technology

Audi’s Hackenberg future vision: tech, batteries, brains

Audi’s Hackenberg future vision: tech, batteries, brains

It is an exciting time for the automotive industry, with the convergence of different types of technologies ready to have cars zooming to the future. And Audi, naturally, is ready to face the future and make it real. That is the message that Prof. Dr. Ulrich Hackenberg, member of Audi's board for management for Technical Development, is giving out at the company's annual press conference. For the car maker, 2014 was the "year of technical milestones, tests and records." Hackenberg belives that 2015 and beyond will build on those lessons and turn them into technologies and products that will excite consumers.

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Equil Smartmarker transforms any surface into a smart surface

Equil Smartmarker transforms any surface into a smart surface

Everyone uses dry erase boards from schools to business presentations. Whiteboards are too ephemeral as the presenter always seems to be erasing the part we've just started reading. With Equil's smart technology, your whiteboard notes and drawings can last forever. Equil is adding to their line of smart pens with their new Smartmarker. Equil's Smartpen was designed for paper, but their Smartmarker can be used on any surface, especially whiteboards. Simply attach its magnetic base to the surface, and everything you write with the Smartmarker will be saved to its built-in memory.

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Liquid metal robots might be more than science fiction soon

Liquid metal robots might be more than science fiction soon

It's as if all the pieces are falling in place to give birth to the SkyNet nightmare that haunts us in the Terminator universe: self-driving cars, a fleet of interconnected Internet-bearing satellites, and now, shape-shifting and self-propelling metal. This last one was a recent discovery of a group of researchers in Tsinghua University in Beijing, China, who stumbled upon a peculiar behavior of a certain mix of metals that, in the end, could change its shape to fit moulds and paths and propel itself forward as well.

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Disney MagicBands wearable tech lets you explore Disney in a new way

Disney MagicBands wearable tech lets you explore Disney in a new way

In light of the recent Apple Watch unveiling, let's take a look at another wearable that is flying under the radar, specifically in Orlando. Florida's Disney World offers a lot to make it the "happiest place on earth." Recently, the park has been using its own wearable Disney MagicBands to create a new way for guests to interact with their Disney surroundings. They come in various colors with collectible straps so that everyone in your family should not only enjoy wearing MagicBands, but they will forget that they are actually wearing a smart device.

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Heart-on-a-chip tests drugs’ cardiotoxicity with its real heartbeat

Heart-on-a-chip tests drugs’ cardiotoxicity with its real heartbeat

Heart disease is the leading cause of death among Americans. Recently the bio-tech industry has been exploding with cardiac research like last week's heart attack preventing nanobots. New research by the team at the University of California, Berkley has created working human heart cells on a tiny chip designed to test the efficacy of new drugs in clinical trials. This heart-on-a-chip is officially known as a cardiac microphysiological system, or MPS. Using this heart-on-a-chip, scientists can measure the potential cardiac damage of a drug before it reaches expensive human trials.

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MatchGrid pioneers a six-way kidney donation chain

MatchGrid pioneers a six-way kidney donation chain

Organ transplant lists are notoriously long. Sometimes a patient in need has to wait years to receive a transplant, if they are lucky enough to receive one at all. The most successful transplants come from living donors, but a faithful friend isn't always a medical match to her friend in need. Enter MatchGrid, a biomedical program designed to match potential kidney donors and recipients. MatchGrid was created by former WIRED editor and kidney recipient David Jacobs. His program established a method to match twelve people and create a six-way kidney transplant chain.

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Waterproof Splash Drone can automatically follow your jet ski

Waterproof Splash Drone can automatically follow your jet ski

There are all kinds of ways to record your surf session. You used to need a friend to film from shore, or you could wear a camera helmet, or attach a Go Pro to your surfboard for a first-person view. Aerial shots over water have always been tricky, even with quadcopter drones because it has been risky to fly your drone over open water. It used to be that once it touched down in the water, it was toast. With the Splash Drone, you'll never need to worry about losing your drone in the water. This little guy can even launch from the sea.

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Lockheed Martin laser burns through truck engine a mile away

Lockheed Martin laser burns through truck engine a mile away

While some some people, particularly those in science and medical circles, are trying to paint a less than apocalyptic picture of the use of lasers, some, like Lockheed Martin, are reinforcing that imagery. The security and aerospace company has just demonstrated how a laser with a 30-kilowatt punching force was able to stop a truck dead in its tracks by burning through the engine manifold in just a matter of seconds. And this was done, not at close range, but at a distance of more than a mile.

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RLSB’s Wayfindr app helps the blind nagivate the London underground

RLSB’s Wayfindr app helps the blind nagivate the London underground

The London subway system can difficult be difficult to navigate for tourists and locals alike. London's blind and visually impaired commuters have an additional layer of difficulty added to their daily subway travels. Without being able to clearly see any signage, their daily commute could range from a hassle to downright dangerous as they navigate stairs and train platforms. The Royal London Society for Blind People (RLSB) paired with developers UsTwo to create Wayfindr, an app that helps the blind and visually impaired find their way around the London underground.

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Analysts: Apple Watch could top 19 million in 2015

Analysts: Apple Watch could top 19 million in 2015

Apple will "spring forward" at its event on March 9th, where it will likely launch its first generation of Apple's wearable technology, the Apple Watch. The Apple Watch is expected to hit consumer markets sometime in April. Over the course of 2015 it's predicted to sell 19 million units. 10 million of its sales are predicted to come directly from the holiday season. As of now, we aren't the only ones speculating. Professional market analysts have been reporting their bullish views on Apple's possible success in the market place.

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Google researchers work around Quantum Computing errors

Google researchers work around Quantum Computing errors

Quantum computers can solve problems that would take an ordinary computer millions of years to complete. It would take not thousands, but millions of years to create solutions to complex equations. Google and researchers at the University of California, Santa Barbara (UCSB) have just tackled the latest roadblock that was holding back quantum computing. They created program groups called qubits, which use delicate quantum physics to represent information. They programmed these qubits to identify and prevent calculation errors. Qubits haven't actually prevented initial bit-flip errors, but they prevent the mistake from derailing a calculation.

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Xiaomi unveils low-priced Yi action camera at MWC 2015

Xiaomi unveils low-priced Yi action camera at MWC 2015

If you've ever wanted a GoPro but couldn't part with the cash, then this may be your chance. Chinese company Xiaomi just unveiled their newest action-ready camera at MWC2015. Xiaomi's Yi camera will retail for only $64 USD, which is less than half the price of GoPro's basic Hero model which sells for $130 USD. It offers better technical specs than the GoPro Hero, but it is lacking in other respects. We'll take a look at they compare, and if we can even get our hands on a Yi cam stateside.

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