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Andrew Davidson

— Environment

Energy-harvesting SOCCKET ball kicks off on Kickstarter

By - March 3, 2013 9 Pictures
When we first covered the SOCCKET power-generating soccer ball back in 2010, the concept was in the prototype stages of development. Since then, the ex-Harvard University team responsible for the design has launched the for-profit social enterprise company Uncharted Play, filed patents for the SOCCKET’s kinetic energy-capturing technology and, more recently, has launched a SOCCKET Kickstarter campaign. Read More
— Good Thinking

Hot Wheels Camaro-matic vending machine accepts tweets in lieu of loose change

By - February 26, 2013 3 Pictures
Last weekend, at the Canadian International AutoShow in Toronto, toy car makers Hot Wheels, together with Chevrolet Canada and marketing firm TrojanOne, displayed Canada’s first Twitter-activated promotional vending machine – aptly called "The Hot Wheels Camaro-matic Trending Machine." By tweeting the correct hash-tag, it dispensed free (if small) Camaro’s to attendees. Read More
— Electronics

New transparent, flat, flexible image sensor has potential for gesture control displays

By - February 21, 2013 2 Pictures
A research team from the Johannes Kepler University Linz in Austria has developed an image capturing device using a single sheet of polymer that is flat, flexible and transparent. The researchers say the new image sensor could eventually find its way into devices like digital cameras and medical scanners, and that it may help to usher in a new generation of gesture-controlled smartphones, tablets and TVs. Read More
— Science

Breakthrough laser cooling system could save space and energy

By - February 13, 2013 1 Picture
A research team at Singapore’s Nanyang Technological University (NTU) has successfully used a laser to cool down a semiconductor material known as Cadmium Sulfide. The results of the recently published study could lead to the development of self-cooling computer chips and smaller, more energy efficient air conditioners and refrigerators that don't produce greenhouse gases. Read More
— Music

Sharetapes puts a modern twist on the physical mixtape

By - February 12, 2013 6 Pictures
Once upon a time, the analog cassette tape was king. And for those that remember the time, chances are you might also recall having made a mixtape or two as well. Australian-based start-up venture Sharetapes is looking to recapture a little of that old-school magic, albeit with a modern twist, by launching a line of physical cards that you can load-up with playlists from websites like YouTube, Spotify and 8tracks. Users can then share their saved lists with other people’s smartphones using near-field communication (NFC) technology or quick response (QR) scanning codes. Read More
— Health and Wellbeing

Scientists use gene therapy to cure dogs of type 1 diabetes

By - February 9, 2013 1 Picture
Researchers from the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona (UAB) have claimed a first by successfully using a single session of gene therapy to cure dogs of type 1 diabetes. The work has shown that it is possible to cure the disease in large animals with a minimally-invasive procedure – potentially leading the way to further developments in studies for human treatment of the disease. Read More
— Science

Unlocking color mechanism of peacock’s feathers could lead to next-gen color displays

By - February 7, 2013 3 Pictures
Structural color, which is the foundation that makes things like a peacock's tail feathers appear iridescent, has been an area of study for scientists as they try to adapt it for use in everyday technologies – only without the “rainbow effect” that makes the colors unstable depending on the angle of view. Now, Researchers at the University of Michigan have mimicked the peacock's color mechanism in an approach that could lead to high resolution reflective color displays and have implications for data storage, cryptography and counterfeiting. Read More
— Mobile Technology

XOPAD open source Android USB controller gets into the game

By - February 5, 2013 7 Pictures
As smartphones become more akin to pocket-laptops, the evolution of mobile gaming is also forging ahead, going far beyond such classics as Tetris and Frogger. Yet touch screen control for complex gaming is inhibitive, and sometimes it’s just downright clumsy. XOPAD, a USB-based controller for Android phones, is looking to join a growing list of products that turn your smartphone into a fully-fledged hand-held gaming machine. The creators are also aiming to make it open-source for developers. Read More
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