research

Sony demos projector that makes any table interactive

Sony demos projector that makes any table interactive

Although primarily aimed at film, music, and interactive media, SxSW has also become a prime opportunity for some companies to show off products and ideas that lie at the intersection of technology and the arts. Sony has already pre-announced that it would indeed be at the event, showing off some rad prototypes like the "N" from its newly announced Future Lab. Apparently, it wasn't the only head turner from the company, which might have been this "smart projector" that turns any flat surface into an interactive table.

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Stanford researchers create tiny synchronized robots that can pull a car

Stanford researchers create tiny synchronized robots that can pull a car

Researchers at Stanford University have created tiny robots that are able to work in a synchronized form to pull a much larger object. A team of six of the tiny robots that weight a total of 3.5 ounces were able to pull a car that weighs in at 3,900 pounds. The idea is rather like the swarms of nanorobots that were featured in the animated film "Big Hero 6".

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Microsoft’s Project AIX uses Minecraft for AI research

Microsoft’s Project AIX uses Minecraft for AI research

Games and artificial intelligence have always gone hand in hand. AI has permeated all kinds of non-trivial games, even going as far back as the original Pac-man arcade game. Now, computer scientists are turning the tables around, sort of. More and more researchers are actually using games to fuel and aid artificial intelligence research, most of the time by beating the game. But Project AIX from Microsoft Research is doing something different with Minecraft. It is using the open, world building game to let an AI learn how to climb a mountain. Without falling into a pool of lava.

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Samsung’s SXSW C-Lab showcase: Hum On!, Waffle, Entrim 4D

Samsung’s SXSW C-Lab showcase: Hum On!, Waffle, Entrim 4D

At the beginning of the year, Samsung showed off a few of its employees' experimental products at CES 2016 under the company's Creative Lab, or C-Lab, program. That included a smart belt, a smart wristband, and a virtual reality "handle bar" controller. At SXSW, the company revealed a few more ideas that, if turned into actual products, could be pretty interesting. For example, the Hum On! app can turn any hum or voiced tones into a musical piece. Waffle makes social networking an even more social and collaborative process, while Entrim 4D gives VR users a sense motion delivered through their ears.

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Mars probe departs this week on joint European-Russian study

Mars probe departs this week on joint European-Russian study

As part of the ExoMars 2016 mission, a new unmanned spacecraft will be departing for Mars on Monday thanks to collaboration between the space agencies of Europe and Russia. The European Space Agency (ESA) notes that the probe is heading to the red planet to study its atmosphere and dust storms, and to get there it will be riding atop a Russian Proton rocket.

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New reptile species discovered with 250 million year old fossil

New reptile species discovered with 250 million year old fossil

A team of scientists have discovered a fossilized reptile skull dating back 250 million years, revealing not only evidence of a new species, but connections to the origins of dinosaurs as well. The skull, found by paleontologists from universities in Brazil and the UK, is well-preserved and features a number of serrated teeth, and is said to have survived a mass extinction event that occurred roughly 252 million years ago, eradicating 90% of life on Earth.

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Researchers discover plastic-eating bacteria

Researchers discover plastic-eating bacteria

Plastic waste floats around the ocean as massive islands of garbage, it kills wildlife and destroys environments. Scientists have been scrambling for a solution to the growing problem, and now a team of Japanese researchers may have found a solution: plastic-eating bacteria. The researchers discovered a type of bacteria that feeds on polyethylene terephthalate (PET) plastics, one of the most commonly used varieties around the globe.

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Ford creates dedicated Smart Mobility subsidiary for auto future

Ford creates dedicated Smart Mobility subsidiary for auto future

Ford hasn't been shy in exploring self-driving cars and new transportation options, and now the company is setting up a whole new business, Ford Smart Mobility, to focus on that. The new subsidiary will look at the possibilities beyond Ford's current car, SUV, and truck manufacturing, with a startup attitude that the automaker suggests will make it quicker to react to market opportunities and in embracing technologies.

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Polaris from MIT could substantially speed up web pages

Polaris from MIT could substantially speed up web pages

The Web is in a sort of a rat race. While Internet connections get faster, web sites are getting more and more complicated, balancing, even negating, those speed improvements. A few tech companies, particularly Google, strive to introduce technologies as well as best practices to help speed up the Web, but those solutions are usually limited to specific browsers or specific circumstances. A new project from MIT called "Polaris", however, is aiming for a browser-agnostic method that could make web pages load as much as 34% faster.

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New Harry Potter-like invisibility cloak lets you fly under the radar

New Harry Potter-like invisibility cloak lets you fly under the radar

The ability to turn invisible is something that has shown up in various works of fiction for a very long time. Bilbo Baggins had his magic ring that could hide him from prying eyes, and Harry Potter had his dad's invisibility cloak. One group of scientists have been working hard on a material that can hide objects from being detected, and today they've announced a breakthrough in their work.

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Scientists study ancient lizards encased in 99 million year old amber

Scientists study ancient lizards encased in 99 million year old amber

Scientists are studying chunks of amber that have been discovered that have ancient lizard specimens encased inside. The lizards have been inside the amber for about 99 million years and the 12 specimens were discovered in the forests of a region now known as Myanmar. The specimens show a diverse population of lizards living in the region at the time.

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New quantum computer could mean trouble for encryption

New quantum computer could mean trouble for encryption

The FBI and the Justice Department might still be at an impasse with Apple, but technology could give it the break it needs in a distant future. In a paper published in the Journal Science, researchers from MIT and Austria's University of Innsbruck have revealed that they were able to not only design but also build a quantum computer that only needs five atoms to factor the number 15. But equally important is the claim that the design is completely scalable, allowing for the addition of more atoms to factor numbers of much larger magnitudes.

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