Science


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Gates-backed Lumotive upends lidar conventions using metamaterials

Pretty much every self-driving car on the road, not to mention many a robot and drone, uses lidar to sense its surroundings. But useful as lidar is, it also involves physical compromises that limit its capabilities. Lumotive is a new company with funding from Bill Gates and Intellectual Ventures that uses metamaterials to exceed those limits, perhaps setting a new standard for the industry. The company is just now coming out of stealth, but it’s been in the works for a long time. I actually met ...
Tags: Accelerator, Automotive, Gadgets, Hardware, Robotics, Science, TC, Transportation, Autonomous Vehicles, Bill Gates, Intellectual Ventures, Lasers, Lidar, Self-driving Cars


Here's an Incredibly Slick and Surprisingly Affordable Way To  Convert Paper Drawings Into Digital Files

One day, the idea of making marks on sheets of flattened tree guts to share ideas with others will be laughable. But for now, the experience of writing or drawing on a piece of paper still feels more natural than it does on a glass or plastic tablet. Moleskine’s new Adobe Creative Cloud connected Paper Tablet strives…Read more...
Tags: Art, Gadgets, Science, Adobe, Writing, Tech, Moleskine, Illustrator, Wacom, Consumer Tech, Adobe Illustrator, Adobe Creative Cloud Connected Paper Tablet


The Most Exciting Update to Dyson's New Cordless Vac Is...  a Battery Meter?

If something runs on batteries, you’ll find a battery meter somewhere on it. Your smartphone, your vape; even batteries themselves can tell you how close they are to dying. So why am I excited about Dyson’s inclusion of a redesigned battery meter on its new V11 cordless vacuum? It finally alleviates the anxieties of…Read more...
Tags: Gadgets, Science, Tech, Appliances, Dyson, Vacuums, Consumer Tech, V11


Dyson's Daylight Tracking Lamp Matches the Light Outside So You Don't Feel Like Such a Shut-In

We’ve spent decades bathed in the glow of artificial light, but it’s only recently that we’ve started to realize our bodies are naturally tuned to the sun, and exposure to the fake stuff can throw off sleep schedules and even damage our eyes. Dyson, which has re-engineered everything from vacuums to hair dryers, is…Read more...
Tags: Gadgets, Science, Tech, Dyson, Lighting, Lamps, Consumer Tech


Intel and Cray are building a $500 million ‘exascale’ supercomputer for Argonne National Lab

In a way, I have the equivalent of a supercomputer in my pocket. But in another, more important way, that pocket computer is a joke compared with real supercomputers — and Intel and Cray are putting together one of the biggest ever with a half-billion-dollar contract from the Department of Energy. It’s going to do exaflops! The “Aurora” program aims to put together an “exascale” computing system for Argonne National Laboratory by 2021. The “exa” is prefix indicating bigness, in this case 1 qu...
Tags: Gadgets, Science, Hardware, Government, China, Tech, Intel, Ibm, Supercomputers, Department Of Energy, Aurora, Cray, Argonne National Laboratory, Argonne National Lab


Tiny claws let drones perch like birds and bats

Drones are useful in countless ways, but that usefulness is often limited by the time they can stay in the air. Shouldn’t drones be able to take a load off too? With these special claws attached, they can perch or hang with ease, conserving battery power and vastly extending their flight time. The claws, created by a highly multinational team of researchers I’ll list at the end, are inspired by birds and bats. The team noted that many flying animals have specially adapted feet or claws suited to...
Tags: Gadgets, Science, Hardware, Tech, Artificial Intelligence, Drones, Yale, Robotics, Biomimetic, Science Robotics, Biomimesis, Kaiyu Hang Ximin Lyu Haoran Song Johannes, Stork Aaron M Dollar Danica Kragic, Fu Zhang


Opportunity’s last Mars panorama is a showstopper

The Opportunity Mars Rover may be officially offline for good, but its legacy of science and imagery is ongoing — and NASA just shared the last (nearly) complete panorama the robot sent back before it was blanketed in dust. After more than 5,000 days (or rather sols) on the Martian surface, Opportunity found itself in Endeavour Crater, specifically in Perseverance Valley on the western rim. For the last month of its active life, it systematically imaged its surroundings to create another of its ...
Tags: Startups, TC, Gadgets, Space, Science, Hardware, Government, Nasa, Mars, Opportunity, Mars Rover, Jpl, Mars rovers, Perseverance Valley


Garmin Hopes People Will Pay Thousands for a Smartwatch If It's Pretty

Garmin has a solid track record when it comes to making smartwatches that don’t look like smartwatches. Its Vívomove HR manages to completely hide its smart capabilities under a non-descript analog face. Inspired by feature-packed watches from company’s like Breitling and Omega (and the big prices they command), the…Read more...
Tags: Gadgets, Wearables, Science, Tech, Smartwatches, Garmin, Omega, Consumer Tech, Marq


Fitbit's Newest Inspire Fitness Trackers Fail To Do Just That

Despite what wearables makers would have you think, it’s not just all smartwatches. There’s still a place for the humble fitness tracker. For starters, they’re much cheaper than smartwatches, provide accurate fitness tracking, have better battery life, and are perfectly adequate at delivering push notifications. This…Read more...
Tags: Gadgets, Wearables, Science, Fitbit, Fitness Trackers, Consumer Tech, Fitbit Inspire Hr Review


Samsung's All-Wireless TV Concept Is the Real Cordcutting Solution I Want

There are a few ways to hide or camouflage the bundle of cables that hang from most wall-mounted TVs—power, HDMI, etc.—but none are as truly invisible as the wireless technology that was recently revealed in a patent Samsung filed with the World Intellectual Property Office in March of last year. It eliminates cables…Read more...
Tags: Gadgets, TV, Science, Television, Samsung, Tech, Patents, Televisions, Cords, Consumer Tech, Wireless Power, World Intellectual Property Office


Co-Inventor of the World's First Handheld Electronic Calculator Dies at 86

Jerry Merryman, one of three people at Texas Instruments credited with inventing the world’s first handheld electronic calculator in the 1960s, died at a Dallas hospital on February 27. Merryman was 86 years old.Read more...
Tags: Gadgets, Science, Inventions, Prototypes, Obituaries, Dallas, Calculators, Ti, Texas Instruments, Cal Tech, Nobel Prize, Jerry Merryman, Merryman, Pocketronic, Vintage Gadgets, Jack Kilby


The Durable Glass Bendy Phones Need Could Be Years Away

I’ve loved the idea of folding gadgets ever since Arthur C. Clarke talked about flexible “SoftScreens” in books like, The Light of Other Days. A device that can be folded and crumpled without breaking? That’s my idea of the perfect gadget, and while the bendy Samsung Galaxy Fold and Huawei Mate X seem like they bring…Read more...
Tags: Gadgets, Science, Samsung, Tech, Smartphones, Arthur C Clarke, Huawei, Consumer Tech, Corning, Gorilla Glass, Willow Glass, Royole, Royole Flexpai, Galaxy Fold, Samsung Galaxy Fold, Mate X


Koala-sensing drone helps keep tabs on drop bear numbers

It’s obviously important to Australians to make sure their koala population is closely tracked — but how can you do so when the suckers live in forests and climb trees all the time? With drones and AI, of course. A new project from Queensland University of Technology combines some well-known techniques in a new way to help keep an eye on wild populations of the famous and soft marsupials. They used a drone equipped with a heat-sensing camera, then ran the footage through a deep learning model tr...
Tags: TC, Gadgets, Science, Hardware, Australia, Tech, Artificial Intelligence, Drones, Conservation, Queensland, Machine Learning, Uavs, Endangered Species, Koalas, Computer Vision, Koala


This Cheap Robot Vacuum Isn't Super Flashy, But It Gets the Job Done

Even though they’re still kinda dumb, robot vacuums happen to be the most successful type of home robot right now. But a couple of years ago, they were too expensive for the average person, and budget options tended to be hilariously awful. They’d miss obvious dust bunnies, crash into furniture, and get hopelessly…Read more...
Tags: Gadgets, Science, Smart Homes, Anker, Consumer Tech, Robot Vacuums, Eufy, Robovacs, Eufy Robovac 35c Review


Prototype prosthesis proffers proper proprioceptive properties

Researchers have created a prosthetic hand that offers its users the ability to feel where it is and how the fingers are positioned — a sense known as proprioception. The headline may be in jest, but the advance is real and may help amputees more effectively and naturally use their prostheses. Prosthesis rejection is a real problem for amputees, and many choose to simply live without these devices, electronic or mechanical, since they can complicate as much as they simplify. Part of that is the ...
Tags: Health, TC, Gadgets, Science, Hardware, Microsoft, Tech, Robotics, Prosthetics, Medtech, Lausanne, EPFL, Amputees, Prosthesis, Artificial Limbs, Silvestro Micera


The Toys of the 1980s Are Making a Major Comeback This Year

Blockbusters like the Star Wars trilogy, as well as unregulated TV advertising to kids, helped the ’80s churn out some of the most memorable toys of all time. Thirty years later, the ’80s are enjoying a renaissance thanks to shows like Stranger Things, and toymakers are happy to resurrect and hawk classic collectibles…Read more...
Tags: Gadgets, Toys, Science, Video Games, Tech, Retro, Nostalgia, Consumer Tech, Toy Fair, Toy Fair 2019


Samsung's Doing Everything It Can to Make the Galaxy Fold's Crease Invisible

Samsung’s upcoming Galaxy Fold flexible smartphone-slash-tablet isn’t without tradeoffs. For one, it might be way thicker when folded than virtually any other modern smartphone—potentially as thick as a Nintendo Switch—while the way it folds is pretty awkward. And like its competitor the Huawei Mate X, it has a big…Read more...
Tags: Gadgets, Science, Technology, Samsung, Smartphones, Nintendo, Foldable, Mwc 2019, Samsung Galaxy Fold, Huawei Mate X


Ubiquitilink advance means every phone is now a satellite phone

Last month I wrote about Ubiquitilink, which promised, through undisclosed means, it was on the verge of providing a sort of global satellite-based roaming service. But how, I asked? (Wait, they told me.) Turns out our phones are capable of a lot more than we think: they can reach satellites acting as cell towers in orbit just fine, and the company just proved it. Utilizing a constellation of satellites in low Earth orbit, Ubiquitilink claimed during a briefing at Mobile World Congress in Barcel...
Tags: Startups, TC, Gadgets, Mobile, Verizon, Space, Spacex, Science, Hardware, Barcelona, Nasa, Earth, Mobile World Congress, Death Valley, Miller, Jpl


Samsung Will Announce the Future of Galaxy Phones Today—How to Watch Live

Mobile World Congress starts in Barcelona, Spain, next week, and ahead of all the announcements from that show Samsung’s pointing the spotlight at itself today by announcing the Galaxy S10, at least a couple of other variants, and possibly even the company’s much-hyped folding mobile device. Here’s how to watch it all …Read more...
Tags: Gadgets, Science, Congress, Samsung, Events, Tech, Smartphones, Galaxy, Consumer Tech, Barcelona Spain, Samsung Unpacked, Galaxy S10, Galaxy F, Infinity Flex, Galaxy Sport, Galaxy Buds


These hyper-efficient solar panels could actually live on your roof soon

The clean energy boffins in their labs are always upping the theoretical limit on how much power you can get out of sunshine, but us plebes actually installing solar cells are stuck with years-old tech that’s not half as good as what they’re seeing. This new design from Insolight could be the one that changes all that. Insolight is a spinoff from the École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne, where they’ve been working on this new approach for a few years — and it’s almost ready to hit your roof....
Tags: Gadgets, Science, Hardware, Tech, Solar Power, GreenTech, Cto, EPFL, École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne, Solar Cells, Ackermann, Insolight, Mathiu Ackermann


Watch the historic first private mission to the Moon launch Thursday night

For the first time later this week, a privately developed moon lander will launch aboard a privately built rocket, organized by a private launch coordinator. It’s an historic moment in space and the Israeli mission stands to make history again if it touches down on the Moon’s surface as planned on April 11. The Beresheet (“Genesis”) program was originally conceived as an entry into the ambitious but ultimately unsuccessful Google Lunar Xprize in 2010, which challenged people to accomplish a luna...
Tags: Google, TC, Gadgets, Space, Science, Hardware, China, Israel, Tech, Nasa, Earth, Moon, Robotics, Seattle, Spaceflight, Cape Canaveral


Baby's First Game Boy Teaches Your Kids the Joys of Gaming With Physical Buttons

Unless you’re a staunch advocate for your kids having zero screen time, at some point you’re going to distract them with a mobile device. But instead of putting your expensive, fragile smartphone in their hands, LeapFrog’s new RockIt Twist is like a baby’s first Game Boy that makes gaming more accessible with a bunch…Read more...
Tags: Gadgets, Gaming, Toys, Science, Video Games, Tech, Consumer Tech, Toy Fair, Leapfrog, Toy Fair 2019


I Actually Have a Chance of Solving This Motion-Sensing Rubik's Cube Handheld That Gives You Hints

Did the Rubik’s Cube, one of the world’s most deceptively simple puzzle games, need to be turned into a handheld gaming device? I initially thought Super Impulse’s new Rubik’s Tilt game was a gadget the world didn’t need, but it turns out there’s one feature a cube-solving amateur like myself is happy to finally have:…Read more...
Tags: Gadgets, Toys, Games, Science, Tech, Puzzles, Consumer Tech, Rubiks Cube, Toy Fair, Super Impulse, Toy Fair 2019, Rubiks Tilt


Deploy the space harpoon

Watch out, starwhales. There’s a new weapon for the interstellar dwellers whom you threaten with your planet-crushing gigaflippers, undergoing testing as we speak. This small-scale version may only be good for removing dangerous orbital debris, but in time it will pierce your hypercarbon hides and irredeemable sun-hearts. Literally a space harpoon. (Credit: Airbus) However, it would be irresponsible of me to speculate beyond what is possible today with the technology, so let a summary of the ...
Tags: Startups, Gadgets, Space, Science, Hardware, Earth, Airbus, Robotics, Space Junk, Space Debris, Moby Dick, Queequeg, Harpoons


That Toilet Paper Spitball Blaster Gets a Much-Needed Rapid-Fire Upgrade

Despite being one of the many poop-themed, gross-out toy reveals at last year’s New York Toy Fair, Jakks Pacific’s toilet-paper shooting Skid Shot turned out to be a fun alternative to traditional toy blasters that just shoot foam ammo. For 2019, Jakks is releasing an improved version called the Sheet Storm that fixes…Read more...
Tags: Gadgets, Toys, Science, Toilet Paper, Toy Fair, Blasters, JAKKS Pacific, Skid Shot, Toy Fair 2019, Spitballs, Sheet Storm, New York Toy Fair Jakks Pacific


This Tiny Pac-Man Game Is the Size of a Credit Card

Super Impulse’s Tiny Arcade line—a series of four-inch-tall fully playable arcade cabinets—is a fun way for ‘80s kids to relive their childhoods spent stuffing quarters into arcade machines. But for those times when you’re away from your desk and get the itch for Pac-Man or Missile Command, Super Impulse has created a…Read more...
Tags: Gadgets, Toys, Science, Video Games, Tech, Credit Card, Retro, Consumer Tech, Super Impulse, Microarcade, Missile Command Super Impulse


DARPA wants smart bandages for wounded warriors

Nowhere is prompt and effective medical treatment more important than on the battlefield, where injuries are severe and conditions dangerous. DARPA thinks that outcomes can be improved by the use of intelligent bandages and other systems that predict and automatically react to the patient’s needs. Ordinary cuts and scrapes just need a bit of shelter and time and your amazing immune system takes care of things. But soldiers not only receive far graver wounds, but under complex conditions that ...
Tags: Apple, Health, TC, Gadgets, Science, Hardware, Government, Medical, Tech, Artificial Intelligence, Darpa, Medtech, Paul Sheehan, BETR


Dandelion Energy, the Alphabet X spinout, raises another $16M led by GV and Comcast

As tech companies continue their race to control the smart home, a promising energy startup has raised a round of funding from traditionally-tech and strategic investors, for a geothermal solution to heat and cool houses. Dandelion Energy, a spinout from Alphabet X, has raised $16 million in a Series A round of funding, with strategic investors Comcast Ventures leading the round along with GV, the investment arm of Alphabet formerly known as Google Ventures. Lennar Corporation, the home building...
Tags: Apple, Amazon, Energy, Fundings & Exits, TC, Gadgets, New York, Science, Hardware, America, Tech, Comcast, Smart Home, Geothermal Energy, Comcast Ventures, Maguire


Amazon Eats Eero

Up until about a few minutes ago, Eero’s mesh networking system was our recommendation for filling a large home with reliable, fast, and easy to use wifi. But now that Amazon has just announced it’s acquiring the company, it might not be a bad idea to put your wi-fi upgrade plans on hold until we see what Bezos has in…Read more...
Tags: Amazon, Gadgets, Science, Tech, Wifi, Mesh Networking, Consumer Tech, Bezos, Eero, Amazon Eats Eero


This Ridiculous Slow-Motion Racing Game Penalizes the Speedy

Even awkwardly tripping and stumbling on a throw rug would look super cool when played back in slow motion, as YouTube channels like The Slow Mo Guys have shown us time and time again. But with Hasbro’s new The Slow-Motion Race Game players don’t need a $100,000 high-speed camera to create a slow-motion effect; just…Read more...
Tags: Gadgets, Toys, Games, Science, Tech, Hasbro, Slow Motion, Board Games, Consumer Tech, Toy Fair, Slo Mo, Toy Fair 2019, The Slow Motion Race Game



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