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Two groups of entrepreneurs are currently developing separate products (one of which is th...

Riding a bicycle on busy streets full of motorized vehicles can be risky enough in the daytime, but it potentially becomes even more dangerous at night, when motorists are less likely to see cyclists. Much of that risk can be minimized by using a bright headlight and strobing taillight, although those don't do much to increase a cyclist's visibility when seen from the side - and even if they did, there's no such thing as being too bright. Two separate projects, however, are aimed at developing systems that would allow a bicycle's wheel rims to act as running lights that would be hard not to notice.  Read More

The wearable camera system can be used to capture the motion of an actor in just about any...

Computer-generated imagery (CGI) has become such a staple of modern movie-making that most people know what actors are doing when prancing around in front of green screens wearing skin-tight leotards with reflective balls affixed at various locations over their bodies - motion capture. In addition to the actor’s performance, such techniques can also require the tracking of camera movements and props so that perspective is maintained when translating the movements into CGI. Now researchers have demonstrated a system that can perform motion capture almost anywhere and without the need to track a separate camera and it does this by mounting the cameras on the actors instead.  Read More

Surround Haptics enhances video game play by using an array of vibrating actuators in a ch...

In the quest for more immersive entertainment experiences, researchers at Disney Research, Pittsburgh (DRP) have developed a new tactile technology called Surround Haptics. Instead of just relying on sound and vision – and in the case of video games, vibrating controllers – the system uses a low-resolution grid of vibrating actuators to generate high-resolution, continuous, moving tactile strokes across a person’s skin. They claim the system is able to create smooth, continuous tactile motion, akin to the feeling of someone dragging a finger across someone’s skin, rather than the discrete tactile pulsations or buzzes commonly used in today’s haptic technology.  Read More

A combination of facial recognition software, cloud computing and social networking can be...

Facial recognition software, social networking and cloud computing ... they're all technological advances that alone have thrown up questions regarding privacy. According to a recent Carnegie Mellon University study, however, the three technologies can be combined to learn peoples' identities and other personal information about them, starting with just a photograph of their face.  Read More

The GoPano micro is a lens and software system that allows 360-degree interactive videos t...

If you've seen the rock video for Professor Green's Coming to Get Me, then you'll know just how fascinating 360-degree interactive video can be. Viewers are able to continuously change their point of view, looking in front of, behind, beside or even above the camera at any point in the action – it's never the same video twice, if you don't want it to be. While such technology could mean big things for feature film production, it's also set to shake up your home videos ... starting with the GoPano micro 360-degree video system for iPhone.  Read More

GigaPan Time Machine allows users to create ultra-high-resolution panoramic time-lapse vid...

For the past couple of years, people wishing to create ultra-high-resolution panoramic photographs have been able to do so, using their own digital camera and a GigaPan robotic tripod. The device slowly pans the camera back and forth across a user-determined vista, triggering it to take up to several hundred shots in the process. The included software then stitches all the photos together – side-to-side and top-to-bottom – creating one big panorama, which retains its resolution even when details are zoomed in on, much like Google Earth. So, what could top that? Time-lapse videos created using GigaPan Time Machine software, as it turns out.  Read More

The Cubelets robotic construction kit allows anyone to build simple robots using blocks th...

Do you remember those colored building blocks you would use to learn words and numbers, or just construct mighty castles to keep your enemies outside? Well, they've now received a 21st Century update in the form of the Cubelets system. Currently made up of 20 colored blocks that snap together with the help of magnets, each one has a little computer inside which gives it different functionality to the others. One might be a sensor, another have wheels and another sport a potentiometer. The fun starts when you put them together. The behavior of the resulting robot depends on how the blocks talk to each other. Sweet.  Read More

Study shows winning Best Actress Oscar significantly increases risk of divorce

In one of the clearest demonstrations yet of the interplay of power, success and historical gender roles, a university study has demonstrated that Oscar winners in the Best Actress category are at a higher risk of divorce than nominees who do not win. A long line of best actress winners including Joan Crawford, Bette Davis, Halle Berry and Kate Winslet experienced marriage breakdowns not long after taking home their awards. By contrast, Best Actor winners do not experience an increase in the risk of divorce after an Oscar.  Read More

Inspiration from the fruit fly could simplify how wireless sensor networks communicate

Over the years science has gleaned an enormous amount of knowledge from the humble fruit fly. Drosophila melanogaster was used to provide the post-Mendelian foundations for our understanding of genetics and has also been used extensively in neuroscience research. The latest fruit fly-inspired innovation could simplify how wireless sensor networks communicate and stands to have wider applications for computing.  Read More

Research from Carnegie Mellon University shows that thinking about food can actually decre...

Good news for dieters everywhere – stop trying not to think about that yummy treat because imagining eating it may actually reduce your desire to eat it! New research from Carnegie Mellon University (CMU) contradicts the recognized wisdom that thinking about food will increase cravings, as their study suggests that simply imagining the consumption of a food decreases ones appetite for it.  Read More

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