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Tag Archives: future tech

5 Bits of Future Hearing Technology


The following article is written by Sophie Davidson in collaboration with Hidden Hearing. -Ed.

Hearing aids have been around for centuries, but they weren’t always as high-tech and sophisticated as the ones now available. While horn-style devices were popular back in the 1800s, the first electrical hearing aid was created in 1898, which led to hybrid aids using combined digital and analogue circuitry being patented in 1977. Digital signal processing chips also revolutionised the hearing aid industry and these days you only have to visit a site like Hidden Hearing to see sleek inner ear models that offer those with hearing impairments a more discreet alternative.

Technology has greatly enhanced the hearing aid world, but what’s next? Here are five bits of future hearing technology we might expect to see over the coming years:

1. Ear-lens
Currently at clinical trial stage, the ear-lens could soon be a common form of treatment for those with hearing problems. Essentially, it’s a transducer mounted on the eardrum that receives a laser signal from the external part of the aid mounted behind the ear. The transducer converts the laser signal into a physical vibration on the eardrum itself and has a much wider frequency range than many of the more conventional hearing devices.

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This Prototype OLED Screen Can Fold Into Thirds


The large screen size of the new iPhone 6 Plus has rekindled the conversation of just how big these devices will get. More screen real estate is always a good thing, but a pocket-bursting phone that looks like a tablet not so much. That why bending screens may be a way to have your cake and eat it too. The above prototype OLED screen, developed by Japanese firm Semiconductor Energy Laboratory, better known as SEL Co. Ltd, fully folds down into thirds, while remaining completely functional. It has been tested to fold and unfold up to 100,000 times, so durability isn’t an issue; that’s two bending sessions a day… for 137 years. The screen itself measures 8.7-inches, and has a 1080p resolution, giving a 254ppi pixel density. And as cool as it is, there’s clearly no word on when or even if this particular model might ever make its way to actual devices you can buy. Still, it’s nice to know the tech is being developed and it’s probably just a matter of time until we start seeing bending devices pop up on the market.


[ Nikkei Tech article ] VIA [ Digital Trends ]

The Future Is Here: Solar Freaking Roadways!


Imagine if we could convert all the roadways in America into a giant solar panel that provides enough energy for every household in the country. Just imagine. No more nuclear plants. No more coal plants. Greenhouse gas reductions of 75%. Sounds cool, right? Well, the good folks at Solar Roadways have already done that, and they’re trying to get the product adopted by the relevant authorities.

Solar Roadways is a modular paving system of solar panels that can withstand the heaviest of trucks (250,000 pounds). These Solar Road Panels can be installed on roads, parking lots, driveways, sidewalks, bike paths, playgrounds… literally any surface under the sun. A nationwide system could produce more clean renewable energy than a country uses as a whole (

They have many other features as well, including: heating elements to stay snow/ice free, LEDs to make road lines and signage, and attached Cable Corridor to store and treat stormwater and provide a “home” for power and data cables. EVs will be able to charge with energy from the sun (instead of fossil fuels) from parking lots and driveways and after a roadway system is in place, mutual induction technology will allow for charging while driving.

The possibilities this system affords are mind blowing, and too varied to all list here. But you should know this is no oddball backyard project. Solar Roadways have been extensively tested, with funding from the U.S. Federal Highway Administration. It’s a real product, and if the stars align and politicians can get their heads removed from their behinds, maybe, just maybe this can become a thing.


[ IndieGogo Campaign ] AND [ Company Page ]

Boeing’s Black is a Self-Destructing Smartphone

Boeing Black Phone




Boeing has a top-secret phone in the works, and unfortunately it’s going to stay top-secret until its completion because it’s only going to be sold to government agencies. Dubbed as “Black,” it’s a smartphone that has a self-destruct feature when it’s tampered with, so the secrets and data it holds will remain a secret forever.

Boeing’s Bruce Olcott explains that the phone “will be sold primarily to government agencies and companies engaged in contractual activities with those agencies that are related to defense and homeland security. The device will be marketed and sold in a manner such that low-level technical and operational information about the product will not be provided to the general public.”

The phone will reportedly come with dual SIM card slots, a removable battery, and Wi-Fi and Bluetooth capabilities. The phone will be able to operate on the GSM, WCDMA and LTE networks.

VIA [ Dvice ]

High-Tech Beauty: Activate Gadgets With a Wink and a Smile

Conducive Makeup

How you control your devices might soon change, thanks in part to these developments by computer scientist Katia Vega. Instead of actually manipulating your device or using a remote control, Vega envisions that people–specifically those who wear makeup–will be able to unlock or activate their devices by moving a certain part of their face. Not just any part, but parts where specialized makeup has been applied.

Apparently, Vega was able to come up with a method to integrate sensors and conductive elements to makeup. For example, when eyeshadow is applied to both the top and bottom of the person’s eye where metalized lashes have also been affixed, then a longer-than-usual blink will allow the sensors in the eyeshadow and lashes to connect, completing the circuit.

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Mind Blowing Future Graphic Manipulation Technology Extracts Structures From Images


Imagine you can take a flat picture, and with just a few clicks, extract the three dimensional structures present. And not just extract them, but then manipulate them, transform them, copy them, and move them around the image. That’s what this software, 3-Sweep, does. It was demonstrated at SIGGRAPH Asia 2013, and while a written explanation is all fine and dandy, you really won’t get the scope of just fantastic this technology is unless you watch the video below.

You get the feeling that this is still in its early developmental stages, so there are some visible limitations. But in terms of what it’s capable already, we’ve never seen anything like it. If Adobe doesn’t have their eye on these guys, they’re making a big mistake.

VIA [ Reddit ]

Now You Can Charge Your Smartphone on Your Kitchen Counter

DuPont Countertop Charger

How often do you leave your phone on the kitchen counter? I’m guessing a lot. Wouldn’t it be cool if there was a way to charge your phone while it was on the counter? If you agreed with me, then you’ll be happy to hear that DuPont has figured out how a way to do this. They collaborated with the Power Matters Alliance to create a tabletop that has built-in wireless charging capabilities.

The technology isn’t for kitchen counters only, as it can also be integrated with the nightstand in your room or with the coffee table in your den. Basically all they did was take Powermat’s wireless charging technology and incorporate it into a Corian solid surface, which is commonly used for counter tops.

Now this is awesome stuff.

VIA [ Bit Rebels ]

Dry Hands Lets You Wash Then Dry Your Hands At Once For Added Convenience

Dry Hand

Washing your hands in a public place is usually a two-step process. The first is the actual handwashing proess itself, while the second involves either a paper towel or an electronic hand dryer to dry your hands up. Combining both and turning this everyday task into a one-step action is the Dry Hand, which is a faucet and dryer in one.

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90 Degree Adapter Bends to Fit Into Tight Corners

90 Degree Adapter

One of the most common reasons why headphones stop working is a busted plug. Most people don’t get those wire clips or organizers, so they end up winding the headphone wire around the music player before tucking it into their purse, bag, or jeans jacket. With enough winding and usage, the plug eventually wears out and breaks, causing a disconnect.

Tackling this head-on is Mohammad Reza Navaei with his design that’s aptly called the 90 Degree Adaptor.

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