Click the Photo to view the working video of the 3D Pen.
A pen that uses plastic for ink allows you to draw in three dimensions. The 3Doodler, invented by Peter Dilworth and Maxwell Bogue, gives people a freer hand in creating sculptures and brings computer-aided design software front and center.
You hold it just like a regular pen, but instead of building a shape layer by layer, as a 3-D printer does, this pen it extrudes the plastic into the air.
The plastic is soft when it is extruded, but it hardens quickly enough that it can form a stable structure. It’s the same kind of plastic (called ABS) that is used in 3-D printers. The pen is hooked up to the supply of plastic, which comes in the form of long, thin strings, so it has a kind of tether on it. It doesn’t need a computer or any software to work. Continue reading
As our communications devices migrate from being things that we carry to things that we wear, the U.S. military seems poised to embrace this change with technology that could be integrated into the uniforms of soldiers of the future.
Although the fiber optic-like threads could eventually transmit information, the fibers do not have any transistors, processors or circuitry.
“These are new kinds of fibers that are themselves devices,”
Joannopoulos says the millimeter-thick fibers are too thick for a uniform and that he wants to scale them down to 100 microns, which he and his team at the Army’s Soldier Systems Center hope to achieve over the next 10 years as they refine and design the concept further.
“Your uniform would transit that information. You wouldn’t be talking, it would transmit information: who you are, what time you went down, where the wounds are, what is the estimated severity of the wound, et cetera,”. “The idea with these fibers is that eventually, we’d like to enable full-body sensing for the soldier.”
Electronic devices are getting smaller, thinner and more flexible — taking them into areas other electronics can’t go. One place is the mind. Electrical engineer Todd Coleman at the University of California at San Diego, for example, is using super-thin flexible electronic “tattoos” to read brain wave activity in a non-invasive way and use that data to control machines.
Devices, which about the width of a human hair, stick to a person’s forehead and detect electrical signals from the brain. In previous studies, his team found that study participants could remotely fly airplanes around a room using their mind. These people were not wearing the thin tattoo-like stickers but wearing electrode caps that pick up brain wave activity. But if such control can come from the cap, it could be possible to shrink it down to the stick-on tattoo level.
The small, flexible devices could also be put on the throat and behave as subvocal microphones through which people could communicate silently and wirelessly and perhaps improve speech recognition in smartphones.
“We’ve demonstrated our sensors can pick up the electrical signals of muscle movements in the throat so that people can communicate just with thought,”
Apple is already seeking patents to develop smart shoes and apps that could turn strangers into walking ATMs, so news that the company may be developing a smart watch should come as no surprise.
Citing sources inside Apple’s Cupertino headquarters, a recent story in the New York Times confirmed Apple is working on a wristwatch made of curved glass.
Two sources said that the watch would operate on Apple’s iOS platform and would distinguish itself from the competition due to the company’s knowledge about the curved glass that will be used.
“You can certainly make it wrap around a cylindrical object and that could be someone’s wrist,”. “Right now, if I tried to make something that looked like a watch, that could be done using this flexible glass.”
Lithium batteries, which are used for everything from electronics to vehicles, take time to recharge, usually in the realm of hours. But researchers at University of Southern California have developed a new lithium-ion battery that can recharge within 10 minutes and hold three times the amount of energy as other batteries.
Experimented with porous silicon nano-wires that helped improve the performance of lithium-ion batteries.
And although the batteries functioned well, the nano-wires were difficult to manufacture in mass quantities.
To solve the problem, Zhou’s team took commercially available nano-particles of silicon spheres and etched them with the same pores as the nano-wires. The particles improved battery performance — allowing a battery to be charged in 10 minutes — and what’s more, can be mass produced. Future electronics and electric vehicles could have such batteries in just two or three years.