Greater gadgets for vending, viewing, and vacationing
An air traffic controller at the Sundsvall-Härnösand Airport, in Sweden, monitors a screen capable of offering a 360-degree view of Örnsköldsvik Airport, 125 kilometers away. Saab, best known for its cars, has developed a system featuring special cameras and video tracking software that will allow controllers to run both airports from the Sundsvall facility.
Photo: Peter Karlsson Svarteld/Saab
Imagine an imaging system so sensitive, it can create a relief map of the word ink formed by droplets of ink on a piece of paper. Researchers at MIT have been there and done that. Now they’ve developed a version of their GelSight device that can register physical features less than 1 micrometer deep and 2 µm wide. Better still, the system can produce a 3-D model of a scanned object.
Photo:Image: Micah Kimo Johnson/MIT
Many of today’s technologists grew up dreaming of producing gadgets like the tricorder that was used to diagnose whatever ailed Captain Kirk and the rest of the crew on Star Trek’s USS Enterprise. Researchers at Leicester Royal Infirmary in England are developing suites of sensors to be put in devices that will someday detect and identify disease when they’re waved near a patient.
Photo: Rui Vieira/PA Wire /AP Photo
Here, a Ph.D. student at Australian National University dons a solar vest featuring flexible solar panels. The ruggedized thin-film panels, designed for soldiers in the field, help them power their radios and other gadgets when they have no access to the grid. Energy from the sun’s rays is stored in a built-in 8800-milliampere-hour battery.
Photo: Newspix/AP Photo
Tesco Home Plus, the giant grocery chain, has created the world’s first virtual store, whose products line the walls of a subway station in Seoul, South Korea. As this woman uses her smartphone to scan the Quick Response codes for the goods she wants, the items pop up in an online shopping cart. After the purchase is complete, the order will be delivered right to her door.
Photo: Park Ji-Hwan/AFP/Getty Images
It’s easy to see how Google captures images of the streets of, say, New York City or Moscow for its Street View function. But how will the Internet search giant give such panoramic views for tiny villages deep in Brazilian jungles? To compile images of the region, this boat has been traversing the Rio Negro and Tumbira Rivers carrying a three-wheel pedicab equipped with a special camera system that roams coastal neighborhoods.
Photo: Rodrigo Baleia/LatinContent/Getty Images
Sony’s new head-mounted display, the Personal 3D Viewer HMZ-T1, is studded with organic light-emitting diodes that give the wearer the experience of watching a 750-inch screen from 20 meters away. The gadget, which will go on sale in November, is expected to cost US $780.
Photo: Issei Kato/Reuters
The next frontier for wealthy people looking to get away from it all will be a commercial space station that doubles as a hotel. When the space-based resort, seen here in an artist’s rendering, opens in 2016, it will allow seven guests to float weightlessly through four cabins 350 kilometers above Earth. A five-day excursion will reportedly cost about US $950 000.
Photo:Image: Rex Features/AP Photo
This U.S. military drone has some serious turbo boost. The Falcon HTV-2 unmanned, rocket-launched aircraft (seen here in an illustration) reaches speeds of around Mach 20 (nearly 21 000 kilometers per hour). That’s fast enough to fly from New York City to Los Angeles in less than 12 minutes.
Photo:Image: DARPA/AP Photo
Perhaps municipalities wouldn’t be so quick to reject the idea of putting power lines in their backyards if the towers that hold the cables aloft were more elegant. This tribe of giants dotting the landscape was dreamed up for a high-voltage pylon competition in Iceland.
Photo:Image: Choi + Shine Architects
This woman is undergoing a Coolsculpting procedure aimed at getting rid of unwanted fat around her abdomen. Pads wrapped around the area to be treated cool the fat to just above freezing, turning it from a liquid to a solid. This process kills the fat cells, which are eventually swept out of the body naturally.