Bionic eye

First advanced prototype revealed for the Australian bionic eye
“The system consists of a pair of glasses with a camera built in, a processor that fits in your pocket, and an ocular implant that sits against the retina at the back of the eye and electronically stimulates the retinal neurons that send visual information to the brain. The resulting visual picture is blocky and low-res at this point, but the technology is bound to improve, and even in its current form it’s going to be a major life-changer for those with no vision at all. And the future potential – even for sighted people – is fascinating.”
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Gizmag

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Controlling liquid

Setting droplets on a one-way street has huge implications
“By creating specific kinds of tiny structures on a material’s surface researchers can make a liquid spread only in a single direction. While this may not appear to be a momentous breakthrough it has important implications for a wide variety of technologies, including microarrays for medical research, inkjet printers and digital lab-on-a-chip systems. Up until now the designers of such devices could only control how much the liquid would spread out over a surface, not which way it would go. This new system changes that.”
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Gizmag

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Cheap tracking

Playing computer games with the blink of an eye
“Gizmag has covered similar technology before of course, this time though the team at ICL used off-the-shelf components costing around US$37, rigging up an infra-red sensor and a webcam to a pair of glasses to track the movement of a player’s eye and feeding the information to synchronization software on a laptop that translates it into onscreen paddle movement. Although the developed game is quite simple by today’s standards, because the technology is readily available and affordable it holds great promise for future application in devices to assist people suffering from limited movement.”
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Gizmag

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Gaming haptics

Tactile Gaming Vest Punches and Slices
“As conference participants steered their character in a shoot-em-up computer video game based on Half-Life 2, the vest variously smacked them and vibrated as they themselves got shot. Sometimes it smarted, depending on how tight the vest was on the user, or if the “shots” hit right on the collar bone. For me it was more like a series of surprise punches. Four solenoid actuators in the chest and shoulders in front, plus two solenoids in the back, give you the feeling of a gunshot, says Saurabh Palan, a graduate student who works on the project. In addition, vibrating eccentric-mass motors clustered against the shoulder blades make you feel a slashing effect as you get stabbed from behind.”
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IEEE Spectrum

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Video search

Look Sharp: Video Search Engine Helps Monitor Criminals, Employees and Consumers Alike
“3VR enables its users to search digital video by time, location, individual camera, motion, color and other characteristics. Hilton Americas has been testing 3VR’s technology since November, even using it to find lost luggage for hotel guests by sifting through surveillance video using colors and shapes as criteria, says John Alan Moore, the hotel’s director of security and life safety. Long investigations can  require Moore and his staff to put in several 16-hour workdays to solve. “Now we can do it in a day or day and a half,” he says. Each of the 3VR searchable video recording systems that Hilton Americas is installing has 16 cameras. In addition to providing security, the hotel wants to use the technology to monitor a number of other activities, Moore says. If a guest claims his car was damaged while parked in the hotel’s garage, Moore and his team will be able to determine whether the car left the garage at any time and in what condition, for example.”
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Scientific American

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Automated journalism

In the US, algorithms are already reporting the news
“Automated journalism can basically be understood as search algorithms programmed to look out for certain key findings. then to put them into a certain structure. For a report on a football game for example, the StatsMonkey calculates the narrative based on the numerical data. Using the score, the algorithm captures the overall dynamic of the game, highlights the key plays and key players, looks for quotes, and generates a text out of these elements. In addition, it configures an appropriate headline and a photo of the most important player in the game – and there goes a very rough sketch of a sports article.”
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guardian.co.uk

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Braille displays

Research points to full-screen braille reading possibilities
“Researchers at North Carolina State University have developed a concept called a “hydraulic and latching mechanism,” which would not only use a series of dots to represent letters and numbers, it would also translate images into tactile displays, effectively mapping pixels in an image and allowing the full-page Braille display to represent the images as raised dots.”
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Gizmag

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Virtual fashion

Augmented reality hits the catwalk
“It’s not unusual to see some bizarre and extraordinary creations at the London Fashion Show and this year Cassette Playa continued this fine tradition with a live augmented reality catwalk performance. CGI animations on screens behind the models on the catwalk were triggered by different symbols on the clothing being shown, transporting the audience into a rich, colorful digital world where the boundaries separating reality and the virtual are blurred.”
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Gizmag

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