Posts by Category: future tech

It’s coming WHEN?

cool tech August 16, 2008 posted by

Nokia Jeppe – the new face of home video chat?

The Nokia Jeppe is a remote control video camera on wheels that provides mobile video chat anywhere in the home. At least that’s the theory. At the moment it’s just a concept created by the company’s research labs. They’ve deliberately designed it to resemble a pet to try and break down the technology and make it more accessible. The unit is controlled using a Nokia N800 tablet and contains a two way video camera, a sound sensor and a digital…


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cool tech August 9, 2008 posted by

Toyota Winglet – Segway killer or jumped up roller skate?

The unveiling of the new Toyota Winglet electric personal transport device  last week must have sent shudders coursing down the back of Segway investors everywhere. Built in partnership with Sony’s robot division, the new concept looks infinitely more appealing than the clunky Segway, although it does suffer from a number of performance limitations. For a start it can only move at a maximum of 6 kph and the range is a measly 10 km (compared to the Segway’s 38 km range and 20…


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cool tech August 8, 2008 posted by

Microsoft’s Sphere – cool touch controlled interface looks to the future

Microsoft Sphere. I’m a little behind the curve on this one, but my dear daughter pointed out how cool this was and I’ve got to agree. The dudes at Microsoft have taken a very cool product called the Magic Planet digital video globe (below) and added touch navigation to it using an infrared camera and some software smarts. They’re figuring it could be useful for things like omni-directional video conferencing or multimedia browsing, and the videos certainly make it look a…


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cool tech August 6, 2008 posted by

MIT professor Daniel Nocera discovers more efficient way to store solar energy for use at night

MIT professor Daniel Nocera and his chums have unveiled a simple and relatively inexpensive way to store solar energy for use at night. Traditional methods are cumbersome and expensive but the new process involves using a new form of catalyst which can produce oxygen from water, and combined with another catalyst can produce hydrogen which can be stored as fuel cells for energy production in the dark. The whole electrolysis process can operate at room temperature and in simple containers, although the one downside is that…


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future tech July 16, 2008 posted by

Chinese UFO spotted hovering over pigeon’s head – birds nervous

A Chinese UFO type craft has been spotted hovering around in the skies of Shanghai recently. Not very high up in the skies we ought to say, because the craft can only reach a height of 1000 metres off the ground and a speed of 80 km/h, but hey it’s a start right? It’s a 1.2 metre dish shaped thing that apparently cost over $4 million to develop. Sheesh, give me the $4 mill and an old hubcap and I’ll build you something that will astonish even…


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cool tech July 11, 2008 posted by

Soft House – harvesting power from your curtains

The Soft House project harvests electrical energy from a set of curtains by using ‘organic photovoltaic nanotechnology’ material to convert sunlight into power. The idea is that the curtains convert the sun’s rays all day, then switch to insulating and even lighting the habitat during the evening and night. The research team reckon they can harvest up to 16,000 watt hours of power a day, which is around half of the needs of an average US home. [Thanks Matthew]. Cue joke –…


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future tech July 10, 2008 posted by

Aquavac Electronic Tea Towel – fighting for kitchen hygiene one electron at a time

Student designer Paul Oxley has created the Aquavac Electronic Tea Towel as a high tech replacement for the common or garden kitchen cloth. Apparently one of the main ways food poisoning spreads is through dirty cloths, so the idea is to use this device to hygienically clean up spills and dry crockery. Whether or not a high tech piece of anti-bacterial plastic is cook friendly enough to replace the traditional kitchen rag remains to be seen, but we give him 8 out of…


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future tech July 8, 2008 posted by

The Non-Stop Train – detachable docking compartment takes the strain

The Non-Stop Train concept is quite an interesting idea. Instead of the train halting at every stop, it continues through stations while detaching and collecting a transit compartment for people who want to get on and off. The video explains it better than I can. The interesting thing is that the infrastructure costs could be relatively small, although as with anything complex, there’s always more scope for things to go wrong. Tags: non+stop+train, transportation, technology+concept


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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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