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Communications

GiraffPlus is an assisted living system for the elderly

GiraffPlus is an EU-funded project that uses telepresence technology to monitor the elderly in their own homes. The system has already been tested in a demo apartment in Örebro, Sweden. Now GiraffPlus is being taken further afield to be tested in real homes in Sweden, Italy and Spain.  Read More

The Car-to-X system will warn drivers of hazards and obstacles

Vehicle-to-vehicle communications are a fundamental pillar of autonomous, self-driving cars. Once vehicles can exchange data with each other and the greater driving infrastructure, they'll be able to "see" and adapt to driving obstacles more completely, preventing accidents and delivering more efficient driving. Mercedes plans to be the first automaker to bring a Car-to-X vehicle-to-vehicle communications system to market.  Read More

MIT has developed a computer program that assesses its user's conversational skills

Whether it’s a job interview or a hot date, there are certain interpersonal situations where we really want to be at our best. In some cases, we may even run through possible conversational scenarios in our heads beforehand, in order to “train” for the big event. The problem is, those imaginary interactions can’t provide us with unbiased feedback on what we could stand to improve. MIT’s new MACH (My Automated Conversation coacH) software, however, does exactly that.  Read More

Atrist's concept of a PCAS heads-up display

The popular image of modern warfare is the digital battlefield where cyber soldiers have Terminator-like video displays and can call in an airstrike with the shine of a laser beam. While information technologies are revolutionizing the military, when it comes to calling in Close Air Support (CAS), it’s still World War One – where a misread or misheard grid reference can end up with soldiers being hit by their own artillery. DARPA’s Persistent Close Air Support (PCAS) program hopes to improve this.  Read More

An Intelligent Transport System being developed at La Trobe University is aimed at prevent...

In the quest for smarter and safer transportation networks, automakers have been working on communication systems that use wireless technologies to share information between vehicles and infrastructure, such as traffic lights, road works, intersections and stop signs. The potential applications of these vehicle-to-vehicle (V2V) and vehicle-to-infrastructure (V2I) systems are constantly being expanded, and while GM has been working to bring cyclists and pedestrians into the mix, a team from La Trobe University in Melbourne, Australia, is looking to improve safety at railway crossings by developing a system that enables communication between trains and road vehicles.  Read More

SPOT-assisted rescue map

Emergency rescue beacons from SPOT have been slowly but surely moving toward a satellite device that provides seamless real-time communication around the world – in other words, a satellite phone. The company has moved from pre-written messaging to custom type-and-send messaging, and with the new SPOT Global Phone, it now adds capabilities for real-time voice. The phone keeps you connected with friends, family and rescue agents even when you're standing in the middle of a roadless, fly-in wilderness in Alaska.  Read More

The 5G millimeter-band transceiver has been developed by Samsung Electronics

LTE may only be wiping its feet on the proverbial doormat, and yet Samsung has already announced a significant breakthrough in the development of 5G mobile communications. The company says this will pave the way for next-generation mobile networks offering transmission speeds in the tens of gigabits per second, hundreds of times faster than LTE.  Read More

The research took place at the German Aerospace Center (Photo: DLR)

For the first time, quantum cryptographers have successfully transmitted a quantum key from a fast-moving object – a Dornier 228 turboprop. The experiment involved sending a secure message from the aircraft to a ground station via laser beam, and can be considered a significant step toward the creation of a network of “unbreakable” satellite data transmissions.  Read More

Astronauts in spacesuit simulators (Image: OeWF (Katja Zanella-Kux))

Of all the nations who might get to Mars first, Austria doesn’t loom large. Yet the Austrian Space Forum (OEWF) has sent a manned mission to the Red Planet – or at least, to an Earth-bound version of “Mars” located in the northern Sahara near Erfoud, Morocco. During February OEWF conducted a series of experiments and simulation tests with the aim of gaining a better understanding of how to execute a manned mars mission and develop technology for making it a reality.  Read More

Graphic showing the Sun/mars Conjunction (Image: NASA/JPL-Caltech)

NASA is taking an enforced holiday of sorts in April as it suspends Mars exploration missions for 17 to 21 days. This isn't due to budget cuts, but rather because Mars will be in conjunction with the Sun during April, which will make direct communications with the probes difficult, if not impossible.  Read More

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