Highlights from the 2014 LA Auto Show
TH!NK FROST

While World Rally Championship cars travel at incredible speed on ice covered roads using studded tires, something with a little more surface area is needed for an Arctic Off-Road vehicle. Taking cues off four track snowmobiles Norwegian designer Anders Gloslie designed the FROST as a concept proposal for TH!NK, an electric car company based in Norway. The layout of the FROST is a 2-seat sports car platform based on a tubular space frame chassis with double wishbone suspension front and rear teamed with push-rod actuated in-board coil over shock and spring units. The suspension features hydraulic wheel extenders to increase the track when required and the proposed electric drivetrain features All Wheel Drive (AWD), all-wheel-steering and radical tracks instead of conventional wheels that should offer superior traction when driving on snow, ice and slush.  Read More

Orange contactless payment rolls-out

With around four billion mobile phones in use world wide at the end of 2008 they now outnumber credit cards in circulation by a factor of 2:1, so the proliferation of payment systems based on the ubiquitous mobile phone seems almost a certainly. We've previously reported on Near Field Communication (NFC), a new generation of mobile phones able to make contactless payments and now UK mobile phone operator Orange is partnering with businesses to offer a complete range of contactless services.  Read More

Ultramafic rocks (in red) that potentially could absorb CO2 (Image: U.S. Geological Survey...

The debate about the benefits of using Carbon Capture and Sequestration (CCS) to fight against climate change is ongoing. One one hand there are reservations regarding suitable sequestration sites that provide sufficient security to store CO2 for centuries as well as the cost of implementing such a system, which could draw important funds away from the development of renewable energy technologies. On the other, we are still heavily reliant on burning fossil fuels to produce energy and this infrastructure can't be replaced overnight. CCS is obviously attractive to existing power generation companies as it allows them to keep hold of their existing infrastructure and for this reason, it is more than likely that CSS schemes will continue to gather momentum. So where to we can CO2 be stored? Scientists at Columbia University’s Earth Institute and the U.S. Geological Survey have produced a new report that maps large rock formations in the United States that can also absorb CO2 and are exploring ways to speed up the CCS process.  Read More

SEAT Leon Ecomotive Twin Drive

SEAT displayed its first electric vehicle prototype in January of this year to Spain’s Minister of Industry who recently promised one million EVs on Spanish roads by 2012. SEAT has now announced the 74.3mpg TDI powered Leon Ecomotive at the Geneva Auto Show 2009.  Read More

Cloud seeding in action

Rainmaking has advanced since the days when a ritual dance was believed to invoke the wet stuff, but while modern day cloud seeding has been shown to change the structure and size of clouds, it’s still debatable whether the practice actually has any effect on rainfall. After all, even if precipitation does occur after cloud seeding there’s no way of knowing whether it would have rained anyway. This uncertainty hasn’t stopped widespread use of cloud seeding in countries around the world including the US, Russia, Australia and China, which boasts the largest cloud seeding system in the world. Now a breakthrough by an international team of scientists could help in the development of new materials which could be used to enhance the process.  Read More

Dell XFR rugged laptop on truck tailgate

Designed for workplace applications which place large demands on your laptop like manufacturing, military, mining and oil and gas exploration, Dell's new rugged laptop - the Latitude E6400 XFR - boasts "ballistic armor" said to provide twice the impact strength of Magnesium alloy, plus higher drop specifications and enhanced protection against dust and water.  Read More

The Honda TITAN MIX – the world's first flex fuel motorcycle

Brazilian Honda subsidiary Moto Honda da Amazonia Ltda.(HDA) has begun sales of the , the first motorcycle in the world to be equipped with flexible-fuel technology. The 150cc motorcycle is equipped with a Mix Fuel Injection System, a newly developed fuel supply and fuel injection control system that enables consumers to use a flexible mixture of environmentally-responsible bio-ethanol and gasoline fuels, hence reducing CO2 emissions and fuel costs.  Read More

Jaime Oliver and his Silent Drum

New technology means new ways to create and express music and new types of interfaces that broaden the definition of a "musical instrument" way beyond traditional parameters. Georgia Tech’s Center for Music Technology seeks to recognize the creators of new musical instruments with the Guthman Musical Instrument Competition. The first winners of the competition include a robotic guitar, SLABS touch pad and a Silent Drum that generates sound by manipulating the elastic spandex head of a drum shell.  Read More

Bionic Eye - Argus II implant

For those suffering from degenerative eye diseases, abilities which most of us take for granted like following white lines on roads and sorting socks can have a huge impact on quality of life. "Bionic-eye" technologies that can artificially restore sight are creeping closer to reality and now one of the most promising systems to grace our pages - the Argus II Retinal Implant - is beginning to reap rewards in the real world with positive outcomes reported in the preliminary results of the device's feasibility study and personal stories beginning to emerge of the difference this technology can make to peoples lives.  Read More

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