Photokina 2014 highlights

Loz Blain

The Buoyant Air Turbine, from Altaeros Energies

Winds are stronger and steadier at higher altitudes, that’s why the Buoyant Air Turbine (BAT) from Altaeros is pushing to be the highest wind turbine in history. Already tested to 500 feet off the ground in 45 mph winds, this helium-filled shell with a wind turbine in the middle is soon shooting for a world record 1,000 ft float. Packing down into a shipping container for transport, the BAT is being proposed as a quickly deployable tethered power source for remote areas and emergency zones.  Read More

Andra's motion focus system – a creative and sophisticated autofocus system for large sens...

Cinema Control Laboratories has come up with a system it calls Andra, which is like an incredibly advanced and configurable autofocus system for large sensor cameras with wide aperture lenses – and it’s already creating some beautiful footage that would be ridiculously hard to capture manually.  Read More

USB 3.1 Type C – the next generation USB cable

Rejoice! The boffins in charge of USB standards appear to have settled on a design for the much-anticipated USB 3.1 Type C connector. For starters, there’s no “right way up” – that alone will trigger a sigh of relief from many of us. Both ends of the cable will be the same, it’ll make an audible "click" when it’s connected, it’s about the same size as a current micro-USB connector, and it can handle device charging as well as 10 Gbps data transfer rates.  Read More

British drivers will soon face 'zero tolerance' drug driving laws (Photo: Shutterstock)

The UK has put in place some of the strictest drug driving laws on the planet in an effort to get drug-impaired drivers off the roads. Breath screening and blood tests will be used to detect eight illicit drugs at "zero tolerance" levels, and eight further prescription drugs at levels that would begin to impair driving. Naturally, since the British government can’t be seen to encourage recreational drug use, these limits haven’t been put into a practical context. So we contacted several drug testing experts and a forensic pharmacologist to try to work out what they mean. And as it turns out, some drugs will make you illegal to drive long after their physical effects have worn off.  Read More

Yamaha's Tricity 3-wheeler

Regular readers will know that we’re big fans of the tilting 3-wheeler platform here at Gizmag. Narrow track vehicles are evolving and sprouting up all over the place, but Yamaha’s brand new Tricity represents the first production effort by a major motorcycle company – and it seems to be focused in all the right areas to make it a huge success.  Read More

Ducati's Multistrada D-Air, with wireless airbag jackets.

Ducati has announced a new version of its stunning Multistrada 1200 sports-tourer (check out our video review) that wirelessly inflates airbag jackets for both rider and passenger in the event of a crash. A step forward from the motorcycle airbag Honda showcased in its Goldwing series, the Ducati system can protect the rider and passenger even once they’ve separated from the bike.  Read More

How to remove chromatic aberration in Adobe Lightroom 5

Chromatic aberration (CA) or color fringing is an annoying property of cheap camera lenses, and even pops up on top of the range glass like Canon's L series. Luckily, it's very easy to correct in Adobe's fantastic Lightroom 5. We'll walk you through how it's done.  Read More

The Flying Phantom catamaran seems to levitate above the water as it hydrofoils.

“It’s like removing the handbrake – suddenly everything gets smoother and faster in pure silence.” This gravity-defying US$40k catamaran rises completely out of the water at speed on a pair of hook-shaped hydrofoils. It looks like the work of David Copperfield, but it’s real, and it’s set to start a revolution in the sailing world.  Read More

According to Boston-based startup Spritz, you spend as little as 20 percent of your readin...

Static blocks of text like the one you’re looking at now are an antiquated and inefficient way to get words into your head. That’s the contention of Boston-based startup Spritz, which has developed a speed-reading text box that shows no more than 13 characters at a time. The Spritz box flashes words at you in quick succession so you don’t have to move your eyes around a page, and in my very quick testing it allowed me to read at more than double my usual reading pace. Spritz has teamed up with Samsung to integrate its speed reading functionality with the upcoming Galaxy S5 smartphone.  Read More

The Uber taxi app for iPhone and Android.

Paying two, three or even ten times as much as usual for a taxi ride across town sounds like a pretty crappy deal, right? But I’m sure you can imagine times when you’d be happy to pay it – times, for example, when demand is so high that it’s impossible to get a ride. And that’s the theory behind Uber, a mobile app that’s aiming to use basic economic theory to eliminate taxi bottlenecks. And as it turns out, it just might end up being better for everyone.  Read More

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