Posts by Category: future tech

It’s coming WHEN?

cool tech July 3, 2008 posted by

Flybrid Systems – building hybrid cars using flywheels not batteries

Flybrid Systems is developing an innovative flywheel based hybrid engine system which will take energy from braking and transfer it through a 60,000 rpm flywheel motion into a fuel saving boost to engine efficiency. It may sound kooky, but Jaguar are already looking at the technology and the Formula 1 racing world is also heavily invested in this type of tech. Don’t expect to see anything on the roads for a few years though, while they iron out the wrinkles.  The…


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cool tech June 6, 2008 posted by

Dimp – very cool direct manipulation video player

Dimp is a very clever video manipulation player that lets you browse and view video clips just by dragging on the footage itself. You need to watch the videos directly to get a feel for the tech, but it’s very cool. You can download the free player and have a go yourself from here.  Although the video clip itself is not modified, dragging an object constrained to a trajectory is similar to dragging a slider. The slider’s thumb will never stray…


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cool tech June 3, 2008 posted by

Digital Pot – let your plant talk to you more

The Digital Pot (aka Pet Plant) comes with lots of on-board tech to help your flora communicate with you. Like a smiley oriented LCD screen indicating how it’s feeling (e.g. I need watering) and a USB socket to let you plug it into a computer for data transfer and power. Neat idea. Only a concept at present, but something similar is definitely going to arrive on the market eventually, once the designers work out how to price it reasonably. But…


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cool tech May 19, 2008 posted by

IBM perfects hot solar technology – making the sun work for our living

IBM has developed a breakthrough solar technology that could radically improve the efficiency and reduce the costs associated with solar power systems. The company uses more focussed sunlight to produce more power, and the trick is in keeping the whole rig cool enough so it doesn’t melt down to a puddle of metal. Meanwhile Der Spiegel magazine from Germany has produced a frankly astonishing image demonstrating just how small a solar power plant we would need to build in the North African desert…


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Bookmark This! April 28, 2008 posted by

The McGyan Biodiesel Process – waste to biofuel in seconds

The McGyan Biodiesel Process promises to deliver cheap, plentiful and ecological fuel from waste material like animal lard and grease and a variety of natural vegetable oils. The process was developed via a lab in the University of Minnesota and the team are just about to build a 3 million gallon a year demo facility in the same state. No details as yet on the cost benefits, but the ecological ones look good.  The process performs a catalytic conversion of…


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cool tech April 17, 2008 posted by

Memjet print engine technology – get ready for 60 ppm inkjet printers

Memjet print engine technology. It looks as though inkjet printers are about to move up to a completely new speed level with the arrival of this new print engine technology from Australian company Silverbrook Research. It’s basically a page wide array of inkjets which lay down the pigment in one swipe, hence the mind-boggling speeds of up to 60 ppm full colour. The key is not just the speed however, but the price, since this looks to be the first technology of…


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cool tech April 3, 2008 posted by

Tooth regeneration may replace dentists drill – yay, let rejoicing commence

Apparently boffins are working on the idea of restoring teeth through natural regeneration rather than using filler to repair decay. This is great news for all those who are not fond of the dentist’s drill (er…hands up those of you who are?) The work is still on-going so don’t expect any radical results for a few years yet, but cross fingers…  That’s because materials scientists are beginning to find just the right solutions of chemicals to rebuild decayed teeth, rather than…


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future tech April 2, 2008 posted by

Future mobile phone technology – more features, faster bigger SIM cards

A couple of press releases fluttered on to my desk yesterday which give some pointers to where future mobile phone tech is heading. The first, from Texas Instruments launched the TI NaviLink chip, which combines GPS, Bluetooth and FM transmission technology on a single low power chip. The chip reduces power by 50% over comparable technologies, as well as reducing footprint by 40% and not only that but improves TTFF (time to first fix) on A-GPS by up to 80%. Expect to…


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Awesome March 29, 2008 posted by

Dean Kamen’s Slingshot water purifier and Stirling generator tech – low cost water and power for the developing world

Dean Kamen has unveiled the latest iteration of his power and water package for the third world. The two components are a water purifier called Slingshot that uses a fraction of the power of alternatives and a Stirling engine based power generator that works on cow dung. The $1500 water purifier will produce 1000 liters of water a day, while the $3,700 generator produces around 1 kW, which is enough to deliver light to a small village. The two products…


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future tech March 11, 2008 posted by

The End of WiFi Hotspots?

Johan Bergendahl, a senior exec with Swedish mobile phone giant Ericsson, has come out and said what I’ve been saying for years, that WiFi will shortly be replaced by cell phone broadband technologies such as HSPA and beyond. It’s really a no-brainer. WiFi is an incredibly frustrating technology once you start moving away from a limited number of environments like airports, offices and home networks. Try getting a WiFi signal in a car on a motorway for example. At the end…


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Awesome February 14, 2008 posted by

Electric Generator Fabric – power your stuff by rustling your armpits

Zhong Lin Wang and his boffin colleagues at Georgia Institute of Technology have developed a type of electricity generating fibres which produce power when rubbed together. Nope it’s not just static electricity, they’re producing proper usable juice, albeit at very low levels right now. The idea is to produce a fabric that could  power our personal gadgets as we walk around, simply through the movement of the clothing. It’s extremely early days, but who knows, one day we may all end up…


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cool tech February 6, 2008 posted by

Project Better Place – subscription based electric car ownership offers a new deal for the future?

Project Better Place is a new Israeli initiative which aims to augment conventional car ownership with a subscription based service which incorporates a subsidized purchase price with a complete recharging, battery replacement and servicing package across the country.  Despite the subsidized price people will still own their cars, it’s just that the running costs will be subscription based rather like the mobile phone sector. It’s a fascinating idea. The team has raised $200 million in venture backing and intends to start…


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cool tech January 16, 2008 posted by

The 150 mpg Extreme Hybrid SUV – rocket scientists aim to revolutionize hybrid vehicles

A collaboration between a bunch of rocket scientists and car engineers at AFS Trinity Power in California has resulted in a new technology called Fast Energy Storage which will apparently improve the performance and durability of conventional hybrid cars at a relatively low cost. The idea is to install an Extreme Hybrid drivetrain consisting of a set of ultra-capacitors hooked up to a sophisticated computer control system which will make better use of the batteries in a traditional hybrid set…


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Bookmark This! January 15, 2008 posted by

27 electric car companies ready to take over the road – swish, zoom, stutter

VentureBeat has compiled a list of 27 electric car companies who are poised to change the way we travel sometime very soon. Well, as soon as they can get a few things worked out, like price, range, battery disposal, carrying capacity, speed…you get the picture. We’ve featured most of them already over the years, but it’s useful to get an overview for comparison. One of the funniest examples is the VentureOne e50, which has a rabid bunch of supporters who make Apple…


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cool tech December 24, 2007 posted by

Aptera 300 mpg EV gets an outing – we eat a little humble pie

So the Aptera Typ-1 EV vehicle (we hesitate to call it a car) has actually made prototype stage, and with a video? We’re kind of humbled. We’re not eating our hats just yet – because there’s a whole universe between prototype and production (just ask Tesla Motors) – but we’re impressed it’s got this far. Good luck guys. Tags: aptera+typ1, ev, ecological


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