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Part of the pink object is rendered invisbile to the naked eye under the calcite-based inv...

The quest to build a working “invisibility cloak” generally focuses on the use of metamaterials – artificially engineered materials with a negative refractive index that have already been used to render microscopic objects invisible in specific wavelengths of light. Now, using naturally occurring crystals rather than metamaterials, two research teams working independently have demonstrated technology that can cloak larger objects in the broad range of wavelengths visible to the human eye.  Read More

MIT's Object-Based Media Group has developed a real-time holographic projection system usi...

Despite a relatively tepid consumer take-up, the buzz surrounding 3D television is still quite intense. But even the viewing improvements offered by stereoscopic technology may pale by comparison to the holographic goings-on at MIT. Researchers are taking the first steps toward making holographic technology a reality for consumers. Using primarily off-the-shelf components, the team has managed to capture, transmit and display a holographic subject on-the-fly.  Read More

The Proverbial Wallets provide haptic feedback for your digital transactions

The widespread adoption of credit and debit cards means, for many people, the cashless society is already a reality. However, this means the simple system of checking how much cash you’ve got in your wallet before making a purchase is no longer an accurate reflection of your finances, making it all too easy to succumb to temptation and overextend yourself financially. The Proverbial Wallet project at MIT is looking at “un-abstracting virtual assets” with wallets that provide tactile feedback that reflects a person’s current financial state.  Read More

MIT's Media Lab has come up with an interactive play learning environment for kids, which ...

In an increasingly tech-centric world, keeping kids interested in learning can be an uphill battle. With teaching that involves play recently attracting some powerful supportive voices, students from MIT's Media Lab have developed a system which merges technology and play to stimulate young minds. The Playtime Computing system uses infrared emitters and tracking cameras to monitor the position of a special robot within a play area. As the bot disappears into a hole in a panel, it appears to continue its journey into a virtual world projected onto the walls.  Read More

Before construction begins, the team have to dig out layers and layers of garbage

It's estimated that around 2.6 billion people around the world make do without any sanitation, including more than 10 million in the slums of Kenya. Still more have to use thinly disguised holes in the ground. A group of MIT students have joined forces to try and create a sustainable toilet solution for those in need. They've developed a low cost, modular sanitation solution which would be operated and maintained by locals and the waste transported to nearby processing plants. Biogas produced from the waste will be used to create electricity and what's left of the human waste turned into fertilizer.  Read More

The adaptive lighting system

According to a 2009 Department of Energy study, lighting accounts for 22 percent of all the electricity used in the United States. In an effort to cut this figure, many modern buildings have done away with the humble light switch in favor of automatic motion-detector switches or complicated control panels with arrays of sliders and buttons. A new system literally puts the controls back in people’s hands and its developers at MIT say it has the potential to slash lighting bills by more than half.  Read More

MIT associate professor Sarah O'Connor, right, and graduate student Weerawat Runguphan hav...

Scientists have been engineering new genes into plants for a number of years in an effort to expand on naturally occurring medicinal compounds. Now chemists at MIT have gone one step further, using an approach known as metabolic engineering to alter the series of reactions plants use to build new molecules, thereby enabling them to produce unnatural variants of their usual products.  Read More

MIT researchers have developed a portable, solar-powered water desalination system that co...

Researchers from MIT's Field and Space Robotics Laboratory (FSRL) have designed a portable, solar-powered desalination system to bring drinkable water in disaster zones and remote regions around the globe. Designed to be cost-effective and easy to assemble, the prototype system uses solar panels to power high-pressure pumps which can deliver up to 80 gallons of clean water a day in a variety of weather conditions.  Read More

A molecule of fulvalene diruthenium, which changes its configuration when it absorbs heat,...

In figuring out how a molecule called fulvalene diruthenium works to store and release heat, researchers at MIT may have paved the way for a rechargeable battery that stores heat instead of electricity. Although the molecule was discovered in 1996, ruthenium’s rarity and cost has ruled out it’s widespread use but the researchers say understanding the fundamental mechanism of how the molecule works should make it possible to find similar chemicals based on more abundant, less expensive materials.  Read More

MIT's health monitoring mirror (Credit: Melanie Gonick)

Sitting in front of your computer could soon be the fastest way to receive a medical check up, replacing visits to the local doctor. Massachusetts Institute of Technology student Ming-Zher Poh has created a pulse-monitoring system that works on a low-cost, low-resolution webcam. A version of the system built into a mirror has been developed which displays pulse rate at the bottom in real-time, and work is underway to add respiration and blood-oxygen level monitoring using the same technique.  Read More

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