Television manufacturers know that people don’t like 3D glasses, so they’re trying very hard to find an alternative. Glasses-free 3D systems are currently available, but you have to view the TV from a specific location. I’m not sure how effective that would be in a family living room. The linked article has a short blurb on Sony’s efforts in this area.
Archive for the 'Technology' Category
CNET News has a trio of articles on the cutting-edge technology being used on the latest generation of US Navy ships. There’s the DDG 1000 destroyer (slated for deployment in 2015), the upcoming CVN-78 aircraft carrier (USS Gerald R. Ford, to be completed in 2013 and deployed in 2015), and the Virginia class submarine (USS North Carolina, already in service). Each article has an associated photo gallery that’s interesting in its own right.
Back in 1962, researchers at Corning developed a very strong glass that’s hard to break, scratch, or dent. The product didn’t gain acceptance, and Corning gave up trying to sell it—until recently, that is. “Gorilla Glass” is now being used for consumer electronics such as smartphones and netbooks, and is poised to enter the television market. Corning is making some serious money from this invention that couldn’t find a buyer 50 years ago.
Despite my college classes in electrical engineering, I’d never heard of memristance. First theorized in 1971 and only recently actualized, a memristor essentially has a variable resistance dependent upon the amount of charge that has passed through it.
At this point you may be asking, “And how does this relate to me?” Scientists at Hewlett-Packard have created memristors that act as persistent memory, much like the flash memory used in USB drives, iPods, smart phones, etc., but with improvements. The memristors created by HP match the speed of flash but can pack more memory into the same space. So depending on how this technology is marketed and licensed, we may actually see a successor to flash.
Another feature of HP’s memristors is that it’s possible to juxtapose the CPU and memory, where they use the same memristors for both functions. In addition, memristor-based logic circuits are capable of reprogramming themselves in a way that’s reminiscent of the human brain. These abilities don’t have an immediate market but are full of potential. And we all know that real programmers write self-modifying code.
With 3D movies becoming all the rage, Slate takes a look at the difficulties inherent in converting an older 2D movie into 3D. Unfortunately the viewing experience is not as good as native 3D, especially if they do a sloppy job. Also, since it costs more to film in 3D than to convert from 2D, we may see upcoming films doing the conversion anyway.
From the article: “A paper in the current issue of Science discusses the ability of a single-celled creature to create a robust network while foraging for food—one that mimicked the Tokyo rail system in complexity.”
It seems like copyright holders go ballistic every time a new medium is developed, then that medium ends up becoming a major revenue source. Ars Technica did some research and has determined this is not a new phenomenon.
I remember hearing about the Tweel and thinking what a great idea it was—no more flat tires and no more wasted gas or uneven wear due to improper inflation. Unfortunately, Michelin hasn’t done much with the technology. But now there’s another contender in the airless tire arena. Let’s hope this military technology makes its way to the consumer market sometime soon.
As I grow older, I’m amazed to see the creation of technologies that I once read about in science fiction books. The Japanese government is spending $22 billion on a project to put a large solar panel array in orbit that will generate energy and beam it down to the Earth.
The next step forward in display technology is OLED-based screens. OLED displays are thinner, use less power, and provide better picture quality. The linked article says we’ll see them in small devices in another month or two. It may be a while, however, before we get large-screen OLED televisions. Also, there is a significant difference between LED and OLED televisions. Don’t be fooled by the similarity of the acronyms.
While much attention has been going to quantum computers as the replacement for today’s silicon-based computer systems, some research has shown that bacteria and DNA could instead be the future. Chad’s News has previously discussed the possibility of using DNA for encryption—so why not go all the way and have a full-fledged DNA-based computer? Note that both bacterial and DNA computers are in the research phase, however, and we won’t be seeing them in common use any time soon.
The Ford Motor Company has created a viable system that replaces spark plugs with lasers. According to the linked article, this technology is “more reliable and efficient than current spark plug technology and will enable cars to start more easily in cold and damp conditions.” As an added bonus, fuel usage is reduced because of the increased stability of the combustion. Expect to see this “in the wild” within a couple years.