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Prototype

The Adobe Edge HTML5 animation tool interface

Pretty much since it was announced HTML5 has been touted by many pundits as signaling the death of Adobe’s Flash. Whether or not that eventuates, only time will tell but a tool being developed by Adobe codenamed Edge is only likely to fan the flames for those predicting Flash’s demise. Still only in prototype form, Edge is an HTML5 animation tool that makes it easy for web developers and designers to create animations and transitions without having to slug through line after line of HTML5 code.  Read More

Impress your friends by back-typing

Looking to make typing on tablet computers easier (and add another term to the mobile computing lexicon), French company AlphaUI is developing a “back-typing” concept that adds an external physical keyboard to the back of a tablet. The prototype device from AlphaUI is designed to attach to the back of smaller tablets with 5-7-inch displays and provides 24 standard-sized physical keys that are ergonomically placed within easy reach of the user’s fingers as they hold the tablet.  Read More

The Rowheel System

Traditional manually powered wheelchairs require the occupant to turn the chair’s rear wheels with a pushing action. This places a lot of stress on muscles that aren’t really designed to be used in this way, resulting in everything from repetitive stress injuries and muscle pain to torn rotor cuffs, joint degeneration and carpal tunnel syndrome. To combat this, Salim Nasser of Merritt Island, Florida, has taken a backward approach and developed the Rowheel System, which allows a pulling motion to translate into forward motion of a wheelchair. This transfers loads and stresses usually placed on weaker shoulder and arm muscles onto more capable muscles in the upper back, shoulders and arms to reduce the chance of injury and give the user an overall increase in endurance and range.  Read More

Digital mockup of a bus-top garden (Image: Marco Castro Cosio)

Finding room for green spaces in more and more crowded cities isn’t easy but NYU graduate student Marco Castro Cosio has hit upon the idea of planting gardens on some previously wasted space found on city streets – the roofs of buses. With New York’s Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) running a fleet of around 4,500 buses, each with a surface area of 340 square feet (31.5 m2), Cosio says that if a garden was grown on the roof of every one, there would be an extra 35 acres of rolling green space in the city.  Read More

The designer sees the RowRay being available for hire in city parks, at the beach or in th...

My first attempt at rowing a boat on a park pond was the source of some considerable embarrassment. As I went round and round in ever decreasing circles, I remember thinking that there must have been something wrong with the steering. Troels Øhman's RowRay though may just tempt me back to the oars. Designed to bring a fun element to family exercise, the three-wheeled landcart concept is driven by grabbing hold of the two handles and pulling back for dear life. Turning the cart is a matter of pulling on the left or right "oar" and the designer sees users being able to take one for a spin by using a smartphone to unlock it from a base station at the beach or in the park.  Read More

The Saab 9-3 ePower on debut at the Paris Motor Show

Following its purchase from General Motors by Dutch hand-built automobile manufacturer Spyker earlier this year, Saab working on its first all-electric vehicle . Taking its body from a conventional 9-3 SportCombi station wagon, the Saab 9-3 ePower has a 135kW electric motor, a projected range of 124 miles and makes zero to 100 km/h (62 mph) in 8.5 seconds on the way to a top speed of 150 km/h (93 mph). The wraps come off the prototype at the 2010 Paris Motor Show ahead of fleet trials in Sweden next year.  Read More

Murat Kacira at the Controlled Environment Agriculture Center (Image: Norma Jean Gargasz /...

While we’re not likely to see crops of any sort sprouting from the moon’s surface any time soon, researchers have built a prototype lunar greenhouse that could allow plants from Earth to be grown without soil on the moon or Mars. The membrane-covered module can be collapsed to a 4-foot (1.2m) wide disk for interplanetary travel and contains water-cooled sodium vapor lamps and long envelopes that would be loaded with seeds, ready to sprout hydroponically.  Read More

Sensors sprinkled throughout the home beam information at a set frequency. Wiring wrapped ...

Smart homes of the future will automatically adapt to their surroundings using an array of sensors to record everything from the building’s temperature and humidity to the light level and air quality. One hurdle impeding the development of such intelligent homes is the fact that existing technology is still power hungry and today’s wireless devices either transmit a signal only several feet, or consume so much energy they need frequent battery replacements. Researchers have now developed sensors that run on extremely low power thanks to using a home’s electrical wiring as a giant antenna to transmit information.  Read More

NeuFlow takes its inspiration from the mammalian visual system, mimicking its neural netwo...

The brain’s ability to quickly visually interpret our environment requires such an enormous number of computations it is pretty amazing that it accomplishes this feat so quickly and with seemingly little effort. Coming up with a computer-driven system that can mimic the human brain in visually recognizing objects, however, has proven difficult, but now Euginio Culurciello of Yale’s School of Engineering & Applied Sciences has developed a supercomputer based on the human visual system that operates more quickly and efficiently than ever before.  Read More

Researchers at Fujitsu have made huge steps toward developing effective magnetic resonance...

We're all aware of how annoying a tangled mass of electrical wires can be. Fortunately, a research effort from Fujitsu is tackling the problem at its very source. During a conference held in the Institute of Electronics, Information and Communication Engineers at Osaka Prefecture University, the Japanese electronics giant announced a major step in developing a wireless recharging technology that can work simultaneously with multiple portable devices.  Read More

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