Lytro Cinema Gives You The 40K Experiance

When we say 40K in this instance we aren’t talking about the Warhammer universe, instead, I am talking about the 40k resolution that the Lytro Cinema will give you.

Lytro uses a “light field solution” to detect and calculate a cubic ton of information regarding the light in a photo, this gives you not just the original imagine but the depth of any given point, essentially a 3D copy. While this technology may give you something to use for VR technology, the companies recent introduction of Lytro Cinema looks to be the closest to everyday use that we will see for a while.

Lytro Cinema records at 40K resolution with a staggering 300 FPS, leading to around 400 gigabytes of information per second. With the ability to change settings after filming because of how the data is recorded, the new recording technique may get rid of an old cinema favorite, the green screen.

With the ability to detect and focus on a particular part of a scene, the reliance of putting people within a green screen (something you would then remove to overlay special effects). With the rental package for a camera starting at £125k, it’s not for your everyday filmmaker.

With many only just catching up to 4K TV’s, I doubt that 40K 3D content will be coming to your home anytime soon but when it comes to making movies the added quality can only be a good thing.

Sweep Looks to Bring LiDAR Technology to Everyone

LiDAR is a technology normally reserved for those with a lot of money, but a group has taken to Kickstarter to give you access to the technology for a minimal price.

Sweep is an impressive device given its low spec stats and reduced price model. With a range of 40 metres, the device can be used both indoors and outdoor for everything from security sensors to detect when someone enters a room, to a drone detecting when someone enters your garden.

Featuring 360 scanning capabilities you can even use Sweep to map out a room, giving you the dimensions of a room with ease, something useful for people who want to remodel a room and don’t want to use a tape measure or laser distance finder to map out every single indent and outlet.

Given its low-end target the technology is going above and beyond, providing support and example projects for people looking to use the system on the Raspberry Pi, Arduino and other systems.

With an expected delivery date for the first products in the fourth quarter of this year, you could soon see the technology used in other projects with prices going as low as $249 for the device.

Offering something for almost a quarter of the market price for something is going to have a lot of interest and with the project already meeting half its Kickstarter target with 26 days to go, it could soon become a reality.

New York To Welcome World’s First Underground Park

Countries are defined by land, the same goes for cities and towns. So what do you do when you want to add a new park but are running out of space? James Ramsey and Dan Barasch has the answer, you make it the world’s first underground park.

The High Line is a 1.45 mile-long park, build atop some old railroad in Manhattan, but this won’t be the only park with the new “Lowline” project looking to transform an underground trolley terminal into the next park to grace New York.

After working on the project for five years, Ramsey and Barasch have now submitted their proposal to the city, eagerly awaiting their response. If accepted, it would be the world’s first underground park, something which the pair are well aware of. Ramsey stated, “nothing like this has really existed before, so we had to do a lot of work figuring out how to actually make this thing happen”.

The key problem is getting light into the underground park, something they hope to do by using naturally reflective surfaces. Once they managed to get light underground the duo hopes to be able to grow plants underground, a feat that would only increase the park’s natural appeal ten fold.

If it’s approved construction would begin in 2018, with the concept showing off some of the dreams that the project hopes to achieve. I’m already looking forward to the concept and seeing how others go about it, once the Lowline is built I have doubt that countries all over the world will look at doing just that.

Solar Cells So Small They Don’t Even Pop Bubbles

Solar panels are hardly small things, they are so big that some places even create large fields covered in just the devices, some laws even state that you either use them on your roof or you have grass. With recent advances in the field, increasing both how much energy each solar panel can absorb but also what they look like, it was no surprise that people are more and more keen to adopt the new technology, but sometimes giant panels, even hidden ones, are just too inconvenient to be considered useful; introducing the solar cells so small that they don’t even pop bubbles.

The solar cells were created by researchers at MIT, who while they state they are years away from commercial products, the proof-of-concept means that soon your phones and even your clothes could soon be powering all your gadgets. The process involves a vacuum chamber and avoids the use of solvents, something that differs from the traditional approach of high temperature and chemicals in solar cell production.

The researchers were able to demonstrate how light and thin their solar cell was by placing it atop a soap bubble, the bubble then remained intact. The problem with the cell though is it may be too small, making it maybe a little too prone to blowing away in the wind or after a heavy breathe.

Would you like to see solar panels integrated into more things? Your house windows or your roof, why not your watch or the back of your phone? The possibilities are endless!

Excessive Computer Use Causes Burst Blood Vessels in Mans Eyes

We as humans are increasingly living in a dependent digital age whereby we are immersed in gadgets. Laptops, tablets and even that latest 60-inch television you thought would fit into your living room, it’s impossible to have a break. You may want to take note of this story of an unfortunate man who burst blood vessels in his eyes after working for long periods at a time while using a computer.

Wuhan Evening News are reporting that 30-year-old Lee Chong noticed that his vision had become blurry, he went to the hospital where doctors informed him that he had in fact burst blood vessels in his eyes. The unlucky gentleman had what is known and is written as -8.00-dioptres high myopia, now, after researching this it seems to be extremely severe considering high myopia is usually described on glasses and contact lenses at around -6.00D (dioptres). If you’re wondering, Myopia is often known as “being short-sighted” and it causes your vision to be blurry in the distance but clearer when looking at things up close.

The cause, in this case, seems to be a combination of staying up for long periods of time coupled with exposure from gadgets. It just goes to show your eyes would benefit from periods of rest instead of being bombarded by the glare of the screen.

Remember to take breaks folks, last thing you want is this!

US Researchers Develop Light-Based CPU

A group of researchers from the University of Colorado Boulder, the University of California, Berkeley, and the Massachusetts Institute of technology have created a CPU that eschews electricity to transfer data in favour of light, which operates at astronomical speeds but uses a fraction of the energy required to run a standard processor. The remarkable photonic chip has been revealed in a new paper published in the academic journal Nature.

“Light based integrated circuits could lead to radical changes in computing and network chip architecture in applications ranging from smartphones to supercomputers to large data centers, something computer architects have already begun work on in anticipation of the arrival of this technology,” Miloš Popović, Assistant Professor at CU-Boulder’s Department of Electrical, Computer, and Energy Engineering and a co-corresponding author of the study, told CU News Center.

Measuring in at 3mm by 6mm, the photonic CPU operates at a bandwidth density of 300 gigabits per second per square millimetre, a rate of up to 50 times higher than that of the conventional electrical-based microprocessors of the current market. The chip uses 850 optical input/output (I/O) components to transmit data at superfast speeds.

“One advantage of light based communication is that multiple parallel data streams encoded on different colors of light can be sent over one and the same medium – in this case, an optical wire waveguide on a chip, or an off-chip optical fiber of the same kind that as those that form the Internet backbone,” he Popović, adding, “Another advantage is that the infrared light that we use – and that also TV remotes use – has a physical wavelength shorter than 1 micron, about one-hundredth of the thickness of a human hair,” said Popović. “This enables very dense packing of light communication ports on a chip, enabling huge total bandwidth.”

New Form of Carbon Creates Diamonds at Room Temperature

Diamonds. Known for being priceless stones and hard to scratch, they’ve been at the centre of jewellery for years due to their shine, price and resilience. This could all change soon though, thanks to Scientists from North Carolina State University who have just announced their newly created form of carbon, Q-Carbon.

Previously carbon could exist in two other forms, graphite and diamond. Q-carbon is unique in that it is ferromagnetic, meaning not only is it harder than diamonds, but when exposed to energy it begins to glow.

Q-Carbon has also been used to construct diamond structures at room temperature, a feat that was only ever possible in extreme heats (e.g. specialised furnaces and volcanos) and under immense pressure. While still requiring a temperature of 3,726 °C, a feat achieved by a single laser pulse, the heat is only needed for 200 nanoseconds before being cooled down.

With current films of Q-Carbon measuring between 20 and 500 nanometers thick the researchers have been able to adjust the created structures by changing the laser pulse’s properties or the substrate, a material where the reactions take place.

Jay Narayan, the lead author of several papers described the process and continued to say, “And it is all done at room temperature and at ambient atmosphere – we’re basically using a laser like the ones used for laser eye surgery. So, not only does this allow us to develop new applications, but the process itself is relatively inexpensive.”

With its strength and luminescent properties, imagine a phone screen made of Q-Carbon?

You can find the latest update into their research here.

Smaller & Cooler Night Vision Thanks To Graphene

Everyone knows that green hue of the night vision goggles, from TV or games you’ve seen them help police and search and rescue teams with spotting people from a distance or soldiers using them to gain that upper hand in the night. One thing you may have noticed though is that the night vision you see people wearing tends to be large devices and are often very heavy. The reason for this is quite simply because most night vision units require cryogenic cooling due to the heat the materials and electronics generate; that could soon change though with the use of graphene.

Graphene is a semi-conducting material, meaning it absorbs electric charges and its roughly 100 times stronger than steel. MIT researchers have built a new chip out of the material, designed to help keep night vision goggles cool and even minimize the size of the night vision goggles.

While able to pick up a hand and logo the next step they hope to achieve is to increase the resolution of the images, with its size enabling the devices to be inserted into devices as small as smartphones they want to make sure that the technology is of a high enough quality to be used in everyday systems. One of the suggested uses is in your windscreens, meaning that your screen could display night vision in real time, reducing all those lights that block your eyes while your driving.

See How the BMW EnLighten App May Help You in Traffic

Traffic lights could become a nightmare in heavy traffic, to the point where you never know if you can send a quick text or take a sip of your morning coffee before the light ahead changes. You always need to keep your eyes peeled and check if the light turns green before the guy behind you honks you to death, or you may never know if that green light will change before you try passing the intersection.

BMW has been working on solving this and came up with the EnLighten app, having it work with participating cities by communicating with the traffic light control system. This means that the app makes use of your phone’s GPS and knows which light you are approaching, then gives you a counter to see how long it will take for the light to change.

However, don’t think that the counter is 100% accurate, so don’t try forcing your luck on that last second. The data is received and processed based on red, amber and green cycles, as well as traffic flow cycles at different times of the day.

While there may be a slight time deviation, the app is still useful in giving drivers a chance to time their arrival at intersections when the light is green, or give them a chance to do something else while waiting at a red light.

The app is currently available on iOS and Android for use in any BMW car and a map of participating cities can be found here.

Thank you Gizmag for providing us with this information

Siri Can Now Play a Helpful Role in Controlling Your Smart Homes

Apple seems to be focusing on making you upgrade your homes as well as your gadgets this year. After it first announced a release date for the first smart home devices, the company is now focusing on getting their personal assistant, Siri, to help you out inside your smart homes.

What this means is that Apple made Siri compatible with certified products to give you the ability to control appliances via voice commands. This is a good thing given that most if not all manufacturers are now interested in joining the Internet of Things. Why? Well, everything nowadays is made or will be made with a microchip and yes, that includes your fridge, doors, lighting and so on.

Also, if you think Apple is the only one focusing on smart homes, think again! Google just announced it is also working on its own piece of code that will help you control things in your smart homes, having Microsoft and Samsung promoting their own solutions too. In addition, the list of manufacturers is most likely to get bigger by the end of the year, but it will also depend on how comfortable you are with having microchips in your appliances. What we do know is that your toaster will not try to kill you.

If you are interested in purchasing some smart devices to upgrade your home, Lutron Electronics and Insteon are two manufacturers now selling wireless hubs that allow you to control the lighting inside your house. Other manufacturers have also placed their products up for pre-order and are working on other home solutions, so you can now browse and save some cash for future home improvements.

Thank you Phys.org for providing us with this information

LG’s OLED ‘Wallpaper’ TV Uses Magnets to Stick on Wall

LG’s branch LG Display has just made a breakthrough in the department of HD Televisions. They have shown off a detachable display panel so thin that it clocks at 0.97mm (0.04 inches ) and it weighs just 1.9kg (4.1 pounds). For comparison, their existing flagship 55-inch OLED panel is 4.3 mm thick. It may be possible due the fact that it doesn’t incorporate the circuitry that would actually make it function as a TV. It was made official at a press event in Korea on Tuesday and it is termed as proof-of-concept television. It is a 55″ OLED (Organic Light Emitting Diode) panel. Sporting an OLED panel means insane black levels and great color reproduction.

The display panel is so thin and light that it can be stuck to a wall with magnetic mat using magnets. To remove the panel, just peel it off, literally! But this is not a commercial product at the moment. It is just a proof of concept and it may or may not be in the future TVs by LG. They have made it quite clear that their future TVs will boast OLED panels, Recently, Samsung and Sony have even chosen to move away from the technology due to its poor yields and tricky manufacturing process but LG Display knows what they are doing.

Thank you Yonhap News and The Verge for providing us with this information.

The Light Phone – A New Phone Devolution?

With technology trying to grab our attention more and more nowadays, it’s refreshing to see a piece of technology surface that puts the interaction back into human gatherings.

The Light Phone is a glorified piece of plastic; when I say glorified, I mean it lights up and makes calls. Created with the idea of having as little as possible to distract you from day to day life so you can leave your smartphone at home.

So what are the features? Nothing, nada, zip, zilch; well it can make calls and act as a flashlight. It is a completely stripped back phone that is around the thickness of four credit cards and the same footprint, so it could fit in your wallet.

The duo behind this are Joe Hollier and Kaiwei Tang; a team that devised this idea at Google’s 30-week incubator in New York. They both came from a phone manufacturing background and knew the importance of putting human interaction back into the front of socialising.

“We started building this because it became very clear that true happiness means being present. This has been written about by so many of the smartest minds since Seneca. So much of our days are spent connected and staring at screens that we are losing that presence in so many situations. We built the Light Phone as a way for people to find balance with their connectedness. It’s not that we think people should never connect again, it’s just that taking a break is extremely healthy in every sense of the word,” said Hollier.

When you buy the phone, you have 500 minutes preloaded and you can charge by USB; which lasts up to 20 days, this would be perfect to just chuck in the car or in your wallet as an emergency phone. What’s best about this phone is that it is so basic, it will essentially never need to be upgraded like today’s flagship phones.

I can see two sides of the coin here. One side, it is a good way of avoid distractions and has a 20-day battery so would be good in an emergency. On the side, it costs $100; I would just turn my phone off, the inconvenience of turning it on would be enough for me not to use it.

If you are interested in this project, why not pop over to the Kickstarter page and take a look around

Tron: Legacy Motorcycle Replica Auctioned for $77,000

People pay a lot of money on things they like on the big screen. But fortunately, some of the things they buy are quire awesome. Take the bike from Tron: Legacy for example. Who wouldn’t want to own such an electrical-powered beauty? I would!

Disney’s Tron: Legacy had its debut back in 2010 and since then, there have been a few people interested in buying a replica of the light cycle. Parker Brother’s Custom Choppers are said to have sold 10 such replicas for a price tag of $55,000. Even so, it looks like others are still interested in buying more of them.

An auction held by father and son Paul and Chris Andrews that took place on the 2nd of May at RM Auctions Sotheby’s brought forth everything from model car engines to customized classic cars. Amongst them was another Tron: Legacy light cycle replica, which apparently found an owner willing to spend $77,000 on it.

The vehicle is said to run on a 96 volt electrical motor and comes with light features to recreate that Tron: Legacy look and feel of the real light cycle. Would you have bought something similar if you had the money? All I can say is this:

Thank you Geek.com for providing us with this information
Images courtesy of and tenminutes

Meet the Camera That Uses Light to Power Itself

If you think solar panels are the only thing that use photons to produce power, you might need to read this. Scientists from Columbia University seem to have developed a camera that uses light to power itself.

The camera appears to have been developed in the university’s Department of Computer Science by researchers Shree Nayar and Daniel Sims in collaboration with Mikhail Fridberg, the head of ADSP Consulting in Sharon, Massachusetts.

As for the camera itself, it looks like it uses a simple pixel circuit where its photodiote is used to measure light as well as convert it into electrical energy. This has been made possible by a sensor architecture, which first captures and reads the image and then is used to harvest energy for the sensor’s power supply.

To test it out, the researchers used off-the-shelves components and made two models. One was made using a single pixel based on the design at hand and used it to capture scene images. The next one was made as a fully self-powered camera that outputs 30×40 pictures, using a supercap power supply rather and an external source.

The fully fledged camera was then used to take images in environments with light measuring in at around 300 lux. This resulted in the camera harvesting enough power to keep the supercap above the minimum needed for the camera to take an image per second… forever.

In order to test this out in different lighting environments, the scientists used an adaptive algorithm used to adjust the framerate of the camera based on the voltage of the supercap and the environmental brightness. In the end, the final results got the researchers hyped about the future of fully self-powered solid-state image sensors.

What does this mean for future camera models? Well, post probably it would mean infinite battery life! Or this could even lead to a way to power up your handheld gadgets that feature a camera? Who knows! What we do know is that it is awesome!

Images and videos courtesy of Columbia University

Philips Unveils The Hue Go Wireless Light

Hot on the tails of the Hue programmable RGB LED lights by Philips the company has now pulled the veils off of the Hue Go. The Hue Go is a semi-translucent half of a sphere that can be used as an accent light or something that one can carry with them.

The Philips Hue lights can be controlled by an app on your smartphone or tablet, and that will allow you to change the color of the light. The Hue Go allows the user to control the color output to one of five presets, from ones like a cozy candle or to “Night Adventure”. If you don’t have your phone or tablet handy you can easily change the preset with a switch on the Go itself. The Go would likely be a great option for parents that have a child that is afraid of the dark, or even for adults who like a little light at night. The Hue Go will be available from Apple stores, Amazon, and Best Buy among others by the end of May and should be $100.

Source: Engadget

GIGABYTE Unveils The Lightest 17.3” Gaming Laptop with GTX 980M Graphics

GIGABYTE announced their latest entry into the gaming laptops with the 17.3” P37X. The ultra light laptop only weighs 2.8kg and is just 22.5mm thin. Inside it packs a Nvidia GeForce GTX 980M graphics card and Intel Core i7 processor and can achieve a P10000+ score in 3DMark 11.

Storage is configured to two rapid 512 GB mSATA SSDs and dual 2TB hard drives, blending speed and capacity into an incredibly thin and lightweight chassis.

The Macro Hub perfectly integrates and translates a series of keyboard and mouse operations into one touch. It has a scissor-switch key structure and a maximum of 25 macro sets can be customized.

P37X is equipped with a 1080p display with 72% NTSC color gamut and viewing angle up to 160 degrees. The built-in Mini DisplayPort supports video output up to 4K resolution with Dolby Digital Plus Home Theatre for the cinematic experience while chilling.

Important gaming functions such as locking the Windows key is also supported on the P37X.

Thanks to Gigabyte for providing us with this information

First Video of a Laser Beam Travelling Through The Air

Light travels fast. Very fast. So much so, that it just seems instant to us. But, for the first time ever, we can see for ourselves that it isn’t and that it does indeed travel.

Researchers at the Heriot-Watt University in Edinburgh have managed to capture a laser beam travelling through the air for the first time. In the video bellow, which was recorded at 20 billion frames per second and lasts 6 nanoseconds, we see the laser beam coasting through the air, with the protons of the beam reflecting off particles in the atmosphere.

Source: The Verge

New Traffic Lights Let You Play Pong

Meet the ActiWait, the new product behind an Indiegogo campaign that promises to let you play Pong while waiting to cross the road.

The concept is the result of work by 3 German design students that replaces the usual buttons and ‘WAIT’ sign with a touchscreen display that lets you play a unique version of Pong, allowing you to compete with your fellow pedestrian on the opposite side of the street.

The idea may just seem like a fun time waster, but the designers believe it could bring some real benefits. They say it could increase safety by reducing the phenomena of jaywalking – getting people off their phones and concentrated on the road (the ActiWait ends the game and flashes green when it’s safe to cross). They also say that the screens could be used for other applications like public surveys, speed dating, navigation and road safety education for kids.

While one setup has been installed in Hildesheim, Germany since 2012, the designers say they need €35,000 to get the ActiWait into more towns and cities. You can contribute here.

Source: Gizmodo

Fujitsu Creates System to Embed Data in RGB Light

Fujitsu Laboratories has created a new technology that allows them to send data through LED light, or any other light source with a variable RGB scale for that matter, while maintaining the same visual light.

The new method can include ID data in the light that can then be picked up by a cellphone and interpreted by an app. This in return can then load and open more information about on object from a centralized server, effectively allowing non-connected objects to be part of the Internet of Things.

“The concept of Internet of Things is important right now, but I don’t believe that everything can be connected to the Internet,” said Akira Nakagawa, director of the Image System Lab at Fujitsu Laboratories. “But this system allows objects to be virtually connected. That was our motivation in developing it.”

Fujitsu demonstrated the modular RGB method during a press conference in Tokyo on Monday where a staffer pointed a smartphone camera at a small mannequin and a traditional Japanese woodblock print, both illuminated with LEDs. The special app on the smartphone then processed the image data and extracted the ID to instantly show the product information about the two objects.

This could come in very handy in museums and galleries for example, but also in retail where you could point to buy with just a few user interactions, or just get more information about any object that has its own lighting setup. It’s a very cost-effective way to provide your customers or visitors with all the information they could desire about an object. It could even be used during live performances of artists, allowing anyone that points their cellphone at the performer to purchase whatever song he’s just performing, or again, just get more information about it. There are almost endless options for this technology.

Fujitsu is testing the technology in various applications to improve its accuracy and aims to commercialize it during its fiscal 2015, which ends March 31, 2016. The LED system will be shown off on Wednesday and Thursday this week at the Fujitsu Forum 2014 in Munich, Germany.

Thanks to PCworld for providing us with this information

Image courtesy of PCworld

Light-Based Computers Are Nearly Here

Within a generation, the conventional mode of computer processing – electron-based – could be thing of the past. The future is bright. Or, rather, light. Refining the electrical conductivity and refractive properties of glass could yield the world’s first photonic computer, with information being transmitted via particles of light.

Richard Curry, a physicist at the University of Surrey, said in a statement, “”Much like how the web uses light to deliver information, we want to use light to both deliver and process computer data.”

Curry and his team have developed a type of chalcogenide glass that can used to manufacture circuit boards. The properties of the glass allows light to transmit the data across it. They predict that the technology could make it to our home computers within ten years. Even sooner, we may see chalcogenide glass implemented in new RAM chips, known as CRAM become the new standard.

Source: Vice

New ‘Super Black’ Material Developed By British Researchers

Hearing of a new material that can perform in ways that push the boundaries of what is actively known is typically heard from the heavily invested teams over at NASA, however a team from Surrey (not too far away from my home in the UK as it happens) known as Surrey NanoSystems have created a new material that is so black, it is supposed to be hard to see if it is actually there. Known as Vantablack, the material is made up of carbon nanotubes – a man-made hollow fibre which measures only 1 nanometre in diameter – hence the name ‘nanotube’. To create the Vantablack material, the team in Surrey build up the nanotubes on a layer of aluminium foil as seen above and as we can see, or not as the case may be, the material is so dark, we cannot tell that it is all crinkled up along with the foil.

The material is so absorbent to light that it has broken a world record, reflecting a mere 0.035% of light shone at it, with the possibility that it can absorb wave of light that sit outside of the range of ‘visible light’ that the naked eye can detect. The rest is the appearance of nothing being where the material is laid and thus giving a black hole effect. Furthermore, researchers state Vantablack is in the region of 10,000 times as strong as steel and it can also conduct heat very well with up to seven and half times the thermal conductivity of copper.

Having already met the requirements for their initial run of orders for this pioneering material, Vantablack has a number of projected uses in highly sensitive pieces of equipment such as space bound telescopes, where the use of current ‘dark’ materials still reflect a small amount of light, having the effect of adding noise to an image. Down here on earth the possible ability to absorb radio waves brings probable military uses in stealth planes and instrumentation, giving the military an advantage against detection.

The  new material will be getting its first public showing later on this week at the Farnborough International Airshow alongside many other bits of military hardware.

Source: Daily Mail

High-Definition Holograms Might Hit The Market As Early As Next Year

When thinking about holograms, the first thought is about movies and science-fiction books where most have encountered the described technology for the first time, knowing it is just a fictional technological thought or concept. A startup company based in California tends to change this in a fairly small amount of time.

Ostendo is a company claiming to have solved the problems faced with hologram technology with the help of 5,000 PPI projectors measuring in at just about the size of a Tic Tac. The projectors are said to be able to control the colour, brightness and angle of individual beams of light across 1,000,000 pixels.

The company states that one chip is capable of delivering a usable image, but multiple chips are said to make room for even more complex and detailed images. Recent news indicate that The Wall Street Journal received a demo of this amazing technology, having it beam green dice spinning in the air.

Though the technology is still in its early stages, the company is said to deliver a chip capable of rendering 2D images on a surface of up to 48-inches at first. However, Hussein S. El-Ghoroury, the founder of Ostendo, stated that the company will be able to produce a chip capable of rendering “consistent” 3D objects in mid-air just months after the first chip’s release.

The technology did not go unnoticed, having already stirred the attention of some major handset manufacturers. Also, Ostendo is already looking forward into enhancing the product by reducing the pixel size to be able to boost the image resolution of its holograms, as well as thinking of ways to embed its technology into TVs, smartwatches and even tablets.

Thank you Endgadget for providing us with this information
Image courtesy of Endgadget

Silverstone SST-PB03 AA Emergency Battery Pack Review

Introduction


In our highly connected digital worlds, keeping on touch with everyone around us is virtually mandatory and as a result we find ourselves demanding more and more battery life from our mobile devices and smart phones. Naturally there is only so much power that can be crammed in to the shell of a smart phone and short of having a very bulky handset, the only real option for many of us is to stick near to a power source where we can give our phones a quick boost of power, although this is both inconvenient and unpractical. To keep us going, portable battery packs that allow us to charge our phones on the go have started cropping up through multiple vendors, making them a commodity for those of us that use our phones a lot whilst out on the go – myself being a prime example.

When it comes to selecting the right battery pack for your budget or needs, the number of options to choose from is huge and the vendors themselves know this. With the demand so high and the number of competing items growing at a rapid rate, every manufacturer is doing the best they can to set their products apart from the rest of the crowd, whether it be through design to suit a particular set of users, or through features and functionality by adding in additional features and accessories such as carry bags, torches, larger capacities and wireless charging capabilities. Whilst all off these products have a variety of designs and capacities, they all have internal batteries and when these come to the end of their working life, there is no option but to buy a new pack. Silverstone however believe they have to the solution to the problem of battery life, simply by removing the battery out of the equation, leaving the user the freedom to select their own batteries and thus the freedom to get a larger capacity of battery for a longer charge time,

Built into a metal casing with a plastic inside, Silverstone’s PB03 barging pack features a small LED light and also doubles up as an AA battery charger. With the cost of portable battery packs spread out across a fairly wide range of budgets, the real question to ask is whether you are better off in getting the PB03 and your own set of batteries, or should we stick to the plug and play units that require no user interaction apart from charging?

It goes without saying that we don’t expect there to be much included in the box alongside the battery and this is just the case with a short USB cable included for charging the battery pack (when rechargeable batteries are used) or connecting a mobile device that has a microUSB port.

Two Singapore Based Teams Create Heat Cloaking Device

Cloaking devices have always been a subject up for debate, either shape cloaking, thermal cloaking or any other type of cloaking device. Apparently, thermal cloaking has been a subject more people were interested in, and even brought forth from the imaginary realm to the real world.

Two teams based in Singapore have allegedly created two different types of thermal cloaking devices. Scientists have been fiddling with ways to cloak things for some time, and found out that microwaves can be bent easily. From there, light bending and infrared radiation, as well as sound, were the main topic in terms of testing and creating devices for bending the latter and devise cloaking devices.

Based on these studies, the two Singapore research teams applied the study on heat. Although heat is not a wave media such as the ones previously mentioned, they have stated that heat as well can be cloaked under certain circumstances. The idea behind cloaking heat is to create an environment where heat diffusion does not occur into an object placed into that environment. Instead, like wave cloaking, the heat is caused to stray from its normal path and move around the object instead of into it.

The first team created a heat cloak by binding strips of metal and polystyrene together and then placing the result inside of a block made of thermal conducting material. The arrangement allowed for thermal cloaking of an aluminium cylinder placed inside. The second team created their device by trapping a pocket of air inside a block made of stainless steel, having the air pocket was lined with copper. An object placed inside the air pocket was heat cloaked.

Both teams do not currently have a specific application in mind for their heat cloaking device, but suggest heat cloaking might be useful for managing heat in electronic circuits. One such application might be inside of cell phones as way to prevent batteries from overheating.

Thank you Phys.org for providing us with this information

Prototype MIT Project ‘Sensory Fiction’ Lets You Feel a Book’s Emotion

The movie theaters have seen all effects get enhanced, from audio and video, to 3D and special effects, but the plain old book has only seen its years weigh heavy on their pages as they get passed on from one hand to another. But researchers from MIT’s Media Lab have found a way to develop a new experience for the reader of printed words, having a project named “Sensory Fiction” in the works.

The concept involves wearing a vest covered in sensors and actuators that uses vibration to simulate shivering or an increased heart rate, local heating to change your skin temperature and pressure from airbags to convey tightness and loosening. This vest is paired with a book, which also has LEDs to create ambient lighting which will show specific lights and colors altogether with each page and feeling it is supposed to express.

[vimeo]http://vimeo.com/84412874[/vimeo]

No ordinary book, this version of the award-winning sci-fi novel ‘The Girl Who Was Plugged In’ can sense what page you’re currently reading, and feed that information to a control unit mounted on the back of the vest to create vibration, pressure, or heat in sync with story beats. It is said that just by reading ‘The Girl Who Was Plugged’ should be enough to provoke an emotional response from most, but the researchers hope the vest-and-book combo can enhance a reader’s experience through external stimuli.

As Sensory Fiction is only in prototype stages, there’s no telling if the team has achieved its lofty goal yet, however the concept at least poses some interesting questions as to the future of immersive storytelling.

Thank you The Verge for providing us with this information
Image and video courtesy of The Verge

Smallest Label Printer For Android Handsets Revealed By Seiko Epson

Seiko Epson has announced their latest label printer for Android devices, the LW-600P. Coming in at only 24mm this is the smallest and lightest label printer that is on the market. Using Bluetooth the LW-600P can easily connect to your Android smartphone or tablet, and the printer runs either via battery power or an AC plug if you can access one. Through the Epson iLabel application you will be able to take full advantage of the printer from your Android device in ways that we not possible before.

Epson offers the options to print labels on a large variety of different tape options. Whether you are looking to print personalized ribbons, create iron-on tags, print glow in the dark or reflective labels you can do it all from the portable LW-600P. Epson has created an open-source development kit for the printer so you can easily create custom applications for your own business uses to make the printer work best for you.

Epson’s printer is available for a price tag of $99 / €72 / £60 with one roll of ribbon, and a price of $123 / €90 / £75 for two rolls. For those interested in Seiko Epson’s printer, they will be showing it off this amazing printer at CES 2014.

Features:

  • “True-view” label preview capability using the camera function to ensure labels perfectly match what’s on the screen
  • Handwriting mode for custom drawing or annotation of labels using the touch screen interface
  • Speech-to-text voice transcription and printing
  • In-app storage of created label for future use
  • Import of custom graphics such as symbols, logos and photographs to copy & paste onto labels for a more professional look or to add a personalized touch
  • Creation of QR code labels for content sharing or barcode labels for inventory management which can be scanned by third-party QR/barcode apps

Thank you Android Central for providing us with this information
Image courtesy of Android Central

Spiders Webs Spark A Recall On 870,000 Toyotas

Toyota are making a recall on a number of vehicles from their 2012 and 2013 ranges due to a problem with a component in the air conditioning system that could lead to airbags deploying in the worst case.

As many as 870,000 Toyota Avalons, Camrys and Venzas are affected and includes all models of these vehicles including hybrid versions. Believe it or not though, the problem in some cases has been caused by a spider making itself at home inside on the of the drainage tubes that come from the air conditioning condenser units.

As the webs are made, they can lead to a blockage that in turn causes the condensed water to flow in a direction that was otherwise not intended and drip onto the module that controls the airbags and cause a short-circuit inside.

In most cases, this has led to a warning light coming up on the dashboard of the vehicle, however there have been instances where the power steering system has failed, or as seen in at least three cases, the driver side airbag has deployed without warning.

Toyota have stated that in the 35 cases of warning lights coming up on the dash, there was a consistent discovery of spiders webs however they have not stated if this is the direct cause for each incident.

As part of the recall, Toyota will make a modification to the drainage tube in question to prevent it from dripping on to the airbag module and owners of affected vehicles will be notified via post to take their vehicle to their nearest dealer where the works will be carried out free of charge.

Source: CNN

Image Courtesy of Toyota