A team of researchers in France has taken a major step towards powering our devices with rechargeable batteries based on an element that is far more abundant and cheaper than lithium. For the first time ever, a battery has been developed using sodium ions in the industry standard "18650" format used in laptop batteries, LED flashlights and the Tesla Model S, among other products.
In just three years, virtual reality has gone from a curiosity (sparked by a crowdfunding indie startup called Oculus VR) to a new category of consumer product that many consider to be "the next big thing." Never one to shy away from such things, Samsung has partnered with Oculus to launch the first consumer VR headset that matters. Meet the groundbreaking Gear VR.
If the movies and TV are to be believed, picking a conventional lock is as easy as sticking a tool into a keyhole, thoughtfully moving it around for a few seconds, then pulling the door open with a crafty smile. While there are special high-security locks that are much harder to pick, they also tend to be quite expensive. That's why Canadian inventor Ryan Bowley created the Bowley Lock – it's claimed to be virtually pick-proof, yet affordable to the average home-owner.
China is planning to enter the Europe- and US-dominated world of experimental physics with (wait for it …) a bang. It has formally announced that it will begin the first phase of construction of an enormous particle accelerator around 2020, which will be twice the size and seven times more powerful than CERN's Large Hadron Collider (LHC).
The Volkswagen Group has been in a lot of hot water since the "dieselgate" scandal began. When it came to light that VW had been using a "defeat device" on its diesel vehicles
to circumvent official emission testing procedures, the company quickly admitted to its wrongdoing and has been working to comply with regulators and find a fix. In Europe, that fix may be very simple. This week, the German authorities accepted the small technical change and software upgrade proposed by VW.
Few would argue against the idea that the Jeep Wrangler remains one of the most off-road-capable 4x4s on the planet it roams. California-based aftermarket builder US Specialty Vehicles sees some room for improvement in the way the Wrangler expresses its intentions, though. It's slapped a rugged, military-style body kit on the four-door Wrangler Unlimited and upgraded the interior into a warm, supple space. The result is the Rhino XT, the all-terrain SUV reinvented.
As a strong, lightweight and easily machined material, magnesium alloy holds much promise as an alternative to heavier metals like aluminum, particularly when it comes to transportation. One attribute holding it back, however, is the fact that it corrodes easily. But Australian researchers have discovered an ultra-low density and corrosion-resistant magnesium-lithium alloy that could greatly reduce the weight of cars and planes, in what they describe as the first step toward mass production of stainless magnesium.
If you're shopping for a smartphone, this is the best time of year to do it. Not only do many of the best handsets launch around this time, but if you keep your eyes open, you can also find some sweet deals. Let Gizmag help with your decision, as we compare some of the best smartphones of 2015.
KIC 8462852 recently attracted a lot of attention owing to speculation that dramatic dips in the star's light that were detected in 2011 and 2013 by NASA's Kepler spacecraft were due to the presence of vast superstructures created by an advanced alien race. But a new study centering around analysis of data collected by NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope suggests that the mysterious objects occulting the star KIC 8462852 aren't the creations of little green men, but in fact a family of comets.
The iPad Pro is a strange device. Like other Apple products, it has a premium, polished design and is (in some ways) delightful to use. But it also shows Apple playing the unfamiliar role of follower – and (in some ways) not doing a particularly good job of it. Read on, as Gizmag reviews the fun but slightly illogical iPad Pro.