technology

What is Li-Fi, and how practical is it in the real world?

What is Li-Fi, and how practical is it in the real world?

Li-Fi stands for Light Fidelity, and it's being presented at this time as an eventual replacement for Wi-Fi-transmitted internet. While the term Li-Fi actually does stem from the term Light Fidelity, the word Wi-Fi stems from Hi-Fi, or High Fidelity, from the audio term for home audio, high-quality sound production. The people presenting Li-Fi have taken the concept of the Signal Lamp (aka the Aldis Lamp), sending morse code between ships at sea, instead sending data to your phone. Li-Fi is also known as visible light communications (VLC) technology.

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Four kitchen gadgets that’ll make next Thanksgiving easier

Four kitchen gadgets that’ll make next Thanksgiving easier

Thanksgiving: there's festivities and friends and football, and if you're fortunate, lots and lots of food. Someone has to cook that food, though, and that someone is probably getting really tired of being inside a kitchen right about now. Fortunately, we live in the modern age and the modern age includes appliances as smart as they are efficient. There are many to choose form, such as these five lifesavers that'll make next Thanksgiving's prep work much easier.

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Lightweight Express Dive bridges snorkeling and scuba

Lightweight Express Dive bridges snorkeling and scuba

The world beneath the waves, at least in places that are clean enough, is rich with wondrous and beautiful sights and creatures. But rare are the people who are able to enjoy those firsthand because of the restrictive nature of underwater diving. Scuba diving gear, which is meant to provide some amount of liberation, practically straps about 50 kg of equipment on your body just to make that possible. Couldn't there be an easier, lighter way to marvel at underwater treasures even just for a little while? Industrial designer Cathal Redmond and his Express Dive invention claim there might be.

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“Cyborg rose” gives a whole new meaning to flower power

“Cyborg rose” gives a whole new meaning to flower power

Forget about vicious, man killing humanoid cyborgs of the future. We might have more peaceful, more beneficial cyborg plants sooner. Researchers at Sweden's Linkoping University have successfully introduced circuitry into a rose's vascular system, opening the doors to new ways to study plants' biological systems as well as possibly derive energy from them as well. Soon, the term "power plant" might have a literal meaning, allowing humans to derive electrical power from an, again almost literal, green energy source. Thankfully, there's less chance to turn these cyborg plants into weapons of destruction.

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Coinbase launches their first Bitcoin debit card

Coinbase launches their first Bitcoin debit card

One of the biggest hurdles for Bitcoin adoption is the fact that it's difficult to actually spend the crytocurrency. While people have dreamed of a time where you can go to any store and spend your Bitcoin, it's just not taken off in a way that's made it feasible. However, Coinbase has just secured a deal that will let you do exactly that.

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Meet Blade, the world’s first 3D printed supercar

Meet Blade, the world’s first 3D printed supercar

3D printing has really come a long way in so short a time. A wave that democratized the manufacturing industry has now found its way to automobiles. Although we have indeed seen several examples of the intersection of cars and 3D printing, like Audi Tooling's most recent 2:1 scale of the Union Typ C race car. But that was just a small scale model. Kevin Czinger and his company, Divergent Microfactories, has 3D printed the chassis of a supercar, and one that actually drives as fast as the real thing.

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Dubai firefighters get jetpacks to battle skyscraper fires

Dubai firefighters get jetpacks to battle skyscraper fires

Being a firefighter in Dubai just got a lot more interesting. The city is home to many skyscrapers, and battling fires that result high up in these skyscrapers is not easy when you’re on the ground. To remedy that situation, the city will equip its firefighters with jetpacks, enabling them to get to upper levels much more quickly than they would using traditional methods.

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EM-Sense lets a smartwatch know what you are touching

EM-Sense lets a smartwatch know what you are touching

Smartwatches do a lot for us today from letting us read texts and emails without fishing a phone out of our pocket to reminding us to take medications. A new software defined radio solution called EM-Sense has the potential to make smartwatches considerably smarter and greatly expand the Internet of Things.

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Microsoft’s newest research tool identifies emotions

Microsoft’s newest research tool identifies emotions

Back in April, Microsoft inspired a brief but amusing spat of jokes with the introduction of its “How Old” age estimator. Now the company is back with a similar tool, only it analyzes a person’s face to guess their emotion rather than their age. As with the age estimator, the company has made a public demo available for anyone who wants to try it, but it is a little more involved than the age estimator, providing some concise data on the analyzed photo.

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Impacto armband delivers ‘punches’ for extra VR realism

Impacto armband delivers ‘punches’ for extra VR realism

Virtual reality is the next big thing, and anyone who has played with the technology knows that, depending on the quality, it can be easy to momentarily forget you're not really riding a rollercoaster or zipping through outer space. That wonderful feeling of suspended disbelief fizzles away, though, when certain senses aren't engaged in the way we would expect. Taking being punched, for example.

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Personal jetpack successfully flies around Statue of Liberty

Personal jetpack successfully flies around Statue of Liberty

It's still not the Iron Man that Australian entrepreneur David Mayman may have dreamed of. In fact, it is closer to Rocketman. But last week, the dreams and hopes of may technologists and geeks have made one huge step forward when Mayman became the first to pilot a personal jetpack, fly around the Statue of Liberty in New York, and live to tell the tale. A dream come true for many, it opens up the possibility of a new form of personal transportation, though probably still a few years into the future.

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Philips, Ericsson 4G smartpoles light up, connect LA streets

Philips, Ericsson 4G smartpoles light up, connect LA streets

It's a project two years in the making. Probably even more if you consider R&D and preliminary contracts. February last year, Philips and Ericsson revealed that they were workting together on the streetlight of the future, combining two of the things most delectable to city folk need or love or both: bright night lights and pervasive Internet access. Now that idea will finally be put to the real world test. Philips has just revealed that Los Angeles will be the first every city in the world to deploy its SmartPole street lights with 4G LTE connectivity.

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