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Inventors and Remarkable People


— Inventors and Remarkable People

The Umbrella reinvented: the fully retractable umbrella

UPDATED April 26, 2005 (NEW IMAGES) Young designer Andy Wana has won the GOLD 2005 Australian Design Award-Dyson Student Award, by reengineering the humble umbrella, creating a significantly different take on the umbrella than anything seen before. Wana’s design overcomes several of the design weaknesses of the traditional umbrella. ‘Lotus 23’ is a fully retractable umbrella, folding into a low profile handle. Built with flexible ribs that flow with the wind, it is more durable than conventional designs allowing it to withstand severe storms, provide increased shade and self clean meaning that it squeezes the water off before you enter a building. It’s also cheaper to manufacture. Read More
— Inventors and Remarkable People

Yolk ski and snowboard helmet

Yolk is a soft helmet designed to overcome the unfashionable image that helmets seem to have with the young-at-heart on the ski slopes of the world. ‘Yolk’ under regular use is flexible and conformable to the user’s head but when subjected to an impact it instantaneously forms a rigid shell dispersing and absorbing the energy . This is achieved utilising a semi- rigid liner and a Kevlar skin which is impregnated with a shear thickening fluid. ‘Yolk’ allows the user to plug in a two way radio, music player, or mobile phone to the integrated headphones and controls thereby creating a convenient and seamless transition. ‘Yolk’ can be fitted with of a choice of skins which can be stretched over the liner to match the user’s personal style. With similar safety standards across bike riding, inline skating, skateboarding, there are vast opportunities to develop different skins for these sports using the same liner. Read More
— Inventors and Remarkable People

Moore's Law: 40 and still going strong

On April 19, 1965 Electronics Magazine published a paper by Gordon Moore in which he made a prediction about the semiconductor industry that has become the stuff of legend. Known as Moore’s Law, his prediction has enabled widespread proliferation of technology worldwide, and today has become shorthand for rapid technological change. That was forty years ago - Bill Gates was nine years old, Desktop PCs were still a long way off, and notebooks, PDAs and the internet had not been thought of. Moore predicted that the number of transistors on an integrated circuit would continue to double every year for the next decade. Although it was an observation rather than any attempt to formulate a scientific law, "Moore's Law" has proved remarkably accurate over the last 40 years. Read More
— Inventors and Remarkable People

Happy Birthday to the newspaper - 400 and going strong

March 9, 2005 Mass media will celebrate its 400th birthday later this year when the newspaper, the first mass medium begins its fifth century of publication. The exact date of the first newspaper is not known, and was thought to have been during 1609 but recent evidence accepted by the World Association of Newspapers (WAN) pinpoints the year in which Strasbourg's Johann Carolus began printing his handwritten newsletters as 1605. Though radio, television, and the internet have long threatened to usurp print's status as the primary mass medium, the fact remains that print still garners more than half of the world's advertising expenditure. Read More
— Inventors and Remarkable People

Mixaerator sterilises water without chemicals

November 3, 2004 Queensland inventor Mike Lewis has developed an impellor that uses the same principles as salmon, bath water and tornadoes, however his ground-breaking technology is revolutionising water sterilising and providing environmentally-friendly methods to clean up toxic damage. Mike's invention- Mixaerator- with the Twin Vortex Advantage (TVA) works using dual vortices, like the ones that occur when you pull the plug from the bath, or those found in the air currents of tornadoes. "Salmon use similar vortices to my machine. That's how they leap up water falls, their fins send out mini whirlpools that create immense force to push them up," Mike said. Read More
— Inventors and Remarkable People

Photonics set to revolutionise the revolution

Just as the transistor and microelectronics transformed communications and human society in the 20th century, "light" transistors and microphotonics are about to revolutionise the way we communicate in the 21st century. We are on the verge of a new revolution in computing and communications thanks to the breakthrough advances by a Sydney based research team led by Professor Benjamin Eggleton. A Federation Fellow and Research Director of the CUDOS Centre for Ultra-high bandwidth Devices for Optical Systems, Professor Eggleton recently received the prestigious 2004 Malcolm McIntosh Prize for Physical Scientist of the Year for his pioneering work in the field of optical physics and photonics. Optical fibres carry gigabytes of data across oceans and to our streets, hospitals, schools and businesses. Read More
— Inventors and Remarkable People

The AcceleGlove - Capturing Hand Gestures in Virtual Reality

A glove that translates the hand movements of sign language into written text or speech is just one on the incredible benefits that will flow from developments in VR technology like the AcceleGlove.In constant development since the summer of 2000 the prototype uses a glove system that enables 'Whole Hand Input' using accelerometers attached to a leather glove. The latest design incorporates a two-link arm section to accommodate the recognition of a wider range of gestures.The system captures the four distinctive components of hand gestures -handshape, hand orientation, location, and movement - all measured relative to the position of the users' body. Read More
— Inventors and Remarkable People

Charles Babbage: the brain that invented the computer

Though Silicon Valley may be the heart of the commercialisation of all things digital, it is the British who can proudly boast having invented the computer. Indeed, so proud are the British of the work done by eccentric British mathematician and inventor Charles Babbage, that the Science Museum in London has subsequently built the machines he conceived and the Royal College of Surgeons has preserved his brain - the brain that invented the computer. Babbage proposed the first computer, a machine he called "the difference engine", in 1822 - it was the size of a house, could store a program, was powered by steam and could even print results. Read More
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