New and Emerging Technology News part 252 ~ NEW GEN TECH LIFE : new generation technology news

Sunday, 30 March 2014

New and Emerging Technology News part 252

The Bonaverde machine roasts, grinds and brews coffee
Coffee is one of the most popular beverages in the world, the fuel that ignites the brain in the morning and keeps us going throughout the day. Some people take their coffee more seriously, and enjoy a more artisanal approach to coffee-making, and not just stirring up a quick instant coffee. It’s for those people that Berlin-based startup Bonaverde has launched a new coffee-making machine that gives coffee lovers total control of the process.  Read More
The Yin Yang couple bath – no more arguing over who gets the back rest (Photo: Trautwein) Bathing with your significant other is good in all sorts of ways, although things can get kind of cramped when you try sticking two people in one bathtub. That's why German wellness products manufacturer Trautwein created the Yin Yang "couple bath." It lets you and that special someone bathe together without, you know ... bathing together.  Read More
Toyota showcased its new torque servo module in a pair of compliant robot arms (Photo: Mik...
In the first decade of the new millennium, Toyota's Partner Robot program was known for its truly incredible humanoid robot band that could play the trumpet, trombone, tuba, drums, and even the violin. Gradually these projects, which were designed to entertain while demonstrating the deftness with which Toyota's robot hands could manipulate objects, gave way to more practical applications. The automotive giant was on hand at the International Robot Exhibition (IREX) 2013 to showcase its latest robotic innovations, including the Winglet, the Human Support Robot, and a new compliant robot arm.  Read More
A fully road-legal Batmobile replica is available at auction
Historics auction house in Surrey, UK, is listing a fully road-legal Batmobile for sale. It’s not an original – the car is a replica of the vehicle used by Michael Keaton in Tim Burton’s 1989 and 1992 movies – but Historics lists the piece as an "extremely well conceived tribute."  Read More
The inFORM display being operated by a remote user via video display (Photo: MIT)
The inFORM Dynamic Shape Display from MIT's Tangible Media Group allows users to interact with data with a minimum of physical barriers. It also allows users to virtually reach through a display screen, and manipulate physical objects that may be thousands of miles away. While the current version of inFORM has very limited spatial resolution, watching it in action gives one a strong impression of the potential of such devices.  Read More
Esthete claims the LEDs can be seen from 100 m away
LED jackets built for cycling and running are nothing new. We've covered the Sporty Supaheroe jacket and other examples of this type of wearable technology. Where the new Eclaireur jacket steps it up is in integrating LEDs into a jacket you'll wear in public when you're not on your bike. On purpose.  Read More
Artist's concept of the London Britannia Airport
Sometimes, success brings its own problems. London’s airports may have managed to grab a considerable chunk of the passenger air market, but the result has been congestion over the south of England and a desperate clamor for new runways. This week, the Thames Estuary Research and Development Company (Testrad) consortium unveiled details of a scheme designed to take the pressure off. Its London Britannia Airport proposal involves building an artificial island in the Thames Estuary near the Isle of Sheppey to provide the capital with a larger airport, which would replace Heathrow.  Read More
View of the equipment supporting an active invisibility cloak and the cloak itself (Photo:...
Sometimes everything can seem to happen at once. The new game in town is active invisibility cloaks (AIC), which use electronics and antennas to generate a cloaking field to hide an object. Two types of active cloaks have just been revealed (excuse the pun). While being impressive feats of technology, such cloaks could easily be defeated in practice.  Read More
The genetically modified M13 virus creates maganese oxide nanowires with spikes providing ...
In recent years, lithium-air batteries that promise improved power density per pound over lithium-ion batteries have been the subject of much research in the quest to give electronic vehicles greater range. By enlisting the help of a genetically-modified virus, researchers at MIT have found a way to improve the performance and durability of lithium-air batteries, which offer the potential of two to three times the energy density of current lithium-ion batteries.  Read More
The ESTOLAS combines features of a plane, helicopter, hovercraft and airship in one aircra...
As evidenced by ongoing efforts in the Philippines in the wake of Typhoon Haiyan, getting aid and support personnel in and victims out of disaster-stricken areas is a major problem when infrastructure such as runways has been rendered unusable. A new aircraft concept combining features of an airship, plane, helicopter and hovercraft that is being developed as part of the European Commission's Extremely Short Take Off and Landing On any Surface (ESTOLAS) project could help address the problem.  Read More

The Elertus system detects movement
Last month, Elertus of Draper, Utah unveiled its Elertus Wine Protection System, which uses a wireless sensor that monitors temperature, humidity, and movement. It’s designed to keep an eye on your wine cellar or cabinet to make sure that your vin ordinaire is properly stored and that no one is helping themselves to the odd bottle of Chateau le Tour.  Read More
3D Builder is a new 3D printing app from Microsoft for Windows 8.1 Microsoft has released a 3D printing application for Windows 8.1 called 3D Builder. It allows users to view, design and prepare objects for printing and includes a library of editable objects to help users familiarize themselves with the software.  Read More
The base station and handset for the vtalk phone
Is the humble home phone headed the way of the dodo? Jeremy Bogan doesn't think so, which is why he has created the vtalk desk phone with the goal of bringing smartphone-like features to a device that stays put in the home of the user. Are home phones losing traction because smartphones offer so much, or because they have not evolved in terms of features? Bogan believes it's the latter.  Read More
The Gabotronics Oscilloscope Watch is a testlab on your wrist (Photo: Gabotronics)
What do you wear on your wrist, is one-third the size of a deck of cards, and helps you troubleshoot your latest electronics project? The Oscilloscope Watch, of course. The Swiss army knife of electronics, this tiny test lab (or bulky watch) includes a 2-channel oscilloscope, frequency analyzer, arbitrary function generator, and a protocol sniffer. The price? An amazing US$125. Oh yes ... it also tells time.  Read More
A new algorithm could help hearing aids separate speech from background noise (Photo: Shut...
Despite some advances that have been made in the field, one of the continuing problems with hearing aids is the fact that they amplify background sound along with peoples' voices. While our brains are reasonably good at distinguishing between speech and distracting ambient noise, hearing aid users get the noise and the voice presented to them in one often-incomprehensible package. Researchers at The Ohio State University, however, may have a solution. They've developed a noise-filtering algorithm that's been shown to improve test subjects' recognition of spoken words by up to 90 percent.  Read More
The 510 weighs about 1,100 lb empty, making it possible to tow with a variety of vehicles
The Ecotrek 510 camper is designed for one purpose and one purpose only: surviving any rugged obstacle thrown its way so you can sleep soundly that night. That one purpose opens it up to all kinds of uses – hunting, fishing, 4x4ing, etc. No cutesy teardrop design, the 510 has a reinforced build meant to thrive in terrain that would rip lesser campers to shreds.  Read More
It looks like a simple frisbee, but it's much more
Over the years, we've seen survival gear in all shapes and sizes – traditional kits, shovels, paracord bracelets, concept snowboards, winter jackets and more. A frisbee-like saucer is one format that we haven't seen ... up until today. The LifeDisc isn't focused on fire, cutlery or water purification, the way other survival kits and gizmos are. Its shape is designed for winding fishing line and paracord around a waterproof survival container.  Read More
Gizmag reviews Apple's new (2nd generation) iPad mini with Retina Display
The original iPad mini was a great product, but it had one glaring flaw: its screen's resolution just wasn't on a par with the rest of Apple's recent devices. So now, a year after the release of the first iPad mini, we have the inevitable follow-up with a razor-sharp Retina Display. Does it live up to expectations? Join Gizmag, as we review Apple's second-generation iPad mini with Retina Display.  Read More
The Bowboard scooter
A Florida company has thrown some essence of kick scooter, two cups of skateboard, a dash of bike seasoning, and perhaps even slice of Kangoo- or trampoline-like jump action into the idea mixer and cooked up what looks like one fun ride. When riders step down on its flexible deck, a special drive mechanism propels the Bowboard forward. The developers say that once mastered, users can bounce along at cruising speeds of around 12 mph (20 km/h).  Read More
The Moto X out-curves the Nexus 5
Two of the most buzzed-about, speculated-upon and long awaited Android phones are finally here: the Nexus 5 from Google and LG, and the Moto X from Google-owned Motorola. Despite being step-siblings of a sort, there are plenty of differences between these phones. Fortunately, I've spent quite a bit of time with both phones and will try to sort out the strong points and weaknesses of each, to make the decision a little easier for such a devoted Android fan as yourself.  Read More
 
REEM-C takes its first steps inside PAL Robotics' headquarters
The United Arab Emirates, known for its lavish building projects like the Burj Khalifa, is also financing an equally ambitious robot project. PAL Robotics, based in Barcelona, Spain, was contracted to build a robot that could stand next to the likes of Honda's ASIMO. Now, after nearly a decade, the company has unveiled its third generation humanoid robot.  Read More
Sou Fujimito's bus stop design is perhaps the most abstract The local cultural association of the small Austrian market town of Krumbach has invited a range of international architects to submit their takes on the humble bus stop. The results are in, and one minimal design has already been built.  Read More
It's actually a little startling to pick the Proto X up for the first time, because it isn...
You may have noticed that we enjoy our quadcopters here at Gizmag, from the GPS-equipped Phantom 2 Vision to the palm-sized 1SQ V-cam. Recently though, we had a chance to try out a somewhat unusual style of quad in the form of the tiny Proto X from Estes. It may not have a laundry list of features under its belt, but the Proto X does hold the distinction of being the smallest quadcopter we've ever reviewed ... by a huge margin.  Read More
Gizmag Picks its top-ten current small homes
Big may be beautiful to some, but in a world of dwindling space and resources, it makes far more sense to downsize one's home whenever possible. Gizmag doffs its cap to 10 recent architectural examples of utilizing space to its utmost potential, from tiny micro-homes on wheels that resemble large sheds, to slightly larger brick-and-mortar houses sporting ingeniously flexible interior layouts. One thing they all have in common though, is an distinct effort to make the most of what space is available.  Read More
Vision GT's sensually muscular body appears to amalgamate bits of a Dodge Viper, Aston Mar...
One of PlayStation’s most enduring titles, Gran Turismo, will launch version 6 on the eve of its 15th anniversary next month with a smattering of spectacular new rides. Mercedes-Benz is one of the manufacturers to have fully engaged its marketing engine for the launch and is helping kick-off the virtual exercise with a spectacular 585 hp virtual concept named the AMG Vision Gran Turismo.  Read More
The first Starbucks coffee carriage that will serve passengers riding the rail in Switzerl... Apparently not content with putting a coffee shop on every second street corner, Starbucks has teamed with Swiss Federal Railways (SBB) to expand into rail travel with the unveiling of the first railway carriage converted into a Starbucks.  Read More
Gizmag reviews Apple's first colorful handset, the iPhone 5c
Every year since 2007, Apple has released one new iPhone at a time. But this year marked the company's first foray into multiples, with the colorful iPhone 5c joining Apple's lineup as the flagship iPhone 5s' sidekick. Is a new look reason enough to buy one phone over another? Let Gizmag help you answer that, as we review the new iPhone 5c.  Read More
The Strandbeest Plaudens Vela can walk in the wind at low speeds and avoid tumbling over i...
How many artificial animals can you encounter on a seaside walk? More than one if you frequent the Dutch coastline where Theo Jansen's moving artworks amble along with the help of their rudimentary senses. The complex wind-powered skeletal constructs that Jansen calls "Strandbeests," or beach beasts, are designed to stay on the beach and live off the sea breeze.  Read More
The Numerouno cardboard lamp by Johannes Kiessler German designer Johannes Kiessler has created a sleek hanging lamp which is predominantly made from cardboard. Dubbed, Numerouno, the eco-friendly lamp weighs a mere 600 g (21 oz) and features a low consumption 21 W fluorescent tube that emits the same amount of light as a traditional 150 W light bulb.  Read More
Nevermind detects the player's fear levels making the game harder as their fear rises and ...
While traditional horror video games seek to provide an exciting thrill, Nevermind is a biofeedback-enhanced horror game that has greater ambitions. It requires you to manage your anxiety in alarming scenarios – the more stressed you feel, the harder the game becomes. The aim, says Erin Reynolds, its creator, is for players to learn how to not let their fears get the best of them in nerve-wracking situations and hopefully carry over their gameplay-acquired skills into the real world.  Read More

The Morph concept would allow passengers to purchase additional sitting width
Economy airline seats have a one-size-fits-all design that seems to fit hardly anybody and often makes flights of any length into an extended exercise in discomfort. Last week, London-based design firm Seymourpowell presented Morph – a new concept economy seat for airline travel that uses stretched fabric sheets and movable supports to allow passengers to customize their seats and even purchase extra width.  Read More
From left: the 2011 NWR 002 prototype, the 2013 commercially-ready LIGHBOT and the prototy...
There is no better example of the rapid rate of product development than NSK's move into the area of robotics. At IREX 2011, NSK showed a prototype robot designed to safely guide the visually-impaired, with a footprint of 520 x 660 mm (20 x 26 in) and weight of 40 kg (88 lb). This week, just two years later, NSK showed two versions its Lighbot guide robot that represent a 75 percent weight reduction and an 83 percent footprint reduction. The ingenious right-or-left-hand-drive interface has been both replaced and improved, and all other aspects of the latest bots are equal to or better than the original.  Read More
The E-Streetflyer is powered by a 750 W electric motor
When we first came across Dr Carsten Mehring's StreetFlyer in 2011, its ride was described as like hang gliding on wheels. Like a hang glider, it didn't have a motor but relied on leg power and downhill slopes to get things moving. But now a student team at the Colorado School of Mines under Mehring's supervision has strapped a motor to the three-wheeled vehicle so it can be effortlessly ridden on the flat.  Read More
A prototype lithium-ion battery, that incorporates the polymer
In their continuing efforts to increase the energy density of lithium-ion batteries, scientists have began looking at alternative materials for those batteries' electrodes – materials such as silicon. The problem is, electrodes swell and shrink as they absorb and release lithium ions, causing them to break down over time. This is particularly true of silicon, which is brittle by nature. Now, however, scientists have developed a conductive elastic polymer coating for those electrodes, that heals its own cracks after each use.  Read More
Controlling virtual arms and hands with the minds could help stroke patient rehabilitation...
Earlier this year, we saw an amazing demonstration of an EEG skullcap interface that allowed a quadcopter to be controlled with only thoughts. Now the same technology is pioneering a medical therapy in which stroke patients can use their thoughts to guide a simulation, and thus rebuild damaged neurons. As the “virtual reality hands” provide customization and direct feedback of one’s progress, this could be an improvement over traditional therapy methods.  Read More
The Opera Only high end amplifier from Andrea Pivetta
We're no strangers to gigantic audio throwers here at Gizmag. A couple of years ago, we brought news of a monstrous iPod dock called the iNuke Boom that Behringer claimed capable of pumping out an incredible 10,000-watts, and earlier this month Sweden's Studio Total unveiled the 8000-watt second generation Wall of Sound. Yet both these systems combined couldn't come anywhere near the awesome power of the extremely expensive Opera Only from Italian designer Andrea Pivetta.  Read More
The proposed ROBINSPECT robot
For anyone who worries about being caught in a cave-in, you'll be glad to know that tunnels such as those found in subways or mountain roads are regularly checked for structural degradation. These tests are typically performed using the naked human eye, and require the tunnel to be closed to use for as long as the process takes. With this in mind, the European Union ROBINSPECT program is now developing a robotic tunnel inspection system, that should be both quicker and more thorough than human inspectors.  Read More
Boeing has launched its new 777X, 777-8X and 777-9X aircraft Boeing has launched its newest airliner, the 777X, at the 2013 Dubai Airshow. The aircraft is designed with folding wing-tips that will increase wingspan and, as a result, fuel efficiency without limiting access at airports.  Read More
The Cardiff Skate attaches to the user's regular footwear Remember back when everyone owned a pair of rollerblades? How about several decades before that, when kids still strapped roller skates onto their shoes? Well, the California-based Cardiff Skate Company has sort of combined the one device with the other, in the form of its appropriately-named Cardiff Skate.  Read More
MAVEN sets off for Mars (Photo: NASA)
Today, a new attempt at learning the mysteries of early Martian history came a step closer to an answer. At 1:28 pm EST, NASA’s unmanned Mars Atmosphere and Volatile EvolutioN (MAVEN) probe launched from Space Launch Complex 41, Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Florida atop a United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket. It’s the first step in a mission to study the Martian upper atmosphere and learn more about the history of the planet’s climate.  Read More

 
Gifpop allows users to print short animated GIF cards
Animated GIFs are not exactly a new piece of technology, having been introduced in 1987. Lenticular printing is a technology even older, as it starter back in the 1940s. So what happens when you take these two older technologies and merge them? You end up with Gifpop, a new service designed to let people print any animated GIF from the web.  Read More
The Nexus 5 is the first device to ship with KitKat
For more than a year, Android enthusiasts waited for Google to unveil the next iteration of the mobile operating system to succeed Jelly Bean. It was widely thought (even within Google) to be called Key Lime Pie. Instead, a bizarre marketing partnership was struck that gave us Android 4.4 KitKat. In this review, Eric Mack runs down the changes, improvements and a few steps backward.  Read More
Gizmag's compact camera comparison guide looks at the features and specs of some of the be...
In recent years the compact camera market has received a comprehensive battering from smartphones on one side, and interchangeable-lens cameras on the other. However, there are still some quality compacts out there worthy of your gadget-buying attention, as they can offer a great balance of image quality and portability. In this guide we'll take a look at some of our favorites.  Read More
RTS Lab has successfully tested a prototype of its Pars aerial robot, a drone that flies o...
Earlier this year, RTS Lab unveiled its concept for Pars, an aerial robot that flies out over a large body of water to air-drop life preservers near drowning victims. Like many design concepts, we weren't sure if this life-saving drone would ever become a reality, but it seems the Iran-based company was recently able to fund a working prototype and even test its capabilities in open water. Based on these initial tests, it's possible that this flying, GPS-guided lifeguard could be out there saving lives sooner than you think.  Read More
Fellows hopes to break the existing record of 115.8 mph (186.4 km/h) set by Jason Bradbury...
Australian Daz Fellows wants to ensure proper nomenclature is used when describing his modified street luge. Sporting twin-turbines with a combined output of 537 lb of thrust, and a custom formed board composed of carbon fiber, Daz has made clear that the conveyance he'll be climbing aboard when he shoots for a world record attempt of 300 mph (482 km/h) next year is a "jet luge."  Read More
The Platypus prototype takes passengers beneath the waves
Vehicles such as the EGO semi-submarine boat and Adventure-Doo are designed to bring the underwater action within reach of those without the time or inclination to put in the training required to get behind the controls of personal submarines like the offerings from U-boat Worx. But the Platypus underwater exploration vehicle from Fran├žois-Alexandre Bertrand ditches the waterproof hull while giving users a taste of life beneath the waves. We first looked at the Platypus in concept form in 2011 and a prototype has now hit the water as it navigates the often-treacherous waters to commercial availability.  Read More
Big Rig provides electricity and energy to perform useful tasks – just add pedal power (Ph...
If you'd like to live off-grid but still retain access to power when you need it, then New York-based company Pedal Power might have you covered – providing you don't mind putting in the legwork, that is. The firm has launched a Kickstarter campaign for its two stationary bike-like gadgets that are claimed to produce enough electricity to run a laptop when pedaled.  Read More
This image shows two electrodes connected via an external voltage source splitting water i...
Photoelectrochemical (PEC) cells can use sunlight to sustainably split water into hydrogen and oxygen, but efficient PEC materials tend to corrode rapidly in use. A Stanford research group has been studying this problem, and has found that depositing a thin layer of nickel atoms on a silicon PEC electrode allows it to operate for over 80 hours with no sign of corrosion.  Read More
This person uses a fingernail-shaped chip to transfer data between a tablet and a smartpho...
How many mobile electronic devices to you have now? A smartphone, a laptop, a tablet, digital camera, maybe even a smart watch? And how often is it necessary to transfer pictures, documents or videos, between your devices? The inTouch technology developed by researchers from the VTT Research Center of Finland lets a ring, bracelet, or even a smart fingernail act as a conduit to transfer information between devices simply and securely – even when the devices are owned by different people.  Read More
Francois Gissy on his rocket-powered bicycle On May 19 of this year, Francois Gissy claimed a new land speed world record by reaching 263 km/h (163 mph) on a rocket-powered bicycle. Now the flying Frenchman has gone even faster, hitting a peak speed of 285 km/h (177 mph) in just 6.7 seconds.  Read More


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