Archive for the ‘ Future ’ Category

Buy a piece of the future at Sharaf DG : Power Mats

[tweetmeme] Sharaf DG in Dubai is one of my favorite stores, offering a lot of electronics gadgets and offers at the same time. Personally, my experience is of a kid going to a candy store. I always find something noteworthy and something of utter uselessness when I go there, however it might not stock the latest Google Nexus One or Samsung Droid, it still sports something that grabs my attention.

My pick at my last visit was the Power Mat, well you have heard about normal mats, but this will help your gadgets charge and juice up wirelessly, yes you hears that right wirelessly. We’ve seen quite a few induction-based “wireless power” systems make the scene, and while the idea is interesting both in theory and prototype, actually getting it to market has proven to be quite difficult, with some casualties along the way.  Unlike other induction-based “wireless power” contraptions, this one came out earlier this year as total vaporware and has now resurfaced as a collaborative effort by Michigan-based HoMedics Powermat North America (HPNA).

It seems as though Powermat is a shoe-in to the first company to really hit with something usable, affordable and practical. When you need to give something with a USB port a bit of juice, you can simply plug it into the PowerMat and let it transfer power across. It’s nice and neat, and a simple concept. Of course, it tackles the question of wireless charging, that charges devices without them needing to be attached, but it’s no less interesting for it.

I would have got one except that they do not really support Nokia devices and my N95 would not really make use of it, but really when they support it, I would be more than happy to get it. Priced at about Dhs 300, it is something that will drop price as the sales increase.

Checkit out here:

Transparent and Techo Football for the World Cup

[tweetmeme] Technology has spread to all aspects of our lives, and Sports is something where accuracy and timing is one of the most desired characteristics, and so how could technology not be involved. Well, in an earlier post I had looked at the influence of technology in the world of cricket.

Considering the world cup approaching this year, the football which had undergone aesthetic and aerodynamic upgrades from Adidas last time around has just got an injected with sensors, yes if all goes well this time around the world cup will feature footballs that are transparent as well as be embeded with sensors that will let the referee know when the ball has crossed the goal line. Dubbed Goal line technology, which FIFA had decided to use at the 2007 Club World Cup, to be contested by continental club champions in Japan between December 7 and 16 2009 is apparently really pleased with the results and the same might be used at the FIFA world cup as well.

AGENT, a strategic intelligence embassy has revealed a transparent football concept dubbed the CTRUS. Fair play could creep in ever so well in the game of soccer if something like this interactive detection system, GPS and RFID included ball can make to the fore. This would mean easier identification of those close calls over the goal line, or the side line. Make obvious the off sides, and provide transparency in decisions like the ‘hand of God’ and the more recent Thierry Henry’s controversial handball goal against Ireland. The inner structure of the CTRUS is made in skelle-core while the outside of the ball features a net-embedded shell, which leaves the ball to be the first transparent soccer ball. More images and video demonstration of the ball after the jump.

Microsoft shows how we might use a Tablet device

[tweetmeme] One of the biggest giants of the software industry alongside Google is Microsoft and unlike Google which relies on fans and partner companies to do most of the innovation in relation to hardware, Microsoft is taking on the task by itself. Against, a common competitor Apple and the iPad. Sometime earlier we looked at how the tablet industry is shaping up across the world, especially since Apple announced the iPad. It was more than just disappointing to see that Apple did the intro of the device which was not really great, however world over people seem to think that Apple has the right pulse when it comes to handhelds especially after the tremendous success of the iPod and the iPhone. So, without really performing any sort of sanity check all companies seem to jump on to the Tablet bandwagon, maybe through direct involvement or indirect. Today lets see one of the offerings that will be available just after the iPad.

Microsoft courier

Definitely one of my favorite devices in the list. Why ? well it embodies the concept of a hand held notebook (quite literally). I guess I might be speaking too soon, but the demo’s and concept photos that have surfaced recently, including windows mobile 7, seem to show Microsoft’s intent to start from scratch to make their offering better. Some of the pictures below here might just show how good this device might turn out to be, and a video showing how Microsoft thinks we will use this device.

The below video highlights the usability and how we might use it as a true journal.

I believe that we might really use this device and it is a lot more practical than the iPad.

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3D Business Cards – More samples

[tweetmeme] My earlier post about Augmented Reality Business cards here and here had generated a bit of a buzz, so I decided to add in all the samples of the types on a single post. Here we go lots of samples of AR Business cards, now getting a bit more creative and fancy.

Nokia imagines technology in 2015

[tweetmeme] What does the future look like? Gadgets without keyboards, touchscreen devices, and phones that feature augmented reality, GPS, web browsing, and more. See for yourself in the video below.

Although clearly just concepts at this point, the devices shown in the animated video paint a picture of how we’ll be using devices and services. Connecting to TV, so we can share TV watching experiences with people on the other side of the world, or even using the mobile device as a projector. Contextual awareness plays a big part too, with the device working together with the cloud, both pulling information down to the device, and also sending information back.

Take the fisherman in India. Not only is he using his device to get the best prices for his fish, but he’s making extra money by selling his data to overseas universities who can tap into his and other fishermen’s information for their research.

It might not be a single device either. We saw an example of the user who’s main device is his mobile computer, acts as a satnav and a multimedia centre – much as our devices do today. However Mr 2015 also has a smaller, sub device which he can use for sport. With the same interface as his main device, and the addition of the cloud, means he can move seamlessly between the two.

Of course, this is all still conceptual, but we can see easily how the services and strategy being laid down today form the backbone of the lives we’ll be living tomorrow.

Pacemakers powered by the heart

[tweetmeme] Back in 1899 we realized that by infusion of electrical pulse to the Heart in asystole caused a ventricular contraction and that a heart rhythm of 60-70 beats per minute could be evoked by impulses applied at spacings equal to 60-70/minute. What did we do with this information we created the Pacemaker, the pacemaker for the heart actually helps the heart in its normal function with a gentle helping hand for those who have week hearts. According to World Health Organisation data, 16.7 million people die each year owing to heart attacks, and pacemakers can help a lot of these patients.

It was only by the 1950’s that we were able to produce an implantable pacemaker. The problem of batteries and their charging and discharging is something that the patients that use them have to deal with. This has been an issue for which there have been only temporary solutions. Longer battery life, modulation in the working based on how much assistance is required etc is something that people are still experimenting with to get a long lasting pacemaker.

British scientists have successfully experimented to develop a heart-powered pacemaker. Until now, a pacemaker used the electrical impulses delivered by the electrodes from the heart’s contracting muscles to regulate the heartbeat, but the pacemakers and defibrillators of tomorrow could generate power from the heart itself.

At first glance, this idea seems somewhat impossible, like using the movement of an engine’s pistons to power a car and was made possible by British scientists who used a microgenrator in their experiment to successfully produce enough electricity from the heart to run the pacemaker. The microgenerator used is made of two individual liquid-filled balloons, which are placed at different locations within the heart, but remain connected to a silicone tube consisting of a moving magnet. The heartbeats press the balloons alternatively, forcing the fluid in it to move the magnet past the coil in the silicone tube, producing electricity in the process.

The team of scientists believes that the introduction of the heart-powered technology could enhance the utility of the pacemaker’s of today, as the usage of generated energy could be made to recharge the batteries of the pacemaker. The pacemakers could also generate energy through the flow and movement of the blood, heat differentials or physiological pressures, apart from the tested induction version. Using this energy to recharge pacemakers or defibrillator batteries a will make them last longer, and so increase the intervals between the invasive surgical procedures needed to replace them. Heart implants typically communicate details about their performance to other medical equipment via a wireless link, so the new generator could also allow them to transmit more data.


Reality from fiction : Fabric that deflects bullets (Indian again)

[tweetmeme] Remember The Matrix? When Neo asks Morpheus if he was trying to tell him that he could dodge bullets and Morpheus replies “No Neo. I’m trying to tell you that when you’re ready, you won’t have to.”

If engineers at the Centre for Advanced Materials Technology, University of Sydney, have their way, then soon the cops of the world could all be attempting a Matrix scene. If not stop the bullets in mid-air, they can surely bounce them off their bodies.

Till today, bulletproof gear that cops across the world use is made up of multiple layers of Kevlar, Twaron, Spectra (Thanks Guybrush) or Dyneema fibers which offer blunt resistance to the brutal force of a bullet. They tried to stop bullets from penetrating by spreading the bullet’s force. But the people who use them can still be left with severe bruising or, worse, damage to critical organs.

The new material, however, not only stops bullets but deflects them, rather than absorbing their force. The study by engineers at the Centre for Advanced Materials Technology, University of Sydney, is published in the Institute of Physics’ journal Nanotechnology. The elasticity of carbon nanotubes means that this so called “blunt force trauma” may be avoided, say Prof Liangchi Zhang and Dr Kausala Mylvaganam. The Indian and Chinese duo who have help fortify the argument that Innovation does not happen only in the west.

The teams’ testing was done on Carbon nanotubes in the dimensions of 0.7 nanometers in thickness & 7.5 nanometers in length. Bullets made out of Diamond were fired at 1000 to 3500 meters per second at the target material and the fabric successfully bounced the bullets off of its surface. Now if diamond bullets could not make it through, then I doubt if anything else will. Engineers claim that 6 layers of such yarn, which would be about 600 nanometers thick, would be sufficient to design a fabric for practical purposes.

To say that this technology is amazing would be a gross understatement. It could prove invaluable in fighting terror across the planet.Just hope the Bad guys are not wearing the same.