While some electric cars may have a decent range in places like
California, they're not so impressive in locations with frigid winters.
That's because their battery is powering not only the motor, but also
the cabin heating system. Now, however, engineers at Germany's
Fraunhofer Institute for Manufacturing Engineering and Automation are
developing new technology that could keep EV drivers warm, without leaving them stranded.
Tired of trying to remember what knobs move your car seat in which
direction? Well, in the not-too-distant future, you may not have to.
That's because scientists from Germany's Fraunhofer Institute for
Silicate Research and Isringhausen GmbH have developed a seat
that's moved using simple intuitive gestures.
When its levels are slightly off-kilter, eye fluid can create pretty big problems for our vision. When blockages occur they can lead to a build up in pressure that destroys the optic nerve and causes blindness, a condition we know as glaucoma. In contrast, a lack of fluid can cause the eye to cave in and stop functioning, a disease known as phthisis bulbi. Currently, little can be done about these irreversible conditions once they take hold, but Fraunhofer researchers have a potential solution in the works by way of a microscopic pump that can be implanted in the eyeball to regulate ocular pressure.
If electric buses are ever going to become a common sight in cities
around the world, then they'll need to be able to operate like their
traditional counterparts. This means no taking long breaks to recharge,
or sacrificing seating space for the storage of huge batteries. While
allowing them to draw power from the road
is one alternative, the European EDDA Bus consortium is working on
another – electric buses that can grab a quick charge at bus stops in
just a few minutes.
Smartglasses, or augmented reality glasses, may have found niches in military and industrial circles, but haven't really caught on with consumers for a number of reasons – a major one being that they're extremely conspicuous. To help rectify this, the Fraunhofer Institute for Applied Optics and Precision Engineering (IOF) in Jena, Germany, has developed technology that allows for a more unobtrusive design, while also providing improved functionality.
For people with limited hearing, understanding movies or plays can be
challenging – particularly if they don't own a hearing aid. That's why
engineers at Germany's Fraunhofer Institute for Digital Media Technolgy
have developed a system that streams audio from the stage or screen to
the user's earphone-equipped smartphone.
Even if you're not diabetic, you've probably heard that they need to
watch out for problems with their feet. That's because they frequently
lack sensation down there, and therefore don't know when it's time to
shift their weight in order to relieve pressure on specific areas of
their feet. The result can be chronic pressure sores, which can in turn
ultimately lead to toe or foot amputations. While pressure-sensing shoe
inserts are one option, Germany's Fraunhofer Institute for Silicate
Research claims that its pressure-sensing stockings are a better way to