Highlights from the 2014 LA Auto Show

Darren Quick

Fuel depots in space could help make future missions to the Moon more economical says an M...

Getting into space is an expensive business where every little bit of extra weight, which includes the fuel powering the spacecraft, can add thousands of dollars to the cost of a mission. A team of researchers at MIT proposes establishing gas stations in space as a possible way to help cut the cost of future missions to the Moon.  Read More

The Watchkeeper UAV has be given the go ahead for military flight tests (Photo: Richard Se...

Since first taking to the air in June 2009, trials of the UK's homegrown Watchkeeper tactical unmanned aerial vehicle have been conducted by industry partners including QinetiQ. The UK Ministry of Defence has now announced the aircraft has been awarded a Release To Service, clearing the way for flight training to begin with the Royal Artillery.  Read More

DARPA's ARES consists of a VTOL flight module capable of carrying several different types ...

Helicopters are an invaluable military resource for transporting supplies, carrying out surveillance and reconnaissance, and evacuating casualties from rugged terrain. Unfortunately, they are also a finite resource. That's why DARPA is looking to share the load with the Aerial Reconfigurable Embedded System (ARES) concept, a compact, high-speed and highly-automated delivery system with vertical take-off and landing (VTOL) capabilities.  Read More

Ring's gesture recognition is precise enough to identify letters written in mid air

We've already seen rings that unlock doors and mobile devices, show the time, act as a mouse or display notifications from a connected mobile device, but, like the Fin, the Ring from California-based Logbar aims to take finger wagging to the next level. Featuring Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) connectivity, the Ring is designed to allow control of mobile devices and home appliances, make electronic payments and even type text in mid air with a wave of a finger.  Read More

Nissan's e-NV200 borrow heavily from the Nissan LEAF

Nissan originally began testing of an all-electric version of its NV200 light commercial van back in mid-2010 before showcasing the e-NV200 concept at the North American International Auto Show in 2012. Now the automaker has unveiled the production version of the LEAF's bigger brother in Geneva, touting the vehicle as a practical and sustainable city delivery vehicle or people mover.  Read More

Samsung's Chromebook 2 Series will come in 11-6 (pictured) and 13.3-inch models

Samsung, which along with Acer was the first to market with Chrome OS-based Chromebooks in 2011, has announced the launch of its Chromebook 2 Series. The new machines boast faster startup times, longer battery life and an easy-to-grip lid featuring the faux leather stitched design found on the Galaxy Note 3.  Read More

The GPM Core Observatory is launched aboard a Japanese H-IIA rocket from the Tanegashima S...

The Global Precipitation Measurement (GPM) Core Observatory was launched last Thursday aboard a Japanese H-IIA rocket that blasted off from Tanegashima Space Center on Tanegashima Island in southern Japan. Weighing in at 4-ton, the GPM is the largest spacecraft ever built at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center and will help provide a more detailed picture of the Earth's precipitation to assist climate scientists and help improve forecasting of extreme weather events.  Read More

The AllSee prototype developed at the University of Washington allows gestures to be detec...

Current gesture recognition technology seen in devices such as Samsung's Galaxy S4 generally rely on the device's camera. This not only creates a drain on the device's battery, but means users need to retrieve the phone from their pocket or handbag to make use of the technology. The new AllSee system developed at the University of Washington (UW) overcomes both these problems by using wireless signals not only as a power source, but also to detect user gestures when the phone is tucked away out of sight.  Read More

A bottle of beer is cooled using the new magnetic refrigeration system developed by GE

The fridge is the most common of common household appliances. Despite improvements in efficiency over the years, they remain one of the biggest users of electricity in the home, relying on chemical refrigerant and a compressor to transfer heat from the inside to the outside of the fridge. GE researchers have now developed a new type of refrigeration technology using magnets that is more environmentally friendly and is predicted to be 20 to 30 percent more efficient that current technology ... and it could be in household fridges by the end of the decade.  Read More

The LG G Pro 2 is 2 g lighter than its predecessor

LG has jumped the gun and unveiled its flagship G Pro 2 smartphone (or if you prefer, phablet) in South Korea ahead of its expected debut at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona later this month. The successor to the Optimus G Pro sports a larger display and 13-megapixel camera with the ability to record videos in 4K Ultra High Definition.  Read More

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