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Of the world's nearly 45,000 cargo ships, many burn a low-grade bunker fuel in their engines and produce pollution equivalent to millions of automobiles. To help reduce that toxic load and keep the price of shipping freight reasonable, engineers at the University of Tokyo (UT) and a group of collaborators have designed a system of large, retractable sails measuring 64 feet (20 m) wide by 164 feet (50 m) high, which studies indicate can reduce annual fuel use on ships equipped with them by up to 30%. Read More
Researchers have developed a solar-powered sensor system that is just nine cubic millimeters in size. It is 1,000 times smaller than comparable commercial counterparts and can harvest energy from its surroundings to operate nearly perpetually. The system could enable new biomedical implants as well as building and bridge-monitoring devices. It could also vastly improve the efficiency and cost of current environmental sensor networks designed to detect movement or track air and water quality. Read More
Following last September's announcement of new 50 megapixel and 60 megapixel H4D medium format cameras, Hasselblad has now announced the immediate availability of the H4D-40 DSLR camera system. The 40 of course signifies the number of megapixels, but the camera also benefits from up to four minute exposure times, faster capture rates and higher ISO ratings as well as an improved auto focus mechanism. Read More
The ancient lotus leaf has natural properties that scientists believe could prove beneficial in today's modern world. Already Gizmag has featured articles about the lotus leaf surface, including a self-cleaning cup and a transparent coating for space suits. Recently, though, in an effort to improve the efficiency of modern engineering systems, such as power plants and some electronic equipment that must be cooled by removing heat through water evaporation and condensation, engineers at Duke University have been studying the lotus leaf. Using an ultra high-speed camera, a powerful microscope and an audio speaker, scientists were able to observe water as it condensed on the leaf's surface, and more importantly, how the water condensate disappeared. Read More
Sharp has designed its new iPod docking system to match the look and feel of an iPod or iPhone. Finished in glossy piano black, the DK-AP8 has a removable touch panel that controls the system button-free via infrared. Something a little different, the Sharp unit has various ports including AUX input and video (FBAS) output on the back which enables it to be connected to a TV for viewing photos or videos stored on the iPhone or iPod. Read More
Thanks to a system created by SRS Energy and offered exclusively as an upgrade option to customers of US Tile (the largest manufacturer of clay tile in the United States), those wishing to benefit from rooftop solar energy will no longer have to worry about any panels being stuck on the side of the roof and spoiling the aesthetics. The Solé Power Tile system is the first building-integrated photovoltaic roofing product designed to blend in with curved roof tiles commonly found in the Pacific West and Southwest of the United States. Read More
Researchers at the Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST) have developed an electric transport system where the vehicles get their power needs from cables underneath the surface of the road via non-contact magnetic charging. As well as potentially saving Koreans a lot of money by reducing crude oil imports, widespread adoption of the technology also offers the potential of improving air quality in currently polluted cities. Read More
Raytheon has announced the creation of the world's largest infra-red light wave detector, the "4K by 4K" focal plane array. Not only will it allow whole hemisphere satellite monitoring at 16 megapixel resolution but it should also make sensors less dependent on the complicated scanning mechanisms used in current systems. Read More
IASUS Concepts may not be well known to mobile phone consumers, as it has largely operated in the military marketplace until now, making specialist headsets, throat microphones and similar special operations paraphernalia. Its anonymity might soon be short lived thanks to its latest 500K Series Headset targeted at iPhone and Blackberry power users. Its Special Ops look is no accident as the 500K is adapted from standard issue FBI, CIA, and secret service earpieces, and is the first to introduce an acoustic coil earpiece to the mobile platform. Read More
Desalination is a popular source of potable water in Middle Eastern countries, where large energy reserves and the relative scarcity of water suitable for drinking led to desalination in the region accounting for close to 75% of total world capacity in 2007. If that figure hasn’t already dropped it almost certainly will as access to clean water becomes an issue for many places around the globe. And the shortage isn’t just limited to developing countries, with places like California and parts of Australia facing their worst droughts in recorded history. A new mini-mobile-modular (M3) “smart” water desalination and filtration system could help determine the feasibility of desalination in areas that may be considering it for the first time. Read More
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