Elsewhere, graffiti artists will independently fill in the dead zones. Or maybe not to patch up the network, but rather as part of a collaboration with sound artists to create a pop-up pirate radio station to broadcast an improvisational audio documentary of the local area. During times of protest, they could be used to burst through whatever electromagnetic kettling the security forces might be using to prevent the crowds from organizing and reaching critical mass. If there’s no graffiti antenna nearby, just whip out a Spray On Antenna Kit to reclaim the public spectrum.
Conductive inks have a myriad of different interesting applications. As a quick, additive construction method for electronic circuits, they are especially intriguing. Unfortunately, for a long time they have been just out of reach of the hobby market. They are too expensive to buy in decent quantities, too complicated to make, too resistive to be practical, or require high annealing temperatures (which would ruin many of the materials you’d want to put traces on).
MIT scientists have developed new battery technology that lets you fill a battery with goo instead of throwing it away or recharging it when it’s drained.
The black goo, called Cambridge sludge, works just like a normal battery. The goo is a liquid suspension that has charged particles and flows like quicksand. There is a positive suspension on one side and a negative suspension on the other. A current is generated when the charge moves from one goo to another through a thin membrane.
Designed and manufactured by Polymer Vision, the screen can be rolled and unrolled 25,000 times. The question, obviously, is why would you need a rollable display? Well, as ereaders become ubiquitous the need for them to be almost indestructible. I could see a day when kids get their own ereaders for the nursery a la the Diamond Age. Interestingly, Polymer Vision isn’t the company of note when you think of e-ink displays so either they will license this technology or they could start taking more and more market shares from leaders like Eink.
Like a lot of green technologies, one of the major issues with solar panels is that they are expensive. But a team of researchers from the University of Oxford may have stumbled upon a way to make solar cells much less expensive.
And they found the answer in a tube of toothpaste.
The team discovered that a metal oxide commonly found in toothpaste can be combined with a special dye and imprinted onto glass, making an instant solar cell. The glass can be created in a variety of colors, and the creators say that it has a great deal of potential.
“It opens up a lot of versatility and a lot of possibilities for building design,” Dr Henry Snaith told the BBC, though he admitted that it’ll take some time before the solar glass will be a commercially viable product.
“Coupled with our extremely low cost of manufacture and processing and the ongoing research effort to improve the overall performance of the device, we think it’s only a short while till our performance will be competitive.”
NEC subsidiary NEC Avio has developed a thermometer [JP] that measures the user’s temperature without them having to touch the device. As the world’s first device of its kind, it captures your temperature via a built-in infrared sensor and integrates a desktop mirror (hence the name “Thermo Mirror”).
All you need to do is to look at the mirror and your temperature will be measured automatically, and when it detects someone who is feverish, an alarm goes off.
Antibiotics aren’t the only way we are going to make bacteria work:
A new method of data storage that converts information into DNA sequences allows you to store the contents of an entire computer hard-drive on a gram’s worth of E. coli bacteria…and perhaps considerably more than that.
A single gram of E. coli cells could hold up to 900,000 gigabytes (or 900 terabytes) of data, meaning these bacteria have almost 500 times the storage capacity of a top of the line commercial hard drive.
What if I told you that movie theaters may become a little bit similar to Big Brother? A U.K. security firm just earned a grant to use special cameras embedded into movie theater screens to capture your facial expressions — to serve you more relevant ads. Just when I thought privacy couldn’t get any worse, this is sure to shake up movie goers.
The security firm, Arlia Sytems is planning to use infrared to detect the facial expressions of an individual’s face. It will use 3D facial recognition technology to determine things like whether the audience is looking at a certain ad, where on the screen their eyeballs are tracking and how targeted ads are being received.
From Gizmodo, play with digital clay and then print out your masterpiece:
It’s probably the easiest way to design 3D objects, without mucking around on CAD or other design programs. Actually using your fingertips to bend the lump of clay within the iPad app, turning it into a little object to print out—well, it sounds like a dream come true. Imagine your mom making Christmas tree ornaments this way, or being able to conjure up a little doohicky for sliding under a short table leg, within minutes?
Now the 3-D printers need to drop in price, just a little more…..
Imagine objects three-dimensionally printed from a bed of nylon powder; shapes appearing to seamlessly morph and merge with each other; and new forms randomly self-generated by computer software. Lab Craft, a new Crafts Council touring exhibition, presents the imagined as real objects.
Curated by design commentator Max Fraser, the exhibition features 26 of the most experimental names in craft and design, each of them combining traditional craft skills with the use of cutting-edge digital technologies.
One of my favorite pieces shown:
In this vessel, Eden likens the symbolic surface decoration on an ancient Chinese ceremonial wine vessel to the encoded information of a QR code. The vessel’s unique QR code forms the footprint of the piece, which is created by a 3D printing process, and so runs throughout the form
Words, pictures and links via guardian.co.uk. See the exhibit in person at Turnpike Gallery, Leigh until December 18th.
Eberthart Zrenner and colleagues at the University of Tübingen in Germany have developed a microchip carrying 1500 photosensitive diodes that slides into the retina where the photoreceptors would normally be. The diodes respond to light, and when connected to an outside power source through a wire into the eye, can stimulate the nearby nerves that normally pass signals to the brain, mimicking healthy photoreceptors.
The team reports that their first three volunteers could all locate bright objects. One could recognise normal objects and read large words. …
…. As a safety precaution, the implants in this first pilot study were removed after several weeks, says Walter Wrobel, head of Retina-Implant, a company based in Reutlingen, Germany, formed by the researchers to eventually market the implant. “Based on the results of this study, we have designed a new system, which is being implanted permanently, or as long as patients like it.”
In the new system, the power source connects to the retinal implant via a mechanical coupling through intact skin, not via a wire through an incision in the skin as the earlier system did. “That means they can shower easily, leave the hospital and go around town on their own,” says Zrenner. “They can go out for a meal, and really see things, like a nice glass of beer.”
The University of Cambridge has developed a low cost organic solar cell that has the potential to transform solar production. This new material is made of organic plastic and could be used on awnings, umbrellas and other plastic devices to generate energy.
By placing organic polymers (long chains of carbon-based molecules) in plastic you create an organic photovoltaic cell, that until now have not had much commercial success. With an operating principle similar to photosynthesis in green plants, organic photovoltaic cells are cheap to produce when compared to silicon solar cells, but have quite a low efficiency. This is something which the University of Cambridge is aiming to change.
The university team has reportedly come up with a commercial model that combines efficiency improvements, a longer lifespan, low-cost (and low-toxicity) raw materials, a cost-effective manufacturing process, and a product line that focuses on economies of scale and ease of installation. If this can be done, then cheaply produced solar cells have the ability to transform poorer countries and their energy demands.
From slashgear, a prototype Retinal Imaging Display:
The images projected directly onto your retina simulate a 16-inch screen viewed for about three feet away according to the maker. The tech came from the Brother printer tech for laser and ink jet printers. The AirScouter will be launched in Japan for industrial uses like overlaying manuals on machinery. That is pretty cool and I could see a market for this thing in the DIY realm for folks that like to fix things themselves. Nothing like step-by-step directions clipped to your eyeball.
Adapting technology found in flat screen television sets, scientists have created a thin film that converts infrared light into visible light. The technology could give cell phones, eyeglasses and car windshields cheap, lightweight night vision.
“This device can convert any infrared image into a visible image and would weigh no more than a pair of eyeglasses,” said Franky So, a scientist at the University of Florida who describes his new night vision technology in a recent article in the journal Advanced Materials that was funded in part by advanced technology powerhouse DARPA.
So does this by using technology borrowed from flat screen TVs. Infrared light enters the film and is detected by the first of seven separate layers, which generates a slight electrical charge. Additional electrical energy — about three to five volts — amplifies that signal, which is then converted back into visible light.
So said his team also plans to create cell phones that can see, and more importantly, measure heat as well. A cell phone equipped with heat vision could instantly take a patient’s body temperature to see if they had a fever. A car windshield could make pedestrians crossing the street much easier to see and avoid.
From textually.org: Swedish software developer, The Astonishing Tribe, is testing a iPhone application called Reconiizr that will enable the user to find names and numbers of complete strangers.
The user simply has to take a picture of a person and hit the ‘Recognize’ button.
The photo is then compared to shots on social networking sites including Facebook and Twitter before personal information, which can include phone numbers, addresses and email addresses, is sent to the user.
The app works on phones with a camera of five or more megapixel resolution