, more commonly known as blue-green algae, can potentially be quite nasty. Some types of the bacteria produce toxins, which can poison humans or other animals that ingest water in which they’re present. Now, however, scientists are developing a portable sensor that will instantly alert users to the presence of the microbes in water samples.  Read More
The Anakonda KAN200 flexible speaker from K-array
Ensuring the dulcet tones of your keynote speaker reach every nook and cranny of a crowded conference room can be something of a challenge. Even perfectly-positioned box speakers and a powerful sound system might leave some guests wondering what exactly was said. Italian audio specialist K-array has come up with a distinctly bendy answer to the problem of placing speakers in those awkward, out of reach places. The Anakonda KAN200 is so flexible it can be wrapped around lamp stands or table legs, mounted to curved surfaces, or quite literally be tied in knots. It promises crisp, intelligible audio, and can be combined with other units to form one seamless sound line over 200 ft in length.  Read More
The Ziphius is a remote-control aquatic drone, that’s capable of autonomous behavior
It wasn’t all that long ago that the product category of “consumer aerial drone” was created, thanks to the introduction of smart-but-relatively-cheap quadcopters such as the AR Drone. These remote-control aircraft can be a lot of fun, but ... what about those of us who prefer the water to the skies? That’s where the Ziphius comes in. It’s a smartphone or tablet-controlled camera-equipped aquatic drone, that’s capable of autonomous behavior.  Read More
A patent for a Google smartwatch was spotted last year
Google is moving full speed ahead into the world of hardware with plans to develop an Android-powered gaming console and wristwatch, according to a report in the Wall Street Journal.  Read More
Jason Learmonth tells us about his bike, his gear, and the role of a motorcycle paramedic.
Jason Learmonth is a paramedic with a difference. Instead of an ambulance, he gets around town on a motorcycle that's kitted out with almost every piece of clinical equipment an ambulance carries. It's part of a trial that's putting two of these machines on the road in Melbourne, Australia, for three years to discover whether the bike's ability to get into hard-to-reach places and move through congested traffic is useful enough to make it a permanent part of the Ambulance service. I followed Jason around for an afternoon to capture some of his extraordinary working day in pictures.  Read More
Samsung's Curved OLED TV is now available in South Korea
Though Samsung and LG both showed off curved OLED TVs at CES in January, the latter was first to market. Samsung has now caught up, and given its 55-inch immersive goggle-box a luxury "Timeless Arena" frame before releasing it to South Korean consumers.  Read More

  UTOMOTIVE
WaterCar's Panther is as at home on the water as it is on the land (Photo: WaterCar, Inc.)
Recreational amphibious vehicles are nothing new, but most are one-offs, and most tend to be boats that can creep on land, or cars that slosh slowly through water. There are exceptions, notably entries from Gibbs, but arguably, amphibious vehicles have not made the grade as true all-round vehicles that can be driven to work during the week, and on the lake on weekends. WaterCar's new Panther straddles the divide.  Read More
Canadian high school student Ann Makosinski demonstrating her body-heat powered Hollow Fla...
At the tender age of 15, Canadian high school student Ann Makosinski has designed and built a flashlight powered by body heat. Her Hollow Flashlight secured her a finalist slot in the 15-16 age group of the Google Science Fair ahead of thousands of entries from more than 100 countries. My science project in tenth grade was a volcano that only worked about half the time, so I think she has me beat.  Read More
The modified Jetstream that flew 500 miles (800 km) under ground supervision (Photo: BAE S...
In April of this year, a BAE Systems Jetstream research aircraft flew from Preston in Lancashire, England, to Inverness, Scotland and back. This 500-mile (805 km) journey wouldn't be worth noting if it weren't for the small detail that its pilot was not on board, but sitting on the ground in Warton, Lancashire and that the plane did most of the flying itself. Even this alteration of a standard commercial prop plane into an Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) seems a back page item until you realize that this may herald the biggest revolution in civil aviation since Wilbur Wright won the coin toss at Kitty Hawk in 1903.  Read More
The new LeapPad Ultra from LeapFrog has a larger screen and looks more like a grown-up tab...
The LeapPad Ultra follows on from the LeapPad 2, but at first glance it's obvious that this is more than a token update. Thanks to a seven-inch screen with a 1024 x 600 resolution, it instantly looks more like a standard tablet than the LeapPad 2 (with its five-inch 480 x 272 offering). The new light-touch screen has also been designed to work with fingers or a stylus, so little users can practice their writing skills.  Read More
Hammock Bliss Sky Bed creates a flatter surface for sleeping While hammocks can certainly be comfortable option for campers, many will quickly miss the flat, supportive surface of their beds at home and may even opt to forgo the hammock for a night on the ground. The new Hammock Bliss Sky Bed uses a unique design intended to make suspended sleeping more comfortable.  Read More
The Paper Pulp Helmet offers an affordable recyclable bicycle helmet for use with bike sha...
Bike sharing schemes have become a familiar feature in many major cities around the world. They are designed to help free up increasingly clogged urban roads and ease congestion on public transport networks. The only problem is that bicycle helmets aren't offered as standard. So unless you want to bring your own, you're left with with little choice but to go without. The Paper Pulp Helmet offers an ingenious alternative.  Read More
Apple is reportedly moving further away from Samsung, sourcing TSMC for some of its next-g...
The relationship between Apple and Samsung is, well, complicated. They're like two bitter exes who work together, or maybe live in the same building. If circumstances permitted, they'd never see each other again. But, try as they may, they just can't get each other out of their lives. Can you say awkward? Well, that relationship is about to take one step closer to complete severance, as Apple is reportedly partially switching to TSMC for the coming year's iOS processors.  Read More
FitBark uses integrated motion sensors to track your pooch's activities
Is your best friend looking a little pudgy and out of shape? Are they a little sluggish and out of it when you hang out, preferring a nap over a run or walk? Don't make things awkward by telling them, just slide on a collar while they're sleeping and encourage them to get more exercise. We're talking about your dog, of course, and the new FitBark collar.  Read More
Researchers at North Carolina State University have used the Xbox Kinect to put roaches on...
There has been no shortage of uses floated for Microsoft's Xbox Kinect that go beyond the realm of gaming, from 3D modeling to docking satellites and even garbage catching. Now we can add controlling cyborg cockroaches to the list. As part of ongoing research into piloting biobots, researchers at North Carolina State University have used the video game technology to put roaches on autopilot.  Read More
Buttercup poses with his 3D printed foot Buttercup the duck was born with a strange birth defect. One of the little duckling's legs faced the wrong direction. To remedy the situation, 3D printing technology has been used to create a prosthetic leg that should allow Buttercup to live a somewhat normal, albeit much more famous, life.  Read MoreUTOMOTIVE
WaterCar's Panther is as at home on the water as it is on the land (Photo: WaterCar, Inc.)
Recreational amphibious vehicles are nothing new, but most are one-offs, and most tend to be boats that can creep on land, or cars that slosh slowly through water. There are exceptions, notably entries from Gibbs, but arguably, amphibious vehicles have not made the grade as true all-round vehicles that can be driven to work during the week, and on the lake on weekends. WaterCar's new Panther straddles the divide.  Read More
Canadian high school student Ann Makosinski demonstrating her body-heat powered Hollow Fla...
At the tender age of 15, Canadian high school student Ann Makosinski has designed and built a flashlight powered by body heat. Her Hollow Flashlight secured her a finalist slot in the 15-16 age group of the Google Science Fair ahead of thousands of entries from more than 100 countries. My science project in tenth grade was a volcano that only worked about half the time, so I think she has me beat.  Read More
The modified Jetstream that flew 500 miles (800 km) under ground supervision (Photo: BAE S...
In April of this year, a BAE Systems Jetstream research aircraft flew from Preston in Lancashire, England, to Inverness, Scotland and back. This 500-mile (805 km) journey wouldn't be worth noting if it weren't for the small detail that its pilot was not on board, but sitting on the ground in Warton, Lancashire and that the plane did most of the flying itself. Even this alteration of a standard commercial prop plane into an Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) seems a back page item until you realize that this may herald the biggest revolution in civil aviation since Wilbur Wright won the coin toss at Kitty Hawk in 1903.  Read More
The new LeapPad Ultra from LeapFrog has a larger screen and looks more like a grown-up tab...
The LeapPad Ultra follows on from the LeapPad 2, but at first glance it's obvious that this is more than a token update. Thanks to a seven-inch screen with a 1024 x 600 resolution, it instantly looks more like a standard tablet than the LeapPad 2 (with its five-inch 480 x 272 offering). The new light-touch screen has also been designed to work with fingers or a stylus, so little users can practice their writing skills.  Read More
Hammock Bliss Sky Bed creates a flatter surface for sleeping While hammocks can certainly be comfortable option for campers, many will quickly miss the flat, supportive surface of their beds at home and may even opt to forgo the hammock for a night on the ground. The new Hammock Bliss Sky Bed uses a unique design intended to make suspended sleeping more comfortable.  Read More
The Paper Pulp Helmet offers an affordable recyclable bicycle helmet for use with bike sha...
Bike sharing schemes have become a familiar feature in many major cities around the world. They are designed to help free up increasingly clogged urban roads and ease congestion on public transport networks. The only problem is that bicycle helmets aren't offered as standard. So unless you want to bring your own, you're left with with little choice but to go without. The Paper Pulp Helmet offers an ingenious alternative.  Read More
Apple is reportedly moving further away from Samsung, sourcing TSMC for some of its next-g...
The relationship between Apple and Samsung is, well, complicated. They're like two bitter exes who work together, or maybe live in the same building. If circumstances permitted, they'd never see each other again. But, try as they may, they just can't get each other out of their lives. Can you say awkward? Well, that relationship is about to take one step closer to complete severance, as Apple is reportedly partially switching to TSMC for the coming year's iOS processors.  Read More
FitBark uses integrated motion sensors to track your pooch's activities
Is your best friend looking a little pudgy and out of shape? Are they a little sluggish and out of it when you hang out, preferring a nap over a run or walk? Don't make things awkward by telling them, just slide on a collar while they're sleeping and encourage them to get more exercise. We're talking about your dog, of course, and the new FitBark collar.  Read More
Researchers at North Carolina State University have used the Xbox Kinect to put roaches on...
There has been no shortage of uses floated for Microsoft's Xbox Kinect that go beyond the realm of gaming, from 3D modeling to docking satellites and even garbage catching. Now we can add controlling cyborg cockroaches to the list. As part of ongoing research into piloting biobots, researchers at North Carolina State University have used the video game technology to put roaches on autopilot.  Read More
Buttercup poses with his 3D printed foot Buttercup the duck was born with a strange birth defect. One of the little duckling's legs faced the wrong direction. To remedy the situation, 3D printing technology has been used to create a prosthetic leg that should allow Buttercup to live a somewhat normal, albeit much more famous, life.  Read MoreUTOMOTIVE
WaterCar's Panther is as at home on the water as it is on the land (Photo: WaterCar, Inc.)
Recreational amphibious vehicles are nothing new, but most are one-offs, and most tend to be boats that can creep on land, or cars that slosh slowly through water. There are exceptions, notably entries from Gibbs, but arguably, amphibious vehicles have not made the grade as true all-round vehicles that can be driven to work during the week, and on the lake on weekends. WaterCar's new Panther straddles the divide.  Read More
Canadian high school student Ann Makosinski demonstrating her body-heat powered Hollow Fla...
At the tender age of 15, Canadian high school student Ann Makosinski has designed and built a flashlight powered by body heat. Her Hollow Flashlight secured her a finalist slot in the 15-16 age group of the Google Science Fair ahead of thousands of entries from more than 100 countries. My science project in tenth grade was a volcano that only worked about half the time, so I think she has me beat.  Read More
The modified Jetstream that flew 500 miles (800 km) under ground supervision (Photo: BAE S...
In April of this year, a BAE Systems Jetstream research aircraft flew from Preston in Lancashire, England, to Inverness, Scotland and back. This 500-mile (805 km) journey wouldn't be worth noting if it weren't for the small detail that its pilot was not on board, but sitting on the ground in Warton, Lancashire and that the plane did most of the flying itself. Even this alteration of a standard commercial prop plane into an Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) seems a back page item until you realize that this may herald the biggest revolution in civil aviation since Wilbur Wright won the coin toss at Kitty Hawk in 1903.  Read More
The new LeapPad Ultra from LeapFrog has a larger screen and looks more like a grown-up tab...
The LeapPad Ultra follows on from the LeapPad 2, but at first glance it's obvious that this is more than a token update. Thanks to a seven-inch screen with a 1024 x 600 resolution, it instantly looks more like a standard tablet than the LeapPad 2 (with its five-inch 480 x 272 offering). The new light-touch screen has also been designed to work with fingers or a stylus, so little users can practice their writing skills.  Read More
Hammock Bliss Sky Bed creates a flatter surface for sleeping While hammocks can certainly be comfortable option for campers, many will quickly miss the flat, supportive surface of their beds at home and may even opt to forgo the hammock for a night on the ground. The new Hammock Bliss Sky Bed uses a unique design intended to make suspended sleeping more comfortable.  Read More
The Paper Pulp Helmet offers an affordable recyclable bicycle helmet for use with bike sha...
Bike sharing schemes have become a familiar feature in many major cities around the world. They are designed to help free up increasingly clogged urban roads and ease congestion on public transport networks. The only problem is that bicycle helmets aren't offered as standard. So unless you want to bring your own, you're left with with little choice but to go without. The Paper Pulp Helmet offers an ingenious alternative.  Read More
Apple is reportedly moving further away from Samsung, sourcing TSMC for some of its next-g...
The relationship between Apple and Samsung is, well, complicated. They're like two bitter exes who work together, or maybe live in the same building. If circumstances permitted, they'd never see each other again. But, try as they may, they just can't get each other out of their lives. Can you say awkward? Well, that relationship is about to take one step closer to complete severance, as Apple is reportedly partially switching to TSMC for the coming year's iOS processors.  Read More
FitBark uses integrated motion sensors to track your pooch's activities
Is your best friend looking a little pudgy and out of shape? Are they a little sluggish and out of it when you hang out, preferring a nap over a run or walk? Don't make things awkward by telling them, just slide on a collar while they're sleeping and encourage them to get more exercise. We're talking about your dog, of course, and the new FitBark collar.  Read More
Researchers at North Carolina State University have used the Xbox Kinect to put roaches on...
There has been no shortage of uses floated for Microsoft's Xbox Kinect that go beyond the realm of gaming, from 3D modeling to docking satellites and even garbage catching. Now we can add controlling cyborg cockroaches to the list. As part of ongoing research into piloting biobots, researchers at North Carolina State University have used the video game technology to put roaches on autopilot.  Read More
Buttercup poses with his 3D printed foot Buttercup the duck was born with a strange birth defect. One of the little duckling's legs faced the wrong direction. To remedy the situation, 3D printing technology has been used to create a prosthetic leg that should allow Buttercup to live a somewhat normal, albeit much more famous, life.  Read More

A new Wi-Fi-based 'Wi-Vi' system can track people moving behind walls (Image: Christine Da...
Researchers at MIT's Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory have developed what could become low-cost, X-ray vision. The system, known as "Wi-Vi," is based on a concept similar to radar and sonar imaging, but rather than using high-power signals, this tech uses reflected Wi-Fi signals to track the movement of people behind walls and closed doors.  Read More
Bitponics at CE Week 2013 keeps green thumbs connected with their gardens
Don't want to ask your creepy neighbor to check on your plants while you're on vacation? Take care of them from the cloud, instead. One of the latest products in the burgeoning Internet of Things, the Bitponics system is a "personal gardening assistant" designed to make hydroponics gardening easier. The system connects the garden to the cloud, letting gardeners keep an eye on their plants and exercise their green thumb even when they're away.  Read More
The KeyMe kiosk stores keys as digital patterns in the cloud for latter duplicating Getting locked out of the house is especially frustrating when you’ve forgotten the “safe” place where you hid the spare key. As an alternative to sleeping in the garden shed or emergency locksmith fees, KeyMe allows you to store a digital version of your house key in the cloud from which a duplicate key can be cut on demand.  Read More
The German Aerospace Center's new humanoid robot TORO looks like it means business (Photo:...
Engineers at the German Aerospace Center (DLR) have proven once again that they know how to make a snazzy looking robot. Quietly announced to little fanfare, DLR's Robotics and Mechatronics Center recently put the finishing touches on its DLR-Biped, a pair of shiny blue legs that first stepped onto the scene in 2009. Those legs have now been upgraded to the status of a full-fledged humanoid robot, sporting an all-new upper body and a new name: the Torque Controlled Humanoid Robot, or TORO for short.  Read More
Microsoft announced a landmark deal with Time Warner Cable, to let U.S. subscribers watch ...
Remember that 21st century living room revolution? You know, the one that was supposed to have arrived about two years ago, and have been spearheaded by Apple? Well, it's showing some signs of life after all, and one platform just solidified its standing as the most likely to lead the way. Microsoft has announced a big deal with Time Warner Cable (TWC), that will let the company's US cable subscribers stream live TV using the Xbox 360.  Read More
Espinar House offers a modern take on the traditional cabin in the woods (Photo: Miguel de...
In May of this year, Spanish architect Miguel de Guzmán completed a residential property located in rural Spain. Dubbed "Espinar House," the property echoes the classic theme of a lone cabin in the woods, but features a touch of modernity in the form of a translucent polycarbonate exterior, a rooftop garden, and an inexpensive chipboard interior.  Read More
A child playing as seen by a person with Age-related Macular Degeneration
Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is the leading cause of blindness among older adults in the western world. Unfortunately, conventional optical aids provide little help for a retina which has lost the acuity of its central area. Now a team of multinational researchers led by University of California, San Diego (UCSD) Professor Joseph Ford has created a telescopic contact lens that can switch between normal and magnified vision to offer AMD patients a relatively unobtrusive way to enhance their vision.  Read More
Rethink set up red fridges around Europe that only Canadian passports would open A fridge full of free beer sounds like a great thing to find sitting on a street corner, but what if you needed a Canadian to open it? That was the puzzle posed by the Rethink advertising agency on behalf of Canada’s Molson brewery. This northern spring, Rethink set up red fridges at various locations around Europe that would only open if a Canadian passport was inserted.  Read More
If Apple's rumored smartwatch hits store shelves, a new report suggests it might indeed be... Unless Apple is sending us all on a wild goose chase, it looks like there might be something to those smartwatch rumors. Apple's alleged wrist-based computing device, which has been leaked several times during 2013, is looking even more likely now, as the company recently filed paperwork in Japan for a device called "iWatch."  Read More
The Ikea refugee shelter designed to provide refugees with better living conditions
A tragedy of modern times is the millions of refugees displaced by poverty, oppression, war and natural disaster. Most end up living in canvas tents of a basic design that are hot in summer, cold in winter, and only last about six months in constant use despite some refugees living in such tents for up to 12 years. On World Refugee Day in June, the Ikea Foundation unveiled a new flat-pack refugee shelter with a modular design and solar panel designed to help improve living conditions for refugees.  Read More
 
 
The Guitarduino from Igor Stolarsky
In addition to being a talented player and having a guitar named after him, Les Paul was a dedicated tinkerer. It's rather fitting, then, that one of those famous guitars has been modified to include touch-controlled synths and effects, and an onboard drum machine. The system is built around an Arduino brain externally mounted near the bridge, which routes signals from sensors and buttons through custom code to a preamp/effects processor or a digital audio workstation suite. As you can see and hear from the video after the jump, the aptly-named Guitarduino is quite simply extraordinary.  Read More
For the second time, Factor Bikes claims to have developed the world's most technologicall...
This week Factor Bikes unveiled what could be a new gold standard for technophile road cycling fanatics obsessed with self-quantifying and monitoring. The company claims that its Vis Vires is the "world's most technologically advanced road bike," loaded with wireless sensors, an onboard computer and power crank.  Read More
Madeleine in the process of capturing the smell of a source object
The five traditional senses of perception – sound, sight, smell, touch, and taste – are all capable of triggering memories. However, we haven't yet figured out how to capture copies of all of these inputs. We can capture images on cameras and sounds on audio equipment, we can recreate tastes to a certain degree, and we can simulate touch with physical copies of other things. But what about smells? The ability to capture everyday odors in an immutable state has eluded us. Until now.  Read More
Tel Aviv University's new building, featuring its EcoWall (Image: Axelrod-Grobman Architec...
A new building at Tel Aviv University features a standalone EcoWall that aims to provide vertical garden space and research facilities for its faculty. The university's Porter School of Environmental Studies (PSES) hopes that its new green building design will not only join the small number of LEED certified buildings in the country, but will also highlight sustainable methodologies for future buildings in Israel.  Read More
Danny Choo's Smart Doll combines anime-style vinyl dolls with robotics technology in a com...
In Japan, clockwork automata (karakuri ningyō) emerged in the 17th century, and were mainly sold to wealthy or important people who used them to impress guests. These little mechanical dolls have an illustrious history, but like their Western counterparts they largely went out of fashion by the 20th century. Now, a modern version of these automata that mixes popular anime-style vinyl dolls and hobby robotics is on its way thanks to Danny Choo of Culture Japan.  Read More
Could Berg C.F. Møller's vision prove a blueprint for getting the wooden skyscraper right?...
Skyscrapers dominate the skylines of our major cities, offering more urban density and greater flexibility than smaller buildings. However, concrete- and steel-based tall structures require huge amounts of energy for their construction, which comes at a significant environmental cost. This can be mitigated by incorporating technologies such as solar power, passive cooling systems and efficient lighting into the design, but what if we could go even further and build skyscrapers using sustainable materials? Herein lies the impetus behind recent research into the efficacy of wooden skyscrapers.  Read More
PayPal is looking to extend its brand across the Solar System (Image: Digitally-altered fr...
PayPal has teamed with the SETI Institute and the Space Tourism Society to start preparations for the coming upheavals of Solar System commerce. Having whetted their teeth on global commerce, PayPal is looking forward to the challenge of figuring out how to let John or Jill check their balance when they are living on Mars or visiting the Orbital Technologies commercial space station. It's answer is PayPal Galactic.  Read More
Known as “Wet Nellie” by the crew, this one and only fully operational underwater Lotus Es...
While the pursuit to develop flying cars and Star Warsian land-speeders rages on, the dilemma around developing a functioning underwater vehicle was solved decades ago … by the British Secret Service's Q Branch. In the film The Spy Who Loved Me, James Bond escapes from the obligatory horde of bad guys by driving one very versatile white Lotus Esprit into the ocean. That fully submersible vehicle, is now set to go to auction this September.  Read More
Qardio's QardioCore monitors EKG, physical activity, heart rate and skin temperature
Thanks to the miniaturization of electronics and wireless technology, detailed cardiovascular monitoring no longer requires a visit to the doctor's clinic or a hospital. A new wave of cardiovascular monitoring devices can be carried or worn by patients as they go about their daily routine, with the collected data able to be transmitted wirelessly to healthcare professionals and family members. Healthcare company Qardio has unveiled two such devices that allow patients suffering, or at risk of developing cardiovascular conditions, to better monitor their health.  Read More
The Arkyd 100 funded by a Kickstarter campaign will launch in 2015
Planetary Resources, Inc., the asteroid mining company based in Bellevue, Washington, completed its Kickstarter campaign on Sunday after a 33-day run that raised US$1,505,366 from 17,600 backers. The purpose of the campaign was to raise public interest in the company and asteroid mining in general by crowdfunding an Arkyd 100 space telescope that will be made available to the public.  Read More
 


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