Whether they're on product packaging, promotional materials or in magazines, most QR codes do the same thing – when a smartphone scans them with its camera, they trigger that phone's web browser to navigate to a given website. In the near future, however, they may be used to securely display 3D images on the user's phone, without even involving the often-untrustworthy internet.
Researchers at the University of Arizona and the University of Connecticut have developed a technology for augmented reality devices that superimposes data over three dimensions rather than two. The technique makes the user experience much more seamless and vastly reduces eye strain, making AR devices more attractive for long-term use.
Engineers at the University of Connecticut (UConn) have developed a fluorescent nanofibrous film capable of detecting ultra-trace levels of explosive vapors from landmines and other buried explosive devices. In the presence of explosive molecules, the film’s fluorescence is suppressed when exposed to ultraviolet (UV) light. In this way, the lightweight film, which is similar to paper, could be rolled out over suspect areas to mark the location of explosive devices.
Most will be familiar with photochromic lenses that darken when exposed to UV light, but now a researcher at the University of Connecticut has developed lenses that can quickly switch color based on the amount of voltage passed through them. While sunglasses manufacturers are expected to employ the technology to create color-changing sunglasses, it has also apparently captured the attention of the U.S. military who see it as a way to potentially assist soldiers to see clearly in rapidly changing environments.
While the food versus fuel debate
continues to put crop-based biofuel
production on the back burners it might just be Cannabis sativa
that blazes the competition. Researchers at University of Connecticut have found that industrial hemp has properties that make it viable and even attractive as a raw material, or feedstock, for producing biodiesel. Hemp biodiesel has shown a high efficiency of conversion (97 percent) and has passed laboratory’s tests, even showing properties that suggest it could be used at lower temperatures than any biodiesel currently on the market.
Gold has long been seen as a financial safe haven in times of economic uncertainty. This don’t look like changing any time soon with the price of gold reaching a record high of US$1377.60 an ounce this week on the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange. That might be good news for gold miners but not so good for the manufacturers of electronic devices that are reliant on not only gold, but also other precious metals. In some modern day alchemy, researchers have modeled and developed new classes of alloy materials that boast the properties that makes gold so attractive for electronic applications.
Mayo researchers collaborating with investigators at the University of Iowa, University of Connecticut and New York University (NYU) have discovered a molecular mechanism that controls energy expenditure in muscles and helps determine body weight. Researchers say this could lead to a new medical approach in treating obesity. The findings appear in the journal Cell Metabolism.
We talk a lot about the wonders of nanotechnology here at Gizmag. After all it’s easy to get caught up in the excitement surround the technology when it promises to revolutionize practically every area of human endeavor. Among its long list of anticipated benefits are new medical treatments
; stronger, lighter materials
; improved energy production
; and more effective pollution monitoring
and prevention, just to name a few. But nanotechnology is not just something set to come about in some far off future – it is happening now. In fact, the odds are there is a product either containing, or made using nanoparticles sitting in your house right now. But the big question is, are they safe?