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Mirror

Every now and then we get demonstrations of really innovative new technologies and concepts that almost no one has any chance of being able to own anytime soon. The best place to undergo this particular form of torture is at the International Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. This year at CES, a really fantastic "smart mirror" concept from Toshiba fit the bill. Read More

What lives in the desert, changes color throughout the day, and is powered by sustainable energy? That would be the chameleon-like Lucid Stead, by artist Phillip K Smith III: an Arduino-equipped, solar-powered shack in Joshua Tree, San Bernadino County, California. Read More

There’s no doubt that using a rear-view mirror makes it safer to cycle on public roads. That said, some riders may feel that a bike-mounted mirror is just one more bit of handlebar clutter. The RearViz mirror offers an alternative – it mounts on the rider’s arm. Read More

Usually when we hear the term “progressive optics” it’s in reference to bi- or trifocal glasses, that don’t have sharp lines between the different focal zones of the lenses. A group of scientists from Korea and the US, however, have recently used the technology to create something else – a prototype driver’s side car mirror that has no blind spot, yet that also doesn’t distort images in an unsafe manner. Read More
While nearly everyone enjoys a good astrophoto, the precision with which the astrograph (the telescope taking the photograph) must follow the stars is not widely appreciated. To take a good astrophoto of any but the brightest objects requires following their motion through the sky accurately. There are a number of approaches toward addressing this problem in the digital era. Perhaps the best option has now been enabled by Innovations Foresight's new ON-Axis Guider (ONAG). Read More

Despite some recent design improvements in field, it's still pretty hard to pedal around with a helmet-mounted rear-view mirror and look stylish. There are, however, alternatives for the fashion conscious cyclist. The CyFy WristView integrates a rear-view mirror into a bracelet, giving you a low profile, adjustable means of checking for traffic behind you. Read More

According to the U.S. Department of Transportation, collisions between bicycles and motor vehicles resulted in the deaths of 618 cyclists in 2010 ... and that’s just in the United States. Regardless of who was at fault in those accidents, one thing is certain – urban cyclists are safer when they’re better able to keep tabs on the vehicles around them. While helmet-mounted mirrors are a great help in that regard, many cyclists don’t use them. That’s why Canadian entrepreneurs Greg Maxwell and Richard Seck invented the Isoteko mirror. Read More
Audi’s digital rear-view mirror, which made its debut in the R18 e-tron Quattro and R18 ultra race cars at this year’s Le Mans 24 Hours, is set to enter small scale production at the end of this year in the Audi R8 e-tron. Unlike previous rear-view mirrors from the likes of Ford, Toyota and Mazda, which dedicate only a percentage of the mirror’s surface area to displaying vision from a rear-view camera, Audi’s digital rear-view mirror does away with the conventional mirror altogether. Read More
A team led by NASA's Maxim Markevitch is investigating the possibility of building bigger X-ray telescope mirrors – up to thirty times as large as today's – using a plastic tape coated with a reflective material and then, just like a roll of Scotch tape, tightly rolled on itself. By studying cosmic rays and distant galaxy clusters, such large and significantly cheaper mirrors would allow us to learn more about the birth and evolution of the universe. Read More
Borrowing technology from sophisticated telescope mirrors as well as high-efficiency solar cells used for space exploration, a group of students and researchers at the University of Arizona are putting the final touches on a novel power plant that promises to generate renewable energy twice as efficiently as standard solar panel technology with highly competitive costs and a very small environmental impact. Read More
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