Beta’s Eyes

November 23 2008 / by Adam Cutsinger / In association with Future Blogger.net
Category: Technology   Year: Beyond   Rating: 5 Hot

At some point in the not-so-distant future, somewhere on planet Earth…

Beta Bogdanovsky’s Italian Cācio-model translator spoke with a decidedly male monotone, and had the vocabulary, albeit in 13 languages, of a 3rd grader. Her dog’s translator was nearly as well spoken. Then again, Tóse was a smart dog, an Illyrian sheepdog whose eyes expressed more care than those of most people, and he almost certainly had the capacity to communicate on levels beyond the short sentences programmed into his collar.

“Iz vee NEH tuh,” she said in Bulgarian to a rotund bearded man blocking access to the window seat next to him. A roundish silver and gold box hung from a beaded chain around her neck, and a small bas-relief profile of the Roman god Mercury spoke the Greek, “Syghnomi.”

Excuse me.

The man’s posture shifted to make way even before he looked up, and when he did lift his head he was eye to eye with Tóse. Expressionlessly he made a symbolic attempt to scoot his plastic bags out of the aisle, and Beta sided into the seat, setting her gear on the floor between her feet. Tóse sat on his haunches in front of them both. Beta wondered why it was that people could not seem to rein it in in crowded public places and on trains.

As the ARMA Speed Tram pulled away from the passenger bay, the lights in the tramcar faded slightly as they always did between stations, and Beta closed her eyes and relaxed her neck, as she always did when she was commuting. Bitoli was five stops from the sea, as the tram tunneled through the Korab and Pindus Mountains, and then there were six more on the other side of the water before reaching Monopoli. This trip would be an opportunity to shut her eyes for approximately 2 hours, which was a very good thing, because Beta’s eyes were very tired.

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Commuters to Generate Electricity From Walking Into Train Station

December 08 2008 / by John Heylin
Category: Gadgets   Year: 2009   Rating: 1

electric-generating-mat-panel-Japan-01.jpg

A train station in Tokyo, Japan has put up a demo LED display which is powered by pedestrians stepping on a spring-board type power generator.  "A person weighing 60kg (132 lbs) can generate 0.5W by stepping on the panel twice."  The small panel you see above generates enough power for the LED screen to light up and display how much power has been generated so far.  Although it will be removed by the end of the year, it still shows the potential power we can generate from the human body.

img_photo1.jpgThe greatest thing about this demo is it's sheer practicality in the real world.  So many have been talking about solar panel highways or body-heat generating mobile devices, but not so much about kinetic energy.  The energy-generating springboard has the additional benefit of being comfortable on the feet and back, something cement and pavement clearly lack.  If these were installed in every pedestrian zone (heck, even on roads) it would feel like walking on a basketball court which are in themselves springy.  If it proves to be more beneficial instead of developing a solar asphalt, it may just take over ground-level solar production.

via Digital World Tokyo