Monthly Archives: April 2010

Japan eyes ‘mind-reading’ devices, robots by 2020

from Physorg:

Japan plans to develop “mind-reading” robots and consumer electronics that can be controlled by thought alone and hopes to market them within a decade, the Nikkei daily reported Thursday.

The sci-fi like devices would employ so-called brain-machine interface technology, which analyses users’ brain waves and brain blood-flow patterns detected through sensor-mounted headsets.The envisaged devices would include television sets that can be operated without lifting a finger and mobile phones that send text messages composed purely through thought, the business daily said.

New metamaterial first to bend light in the visible spectrum

from PopSci:

Researchers at the California Institute of Technology have engineered a metamaterial with a refined 3-D structure that gives light a negative refraction index upon entering the material.

Put another way, it bends light the opposite way one might expect, irrespective of the angle or polarization of incoming light waves. Put yet another way: We’re getting closer to that invisibility cloak we’ve been looking for.

Can computers read?

from The Brown and White:

Professors Henry Baird and Daniel Lopresti are taking steps to answer this question. Their research of OCR (optical character recognition) software is slowly bridging the gap between artificial intelligence and artificial perception.

According to Barid, OCR technology is centered around “trying to get computers to see things the way we do” – to be able to read, translate and understand written documents just like humans.This is more difficult than it sounds, however, and OCR technology is far from perfect.

As of now, OCR machines can read clean texts written in Western languages effectively. However, problems occur when documents are handwritten, dirty, noisy, old-fashioned or low-quality.

New car is steered with your eyes, not hands

from Associated Press:

Tired of spinning that steering wheel? Try this: German researchers have developed a new technology that lets drivers steer cars using only their eyes.

Raul Rojas, an artificial intelligence researcher at Berlin’s Free University, said Friday that the technology tracks a driver’s eye movement and, in turn, steers the car in whatever direction they’re looking.

With LIDAR, Smart turbines can predict the wind

from green futures:

Smart turbines that can predict changes in air current could dramatically boost the efficiency of wind power. Existing turbines are designed to rotate into the wind and adjust their blade angles, but this only tends to happen periodically – whereas wind conditions are often much more changeable.

But a laser-based equivalent to radar, called LIDAR, will make it possible to monitor wind speeds up to 200 metres away from the turbine, says Torben Mikkelsen of the Risø National Laboratory for Sustainable Energy, Denmark.

MIT looks at “Computing beyond Silicon”

from MIT’s Technology Review:

It is inevitable that eventually Moore’s Law will fail–at least for silicon technology. Further miniaturizing silicon transistors to fit more of them on a microchip will become impossible, or at least too expensive. Researchers are anticipating that day by developing alternative materials such as gallium arsenide, graphene, and carbon nanotubes.

The hope is that transistors made from these materials will be smaller, faster, and more energy efficient than anything that could ever be made from silicon. “We need to add more materials to the toolbox,” says Michael Mayberry, director of components research at Intel.

Exhibitors showcase latest glasses-free 3D display, e-paper technologies at Finetech Japan 2010

from Digitimes:

Color e-paper and 3D glasses-free display products were a major attraction at the just concluded Finetech Japan 2010 in Tokyo.

Newsight showcased a series 3D displays requiring no glasses, including a 70-inch model for public display applications. The company claimed that the 70-inch model was the largest 3D display in the world.

Bridgestone displayed a 13.1-inch touchscreen 4,096-color e-paper enabled by color filter (CF).