Items tagged with Star-Trek

It’s undeniable that in the nearly 15 years since Google became a Real Thing and unleashed search engine greatness on the world, search has evolved. Google has done a solid job of “understanding” search queries these days, to the point where we no longer have to fuss with things like correct spelling or Boolean variables. Further, voice search has improved dramatically in recent years; it no longer seems incredible that you can ask your phone a question and hear it spit out an answer in a small robotic voice imbued with hints of human inflection. And of course, the amount of data that Google has gleaned over the years helps predict what we’re looking for. However, search... Read more...
From the first time any of us saw a replicator on Star Trek, we’ve been dreaming of the day when we could just dial up whatever we wanted and watch it magically appear in front of us thanks to a powerful machine. We’re obviously a ways off from that reality even with the advent of 3D printing, but according to Gartner, 3D printing capabilities are going to skyrocket in the near future, even as prices drop. To put a number on it, the research firm believes that enterprise-class 3D printers will be available for a price tag under $2,000 within three years’ time. Still, it’s reasonably affordable even now. “The hype leads many people to think the technology is some... Read more...
Yes, it’s a publicity stunt for the upcoming J.J. Abrams-directed Star Trek flick, but it’s also pretty cool: Paramount Pictures put together a special app that is designed to engage users by offering exclusive content, “real life” missions, and prize giveaways. The app, which is available on the iOS and Android stores, includes technology from Qualcomm that both predicts and delivers relevant content to the user and also provides augmented reality features. Users can, for example, participate in scavenger hunts IRL by finding and snapping pictures of billboards and other print media that are advertising the film, and you can earn “rewards” for using the audio... Read more...
Nobody’s going to be pulling enemy star fighters into a mothership Star Trek-style anytime soon, but researchers at the University of St. Andrews (Scotland) and the Institute of Scientific Instruments (ISI, Czech Republic) have developed a tractor beam--or at least an experimental version of the concept. Basically, they figured out how to make an optical field that allows them to reverse the normal forward-moving radiation pressure of light to create a negative force that pulls particles instead of pushing them. This step forward opens the door for relatively inexpensive devices that can sort macromolecules, organelles, and cells through a process that we understand is called optical fractionation.... Read more...