Gadgets allow communication, location, and identification
Engineers at Germany’s Design Research Lab created the Mobile Lorm Glove to help people who are both deaf and blind communicate with other people via mobile technology. The nodes on the glove are pressure sensors used to translate Lorm, a tactile sign language, into text or speech. The glove also does reverse translation, with vibrating motors that deliver feedback patterns according to Lorm’s method of assigning letters to different parts of the palm.
Photo: Jens Meyer/AP Photo
Google intends to leave no point on the globe uncharted, it seems. The Internet-search-and-aspiring-to-be-everything-else giant has introduced the Street View Trekker, a package of electronics created to capture images of places that can’t be reached by car, boat, or bike. The gadgets, including multilensed Street View cameras, have been shoehorned into an 18-kilogram pack that an intrepid cartographer can carry as he or she hits the slopes or hikes a trail.
These columns pointing up from the foundation of ITER’s soon-to-be-built Tokamak Complex in southern France have a herculean task. The 493 concrete platforms, each featuring an antiseismic bearing made of alternate layers of metal and rubber, will support the three-building monolith’s 360 000-metric-ton weight and allow it to move laterally as much as 10 centimeters to prevent ground shifts from affecting the controlled fusion experiments that will be conducted there.
Photo: Boris Horvat/AFP/Getty Images
China’s Shenzhou-9 capsule is shown being transported to a fueling station before a Long March 2F rocket lifted it to a successful rendezvous with the Tiangong-1 space lab on 18 June. The launch of the capsule marks the first time China has sent a female astronaut into orbit. When Shenzhou-9 reached the space lab, orbiting about 340 kilometers above Earth, it went on autopilot, using radar, lasers, and optical sensors to dock with the space lab.
Photo: Imaginechina/AP Photo
Even as the Curiosity Mars rover makes its way toward the Red Planet, researchers from the Mars Science Laboratory are busily refining their ability to manipulate the vehicle remotely. In the photo, a replica of the rover is being put through its paces in the desert near Baker, Calif. The real thing is scheduled to make a descent onto an amazingly minuscule target area on the surface of Mars on or about 6 August.
Photo: Gene Blevins/Reuters
When a gun crime is committed, several bits of information—including bullet holes, striations on shell casings, and gunpowder residue—can help investigators piece together the details of the incident. Now SST of Mountain View, Calif., has added another: a gunfire alert and analysis service called ShotSpotter, which uses an array of acoustic sensors to pinpoint the location of where the trigger was pulled.
Photo: Annie Tritt/The New York Times/Redux
Imagine if every bullet came with a self-addressed stamped envelope. Soon enough, each shell casing will chronicle its origin with an ID number unique to the weapon that fired it. The code will be etched on the casing by the firing pin in the instant that the trigger is pulled. This would eliminate the educated guesswork involved in matching a shell casing to a particular weapon.
Photo: Cheryl Senter/The New York Times/Redux
This 3.4-inch flexible display produced by electronics maker Sharp is one of the first examples of its screens based on indium gallium zinc oxide (IGZO) technology. The new transistor formulation is said to yield twice the resolution of comparable displays and a 90 percent reduction in power consumption. These qualities make the nearly transparent thin-film transistor well suited to its first application: a 6.1-inch mobile-phone screen containing more than 4 million pixels.
Photo: Kyodo/AP Photo
Your electric vehicle’s batteries are nearly spent and you don’t have time to wait for a recharge? If you’re in Beijing, you can drive into the Gaotunan Electric Vehicle Station and wait as a battery exchange robot like this one swaps your depleted cells for a fully energized set. China says it plans to invest 2 billion yuan (US $314 million) annually to mass-produce energy-saving vehicles and build out its alternative fueling infrastructure.
Photo: David Gray/Reuters
A motorcycle rider has to make a choice: Wear a helmet and improve the odds of the cranium surviving a chance encounter with the pavement, or have one less bulky thing to lug around. The best of both worlds now comes in the form of a collar from the industrial designers and engineers at Hövding, in Malmö, Sweden, that instantly unfurls into a hood-shaped air bag when electronic sensors predict that a spill is imminent.
One of the featured installations at the Vivid Sydney art and music festival in Australia was an awe-inspiring combination of light projection, video mapping, and motion graphics. The presentation, by German design collective Urbanscreen, turned the iconic sails of the Sydney Opera House into the backdrop of a gravity-defying dance routine and then made them appear to be made of material that flutters in the wind.