Watch this : Do you really need to switch off your phone on the plane ?

All mobile phones these days come with a “flight mode” and when you put this on to flight mode, all connections that transmit or receive are turned off. Be it WiFi or Bluetooth, GSM, GPRS all the modes of communication are closed off and are kept as a feature for usage by companies as many airlines insist on switching these off especially during take off and landing. Not only do they ask passengers to turn off connections they also insist on switching off these days. On my recent trip to India, flying on Emirates, I found myself telling a fellow passenger to switch off his phone as well and had a bit of an argument with him as well.

Nokia Mobile Phone

Emirates is quite a progressive airline allowing people to make and receive calls during flights but even they insist these ceremonies during take off and landing. Once I landed in Dubai and when I have started to look back at the trip I am beginning to think if it is actually required to switch off phones, not just take them to “flight mode” even in this day and age.

Before I present my justification, I think you all should see this video :

First things first most airlines including Emirates Airlines do not really understand the “flight mode” in mobile phones, considering that Android is the most popular Operating Phones these days and Android has the flight mode feature since the early inceptions of the OS, it is clear that Airlines need to pay attention to this setting, considering it was made for them.

Secondly a search trying to find if the mobiles actually cause disruptions in the signal of the sophisticated commercial airliners to today, comes up with some interesting conclusions, here is what I found out. Logic says that Airlines would not let us carry phones if it did, take the scenario that liquids over 100 ml could be mixed to make explosives, so they don’t let us carry more than 100ml. If this was the case with cell phones, they would not have let us carry these. Instead, an arbitrary set of rules established by the FAA and extended by the airlines prohibits iPods during takeoff, but explicitly allow electric shavers to be used during flight.

What about the regulations ? 

The governing body for Airlines and Airports, IATA mentioned in a study commissioned in 1993, suggested that airlines prohibit the use of personal electronic devices during takeoff and landing, despite a lack of evidence that these gadgets had caused a single accident.

In Nov 2009, the Federal Airlines Authority (FAA) of the US again mentioned in an immediate release that “there is insufficient information to support a wholesale change in policies that restrict use of PEDs.” The actual rule from FAA on this is here :

§ 121.306   Portable electronic devices.
(a) Except as provided in paragraph (b) of this section, no person may operate, nor may any operator or pilot in command of an aircraft allow the operation of, any portable electronic device on any U.S.-registered civil aircraft operating under this part.
(b) Paragraph (a) of this section does not apply to—
(1) Portable voice recorders;
(2) Hearing aids;
(3) Heart pacemakers;
(4) Electric shavers; or
(5) Any other portable electronic device that the [airline] has determined will not cause interference with the navigation or communication system of the aircraft on which it is to be used.
(c) The determination required by paragraph (b)(5) of this section shall be made by that [airline] operating the particular device to be used.
[Doc. No. FAA–1998–4954, 64 FR 1080, Jan. 7, 1999]

The FAA has since approved the use of Wi Fi inside the planes, and also for communicating with Airports and control towers, the frequencies of which (2.4 Ghz) have a similar effect. So based on which your iPhone or Nokia might crash the plane but not your laptop using WiFi ??

The other reasoning 

The other reasoning is that people do not pay attention to the announcements that the crew is making, or the captain is making during take off or landing and thus is a danger eventually. Well I should say good point there, but this should be forced on to your screens at the back of the seat anyway like what Emirates and other carriers do. How are we to trust someone telling us that reading a iPad document during takeoff is dangerous as we stare across a field of EMI-spewing LCD seat-back screens? Or the pilots wearing the digital watches on their wrists much closer to all the gadgets.

Another justification seems that there are those who don’t switch off even after saying it, so everyone should switch off everything. But well if there is no proof that people using these gadgets can cause a risk, then well it should not matter now does it.

The last one seems more like it, people do not want to listen to other people rant even if it means to a loved one. People want to fly and read or reflect on their thoughts when they do so. So if its a way to  “Shut up and fly” then well that is something understandable.

My verdict after reading this : Its a Dumb rule

More interesting Read : 

Teach your parents tech, the Google way

With the internet and websites evolving, it is getting more easier to keep in touch with loved ones. Email, IM, twitter, and these days even Facebook. We tend to give tech as gifts these days to our loved ones these days, but sometimes we find that our parents and some children are really still struggling to catch up with the amount of tech we are used to, and it would become difficult for them to still work on basic tasks on computers, while using the computer or phone.

Well, Google to the rescue like always. And no I am not asking them to Google whatever they want. Google has set up a new initiative called teach parents tech where they have uploaded a lot of videos of how to actually go about doing simple computer tasks, tasks we feel are easy but some technologically challenged people find difficult. Yes I used the words technologically challenged and no I dont think its a real phrase. Getting back to Teach parents Tech, the initiative I believe is excellent, from changing wallpapers on your windows based computer right though to Web, Media, Finding Information and Communication. The best part is that you can customize a letter for them and select the videos that they are going to love to learn from.

Once you send your personalized email they can view the personalized playlist on YouTube with instruction videos. I guess there is not much left to say, but send it to those technologically challenged friends of yours, or that family member that asks for too many tech support questions. The website header itself says “Send your parents a TECH SUPPORT care package

On the down side, if you receive one of these emails, well that just means you know what your friends really think of you. Here are some video samples of the training that you can send.

How to create a strong password

How to copy and Paste

How to make text bigger or smaller

How to stop getting a newsletter

How to make calls from your computer

How to Chat

How to check spellings

I am sure that once the Android platform gets more famous, it will become more apparent that many people might need some help with it as well, and guess what I will be waiting for a new how to video channel for them as well.

Check out : Teach Parents Tech

Science Experiments at home ? YouTube to the rescue

YouTube is just great, I know when you I say something like that, people usually think, its a Google product, so of course I love it. Yes, I do think its awesome not just because its a Google product (Its a part though) but also cos I think the wealth of resource available on YouTube is nearly unmatchable. In fact, for the sake of How to videos I think YouTube is the best place. For professional looking videos there is Vimeo, which is the video equivalent of Flickr for pictures; but amateur videos, how to videos, guides and music videos, YouTube is just fantastic.

Growing up all of us had chemistry and physics in school, even some experimentation learning as part of the curriculum, but not all of us took that passion forward. When I joined engineering, there were more experiments and lab works that were part of college, and they were interesting as well. However, as we grew older the joy of learning was replaced with the pain to score marks. An in this race, the engineering course which is supposed to create an inquisitive mind in all of us has nearly lost its charm in India. Having said that I do know of a lot of kids who still like to ahead and try some experiments, and these kids are from all ages I might add. That includes, Ryan, my cousin. Interestingly, YouTube will provide them with all the information they need for experiments like this.

Here are some examples of some of the experiments that are available on YouTube. I should say these really did impress me, with the simplicity and the ease of trying them at home.

Psychedelic colors with Milk

Fire Proof Balloons

Invisible Ink with Milk

Crazy Baloons

Create a Lemon Battery

If you do look around YouTube, these are the simplest of the experiments that you will be able to do at home. If you are trying, please let me know.

 

The future gadgets for DJ’s is here – from YouTube DJ to Gadgets

Last weekend I was at a party at Ajman, where a Ryan, a friend was the DJ and me was telling how the laptops have made DJing so much more fun. Instead of carrying a case full of CD’s like earlier DJ friends used to now he just need to ensure that the laptop is working and powered. This would usually mean that he has more than his collection of music for the parties he goes to. DJ’s these days have so many tools available on the laptops to enable to perform complex tasks they used to perform with analog machines a while back, except it used to be more difficult earlier. Now the focus seems to be on making the music better than worry about the technicalities.

Ryan also mentioned how improvements are happening all the time, and as promised he also shared the link of an awesome DJ video showing the Emulator for the DJ kits. I am sharing the video below, that was shared by Ryan. Anyway, moving from the video showing the ultracool touch screen DJ, I thought it would be worth while to look at other possible developments in this field, now with the Weekend here you might just spot some of these on your weekend clubbing spree.

The List of things that I am putting up is going to be some hardware, geek food, and also some software to try and convert you into a YouTube DJ. First things first, some YouTube videos of awesome fuuristic DJ equipment:

A little more scouting on Google shopping leads more results as well, check it here. After the gadgets now, here is the turn to get your self prepared into a YouTube DJ. Well not always is it convenient to carry all your kit around and at those times it might be awesome if the entire collection of music be available to you at any time. The internet is the biggest storage for music and imagine if you could DJ with that collection, and by becoming a YouTube DJ you could do just that.

StreamDrag

StreamDrag allows you to create playlists of music that is available on YouTube.

You don’t have to register for an account to use the site, but the advantage of signing up for a free account is being able to save multiple playlists. Search for your favorite songs and add them to your playlist. Once you’ve got your playlist up and running, you can share specific songs with your friends on Facebook, Twitter, StumbleUpon and Delicious.

MuzakBox

MuzakBox takes a simpler approach by essentially creating the playlist for you. You choose the artist you want to listen to and MuzakBox does the rest – pulling all of the songs from YouTube into one list. Of course if you’re the kind of person who gets bored listening to one artist for too long, MuzakBox isn’t the ideal choice for you.

YouTube Music Player addon

Firefox users can benefit from the YouTube Music Player Addon. Once installed, a new menu item will be available in your browser where you can access all of the YouTube Music Player controls, from searching, to add songs to your playlist, to playing them. Accessing these controls opens up the addon in a sidebar in your browser. Search for songs and add them by right-clicking the results.

Once a song has been added to your playlist it is highlighted in red. YouTube Music Player is jam-packed with features, allowing you to create and save multiple lists, preview videos before adding them to your list by hovering over the specific search result, and giving you full control of playback with shuffle and repeat settings. Playback settings can be accessed from the Firefox menu, from the status bar, or from the small window that opens displaying the video itself.

YouTube jockey

YouTube Jockey is a slick Adobe Air app which allows you to create one playlist at a time. Search for and add songs to your playlist, and then you can choose whether or not to display the video as it plays. Don’t worry – there is nothing you have to do to save your playlist – it will automatically be saved for you to return to when you open the app. While it’s great to have a cross-platform desktop app that allows you to easily create YouTube, being able to create and save multiple playlists would make it even better.

MIT’s NETRA system brings the system to the optometrist

For those of you who would not know, NETRA in most Indian Languages means Eyesight, A few months back I had shared a concept of few guys trying to give a new vision to change the world, quite literally when scientists came out with oil filled glasses which were of course a bit revolutionary, However there might be a need still to do a check if the person needs some corrective glasses. And while looking for Innovative Applications for my new Nexus One, I stumbled upon the new breakthrough from MIT Labs, a new device out of MIT Media Lab’s Camera Culture group utilizes one of the most rapidly proliferating technologies in the developing world – mobile phones – to make the diagnostic process of refractive errors of the eye, including nearsightedness, farsightedness, astigmatism, and age-related vision loss, both affordable and accessible to underprivileged populations. NETRA (Near-Eye Tool for Refractive Assessment) uses a phone’s LCD display and intelligent software to administer a quick, effective and accurate vision test that patients can perform at home.

There are two standard ways of determining a patient’s corrective eye wear prescription. One involves looking through a large, clunky device fitted with various lenses swung before the eye until the one that produces the clearest image is found. The other shines a laser into the eye, using an array of tiny lenses to measure the patient’s vision characteristics. But in the developing world, access to these diagnostic systems is both extremely limited and prohibitively expensive.

Continue reading MIT’s NETRA system brings the system to the optometrist

Browser wars – Speeding up

A few weeks back Google Chrome came up with the video of a different kind to showcase their browser speed, the video was not only different in complete Google style, but also innovative. They used a high speed camera to film various sequences against the speed of the browser. This was for the launch of the Chrome version 5.0. Here, Google has tested the speed of its Chrome browser against lightning, sound and a potato cannon, all in 2700fps slow motion. Just watch it.

The video and the making of the video is here below. The innovative nature of the video made me think initially that it was not really a serious video but might have been a sort of a spoof, but then when looked closely it did actually highlight the speed of the browser at hand. Now, Opera has joined in in making a similar video.

Continue reading Browser wars – Speeding up

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.

Iron Man 2 and a leap in technology

With Iron Man 2 set to release in just under 2 weeks worldwide and this weekend here in the middle east (YES its releasing early here), I thought it might be worthwhile to check what technologies are available today and what we can achieve in terms of building a real Armor Suit. This would also be of interest to people who would have played the overly successful Halo series and Crysis games. The main concept of the ExoSkeleton has been in games for a long time and has been successfully accepted by all worldwide. So until I am able to finish up a post with this am going to leave you with the trailer and  a few stills from the movie.

Some Stills

One of the coolest features of the new Iron Man movie is that there are more than just one … yes ofcourse. added attraction of Scarlett Johannson as Black Widow makes the whole movie even more interesting. But as a technology stand point the coolest feature seems to be the Portable Iron Man suit. Check out a clip from the movie with the Suitcase Suit.

I am working on a feature to cover how to make a real Iron Man Suit with available technologies. We can recap at some of the close technologies from the first Movie as well. Coming Soon :)

Building the Emirates 777 in 90 Seconds

Living in Dubai, Emirates Airline and staff and crew of the Airline are people that everyone knows and identifies with. From giant multi million deals for the Airbus A380 or its now standard Boeing 777, emirates is on track to become on of the biggest airline companies in the world. In fact according to many sources online Emirates is now the largest operator of its flagship Boeing 777. As a person living around the Airline (Construction of Airports) I would like to showcase the construction of one of the worlds most used aircraft.

The video features some awesome and cool infographic sort of information overlay on the video, taking this one step ahead I would also want to showcase some of the amazing and really interesting additions to the Aircraft.

  • Fly By Wire : In designing the 777 as its first fly-by-wire commercial aircraft, Boeing decided to retain conventional control yokes rather than change to sidestick controllers as used in many fly-by-wire fighter aircraft and in many Airbus airliners. Along with traditional yoke and rudder controls, the cockpit features a simplified layout which retains similarities to previous Boeing models. The fly-by-wire system also incorporates flight envelope protection, a system which guides pilot inputs within a computer-calculated framework of operating parameters, acting to prevent stalls and overly stressful maneuvers. This system can be overridden by the pilot in command if deemed necessary.
  • Fully Software Configurable Avionics : It comprises electronic systems for use on aircraft, artificial satellites and spacecraft, comprising communications, navigation and the display and management of multiple systems. It also includes the hundreds of systems that are fitted to aircraft to meet individual roles; these can be as simple as a search light for a police helicopter or as complicated as the tactical system for an airborne early warning platform. But to have these systems to be completely software configurable would take a lot of trust and in turn, lot of work into the Avionics software.
  • All Glass cockpit Flight Display : Pioneered by Honeywell, the Honeywell LCD all glass cockpit flight display brings large, clear, full-color liquid crystal display (LCD) units into the cockpit to help meet today’s requirements for enhanced features and situational awareness. With the first certification of the all-glass cockpit in the Boeing 777 using active matrix liquid crystal displays, the Boeing 777 and Honeywell have crossed an important landmark in cockpit design.
  • Electronic Flight Bag : Electronic Flight Bag (EFB) is an electronic information management device that helps flight crews perform flight management tasks more easily and efficiently with less paper. It is a general purpose computing platform intended to reduce, or replace, paper-based reference material often found in the Pilot’s carry-on Flight Bag, including the Aircraft Operating Manual, Flight Crew Operating Manual, and Navigational Charts (including moving map for air and ground operations). In addition, the EFB can host purpose-built software applications to automate other functions normally conducted by hand, such as performance take-off calculations.
  • First use of a fiber optic avionics network on a commercial airliner.

These amazing innovations in the aviation industry will make very interesting times ahead. So before closing the post I would like to leave you all with another Emirates video, this one is actually the project that I worked with, the Dubai International Airport, Terminal 3.

7 most watched Youtube videos of All time – have you seen them yet ?

On the 5th Birthday of YouTube, this is my tribute to the website that in a way changed various norms. Before YouTube the only way to embed videos in webpages was the clumsy plugins of windows media player or a java applet both of which would make the browsing slow and painful.

With the advent of YouTube the average person was able to get their ’15 minutes of fame’ as such. Well it was not always the best thing, but Youtube continues to be a very big part of entertainment online. With Ads now, YouTube might be heading towards a profitable video sharing site. I dont think I should wait too long for the top 12 videos. So here goes :

7 : Susan Boyle on Brtan’s Got Talent : 80,242,967 views

6 : Paul Potts sings Nessum Dorma : 83,177,947 views

5: Hahaha (Laughing Baby) : 83,601,744 views

4 : Charlie Bit My Finger – 93,843,443 views

3 : Jeff Dunham – Achmed the Dead Terrorist – 111,802,673 views

2 : Avril Lavigne – Girlfriend – 119,147,269 views

1: Evolution of Dance – 130,781,819 views

Although there will be many video sites online. Youtube now Google’s baby will always be knows as a path breaker and innovator in video sharing online.

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.

New Invention for Sleep at Airports

The airport Industry is considered the peak in commercial automation in terms of the technologies in use, of course there is Industrial Automation, Military Automation as the other parts or you could say peaks. But in Commercial Automation, working on an Airport is like working on a Spacecraft. The airports often throw up technologies and or gadgets that may in fact one day move into daily life a few examples of these would be travelators, escalators, and image recognition through security cameras etc. I am working on the Dubai Airport expansion project and recently came across this interesting little device from the consultants who have designed the Dubai Airport, Airport De Paris International (ADPi) that they have installed in the Paris Airport as a sample.

Sleep Machines, that allow people to sleep or rest while they wait for flights these seem like amazing machines. It looks just right, the perfect place to catch up on your sleep between long flights. We like its clever design, with sheets that are automatically changed by winding from one roller to another, just like a conveyor belt. Each Sleep Box is decked out with an LCD display, Wi-Fi, a place to stash your luggage, and plenty of sockets for charging up your laptop and cell phone. Sure beats sleeping in a chair. Check out the pictures of the same here below and also the video below.