Highway in Calgary uses Bluetooth from cellphones to track the speed of traffic [#location]

This Highway Tracks Random Bluetooth Signals To Estimate Travel Times
"The city of Calgary, Alberta has recently installed a $400,000 traffic monitoring system on a stretch of highway known as the Deerfoot Trail. And to track the movement and progress of vehicles it monitors the Bluetooth signals coming from mobile phones, headsets, or built-in entertainment systems. Fifteen sensors in total, spaced out along the route, keep track of various Bluetooth device’s MAC addresses so they know how long it takes vehicles to travel certain distances. And using special algorithms Bluetooth signals from pedestrians or other stray sources are ignored, allowing the system to calculate a fairly accurate real-time estimate of drive times which are displayed to drivers via signage."
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via Gizmodo

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Scientists make flexible blocks of graphene by copying the structure of cork [#nanotech]

Scientists copy structure of cork to produce 3D blocks of graphene
"Employing a process known as freeze casting, the scientists were able to replicate those qualities in 3D blocks made of chemically-modified graphene. Not only were those blocks very electrically-conductive, but they were also lighter than air, could support 50,000 times their own weight, and were elastic to the point of being able to recover from over 80 percent deformation. “We’ve been able to effectively preserve the extraordinary qualities of graphene in an elastic 3D form, which paves the way for investigations of new uses of graphene – from aerospace to tissue engineering,” said Li."
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via Gizmag

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Jewellery created by picking a point on a map [#infographics]

Personal Stories Of Love And Travel, Told In Data-Driven Jewelry
"While the original Facet style connects the dots, Radial focuses instead on a single location–and was actually conceived as a roundabout response to customer feedback. “Some people were disappointed when their travels ended up in something very ‘boring,’ like a line or a triangle,” Hwang says. “They felt sad that their personal stories didn’t look beautiful, and, of course, that was never our goal.” The new system creates a sprawling motif centered around a particular place, all contained within a perfect circle."
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via Co.Design

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Small, circular, flexible LCD display could be used in contact lenses [#displays]

Curved LCD could be used for displays in contact lenses
"Normally, flexible displays using liquid crystal cells are not designed to be formed into a new shape, especially not a spherical one,” explained Jelle De Smet, the main researcher on the project. “Thus, the main challenge was to create a very thin, spherically curved substrate with active layers that could withstand the extreme molding processes. Moreover, since we had to use very thin polymer films, their influence on the smoothness of the display had to be studied in detail. By using new kinds of conductive polymers and integrating them into a smooth spherical cell, we were able to fabricate a new LCD-based contact lens display"
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via Gizmag

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Augmented reality projection system fits in a lightbulb socket [#AR]

A Light Bulb with a Computer and Projector Inside from the MIT Media Lab Augments Reality
"Linder’s system uses a camera, a projector, and software to recognize objects and project imagery onto or around them, and also to function as a scanner. It connects to the Internet using Wi-Fi. Some capabilities of the prototype, such as object recognition, rely partly on software running on a remote cloud server. LuminAR could be used to create an additional display on a surface, perhaps to show information related to a task in hand. It can also be used to snap a photo of an object, or of printed documents such as a magazine. A user can then e-mail that photo to a contact by interacting with LuminAR’s projected interface."
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via MIT Technology Review

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MOB app encourages people to meet in public spaces [#location]

MOB: An iPhone App To Promote Social Spontaneity
"Yelp will find me a good pizza place. Foursquare will show me who I know that eats there. Meetup might inform me if there’s a cooking class nearby within the week. But what if I just want to meet some people today for lunch? MOB (Moments Outside the Box) is an iPhone app that wants to bring group spontaneity into our lives. With a few taps, anyone can create an event, placed right on a shared city map. And with a few more taps, anyone can join it."
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via Co.Design

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Smartphone fluid-filled buttons only appear when they’re needed [#input]

A Shape-Shifting Smartphone Touch Screen
"Tactus Technology, a startup in Fremont, California, is prototyping touch-screen hardware with buttons that emerge when you need the feel of a physical keyboard and disappear when you don’t. The approach, in which a fluid-filled plastic panel and cylindrical fluid reservoir replace the usual top layer of glass, is among a crop of emerging technologies aimed at adding tactile feedback to make screens feel like old-fashioned keyboards."
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via MIT Technology Review

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Civo is a dating app that connects you very tentatively with others [#dating]

Civo Gives Strangers A Friendly Place For “Visual Conversation”
"Founder Wei Shu, former director of corporate development at Renren (often referred to as “the Facebook of China”), describes the experience as a “visual conversation” with partners around the world. Users paired with one another can browse photos, upload their own images in response or leave brief private messages. No personal information (except for your gender) is divulged to partners unless you want to share it."
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via TechCrunch

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Researchers supress bad or rewarding memories in the brain [#memory]

Researchers find way to suppress certain types of memories
"Using a rat model, neuroscientists at Western University’s Schulich School of Medicine & Dentistry found that they could completely prevent the recall of both aversive and reward-related memories by stimulating a sub-type of dopamine receptor called the “D1” receptor in the prefrontal cortex. Importantly, unlike the process used in Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind that permanently erased certain memories, the Western University team’s approach only controls the spontaneous recall of the aversive and reward-related memories, leaving the actual memory intact."
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via Gizmag

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Battery that generates its own energy through movement [#power]

Hybrid self-charging power cell by-passes batteries
"They have developed a self-charging power cell that directly converts mechanical energy to chemical energy. The cell stores the power until it is released as an electrical current. By creating a generator-storage cell, they have eliminated the need for systems using a separate battery or generator, reducing the amount of weight and space normally required to accommodate devices for generating, storing and delivering energy for people on the move."
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via Gizmag

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