New and Emerging Technology News part 247 ~ NEW GEN TECH LIFE : new generation technology news

Saturday, 29 March 2014

New and Emerging Technology News part 247

Gizmag compares the features and specs of the iPad Air to the previous three full-sized iP...
With the new iPad Air set to launch next week, you might be wondering whether it's worth the upgrade. Or maybe you're eyeing a discounted or used older model, and wondering if that's worth saving a few bucks on. Let Gizmag lend a hand, as we compare the new iPad Air to the 4th-generation iPad, 3rd-generation iPad, and the iPad 2.  Read More

The Ungoverned is a powered board designed to tackle everything from rocks to snow
In its early days, skateboarding was known in some circles as "sidewalk surfing," but lately we've seen a number of powered boards designed to leave the street behind and head off road. In 2009 we looked at one such prototype board known as the Scarpar Powerboard. The inventor of that board, Dan Baldwin, has now developed another prototype all-terrain board called the Ungoverned that is designed to tackle everything from rocks to snow.  Read More
Artist's concept of the MAVEN spacecraft (Image: NASA/Goddard)
On Monday, NASA confirmed the launch date of the Mars Atmosphere and Volatile EvolutioN mission (MAVEN). According to the space agency, MAVEN will launch atop a United Launch Alliance Atlas V 401 rocket from Space Launch Complex 41 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Florida at 1:28 PM EST on November 18 on the first leg of its mission to study the upper atmosphere of the Red Planet.  Read More
Gizmag compares the features and specs of the iPad Air and the 2014 edition of the Galaxy ...
With the iPad Air locked, loaded, and ready to launch, perhaps you're wondering how it sizes up next to (quite possibly) the best tablet Samsung has to offer. Is the Galaxy Note 10.1 2014 Edition worth a look? Join Gizmag, as we put the features and specs of the two side-by-side.  Read More
FiberFix reportedly bonds to a number of surfaces, including steel and wood People may make jokes about how duct tape can be used to fix just about anything, but a new product is claimed to be 100 times stronger than our matte-silver friend. It's called FiberFix, and it's a tape impregnated with a resin that reportedly "hardens like steel."  Read More
The Concept 1865 uses a 39-inch front wheel and 24-inch rear wheel
"What would the first pedal cycle have looked like if its 19th-century pioneers had enjoyed access to today's advanced materials?" That's the question German chemical and plastics company BASF seeks to answer with the Concept 1865 bicycle, which updates a 19th century penny-farthing bicycle design with a near full-plastic build and an electric motor.  Read More
Sierra Nevada Corporation (SNC) has carried out the first gliding approach and landing tes...
Sierra Nevada Corporation (SNC) carried out the first gliding approach and landing test of their Dream Chaser spacecraft at Edwards Air Force Base on October 26. The vehicle dropped from its carrier aircraft at 11:10 am, and carried out gliding and landing maneuvers flawlessly. However, the left landing gear door did not function, causing the test spacecraft to flip on landing.  Read More
LG's G Flex smartphone display follows the contour of the face
It looks like LG and Samsung are at it again. Both companies were vying for our attention at CES 2013 with simultaneous "world's first" curved OLED television announcements. LG consistently led in the race to the consumer space, and looked liked being first to move the screen format onto smartphones with the announcement earlier this month of its plans to mass produce flexible OLED phone displays. Samsung had other ideas, however, and the Galaxy Round was launched just a few days later. LG has now caught up with the forthcoming release of its slightly larger G Flex smartphone, featuring a curved display that follows the contour of the face.  Read More
Panasonic has launched the HOSPI-R, an autonomous delivery robot, for use in Japanese hosp...
Panasonic's ongoing effort to automate Japanese hospitals continued this month with the launch of the HOSPI-R, an autonomous delivery robot that is now on sale. In its press release, Panasonic contends that robots like this one are needed to maintain and improve the quality of nursing services due to Japan's rapidly aging society. The latest in the company's line of HOSPI robots is designed to transport samples and drugs so that lab technicians and nurses won't have to.  Read More
The Lock8, in place and in use
With a regular bicycle lock, you secure it to your bike when you park, then just hope that everything will still be intact when you get back. Such is not the case with the bike-mounted Lock8, however. If anyone tries monkeying with it, a high-pitched alarm will sound, and you will be instantly notified on your smartphone. Should the thief proceed to steal the bike, you can use your phone to track its whereabouts.  Read More
The travel-friendly Fender VA acoustic guitars
Taking an acoustic guitar with you when you travel can be a lesson in compromises. You may have to make do with an odd-shaped instrument, a short necked model, or a cheap throw-away that produces poor sound. Wouldn't it be great if you could strap a full-sized Fender to your back, but still be able to meet commercial airline carry on luggage size restrictions? The iconic guitar maker has released two travel dreadnoughts with a Voyage-Air hinge mechanism that allows the instruments to fold in half.  Read More
 
The Triggertrap Redsnap is a modular camera trigger which lets users select the right sens...
For the past couple of years Triggertrap has been devising clever ways of triggering your camera, with its Triggertrap Mobile smartphone app proving a hit with creative photographers. But sometimes a smartphone trigger (no matter how smart) isn't the right tool the job, which is why the firm has now revealed the Triggertrap Redsnap. The affordable modular camera trigger uses a series of optional sensors to make sure you never miss a shot, no matter how fleeting.  Read More
A new optical disc uses QR codes etched in tungsten to achieve extreme levels of heat resi...
A researcher at the University of Twente in the Netherlands has developed a new optical memory disc out of tungsten and silicon nitride that he says could store data safely for extremely long periods of time – up to a billion years.  Read More
The e-fox is the most recent in a line of car-like velomobiles to come out of the US
Velomobiles, which can more or less be defined as enclosed human-powered tricycles, come in many shapes and forms. Both the Elf and the Tripod feature an electric-assist motor, and have opted for a look that's sort of like a cross between that of a trike and a car. The e-fox is the latest such vehicle to come to our attention. It offers the same basic features as its rivals, but at a lower estimated price.  Read More
An artist's rendition of the newly-discovered z8-GND-5296 galaxy (Image: UCR/NASA)
Astronomers at UC Riverside have combined observations from space and ground telescopes to discover what they say is the oldest known galaxy with a precisely measured distance, seen as it was just 700 million years after the Big Bang.  Read More
A LivePicture frame bursting with color
Huge green walls like the installation at Edmonton Airport are certainly more visually arresting than a succession of dreary old framed prints, and are claimed to improve air quality, too. LivePicture from New York-based Suite Plants takes this living wall idea and downsizes it to fit in a frame that hangs on a wall like a painting.  Read More
Blackberry has reported 10 million downloads of its BBM app in the first 24 hours after la... The long-awaited Blackberry Messenger (BBM) app for iOS and Android was rolled-out on Monday with Blackberry reporting 10 million downloads in the first 24 hours of it going live.  Read More
Artist's impression of Planck at L2 (Image: ESA) On Wednesday, at 12:10:27 GMT, ESA’s Planck space telescope ended its four and a half year mission when project scientist Jan Taube sent the command telling the unmanned probe to switch itself off.  Read More
The Flexrotor UAV takes off autonomously from the skiff
Northrop Grumman's X-47B Unmanned Combat Air System (UCAS) may have grabbed headlines earlier this year with its first launches from and landings aboard an aircraft carrier, but Aerovel Corporation has completed an equally impressive launch, flight and landing of its Flexrotor UAV from a somewhat smaller carrier. And in this case, not only was the aircraft unmanned, so was the boat.  Read More
The S660 roadster will make its debut at the 2013 Tokyo Motor Show
Mitsubishi isn't the only Japanese automaker planning to have a large presence at the upcoming Tokyo Motor Show. Honda announced this week that it will cover more floor area than any other brand. It will reveal a host of new concept and production models, including a small roadster concept, the latest version of the NSX supercar and the production version of the Urban SUV small crossover.  Read More

Gaia mapping the stars of the Milky Way (Photo: ESA/ATG medialab; background image: ESO/S....
The Gaia mission to map a billion stars in the Milky Way has been delayed for about two months by the European Space Agency. Problems in X-band transponders used in other satellites have begun to appear, and the ESA has decided to replace those modules prior to launching. The likely blastoff date will be in late December of this year.  Read More
The Wristify thermoelectric bracelet being put to the test at MIT's MADMEC (Photo: Frankli...
Most bracelets aren't likely to alter your temperature too much either way, but the Wristify isn't most bracelets. Developed by four MIT engineering students, the Wristify works on the principle that heating or cooling the skin on one part of the body can make the entire body feel warmer or colder. By creating a personal heating and cooling device, the Wristify team ultimately hopes to cut the amount of energy currently used to heat or cool entire buildings.  Read More
Picchio Boat is a luxury catamaran concept which boasts a glass-bottom master bedroom Dubbed Picchio Boat (Woodpecker Boat), this luxury catamaran concept from yacht designer Christian Grande boasts large living zones, luxury furnishings and a stunning glass-bottom master bedroom.  Read More
Artist's concept of the World View balloon capsule in flight (Photo: World View Enterprise...
The newest entry in the fledgling space (or near-space) tourism sector will see passengers take a balloon ride to an altitude of 30 km (18.6 mi) from where they will be treated to a spectacular view of the Earth. World View Enterprises has now obtained US Federal Aviation Administration approval for its proposed balloon experiences, which will cost US$75k, and are projected to begin in 2016.  Read More
Gizmag compares the features and specs of the new iPad mini with Retina Display (left) and...
If you already own an iPad mini, is it worth upgrading to the new model with Retina Display? Or maybe you're considering buying your first iPad mini, and are wondering if it's worth saving a few bucks on last year's model? Let Gizmag help, as we plop the first two generations of the iPad mini into our magical comparison machine, and see what happens.  Read More
The 5aver combines LED lantern and triple-filter mask
The thought of getting caught in a building fire is terrifying. Flames raging, smoke obscuring your vision and making it difficult to breathe, infrastructure crumbling, and you're trying desperately to remain calm and get out. The 5aver won't douse the flames, but the grab-and-go combination of lantern, alarm and mask is designed to help you find your way to safety in a hurry.  Read More
The Bloc'd Sofa by Scott Jones comprises a steel and wood frame into which firm foam block...
A recurring theme we encounter at Gizmag is furniture designed to make the most of a small space. This is a timely trend, as living spaces in urban areas are increasingly being squeezed. Multifunctional and modular furniture both help ease the problem, but with the Bloc'd Sofa, Scott Jones has also toyed with the notion of encouraging a connection with furniture that will lead to it being a part of your life for a long time.  Read More
Prof. H. Jerry Qi with identical 4D-printed objects in their flat and folded states
Using a 3D printer, people can already determine the length, width and depth of an object that they create. Thanks to research being conducted at the University of Colorado, Boulder, however, a fourth dimension can now be included – time. And no, we're not talking about how long it takes to 3D-print an item. Instead, it's now possible to print objects that change their shape at a given time.  Read More
The new Garmin Tactix has your wrist, on covert operations and recreational missions alike
The GPS gurus over at Garmin must be racking up serious overtime. Hot on the heels of its first actioncam and the D2 pilot watch, the Kansas company has an all-new tactical GPS watch. The Tactix combines traditional ABC hardware with functions inspired by law enforcement operations. It's the choice for everyone from special ops to weekend recreational warriors.  Read More
The Sub chills beer to  2º C (35.6º F)
When it comes to lager, it’s a matter of the colder the better. The trouble is, domestic fridges aren't very cold, and the alternative is either a cooler full of ice or a massive kegerator that’s more furniture than appliance. Last Friday, Heineken, in collaboration with Krups, unveiled its Sub beer dispenser in Amsterdam. Aimed at the at-home beer market, it combines compactness with some serious chill.  Read More

Gizmag puts Rhino Shield to the test
It was just a month ago that we reported on Evolutive Labs' Rhino Shield, a 6-layer transparent polymer film designed to protect smartphone screens. Not only is it said to ward off scratches and fingerprints, but it's also reportedly five times more impact-resistant than Gorilla Glass 2. Evolutive recently sent me a testing kit, so I could see first-hand just how tough it is – without endangering my smartphone in the process. Here's how things turned out ...  Read More
Art is Motion is installed in a Lexus IS 300h sedan
Many cars have been described as "works of art" over the years, but aside from the odd maniac smearing the wheels with paint and running over canvases, they've rarely been used to create art. Lexus is looking to change that with the Art is Motion system in one of its IS 300h sedans, which has the peculiar ability of painting a portrait of the driver while they're behind the wheel.  Read More
An EGO-kit on an Intense Socom
Gizmag recently traveled to Austria and met up with Mario and Daniel Preining, the brother team behind the EGO-kits add-on mountain bike electric drive. We found out about the latest developments at the company, which include a faster, more powerful kit and an appearance on Austrian start-up TV competition Two Minutes, Two Million. In between torrential downpours, we took an EGO-equipped bike out, twisted the throttle and found out what motor-assisted downhill mountain biking is all about.  Read More
Concept rendering of a future lunar rover robot
Robots have become a mainstay of space exploration. From rovers to chatty anime robots on the International Space Station, they have already proven their worth in many ways. But what will the space robots of the future look like? The European Space Agency has released a video showing advanced robotics designs for lunar and planetary exploration. The concepts include multifunction robots designed for both autonomous space exploration and to aid astronauts in working on other worlds.  Read More
Dolphins' ability to tell the difference between fish and bubbles has inspired the creatio...
Chances are, you know that dolphins use sonar to locate and stun prey underwater. You might also know that they create "bubble nets," in which they trap fish inside a ring of air bubbles that they blow while swimming in a circle. With all those distracting bubbles suspended in the water, though, their sonar needs to work in a special way in order to pick out the fish. Scientists have copied that sonar system, to create a type of radar that could differentiate between ordinary objects and things like explosive devices.  Read More
The Aqualibrium is an aquaponics kit, that combines fish and plants
Home aquaponics kits, which combine fish and plants in a symbiotic relationship, are becoming more and more popular. One of them, the Fishy Farm, is a fairly large setup. The Home Aquaponics Kit, on the other hand, is pretty small, while the ECO-Cycle is designed to sit on top of an existing aquarium. The latest arrival on the scene, the Aqualibrium Garden, manages to carve out yet another niche for itself.  Read More
Gizmag tries out the Grip & Shoot
It was just a few months ago that we first saw the Grip & Shoot at CE Week in New York City. The device is a pistol grip attachment for the iPhone (4S and higher), allowing users to shoot stills and video one-handed, without having their fingers awkwardly splayed to reach the touchscreen controls. Its commercial launch has taken place since then, so I recently had the chance to try one out for myself.  Read More
The Jazzmaster Face 2 Face combines classic and sporty looks
In a fashion-obsessed world, no single timepiece works for every possible scenario. Perhaps that's why Hamilton Watches designed a timepiece with two distinct looks and personalities. The new Jazzmaster Face 2 Face combines two separate dials in a single watch.  Read More
The TWI 5 kw laser torch in operation (Photo: TWI)
To address the challenges encountered in decommissioning a nuclear facility, the UK-based firm TWI has since 2009 been developing laser tube-cutting methods for the UK's Nuclear Decommissioning Authority. It has now demonstrated a 5 kW fiber laser projector, configured rather like a rifle, that can be wielded by a single person.  Read More
We took Occipital's Structure Sensor on a field trip to capture artifacts and environments...
When Occipital launched its Kickstarter campaign for a portable 3D sensor for mobile devices, it saw the project fully funded within a few hours. Knowing we had to see this gadget in action, Gizmag met with co-founder Vikas Reddy after Structure Sensor had become the 50th Kickstarter project to reach the million-dollar mark. Our goal was to test the gadget that has its backers so eager to test one too.  Read More

The Snapper Cap protects a lens and adds the storage space needed for stowing a spare memo...
Lens caps normally serve just one purpose, that of protecting your lenses from getting bashed around and scratched when not in use. But James Sale thinks they should do more. His creation, the Snapper Cap, not only protects a lens, but also adds the storage space needed for stowing a spare memory card or lens wipe.  Read More
Here's how to make the Windows 8.1 Metro-style interface stay off your desktop
The Metro interface in Windows 8.1 makes sense on a touch-enabled device, but on a traditional computer, it's only an afterthought. In the first iteration of Windows 8, it was hard to get around on the desktop without the Start screen, hot corners, app switcher bar and other elements of the touch interface getting in your way. Windows 8.1 has been improved and includes features that let you boot directly to the desktop and keep Metro elements out of your way. If you prefer to stay on the traditional desktop as much as possible, here's a look at how to do it.  Read More
The museum is sunk into a former dry dock, and located adjacent to the historical Kronborg... Denmark-based architecture firm Bjarke Ingels Group (BIG) recently completed work on the new Danish National Maritime Museum. The museum is placed within a large pre-existing dry dock, and thus doesn’t unduly disrupt the local area – an important concern given its location adjacent to the historical Kronborg castle, as immortalized in Shakespeare's Hamlet.  Read More
The capsule being tested using silicone gel
Researchers at Nashville's Vanderbilt University have developed a wireless capsule that can restore a sense of touch for surgeons. Keyhole surgeries or other minimally invasive procedures could benefit greatly from this new technology, as the capsule provides haptic feedback to help doctors maneuver and make important conclusions during surgery.  Read More
Chris Hadfield in his time aboard the ISS (Image: Canadian Space Agency) It's easy to naysay ambitious plans, and they don't come more ambitious than Virgin Galactic's. But astronaut Chris Hadfield has some authority on the subject. Though his views, revealed in a Guardian interview, are nuanced, they come with this sobering assessment: "Eventually they'll crash one."  Read More
But it may be premature to declare CAPTCHA technology dead (Photo: Maen Zayyad/Shutterstoc...
San Francisco-based artificial intelligence startup Vicarious has announced that it has developed software algorithms which can solve CAPTCHAs up to 90 percent of the time. Though CAPTCHAs are any automated test which differentiates between humans and computers, they often take the form of strings of partly distorted letters and numbers which many websites use to check that a visitor is human, the idea being that a computer cannot read the disguised text while a human (hopefully) can. It’s this type of CAPTCHA that Vicarious’s algorithms are designed to beat, and the high success rate renders the current standard of text-based CAPTCHAs ineffective, the company claims.  Read More
The winner of the 2013 James Dyson Award will be selected from the following 20 finalists
James Dyson will announce the winner of the international student design award that carries his name in a little over a week, so it's an opportune time to take a closer look at the finalists. This year, Dyson has 20 finalists from which to make his selection, and like previous years, it looks like being no easy task. Here are the entries still in the running for the first place prize that has been upped to £30,000 (US$48,500) for 2013.  Read More
The Concept S-Class Coupé outlines Mercedes' vision for the future of its flagship model  ... We're still suffering whiplash from the array of concept vehicles that turned our heads at last month's Frankfurt Motor Show, and several deserve a second, closer look. The Mercedes Concept S-Class Coupé is among them.  Read More
Gizmag reviews the PS3 version of Batman: Arkham Origins
A strong opening act gets your audience's attention. An even better second act gives them the confidence that they're in for a great show. But what if, rather than building on that momentum, your third act merely retreads the high points of the first two acts? Is your masterpiece ruined? Or is it just a more predictable kind of fun? Join Gizmag, as we review the iterative third act in Warner Bros.' Batman: Arkham series of games, Batman: Arkham Origins.  Read More
The HF120 is designed to power the HondaJet executive jet
As airliners have grown bigger, so have the jet engines needed to thrust them into the air. We're now at the point where the words “jet engine” conjure up something with a maw big enough for a Mini Cooper to easily drive through. But not every jet aircraft is a double decker people carrier and not every engine is a behemoth. On Thursday, General electric announced that the HF120 jet engine it’s co-developing for the HondaJet completed its US FAA certification testing – and its fan aperture is only 18 inches (45.7 cm) across.  Read More 

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