The longest running smartphones on the market today last at best two days. Imagine if they ran for almost two weeks.
A group at the University of Tokyo School of Engineering led by professor Noritaka Mizuno, and working in cooperation with Nippon Shokubai Co Ltd. are developing a new manufacturing method which might substantially improve energy density in cars and as storage units for homes connected to a smart grid.
Using an “oxygen rocking” design, the team is confident their new storage technique should be capable of storing up to seven times the energy of traditional Lithium Ion cells, while maintaining a high degree of reliability and safety.
Of course like several of the other recent “exciting” scientific battery discoveries, this is still at the research phase. However developments like this should mean improved run time for our gadgets and vehicles is getting closer.
Well I for one welcome our robotic overlords…
Matthew E. Taylor, Allred Distinguished Professor in Artificial Intelligence at Washington State University has published a paper detailing a system where one computer can share information and processes with another computer. The first practical demonstration? Video games!
One system “taught” another how to play Pac-Man, and the “student” system was eventually able to surpass its “teacher”.
A system for delivering “advice” could be an exciting breakthrough, especially if these systems can share information and processes between computers with different hardware builds. Often a set of instructions wont work if you change hardware parameters.
If you’re worried about Skynet happening soon, Taylor had this to say:
“They’re very dumb.”
(via WSU News)
This is pretty trick.
So, if you run your finger across your phone or tablet, what are you likely to feel? Right, pretty much nothing but a smooth surface. Almost all of our interactions with modern tech require a heavy visual component. As we can’t feel where we are on the screen, we need to see where we are on the screen. As our screens are made out of glass (and soon more will be made out of sapphire) it’s fairly unlikely we’ll be able to make morphing screens commercially viable any time soon.
What if we didn’t need to shape shift the screen though?
A team at Disney is working on a method of tactile feed back which works on vibration. We’re all used to very basic haptic feedback. You hit a key on your virtual keyboard and a tiny buzz from the vibrator in your phone let’s you know something has happened. These researchers are taking that to another level.
Scanning an image or a video, contours and edges are given values. As a finger is run across the image on the screen, those values correspond to more and less powerful vibrations. Those tiny pulses tied to image data essentially feed tactile info to our brains, and we think we’re touching actual edges, bumps, and contours.
This information can even be delivered in real time via a device with camera, allowing users to touch a live video feed. There are any number of potential applications from aid to the sight impaired, to improving feedback for touchscreens in automobiles, to adding new dimensions to video game play. It’s fascinating research.
Check out the video from Disney below. SCIENCE!
Now the science of this is just a touch above my pay grade, but this is apparently a proof of concept for the use of ionic conductors to carry electrical charge instead of electrons. These ionic conductors can be soft, stretchy, and completely transparent, things most electronics aren’t good at doing. This breakthrough could open all kinds of doors for “soft” electronics, and as the human body uses ions to transfer information (think signals from nerves to the brain and heart), we could be looking at the beginnings of better bio-engineering. A new generation of artificial organs and limbs could be on the horizon.
As it stands now, we have one really interesting commercial application on display in the attached video. Speaker systems which are completely transparent. Might not be a ton of practical application for such a design, but I’m sure there are folks out there who would prefer their audio set up blended in with the more modern aspects of their home’s interior decor.
I guess we might see a new industry arise featuring “Consumer Ionics” instead of electronics?
(via Harvard Gazette)