Highlights from the 2014 LA Auto Show

Mick Webb

The Russian T-50 PAK-FA fighter jet prototype taking its maiden flight

Russia has reportedly successfully test-flown its first fifth generation fighter jet prototype. Formally known as the Prospective Aircraft Complex of Frontline Aviation (PAK-FA), the craft made its 47 minute maiden voyage on 29th January. Manufactured by the Russian state owned Sukhoi Aircraft Corporation, the development of this tactical frontline stealth fighter jet is being seen as a significant milestone in the efforts of the country to modernize its post Soviet–era military technology.  Read More

The Dynasty Billiard table - style at a price

The Dynasty is a very 21st Century take on a gaming platform that's been with us for more than 500 years - the billiard table. The US$100,000 Dynasty features sculptured metal, slate pockets, and neon–look LED under lighting. Add to that a host of other top of the line fittings and you have yourself one very sharp looking centerpiece for the games room. The owner of the first known indoor billiard table - King Louis XI of France (1461–1483) - would surely approve.  Read More

Mitsubishi Electric has developed multi-elevator smart control technology that can reduce ...

In a world that largely relies on elevators to ferry people from one floor of a building to the next, it is remarkable how inefficient current systems are in terms of favoring passenger convenience over the increasingly important aspect of reducing energy consumption. Japanese manufacturer Mitsubishi Electric looks set to buck the trend with the announcement of its development of multi–elevator smart control technology that can not only reduce energy use by up to ten percent, but do so while adding a mere few seconds to passenger waiting times.  Read More

VESA has unveiled Displayport v1.2

The Video Electronics Standard Association (VESA) has unveiled the long awaited DisplayPort Version1.2 digital display interface that brings with it a host of enhanced features. Aside from a doubled data rate of 21.6Gbps and bi-directional USB data transfer of an impressive 720Mbps, the upgrade also offers multi – monitor support from a single plug, improved audio synchronization and support for Full HD 3D Stereoscopic displays.  Read More

The Lok8u multi-m8 GPS watch

It’s a big world out there and for many different people in society that means a big risk of getting lost. Following the release of its nu.m8 GPS location device for children, Lok8u has announced its adult counterpart, the multi.m8. The device, worn as a wristwatch, aims to make a range of people from lone workers to the elderly easily locatable through the combined use of GPS and cellular identification technology.  Read More

The SEED Project is developing a method to convert unused shipping containers into sustain...

Aside from tragic loss of life and incomprehensible destruction, events like last week’s devastating earthquake in Haiti create a myriad of problems in their wake, not least of which is homelessness. With over 30 million shipping containers the world over currently lying dormant, a team of researchers at Clemson University in South Carolina are working to help solve the issue of accommodation in disaster affected areas by developing a method to convert the unused containers into sustainable emergency housing.  Read More

The Barbecue Hand Crank produces a stream of air at the turn of a handle

Avid fans of the barbecue grill will know there is little more annoying than having to constantly attend to making sure the charcoal keeps on burning, often resulting in ever bigger huffs and puffs and the odd singed eyebrow. Well huff and puff no more with what is a very simple yet effective looking solution to backyard breathlessness, the Barbecue Hand Crank. As the name suggests, the hand held and operated portable blower lets the user produce a stream of constant air with a simple turn of the handle.  Read More

Never have to 'hold on' for too long again - the Bumper Dumper

When taking a long scenic drive or getting away camping for the weekend, one guarantee aside from the picturesque views and camp side tranquility is that you, or one of your fellow adventurers are going to need to answer a call of nature at a most inappropriate time – i.e. in the car in the middle of nowhere or halfway through a forest hike. Well gone are the days of the “phantom squat” or ducking behind a tree and hoping not to be stumbled on by a family of tourists. This nifty invention known rather fittingly as the Bumper Dumper, is literally a toilet seat attached to a steel frame that requires only a trailer hitch receiver to turn the back of your vehicle into a veritable port-a-potty making the whole “roughing it” experience far more palatable.  Read More

The Kia UVO in-car infotainment system

In addition to its recent 7-year / 150,000km warranty announcement, Kia has created further interest with the showing of its UVO in-car voice and touch activated communication and entertainment system. Developed in collaboration with Microsoft, the system offers users an easy to use interactive hands-free alternative that uses speech recognition for making and taking calls, sending text messages and managing in-car music. Featuring a 4.3” full color touchscreen display and built-in 1GB storage with the ability to rip CD’s and MP3’s onto the system’s “Jukebox”, the open platform UVO system also doubles as a rear view camera when the vehicle is in reverse.  Read More

Playing a maze game designed by a PHD student from Columbia University using the Vizux Wra...

Forget looking at the world through rose colored glasses – try these on for size. Video eyewear manufacturer Vuzix has unveiled its Wrap 920AR glasses prototype that features cameras mounted to the lenses that project real world images onto LCD’s inside the glasses, seamlessly mixing real-world and computer generated imagery. With the LCD’s offering the view of a 67” display from ten feet away and the cameras able to capture video at a resolution of 752x480 at 60fps, the application promises a myriad of uses from gaming to education and social networking.  Read More

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