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Tag Archives: Technology

This Business Jet Ditches Windows In Favor Of A Panoramic Display

spike

We’re not super crazy about the tiny windows on planes anyway, so we won’t shed a tear at the idea that the upcoming Spike S-512 supersonic business jet is planning to ditch them altogether. But don’t imagine its well-heeled flyers will stare at a blank wall. Instead, the plan is to have large panoramic displays mirror the outside view, through cameras placed all around the plane’s exterior. Not only will the view be more spectacular, it can be replaced with anything else at the touch of a button. Want to catch some Z’s under a calm starry night? No problem.

Not only is it a novel and impressive idea, the company also informs us that shedding the windows will also save weight. That should help it along in getting to its cruising speed of Mach 1.6. That’s 1,218 mph for those of you keeping count, and if you thought a supersonic business jet with panoramic displays instead of windows would cost a pretty penny, you wouldn’t be wrong: the expected price tag will be somewhere around $60 million and $80 million, when it supposedly comes out in 2018.

[ Manufacturer Website ] VIA [ Engadget ]

WinkyMote Lets You Change Channels With The Blink Of An Eye

Winkymote

Complete paralysis is awful. Imagine having to somehow navigate the world without being able to move anything below the waist. Even watching TV is nearly impossible. But the WinkyMote, a project headed by Katia Vega, is a type of “second skin” makeup that integrates some circuitry and has allowed at least one quadriplegic to control his television. By placing it near the eyes and covering it with makeup, Felipe, a 33-year-old master student in Administration (who was paralyzed 13 years ago in a Jiujitsu accident) was able to turn the TV on and off, as well as to change channels, simply by combining various blinking commands. “Winkymote was prototyped with Clio, an arduino based microcontroller from Seeed Studio” and while it has achieved some really cool results, we can’t find any information about availability for any other similar patients.

[ Project Page ] VIA [ MedGadget ]

Is This What The BMW i8′s Keyfob Will Look Like?

BMW-i8-keyfob-1

You may be looking at BMW’s key fob for their upcoming i8 plug-in hybrid car. It kind of looks like a mini smartphone and allegedly features a high resolution LCD that informs you of a few essential metrics on your vehicle, like its current range and charge time. There are rumours that it’ll be programmable to display other info, but we don’t have details on that. Matter of fact, this could be someone’s photoshop project for all we know, although it looks somewhat legit. The BMW i8 will hit the road in 2014 and is expected to sell out quickly. It does the 0-60 in 4.4 seconds, and will reportedly do 113 miles to the gallon. It’ll also dent your bank account to the tune of $135,000.

BMW-i8-keyfob-2

VIA [ AutoBlog ]

McLaren: ‘No More Wipers For Us, We’re Going For Fighter Jet Technology’

McLaren Fighter Jet Technology

Driving a car without windshield wipers in the rain is an accident just waiting to happen. However, that won’t be the case with McLaren’s future vehicles because even though they won’t come with wipers, they’ll come installed with technology used in fighter jets that’ll keep windshields clear, even in the strongest of rains.

While the car manufacturer hasn’t unveiled too many details on the exact technology they’ll be using, experts suggest that the system will use high-frequency system that will course sound waves through the windshield. This movement will create a forcefield of sorts that will deflect rain, mud, and insects.

McLaren’s Frank Stephenson said: “I was told that it’s not a coating on the surface but a high-frequency electronic system that never fails and is constantly active. Nothing will attach to the windscreen.”

No more wiper blades. Now isn’t that something?

VIA [ Gizmodo ]

 

Full Color 3D Printer On The Horizon

3d-printer-projet4500

3D printing keeps maturing in leaps and bounds, and the latest innovation is full-color prints, with gradient transitions between tones. Some of the current crop of cheaper, extrusion-based printers do provide coloured prints, but they can only print one colour at a time and the transitions aren’t as smooth as the ones produced by the ProJet 4500 by 3D Systems. This particular machine uses a different technique, laser sintering, to achieve its results. This involves a laser focusing into a precise point in space, and hardening a special powder, point-by-point and layer-by-layer. In this fashion, a more precise and controlled mix of colours is possible, although the end result is somewhat unsaturated and washed out. However, the ProJet 4500 is meant to be used in rapid prototyping, where you’ll be able to save a manual painting step and get your part approved for final production that much quicker.

There’s no word on price, though the device appears to be available.

[ Product Page ] VIA [ Gizmodo ]

Electrode Lets You Taste Flavors That Aren’t There; Digital Lollipop On The Horizon

Screen Shot 2013-11-25 at 7.37.28 PM Eating is a wonderful thing, but getting fatter not so much. Well, the days of being able to ingest healthy things while our tastebuds tell us they’re in fact deep friend bacon burgers might not be so far off. Nimesha Ranasinghe and his team at the National University of Singapore are in the process of developing a device that simulates flavours directly on a user’s tongue.

By placing an electrode on the tip of the tongue and by carefully generating some current and temperature changes, the researches are able to simulate the basic tastes of sweet, salty, sour, and bitter. The contraption is still quite unwieldy and not ready for any type of commercial use, but they’re working on making it smaller and less cumbersome. Also, they haven’t managed to generate smell and texture yet, which unfortunately is a huge component of taste, but of course they’re working on it. Considering we already have Smell-o-vision type devices, it’s not unreasonable to imagine a future where every element of eating is digitally simulated, minus the calories of course. Ranasinghe and his team are actually working on a digital lollipop.

There’s clearly no word on when or even if this could ever be turned into a commercially available product. But the fact that they’ve been able to simulate some tastes already sounds pretty promising.

[ Product Page ] VIA [ C|Net ]

Military Inspired ATV Comes With Unpopable Tires

hero-sm

We’re not sure who Polaris had in mind when they created the Sportsman WV850 H.O. We’re thinking ex-military folk looking to reminisce on the good old days where they did some enthusiastic off-roading while being shot at from all angles. Because who else would want to spend $15,000 on an ATV whose main selling feature is a set of non-pneumatic tires that can’t be shot out? In testing, the WV850 H.O.’s tires have taken fire from all kinds of caliber, all the way up to a beefy .50 cal, and still managed to keep going up to 350 miles. They even kept going 1,000 miles after going over some spike strips, which would be awesome if you were a character in GTA. Alas, you’re not, and if you see your ride’s tires sustaining fire from a .50 cal weapon, may we suggest getting off and finding suitable cover as soon as possible? Because the wheels may stay on, but that fleshy bit just two feet away won’t fare so well.

[ Product Page ] VIA [ Geekologie ]

Coin, One Card To Rule Them All

coin

That’s another one of our awful headlines. What place does a LOTR reference have in discussing this particular piece of technology, we wonder… Anyway, that makes Coin no less awesome. It’s a programmable bank card in which you store all your other cards, and use only that instead. In other words, you don’t have to carry three credit cards and two debit cards in that fat wallet anymore, since you can just carry Coin. At a point of sale, simply decide which card you want Coin to be, and it’ll reprogram its magnetic strip on the fly to mimic that card. There’s also a safety feature that will cause your smartphone to emit an alert if the two become separated, making it harder for you to forget Coin somewhere. Unfortunately, Coin only works with cards that don’t feature a chip, which makes it almost useless outside of the USA.

It’s $100 normally, but 50% off on pre-order now, with delivery starting in summer of 2014.

[ Product Page ]

We’ve Seen The Future, And It’s In This MIT Motion-Tracked Table

4n4pa

Just watch that GIF and tell us if your mind isn’t blown. It’s a project by a team at MIT called inFORM. It seems to involve a table with an array of individually actuated push-rods, which are in turn controlled by a motion-tracking camera. Here’s how they explain it:

Past research on shape displays has primarily focused on rendering content and user interface elements through shape output, with less emphasis on dynamically changing UIs. We propose utilizing shape displays in three different ways to mediate interaction: to facilitate by providing dynamic physical affordances through shape change, to restrict by guiding users with dynamic physical constraints, and to manipulate by actuating physical objects.

If we’re understanding their jargon correctly, the team is looking to develop a man/machine interaction that doesn’t involve a static user interface. In other words, they’re exploring ways in which we could interact with machines in the future. What does that mean in practical terms? We’re not sure, but a user on Reddit suggests a table that can pass the salt itself… It’s funny, but hey, the possibilities appear limitless and we’re glad folks with some semblance of competence are working on this stuff.

Watch the full video below to get a better idea of how awesome this is.

[ Project Page ] AND [ Full Paper ] VIA [ Reddit ]