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— Environment

On the road to cleaner air with air-purifying concrete

By - July 7, 2010 1 Picture
Although much of the focus of pollution from automobiles centers on carbon emissions, there are other airborne nasties spewing from the tailpipes of fossil fuel-powered vehicles. These include nitrogen oxides (NOx). In the form of nitrogen dioxide it reacts with chemicals produced by sunlight to form nitric acid – a major constituent of acid rain – and also reacts with sunlight, leading to the formation of ozone and smog. Everyone is exposed to small amounts of nitrogen oxides in ambient air, but exposure to higher amounts, in areas of heavy traffic for example, can damage respiratory airways. Testing has shown that surfacing roads with air purifying concrete could make a big contribution to local air purity by reducing the concentration of nitrogen oxides by 25 to 45 percent. Read More
— Digital Cameras

Long-wave infrared driving cameras on the way

By - July 7, 2010 1 Picture
The benefits of car night vision systems that enable drivers to see people or animals more clearly on dark, unlit roads have already started appearing in luxury cars. But these systems rely on near-infrared (NIR) radiation, which requires the cars to be fitted with infrared headlights to illuminate the road ahead. Falling into the “thermal imaging region”, Long-wavelength (LWIR) cameras require no such external light source but the sensors require constant cooling, adding to the cost and complexity of such devices. Researchers have now developed a new type of detector which functions at room temperature allowing it to be used in cars and other mobile applications. Read More
— Automotive

BMW Megacity electric vehicle

By - July 7, 2010 50 Pictures
With almost three quarters of the world's population predicted to live in cities by 2050, it's no surprise that the shape of urban transport is set for a radical change. BMW is looking to stake its claim on this brave new world of zero emissions personal motoring with the Megacity Vehicle (MCV). Based on a totally new vehicle architecture dubbed "LifeDrive", the concept is made up of of two independent modules - a Drive module which contains the battery and drive system, and a Life module which houses a lightweight passenger cell made from carbon fiber reinforced plastic (CFRP). While the development of the concept has been discussed for some time, the big news from BMW this week is that we can expect to see the MCV enter the market in 2013. Read More
— Digital Cameras

New 3D display technology projects multi-layered images onto water droplets

By - July 6, 2010 7 Pictures
Projecting images onto water surfaces is the latest display technology to get a 3D makeover. With its ability to target light onto and between individual water droplets the AquaLux 3D can display text, video and other moving or still images on layers of falling water. In contrast to existing technologies for projecting images onto water surfaces, AquaLux 3D makes it possible to create 3D images by using multiple layers of precisely controlled water droplets. Read More
— Automotive

Forum8 demos driving simulator at 3D and VR Expo

By - July 6, 2010 4 Pictures
At the 3D and VR Expo in Tokyo, Japanese company Forum8 demonstrated the company's UC-win/Road Drive Simulator software. The software allows for custom maps and environments to be created according to your specifications. You can control the environment and location, the terrain and street layout. You can even adjust the traffic, weather conditions, and even time of day. The minute details in the graphics are impressive, even showing barely noticeable elements such as the signal lights on individual vehicles. Read More
— Digital Cameras

Prompt-it turns your iPhone into a teleprompter

By - July 6, 2010 5 Pictures
There was a time, not so very long ago, when high-resolution video cameras, non-linear editing suites and the ability to reach millions of potential viewers were exclusively the domain of TV stations. All that has changed, of course, in the past decade or so. What many New Media on-camera personalities still lack, however, is the smooth, polished delivery of professional TV hosts. Is that because the Big Boys and Girls have journalism degrees and years of experience? Perhaps partly, but it’s also because they have a teleprompter feeding them their lines. Now, you can have yours fed to you too, by getting a Prompt-it - a gizmo that turns your iPhone into a teleprompter-on-a-budget. Take that, Oprah Winfrey! Read More
— Automotive

Fiat autos returning to US roads

By - July 6, 2010 2 Pictures
North American readers over a certain age may recall a time when Fiats were available at local auto dealers. Even though some people joked about their reliability at the time (“What does FIAT stand for? Fix It Again, Tony!”), the chic, zippy little Italian cars definitely had their admirers. Unfortunately, after the 1970’s oil crisis subsided, small cars weren’t so popular anymore, and what market remained was heavily dominated by Japanese automakers. Thus it was that in 1984, Fiat decided to stop selling cars in North America. Flash-forward to fuel-conscious 2010, and Fiat is now the sixth-largest car company in the world, and owner of the US-based Chrysler Group. This week, it was announced that separate and distinct Fiat dealerships will be selling the company's compact 500 model in the United States. Read More
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