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Wearables

Self-charging battery stretches over skin to power wearables

While we've seen promising prototypes of computers that conform to the contours of human wrists and forearms, the technology isn't quite ready for mainstream adoption yet. But this hasn't stopped one forward-thinking team of researchers from coming up with a new way to power these wearable electronics, developing a soft, millimeter-scale battery that can be stretched over the skin like a band-aid.Read More

Automotive

Volvo previews new small car family with 40.1 and 40.2 concepts

We didn't always get excited when Volvo announced a new concept car, but things have changed in recent times. Its concepts have been stylish and forward-looking without nearing the realm of fantastical and over-styled. And some have led to compelling products like the sleek, new V90 wagon (originally previewed by the Concept Estate). Volvo's all-new 40.1 crossover and 40.2 small sedan concepts prove that things will be as stylish on the small end of Volvo's lineup as they are at the top.
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Automotive

Captured CO2 to make Ford foam easier on the environment

As emissions regulations get tighter, there's a lot of focus on making engines more efficient, but engines aren't the only part of a car that are bad for the environment. The plastics and foams spread throughout the cabin are dirty to manufacture as well, so Ford is trying to tackle the problem by using captured CO2 in foam and plastic components.Read More

Aircraft

Experimental hypersonic craft hits Mach 7.5

The Australian Department of Defence has announced the successful launch of a hypersonic aircraft called Hypersonic International Flight Research Experimentation (HIFiRE) 5B at the Woomera Test range. According to a statement, the craft reached a velocity of Mach 7.5 (5,710 mph, 9,188 km/h) and an altitude of 278 km (173 mi) as part of an Australian-United States program to study fundamental technologies needed to travel over five times the speed of sound.Read More

Drones

Fire-starting conservation drone lights things up in national park

Mixing drones with fire sure sounds like a dangerous idea, but under close control this unlikely pairing could have a beneficial environmental impact. Researchers at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln (UNL) have been developing a drone that ignites controlled burns from the air, and the team has now carried out real-world testing of the technology with a view to minimizing risks to conservation crews and avoiding out of control wildfires. Read More

Science

Researchers discover new property of light with a twist

Light is a fundamental avenue of study in physics, and its properties are well established with steadfast rules and invariable constraints. So, until recently, we thought we knew just about everything there was to know about it. But now physicists from Trinity College Dublin have added a twist to the existing canon by demonstrating a new form of light with a total angular momentum that has a half-integer spin. In other words, light that does not obey the rules.Read More

VR

Google's Daydream (Android VR) announcement: We have a few questions

Did you watch the keynote today, where Google announced Android VR, along with its standalone VR headset? And did you catch our hands-on afterwards? Amazing! Okay, so that wasn't exactly how it went down – a stark reminder that leaks and rumors don't always line up with reality. What we saw instead was the announcement of an Android-based VR platform called Daydream, with no physical hardware in sight (yet). Let's take stock of what we do and don't know about Daydream.Read More

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