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Mobile Technology

BiKN uses iPhone to keep track of your stuff ... or kids

Wondering where you left your dang car keys this time? Well, you might not be if you were using BiKN. Pronounced “beacon,” this tracking system consists of an iPhone case, an app, and up to eight tags that can be attached to items of your choice. Should you not be able to find one of those items, BiKN will help you relocate it. The system will also give you a holler should a particular "item" wander away on its own.Read More

Motorcycles

BMW reworks the S1000RR

We were mightily impressed by BMW's S1000RR superbike the first time round, now the German manufacturer has announced the S1000RR mark II. Power and maximum torque figures remain at 142 kW (193 hp) and 112 Nm on the revised superbike with the mostly subtle changes centered on improving response, power delivery and handling. The torque curve, throttle response and suspension have all been tweaked along with the (very effective) ABS and Dynamic Traction Control systems. Externally, the 2012 SS1000RR gets an upgraded instrument cluster, revised rear-end, redesigned side panels with the addition of two winglets for improved aerodynamics and a new range of colors.Read More

Outdoors

Solid Gray armadillo-inspired backpack designed to keep your gadgets safe

There are loads of precious and fragile electronics in our lives that require appropriate protection when used on-the-go, and therefore the range of gadget-tailored bags is pretty huge. If you need greater protection than a typical case provides, however, a hard shell-equipped backpack may be your best bet. Designed for heavy use, the Solid Gray backpack comes with a rigid body yet is lightweight at the same time, given that it's made from a single sheet of copolymer.Read More

Mobile Technology

Swivl pans your smartphone to keep you in the shot

When I was a kid, it always used to bug me when someone was supposed to be talking on a locked-off “video phone” in a movie, and yet the phone would pan with them to keep them in the shot! Well, like a lot of other things from sci-fi movies of the past, motorized face-tracking webcams are now a reality – albeit, they’re still not very common. As it turns out, however, more and more video calls are being made not from desktop computers, but from smartphones. So, that being the case, how do you go about getting one of those to pan with you? Well, you could buy something like the Swivl.Read More

Science

New technique turns 2D patterns into 3D objects using nothing but light

Researchers from North Carolina State University have developed a new technique for transforming two-dimensional print output into 3-D structures, using nothing but light. A pre-stressed polymer sheet is fed into a conventional inkjet printer, which applies black stripes to areas designed to be used as hinges. The desired pattern is then cut out and subjected to infrared light. The material contracts at the hinges, and the sheet collapses into a predefined 3D structure. Dr. Michael Dickey, who co-authored a paper describing the research, says the process could be used for packaging purposes and could be applied to high-volume manufacturing. Read More

Science

Floating weed inspires high-tech waterproof coating

It may be an invasive weed that’s fouling waterways in the U.S., Australia and other countries, but it turns out that Salvinia molesta has at least one good point – it’s inspired a man-made coating that could help ships stay afloat. The upper surface of the floating plant’s leaves are coated with tiny water-repellent hairs, each of which is topped with a bizarre eggbeater-like structure. These hairs trap a layer of air against the leaf, reducing friction and providing buoyancy, while the eggbeaters grab slightly at the surrounding water, providing stability. Scientists at Ohio State University have successfully replicated these hairs in plastic, creating a buoyant coating that is described as being like “a microscopic shag carpet.”Read More

Mobile Technology

Panasonic details Toughpad FZ-A1 rugged Android tablet

Pricing, availability and technical details have now emerged for Panasonic's new rugged tablet that we briefly covered in June. The Toughpad FZ-A1 has been designed to meet the needs of a modern mobile workforce, and features a multi-touch screen bright enough to use in daylight, has been drop-tested at Panasonic's own labs to MIL-STD-810G standards, and is both waterproof and dust resistant to IP65 standards.Read More

Good Thinking

Ultrasonic nozzle promises better cleaning with less water

In many industries, such as health care, food preparation and electronics manufacturing, cleanliness is of the utmost importance. It’s important enough that huge quantities of water are used – and left tainted – in order to remove contaminants. While some groups have concentrated on creating better cleansers, a team of scientists from the University of Southampton have taken a different approach. They’ve created an ultrasonic tap nozzle, that allows the water itself do a better job at cleaning. The better that a given amount of water is able to clean, the less of it that needs to be used.Read More

Computers

iDigiTip puts a point on those big fingers of yours

If you’ve got fat fingers, then you probably find it difficult to peck at the tiny keyboards – virtual or physical – on mobile phones. You could just use a traditional stylus, although doing so kind of takes away from the intuitive “hands-on” aspect of finger typing. Well, that’s where the iDigiTip comes in. It’s got the fine tip of a stylus, but because you wear it on the end of your finger or thumb, you can still type like the slimmer-fingered folk.Read More

Games

Video games are bad for you? That's what they said about Rock 'n' Roll

Despite the bad press that gaming often gets, there is increasing evidence that it can have positive effects. We've already seen studies suggesting that video games improve decision making and put players in a more relaxed frame of mind, now there's more good news for parents whose offspring are video game junkies. Research out of Michigan State University suggests that 12 year olds who play video games tend to be more creative ... and the more they play the more creative they are. Read More

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