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— Automotive

Garmin's portable HUD throws smartphone app directions on the windshield

While many high-end modern cars are now coming with a sophisticated Head-Up-Display (HUD) built in, owners of older (or cheaper) models are stuck with a dedicated navigation device or cradled smartphone blurting out directions and pointing the way. If you're feeling adventurous, you may be able to shoe-horn a retrofit kit into your old jalopy, or you could take the plunge and stump up for a new car, but navigation veteran Garmin has another option. Its new pocket-sized, portable HUD wirelessly connects to a smartphone running a navigation app, and throws directions and useful information onto the inside of the windshield. Read More

Navigo digital compass gives directions with vibration

Having a GPS-enabled device with a built-in digital compass in your pocket is nothing special these days, but there's still room for improvement when it comes to the usability of these functions. The Navigo rises to this challenge by putting a digital compass on your wrist and giving it the ability to guide you using vibrations, as well as link wirelessly to mapping information on your smartphone. Read More

Paper map "zooms in" as you unfold it

One of the advantages of map apps over traditional paper maps is the fact that with an app, the user can zoom in on one area of a map – no having to spread a whole paper map out just to look at one part of the city. British product designer Anne Stauche decided to level the playing field a little, with her map2 zoomable paper map. Read More
— Space

SpaceX Grasshopper tests sensor system, reaches record altitude of over 1,000 feet

Back in June, SpaceX's Grasshopper reusable VTOL rocket was flown to an altitude of 325 meters (1,066 feet) before landing on its original launch pad. The video of the flight (taken by a hexacopter drone hovering at 325 meters) has now been made available. The purpose of the flight was to test Grasshopper's full navigation sensor suite with the F9-R closed loop control flight algorithms to improve the precision of its landings. Grasshopper is designed to develop and test the technologies needed to return a reusable rocket from space missions. (There is no word on whether the cowboy mannequin was carried along by Grasshopper on this flight.) Read More
— Electronics

Internet-connected street sign literally Points you in the right direction

In our increasingly connected world, isn't it about time the humble street sign received a high-tech upgrade? That's certainly the thinking behind Points, the newest project from Breakfast, a New York-based design group. Points is an internet-connected directional sign that pulls data from social media and spins its arms up to 360 degrees to aim in the direction of a location or event. Read More
— Outdoors

Suunto's second generation of Ambit GPS watches hit the training track

Launched last year, the Suunto Ambit brought a new level of functionality to the GPS watch market. Not only could its GPS keep tabs on your speed, distance and vertical, but it allowed for full navigation functions, routing you in and out of the great outdoors. Suunto has now revealed the second generation of Ambit watches with something for both explorers and athletes. Read More
— Science

Laser system produces 3D images of objects up to one kilometer away

Physicists at Scotland’s Heriot-Watt University have created a 3D imaging camera system capable of resolving depth on a millimeter scale at distances of up to one kilometer. Working much like a laser version of radar, the “Time-of-Flight” (ToF) measurement system “pings” a low-powered infrared laser beam off distant objects and records a pixel-by-pixel map using a detector that counts and positions individual photons as they arrive back at the source. Read More
— Mobile Technology

DARPA develops non-GPS navigation chip

The Global Positioning System (GPS) has proved a boon for those with a bad sense of direction, but the satellite-based system isn’t without its shortcomings. Something as simple as going indoors or entering a tunnel can render the system useless. That might be inconvenient for civilians, but it's potentially disastrous for military users for whom the system was originally built. DARPA is addressing such concerns with the development of a self-sufficient navigation system that can aid navigation when GPS is temporarily unavailable. Read More
— Robotics

RoboEarth Cloud Engine ready for use

For the past few years, a consortium of six European research institutes has been collaborating on a project known as RoboEarth. Essentially a “worldwide web for robots,” the idea is that it will allow robots to access a shared online database of each others’ software, thus allowing them to learn how to perform new tasks from one another. The first phase of the project, Rapyuta: The RoboEarth Cloud Engine, is now up and running. Read More