Stanford materials scientist Eric Appel and his brother-in-law—Jesse Acosta, formerly a fire prevention forester for the state of Hawaii, now at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo—infused medical gels with fire retardants in an attempt to mitigate wildfires. The result? An environmentally safe gel that acts as a delivery medium for longer-lasting protection against flames, unlike current flame-retardant solutions, which quickly blow away.
A new Biotechnology Solution Could be the end of Plastic
A unique combination of spider silk and wood fiber discovered by researchers at Aalto University and VTT could hold the solution to the age-old material engineering challenge of achieving strength and extensibility at the same time.
Biophilic Design Benefits Students, Even in Schools with Tight Budgets
Long before the term ‘biophilia’ entered the scientific lexicon in the 1970s, it served as an innate design practice. In Hellenistic Greek and Roman architecture, open-air courtyards functioned as the center of the home, providing a calming respite with fresh air, natural light, and views of nature. Though few homes today are built around secluded outdoor oases, biophilic elements enable designers to create similarly stimulating and restorative spaces in built environments, ultimately improving the health and wellness of those within them.
Although it may seem like it, Facebook can’t yet read your thoughts, but the company’s Research Lab is making progress into getting inside your brain using infrared. In collaboration with the University of California in San Francisco, Facebook has run recent experiments analyzing brain activity in real-time.
The Electric Scooter Wars Are Fully Charged
Lyft has joined the likes of services such as Uber and Bird who have been integrating their vehicles into cities like Washington D.C. Coming later to the game has the advantage of working out the kinks from the other services to create a better model.
Oslo Commits To Green Living With Wireless Taxi Charging
Norway already has the world beat when it comes to electric car ownership, but the Scandinavian country aims to go one step further by equipping the streets of Oslo with wireless electric charging infrastructure for taxis. The taxis will be charged through induction technology integrated into the street. This will help the city meet its zero-emission taxis by 2023 goal.
Soligami may sound like a delicious cured meat, but it's actually the next development in transforming windows into solar panels. While there are currently coatings that can generate solar energy from windows, they darken rooms and aren't particularly efficient. Soligami, developed by Australia-based design firm Prevalent, would hang like a drape and use unique origami-inspired folds to bounce light around across multiple panels, generating large amounts of energy.
Those Voices in Your Head Are Real and They're Coming from a Laser
We humans have come along way since the invention of the first telephone 170 years ago. We've got cell service and bluetooth, which allow us to receive audio signals from a distance and without a physical connection between the source and the receiver. Now, MIT scientists have obliterated the need for an intermediary like a smartphone or headphones all together with the invention of Whisper, a new kind of tech that delivers sound directly into the ear... with a laser.
The Future of Coral Reefs May Depend on Robot Fertilizers
"Living Coral" may be Pantone's 2019 color of the year, but the situation of real coral is quite dire. Warming global ocean temperatures threaten to totally destroy coral reefs and destabilize the marine ecosystems that they support. It's a manmade problem, and one scientist is proposing a manmade solution: LarvalBot, an underwater robot equipped to dispense heat resistant coral larvae over failing reefs.
Ever feel guilty about ordering delivery in the rain? No longer - Postmates is introducing “Serve” in Los Angeles; a little friendly-looking robot that’s waiting to replace your delivery guy. Serve can carry up to 50 pounds, “walk” at human walking speeds, and sports a pair of cartoonish eyes cute enough to make you feel bad about having it bring you a burrito during a rainstorm.
Retail is on the Verge of a Tech-Assisted Renaissance
For years we've been hearing all about the decline of brick-and-mortar shops, but it turns out that prediction just isn't true. Shopping isn't going full-on digital, but rather embracing a blend of physical and virtual opportunities. Big name brands like Walmart, Amazon, and Alibaba are turning to solutions like augmented reality, robots, and dynamic personalized ad displays in and out of physical stores to reinvigorate retail.
Holographic Co-working Product Lets You Attend a Work Meeting Without Getting Dressed
Tired of putting on a shirt just to face time into a meeting? Enter Spacial, an AR company developing a holographic co-working software that uses VR technology to essentially bring to life sci-fi hologram calls. Spacial currently focuses on creating hologram avatars, but has also piqued the interest of NASA for its 3D modeling capabilities. It might help space travel in the future, but right now Spacial helps you go to work without leaving the house.
In 2029, artificial intelligence will pass a Turing test and match human intelligence. By 2045, humans and AI will merge in an event called the Singularity. At least, that's what Ray Kurzweil, Google's director of engineering, says. But don't be so quick to write him off—since the 1990's, 147 of his predictions have come true, which is equivalent to an 86% accuracy rate.
The Fuzz Takes Flight
First it was predictive crime artificial intelligence. Now, police are taking to the sky, at least in Dubai. A California-based hover vehicle company called Hoversurf has gifted the Middle Eastern city's police force one unit for the time being, but if the officers prove capable of flying it more could be on the way.
Move Over Solar Panels, Solar Paint is Coming
Researchers at Australia's Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology have developed a new renewable energy solution in the form of solar paint. The paint can produce electricity through solar energy or by absorbing moisture out of the air, making it ideal for humid and arid climates. The researchers estimate that when the paint becomes commercially available it will be relatively cheap to produce.