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The NASA Innovative Advanced Concepts NIAC program has announced 15 phase I winners in its quest to make science fiction science fact. The aim of the program is to encourage the innovation of ideas with the potential to transform future aerospace and exploration operations, but more importantly, it grants us a tantalizing and often fantastical glimpse of what the future may hold.

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While the modern smartphone is largely about keeping the user connected to a host of social, professional and other services, the Light Phone calls to mind a simpler time, aiming to provide the user with a break from the intense connectivity of modern life. The project, which offers a back-to-basics approach to communication, is currently seeking funding on Kickstarter.

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Researchers have successfully transferred monolayer graphene to fibers commonly used in the textile industry. The transparent, flexible material could one day be used to create embedded wearable electronics, such as phones, fitness trackers or MP3 players.

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British headphone maker RHA impressed us last month when its T10 heavyweights landed on the review bench. Now the company has announced the T20 in-ear headphones featuring a brand new dynamic driver technology named DualCoil. As well as promising true-to-life audio reproduction, the new earphones conform to the Hi-Res Audio standard as defined by the Japan Audio Society.

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Fasten your seatbelts: work has begun on the construction of the Ferrari Land theme park. Based in the PortAventura Resort near Barcelona, Spain, it is described as a "take on the Ferrari myth." It will reference Formula 1, Ferrari innovation, traditional Italy and marque founder Enzo Ferrari.

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Dutch architecture firm MVRDV has unveiled plans to transform a large stretch of unused raised highway in Seoul, South Korea, into a pedestrian-friendly skygarden. The Seoul Skygarden is due for completion in 2017 and will also include some retail spaces, such as cafés, flower shops, and street markets.

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Astronomers have discovered a series of unusual globular star clusters with masses far exceeding what would be expected under the standard model for the celestial structures. The clusters are located in the giant elliptical galaxy Centaurus A, and seem to hint at an enigmatic dark presence that cannot yet be accounted for.

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One simple controller to manage your locks, music, thermostat, lighting, appliances and more – that's the ambitious aim of Numio, an ultra-smart Internet of Things device currently looking for funding on Kickstarter. Portable and flexible, it can plug into more than 30 separate apps and platforms, from Sonos to Nest.

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The results from a new NASA experiment suggest that the dark material seen coating geological features on Europa may well be sea salt. Originating from a subsurface ocean, the material is thought to have been discolored by exposure to radiation.

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