Items tagged with Technology

One of the most memorable scenes in all of science fiction films is the scene in the original Star Wars movie where Luke first sees the holographic projection of Princess Leia while trying to clean R2-D2. Many fans of that film have been waiting for decades for a similar projection system to launch. Physicists have now created a very close approximation to that Star Wars projection using a laser and particle system. The technique is known as a volumetric display and can make 3D moving images that a viewer can see from any angle. "This is doing something that a hologram can never do — giving you an all-round view, a Princess Leia-style display — because it’s not a hologram,"... Read more...
Nissan has pulled the wraps of some new research that it claims will allow vehicles to interpret signals from the brain of the driver and redefine how people interact with their cars. Nissan calls it Brain-to-Vehicle, or B2V technology. The Japanese auto giant claims that it will speed up reaction times for driver and eventually lead to cars that adapt to make driving more enjoyable. Nissan will be showing off the new B2V technology at CES 2018. "When most people think about autonomous driving, they have a very impersonal vision of the future, where humans relinquish control to the machines. Yet B2V technology does the opposite, by using signals from their own brain to make the drive even more... Read more...
A group of Japanese scientists have made an accidental discovery that could have a huge impact on smartphones and other gadgets in the future. The scientists developed a new type of glass that can self-heal, fusing itself back together when it cracks. This could mean the end to shattered smartphone screens and costly repairs. The discovery was made at the University of Tokyo while the scientists were studying new adhesives. Though this isn't the first claim of self-healing materials for phones, this new breakthrough material does seem to have significant merit. One of the scientists on the team noticed while he was studying a polymer for its usefulness as a glue that it had the ability to adhere... Read more...
CTRL-Labs is a startup that is working diligently in the brain-machine interface, or BMI field. BMI is a type of interface that allows people to control computers using their brain and assistive technology. It could be a huge breakthrough for allowing people with disabilities to make better use of computers, for both work and fun. It's not the first time we've seen functional technology demos in this space. Years back, OCZ actually demonstrated their NIA or Neural Impulse Actuator technology, but it never really took off. However, the BMI that CTRL-Labs is working on is pretty slick according to Wired, which was able to watch a few demos of the technology. In one demo, the user wears sensor-laden... Read more...
When it comes to electronics, semiconductors make the world go round. This has been true for many decades, though future generations will own devices with different physical makeups than those that are in use today. That includes a potential move away from silicon. In what could be a glimpse into the future, electrical engineers at Stanford have identified a pair of ultrathin semiconductor materials that are every bit as good (and perhaps better) than silicon. Those materials are called hafnium diselenide and zirconium diselenide. Like silicon, these materials can "rust" in a way that is conducive to electronics. In fact, the researchers say they rust in a manner that is even more desirable than... Read more...
The world is a rapidly changing place and that will always be the case. Unfortunately for our friends in the U.K. who might be working in a public sector job, change could precede unemployment. That's because there is a push to replace nearly 250,000 public sector workers in the U.K. with robots over the next 15 years, according to a new report by Reform, a thinktank focused on improving public performance within affordable budgets. While the concept of robotic workers and automated services is not new, Reform is pretty harsh on the downsides of human workers. It points out that "public services fail when employees fail." It also notes that the opposite is true, that public services succeed when... Read more...
Samsung on Thursday formally welcomed visitors to its brand new $300 million campus in San Jose, California. The 1.1-million square-foot site is located on the same corner in San Jose's tech corridor where Samsung's original campus was first built over three decades ago, though this is quite a different facility. The creation of a new Device Solutions America headquarters brings more than 700 employees together into a state-of-the-art building with various amenities, including "chill zones," one of many perks to attract top engineers. There's room for up to 2,000 employees at the facility, which consists of various research labs dedicated to semiconductors, LEDs, and displays. It also accommodates... Read more...
Foxconn is one of the biggest manufacturers of Apple's iPhone handsets, along with electronic gadgets and gizmos from various other well known companies, and for now, all those devices still require a human element. However,  that might not always be the case as Foxconn dives deeper in robotics. What you may not realize is that Foxconn has been developing robotics technology for over a decade. The company's efforts have mostly flown under the radar, though it gained attention when its Japanese partner SoftBank trotted out a humanoid service robot called Pepper. That was in 2014. Foxconn's robots are, appropriately enough, called Foxbots. They don't resemble humans even though they're replacing... Read more...
Oftentimes it's the more simple ideas that are the most brilliant, one of which belongs to Anthony F. Verna, a television director and producer who died on January 18, 2015, in Palm Desert, California. While it would be unfair to reduce a person of Verna's accomplishments to a single memory, he will forever be remembered as the inventor of the instant replay.That's right, the feature we take for granted in every sports game was invented by Verna, who debuted his idea during a CBS telecast of the Army-Navy college football game in Philadelphia on December 7, 1963. He had come up with a method to cue the tape to the play he wanted to show viewers a second time without them missing the next play.Image... Read more...
All the talk in the display sector seems to revolve around 4K Ultra High Definition (UHD) these days, but that's not the only thing going on in the industry. If you focus your attention over at Sharp, you'll see the company is pretty excited about its new "Free-Form Display," a new type of technology that allows for the creation of varied display designs. Using IGZO technology combined with proprietary circuit design methods, Sharp is able to build displays that take on funky shapes and curves rather than stick with a traditional rectangular or square design. Here's a look at Sharp's prototype: "Conventional displays are rectangular because they require a minimal width for the bezel in order... Read more...
Perhaps some day in the far off future, we'll all own self-driving cars that get us from Point A to Point B with no fuss. We're nowhere near that point yet, but we are at the beginning stages. Google is especially pushing the concept and more recently began exploring what fully self-driving vehicles would look like by building some prototypes. What they've come up with is a small, half bubble-shaped car with no steering wheel, no accelerator pedal, and no brake pedal. Why would Google leave such essentials out of the equation? Simply put, "they don't need them," Google explains. "Our software and sensors do all the work. The vehicles will be very basic—we want to learn from them and adapt... Read more...
Technology isn't just about improving the speed of graphics cards to push more pixels on a display, nor is it limited to the pursuit of bigger and faster storage devices, though we're fans of such advancements. More than that, we're passionate about technology because of the wonderful things it can accomplish. Case in point, at the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil this year, the first kick will be made by a teenager who is paralyzed from the waist down. Say what? There's no voodoo magic involved, just awesome technology. The teen will use a mechanical exoskeleton that he'll control with his brain. Yes, it sounds like something out of a sci-fi movie, but it's real, and it's going to happen very soon.... Read more...
Florida will be home to the first Microsoft Innovation Center (MIC) in the U.S. when Microsoft cuts the ribbon later this spring, the Redmond outfit announced. There already exist over 100 MIC locations scattered throughout the world in places ranging from Brazil to Uganda and everywhere in between. The facility being opened up in Miami, Florida will sport the latest technology and tools to help drive job creation, increase the number of high skilled technology specialists, and to spur collaboration among diverse groups in the area. "The opening of the Microsoft Innovation Center in Miami signals our commitment to providing our cities and local communities with resources and technology that help... Read more...
It might not be every day that you find yourself strolling around Suwon, South Korea, but should you be in the area, there's a new place to check out. To celebrate its 45th anniversary -- and love of technology -- Samsung today opened the doors to the Samsung Innovation Museum to the public. Inside you'll find all kinds of modern wonders, including several of Samsung's own products, such as its line of smartphones and curved televisions. It's a five-story museum that takes up around 118,000 square feet at Samsung Digital City. In addition to its own products and technologies, visitors will see important product inventions from other companies, even Apple, one of its biggest competitors. AT&T,... Read more...
You're a unique individual. Not just in the way you look, dress, and act, but also in the way you smell. Don't be offended, we're not saying you smell bad, we're just having a little talk about science. If you didn't have a unique scent, it would be difficult for dogs to track you using their noses, but part of the reason they can do that without getting confused is because of your unique scent. This has prompted researchers at the Polytechnic University of Madrid to focus their attention on a biometric authentication system that can analyze your "personal odor." According to the researchers, there are recognizable patterns to body odor. As part of their study, they found that they could accurately... Read more...
Have you ever wondered what your dog is trying to say when he gives you a funny look? A unique Indiegogo campaign for "No More Woof" seeks to solve that problem by translating your dog's thought patterns into English so you know exactly what Fido is thinking. The way it goes about this is by using Electroencephalogram (EEG) to analyze animal thought patterns, which are then spelled out in human language using a loudspeaker. Campaign details are a little fuzzy and the developers are very upfront about the fact that this isn't a finished product, but a work in progress that it hopes to finish with the help of donations. Be that as it may, No More Woof is embarking on an interesting path by focusing... Read more...
Google is now the proud owner of Boston Dynamics, an engineering company that specializes in building dynamic robots and software for human simulation. You may have seen some of Boston Dynamics' creations already, especially if you've spent any amount of time browsing YouTube videos -- a 2 minute demonstration of the company's WildCat robot has over 15 million views since being uploaded in the beginning of October. The technology here is very cool. Boston Dynamics has a stable of robots that always seem to defy expectations. They have an incredible sense of balance and, in some cases, absurd speed, all the while staying upright even when they sometimes appear wobbly or looking like they might... Read more...
"Would you like a 3D printed toy with that?" That's a question that doesn't yet exist inside any McDonald's fast food restaurants, but give it time and it may become a mandatory query, at least when ordering a Happy Meal. In this day and age of the Internet of Things, society is becoming increasingly connected, and companies are harnessing technology in unique ways. What does this have to do with the golden arches? Mark Fabes, director of IT for McDonald's in the U.K., recently spoke at the Fujitsu Forum in Germany on the topic of the "disruptive customer" and his/her push for digital toys. McDonald's faces a new generation of customers, including kids being raised on digital gadgets like smartphones... Read more...
Iron Man may be a fictional character in the land of comic books and Hollywood adaptations, but is such a suit out of the real of possibility? Apparently the U.S. Special Operations Command is determined to find out. They've teamed up with some of the brightest minds and researchers from various universities and laboratories to see if an Iron Man-like suit could be created for military applications. The goal is to build superior body armor than what's available today, as opposed to being able to fly up into the atmosphere like a tin version of Superman. Efforts to build better armor are already underway, having been inspired by a soldier who broke through a door to rescue a hostage, but was ultimately... Read more...
Historians can argue the exact date of the compact cassette tape's birth, but as far as Philips is concerned, it was on this day in 1963 when the company first launched the format at its headquarters in Amsterdam. It's hard to believe it's been that long, but that makes the compact cassette 50 years old today. "This month, Philips, the innovator behind compact cassette technology, celebrates the cassette’s golden anniversary. That’s 50 years of playing, recording, fast forwarding, rewinding and flipping the tape," Philips said. "As a company rooted in continuing our commitment to meaningful innovation, few inventions have been as culturally meaningful in the last 50 years as the compact... Read more...
Forget about artificial intelligence, researchers at IBM are working on a software ecosystem designed for programming silicon chips that could mimic human brain functions such as perception, action, and cognition. IBM said its solution is "dramatically different" from others before it, noting that it's tailored for a new class of distributed, highly interconnected, asynchronous, parallel, large-scale, cognitive computing architectures. "Architectures and programs are closely intertwined and a new architecture necessitates a new programming paradigm," said Dr. Dharmendra S. Modha, Principal Investigator and Senior Manager, IBM Research. "We are working to create a FORTRAN for synaptic computing... Read more...
Starting in late September, Silicon Alley and Silicon Valley will be collaborating on high-tech solutions to the problems both cities face. The mayors of New York and San Francisco announced that they will be holding two Digital Cities summits (one in each city) to develop new ways of handing old threats, such as flooding and power outages. The summits have already attracted the likes of Jack Dorsey, who is well-known as a co-founder of Twitter and Square. New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg and San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee announce the Digital Cities summits. Image Credit: NBC News Corp New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg and San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee made the announcement while in San Francisco, with... Read more...
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