Incredible Data Visualization of the Allosphere

October 07 2009 / by Jeff Hilford
Category: Technology   Year: 2009   Rating: 3

Check out this stunning video of inventor JoAnn Kuchera-Morinis demonstrating the Allosphere at the last TED conference.   The Allosphere is a 3 story high chamber that allows researchers to stand in the middle of incredible visual and sonic representations of their data.  Complex algorithms are powered by a super-computer to bring data to life in breakthrough fashion.


One can imagine many uses for this technology and it is a good example of one way the scientific discovery process will accelerate in the near future.

Virus Built Batteries? MIT Advances Bio-Industrial Manufacturing Technique to Assemble Electrodes

April 12 2009 / by Garry Golden
Category: Energy   Year: General   Rating: 4 Hot

MIT Virus BacteriophageMIT's Biomolecular Materials Group has advanced a technique of using 'genetically engineered viruses that first coat themselves with iron phosphate, then grab hold of carbon nanotubes to create a network of highly conductive material.'

This advanced 'bio-industrial' manufacturing process, which uses biological agents to assemble molecules, could help to evolve key energy material components (e.g. cathodes, anodes, membranes) used in batteries, fuel cells, solar cells and organic electronics (e.g. OLEDs). 

Professors Angela Belcher and Michael Strano led the breakthrough bio-engineering work which can now use bacteriophage 'to build both the positively and negatively charged ends of a lithium-ion battery.'   While the prototype was based on a typical 'coin cell battery', the team believes it can be adapted for 'thin film' organic electronic applications.

Energy = Interactions
Energy and Materials Science is about manipulating the assembly and interaction of molecules like carbon, hydrogen, oxygen and metals.

Today we are at the beginning of new eras of nanoscale materials science and bio-industrial processes that are certain to change the cost and efficiency equations within alternative energy and biomaterials.  And we have a lot to learn about molecular assembly from Mother Nature's genetically driven virus/bacteria and plants. After all, the energy released from breaking the carbon-hydrogen bonds of coal (ancient ferns) and oil (ancient diatoms) was originally assembled by biology (with some help from geological pressures!).  So why not tap this bio-industrial potential for building future energy components?

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GM & Segway Unveil Personal Urban Mobility Vehicle, Demonstrate Disruptive Power of Software & Mobility as Service

April 07 2009 / by Garry Golden
Category: Transportation   Year: General   Rating: 6 Hot

GM PUMA BrooklynGeneral Motors and Segway unveiled a new type of small electric motor vehicle with advanced software that could shift how we look at mobility as a service.

In an effort to appeal to digitally connected urban audiences, GM describes Project P.U.M.A. (Personal Urban Mobility and Accessibility) as a low-cost mobility platform that 'enables design creativity, fashion, fun and social networking.' This protoype model travels up to 35 miles per hour (56 kph), with a range up to 35 miles (56 km) between recharges (though it's not clear how urban residents will access wall sockets!)

'Smart' is the Real Revolution
The greatest opportunities to transform the human mobility experience in the next century are likely to emerge from ‘smarter software’, not cleaner energy systems.  It seems clear that the combustion engine will eventually struggle to keep cost and design competitive against the lowering 'manufacturing footprint' of electric motors powered by the integration of batteries, fuel cells and capacitors.  The real question is: Can human drivers keep up with changes ahead in software of 'smart cars'.

Vehicle-to-Vehicle communication systems that relay alerts and information to drivers to reduce congestion and prevent collisions are already being integrated into luxury vehicles. But within a decade or two we can expect low cost vehicles embedded with sensors and ‘situation awareness’ detection systems that make cars 'smarter' than drivers.

Access and Ownership (and Potential Chaos)
A compelling vision of Personal Urban Vehicles is the emergence of personal 'mobility as service' companies that connect outer hubs with urban destination points (offices, retail, recreation, et al).  In addition to owning personal vehicles, we can imagine paying for 'access' to fleets of vehicles that we don't have to park.  (Of course, adding fleets of small vehicles could mean chaos in urban areas for pedestrians! Not to mention pushback from the Cabbies in New York!)

More Images and Related Posts on The Future of Auto Industry

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[Video] GM Segway PUMA Cruising Through Brooklyn & New York City

April 07 2009 / by Garry Golden
Category: Transportation   Year: General   Rating: 7 Hot

GM & Segway are hoping to commercialize a new category of smart micro-vehicles for urban environments by 2012 (See previous post).  I love the application of Segway software, but am skeptical of a 'plug in' battery version. 

I'm not sure how many wall sockets are accessible to urban dwellers who don't have garages!  So I love the idea, but think the real potential is the 'access' business model.  Let's keep the PUMA owned and operated by mobility service companies, not urban dwellers themselves!

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[Video] MIT Media Lab's Pattie Maes and Pranav Mistry Introduce Sixth Sense Wearable Interface

March 11 2009 / by Garry Golden
Category: Gadgets   Year: General   Rating: 3

One of the hottest talks from this year's TED Conference is a wearable system demonstration from MIT Media LabPattie Maes and Pranav Mistry introduce a working prototype aimed at augmenting our world with a 'Sixth Sense' layer of information using image sensing and projection systems.

 

TED Talk Video

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[Video] Could 3D Projection Systems Transform Urban Landscapes?

February 25 2009 / by Garry Golden
Category: Culture   Year: General   Rating: 4 Hot

France-based Easy Web develops 3D video projection systems for 'monumental architecture', but could they be developing new cultural expectations for human-city interfaces where everything becomes a template?

via Laughing Squid Youtube

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[Video] Impress Touch Project Hints at Post-PC Era Interfaces

February 22 2009 / by Garry Golden
Category: Gadgets   Year: General   Rating: 4 Hot

During the next decade we are likely to see commercial products that will start to define the 'Post PC' Era of smart, networked objects that follow a new path of product development.  Users will interact with embedded devices beyond the keyboard and mouse.  We know that OLEDs offer a clear path to flexible, transparent display screens, but what about the combination of sensors and low power chips that make the 'screen' irrelevant for new applications.  If it is hard to imagine commercial Post PC applications for enterprise sectors, what about designs for education and entertainment markets based on visions like Impress project from Sillenet [via Vimeo]

Via TrendHunter

The iPhone of 2015 Promises Flexible Screens and Contact Lens Displays

November 03 2008 / by John Heylin
Category: Gadgets   Year: 2015   Rating: 5 Hot

Leaked photos of the next generation Mac Mini suggest that Apple is committed to steadily shrinking components and appears to be on the road to something that may look a lot like this vision of the iPhone 2015 that we published last November:

 

Sometimes it’s hard for people to get an accurate sense of what the future holds for certain technologies. For instance, could the average person three years ago have imagined that something like the 3G iPhone could exist now?

It is for this reason I present this vision of the iPhone circa 2015.

Contact Lens Display

The most interesting feature of the iPhone 2015 is its first generation Contact Lens Display System. If there’s one thing that iPhone users believe themselves to be, and that Apple stresses all the time, it’s that people who use Apple products are independent and unique. It is for this reason that an eyeglass display was thrown out. No iPhone user would be caught dead wearing the same glasses as over ten million other iPhone users. The fact is, glasses are cumbersome. They gather dirt, get lost easily, and make sports rather difficult.

In 2007, development of a contact lens display system began at the University of Washington, Seattle. “Engineers at the University of Washington have for the first time used manufacturing techniques at microscopic scales to combine a flexible, biologically safe contact lens with an imprinted electronic circuit and lights.” In the time between now and 2015, the cost involved in the production of a contact lens display will likely reduce in price, meaning the loss of one won’t reduce you to tears in case of loss.

The problems associated with contact lenses (protein build-up, 8-hour wear limit, annoyance of constant inserting and removal) will be lessened with oxygen-permeable lenses. O2OPTIX, a company currently specializing in such breathable lenses, already sells a lens capable of week-long wear without removal. “O2OPTIX is made with a revolutionary silicone hydrogel technology allowing up to 5 times more oxygen through the lens than the leading traditional 2-week lens, to help protect from the signs and symptoms of corneal oxygen deficiency.” It only makes sense that seven years from now a lens will be developed which can last even longer making wearable contact lenses less of a pain.

Of course there always is the option of implanting the lens permanently into the eye, but who would ever go under invasive surgery for first generation technology?

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[Video] Google Power Meter translates energy into information flows

February 18 2009 / by Garry Golden
Category: Energy   Year: General   Rating: 9 Hot

One of the great efficiency opportunities for the next century is based on the convergence of information and energy flows. The notion of a 'smart grid' is a more reliable and efficient energy web based on the integration of software, sensors and energy storage. 

There are dozens of 'smart grid' infrastructure startups that service utility companies, as well as more commercial/industrial efforts being pushed by IBM, Johnson Controls, Honeywell, and Cisco.

And for those homes with 'Smart Meters' or Smart Devices, solutions are coming online quickly. Google has now thrown its hat into the ring around the basic idea: 'if you can measure it, you can improve it'.  The Google Power Meter is a software tool integrated into smart meters that helps consumers better understand how they use energy in order to reduce their costs and consumption.  Google is a big name, in an expanding space of 'smart energy' startups, like Sentilla and REGEN, who are trying to build demand in the residential market.

Related Smart Grid posts on The Energy Roadmap.com

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'Make Your Own' Augmented Reality Media Comes to Google Earth

February 18 2009 / by Garry Golden
Category: Metaverse   Year: General   Rating: 9 Hot

The day when anyone can create a stunning 3D Augmented Reality simulation is getting closer.  Last month, General Electric's innovative AR media campaign to promote its 'Smart Grid' platform helped to push Augmented Reality out into the masses by giving users a chance to try it at home using a printable marker download and webcam.

Now Digital Urban has featured a new Google Earth Plug-in and Printable Marker download developed by InGlobe Technologies.  The company has expanded its Augmented Reality Media software beyond Google Sketchup into the increasingly 'mirror world'-esque Google Earth.   Downloads are available on the company's ARSights

See GE's Smart Grid Augmented Reality Campaign

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[Video] MIT Media Lab Demonstrates the Future of Interactive Toys and Learning with Siftables

February 12 2009 / by Garry Golden
Category: Technology   Year: General   Rating: 4 Hot

MIT Media Lab's David Merrill describes at a near term future where we play with smart objects that integrate OLED displays, sensors, and smarter software that adapts to our actions:

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RFID for Identity Documents May Not Fly in the Future

February 11 2009 / by Alvis Brigis
Category: Gadgets   Year: 2009   Rating: 6 Hot

White/Grey-hat hacker Chris Paget demonstrates a $250 mobile device that can read and clone RFID tags embedded in United States passport cards and enhanced drivers' licenses.

As I often remind readers, accelerating technology cuts both ways and forces us to bolster our info-immune system.

(via The Register)


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