The window of the future is truly insane

Over the past few years Samsung has well and truly worked its way up to the top of the electronics Manufacturers market and with new innovations they seem to add in interesting and intriguing possibilities into the world of the future. This one well, is a bit over the top. However, having invested as much as they have in the past few years on Television screens, and just screens of every type, it seems like a natural progression that they will try to include screens anywhere and everywhere possible.

There’s a lot of buzz around the Samsung Transparent Smart Window, the full touch TFT (thin-film transistor) LCD display that turns any household window into a prop from Minority Report. The 46-inch, 1366×768 resolution display won the CES 2012 award for innovation and, from what we see in the demo below, it’s not hard to see why. A video from Samsung video gives a nice overview.

The device is really a transparent touchscreen LCD that can be fitted to any window, so long as it’s no longer than some 46 inches. Resolution is 1366 x 768 pixels, reportedly. During the day, illumination is provided from outside. At night, built-in lights kick in.

At first glance, the window, while cool, isn’t necessarily innovative: it just brings all the apps and widgets we’ve come to love to your window. But Samsung has included a few unique touches. My favorite is the “blinds” feature, where with the swipe of your finger, you can open and close virtual blinds that will actually blot out the light. A video report from MobileNations says that mass production will begin “in the coming months.” Samsung has indicated an intention to put the thing out by the end of the year. No word on price yet.

The window is considered to be working as a one sided glass when viewed from outside, making it like ordinary windows. Additionally, the window can also work as a screen for Augment Reality to see overlaid information on the outside world. So in what can be described as a double stroke, Samsung has not only opened another market for the screens they make but also have taken on the window covering world, from Blinds to Curtains.

What is Bit coin and why you should bother ? – an Inquisitive Guide

Unlike most people, I had not really heard about the Bitcoin used at large. However, now that I think about it, I think I might have come across the BITCOIN phrase in passing when looking through the internet for some cracks, yes I did search and no I did not find what I was looking for. Getting back to the whole topic of Bitcoins. A couple of weeks back a friend Megha, posted the information about the BitCoins on facebook, and I have been reading about it from then, to get a good idea about BitCoins. Here is what I have found out, simplified for all.

Like everything on the internet, from the internet itself, this is revolutionary. It is a new form of currency, completely online and something that all of us can use. This post is an indepth guide to the Bit Coin and what you can and cannot do with it. Like everything on the internet, there is a major real difficulty among all people to accept it, there are discussions on the god and the bad of the BitCoin all over the internet at this time. So I will not divulge into that for now.

What is BitCoin ?

BitCoin is a new currency – it wants to shake the entire global economy. And some people think it might! It’s online money—an alternative to dollars and euros. Well what’s that mean? It’s complicated, but I will break it down over the next few posts. Yes, there are some simple infographics that help in making it easier to understand, I will add them here below. I will however tell you there is one part which is not so clear and that is how the coins are generated.

Bitcoin is underwritten not by a government, but by a clever cryptographic scheme. For now, little can be bought with bitcoins, and the new currency is still a long way from competing with the dollar.

Again, BitCoin is Digital ..

BitCoin is not real money. It’s an online “currency”—virtual tokens that can be exchanged for goods and services at places that accept it. The list of which is fast growing.

In 2008, a programmer known as Satoshi Nakamoto posted a paper outlining Bitcoin’s design to a cryptography e-mail list. Then, in early 2009, he (or she) released software that can be used to exchange bitcoins using the scheme. That software is now maintained by a volunteer open-source community coordinated by four core developers. Like real money, It does have a market where its value against some real world currencies are mapped against, check it out here http://www.bitcoinwatch.com/, while writing this post the value of a BitCoin was nearly $14.

The programmer Satoshi wanted people to be able to exchange money electronically securely without the need for a third party, such as a bank or a company like PayPal. He based Bitcoin on cryptographic techniques that allow you to be sure the money you receive is genuine, even if you don’t trust the sender.

If you look at the first video above, its from the four core developers and they are thinking big, they are looking at BirCoin as a way to revolutionalize finance, just as how the internet revolutionized publishing.

How do I start. I.e the Basics

Once you download and run the Bitcoin client software, it connects over the Internet to the decentralized network of all Bitcoin users and also generates a pair of unique, mathematically linked keys, which you’ll need to exchange bitcoins with any other client. One key is private and kept hidden on your computer. The other is public and a version of it dubbed a Bitcoin address is given to other people so they can send you bitcoins.

Crucially, it is practically impossible—even with the most powerful supercomputer—to work out someone’s private key from their public key. This prevents anyone from impersonating you. Your public and private keys are stored in a file that can be transferred to another computer, for example if you upgrade.

A Bitcoin address looks something like this: 1H4NSNzoP7eoYnL69HCvehVTZBPJoyMzK9. You can transfer a donation to me on the attached BitCoin Address. YOu can also go to some online stores where you can use these BitCoins to buy real world goods.

Transactions with BitCoins and how they occur

When you perform a transaction, your Bitcoin software performs a mathematical operation to combine the other party’s public key and your own private key with the amount of bitcoins that you want to transfer. The result of that operation is then sent out across the distributed Bitcoin network so the transaction can be verified by Bitcoin software clients not involved in the transfer. [ This is important as this is the step where the internet and BitCoin software clients perform the function of banks where they confirm the person is you, such that your current value of Bit Coins is calculated and the balance given back to you]

Those clients make two checks on a transaction. One uses the public key to confirm that the true owner of the pair sent the money, by exploiting the mathematical relationship between a person’s public and private keys; the second refers to a public transaction log stored on the computer of every Bitcoin user to confirm that the person has the bitcoins to spend.

When a client verifies a transaction, it forwards the details to others in the network to check for themselves. In this way a transaction quickly reaches and is verified by every Bitcoin client that is online. Some of those clients – “miners” – also try to add the new transfer to the public transaction log, by racing to solve a cryptographic puzzle. Once one of them wins the updated log is passed throughout the Bitcoin network. When your software receives the updated log it knows your payment was successful. It takes a bit longer than banks in this step as the cryptographic puzzle that they solve is also part of the BitCoin universe, more on that later.

The nature of the mathematics ensures that it is computationally easy to verify a transaction but practically impossible to generate fake transactions and spend bitcoins you don’t own. The existence of a public log of all transactions also provides a deterrent to money laundering. The global public transaction register is a register that keeps track of the history of every single Bitcoin through that log, from its creation through every transaction. Yes there is a bit of a problem here.

Identity, since every BitCoin is tracked it would be possible to know how much money each person has in the system and who is performing transactions. I dont really think its a problem, In fact its better. Considering whats happening in India these days with corruption and black money, there will be none. Everyone will have as much money as they are worthy of, so this is really a blessing in disguise. However unlike the real world, it might be an issue to some, as very rich people can be targeted for crimes like kidnapping, extorsion etc. But hey, at least we can keep our blood sucking politicians at bay.

How are these coins created and how can you obtain bitcoins? 

Bitcoins are “mined”. When you set your Bitcoin client to a mode that has it compete to update the public log of transactions. All the clients set to this mode race to solve a cryptographic puzzle by completing the next “block” of the shared transaction log. Winning the race to complete the next block wins you a 50-Bitcoin prize. This feature exists as a way to distribute bitcoins in the currency’s early years. Eventually, new coins will not be issued this way; instead, mining will be rewarded with a small fee taken from some of the value of a verified transaction.

Mining is very computationally intensive, to the point that any computer without a powerful graphics card is unlikely to mine any bitcoins in less than a few years.

Other ways of obtaining BitCoins are exchanges like Mt. Gox, which provide a place for people to trade bitcoins for other types of currency. Some enthusiasts have also started doing work, such as designing websites, in exchange for bitcoins. This jobs board advertises contract work paying in bitcoins.

Money is made to spend right ? So, Where can I spend these coins ?

There aren’t a lot of places right now. Some Bitcoin enthusiasts with their own businesses have made it possible to swap bitcoins for teabooks, or Web design (see a comprehensive list here). But no major retailers accept the new currency yet.

My thoughts

The BitCoin is in its infancy, however it has corrected some of the loopholes that current fixed currencies have. However, at the end of the day this is the first of its kind in this space. However, like most software and services on the Internet (which is what I look at it now) it will evolve, and might come up with a new variation of this concept and that will be the one to look out for.

Current world currencies do not have to be threatened by this new currency. As financial masters and grand masters analyze and dissect this form of the currency they will point out some of its flaws and what will come out of it is a clean workable currency format that all of us can eventually use. For the time being it is a nice to know fact that there is an alternate currency that is not government controlled and neither bank influenced. This might just be the spark for the actual online currency to come into being. Lets hope it does.

Some Resources

BitCoin and What is it: http://weusecoins.com
BitCoin home page: http://www.bitcoin.org
Bitcoin Trade: http://www.bitcoin.org/trade
BitCoin Economy Watch: http://www.bitcoinwatch.com
Bitcoin Exchange: https://www.mtgox.com
Bitcoin escrow service: https://clearcoin.appspot.com
Bitcoin e-commerce platform: https://www.mybitcoin.com
Fun with bitcoin http://witcoin.com – the bitcoin q and a .

3D Mobiles and Gadgets .. what next ?

Over the past few days I have been looking very closely at he world of 3D and my interest in the subject seems to be growing. However, like I wrote earlier, it is a technology that might not really do well in the living rooms due to a lot of constraints for 3D viewing. However, the thrust of the industry seems to be growing towards the 3D platform for various devices, and the latest addition into the spectrum of gadgets is definitely the 3D hand-held gadgets. As a matter of fact, if you browse the Online world, it will become clear that companies like Nokia, LG and  Samsung have been pursuing this technology vigorously in the past few years. In today’s post we will look at some of the attempts and the advances in technology in this direction.

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I vote yes for technology in Football

Well being a bit of a geek, it is understandable that I am for technology, but not just because I am one. I think that there is more than a reason for me to support this argument, for starters lets just kill the anti argument.  There are 2 main reasons that people are supporting the non usage of the technology, one being that the game will be stopped unnecessarily for the check of technology, well I think that the act there is an injury time allocated to each game already justifies the addition of another couple of minutes in case there is stoppage (which I think technology might not bring anyway).

The second reason is that they want to keep the game simple enough to be played at the highest level as well as the park, now this reason seems to be really weak, Imagine 160 countries start off the World cup campaign with 32 making it to the finals and then the show off between the teams. Now, imagine that after so much the teams that make it actually loose due to the fact that there was human error ! that is unforgivable.

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You think Moon … they think Power Plant

“One small step for man, one giant leap for mankind” the famous words of Neil Armstrong, when he stepped on the moon, and looks like Countries around the world are taking this whole Giant Leap bit a little too seriously, America, Russia and Japan all are on a race to try and build a moon base by 2020, and of course since building on the moon by humans might be a bit of a task, they have chosen a whole load of robots to actually do this exercise. Japan the latest to join in the race, has already set the ambitious goal of putting robots on the Moon by 2015, and it’s only natural that they should have a place to hang out while they’re up there. The solar-powered base will be constructed by 660-pound robots on the satellite’s south pole, and it’ll serve as a central station for all manner of robot-conducted Moon experiments.

Continue reading You think Moon … they think Power Plant

Tech from the future helps us go to the past

Augmented Reality, remember those two words as this technology is going to be everywhere in the future. The applications of this technology are really astounding and something that can really overwhelm you with information at times and also amaze you every so often. Today’s application is something that will amaze you for sure. Today’s application comes from the Museum of London who have decided that in order to experience the history of London, you really have to walk around and look at it, quite literally. They have come up with an iPhone App that will for sure make your journey within London, memorable to say the least. The app overlays four hundred years of historic images on today’s city streets.

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The most Technologically advanced Hotel in the world

Its not something that you hear of every day, Technologically advanced. But when my boss came up to me and asked me to work on a design for a hotel in Abu Dhabi, it was something that we wanted to make. Being in construction especially in the Middle east always involves trying to make the biggest, largest, most complex, most interesting structures and landmarks when it comes to facilities.  It is a part of working in the middle east I guess, and the word Dubai itself inspires wow into people. Getting back to the Hotel, the development of the most technologically advanced hotel in the world is something we were attempting, and definitely we had to check out the competition. Competition when it comes to exuberance and abundance comes only from one part of the world, Las Vegas. And it is there, we found our formidable opponent. The Aria Resort and Casino in Las Vegas to be precise. It is not yet in the list of the most famous hotels, but trust me you will hear it very soon.

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Life in 2020 by Forbes, Augmented Reality

At the end of last year, Forbes magazine asked frog design to help them envision the future in 2020. In December, they held a workshop in San Francisco that brought designers, futurists and journalists together to think about the current state of computing, how we might experience it 10 years from now and, perhaps most importantly, how we might make the transition into these possible futures. Take a guess at what technology was at the center of their vision, Augmented Reality.

Continue reading Life in 2020 by Forbes, Augmented Reality

Iron Man 2 a glimpse into the future of gadgets ?

Movies have been trying to glimpse into the future of how our gadgets look like for a long time now, the most famous of them being Minority Report, terminator series and scores of other more. Unfortunately after Avatar, its been a while since someone attempted the same, but then like a hero coming to save the world on time, comes Iron Man 2. Worked on by Perception studios Iron Man 2 showcases some of the technologies that might already be in the making or drawing boards work wide with various manufacturers. Starting with the Multi Touch transparent displays, gestural computing while he is engineering, Google searching (compleately revisioned) and other effects make this movie a must go an see just to take a glimpse into the future of gadgets.

Continue reading Iron Man 2 a glimpse into the future of gadgets ?

So you wanna get an Iron Man Suit for yourself … Huh?

After my previous post about the Iron Man 2 release with stills, I had promised that I will write about how you can get one yourself. Well first things first, there is nothing called an Iron Man suit out there. The closest you can get to an Iron Man Suit however is an Exoskeleton. Sounds interesting doesn’t it ? First of all the exoskeleton is something of a fantasy that a lot of people have written about or made into movies, from James Cameroon’s Avatar where the AMP’s roam around with a man inside them or the movie of discussion Iron Man, other movies like Starship troopers, Robocop etc games like Halo, Crysis etc. It has always been the attempt of engineers and scientists to be able to develop armor that would protect the wearer as well as include weapons in case it was required. Technologies till date have not been miniature enough to be able to work on a solution like this. Scientists have not stopped trying and their efforts are slowly bearing fruit.

Basically, an exoskeleton is a wearable machine that gives a human enhanced abilities. Imagine a battalion of super soldiers that can lift hundreds of pounds as easily as lifting 10 pounds and can run twice their normal speed. The potential of non-military applications is also phenomenal. In 2000, DARPA requested proposals for human performance augmentation systems, and will soon be signing contracts to begin developing exoskeletons. The military agency said that the testing of this new technology is at least a decade away. It will be much longer before soldiers are donning these body amplification systems for battle. The exoskeleton is not made by just one organization at the moment, it is being developed my many people worldwide from Japan to the United States all having their own interpretation and implementation of the exoskeleton. Guess this is a good time to look at some of these exoskeletons that are available in the world.

Robot Suit (HAL)

First lets travel to Japan to the factory of Cyberdyne Industries (which film buffs will recognize as the name of the company that built the ill-fated “Skynet” in the Terminator movies ) home to the Robot Suit HAL (Human Assistive Limb); which is a cyborg-type robot that can expand and improve physical capability.

When a person attempts to move, nerve signals are sent from the brain to the muscles via motoneuron, moving the musculoskeletal system as a consequence. At this moment, very weak biosignals can be detected on the surface of the skin. “HAL” catches these signals through a sensor attached on the skin of the wearer. Based on the signals obtained, the power unit is controlled to move the joint unitedly with the wearer’s muscle movement, enabling to support the wearer’s daily activities. This is what we call a ‘voluntary control system’ that provides movement interpreting the wearer’s intention from the biosignals in advance of the actual movement. Not only a ‘voluntary control system’ “HAL” has, but also a ‘robotic autonomous control system’ that provides human-like movement based on a robotic system which integrally work together with the ‘autonomous control system’. “HAL” is the world’s first cyborg-type robot controlled by this unique Hybrid System.

The HAL exoskeleton is currently only available in Japan, but the company says it has plans to eventually offer it in the European Union as well. The company will rent (no option to buy at this time) the suits for about $1,300 per month (including maintenance and upgrades), according to the company’s site.

The Sarcos XOS

The XOS, is the latest and arguably most advanced exoskeleton in existence, developed by one-man idea factory Steve Jacobsen and the engineers at Sarcos, a robotics company he started in 1983 that was recently purchased by the defense giant Raytheon. Sounds familiar to Iron Man ? The film follows a prolific inventor named Tony Stark who builds a robotic suit of armor that grants him fantastical abilities. The Sarcos XOS exoskeleton is made of a combination of sensors, actuators and controllers, and can help the wearer lift 200 pounds several hundred times without tiring, the company said Wednesday in a press release. The company also claims the suit is agile enough to play soccer and climb stairs and ramps.

The major challenge has been engineering a power source that will power the robot from four to 24 hours. Right now the Exoskeleton can’t operate that long without being plugged into some external power source, but the engineers are working on making it completely self sustaining.

The HULC from Lockheed Martin

The HULC Human Universal Load Carrier exoskeleton from Lockheed Martin is designed to augment the strength and endurance of soldiers; it transfers the load to the ground using powered titanium legs. The HULC is a completely un-tethered, hydraulic-powered anthropomorphic exoskeleton that provides users with the ability to carry loads of up to 200 lbs for extended periods of time and over all terrains. Its flexible design allows for deep squats, crawls and upper-body lifting. There is no joystick or other control mechanism. The exoskeleton senses what users want to do and where they want to go. It augments their ability, strength and endurance. An onboard micro-computer ensures the exoskeleton moves in concert with the individual. Its modularity allows for major components to be swapped out in the field. Additionally, its unique power-saving design allows the user to operate on battery power for extended missions. The HULC’s load-carrying ability works even when power is not available.

Based on the Berkeley Lower Extremity Exoskeleton (BLEEX), a DARPA robotics engineering project that is designed to help foot soldiers carry more supplies for longer distances this is an upgrade of sorts. The user straps the exoskeleton legs onto his own, and puts on a backpack with an engine, control system and space for materiel. The robotic device could also assist other professionals, like firemen carrying heavy equipment. The HULC powered suit runs on li-ion batteries at present. Though it allows a soldier to march easily with a load of 200lb, it normally runs flat after just a few hours – significantly less if any jogging or running is done. But Lockheed believe that a fuel cell powered version could go for days on one fill of juice. Even better, it would offer power sockets for all the wearer’s other electronics, meaning that spare – or even, perhaps, primary – batteries could be left behind. Lockheed Martin have said that fuel-cell firm Protonex will “develop power supply concepts that will enable the HULC™ robotic exoskeleton to support 72+-hour extended missions.

Honda Experimental Walking Assist Device

Back to Japan again to look at the Experimental walking assist device (no real fancy name here). The Honda Experimental Walking Assist Device is a robot exoskeleton for the legs, designed to reduce the strain of walking for the elderly and those with mobility problems. Essentially a chair with legs, the Honda exoskeleton allows users to sit down in a saddle-like seat and strap their feet into two shoes attached to artificial limbs. The seat supports a portion of the wearer’s body weight, reducing the strain to joints in the knees, ankles and hips.

The exoskeleton, which comes in small, medium and large sizes, weighs about 14.3 pounds (6.5 kilograms). The user secures it with a belt around the hip and thigh, then straps into a pair of shoes connected to it. A seat fits between the wearer’s legs like a mini saddle. The device is powered by a lithium ion battery that lasts about two hours between charges, as long as the wearer isn’t walking faster than 2.8 miles per hour (4.5 kilometers per hour).

The company used the same approach to develop the walking assist device as it did to create the gait of its ASIMO humanoid robot—which walks in a bit of a crouch, as if trying to avoid hitting its head against something.

MIT Exoskeleton

Designed to use less power and weigh less than similar robotic devices, the exoskeleton developed in Cambridge, at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, is another wearable robot for the lower body. The purpose of the exoskeleton is to help people with heavy loads to carry on their backs (hikers, soldiers, students with too many physics textbooks) lighten the load.

Unlike other robotic exoskeletons, which can require up to 3,000 watts to power, the MIT exoskeleton only requires one watt. However, the device does interfere with the wearer’s normal walking motion, which causes the user to expend more oxygen than he or she would without the device.

The person wearing the M.I.T. exoskeleton places his or her feet in boots attached to a series of tubes that run up the leg to a backpack. The exoskeleton, powered by a 48-volt battery pack, uses an onboard computer, weighs 11.7 kilograms (about 26 pounds) and requires two watts of electrical power during loaded walking. The device fits parallel to the legs, transferring payload forces from the back of the wearer to the ground. The exoskeleton system includes elastic energy storage elements at the hip and ankle, and a variable-damping mechanism at the knee.

Not today really but tomorrow for sure

Iron Man has been thriving in comics for more than four decades, but this is Hollywood’s first go at the story. And the timing couldn’t be better. Not only is Iron Man—a hero born of pure engineering—the perfect idol for our gadget-obsessed era, but for the first time since the character appeared, the suit is more than just an illustrated dream. Although these amazing inventions are just leading the way towards a full blown suit, if you however want make one immediately, you can make a papercraft Iron Man Suit, like it is shown here.

All reference sources from wikepedia here.

5 artificial organs getting better by the day – Repo Men

Just watched the trailer for the Movie Repo Men, the movie which features a futuristic world that deals with Artificial Organs and the cost that people pay to get them. Not only is it monetary cost but also  a lot more. Check out the trailer below.

While watching the trailer I though well lets go out and have a look at the available advances in artificial organs now. As it is I had written about the Pacemaker powered by the heart itself before and wanted to move on from there to see where the brilliant minds of our worlds are going towards. I guess you can use the link above and get to the pacemaker powered by the heart so I will not really go there. Artificial body parts are here today, but they still have a long way to go before they can rival our original equipment.  I guess a replacement of this sort gives birth to the term Cyborg. I am sure we all can remember the days of Robo Cop and Terminator.

Heart

Artificial Hearts today can be made only for a temporary usage. Internal artificial hearts such as the AbioCor (pictured above) exist today, but because of the tendency to form stroke-inducing blood clots, they’re limited to heart patients waiting around for organ transplants. The race is on for a permanently implantable artificial heart, and French transplant specialist Alain Carpentier says his model will be ready for clinical trials by 2011, and for actual use as an alternative to heart transplants in 2013. He already has a prototype, using electronic sensors and made of chemically treated animal tissues that he calls pseudo-skin.

Scientists are aiming for a miniaturized artificial heart controlled by minuscule processors that determine how quickly the heart needs to beat. It will be equipped with sensors that detect artery blockage and will notify its patient and the doctor of any impending malfunctions. Maybe it will even be able to do those notifications via Twitter.

Liver


Today: liver assist devices. Of the 16,000 people waiting for liver transplants, there are only about 6,500 transplantable livers available each year. Unlike the movie Repo Men, there are currently no implantable artificial livers, but researchers are developing ELAD, an Extracorporeal Liver Assist Device that resides outside the body. Mimicking a normal liver, it cleanses the blood of toxins and waste, and produces albumin and clotting factors. It’s not all artificial, though, with the secret sauce inside being “immortalized human liver cells,” interlaced with tiny tubes through which the patient’s blood flows. The current technology offers a temporary replacement for the liver while a awaiting a donor. Boston company HepaLife (shown above) is working on a “bioartificial” liver using a proprietary line of liver stem cells. Once the patient’s blood is separated into plasma and blood cells, a external bioreactor unit with those stem cells inside can reduce levels of toxic ammonia by 75% in less than a day.

BioEngine’s implantable hybrid system uses liver stem cells grown on a special three-dimensional framework of micro tubing running through the cells. The ultimate goal is to create a complete implantable liver replacement.

Hand


Today’s artificial hands have come a long way from the days of when people had capped off hands and artificial Jaipur Limbs as they were known in India. Using what’s called myoelectric linking, the prosthetic limb picks up electrical impulses from remaining muscle fibers on the arm, transmitting those impulses to articulating fingers and a thumb. They’re attached to the stub by suction, belts or cuffs, and some can be expensive, costing upwards of $35,000. More reasonably priced is the i-Limb, an $18,000 artificial hand with articulating fingers and thumb, each with its own motor.

Scientists are working out on a SmartHand which is a bioadaptive hand that can actually feel. Its 40 sensors communicate back and forth directly with the brain using nerve endings in the arm. The hand sends its sensory input to the brain, and the brain sends instructions for movement to the hand. The result? It can pick up a plastic water bottle without crushing it, or pour a drink without spills. You ask why is this an issue, well artificial limbs cannot think how the grip should be hard or a feather touch. Researchers are also working on permanently implanting an artificial hand directly to the bone in the arm, a process called “osseointegration.” That will eliminate much of the inconvenience and discomfort currently associated with artificial limbs. Further improving the experience will be smaller and more efficient batteries, and lifelike materials that will more closely resemble real skin, and be capable of more accurate communication between hand and brain.

Lungs


About the closest you’ll get to an artificial lung today is a clunky heart-lung machine next to your hospital bed. These ECMO (extracorporeal membrane oxygenation) machines are designed for temporary use, while a patient recovers from infections or trauma. The MC3 BioLung is a soda-can-shaped implantable device that uses the heart’s pumping power to move blood through its filters. It’s designed to work alongside a natural lung, exchanging oxygen from the air with carbon dioxide from the bloodstream. So far, it’s been tried on sheep, where six of the eight animals on the BioLung machine survived for five days. Human trials are expected within the next couple of years.

The future shows Artificial heart/lung. Scientists are concentrating on a dual-function device that pumps blood and oxygenates it at the same time, similar to an internal heart/lung machine.

Eye

Nearsighted or farsighted? Wear glasses or contact lenses, or get some laser surgery. Missing an eye? Glass eyeballs have been around for centuries. There’s no cyborg eye available yet, but there certainly is a lot of research going on. The Argus II Retinal Prosthesis is deep into its research phase, and it works with a tiny camera, a video processor worn on the belt, and 60 electrodes implanted on the optic nerve. So far, all it creates is a murky image where only patterns of light and dark are visible. The experimental procedure costs $100,000 and might be covered by insurance. If it’s not? Pay up, or look out for the Repo Men.

Work is now underway for special contact lenses that give you superpowers. Beyond that (I’m speculating here), as the camera/optic nerve link is perfected, resolution will be much sharper, way beyond the vision of a hawk. Infrared vision, panning and zooming, night vision and telescopic vision will be possible. The link between eye and brain could be also used for video viewing and hyper-realistic simulations. Maybe a small eye could be implanted in the back of the head, simulating the unique capabilities of my third grade teacher.

[ source ]

Pimp up your car with the new AR Windshield

I love technology, Augmented Reality is a favorite technology of the future and like a lot of people around the world I am insistent that it is going to be as big as technology can get. Companies are slowly realizing the potential of this platform as not just a great marketing and advertising tool, or a toy, but a definitive tool to help bridge the virtual and real world. Proof of the above statement is now car manufacturers are looking at making the technology available through Heads Up Displays on the windshield. Yes you read that right, AR is coming soon to a car near you. Well beofe we see what is available, lets see what it can look like ?

General Motors has been working with several universities to develop a working next-generation heads-up display that turns an ordinary windshield into an augmented reality information dashboard. Such a system can improve safety and advance knowledge behind the wheel, visually identifying important objects in physical space like road signs and the edges of the road you’re on in conditions of poor visibility. It can even bring GPS functions right into the dashboard by outlining the exact building you’re going to.

According to Technology Review, to turn the entire windshield into a display, GM used a special type of glass coated with red-emitting and blue-emitting phosphors–a clear synthetic material that glows when it is excited by ultraviolet light. The phosphor display is then activated by tiny, ultraviolet lasers bouncing off mirrors bundled near the windshield.  Three cameras mounted on the dashboard track the driver’s head and eyes to determine where she is looking.

The HUD windshield uses night vision, navigation and camera-based sensors to gather data relevant to your surroundings as you drive, and ultraviolet lasers project corresponding images onto the windshield surface. GM says to look for this system being incorporated into its vehicles in the near future.