Apple has filed a patent for biometric authentication (checking after identification) including installation of a hidden sensor behind the screen that would recognize the user's fingerprint when touched, and / or a front-facing camera for retinal recognition. The filing also suggests further possibilities, such as the device being capable of recognizing the user's voice, or collecting DNA samples for recognition via genetic code.
Researchers from Edinburgh and Manchester University have created a molecular machine that could be used to develop quantum computers for making "intricate calculations" far more quickly than current supercomputers. Essentially, the reseachers relied on molecular scale technology instead of silicon chips; more specifically, they achieved the so-called breakthrough by "combining tiny magnets with molecular machines that can shuttle between two locations without the use of external force." Not surprisingly, there's still more work to be done, with Professor David Leigh of Edinburgh University noting that "the major challenges we face now are to bring many of these qubits together to build a device that could perform calculations, and to discover how to communicate between them."
Researchers from Philips Electronics plan to describe a jacket they have lined with vibration motors to study the effects of touch on a movie viewer's emotional response to what the characters are experiencing. The jacket contains 64 independently controlled actuators distributed across the arms and torso. The actuators are arrayed in 16 groups of four and linked along a serial bus; each group shares a microprocessor. The actuators draw so little current that the jacket could operate for an hour on its two AA batteries even if the system was continuously driving 20 of the motors simultaneously."
Australia is skipping the halfway house of so called ‘fibre to the node’, and will now bring the fibre network straight to people’s homes, FttH: Fiber to the Home. This is the most ambitious infrastructure ever undertaken in Australia and will be the most ambitious FttH network anywhere undertaken in the world. Cost of the project: $43 billion AU$ (22 billion Euro, 30 billion US$).
The big work will require replacing the copper cables that are going into people’s homes by fibre. Examples from around the world have indicated that it is very difficult to build a business plan around this but the government is taking the sting out of this by basically guaranteeing the investment money for the project and also indicating the use of the infrastructure for other sectors (healthcare, etc).
This will really boost the economy of Australia. It’ll transform an economy that is now largely driven by natural resources to an economy that sells and delivers virtual experiences to the whole world. Australian entrepreneurs will soon sell immersive interactive experiences via all kind of interactive screens and projections (of which we now see predecessors such as games, interactive movies or virtual learning environments). These kind of experiences have we never seen before.
Australia has some other strong points that empowers this country to be extremely successful in the years after the introduction of the FttH network:
The English language. This might seem a little bit obvious but this holds for example Korea or the Netherlands, both equipped with strong broadband networks, to offer their services worldwide.
Strong ties between individual people all across the world on a personal and professional level. 25% of the residents in Australia are not even born here! These strong ties will lead to business partnerships, trade and very fast word-of-mouth marketing.
The movie industry. Although small, Australia has a movie industry. The impact in the world of new media is immediately visible: professional video is much more integrated in the lives of media professionals than in, for example, the Netherlands. When traditional distribution of movies and games will disappear and content will be tapped (and paid) per minute, Australia can distribute video content to individuals all across the world.
The long distances: The long distances within the country will allow Australia to develop technologies, and business models and test them on the internal market. For example: webbinars (speaking to an online audiences) are much more accepted and popular than in a dense populated country like the Netherlands. When you have successfully developed a long-distance model within a country, the rest of the world is just the next step.
The presence of all nationalities in the world who truely work together. Here in Sydney, I’ve personally noticed that all cultures work together on a shared future. People came to Australia from all over the world to build a better life and a better future. This diversity will allow Australia to customise content for the whole world
What a present for me during my last week in Sydney, preparing my migration to Australia!
Apple has developed a new technique that would hide a biometric reader inside an iPhone or a Mac and let owners lock down their systems with fingerprints or even facial recognition -- all without ever having to break from their usual routine.
Carnegie Mellon undergraduates Dan Eisenberg, Kevin Li and Ilya Brin have developed the EyeTable, which is described as "an artificially intelligent dinner table that reads physical gestures and speech patterns and lets the participants know how the date is going—in real time.
The EyeTable is composed of a centerpiece and two headpieces. Sensors placed on these parts detect fluctuations in tone of voice, periods of silence, and distance between the couple. If the EyeTable detects that the date is not going well, it will try to help the couple by suggesting some post-dinner activities or by suggesting another bottle of wine. If the EyeTable detects that the date is beyond help, it will instead give the numbers for the local cab companies.
The Swedish design team TAT (The Astonishing Tribe), has demonstrated a 3D-eyetracking UI that tracks the position of our eyes and changes the display accordingly. This really gives a feeling that objects are behind one another. Earlier the team developed the look and feel of the T-Mobile G1's user interface which included such innovations as the window shade menu and 9-point visual key-lock.
The Immersive Vision System of MITRE gives drivers of military vehicles an unobstructed, responsive and natural view of their environment without being exposed to the dangers of that environment. A hemispherical camera -- actually a number of 5 stationary side cameras and one on top -- is stitched together in realtime to one single video image that covers all 360 degrees horizontally and 270 degrees vertically, and is projected onto a sphere. A head mounted display matches the exact position and direction and calculates the view and projects that into the glasses. This allows the pilot to move his head naturally, no need for periscopes, joysticks, or any other non-intuitive control interfaces.
Mitsubishi latest technology promises to detect the distance between a finger and the touch panel to allow for a whole host of new interface options. That's done with the aid of an array of sensors that can also be used to calculate the speed at which the finger is approaching, and allow for a so-called "mouse-over function," which would essentially let your finger control a cursor without actually touching the screen -- something Mitsubishi says would be ideal for devices with small screens. Currently, it is just in prototype form (currently a 5.7-inch capacitive VGA display).
Ford has filed a patent called "Emotive Text-to-Speech System and Method" describing a system that can not only simulate emotion when reading out directions and describing traffic problems, but could also detect the emotion of the operator of the car and interact with them in ways designed to, oh, soothe a little road rage. The avatar is said to "appear to become frustrated" if the driver is a lead-foot, and may say "Your driving is hurting my fuel efficiency." Or, if a driver is going too fast, the dash-bound assistant could turn blue, ask what's wrong, and suggest a more direct route to their destination.
Scientists at Philips Research are currently progressing towards the development of transparent OLEDs. Now Philips show us some picture from the new windows as light application.
This means OLED panels could function as ordinary windows during the day and then morph into panels of light after dark, either by imitating natural light or by emitting attractive interior lighting.
During the day, people would be able to create their own private area by turning transparent glass walls, windows or doors into walls of light whenever they liked. Transparent OLED panels are expected to emerge onto the market within the next 3
to 5 years.