Formerly in charge of Engadget Poland, Jan Belezina's long time fascination with the advance of new technology has led him to become Gizmag's eyes and ears in Eastern Europe.
Binaural recordings use two microphones to capture sound in the same way it is captured by human ears. The spatial depth of the resulting 3D sound is often impressive, but it can only be fully appreciated when wearing headphones and the recording process tends to be reserved for professionals as it usually involves a dummy head with a microphone placed in each ear. A German company called Binauric is looking to bring binaural recording to a wider audience with its OpenEars Bluetooth in-ear headphones that feature a microphone in each earpiece.
Festo’s BionicKangaroo is yet another impressive addition to the company’s already mind-blowing bionic zoo that includes, among other things, bionic seagulls
, flying penguins
, elephant trunks and a whole selection of robotic marine critters
. Just like its animal cousin, the robo-marsupial developed by Fasto’s Bionic Learning Network is able to store energy from the landing phase of a jump and reuse it efficiently on subsequent jumps. The technology developed for the BionicKangaroo may hold the key to more energy-efficient machines based on both pneumatic and electric drive technologies.
The living skeletal muscle tissue grown by Duke University researchers is 10 times stronger than any previously bioengineered muscles. Not only does it contract as strongly and as rapidly as the real thing but it is also capable of self-healing, both in the lab and after implantation into an animal. This has been proven beyond any doubt through a novel approach that involves peeking at the growing muscle tissue through a glass window in the back of a living mouse.
Campus Martius, also known as the Campus of Mars, was built by the Roman Senate just outside the ancient Rome city walls back in 9 BCE. It was built to celebrate the peace brought upon the Roman people as a result of Emperor Agustus’s military conquests. Thanks to a complex computer simulation created by the Institute for Digital Intermedia Arts (IDIA) for Indiana University's School of Informatics and Computing, it is now possible to verify if and how solar alignments influenced the positioning of the different objects on site.
The Mimo Baby Monitor puts anxious parents at ease by providing them with a constant stream of data about their little sweetheart. The sensors embedded in an infant bodysuite, called the Kimono, monitor the baby’s respiration. The data is passed on to a small turtle-shaped gizmo, nested in the Kimono, which in turn measures skin temperature, body position and the activity pattern. All this information is then relayed via low-power bluetooth to a Wi-Fi enabled docking station so that parents can access all the details via their smartphones.
Scientists from Harvard and MIT have jointly demonstrated that, in specific conditions, photons can be made to interact with each other and form molecules. Such groupings of photons, dubbed “Photonic molecules”, constitute an entirely new form of matter, which until recently was purely theoretical. Combining the properties of light and those of solids, in terms of physics this new form of matter is not unlike a certain material that millions of Star Wars fans are already well familiar with. Lightsaber material.
If you keep getting your gadgets wet because you can’t part with them while taking a bath, maybe it’s time for you to reevaluate your options. As it turns out, it only takes a Kinect camera, a projector, some waterproofed speakers, half a year of coding and an enormous amount of ingenuity to turn a regular bath into an interactive entertainment hub. And that’s exactly what a group of researchers from Koike Laboratory at Tokyo’s University of Electro-Communications have done as part of their quest to explore the field of natural user interface design. Their AquaTop Display takes immersive entertainment to a whole new level, unattainable with regular, impenetrable touch displays.
Attempts to combine the vertical take-off and landing (VTOL) capabilities of a helicopter with the high-speed flight and long range capabilities of a fixed-wing aircraft have been tackled in a number of different ways – from tiltrotor designs, such as the V-280 Valor
and Project Zero
, to fixed rotor aircraft that transition from vertical to horizontal flight, such as the SkyTote
. Australian company StopRotor Technology has taken a different approach with its Hybrid RotorWing design concept which features a main rotor that switches from fixed rotor to fixed wing in mid air.
The EyeFly 3D screen protector film, brought to consumers by Nanovue, promises to turn regular screens in mobile devices into glasses-free 3D displays. The product, originally nano-engineered by the Temasek Polytechnic (TP) and A*STAR’s Institute of Materials Research and Engineering’s (IMRE) in Singapore, is not the first of its kind of the market
, but Nanovue claims it offers considerable advantages over competitors. The film has no perceivable influence on screen brightness, works both in portrait and landscape mode and, most importantly, does not distort regular 2D images.
Although you are fairly unlikely to start zapping your gadgets with high-power lasers any time soon, scientists are already hard at work trying to make electronics immune to such cruelty. In another in a series of self-healing electronics breakthroughs, a team of scientists from the California Institute of Technology (Caltech) demonstrated chips capable of dealing not only with laser-inflicted physical damage but also with far more common ailments such as aging, power fluctuations, changes in temperature or load mismatch.