Solar Windbreaker

By wearing the solar windbreaker from Pauline van Dongen you make sure that your electronical devices won’t run out of energy. There are three solar panels attached to the jacked which are connected to an integrated power bank. Through a wireless induction system you are able to charge your devices.

Nothing really new but nevertheless a nice and useful gadget as it combines renewable energy with your everyday needs (with regard to all the devices that need to be charged).

Drones can be controlled via thoughts

Researchers at the Arizona State University have found a way to control drones with your thoughts. Before the commands are going to be send wirelessly to the drones a scullcap is used to collect the “navigators” brain activities which are processed with a software.

Even if you need to be highly concentrated and a special software and besides the fact that this system currently work with a set of just four drones it shows impressively what the combination of human thoughts and software is able to come up with.

More Information: https://asunow.asu.edu

Oculus works on haptic response device for VR

Oculus and Facebook have been working on a device which lets you feel objects within the VR. It allows the user to determine from which direction the object (e.g. a ball) appears. A completely new experience, as this hasn’t yet been possible. The plate works with bending waves and vibrations sent from several directions.

Even if its just a prototype it could be the next step to make VR even more realistic.

A.I. foosball-table

Some students (computer engineering) at the Brigham Young University created an artificial intelligence foosball-table which is able to beat human foosball-players. The software tracks with the help of a camera (positioned over the table) the ball and operates the rods and players – and behaves like a human player: It anticipates, kicks and even scores.

This project impressively shows that computers do have the chance to assume human tasks – and sometimes operate much more faster.

More information: https://news.byu.edu

smart papers with RFID

The University of Washington, Disney Research and Carnegie Mellon University worked on the task to make a common piece of paper connect or communicate with the digital world. They use RFID tags and just print or draw them onto the paper (of course with special conductive ink) – and create a new way to build small, lightweight and interactive interfaces.

To make this possible a reader device is necessary and needed to be placed in the same room. Based on unique identifiers the reader is able to differentiate between several RFID tags and detect their signals and possible signal-deviations. Special algorithms enable the reader to assign these deviations to various interactions like touches, swipes etc.

Obviously this is a good and simple way to equip analog items with a digital experience.

More information: http://www.washington.edu

One World Trade Center Elevator Ride

Even if New Yorks new World Trade Center opened its doors back in 2015 and this experience is not really new or technically outstanding – nevertheless it proofs that a historical review of a city is not only limited to books or articles. Here you see a prime example of how you can combine (a sort of) virtual reality and every day life in a great, informative and surprising manner. And of course it seems to be a special user experience!

Beat Pumas BeatBot

To support the athletes during their training and to create a head to head situation Puma invented the Beatbot. Equipped with infrared sensors to scan and follow the track, it also is able to measure speed and distance and process all the data in realtime. A top speed up to 44 km/h (to match Usain Bolts current world record time) is possible as well.
It’s not everytime about functional cloths which improve the athletes performance – even technical gadgets like this do their stint to pushing their limits.