According to a patent recently filed with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) Sony is working on a universal game controller that could be used with competitor consoles from Microsoft and Nintendo. The proposed controller would see an LCD touch screen positioned on the front of the controller to replace the controller's face buttons, directional pad and thumb-sticks.
Last year when we did an extensive feature
on Ducati’s motogp carbon fibre semi-monocoque frame, we lauded its groundbreaking technology. Now it seems the Italian powerhouse is so pleased with its handiwork that the semi-monocoque design looks set to replace Ducati’s trademark trellis frame on its road bikes in the future too.
Go ahead, stare. It’s OK, they want you to. Delta 7 Bikes currently manufactures two of the most unusual-looking bicycles on the market, the Arantix hardtail mountain bike and the Ascend road bike. Their open-lattice spider-web tubes incorporate patented IsoTruss geometric design, wherein carbon fiber and Kevlar are woven into a network of isosceles triangles. The triangles join together to form pyramid-shaped trusses, which provide incredible structural support while using a minimum of material. If you’re a bicycle-maker looking for something with a great strength-to-weight ratio, it’s hard to beat.
has been granted another round of patents and one in particular has important implications for the future of minefields. The company’s weapon technology functions somewhat like an inkjet printer, using computer-controlled electronic ignition and a system of stacked projectiles in multiple barrels. As each barrel can contain a variety of projectiles, it can fire a sensor from each of the barrels to cover an area with sensors. If any sensor is triggered, the barrel to which it belongs fires a subsequent explosive projectile to the exact same point. The system offers many advantages, including the ability to be switched off leaving no explosive ordnance remaining in the area that had been protected. With landmines being one of the most dreadful and enduring legacies of war, it’s an enormous shame that only one side will be using Metal Storm, as it represents a potential solution to the deployment of this insidious device
Recognizing there’s now a sense of urgency in saving the planet, the U.S. Commerce Department’s Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) will pilot a program to accelerate the examination of certain “green” technology patent applications. According to the USPTO the move is designed to “accelerate development and deployment of green technology, create green jobs, and promote U.S. competitiveness in this vital sector.”
Touchscreens have almost become standard on point and shoot digital compact cameras
. The same can’t be said for more enthusiast/professional oriented DSLRs
, mainly because of the different ways both types of cameras are used. Compacts are generally held out in front of the photographer who checks the framing via the camera’s LCD screen. DSLRs, on the other hand, are often still used with the photographer’s face mashed up against the rear of the camera to frame a shot using the optical viewfinder. This would wreak havoc with a touchscreen as the photographer’s nose goes about changing all those carefully nurtured manual settings. But a new patent application from Canon could solve the problem and see touchscreens appearing on DSLRs as well.
Anyone who has spent even a modicum of their time browsing the Internet over the last few years will be aware of how annoying pop-up and embedded ads can be, especially if they involve audio and video and particularly if it’s more difficult than it should be to find the ‘close’ button. Thankfully it doesn’t usually take too long to remove the offending source from our screens, but those who are particularly irked by this form of interruption will not be placated if a recent patent filed by Apple ever sees the light of day.
The second in our series of interviews with Michael Bennet-Levy looks at the Steuart’s Patent vacuum tank regulator – a clock produced in 1923 that its makers, J & D Meek, claimed was accurate to “better than a second a year.” If true this would have made it the most accurate timekeeper in the world prior to the invention of Caesium clocks in the mid 1950s. The essence of the Steuart regulator is that the electric motor drives the clock and the pendulum governs and corrects the speed of the motor. Neither is connected. Ideal for telescopes (because it doesn't tick), the clock was used as a stand-in for Big Ben during WWII and in the opinion of the Scientific American
it marked “the most important development in clock-making which has taken place in modern times.”
Up until now, touch screen keyboards have been problematic in that the user has had to look at the screen to navigate the location of the keys. That could all be set to change with news that Microsoft
has filed a most interesting patent for a touch screen
keyboard that uses multi touch capabilities to incorporate the user’s own hands as a physical point of reference.
With personal watercraft
design evolving at what some may say is “a rate of knots”, a rather interesting concept has come to our attention. The brainchild of Spanish designer Miguel Angel, this cross between a Jet Ski
and a body board is designed with speed and maneuverability in mind – but does the idea have what it takes when the going gets tough and the water gets rough?