Highlights from Interbike 2014

Light

The Weizmann technique de-scatters light and makes frosted glass transparent

Taking a shower while secure in the knowledge that no one can see through the curtains may soon be a thing of the past. Researchers Ori Katz, Eran Small and Yaron Silberberg of the Weizmann Institute of Science, Rehovot, Israel, have developed a method for de-scattering light to form coherent images in real time. In other words, they have found a way to look through shower curtains, frosted glass and other image-blurring materials. The technique may one day aid scientists in seeing through living tissue or around corners.  Read More

Xfire’s Bike Lane Safety Light in use

A lot of people won’t ride a bicycle on city streets because they’re scared that a vehicle will run into them. This fear certainly isn’t helped by the many drivers who unknowingly get dangerously close to cyclists while driving alongside them. Xfire’s Bike Lane Safety Light is designed to address that problem by using lasers to project a virtual bike lane on the road around the bike.  Read More

A recent study of gamma-ray bursts (that originate from the collapse of a massive star) fi...

A recent study of gamma-ray bursts by Professor Robert Nemiroff and his colleagues at Michigan Technological University provides the first strong evidence concerning the small-scale smoothness of spacetime. Oddly, this examination of the very small is accomplished by measuring a handful of gamma-rays after they traveled over ten billion light years.  Read More

The GH-LED10WBW is intended for use in emergencies, and for recreation

Every now and again, a rumor crops up that someone has invented a motor car that runs on water. Sadly, that still remains a rumor, but Green House Co Ltd of Japan will soon be marketing an LED lantern that runs on saltwater.  Read More

Muscle cell undergoing light activation (Image: MIT)

In Sir Arthur C. Clarke’s 1972 novel Rendezvous with Rama, the explorers of a seemingly deserted alien spaceship passing through our Solar System encounter a strange three-legged creature that turns out to be an organic robot. In the ‘70s, this seemed so incredible that it could only be the product of an alien civilization thousands of years ahead of us. In 2012, scientists at MIT and the University of Pennsylvania are proving otherwise by starting work on organic robots here on Earth. Using genetically engineered muscle tissue that responds to light, they are blurring the line between animal and machine at the cellular level.  Read More

A high-temperature superconductor levitating in a magnetic field (Image: David.Monniaux)

When people have a difficult problem they often talk about “shining a light on it.” Creating and controlling high-temperature superconductors has been a problem for scientists and engineers for over two decades. Now, Yoram Dagan, a professor at Tel Aviv University's (TAU) Department of Physics and Center for Nanoscience and Nanotechnology, has made a breakthrough in superconductors by literally shining a light on them. By doing this, he is able to control their properties.  Read More

EcoXPower converts pedal-power into electricity for both headlights and a smartphone

EcoXPower by EcoXGear is another take on a concept which most Gizmag readers will be familiar with: harnessing the kinetic energy produced while one pedals a bicycle in order to convert it into electricity and charge a smartphone or similar device. Though we’ve covered several products of this nature in the past, such as Nokia's Bicycle Charger Kit, Dahon's BioLogic ReeCharge, and the PedalPower+, the EcoXPower sets itself apart by charging your smartphone or GPS and providing electricity to front and rear lights at the same time.  Read More

The Tetris Light, inspired by the classic game, illuminates colored blocks as they are sta...

It's safe to say that almost anyone who has played a video game has felt the pull of Tetris at some point. There's just something about the simple, yet addictive puzzle game that draws people in for hours and has even prompted MIT students to recreate it with a whole building. Now, inspired by the classic game, the Tetris Light lets you create your own pixelated lamp out of colored blocks that light up when stacked on top of each other.  Read More

The prototype picoprojector, which incorporates the new polarizing technology (Photo: Imag...

Liquid crystal video projectors could be getting smaller, more energy-efficient, and less expensive. Currently, such devices require polarized light for the projection of images. Unfortunately, conventional LEDs only produce unpolarized light. While an optical filter is typically used to polarize it, the polarization process wastes over 50 percent of the original light, converting it into heat instead of allowing it to pass through. That heat, in turn, must be dissipated using a noisy, power-consuming fan. Now, however, researchers have created a new polarizing system that allows almost 90 percent of the LED light to be converted to usable, polarized light.  Read More

A new “spintronic” OLED glows orangish exposed to a magnetic field from the two poles of a...

We’ve seen a number of next-generation display technologies emerge in recent years, such as Sony’s “Crystal LED,” Uni-Pixel’s time-multiplexed optical shutter (TMOS) technology, and quantum dot LED (QLED) display technology from LG and QD Vision, and now there’s another one to add to the mix. While displays based on the new “spintronic” OLED technology invented by physicists at the University of Utah are still some years off, the researchers say they should be brighter, cheaper and more environmentally friendly than the LEDs found in the current crop of TVs, computer displays, traffic lights and other electronic devices.  Read More

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