New and Emerging Technology News part 211 ~ NEW GEN TECH LIFE : new generation technology news

Tuesday, 18 March 2014

New and Emerging Technology News part 211

A view through the eyepiece of the NeoLucida
As long ago as 1807 – and possibly up to 200 years earlier – many artists used an optical device known as a camera lucida to help them in sketching subjects. A controversial theory even suggests that some of the famous Old Masters created their masterpieces not by sketching freehand, but by using such gadgets. Now, two art professors are trying to bring the camera lucida back, in the form of the low-cost portable NeoLucida.  Read More
The hole in the Conran camera is surrounded by an array of somewhere between 10 and 20 sma...
The Conran design firm was recently asked to re-imagine an everyday item by BBC Future. Its designers picked the digital camera, and the resulting concept certainly is different. The Conran camera does away with the typical protruding lens and instead features a large hole through the middle, surrounded by an array of small camera sensors. It also lacks an LCD monitor and is instead designed to wirelessly connect to a smartphone.  Read More
The International Space Apps Challenge asked teams to solve problems for both Earth and sp...
Given a set of problems related to space exploration and a 48-hour deadline, 9,000 people in 80 locations around the world created over 600 solutions. The International Space Apps Challenge, sponsored by NASA and other international space agencies, offered up massive amounts of data and other resources to teams of hackers who responded with creative solutions. The public now has the chance to view these solutions online and vote for their favorites on each project's official page. Gizmag set out to find the best projects related to data visualization and education, space exploration and satellite inventiveness, green technology, and remotely-operated vehicles.  Read More
Harvard's RoboBees could one day work together in search and rescue operations (Photo: Kev...
Almost since the beginning of their existence, robots have taken inspiration from one of nature's wonders: insects. Technological limitations typically prevent these robots from matching the small size of their many-legged muses, resulting in gargantuan examples like Festo's BionicOpter dragonfly. In stark contrast is Harvard's RoboBee, which is the first in the world to demonstrate controlled flight by an insect-sized robot.  Read More
The Springtime picnic kit set sits neatly on the back of a bicycle Dubbed Springtime, this bike-ready picnic kit from Dutch designer JeriĆ«l Bobbe contains everything that one could need for a pleasant lunch in the park.  Read More
The Hyperion lamp (Photo: Paul Heijnen) There aren't enough stop motion animation films starring light fittings, in my opinion. Until today, I only knew of one: Luxo Jr, by Pixar. Hyperion is the second, and it stars the eponymous insectoid light fitting, designed by Paul Heijnen.  Read More
ScoreCleaner Notes turns melodies into notation at the touch of a button
Researchers at the KTH Institute of Technology in Sweden have developed a smartphone application that converts simple melodies into notation. The app, which is available now worldwide, provides a simple and effective tool for getting that melody out of your head and into written, shareable form.  Read More
Betillon/Dorval‐Bory's Appartement Spectral (Photo: Betillon / Dorval Bory)
Here's an interesting piece of interior design. Challenged by a client to refurbish a tiny studio apartment in Paris, architect Betillon/Dorval‐Bory was asked to pay special attention to lighting due to the limited daylight available in some parts of the apartment. Its response was unusual, to say the least. High-performance lighting was installed at one end and, in one sense, deliberately awful lighting at the other. Named Appartement Spectral, the design breaks every rule in the book, yet the effect is striking – and it's all down to street lighting.  Read More
The ESA's Proba-V satellite (Image: ESA)
When it comes to keeping tabs on the location of aircraft, radar has long ruled the roost. But radar range is limited, and long-haul planes become untraceable when passing over oceans and large deserts or polar regions. By equipping orbiting satellites with instruments that listen in on ADS-B signals, scientists think that it should possible to track aircraft over the course of their entire journey, and with the launch of Proba-V, they're ready to put the idea to the test.  Read More
Researchers at the University of Utah have discovered a method for creating solar cell mat...
For most people, experiments involving a home microwave typically don't go much further than inflating a marshmallow like a balloon or reheating leftovers in plasticware – both with messy results. For metallurgists though, microwaves are sometimes employed to efficiently process metals, which is how researchers at the University of Utah found themselves using a secondhand kitchen appliance in their lab. Their resourcefulness paid off recently, when the team discovered a method for creating solar cell material with just a few basic ingredients and an old microwave.  Read More

BlueStacks' new Gamepop console delivers hundreds of Android games for a monthly fee
Android pops up in the strangest places. Smartphones and tablets are the most obvious places to find Google’s open-source OS, but there are also Android-based cameras, cars, and even fridges. The latest craze is Android gaming consoles. Emulator-maker BlueStacks has just announced one of its own – which it will give you "for free" when you sign up for a monthly subscription.  Read More
Knight Architects' Merchant Square Bridge raises like a traditional Japanese fan (Image: K...
Bridge specialist Knight Architects has announced that its novel design for a footbridge in Paddington, London is to go ahead. The hydraulic Merchant Square Bridge will raise and lower like a traditional folding Japanese fan.  Read More
Rainshader has been tested in a wind tunnel up to gale force 7
Anyone that looks at press releases with any regularity will no doubt have felt the onset of re- fatigue, induced by the weight of new products which claim to "rethink," "re-imagine" and "redefine" things (but seldom do). So while we're a little dubious of the claim that Rainshader "reinvents" the umbrella – it is still a canopy on a stick, after all – at least there's no denying that there is actual innovation in evidence. Apparently the helmet-shaped Rainshader doesn't turn inside out in the wind, drip on people, or poke them in the eye.  Read More
The research took place at the German Aerospace Center (Photo: DLR)
For the first time, quantum cryptographers have successfully transmitted a quantum key from a fast-moving object – a Dornier 228 turboprop. The experiment involved sending a secure message from the aircraft to a ground station via laser beam, and can be considered a significant step toward the creation of a network of “unbreakable” satellite data transmissions.  Read More
F1 features a 5.1 digital sound system with a sub-woofer behind the driver and strategical...
Players of the Forza and Gran Turismo race series understand that every little advantage counts when working to trim lap times. In game, details like tires, camber angles, damper settings, plus engine mods are just a few of the tuning tricks to enhance a racer's performance. But deep down, budding racers know that such sops to realism are nothing compared to a full-scale F1 simulator. Luckily for them Costco UK and FMCG International have a solution – a US$116,650 full-scale F1 simulator.  Read More
Artist's conception of the interlocking 3D battery electrodes exchanging ions (Image: Univ...
There can be little doubt that people love their mobile devices. But, by leaving them high and dry at the most inconvenient of times, this love generally doesn't extend to the batteries that power said devices. New microbatteries developed by researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (UIUC) that measure just a few millimeters in size, yet are powerful enough to power a mobile phone may be more likely to inspire a little love.  Read More
The Smart Dog Leash After a long day at work, the last thing most folks want to do is lug a 100-pound ball of drooling, pent-up energy around, all the while shoveling and hauling its feces. But that's exactly what dog owners have to do every day. The Smart Dog Leash aims to make the process a tad smoother by storing every item that you'll need to walk your dog safely and sanitarily.  Read More
An iRobot PackBot navigates a school, in a demonstration of the Cognitive Patterns system
It’s sometimes easy to forget that for all their human-like qualities, robots are in fact machines. While some systems allow them to recognize basic objects, they still don’t necessarily make sense of what they’re looking at – they might see and recognize a box, for instance, but what does the presence of a box suggest to them? Now, researchers at Massachusetts-based engineering firm Aptima are developing a system known as Cognitive Patterns. It allows robots and humans to collaborate on building the robots’ understanding of the world, thus allowing them to operate on their own more effectively.  Read More
A schematic of the Lunar Rover used in the Apollo 17 mission is just one item up for bid (...
Some of the most desirable items for collectors are those with historical significance that tell a story. RR Auction has a whole raft of such items set to go under the hammer as it hosts a major sale of space and aviation memorabilia from the past century. Each one is a bit of history and each one tells a story, but since we can’t go through over 800 stories, we’ll look at ten of the standout items from the height of the Space Age that you can buy – if your pockets are deep enough.  Read More
Scientist have developed microrobots that may be able to help prevent blindness
Just like other parts of the body, the retina needs oxygen in order to survive. If it doesn’t receive enough – should its blood supply be restricted, for instance – permanent blindness can result. Therefore, the sooner that doctors know if a patient’s retina is receiving insufficient oxygen, the better the chances that they can take action in time. Soon, they may be able to use tiny injectable robots to get them the information they need.  Read More
BlueStacks' new Gamepop console delivers hundreds of Android games for a monthly fee
Android pops up in the strangest places. Smartphones and tablets are the most obvious places to find Google’s open-source OS, but there are also Android-based cameras, cars, and even fridges. The latest craze is Android gaming consoles. Emulator-maker BlueStacks has just announced one of its own – which it will give you "for free" when you sign up for a monthly subscription.  Read More
Knight Architects' Merchant Square Bridge raises like a traditional Japanese fan (Image: K...
Bridge specialist Knight Architects has announced that its novel design for a footbridge in Paddington, London is to go ahead. The hydraulic Merchant Square Bridge will raise and lower like a traditional folding Japanese fan.  Read More
Rainshader has been tested in a wind tunnel up to gale force 7
Anyone that looks at press releases with any regularity will no doubt have felt the onset of re- fatigue, induced by the weight of new products which claim to "rethink," "re-imagine" and "redefine" things (but seldom do). So while we're a little dubious of the claim that Rainshader "reinvents" the umbrella – it is still a canopy on a stick, after all – at least there's no denying that there is actual innovation in evidence. Apparently the helmet-shaped Rainshader doesn't turn inside out in the wind, drip on people, or poke them in the eye.  Read More
The research took place at the German Aerospace Center (Photo: DLR)
For the first time, quantum cryptographers have successfully transmitted a quantum key from a fast-moving object – a Dornier 228 turboprop. The experiment involved sending a secure message from the aircraft to a ground station via laser beam, and can be considered a significant step toward the creation of a network of “unbreakable” satellite data transmissions.  Read More
F1 features a 5.1 digital sound system with a sub-woofer behind the driver and strategical...
Players of the Forza and Gran Turismo race series understand that every little advantage counts when working to trim lap times. In game, details like tires, camber angles, damper settings, plus engine mods are just a few of the tuning tricks to enhance a racer's performance. But deep down, budding racers know that such sops to realism are nothing compared to a full-scale F1 simulator. Luckily for them Costco UK and FMCG International have a solution – a US$116,650 full-scale F1 simulator.  Read More
Artist's conception of the interlocking 3D battery electrodes exchanging ions (Image: Univ...
There can be little doubt that people love their mobile devices. But, by leaving them high and dry at the most inconvenient of times, this love generally doesn't extend to the batteries that power said devices. New microbatteries developed by researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (UIUC) that measure just a few millimeters in size, yet are powerful enough to power a mobile phone may be more likely to inspire a little love.  Read More
The Smart Dog Leash After a long day at work, the last thing most folks want to do is lug a 100-pound ball of drooling, pent-up energy around, all the while shoveling and hauling its feces. But that's exactly what dog owners have to do every day. The Smart Dog Leash aims to make the process a tad smoother by storing every item that you'll need to walk your dog safely and sanitarily.  Read More
An iRobot PackBot navigates a school, in a demonstration of the Cognitive Patterns system
It’s sometimes easy to forget that for all their human-like qualities, robots are in fact machines. While some systems allow them to recognize basic objects, they still don’t necessarily make sense of what they’re looking at – they might see and recognize a box, for instance, but what does the presence of a box suggest to them? Now, researchers at Massachusetts-based engineering firm Aptima are developing a system known as Cognitive Patterns. It allows robots and humans to collaborate on building the robots’ understanding of the world, thus allowing them to operate on their own more effectively.  Read More
A schematic of the Lunar Rover used in the Apollo 17 mission is just one item up for bid (...
Some of the most desirable items for collectors are those with historical significance that tell a story. RR Auction has a whole raft of such items set to go under the hammer as it hosts a major sale of space and aviation memorabilia from the past century. Each one is a bit of history and each one tells a story, but since we can’t go through over 800 stories, we’ll look at ten of the standout items from the height of the Space Age that you can buy – if your pockets are deep enough.  Read More
Scientist have developed microrobots that may be able to help prevent blindness
Just like other parts of the body, the retina needs oxygen in order to survive. If it doesn’t receive enough – should its blood supply be restricted, for instance – permanent blindness can result. Therefore, the sooner that doctors know if a patient’s retina is receiving insufficient oxygen, the better the chances that they can take action in time. Soon, they may be able to use tiny injectable robots to get them the information they need.  Read More

 
Scientists in Germany have developed a protective glove that warns lab workers of toxic su...
Laboratories that deal with dangerous chemicals devote a lot of time and money to ensuring the work environment is safe. Since many toxic substances lack a noticeable smell or color, the trick is finding a detection method that alerts employees to their presence as quickly and clearly as possible. Scientists at the the Fraunhofer Research Institution for Modular Solid State Technologies may have found a simple answer to that problem in the form of a protective glove that immediately changes color when it comes into contact with hazardous materials.  Read More
Gizmag compares the specs (and other features) of the LG Optimus G Pro and Samsung Galaxy ...
During the past year, the phablet has gone from object of ridicule to legit new product category. You can give all the credit to Samsung, and its surprisingly successful marketing of the Galaxy Note. Like any successful product, the Note has rivals – eager to take a piece of its pie. Let’s see how the most significant non-Samsung phablet, the LG Optimus G Pro, compares to the Galaxy Note 2.  Read More
The main RukSak backpack with 10 additional pouches
A number of companies have been working on modular backpacks and messenger bags that can grow and adjust around different trips and purposes. One designer seems to feel they haven't been taking things far enough. The new RukSak hangs 10 different modules on a multi-day backpack, making for dozens of different configurations and uses.  Read More
ESA's Biomass Earth Explorer mission will map and measure the amount of biomass and carbon...
Kicking off with the Gravity field and steady-state Ocean Circulation Explorer (GOCE), which was launched in March 2009, the European Space Agency’s Earth Explorer missions are intended to provide a greater understanding of the Earth and the interactions between various natural Earth processes. “Biomass” is the seventh Earth Explorer satellite to get the nod and will provide and accurate picture of the amount of biomass and carbon stored in the world’s forests.  Read More
The Adjust-A-Butt allows the length of the rod to be altered in under a second
When it comes to fishing rods, there’s no true one-size-fits-all solution. But angler Terry L. Manley believes he has come up with a system that (literally) extends the suitability of a rod for a variety of conditions. The patent pending Multifunctional Rod Foundation (MRF) System – a.k.a. the “Adjust-A-Butt” – allows the length of the rod to be altered in less than a second as well as amplifying vibrations to improve sensitivity when the fish are on the bite.  Read More
The Glad Company recently experimented with a combination tent and garbage bag, known as t...
Outdoor music festivals are notorious for a lot of things, one of the biggest being the amount of garbage left behind by the concert-goers. In an effort to get music fans to clean up after themselves, while also providing them with half-decent temporary shelter, the Glad Company recently experimented with a combination tent/big garbage bag, known as the Glad Tent.  Read More
The PDJ portable stand-alone DJ system and music production studio
If that great night on the town turns into an after-hours party at a friend's house and you want to show off your Digital Disc Jockey mettle, the odds of you happening to have a Numark iDJ about your person are pretty remote. You may well have an iPhone packing IK Multimedia's DJ Rig app, but what are the chances you've also remembered to bring an iRig MIX? Korea's JD Sound is busy readying its PDJ portable stand-alone DJ system and music production studio for US release, which puts everything you need to get your groove on into one fairly pocket-friendly unit.  Read More
A material known as a plasmonic polypeptide nanocomposite has been shown to strengthen las...
Stitches and staples may be on their way to becoming a thing of the past, thanks to a developing technology known as laser tissue welding. Now, a new gold-based solder has been created, that could make tissue welds in regions such as the intestines much stronger and more reliable.  Read More
An illustration of the SeeSV-S205 sound camera, be used to locate the source of an engine ...
If you work with machinery, engines or appliances of any type, then you’ve likely experienced the frustration of hearing a troublesome noise coming from somewhere, but not being able to pinpoint where. If only you could just grab a camera, and take a picture that showed you the noise’s location. Well, soon you should be able to do so, as that’s just what the SeeSV-S205 sound camera does.  Read More
Amazon is reportedly working on a high-end 3D smartphone, among other devices
The rumor mill has been spinning for quite some time about an Amazon smartphone. What the rumor mill was lacking – as it often does – was detail. Today we might have a bit more of that, with a report that Amazon is working on two smartphones and an audio-only mobile device.  Read More

ARINE
The lid of the Boatbox detaches to serve as a boat
Given that people such as myself already have a tendency to mistake streamlined car-top boxes as whitewater kayaks, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that someone has gone and done the obvious – made a roof box that converts into a boat. Instead of serving as a kayak, however, the Boatbox can be rowed like a dinghy, or even fitted with a small motor or a sail.  Read More
Dezien's Levitation concept bicycle A shadowy design outfit (shadowy in the sense that the majority of its website does not yet appear to be live) called Dezien has published images of an interesting concept bicycle dubbed Levitation that charges the cyclist's mobile devices… and electric car, apparently.  Read More
The new fuel station and McDonald’s is located in the seaside city of Batumi, Georgia
Designing a fuel station and fast food outlet may not seem to be the most thrilling of projects, but for Georgian architect Giorgi Khmaladze, his design may just put the Eurasian town of Batumi on the map. Khmaladze is currently in the final construction phase of building a new fuel station and McDonald’s premises in the seaside city of Batumi, Georgia.  Read More
Researchers at the University of Vermont have developed the Hedonometer, which measures gl...
Is it possible to measure people’s levels of happiness based on the online data they produce? The team behind Hedonometer thinks so. Conceived by Peter Dodds and Chris Danforth at the University of Vermont’s Computational Story Lab, the software powering the platform, which recently went live, not only measures human happiness but does it in real time, too.  Read More
SheerWind's Invelox wind power generation unit is said to increase energy output by 600 pe...
SheerWind, a wind power company from Minnesota, USA, has announced the results of tests it has carried out with its new Invelox wind power generation technology. The company says that during tests its turbine could generate six times more energy than the amount produced by traditional turbines mounted on towers. Besides, the costs of producing wind energy with Invelox are lower, delivering electricity with prices that can compete with natural gas and hydropower.  Read More
The Design Vision project allowed VW design team an opportunity to stretch its creative ta...
Volkswagen’s GTI has been a part of the hatchback landscape since 1974. For almost forty years the GTI has stretched its talents from sedate 3 or 5-door family runabout to the toasty 250 hp all-wheel-drive WR32. But now Volkswagen is set to tease followers with an excessively warm 503 horsepower concept – the Design Vision GTI.  Read More
Lockheed Martin's ADAM laser system destroys a rocket mid-flight
Lockheed Martin has released a video of ADAM, its high energy laser (HEL) system, taking out a rocket from a range of 1.5 km (0.9 miles). Slowed down, the 300-fps video clearly shows the laser beam striking and tracking a point towards the front of the rocket, before destroying it mid-flight.  Read More
Researchers have developed a quadcopter that can attach to walls and ceilings with a dry a...
Micro UAVs that have the ability to slip into tight spaces, including inside buildings, have wide ranging military and search and rescue applications. To reach their full potential, however, these UAVs are going to need to learn how to land in rougher areas that don't always have a horizontal surface to touch down on. One team of scientists has begun taking a huge step towards accomplishing just that by developing a quadcopter with a mechanism that allows it to land on walls or ceilings, stay for a while, and then take off again.  Read More
New technology out of the University of Georgia allows energy generated by plants through ...
Millions of years of evolution has resulted in plants being the most efficient harvesters of solar energy on the planet. Much research is underway into ways to artificially mimic photosynthesis in devices like artificial leaves, but researchers at the University of Georgia (UGA) are working on a different approach that gives new meaning to the term “power plant.” Their technology harvests energy generated through photosynthesis before the plants can make use of it, allowing the energy to instead be used to run low-powered electrical devices.  Read More
Home-Exploring Robot Butler (HERB) being trained to identify household objects
One of the major anticipated applications for robots is in care for the elderly and helping them with daily tasks. This means that robots have got to adapt to human lifestyles, not the other way around, because granny can’t be expected to program the robot or rearrange her house to suit the machine’s limitations. The Carnegie Mellon University Robotics Institute’s Lifelong Robotic Object Discovery (LROD) project aims to address this by developing ways to use visual and non-visual data to help robots to identify and pick up objects so they can work in a normal human environment without supervision.  Read More

The LeapFrog LeapReader id designed to help children learn how to read and write
LeapFrog has revealed its latest product aimed at improving the literacy of youngsters, the LeapReader. The pen-like device follows on from the Tag Reading System and works with a library of more than 150 reading, activity and audio-books, to teach children not only how to recognize and say letters or words, but also how to write them.  Read More
The Satechi Touch USB LED Lamp slots into the top of empty bottles, making it easy to chan... Whatever your tipple of choice is, from water and pop to whiskey and rum, they all come in bottles, though the aesthetic appeal of these bottles differs greatly depending on the brand. The Satechi Touch USB LED Lamp gives new life to these empty bottles by turning them into a base for a table lamp.  Read More
The design of the Olympus PEN E-P5 certainly does the job of paying homage to the original...
Olympus has decided to celebrate the 50th anniversary of its classic PEN F camera by launching its latest digital successor, the PEN E-P5. But, while the new Micro Four Thirds shooter bears more than a passing resemblance to the original PEN F, its retro good looks house modern features including a 16 megapixel Live MOS sensor, 5-axis image stabilization and built-in WiFi capabilities.  Read More
VEINOPLUS Sport is designed to provide a shortcut to the benefits of active recovery while... Electrostimulation: It doesn't sound like the most relaxing thing in the world, but a French company is hoping to change this impression. The VEINOPLUS Sport is one of the latest devices to use this method for providing post-workout muscle recovery. It's designed to provide all the benefits of an active recovery without the negatives.  Read More
The International Space Station awaiting repair of a coolant leak NASA astronauts Tom Marshburn and Chris Cassidy are preparing for a six hour spacewalk to fix the latest ammonia coolant leak on the International Space Station.  Read More
The XiStera includes a magnetic lens-mounting point, and a tripod mount
Over the past few years, we’ve seen iPhone attachments that let you do things like prop your phone up, attach a lens, or even use it as a bottle opener. The problem is, you can generally only put one of those attachments on your phone at a time. The XiStera, however, combines a whopping eight functions in a single gadget.  Read More
The Earl tablet could become your best friend in the outdoors, offering you navigation, co...
Smartphones, tablets and laptops are great when you're sitting on the couch or running around the city, but they aren't as great in the wilderness where cellular service disappears and bright sunlight renders LCD screens near-illegible. The Earl is a tablet designed to skirt around those shortcomings and keep you connected in the deepest of backcountry terrain. The "backcountry survival tablet" navigates you across the land, keeps you in communication with your crew and lets you know what weather lies ahead.  Read More
Eidos Audio uses bone conduction to send sound to the inner ear
They may look somewhat bulky and a bit like someone wandered out of an avant garde theater, but a pair of concept pieces developed by students and the Royal College of Arts in London allow wearers to fine tune their senses of sight and hearing. Called “Eidos,” from the Greek for "form," "essence," "type," or "species," the system uses sensors and computer processing to select sensory input and alter it for applications in sport, the arts and medicine.  Read More
The KODIAK is a Paracord wristband that contains four outdoor survival tools
For anyone who ventures deep into the great outdoors, it's possible that a real life-or-death survival situation could occur. A new product called the KODIAK is a wristband designed for people who may be faced with such a situation, as it comes with the tools needed to fish and start a fire.  Read More
The Solar Electric Scooter uses a PV panel as its riding platform
If you've ever thought that the rider platform of an electric scooter is just crying out for a solar panel, you're not alone. California renewable energy veterans Mike Donnell and Tony VanMeeteren have spent the last four years working on some PV-panel-packing, adult-sized, emission-free electric scooters called SES, and are now moving toward mass production.  Read More

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