research

“Transparent cockpit” AR could fix driver blind spots

“Transparent cockpit” AR could fix driver blind spots

Who says augmented reality is just for games or entertainment? The same ideas and technologies that allows us to superimpose virtual images onto real objects in almost realistic fashion could very well save lives in the future. Take, for example, this "transparent car" concept from researchers from Keio University in Japan, a system that could potentially work around drivers' blind spots, letting them see crucial information that are otherwise occluded to them by doors, windows, ceilings or floors, giving them the details that they need to make that life-saving decision.

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Virgin Galactic crash investigation finds early aero oddity

Virgin Galactic crash investigation finds early aero oddity

Virgin Galactic's SpaceShipTwo unexpected deployed its "feathering" system shortly before crashing, the National Transportation Safety Board investigators have said of the incident on Friday last week, which saw one pilot killed and another seriously injured. "About nine seconds after the engine ignited, the telemetry data told us that the feather parameters changed from lock to unlock," NTSB acting chairman Christopher Hart revealed during a press briefing today, something which took place on the fateful test flight at Mach 1.0 - the speed of sound - but which should not have happened until around Mach 1.4.

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China recovers its first unmanned spacecraft to return from moon

China recovers its first unmanned spacecraft to return from moon

Saturday saw China recover its first spacecraft to take part in an experiment of flying to the moon and returning. While the craft didn't actually land on the surface, as that's what this mission was practice for, it did successfully fly around the moon on an eight-day trip, marking the first time in almost 40 years that an unmanned ship returned to Earth after making a lunar rotation.

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Virgin Galactic’s Branson vows “the dream lives on”

Virgin Galactic’s Branson vows “the dream lives on”

Sir Richard Branson, founder of Virgin Galactic, has spoken publicly on the crash of SpaceShipTwo, promising to not only figure out what brought down the craft during a test flight last week, but hopefully continue working toward the dream of space tourism. The incident, on Friday, saw SpaceShipTwo explode over the Mojave desert in California during a test of the new engine, killing one pilot in the process and leaving the other with major injuries. Second explosion of a private space endeavor in the space of a week, it has renewed questions around commercial space flight.

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Virgin Galactic’s SpaceShipTwo crashes in engine test [Update]

Virgin Galactic’s SpaceShipTwo crashes in engine test [Update]

Virgin Galactic's SpaceShipTwo has crashed during today's test flight, with the high-speed rocket plane coming down east of Mojave. Virgin Galactic first confirmed an incident had taken place via Twitter, with a terse message saying the space plane "has experienced an in-flight anomaly," and promising additional information on the situation to follow. According to local reports, which also confirmed the crash, there has been one fatality and one injury, with SpaceShipTwo itself in pieces on the Californian desert.

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Scientists develop “decoder” that transcribes thoughts

Scientists develop “decoder” that transcribes thoughts

Not much in this world is private any more, but your thoughts -- specifically the ones you think but don't speak -- are the one thing you can be certain stays private. That certainty mightn't be so strong in the future, however, with a team a researchers revealing that they've successfully decoded volunteers' unspoken thoughts. The work was done by researchers at the University of California, Berkeley, who hope the technology can one day be used to give a voice to individuals who aren't able to speak.

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This 45,000-year-old leg bone will change how old you think we are

This 45,000-year-old leg bone will change how old you think we are

A paper has been published by scientists at the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology in Leipzig which shows the results of their decoding of a set of genes from a 45,000-year-old modern human male from Sibera. It'd be enough to noteworthy that this man was nearly twice the age of the otherwise eldest modern human whose genome was sorted, but there's another point to be had, as well. This leg bone not only has modern human genes, but Neanderthal as well.

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Gogoro teases big battery plans for smarter city travel

Gogoro teases big battery plans for smarter city travel

Power: it's something none of us can do without, both the enabling and limiting factor of everything from smartphones through to electric vehicles, and it's ripe for a revolution. Hoping to lead just that is Gogoro, startup brainchild of former HTC innovation chief Horace Luke and Matt Taylor, and coming out from the shadows today to share a few early hints about its plans "to transform energy distribution" within smart cities. I caught up with Luke to find out more, curious at indications that some new power system potentially for EVs could be on the cards.

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Fizzing apples are now a thing thanks to science

Fizzing apples are now a thing thanks to science

3D printed food. Space-aged whiskey. And now, apples that fizz in your mouth straight from the tree. Such is the marvelous world we live in, where scientists dedicate their brilliance to making things once dreamed of in books. Thanks to Lubera, a Swiss fruit company, you'll soon be able to get your hands on a new variety of apple called the "Paradis Sparkling", which feels like a carbonated juice beverage when eaten. The fruit took years to get perfect, says the makers, who are now selling saplings to interested gardeners.

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Ardbeg space-aged whiskey returns to Earth

Ardbeg space-aged whiskey returns to Earth

Back in 2011, a most unusual experiment was started, one that would appeal to both the connoisseurs and the imbibers among us: whiskey aged in space. The experiment was the brainchild of NanoRacks LLC, a US-based space research firm that approached Scotland-based Ardbeg Distillery about sending some vials of terpenes into space, something they agreed to. Fast forward to early 2012, and it was announced that the vials of materials were shipped to the International Space Station via a Russian cargo flight, where they'd been sitting until just recently.

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