Home Director, Inc., of Morrisville, N.C., recently won the “cool home” award for all the “hot” technologies it incorporated into a home in Plano, Texas. The company loaded the home up with the very latest digital wiring and components, including the “Intelligent Home” networking systems for Internet, entertainment, and communications applications, along with its structured wiring Network Connection Center. More Here
Super Tiny Micro Engine Video Cam
Sandia Labs now has a MEMS Cam so you can see one of their latest microengines in action. The gear teeth in this engine are about the size of red blood cells. They have been able to achieve speeds of 500,000 RPMs. The current endurance record is 7 billion rpms, the equivolent of your car driving back and forth to the moon 5 times.
More Little Stuff Here
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Machine Intelligence VS Human Intelligence
“NASA’s Three-Dimensional Artificial Neural Network processor is capable of recognizing objects in real time and in highly cluttered background scenes. It can process an image and is capable of a certain degree of judgment about the objects, much the same way a person looks at a variety of objects and makes judgments about the nature of those objects.” While this may be a significant step forward, they’re missing the point. The key to replicating human intelligence is to devise ways of capturing it – capturing real intelligence – and filtering it for use in multiple applications. More Here
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Sky Visions 2002
The vision of what air transportation products we’ll be seeing in 2002 is quite interesting. As an example, the PAM (Performance Aviation Manufacturing) Group of Williamsburg, Virginia, has developed a personal vehicle that can transport you via air from your driveway to a nearby parking lot. I’ve known some brands of coffee that can do the same thing.
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Genetically Designed Trees
Some call this the Dr. Frankenstein of tree research. “Plantations of genetically designed supertrees could supply the world’s wood needs from a tiny percentage of today’s forestlands, deeding the rest to environmental protection and restoration” But the environmentalists don’t think so. A forestry lab at the University of Washngton was recently torched by protesters. More Here
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Artificial Womb Research
Dr. Yosinori Kuwabara and his colleagues, working in a small research laboratory at Juntendou University in Tokyo,are developing the first operational artificial womb – a clear plastic tank the size of a bread basket, filled with amniotic fluid stabilised at body temperature. For the past several years, Kuwabara and his team have kept goat foetuses alive and growing for up to 10 days by connecting their umbilical cords to two machines that serve as a placenta, pumping in blood, oxygen and nutrients and disposing of waste products. You just can’t get a good goat these days unless it’s been artificially wombed. More Here
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Remember the stuff that auto mechanics put on floors to clean up oil spills? The company that makes that stuff has a new product called Dyn-O-Gel that when dropped from a plane can wipe out a small storm. Plans are being made to test the substance on a much larger tropical storm off Florida in a couple months.
Man vs. Weather – let the games begin. More Here
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Vanu Bose, son of legendary speaker designer Amar Bose, has a dream of broadcasting software programs wirelessly to portable handheld devices. An example of how this would be used is a cell phone, where once the new program is downloaded, the phone would be loaded with a whole new set of capabilities.
Vanu, Inc is developing a software radio architecture for military radios which will allow each radio to be reconfigured to meet specific mission requirements. Think in terms of future cars with electronic dashboards that could be reconfigured according to individual driver’s wishes. More Here
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Chicken Soup for the Face Recognition Soul
Competing face recognition technologies have been under development for a number of years, but now two are starting to emerge as the leaders: local feature analysis, developed by Joseph Atick, who founded Jersey City, NJ-based Visionics; and eigenface, first demonstrated at Helsinki University of Technology, later developed at MIT, and currently marketed by Viisage Technology of Littleton, MA. It looks like the only way to defeat this technology is with a serious bar fight. More Here
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Nano-Barcodes for Biological Analysis
Kinda like super miniature grocery store scanners with checkout clerks inside our bodies. SurroMed’s “nanobarcodes” work much like conventional bar codes, except they are microscopic rods, striped with bands of gold, silver and other metals. “With nanobarcodes thousands of different tags can be added to a biological sample at once. A sample-reading device can then snap a microscopic image, and a computer can identify all the tagged molecules in the image by the nanobarcodes attached to them.” This one is long overdue. I can’t wait.
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Revolutionary Handheld Receiver – IC-R3
The IC-R3 by Icom is not your average handheld receiver. In addition to the new video capabilities that allow you to see the receiver’s operating status and spectrum scope, you can display broadcast visual information: TV program, picture from wireless cameras and more. The IC-R3 is great for sporting events, security, Amateur TV, and you can watch your favorite TV program at anytime, anywhere. This is a “must have” for the true gadget freaks. More Here
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Designing the Car of Tomorrow
Even though the greatest innovation in car technology over the past 20 years has been the introduction of the cup holder, the future is starting to look brighter. A strong emphasis will be placed on moving the decision-making process away from the human driver. If we get this idea perfected, we can once again allow drinking and driving. Hmmm!!