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Friday, 11 Dec, 2009

Environment

Futuristic and Eco-friendly Snow Russia Complex for 2014 Winter Olympics

This new sports complex design concept developed for the 2014 Winter Olympic Games was recently proposed by designers from Asadov Architectural Studio, Project-KS and Grado Project Company.

The three offered their futuristic project, named Snow Russia, to the State Corporation, Olympstroy that is responsible for designing, building, renovating and implementing the venues required to hold the 2014 Winter Olympic Games that will take place in Sochi, Russia.

According to the proposed plan, the whole sports complex is unified, which means that the central Olympic square will not feature a central architectural idea.

Asadov Architectural Studio suggested making a "snowy whirlwind falling over the Olympic buildings in the form of frosty mist" on the wall of the load-bearing buildings along with ornamental panels made of aluminum, reports WorldArchitectureNews.

Designers proposed after-dark LED lighting which can be synchronized in order to create a lighting show. In such a way they hope to cut the amount of energy that the complex might use and considerably lower stress on the grid.

Friday, 11 Dec, 2009

Technology

Epson Presents Extreme Gamer

Recently the online community witnessed a video presented by Epson in which a gamer (who apparently loves extreme sports) wears a Play Station 3 Slim along with EH-TW450 projector (with a 3000:1 contrast ratio), wrist-guards, knee-pads and a portable battery pack.

The idea was to play Need for Speed while the image is projected on various structures, including a living room wall, city buildings and clubs. The gamer even managed to play NFS by projecting the image in the wind tunnel.


The video generated a large number of comments and reviews, some being positive and some not. Those who provided positive reviews speculated about the potential future application of such technology in a variety of fields, including the entertainment industry, obviously. This technology might have a great future, plus the video is rather entertaining.


Friday, 11 Dec, 2009

Science

Our Atmosphere Appeared After Meteorites Bombardment

Previously researchers believed that the atmosphere of our planet, the minerals and gases, were hidden deep inside the Earth's crust and were released as a result of enormous volcanic eruptions.

However, now scientists consider that the atmosphere along with oceans that produced the first life organisms came to our planet from outer space and most likely they arrived on the back of meteorites or comets billions of years after our planet formed.

According to Dr Greg Holland, of the University of Manchester, he and his colleagues managed to discover in volcanic gases a clear signature of a meteorite. "From that we now know the volcanic gases could not have contributed in any significant way to the Earth's atmosphere," he added.

Dr Holland considers that the atmosphere and oceans probably came from a shower of gas and water rich materials that are close to the ones in comets. In order to find new evidence, researchers analyzed volcanic gases, reports The Daily Telegraph. The team discovered Krypton and Xenon, volcanic gases that represent the chemical fingerprint equivalent to that of meteorites.

After the formation of the Earth's core, the latter was covered by an ocean of magma. The powerful bombardment by meteorites mixed with the heat coming from our planet's core transformed rocks into gases. The dense atmosphere formed a few million years afterwards.


Thursday, 10 Dec, 2009

Technology

Augmented Reality Tested in Japan's Supermarkets

Japan has already started implementing augmented reality technologies. Toppan Printing Co Ltd., a Japanese company, started testing its new terminal that resembles a vending machine and makes use of AR functions to showcase goods at three Ito-Yokado supermarkets.

For instance, people can use their cell phones to read the QR codes printed along with sample product data featured on electronics fliers that they can find on the official site of the Japanese company. As soon as users completed the member registration on the website, they get a QR code, which, when shown to the camera mounted on a terminal, allows obtaining a sample product.

When customers show the sample products to the camera, the screen on the machine superimposes the description of the item on a real image, informs TechOn.

Augmented reality technologies have also been applied by Sony Music Communications Inc (SMC) and Sky&Road Co Ltd. The two companies offer "interactive show-window display using AR technologies." Their technology allows an individual that faces the display to superimpose a virtual image around him or her in the real image by making use of a special face recognition technology. The display takes advantage of the AR development kit developed by Total Immersion, a France-based software solutions provider. It can be viewed at children's clothing department at an Isetan department store located in Shinjuku Ward, Tokyo.


Thursday, 10 Dec, 2009

Technology

World's First Robot to Complete Underwater Trip from US to EU

Recently Spain returned a special robot to the United States after the machine completed the world's first underwater trip across the Atlantic Ocean. It was used to monitor climate change and collect data on temperatures during its journey to Europe.

The robot, called "Scarlet Knight," looks like a rocket, having winds on its sides. The glider managed to cross 7,400 kilometers (4,600 miles) from New Jersey to Galicia, Spain. The trip lasted 225 days and the robot was powered only by a battery and ocean currents.

It would be interesting to note that the robot was brought ashore at Baiona, which is the town visited by Christopher Columbus in 1493, when the famous traveler returned from his journey to America.

The ceremony, in which Spanish Transport Minister Jose Blanco officially handed the yellow glider to Jerry Miller of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy, took place in the same old Baiona, reports Physorg.

It is worth mentioning that "Scarlet Knight" is able to reach depths of about 200 meters (650 feet) and resist storms. During its trip, the robot managed to collect valuable information regarding ocean currents and salt levels. Now the robot is expected to be exhibited at the Smithsonian museum in Washington. The robot's replica will be on display in Baiona.
Thursday, 10 Dec, 2009

Technology

Talking Toilet on Display in Japan

It seems that the Japanese will never stop amazing the world. Recently a company named Toto, a famous Japanese toilet developer, presented its new model called Neo, which is a toilet that can talk.

The new toilet features a robotic lid that was adjusted to move in time with the voice. The company's latest Tototalk campaign is currently promoting Neo 2, which is a prototype toilet that can be observed in the Caretta Shiodome mall, located in downtown Tokyo.

The prototype model was developed to offer virtually any function that one can think of. It includes over 10 buttons that allow the toilet to tell jokes, give information on weather or show an outsize bum scrubber, reports CNET news. One can control all of these functions through a real-time Web link and Webcam at the Tototalk website.


Wednesday, 09 Dec, 2009

Technology

Latest Invention: Bionic Fingers that Allow Picking Up Glass, Hold Cutlery

If you like this invention then vote for it here.

British researchers from Touch Bionics managed to create one of the most useful inventions - the first bionic fingers in the world. Their new invention will help people who had their fingers amputated or were born without them by making it possible for them to pick up fragile objects and even write.

People who will use ProDigits will be able to write and grip as a result of a special sensor installed in the motorized digits. The sensor is able to identify when the fingers of a person have closed around a certain object. It is worth mentioning that a person controls the bionic fingers using brain signals.

In addition, the new invention does not require any surgery. The cost of such an invention ranges between 35,000 and 45,000 pounds. The price includes the money required to carry out the occupational therapy, make skin covering and fitting.

Today about 1.2 million people around the world have had partial hand amputation. Sensors that are attached to the user's skin control the custom made bionic fingers, picking up signals from the brain. The new invention also comes in several coverings, including "livingskin," which is a covering that resembles real human skin.

ProDigits have been tested by a former concert pianist, 42-year-old Maria Antonia Iglesias, from Spain. She suffered from an illness that forced doctors to remove her fingers. The bionic fingers made it possible for her to write, hold dishes and glasses. In 2008 the company's artificial hand was included in Time's list of top 50 most important inventions.


Tuesday, 08 Dec, 2009

Environment

Eco-friendly Search Engine Launched to Help Protect Rainforests

Ecosia is the name of a new search engine that was recently launched by a group of German friends who became seriously concerned about the fact that over 50 percent of all rainforests have been wiped out in just 50 years.

Its developers promise to offer 80 percent of the engine's revenue to World Wildlife Fund (WWF) in order to protect rainforests. Ecosia is powered by Yahoo and Bing. The search engine promises that each click on a sponsored link will protect 2 square meters of rainforest in the Juruena-Apui region, Brazil.

According to Christian Kroll, founder of Ecosia, billions of dollars each year are collected from online advertising. He added that if at least one percent of all Internet users would use Ecosia for their web surfing, it would protect a rainforest as big as Switzerland.

It is worth mentioning that Ecosia servers make use of 'eco-electricity' generated from sustainable sources.
Tuesday, 08 Dec, 2009

Technology

Latest Invention: Software that Allows Writing on Screen Using Power of Mind

A team of researchers managed to develop a software program that allows writing letters and number on the screen by simply thinking about them. The new invention developed by scientists at the Mayo Clinic in Jacksonville can be a great step towards a new type of communication that can prove to be useful for millions of people with paralysis and various neurological conditions.

Researchers discovered that people were able to make letters appear on the display by focusing on a specific letter when it was shown with a six-by-six grid of symbols. Their new invention represents the first step towards the creation of a mind-machine interface.

During trials, two patients had electrodes placed inside their skulls right on to the surface of the brain. The electrodes were placed inside the skull with the help of an incision called craniotomy. The team used these electrodes to follow the electrical signals generated by the nerve cells when a patient focused on certain figures on the matrix, reports The Daily Telegraph.

The results of the signals were then translated by a computer that ran the new software. As soon as patients focused on a specific letter, it was shown on the display. According to the researchers, in future, devices, which would be powered by the brain, would need surgery so they could be placed inside the skull. Dr. Shih considers that soon such devices could become so small that they could be easily implanted so computers could interpret signals from the patients' brains.


Tuesday, 08 Dec, 2009

Science

Scientists Turn Citrus Waste into Ethanol and Biogas

Each day scientists around the world attempt to transform organic waste into alternative fuel in order to make our lives greener.

Scientist from a Swedish university managed to discover a new fuel resource. They were successful in making fuel from orange, which was previously considered impossible due to the fact that citrus waste features an antibacterial substance that considerably slows the fruit's breakdown.

However, researcher Mohammad Taherzadeh together with his colleagues at the School of Engineering at the University of Boras in Sweden found that the acidic skins, in fact, can be really useful. In their experiment, scientists produced 4 different products from citrus waste, including: limon, which is an antibacterial agent; pectin, a gelling agent often used in foods like jams and jellies; biogas, a type of gas that can be compressed so it would latter serve as a power source for motor vehicles; and ethanol, informs Gizmag.

According to Mr. Taherzadeh, only in Boras 10,000 tones of citrus waste is gathered each year. With this in mind, the new method can prove to be highly successful in a variety of countries, especially poor regions around the world.


Tuesday, 08 Dec, 2009

Current Events

The Biggest LED Project in the World Presented in Abu Dhabi

Abu Dhabi has recently witnessed the presentation of the world's biggest LED project that was created by specialists from Asymptote Architecture who worked in collaboration with Arup that developed the lighting design.

The largest LED project on the planet is called The Yas Hotel. The hotel is covered with a luminous shell that consists of over 5,300 diamond-shaped panels enriched with more than 5,000 LED fixtures.

Besides being able to shine with a wide range of colors, the light field can also provide high-resolution 3D videos.

It is worth mentioning that the new Yas Hotel, which is composed of two 12-story structures, includes 500 rooms and covers a total area of 85,000 square meters. Though the hotel might look impressive, some might consider that 5,000 LEDs is just too much and could really disturb the sleep of some guests.



Monday, 07 Dec, 2009

Environment

Kezhma Island - Residential Complex Powered by Water, Wind and Solar Energies

Designers from Diseno Earle Architects recently presented their latest project named Kezhma Island, which is meant to enrich the already attractive architecture of Dubai.

The Kezhma Island was designed for the World Island. It is worth mentioning that the main feature of the new complex refers to sustainability. Designers decided to keep the budget levels as low as possible. Nevertheless, the residential complex makes use of a variety of green technologies (wind, water and solar power) to power its luxurious apartments, informs the official website of Diseno Earle Architects.

Tourists will be able to adore the wonderful views of the sea from their rooms, while contributing to the environment. The current project once again proves about the architectural dreams may come true in Dubai.




Monday, 07 Dec, 2009

Offbeat

Cloud 360 - Futuristic Observatory that Floats in the Sky

This amazing structure is located in Sungnam, South Korea. Cloud 360 was designed by Taehyung Lim, Kyeongmin Kim and Yunmi Kang, a team of specialists from Kyungam Architects, who thought about creating a building that would look as though it floats in the sky.

The construction serves as an observatory situated in Daewon Park. Two huge elevators take visitors up to the building where people can observe the surrounding environment.

It is worth mentioning that the observatory has a total floor area of 929.32 square meters. The exterior of the structure is covered with low e double glass, informs DesignBoom.

In addition, the building includes space for a restaurant, cafe, as well as a media center, all of which are located in the building's upper level.


Monday, 07 Dec, 2009

Technology

Latest Invention: System that Helps Elderly Take Necessary Medicines on Time

One of the problems that the elderly face is taking pills on time. This was the main reason behind the new invention called Medicine Management System for the Elderly, developed by designers Ying-Chien Lin, Yue-Hua Li and Wei-Yin Su.

The new invention features a touch screen that considerably simplifies the whole process of managing medicines. The name of medicines along with information about them can be obtained by simply scanning the bar code of each drug.

The elderly are informed about the necessity to take pills via voice and vibration. There is no need to visit the doctors since they can send the information regarding the treatment to the electronic pill box. The latter saves information related to personal health and medicine and offers the necessary data for emergency.

Patients can take the device out and use it wherever they are, being able to connect to HIS in order to access data on medical treatment. Although it is currently a concept, this new invention can prove to be very helpful in everyday life.



Friday, 04 Dec, 2009

Technology

Smart Baby Case Designed to Keep Baby Safe in Polluted Environment

Designer Pouyan Mokhtarani is the one who developed this Smart Baby Case concept. The case plays the role of a temporary protection for a baby after the baby is born.

The case is warn inside, resembling an incubator that allows the baby to feel as though mother hugs him or her. The Smart Baby Case can protect the baby in a polluted environment.

The design of the main body was inspired from the elliptical shape of an egg. According to Mokhtarani, the elliptical case provides some of the most important features of a safe and healthy environment.

The device includes a removable door that offers an easy access to the infant. The top of the case features an eliminating LED that is used to read air quality. The air purification device cleans the case of hazardous gases and dust. In case of emergency, the device uses a smart censor that turns on the chemical mask unit.

Among other features there's Auto Diaper that features a sensor that's receptive to moisture. It can identify baby leaks and engage water pumps that will start flushing the water. Special tubes accumulate the waste which is brought to waste storage located in front of the case.

To keep the baby safe, the case has Anatomi Paths made of soft, flexible material. There are pads of different sizes. The electric parts of the case are powered by rechargeable battery. The device can also be powered by direct city electricity.


More images available here.


Friday, 04 Dec, 2009

Technology

2010 FIFA World Cup Games to Be Filmed in 3D

For the first time in history people will have the chance to watch the 2010 World Cup in 3D. The announcement comes from FIFA that added that 25 games are going to be filmed using 3D cameras.

The filming will be made using Sony technology, but the company has not yet unveiled the details of the technology it will apply. Usually 3D set-ups register images using two-camera systems and people watch movies in 3D wearing special polarized glasses. But this year Sony presented its single-lens camera developed exclusively for sporting events, reports BBC News.

Specialists consider that 3D technology can soon become something typical. Roger Mosey, the BBC director of London 2012, mentioned that people might have the chance to watch some of the Olympic Games in 3D.

It is worth mentioning that FIFA World Cup starts on June 11, 2010.


Friday, 04 Dec, 2009

Offbeat

Japanese Company Offers Space Beer

Sapporo Breweries Ltd., a Japanese beer company with headquarters in Ebisu, Shibuya and Tokyo, has recently announced that it is going to market exclusive beer prepared using barley that was grown from seeds brought to outer space. The project involved the company's collaboration with the Russian Academy of Science and Japan's Okayama University.

The exclusive beer is entitled "Sapporo Space Barley" and it will be available for those who will place online orders until December 24. The company will make 250 sets, with each set available for 10,000 yen ($113.5). A set includes six 330ml bottles that will be delivered to the final customer in late January 2010. The company said that money collected from the sales will be used to promote science education.

For five months the barley seeds were kept in space, onboard the Russian module of the International Space Station, informs Breibart.

"We have confirmed the safety of the product," outlined Sapporo Managing Director Seiichiro Ichikawa. He added that the final product made from barley seeds can contribute to expanding space research.

Manabu Sugimoto, associate professor at Okayama University's Research Institute for Bioresources, mentioned that in future, he and his colleagues look forward to grow a barley species that would be suitable for growing in space and examine the influence of the outer space environment on barley seeds.


Friday, 04 Dec, 2009

Technology

Solar Impulse Makes Its First Flight

Previously we wrote about the world's first solar powered plane and how it was created. Recently the famous Swiss adventurer Bertrand Piccard carried out a successful test of the plane.

Although the adventurer traveled only 350 meters, he mentioned that Solar Impulse is able to fly safely, reports TG Daily. In his blog, Piccard wrote that due to the plane's long wingspan and very low speed, the Solar Impulse looked as though it hanged in the air for 30 seconds. "But that was enough for it to fly 350 meters," he added.

The adventurer outlined that it is for the first time that such a light and huge plane, which also consumes little energy, was able to fly. It is worth mentioning that the plane is expected perform a trip around the world.

", I remain humble in the face of the difficult journey still to be accomplished - it's a long way between these initial tests and a circumnavigation of the world," wrote Piccard.


Friday, 04 Dec, 2009

Offbeat

Man Spends 14 Years Digging Tunnel Through Mountain

After 14 years of carving with a hammer and a chisel, a villager living in eastern Bihar state, India, was able to cut a tunnel through a mountain. Truck owner Ramchandra Das decided to make a tunnel so his neighbors would have the possibility to get to the nearby fields and he could finally park his truck near his house.

The 53-years-old villager was able to carve 10-meters long and 4-meters wide tunnel after a lot of villagers complained that to get to the nearest town they have to walk 7 kilometers over the mountain. Initially Das asked authorities to make a tunnel, but they refused, so he decided to do the job by himself and started carving the tunnel through the earth towards the nearest big town called Atri.

After becoming the owner of the truck, Das could not drive it to his home, which made his task more pressing, informs Reuters. He was also afraid that someone might steal his vehicle. Now local villagers use the new tunnel to get to work much easier.

It is worth mentioning that Das was highly inspired by Dasharath Manjhi, another villager who decided to make a 120-meters long, 10-meters wide and 8-meters high tunnel to help villagers reach the hospital much faster. The decision was made after Manjhi's wife passed away because he couldn't get her to the hospital. The titanic work took him 22 years.


Monday, 30 Nov, 2009

Technology

Latest Invention: Eco-friendly Battery that Powers Devices for 6,000 Hours

If you like this invention then vote for it here.

Researchers from the Technion - Israel Institute of Science developed a battery that can power different devices for thousands of hours.

The new invention of Prof. Yair Ein-Eli and his team produces power by making use a non-polluting fuel source. It is worth mentioning that the new battery features a silicon power source that reverts back to sand as soon as it is spent.

Currently researchers look towards using their new invention to power small devices such as hearing aids, but in the near future they hope to develop a battery that would power laptops.

After carrying out their tests, scientist found that after 600 hours, the battery used only 10 percent of its capacity, which means that a fully charged green battery could function for 6,000 hours and then deplete back into its initial form as sand.

According to Israeli researchers, in about two years their new invention could be used to power small devices. However, for gadgets that require more energy, the new type of green battery will be developed in 10 years or so, informs ISRAEL21c.


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