Highlights from the 2014 LA Auto Show

Lakshmi Sandhana

Lakshmi Sandhana
When Lakshmi first encountered pig's wings in a petri dish, she realized that writing about scientists and imagineers was the perfect way to live in an expanding mind bubble. Articles for Wired, BBC Online, New Scientist, The Economist and Fast Company soon followed. She's currently pursuing her dream of traveling from country to country to not only ferret out cool stories but also indulge outrageously in local street foods. When not working, you'll find her either buried nose deep in a fantasy novel or trying her hand at improvisational comedy.
Top Articles by Lakshmi Sandhana
  • Top 10 coolest high tech toys for kids

    Christmas is around the corner and the hunt for the best kids toys out there has never been more exciting. With iPhone controlled toys, smart toys and customizable robots, the latest breed of high-tech toys have a lot to offer. Check out Gizmag's top...

  • Scientists make "Impossible Material" ... by accident

    Scientists have accidentally created a new material thought for more than 100 years to be impossible. A single gram of Upsalite has a surface area of 800 sq m, equivalent to the sail of a megayacht.

  • Synchronized virtual reality heartbeat triggers out-of-body experiences

    New research demonstrates that it could be easy to trick the mind and trigger an out-of-body experience by getting a person to watch a video of themselves with their heartbeat projected on to it. The findings could lead to new treatments for people w...

  • Scientists turn table salt into forbidden compounds that violate textbook rules

    Scientists have synthesized "forbidden" exotic new materials out of ordinary table salt. The research is expected to spark a new chapter in chemistry and lead to the discovery of completely new chemical compounds with unusual properties that also hav...

  • Aero-X hoverbike set to take off in 2017

    That most long-awaited form of transport may finally be arriving with California-based Aerofex announcing that it'll be launching its Aero-X hoverbike in 2017 at an estimated price of US,000 (+CPI).

Fuhu's Nabi DreamTab HD 8 is a fully featured, sophisticated Android tablet for kids with ...

Prying your iPad or Kindle Fire away from a child's fingers can get old really quickly. If they're clamoring for their very own device, it can be tricky to find them a kids tablet that delivers the kind of performance they've gotten used to. Enter Fuhu's Nabi Dreamtab HD8. Packing a Tegra quad core processor, this children's tablet is filled with themed kid-friendly content.  Read More

The Siemens RACE prototype will allow hardware components to be updated via a plug-and-pla...

Siemens is developing new technology aimed at transforming electric cars into "rolling computers" controlled by a centralized computing architecture. According to Siemens, not only will it be possible to retrofit functions such as electrical brakes using a plug-and-play process (like on home PCs) but developers will also be able to push new software functions and updates out to vehicles – just like how it's currently done with smartphones.  Read More

The living replica of Vincent Van Gogh's ear, grown using genetic material from one of his...

If you thought cloning mice, frogs and extinct mammoths to be challenging, how about cloning Vincent Van Gogh's ear? Dutch artist Diemut Strebe has grown a living replica of the ear that Vincent Van Gogh reportedly sliced off in a troubled episode, using genetic material from one of Van Gogh's direct descendants. With a lifespan of 80 years or more, the ear could live as long as any one of us, says Strebe, who is investigating the idea of replicating people from historical DNA.  Read More

An example of a news article displayed in the app (Image: Dr. Wee Kuok Kwee)

Researchers at the Multimedia University in Malaysia have developed an app called the Intelligent Narrator to read out news articles in real-time. Supporting multiple languages, the app can automatically identify an online newspaper's language and read out the news in the same language.  Read More

The fiber-shaped Li-ion batteries can be woven into textiles capable of powering wearable ...

Scientists at the Fudan University in Shanghai, China, have developed a high-performance Li-ion battery made of carbon nanotube fiber yarns. Roughly one 1 mm in diameter, the fiber shaped lithium-ion batteries are reported lightweight enough to create weavable and wearable textile batteries that could power various devices. The researchers say that the yarn is capable of delivering nearly 71 mAh/g of power, and can also be woven into existing textiles to create novel electronic fabrics.  Read More

WORM displays can be imprinted with words or pictures using UV light (Photo: UMP)

Scientists at Universiti Malaysia Pahang (UMP) have developed displays that can be written on and erased with light. The WORM (Write Once Read Many) display is an optical storage device whose molecular geometry can be altered by shining light on it, allowing information in the form of words or pictures to be impressed on it in as little as 20 seconds. The environmentally-friendly display is also easy to dispose of, the researchers report, as users only have to scratch its surface to remove its protective coating and dip it in water to dissolve it.  Read More

Structural supercapacitors could allow energy to be stored directly in structural material...

Imagine using a mobile phone powered entirely by its casing, or an electric car that runs off power stored in its chassis. Researchers at Vanderbilt University have created a structural supercapacitor that could, they believe, bring this closer to reality, making batteries and power cords obsolete. The structural supercapacitor could make it possible to store energy directly in structural materials, allowing them to deliver power long-term while surviving the real-life mechanical stresses they're bound to experience.  Read More

Reconfigurable Roombot modules can attach to existing furniture, or rearrange themselves t...

Envision small robotic modules, lifting the lid of a storage box, spilling out, rearranging themselves to be the box's legs and transporting it to where you might be seated. That's exactly what Swiss researchers are aiming to create with Roombots, reconfigurable robotic modules that connect to each other to transform themselves into any type of furniture and change shape when needed (from a chair to a table, for example). Designed to help the disabled or elderly, by morphing to suit their needs, the adaptive robotic furniture modules can even be attached to existing furniture to give greater flexibility and the power to move.  Read More

Fans on the hat instantly unfold to shield the wearer from loud noises, bright lights or u... Designer Sangli Li has created a high-tech hat that attempts to defend the wearer from unwanted actions, such as a person suddenly shouting in your ear, or leaning in too close, by using small movable fans to quickly unfold in a blocking manner.  Read More

We Feel processes the world's tweets to provide a real-time map of emotional trends across...

A new online tool aims to create a real-time emotional map of how people all over the world feel, from analyzing how cheerful or depressed different countries might be, to how budget cuts or other news might hit people emotionally. Called "We Feel," the tool analyzes 32,000 tweets a minute to monitor people's collective mood swings and how their emotions fluctuate over time globally.  Read More

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