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Bionic Hand Gives Amputee Touchy-Feely Sensations
February 06, 2014
An amputee was able to feel sensations in a prosthetic hand temporarily wired to nerves in his upper arm. Silvestro Micera, Ph.D., led a team of researchers in testing the bionic hand prototype last year. Dennis Aabo Sorensen, a Danish man who lost his hand in an accident nine years ago, was able to differentiate between the shape and consistency of six different objects.
Talking Cars Coming Down the Pike
February 04, 2014
The U.S. Department of Transportation on Monday announced it would move forward with a plan that would make car-to-car communication mandatory among light vehicles, a measure that could lead to safer roads. Vehicle-to-vehicle, or V2V, communication allows cars to share data including speeds and brake applications with nearby cars. That data can then help warn drivers about possible collisions.
Here Comes the Sun-Powered MacBook?
January 30, 2014
Apple wants to use natural energy sources to keep MacBooks powered while on the move. The company has won a patent for a laptop with a lid that features a second display, touch inputs and solar cells. The latter could help users keep their MacBooks' batteries topped up without having to plug in an external charger. Apple filed its application in 2010, and USPTO granted it this week.
This Is Your Game on Glass
January 29, 2014
Google on Monday announced that it had hacked together five simple games that take advantage of the unique features of Glass. The company presented a brief demo of the five-title mashup as Mini Games Glassware, and it encouraged Glass developers to offer feedback.Google emphasized that voice commands could minimize the time it would take a gamer to get into the action.
iPhone May See the World Through Different Lens
January 29, 2014
Smartphones have been steadily stealing shutterbugs from digital camera makers, but most of those converts are coming from the point-and-shoot snapper crowd. The next step is to target more sophisticated photographers who use cameras with interchangeable lenses. Apple appears to be getting ready for that battle. It just won two patents that would allow lenses to be attached to a mobile device.
Gear and Gadgets for Hitting the Slopes
January 29, 2014
Skiing technologies have undergone a revolution in recent years, with skis, gear and gadgets changing how a new generation experiences the sport. These new technologies are making skiing safer, greener and more connected. Rocker design is one trend that has been finding its way into the skiing world over the last several years -- with lift and curvature on both tips and tails.
Google Glass Now Available for Well-Heeled Explorers With Fuzzy Vision
January 28, 2014
Google is making Glass more accessible to consumers who need to wear prescription glasses or prefer to wear their Glass with shades. Its new Titanium Collection of frames can accommodate prescription lenses. There are four new styles of frames in the collection: Bold, Curve, Thin and Split. Google studied the eyewear industry and frame styles before selecting the designs.
Learn Robotics and Amuse Office Mates With uArm
January 28, 2014
UFactory's uArm, which is an Arduino-powered 4-axis parallel-mechanism robot arm created for personal desktop use, has blown past its $5,000 funding goal on Kickstarter with more than a month to go. Clearly, uArm has struck a nerve, generating more than $60,000 in pledges in just a handful of days. The uArm features a suction-cup base that will adhere to your desk.
Stratasys Makes 3D-Printed Objects Pop
January 27, 2014
Stratasys is planning to take 3D printing to a new level with the launch of the first color, multimaterial printer. The Objet500 Connex3 Color Multi-material 3D Printer offers design and manufacturing efficiencies and faster production of quality products, according to the company. Working in a similar fashion to a 2D inkjet printer, it uses three materials to produce different colors.
Google Buys DeepMind to Dig Deeper Into Data
January 27, 2014
News that Google is purchasing artificial intelligence company DeepMind for between $500 million and $650 million surfaced Monday. The first commercial applications of DeepMind are in simulations, e-commerce and games. "These are the areas most likely to benefit from -- and generate revenue from -- AI," aid Jim McGregor, principal analyst at Tirias Research.
Lenovo Rising, IBM Evolving
January 27, 2014
The new deal IBM and Lenovo announced last week showcases that the companies are on very different paths toward two widely divergent but equally powerful goals in what is a rapidly changing market. Lenovo is on a path to dominate the hardware side's second technology wave, while IBM is jumping to what may be the fourth technology wave. IBM dominated the first wave -- mainframes.
Glyph Mobile Theater Takes Kickstarter by Storm
January 24, 2014
Avegant's Glyph, which combines high-quality headphones with a retinal display for an all-in-one audiovisual device, has far surpassed its $250,000 Kickstarter goal since its Wednesday launch. The Glyph blew past its target within four hours, and by mid-day Friday had drawn $608,002 from 1,264 contributors. Backers who donate $499 or more earn a fully functional prototype of the device.
LG's G Flex Muscles Into US, Europe
January 21, 2014
LG Electronics has revealed initial plans for the rollout of its curved screen LG G Flex handset in the U.S. and Europe. Until now, the LG G Flex has been available only to consumers in Asia -- namely in LG's home market of Korea, as well as Hong Kong and Singapore. Sprint will sell the device in the U.S. beginning Jan. 31 through its online store and Feb. 7 at retail locations.
Moment Goes Big on Smartphone Camera Magnification
January 21, 2014
We love the functionality that comes with smartphone cameras, including inherent portability, powerful processors, and imaginative post-processing app solutions. However, what we supremely dislike -- with a vengeance -- are the little software-driven lenses that phone makers see fit to slap on the devices. Those horrible cheap lenses can in no way replicate larger precision ground-glass optics.
Christie vs. Clinton: What Would Watson Say?
January 20, 2014
IBM is putting a massive amount of resources into Watson, which has the capability to dramatically improve the quality of our decisions. Since most don't know how Watson works, I thought it would be interesting to emulate how it might think when tied to a topical subject. As the U.S. approaches its next election circus, two candidates have jumped to the top as both frontrunners and targets.
IBM Puts Its Faith in Watson
January 20, 2014
Pardon the pun, but there's nothing elementary about IBM's Watson Business Unit. IBM's Watson initiative takes cognitive computing to the head of the class. IBM last week announced it was committing $1 billion and 2,000 employees -- as well as its considerable research and development talents and marketing muscle -- to Watson. This puts the full weight of the brand behind the new business unit.
Google's Smart Contacts Could Save Diabetics a Lot of Pricks
January 17, 2014
Google is taking the wearable tech trend to a new level. The company has announced it is working on smart contact lenses that measure the level of glucose in one's body. Diabetes affects around one in 19 people in the world, many of whom struggle to control the levels of blood sugar in their bodies, Google said. Blood sugar imbalances can lead to issues with eyes, kidneys and hearts.
Microsoft May Breathe New Life Into Halo's Cortana AI
January 17, 2014
The hottest rumor for Microsoft Xbox Halo fans is that the voice and text-based virtual assistant service -- code-named "Cortana" and planned for release with Windows Phone 8.1 -- actually might be created with the real-life voice behind Cortana, Jen Taylor. There is no evidence to back up the rumor, but millions of Halo fans will be totally freakin' stoked if it's true.
InAiR Gives TV a Breath of Fresh AR
January 14, 2014
Forget second-screen TV viewing with a tablet or phone -- so-called second screens are a kludgy, old-school method of extending a show. What's new? SeeSpace InAiR: The World's 1st Augmented Television. InAiR is a Kickstarter project that intercepts your TV content stream, analyzes it, then reaches out to the Internet to grab relevant content, which it then displays in navigable layers on your HDTV screen.
Chevrolet Revs Up 2015 Corvette Z06
January 13, 2014
Chevrolet pulled off the cover on its 2015 Corvette Z06 at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit. Its new supercharged LT4 6.2L engine gets at least 625 horsepower and 635 pound-foot of torque. Though the engine is only around 1 inch taller than the Corvette Stingray's LT1 engine, it delivers nearly 37 percent more horsepower and 40 percent more torque.

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