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— Space

"Hello, World" – Video beamed from ISS using laser-based communications

While the International Space Station may be mankind’s outpost for the conquest of space, it still leaves a lot to be desired when it comes to a decent YouTube connection. That’s because, for all its sophistication, the station’s communications system is still based on 1960s radio technology and has all the bandwidth of a soda straw. That changed this week as NASA took a step into the video age with the test of its Optical Payload for Lasercomm Science (OPALS) demonstrator, which saw a laser used to beam a video to Earth in seconds instead of the usual minutes. Read More
— Telecommunications

Yaliny wants to turn any smartphone into a satellite phone

Visit an area outside of your cell network, take a vacation in a different country, or play a certain augmented reality game requiring you to have a constant high speed data connection, and congratulations, you’ll have an instant reminder of the current limitations of cellular networks. The Russian company Yaliny ambitiously hopes to help consumers circumvent traditional providers with Yaliny’s own network of satellites and an intermediary device called the Yaliny Point which will work with most smartphones, all for a promised US$150 for the hardware and $10 monthly thereafter. Read More
— Electronics

BAE Systems develops a flat lens that acts like it's curved

Anyone who’s ever needed a pair of thick eyeglasses has a firm idea that lenses are the one thing where form follows function. However, BAE Systems and Queen Mary’s School of Electronic Engineering and Computer Science in London have put paid to that idea with a flat lens that works like a conventional curved lens, yet without any reduction in bandwidth performance. Using a combination of composite metamaterials and transformational optics for the first time, they have created a lens that's able to bend electromagnetic waves, yet isn't bound by its shape for its function. Read More
— Around The Home

OCHO Pad: a wireless communications hub on a tray

Wireless technology and mobile gadgets have made it easier for us to track and control our personal belongings. One of the latest technologies being developed for this market connects not only objects, but also the people who use them. OCHO Pad is a wired-up tray that uses NFC or infrared technology not only to identify keys, wallets, or phones, but also to mediate communication between members of a household. Read More
— Computers

Globr lets users chat, regardless of language

The internet has connected and flattened the world in ways previously unimaginable. Coupled with ever more seamless translation tools, it provides the ability to communicate across borders and languages. Now, a new instant messaging tool is looking to make communication for speakers of different languages even easier. Read More
— Automotive

Volvo tests cloud-based communication system to make driving safer

Volvo has a history of shaping many safety features we take for granted today, regardless of what brand of car we drive. From the first introduction of the safety cage in 1944 and pioneering laminated windshields that same year, Volvo has always prided itself as a safety trailblazer. Now the Swedish automotive company is further developing its cloud-based infotainment system as part of a safety-focused pilot project. Read More