A beachfront media room, a mind-controlled toy plane, and iPad as a playroom accessory
You’re not seeing the second coming of Noah’s Ark. The engineer in the foreground is standing inside one half of a rotor blade created for the world’s largest wind turbine. Earlier this summer, Siemens erected the towering windmill, which generates 6 megawatts, off the coast of Østerild, Denmark. Its rotor blades each measure 75 meters long; the tips of the blades move at speeds up to 80 meters per second.
It used to be that you went to the beach to get away from it all. But Virgin Media’s high-tech beach hut, on the sand at Beach Green in West Sussex, England, has been outfitted with a suite of electronic media gear that might make the sun and the surf an afterthought. Among the devices in the 3- by 2.4-meter hut, which uses wind power for its lighting, are a Samsung Smart TV with 3-D, a wireless sound system, a Microsoft Xbox Kinect, and a home weather station.
Photo: Rex Features/AP Photo
Scientists from Philips Research have created the first-ever organic LED (OLED) lighting fixture that draws power from an ordinary electric outlet without the need of power management circuitry. Unlike LED lights, which produce bright, compact beams, the 230-volt OLED module emits diffuse white light that is fully dimmable.
Photo: Philips Research
The production of Citelec hybrid electric utility vehicles represents a second act for this factory in Lyon, France. Until 2010, the facility was used to produce laundry machines. But when the Spanish conglomerate Fagor Brandt decided to end production, the factory was taken over by a French entrepreneur, renamed (Lyon’s Technology and Innovation Company) and repurposed for manufacturing green vehicles.
Photo: Philippe Desmazes/AFP/Getty Images
Is there any iPad owner out there willing to let a 5-year-old use the device’s screen as a track for racing toy cars? That’s exactly the proposition being made by toy maker Mattel, which has introduced an iPad app that lets toys such as Hot Wheels cars and action figures interact with the tablet computer.
Photo: Peter Macdiarmid/Getty Images
A researcher at Zhejiang University in Hangzhou, China, holds a remote-controlled toy plane that he and his colleagues have modified to take commands from an Emotiv EEG headset, which translates brain waves (as in the wearer’s thoughts) into motion. The team’s creation, which they call the Flying Buddy 2 system, performs other tricks, such as taking pictures when the user blinks repeatedly.
Photo: Han Chuanhao/Xinhua/Landov
This machine, an Apple-1 computer hand built by company cofounder Steve Wozniak in the 1970s, will be auctioned at Christie’s in London on 9 October. Though inoperable, the machine, which bears serial No. 22, is expected to sell for upward of £80 000 (US $130 000). In June, a functional Apple-1 sold for more than £185 000.
Photo: Stefan Wermuth/Reuters
These components, parts of kitchen appliances, were created by a 3-D printer at Lime Lab in San Francisco. Firms like Lime Lab—which just expanded by adding an R&D development center with facilities for prototyping and rapid printing—have benefited from innovation that has made 3-D printing cheaper, which in turn has spurred additional advances in 3-D printing and milling technology.
Photo: Noan Berger/The New York Times/Redux
Skype has revolutionized the way we communicate—even on the stage. In a scene from the theatrical production Water at Sydney Theater in Australia, two characters converse via the online chat service. The play, about the deleterious effects of a lack of connection, ran from 13 to 23 September.