Highlights from the 2015 Geneva Motor Show

Colin Jeffrey

Colin Jeffrey
Colin discovered technology at an early age, pulling apart clocks, radios, and the family TV. Despite his father's remonstrations that he never put anything back together, Colin went on to become an electronics engineer. Later he decided to get a degree in anthropology, and used that to do all manner of interesting things masquerading as work. Even later he took up sculpting, moved to the coast, and never learned to surf.
Top Articles by Colin Jeffrey
  • Liquid metal could be used to create morphing electronics

    North Carolina State University researchers have developed a way to control the surface tension of liquid metals with the application of very low voltages. This may lead a new field of morphing electronic components or – maybe one day – even self-ass...

  • Oxygen absorbing material may allow us to breathe underwater

    Scientists from the University of Southern Denmark have created a substance that is able to absorb and store oxygen in such high concentrations that just one bucketful is enough to remove all of the oxygen in a room. The stored oxygen is able to be r...

  • Canada's next-generation military smart gun unveiled

    The latest integrated assault rifle developed by Defence Research and Development Canada (DRDC) and Colt Canada is packed with some very smart weapons technology, including a secondary grenade launcher or shotgun and electronic accessories like elect...

  • Radical dual tilting blade helicopter design targets speeds of over 270mph

    As a contender in the Army’s Joint Multi-Role Technology Demonstrator program, AVX Aircraft Company is developing a futuristic machine kitted out with coaxial rotors, ducted fans and a retractable undercarriage that could hit speeds of over 270 mph.

  • Long-lasting, water-based nuclear battery developed

    A nuclear-powered, water-based battery that is claimed to be both longer lasting and more efficient than current battery technologies, and which may eventually be used as a dependable power supply in vehicles and spacecraft, has been produced by rese...

The Pizzicato is a breakthrough in wireless technology – radio frequency transmission usin...

For the first time in history, a prototype radio has been created that is claimed to be completely digital, generating high-frequency radio waves purely through the use of integrated circuits and a set of patented algorithms without using conventional analog radio circuits in any way whatsoever. This breakthrough technology promises to vastly improve the wireless communications capabilities of everything from 5G mobile technology to the multitude devices aimed at supporting the Internet of Things.  Read More

At MWC Fujitsu is displaying a smartphone prototype with an iris-scanning authentication s...

Most smartphones require some sort of password or pattern input to unlock them, whilst some have voice print recognition, and a few – such as Apple's iPhone 5S and Samsung's Galaxy S5 – even use fingerprint scanning. But Fujitsu claims to have gone one better by introducing iris pattern recognition on its latest prototype smartphone on show at Mobile World Congress (MWC).  Read More

Light simultaneously showing both wave pattern and particle energy attributes (Photo: Fabr...

In 1905, Albert Einstein provided an explanation of the photoelectric effect – that various metals emit electrons when light is shined on them – by suggesting that a beam of light is not simply a wave of electromagnetic radiation, but is also made up of discrete packets of energy called photons. Though a long accepted tenet in physics, no experiment has ever directly observed this wave/particle duality. Now, however, researchers at the École polytechnique fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL) in Switzerland claim to have captured an image of this phenomenon for the first time ever.  Read More

Scanning electron microscope images that show how normal electrolyte promotes dendrite gro...

Dendrites – thin conductive filaments that form inside lithium batteries – reduce the life of these cells and are often responsible for them catching fire. Scientists working at the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) of the US Department of Energy claim to have produced a new electrolyte for lithium batteries that not only completely eliminates dendrites, but also promises to increase battery efficiency and vastly improve current carrying capacity.  Read More

Using nanoantennas to direct light, researchers have created a method to accurately focus ...

Using unidirectional cubic nanoantennas to direct the output from nanoemitters, researchers at Monash University in Australia have described a method to accurately focus light at the nanoscale. The practical upshot of which is substantial progress towards guided, ultra-narrow beams needed for the new world of nanoelectromechanical systems (NEMS) and the eventual production of entire lab-on-a-chip devices.  Read More

The Grasp shoulder-perching robot whispers instructions in your ear while watching what yo...

The familiar cartoon meme where an angel sits on someone’s shoulder and a devil on another, both giving advice in the person’s ear is one we all know. But what if you were able to have a real adviser sitting on your shoulder while learning a new task that not only offered advice but oversaw and guided your actions as well? The Grasp telespresence robot is designed to do just that.  Read More

Researchers at the University of California claim to have successfully created a roton str...

Helium-4 superfluid is a fascinating substance. With properties that seemingly defy normal physics, it leaks straight through glass, bubbles up out of containers, flows around objects and even climbs up walls. As if superfluid helium-4 was not strange enough, in 1941 it was also predicted that it should contain an exotic, particle-like excitation – a quasiparticle – called a roton. After many years of trying to verify this prediction, researchers at the University of California now claim to have successfully created a roton structure in an atomic superfluid of cesium-133.  Read More

Researchers have developed a technique that could allow a baby to be created from the comb...

Researchers from Cambridge University and Israel’s Weizmann Institute of Science are claiming a stem cell research breakthrough that would allow a baby to be created from the cells from two adults, no matter their gender. This potentially allows for infertile couples to have their own children without resorting to sperm or egg donors, and may provide the means for same sex couples to produce their own babies.  Read More

The Budii autonomous vehicle concept by Rinspeed is a showcase for self-driving vehicle te...

Take one BMW i3, add some autonomous smarts like laser guidance, vehicle-to-vehicle communications, radar, motion sensing systems, and an advanced camera monitoring set up, then give it a quirky robot arm to do the steering, and you have Rinspeed's new Budii concept car. Described as your "friend on wheels," the Budii is also designed to adapt to the habits and preferences of the owner via a user interface. In this way, according to its creators, it becomes your proactive and attentive companion who knows just how you like your driving experience.  Read More

The Honeyflow allows honey to be siphoned straight from a beehive without opening the lid ...

A new invention by two Australian beekeepers is claimed to be able to siphon honey straight from a beehive without opening the lid or disturbing the bees inside. When a tap attached to a specifically developed honeycomb "Flow" frame within the hive is opened, the bee-formed cells are split slightly open inside the comb, thereby allowing channels to form through which the honey flows down to a sealed trough and out of the hive straight into collecting jars. All the while, the bees are virtually undisturbed on the surface of the comb.  Read More

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