tech e blog

At first glance, this may look like a prop for an upcoming Star Wars movie, but it's actually the MorpHex II, which was created by Norwegian Engineer Kare Halvorsen. This updated version not only has the ability to transform from a ball to a robot, but it's also to roll about while in sphere form. To accomplish this, the six-legged robot uses the motors on one side of its body to push itself along while contracted into a ball. Continue reading for a video and more information.

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In the future, stores and possibly even ATM machines will go the way of vein scanning rather than stick with traditional credit cards. Currently, there are more than 1,000 Swedish shoppers who've signed up to make payments with a simple swipe of their hand, using new technology that 'reads' the patterns of their veins. The company hopes that hand scanning will become an alternative payment method if it is a success during trials in the city of Lund in southern Sweden. To sign up, users have to visit terminal-equipped establishment, where they scan their palm three times and enter their social security and telephone numbers. Next, a text message is then sent to their mobile phone with an activation link to a website, with payments taken directly from customer's bank accounts twice a month. Continue reading for a video and more information.

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Germany-based laser weapons specialist Patrick Priebe has just unveiled his latest project, a Spider-Man-inspired electromagnetic web shooter that fires a harpoon-tipped length fishing line into styrofoam targets. Similar to the movie / comic counterparts, this one is worn on the wrist, and fired by pressing on a button located on a custom-built plate under the glove material, on the user's palm. Additional features include an aiming laser and LEDs to indicate its operational status. Continue reading for a video and more information.

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There are Bugatti supercars, and then the appliance company. The latter has just unveiled Noun, a fully-transparent glass toaster that will set you back a cool $1000. Rather than the standard glowing heating elements, it utilizes two panels of "a special transparent glass ceramic material with an ultra-high resistance semiconductor." Its panels make use of far infrared radiation to generate temperatures as high as 300°C (572°F) within 80-seconds, enabling you to not only make toast, but also cook foods like steak and vegetables. Continue reading for a video and more information.

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Ann Makosinski was just another teenager with another science project when she joined her local science fair in Victoria, Canada, last year. Her invention, a flashlight that is powered solely from hand heat, also took home an award at the 2013 Google Science Fair. Ann's parents are both HAM radio operators and like to fiddle with electronics and were satisfied with that result. It's essentially a flashlight that shines for as long as you hold onto it. No more scrambling for and chucking away AA batteries. It could have an immediate impact on more than 1.2 billion people -- one-fifth of the world's population - who, according to the World Bank, lack regular access to electricity. Continue reading for a video and more information.

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Further developing existing technology, NHK promises to bring true holographic television images that do not require glasses to nearly all homes in Japan by 2022. Jun Murai, a scientist from Japan's Keio University, says: "Football matches held in Tokyo could be relayed to any stadium in the world where full-sized players would appear so life-like that fans would believe they were at the match." Continue reading for more.

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We have seen the future of highways, and they probably won't have street lights. That's right light-absorbing, glow-in-the-dark road markings have replaced traditional street lights on a 500-meter stretch of highway in The Netherlands. To accomplish this, the roads are treated with a special foto-luminizing powder that's charged by the sun during the day, which allows the marks to glow for up to 10 hours at night. Continue reading for a video and more information.

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Pierre Calleja, a French biochemist, has invented an eco-friendly lamp that not only lights up streets and parking garages while cutting CO2 emissions, but runs completely free of electricity, powered solely glowing green algae. It basically uses the energy created by the algae's own photosynthesis process to power the light within, while the algae itself lives on CO2 in the air outside. Continue reading for a video and more information.

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Google has just filed a new patent application with the USPTO for embedding micro cameras directly into contact lenses. According to TechCrunch, the various uses include "photographing what a wearer sees, or providing the basic input for a contact-based assistive device for the visually impaired." Continue reading for a video of similar bionic eye technology and more information.

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The U.S. Navy officially christened the USS Zumwalt on Saturday, the first ship of its newest class of destroyers, a 610-foot-long warship sporting advanced technology and a stealthy shape designed to minimize its visibility on enemy radar and reduce the size of its crew. The USS Zumwalt is named after Elmo Russell Zumwalt, Jr., who was an American naval officer and the youngest man to serve as the Chief of Naval Operations. Continue reading for two videos and more information.

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