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The Eos wireless speaker system

The benefits of wireless speakers are clear - they do away with the pesky (and costly), need to rip up carpet or tear up walls to run cabling and provide a versatility that enables easy reconfiguration of the set-up whenever the need arises. The latest to cross our desk is the Eos system, which is compatible with any iPod with a docking connector, consists of up to 4 self-contained remote speaker/receivers and a base unit/transmitter and can broadcast over 150 feet, inside and out, upstairs, downstairs, through walls, doors, ceilings.  Read More

A toy that's not a toy - the SnoMote

Scientists at the Georgia Institute of Technology and Pennsylvania State University are developing a hardy breed of autonomous robots designed to collect critical on-site data that will aid in the understanding of how climate change is effecting the world's ice sheets and therefore enable the creation of better climate models.  Read More

Avalanche effect - graphic visualization

Research continues to improve efficiency in solar cells, whilst simultaneously finding ways to lower the costs of module production. The latest research from TU Delft and the FOM Foundation for Fundamental Research on Matter surrounds the use of semiconducting nanocrystals (crystals with dimensions in the nanometer size range) to demonstrate a phenomenon called the “avalanche effect” which has the potential to significantly boost solar cell efficiency.  Read More

White Diamonds Collection

Not satisfied with the innocuous grey or black of standard mobiles? Perhaps these unique diamond encrusted phones from Gresso are what you’ve been looking for. But such exclusivity comes at a price - 9,000 and 33,000 euros (around US$14,000 and $52,000) depending on the model.  Read More

RR4 design sketch
 Image: Rolls-Royce

Luxury car maker Rolls-Royce has revealed the first design sketches of its next new model which is due to be launched in 2010. The two teasing sketches released thus far reveal little detail of the car to be known as the the RR4, although a streamlined design direction that builds on the current Phantom model line-up is clear. According to Rolls Royce Chief designer Ian Cameron, the RR4 will be smaller than Phantom with a "more informal presence" and a "greater emphasis on driving". It will also be powered by a completely new engine and the company plans to ramp up production at its Goodwood manufacturing facilities, adding a second assembly line and moving to a two shift system to cater for the new model.  Read More

UV light illustrates how the epoxy resin bleeds into a fracture

We wrote last year about Greece’s self-healing house, now aerospace engineers at Bristol University have applied the concept to the development of self-repairing aircraft.  Read More

Plans unveiled for 2.3MW offshore floating wind turbine
 Photo: StatoilHydro

The world desperately needs viable sources of renewable energy and wind power is among the most promising solutions, but one downside is that turbines can be considered a blight on otherwise picturesque landscapes. The solution seems obvious enough - move the towers far out to sea where not only are they out of sight, but where the wind is at its strongest and most consistent. We first encountered this idea back in 2006 when we examined the efforts of MIT researchers to integrate a turbine with a floating platform similar to those used by offshore oil rigs. Now news that Norwegian oil and gas company StatoilHydro plans to invest around US$80 million to build a full scale offshore floating wind turbine.  Read More

Ben Gulak aboard the UnoMoto

A design that is best described as a two-wheeled unicycle, the UnoMoto takes a Yamaha R1 frame, side-by-side wheels and Segway-like gyroscopic technology and wraps it in a custom made body to create a very different kind of electric commuter vehicle. Though perhaps not as slick in the design stakes, the UnoMoto prototype is reminiscent of the radical Bombadier EMBRIO Concept but with even simpler controls. Except for an on/off switch all control is achieved through simply leaning: forward to accelerate, back to brake, and sideways to make a turn. Young Canadian design engineer Ben Gulak deserves our applause on at least three counts: it's compact, its green and it's thoroughly unconventional.  Read More

Uniden TRAX Series

Uniden's new TRAX Series GPS units feature 360 Degree 3D "Landmark Technology" which shows key landmarks in 3D from any angle including a ‘fly around’ 360 degree mode. In major metropolitan areas elevated city maps, contours and rises on the road are also represented in 3D from any angle. The TRAX Series also include Text to Speech with Spoken Street Names and, as with Uniden’s previous releases, some models also include integrated Bluetooth capabilities to deliver hands-free mobile phone communication via the unit. The high definition, LCD touch screens are non-reflective for easier viewing and there is also an automatic day/night mode.  Read More

Scientists at the University of California have developed a spray-on explosive detector that glows blue under UV light in the presence of nitrogen-containing explosives. The silafluorene-fluorene copolymer is sensitive enough to detect just a billionth of a gram of explosive.  Read More

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