Highlights from the 2014 LA Auto Show

Darren Quick

The prototype 3-volt battery built by a virus (Photo: MIT/Donna Coveney)

Be they biological or computer, viruses generally get a pretty bad rap - what with their reputation for infection, reproduction and disease it’s not surprising that their name is actually Latin for toxin or poison. But it's not all bad press - for example geneticists harness viruses to further the study of cell biology and they also hold much potential in the emerging field of nanotechnology where their size, shape and well-defined chemical structure has led to them being used as templates for organizing materials on the nanoscale. Now MIT researchers have turned viruses to the task of building a battery – and they’ve succeeded.  Read More

Yamaha's methane powered golf cart

We've all heard of vehicles that run on the smell of an oily rag, but what about one that runs on the smell of cow dung? A new prototype golf cart developed by Yamaha does just that - sort of - by running on the methane. The golf cart was tested with the assistance of the Osaka Gas Co. which provided methane at low cost to Yamaha for the vehicle tests as part of efforts to promote the use of cow dung biomass as a fuel.  Read More

2-in1 ExpressCard and PC Card connection

Here at Gizmag we love gadgets that can transform from one thing into another - be it from a chair to a bed or a car to a boat... if it's 2-in-1, it's sure to get our attention. While possibly not on the same level as these examples, Sprint’s new Sierra Wireless AirCard 402 should come in handy for owners of multiple laptops with its ability to connect to mobile broadband via both ExpressCard and PC Card slots thanks to a locking 2-in1 adapter.  Read More

Not a wire in sight thanks to Bluetooth 3.0

The Bluetooth Special Interest Group (SIG) has officially launched the Bluetooth 3.0 + HS specification, which ups the transfer rate from a top speed of 3 Mbps for the current 2.0 + EDR standard to a rate of 24 Mbps. The SIG says latest iteration of the popular short-range wireless technology will enable the high-speed transmission of large amounts of data such as photos, music and even video between devices and has attracted interest from not only computer and mobile phone manufacturers, but also television manufacturers. The new Bluetooth 3.0 gets its speed from the 802.11 radio protocol with the inclusion of the 802.11 Protocol Adaptation Layer (PAL) providing increased throughput...  Read More

Just because your car doesn't look like this doesn't mean it can't sound like it

Although the environmental benefits of hybrid vehicles are well known, their near silent operation when running off batteries does pose a danger to pedestrians who are used to the rumble of an engine to alert them to oncoming vehicles. Active Noise Control technologies from Lotus Engineering address this problem by projecting engine sounds externally to improve pedestrian safety, while also employing noise-canceling technology internally to reduce unwanted cabin noise.  Read More

When it comes to buying consumer electronics, we are increasingly thinking about energy ef...

When it comes to buying consumer electronics, we are factoring energy efficiency into our choices in a bid to cut our household energy consumption, a new study from the Consumer Electronics Association (CEA) has found.  Read More

Pedal power: Using revolutionary design, Marine Innovation Technologies' Underwater Vehicl...

For most of us, the world deep below the ocean’s surface remains a place we have only had the pleasure to experience vicariously, primarily through watching nature documentaries. It's not as if we can just hop in a submarine and go take a look. Well, perhaps we can, if a Russian company's plan to market a two-seater submarine driven by pedal power to the tourist industry is successful. The new underwater vehicle (UV) from Marine Innovation Technologies (MIT) will not only be cheaper to buy and run than existing submersibles, it will be simpler to operate, requiring no special training or expertise.  Read More

The futuristic-looking Robot Suit HAL designed to assist human movement

Anyone who has seen Aliens will remember the exoskeleton forklift that Ripley wears to fight the alien queen at the end of the movie. Well, Japanese company Cyberdyne has unveiled a robotic suit that works on a similar idea of a robotic suit capable of augmenting human motion and strength. The Robot Suit Hybrid Assistive Limb (HAL for short) is a wearable robot that uses a “voluntary control system” first to interpret the wearers' planned movement and then assist them in it.  Read More

The compact and flexible T1028

Gigabyte’s T1028 manages to straddle a few categories with its netbook size and specs, touchscreen capabilities and rotating screen, which gives the netbook a tablet look and feel. The new model sports a 10.1-inch WSVA 1024 x 600 display, while under the hood beats an Intel Atom N270 1.6GHz processor, Intel 945GSE graphics chipset, 1GB RAM (expandable to 2GB) and 160GB SATA HDD.  Read More

The CP-100G patch-type tracking device from Cuman

While Orwell’s 1984 suggested that human surveillance and tracking would be an integral part of a dystopian future, the reality looks to be quite different, with people quickly embracing GPS technology and the myriad of uses such technology provides. The last few years has seen a range of tracking devices that use GPS to keep track of everything from products and pets to loved ones. The latest player to enter the field is South Korea electronics company Cuman with its range of tracking devices, which picked up the Editor’s List Award recently at CeBIT 2009.  Read More

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