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Science

MIT develops a suit that makes you feel like you're 75 years old

What does it really feel like to be 75 years old? A group of researchers in MIT's Agelab have created a suit to help people understand what it might be like to navigate the world as a senior citizen. Called AGNES (Age Gain Now Empathy System), the suit replicates what it might be like to be in a 75-year-old body, replicating dexterity, flexibility, motor, and visual elements into a suit that can be worn by people of all ages. Read More

Environment

WakaWaka solar led lamp aims to light up Kenyan school

Although we have entered 2012 approximately 1.5 billion people around the globe remain without access to a stable or safe source of light. Commonly in some of the world's poorest regions, kerosene lanterns are the standard form of night time lighting, which leads to the possibility of fires, explosions, asphyxiation and toxic fumes. Cheap, accessible solar lighting presents an obvious solution to this problem and the latest tilt at making this a reality is WakaWaka - a solar LED lamp concept that can fit snuggly onto a soda bottle. Read More

Games

gAtari 2600 turns game console into a handheld instrument

Taking an old computer or game console and modifying it for music isn't very new; it's even spawned its own style of music called "chiptunes." But most artists that do this end up standing behind a table while they perform, since that gear can take up quite a bit of room. So, like the keyboard player who looked at the guitarist and said, "Hey! I want to do that!" one musician has created a handheld musical instrument out of a 1970's game console. Australian chiptune artist, cTrix, crafted together an Atari 2600, some custom software, and various musical modifiers to build a standalone instrument that he calls the "gAtari 2600."Read More

Architecture

Video update: Flying robots build a 6-meter tower

We were pretty impressed by the potential of these flying robots when we first covered this story in late November. Now the FRAC Centre in Orléans, France has released a video of the robot swarm in action during its current exhibition. Titled "Flight Assembled Architecture," the live installation showcases a fleet of quadrocopters building a six meter-high tower made up of 1,500 prefabricated polystyrene foam modules. Read More

Environment

PumPing Tap concept literally ejects power cords to save energy

For years, environmentalists have warned that keeping electronics plugged in all the time wastes energy, even when a device is switched off. Even for less green-conscious consumers this lost energy can add up on the electric bill each month, so disconnecting unused devices is really a good habit for anyone to get into. But let's be honest, it's hard to remember to unplug each gadget every single time it's used. To help with this, designers have created the PumPing Tap, a concept electrical socket that can detect an unused power cord and physically eject it from the wall. Read More

Urban Transport

Sword-inspired Chinese train hits 311 mph in testing

China's state press agency, Xinhua, reports that the country's largest rail vehicle maker has debuted a six-car train more than twice as powerful and 200 km/h (124 mph) faster than the high-speed models currently in service between Beijing and Shanghai. The new electric test train can draw a maximum of 22,800 kilowatts and is reportedly capable of reaching speeds as high as 500 km/h (311 mph), making it one of the fastest trains ever designed for commercial passenger use.Read More

Medical

Scanadu developing a real-life medical tricorder

The future technology depicted in the various Star Trek TV series and films certainly holds a lot of appeal for many of us – who wouldn’t want to teleport to Hawaii, live out their fantasies on a holodeck, or enjoy some instant gourmet chow straight out of a replicator? It looks like the Star Trek item that we’re the closest to seeing become a reality, however, is the medical tricorder. This May, the X-PRIZE Foundation proposed a US$10 million Tricorder X-PRIZE, with the intention of encouraging the production of consumer devices that can assess a person’s state of health. The first potential contestant, which already has a tricorder in the works, is a tech start-up by the name of Scanadu.Read More

Music

2011: A year of musical innovation

The closing of the year is a great time to reflect on recent events. Regular readers will already know that musical instrument development is a bit of a passion of mine, and 2011 has been a great year for innovation. Join me, if you will, for a quick retrospective look at some of the tech we've been treated to during the last 12 months, ending with a recent take on an old classic - the Crap-o-Caster.Read More

Mobile Technology

You may soon be able to put your iPod nano on The Pill

There are currently a plethora of speaker docking systems out there, for use with iPhones or classic iPods. There have been some solutions created specifically for previous generations of iPod nanos, such as the devices made by Green Power and Dexim, but the new sixth-generation nanos have a different form factor with different docking requirements. One of the companies responding to that change is Singapore’s Gavio, which recently launched a speaker dock designed specifically for the current incarnation of the nano. It’s called The Pill, although if you want to get technical, a more accurate name would have been The Capsule.Read More

Electronics

LG Electronics will unveil the world's largest 3D Ultra Definition TV at CES

LG will be unveiling the “world's largest 3D Ultra Definition TV” at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in January. The 84-inch television has 8 million pixels, giving it four times the resolution clarity (3840 x 2160) of existing Full HD TVs. The television also utilizes LG's “Slim and Narrow Bezel Design,” which the company feels gives viewers “the most convincing 3D viewing experience currently available outside a movie theater.” Read More

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